Choosing a forex trading platform that meets your needs as a beginner trader is important. Features to consider are technical analysis tools, social-copy trading tools on platforms such as MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader and apps for mobiles.
See our top best forex broker platforms recommended for beginner traders in 2021 below.
Here are our best trading platforms for beginners in Australia by category:
Think Markets proprietary platform, ThinkTrader, is an intuitive online forex trading platform suitable for those new to trading. With user-friendly trading tools, extra features such as Autochartist and one-click trading available, beginner traders can easily execute orders and familiarise themselves with forex trading.
Those new to forex trading with little experience trading financial instruments will be able to increase their understanding of technical analysis using ThinkTrader’s charting tools. The platform provides 80+ technical indicators, 50+ drawing tools, and multiple chart types to analyse forex markets. To stay up to date with changes in financial markets, traders can preset alerts to ensure no trading opportunities are missed.
ThinkTrader is available as a tablet and mobile app or as a desktop platform (no web platform option is available). To assist with beginner traders with the development of trading strategies, the proprietary trading apps include features such as split-screen views, market scanners and a full set of technical analysis tools.
Beginner traders wanting to trade forex with ThinkTrader can sign up to a standard account type where spreads are inclusive of all commission fees. No minimum deposit is required to start trading, with average spreads starting from 1.2 pips available on major forex pairs. Alternatively, traders can choose the ThinkZero Account which is exactly the same as the Standard Account but has narrower spreads as commission costs ($3.5 per side / $7.0 round trip) are used in place of the wider spreads on the Standard Account. No commissions accounts are great for beginner traders as your costs are less complex to calculate. The main appeal of ThinkZero is they offer lower trading costs thanks to tight spreads.
Less experienced traders wanting to build confidence can utilise ThinkMarkets free demo account and educational resources. Unlike many other fx brokers, ThinkMarkets demo account has no time restrictions and is unlimited, with users able to gain experience before trading with real money via a live account.
As well as trading courses designed for those new to forex trading, webinars, glossaries and trading guides are available to ThinkMarkets customers.
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) are two of the most popular online trading platforms worldwide. While many experienced traders prefer MetaQuotes platforms due to its Expert Advisor (EA) functionality and advanced trading tools, there are many MT4 and MT5 features that beginner traders can benefit from.
With millions of active traders, the MT4 and MT5 communities are an excellent resource for beginner traders. As well as learning about foreign exchange markets through the community forums, Pepperstone traders can find and employ new trading systems, indicators and EAs in MetaTrader’s Marketplace that have been tried and tested by experienced traders.
For those wanting to learn the ins and outs of MetaTrader 4 prior to trading with real money, Pepperstone provides an 11 part course covering topics ranging from installing MT4 and Expert Advisors to set up a VPS. As well as MT4 specific resources, Pepperstone clients can utilise the broker’s extensive library of educational articles, guides, and webinars.
To save time scoping out new trading opportunities, MetaTrader 4 and MT5 users can automate trading through Pepperstone’s social-copy trading, Autochartist and Expert Advisor tools. Compared to other top forex brokers, Pepperstone offers a wide range of third-party providers that supply the copy and social trading tools.
Traders can choose from ZuluTrade, Myfxbook, MirrorTrader, DupliTrade, or MetaTrader Signals. The account mirroring services allow Pepperstone customers to copy the trades and portfolios of experienced traders, reducing the time spent conducting research and analysis while learning from successful investors around the world.
A unique feature that sets Pepperstone’s MT4 and MT5 trading experience apart from competitors is the broker’s Smart Trader Tools package. Ideal for those new to forex trading, Pepperstone’s Smart Trader Tools consists of Expert Advisors and technical indicators that can be employed to automatically identify trading opportunities, eliminating the need for traders to manually conduct technical analysis and place orders.
To start trading on MT4 or MT5 with Pepperstone, customers need to choose between a Standard account and a Razor account type. While standard account types provide access to low spreads that include commission fees, Razor accounts allow customers to trade at institutional grade spreads while paying a flat rate commission fee of AUD $7 round turn.
Razor account holders paying a flat rate commission fee gain access to the lowest spreads when compared to competitors for four out of five currency pairs. Pepperstone’s spreads are significantly tighter than most top forex brokers for the EUR/USD, GBP/USD, EUR/JPY and AUD/USD, while the EUR/GBP is a fraction behind Axi. (formally known as AxiTrader).
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
Standard account holders can simplify trading by choosing to trade spreads inclusive of commission fees, avoiding any need to calculate commission charges manually. Pepperstone’s standard spreads are competitive compared to the industry standard. For the EUR/USD, EUR/GBP and USD/CAD currency pairs, Pepperstone’s spreads are only marginally wider than brokers such as Oanda and FP Markets.
