The global foreign exchange (forex) market is the largest and most actively traded financial market in the world, by far. When looking for the ‘best’ forex broker, both beginners and experienced traders generally look for several key features and benefits. Among the most important of these are fees (including spreads and commissions), trading platform(s) (including software, web-based, mobile, charting and third-party platforms), customer support, trading education along with currency research, and trustworthiness.
IG has been in the forex and CFD business for over 40 years. The company offers access globally to a comprehensive product line that includes forex, stock indices, individual equities, stock sectors, commodities, cryptocurrencies, bonds, and interest rates on a variety of professional-grade web-based and mobile trading platforms.
IG is the largest CFD dealer (based on trading revenue) with the largest number of active financial spread betting accounts in the UK. As noted, the company just began serving U.S. clients once again, in February 2019 (IG had operations in the U.S. previously before leaving). Its size allows it to offer some of the lowest spreads and commissions in the industry. IG Group is a FTSE 250 company with more than 185,000 clients worldwide.
CMC Markets offers competitive spreads that widen with larger trade and bet sizes. Dedicated sites for professionals and institutions highlight their commitment to higher skill and commitment levels, but it would be nice to see higher level perks, including rebates and the free API interface, offered to retail accounts. Even so, all account holders gain access to guaranteed stop losses, free bank wire withdrawals and other advanced features, lifting the broker into the top tier in several review categories.
OANDA is one of the earliest pioneers of the retail forex industry. Having roots in academia, the company built its reputation, product offerings, technology, and customer base to the point now that it’s one of only two forex-only brokers in the U.S., and also serves customers throughout the U.K., Singapore, Canada, and Australia. Since the company’s inception back in the 1990s, OANDA has been at the forefront of retail forex, offering the latest trading technology and services to a global customer base.
Key points about OANDA include the fact that it has a $0 minimum for live accounts, which is not too common for any type of broker, including forex-specific brokers. Also, the company is well known for its quality of trade execution and transparency when it comes to pricing and fees. Finally, OANDA has long focused on its trading technology, which includes its proprietary web-based and desktop platforms, as well as mobile and MetaTrader 4 options.
London Capital Group
LCG provides access to a broad selection of CFDs and spread betting instruments across several different asset classes including forex, indexes, cryptocurrencies, commodities, bonds, and individual stocks. They offer competitively low spreads and no commissions. LCG also provides account holders with the benefit of negative balance protection.