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Both account types provide fast executive and competitive spreads thanks to no dealing desk interference. The broker uses top tier liquidity sources, meaning Pepperstone determines bid-ask prices externally, giving you the best spreads available in the market, on par with institutional grade pricing.
When placing CFD and forex orders with Pepperstone, customers benefit from the ultra-fast execution speeds. As shown below, a Market Order (an order placed at the current price) is executed faster than any competing brokers, while Limit Orders (an order to buy or sell at a specific price or better) are a close second to FP Markets.
The online forex broker is overseen by various financial authorities around the world. You will receive different levels of investor protection depending on where you reside and the subsidiary you start trading with.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
While Pepperstone offers the best MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading experience, IC Markets offers the best MT4/MT5 product ranges. With seven asset classes and over 235 financial instruments, beginner traders gain access to a diverse range of markets, yet not an overwhelming amount of CFDs (that makes it difficult to stay up to date with market movements).
IC Markets is regulated in three financial jurisdictions, being the FSA (Seychelles), ASIC (Australia) and CySEC (Cyprus/mainland Europe).
MetaTrader 4 was initially designed as a forex platform, therefore IC Markets MT4 option is better suited to forex traders happy to focus on currency trading. MT5 is a multi-asset platform, offering a wider range of asset classes to diversify trading strategies with share trading available. Additionally, customers can choose from 10 different Cryptocurrencies when trading CFDs with IC Markets on either MT4 or MT5, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash. Yet, due to recent changes to FCA regulation, cryptos are no longer available to UK traders.
IC Markets offer two retail investor account types. As a beginner trader, the online broker’s standard account provides access to forex spreads that are inclusive of commission fees. Although spreads are much tighter when trading under an IC Markets Raw Spread account, commission fee calculations may be complicated for beginner traders. Raw spreads do not include commission, with traders paying a flat rate round-turn fee instead.
When trading forex with IC Markets, customers gain access to low spreads of 0.10 pips with a Raw Spread account and 1.1 pips with a Standard account type on the Euro vs US Dollar (EUR/USD) currency pair. Although traders can use leverage to magnify their gains, fx trading is considered a high-risk investment activity, and beginner traders should be careful when entering highly leveraged positions.
Plus500 allows traders to access CFD and forex markets via the online broker’s proprietary web trader platform. The Plus500 CFD trading platform is excellent for beginners as it offers a clean user-friendly design along with a range of methods to manage the high risk of CFD trading. The broker’s range of risk management tools allows forex traders to minimize losses by using demo accounts and different order types while receiving investor protection through financial regulation.
Note: While Plus500 CFD Trading Platform is great for beginner traders, it is best to learn how to trade using a demo account (such as offered by Plus500) using virtual currency. We do not advise investing your own savings until you are ready to trading.
Plus500 offers a range of order types to manage the high risk of forex trading due to leverage and volatility, although no order time limits are available. Utilising different order types enables traders to secure profits and minimise capital losses when prices move in unfavourable directions or when financial markets become volatile. A Market Order is a standard order type that is executed at the current market price. Pending orders include:
Allows Plus500 traders to specify the price at which a position should be opened or closed to maximise profits and minimise losses. Unlike a guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO), slippage may occur with standard Stop-Limit and Stop-Loss Orders if prices suddenly fluctuate beyond stop levels.
For a premium, traders can use Guaranteed Stop-Loss Orders to put an absolute limit on any potential losses. If prices move in an unfavourable direction, an order is automatically closed at the price specified by the trader, with no chance of slippage.
Assists traders with locking in a specific profit, orders remain open as long as prices are moving in a favourable direction, but will automatically close if prices change by a certain amount of pips.
Plus500 is a regulated broker with subsidiaries operating in major financial hubs around the world. As financial regulation varies between jurisdiction, the investor protection a Plus500 customer receives depends on the subsidiary the trader is registered with.
In the UK, Plus500 is listed on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Other financial authorities that oversee Plus500 operations include:
Traders registered with the online brokers FCA and CySEC subsidiaries will receive investor protection in the form of negative balance protection, close-out margins and leverage caps.
Compared to other brokers, Plus500 offers an excellent demo account. While many brokers allow access for only 30 days, Plus500’s demo account has no time restrictions. Users gain access to a demo trading account with $50,000 in virtual funds, with the balance reinstated if it drops below a certain amount. Although a great educational tool for those new to forex trading, experienced traders can also benefit from trading accounts as they are able to test out trading strategies against real-time market data.
View Plus500 Review >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
eToro is a forex broker and social trading network with millions of users from around the globe. The account mirroring service allows customers to copy the trading strategies of successful traders known as ‘Popular Investors’, simplifying forex trading and reducing the need to conduct advanced technical analysis.
The eToro trading platform is well-designed and easy for beginners to navigate. Although the proprietary platform lacks the sophisticated trading tools of other platforms such as MetaTrader 5 or cTrader, social trading is the main function of eToro and therefore not necessary for those new to trading.
Social trading is an excellent way for beginner traders to gain experience by following and copying more experienced traders’ strategies. Those copying the trades of Popular Investors learn about forex trading, while the Popular Investors are rewarded with bonuses when strategies are successful.
Traders can scope out Popular Investors that develop strategies in line with their risk level and trading objectives. To assist customers in finding suitable strategies to copy, Popular Investors are ranked based on past performance parameters such as success (% of winning trades), profitable weeks, and asset classes.
As well as a large social trading community, the online broker’s pricing structure is simple and transparent. Perfect for those new to trading, eToro offers fixed spreads on currency pairs as well as simple investment products such as portfolio bundles.
cTrader is a forex platform that provides an institutional-grade ECN environment for retail investors. While many of the trading tools are designed for advanced technical analysis and complex trading strategies (i.e. level 2 market depth), beginner traders also benefit from the ultra-fast execution and ECN-style tight spreads. Similar to MetaTrader 4 and MT5’s Expert Advisors, cTrader users can automate trading and create technical indicators using cBots and the C# programming language.
To start trading with FxPro, clients are required to make an initial minimum deposit of $500 by credit card, bank transfer or broker to broker transfer. Index and Cryptocurrency CFD products are available to trade with no commission fees attached, while Forex and Metals carry a $4.50 commission fee per $100,000 traded. As well as a web trader platform, FxPro cTrader is available as mobile trading apps compatible with iOS and Android devices.
View FxPro Review >>Visit FxPro >>
FP Markets is an ASIC regulated broker that provides access to forex and CFD markets. To trade the financial instruments offered, traders can choose between MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 or IRESS.
IRESS is a forex and stock trading platform that is available as a web trader platform or mobile trading app. The platform focuses on share trading, although FP Markets customers can still access forex markets via IRESS. MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are available as a web trader, mobile or desktop platform, with retail investor accounts able to trade forex among other CFD asset classes.
FP Markets offers the best CFD and forex trading demo account type on MT4 and MT5 due to the unlimited access and high virtual trading balance supplied. While many of the best brokers have strict time limits and low virtual account balances, those using FP Markets MetaTrader demo account gain unlimited access and $100,000 in virtual funds.
If traders’ balances diminish, FP Markets customer support can be contacted and the account balance will be replenished with virtual funds, or alternatively, traders can open a new demo account. For those signing up to an IRESS demo account, $100,000 in virtual funds is available and access is limited to 30 days.
As a beginner forex trader, demo accounts are a useful educational and risk management tool. Trial trading accounts allow users to familiarise themselves with forex markets, technical analysis techniques, and trading platform features prior to trading with real money.
As trading forex and CFDs is a high-risk investment activity, many experienced traders use demo accounts to test trading strategies against real-time market data. This allows strategies, Expert Advisors and portfolios to be fine-tuned prior to risking real money in forex markets.
CMC Markets is one of the best brokers for investors frequently making trades on the go. Available on both Android and iOS devices, CMC Markets Next Generation mobile trading apps are user-friendly yet provide all the technical tools required to develop sophisticated trading strategies. The award-winning mobile app provides tools to conduct in-depth analysis, including 40+ drawing tools and technical indicators.
Other Next Generation trading app features include:
View CMC Markets Review >>Visit CMC Markets>>
OANDA’s proprietary trading platform, Oanda Trade, allows investors to trade CFDs derived from asset classes such as indices, commodities and bonds in addition to forex.
The web trader platform is easy to use and provides a collection of analysis tools including 100+ drawing tools and technical indicators. To supplement any technical analysis conducted, traders can keep up to date with real-time forex industry news on the web-based platform.
An advantage beginner traders gain when using OANDA trade is that they can manually set leverage when trading CFDs. Many of the best brokers do not allow leverage to be changed or reduced from the maximum available, increasing the high risk of forex trading. For instance, OANDA customers new to forex trading may be offered 500:1 leverage under ASIC regulation, yet choose to place an order with 5:1 leverage to reduce the high risk and exposure.
View Oanda Review >>Visit OANDA >>
Whether you are looking to build confidence via demo accounts, or automate trading using social trading tools or Expert Advisors, our list of the Top 9 best brokers for beginners provides a suitable recommendation. For forex traders wanting a CFD broker that offers low spreads, strong trading tools and easy to use trading platforms, Compare Forex Brokers recommends ThinkMarkets, IC Markets or Pepperstone as the overall top forex brokers. You can view our international beginner trader page to view the overall best brokers across all regions.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.