Beginner traders need a forex broker with low spreads and a helpful trading platform. See our best brokers for beginner traders in 2021 including key features brokers offer. These features cover risk management, customer services, regulation, and training.
Our forex comparisons and broker reviews are reader supported and we may receive payment when you click on a link to a partner site.
Our list of the best forex trading platforms for beginners is the following.
We base the above list on our master 2021 top forex platform guide designed for beginner to advanced traders worldwide.
Markets.com is a global Forex and CFD market maker broker that is regulated across 5 jurisdictions. Which makes them a safe broker and an excellent choice if you are new to trading.
We nominated Markets.com as the best broker that has the best forex platforms for the following reasons
Markets.com offers 5 different trading platforms to choose from. These platforms are
One appealing aspect with Markets.com is the ability to use any of the trading platforms the brokers offer through a single account. This means that you can take advantage of Marketsx trading tools for sentiment, technical and fundamental analysis even though you are using MetaTrader 4 or 5 as your primary trading account.
Note: while you can access any platform through one account, the data for each platform is not carried across.
Marketsx is the broker’s proprietary CFD trading platform that offers a user-friendly trading environment for beginner traders. Marketsx is Markets.com premier trading platform that you can use for all CFD products the broker offers.
There are three key types of trading tools that can be used to analyse financial market analysis:
Marketsi is also a CFD trading platform, yet Markets.com designed the inbuilt tools for stock market analysis and share CFD trading. The platform’s easy-to-use tools will help beginner traders with creating diversified share portfolios that suit their risk tolerance, goals, and desired investment period (short-term, medium-term, or long-term investments).
Marketsi offers Investment strategy builder which that uses quantitive investing technology to bring you the kind of data and algorithms that you see hedge funds and banks when building a stock portfolio. With this technology, Marketsi can help you build your own stock portfolio that is worthy of a pro.
The trading platform comes in two platforms
If you prefer to stick to more mainstream trading platforms, Markets.com also offers MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
MetaTrader 4 is the world’s most popular trading platform so is one of the safest choices for beginner traders. MetaTrader 5 is an upgrade on MT4, this platform offers more indicators, more charts, more timeframes than MT4.
As a beginner trader, MT4 offers one of the largest communities of any trading platform. This means if you ever need help or advice then you can find the support when you need it. For example, the MetaTrader 4 Marketplace offers an extremely large collection of expert advisors, signals, and indicators for free, rent, or at a cost that you won’t find with other trading platforms.
MetaTrader 5 is a great choice for beginner traders as it is more future-proof than MetaTrader 4. While MetaTrader 4 will be available for use for a long time in the future, MetaTrader 5 continues to be maintained by MetaQuotes with new tools and features being added. MetaTrader 5 also has the ability to offer products MT4 cannot since it allows you to access CFDs that access a centralised exchange such as stocks.
The below image shows a collection of live spreads we observed for a few currency pairs that Markets.com offers. The EUR/USD is the most commonly traded currency pair and we observed 0.60 pips. This matches the minimum spreads other brokers advertise such as Pepperstone, Oanda, IC Markets, FP Markets so you can be sure Markets.com spreads compare well to other brokers.
While these spreads are wider than ECN pricing accounts (which can be as low as 0.0 pips), they come with no commissions. With spreads starting from 0.60 pips, you can end up saving on costs compared to brokers that charge commissions.
The below module compares the average or typical spreads for standard accounts for different brokers. These brokers publish these spreads on their website, we collect and update these spreads each month.
While Markets.com does not provide their average spreads, the live spreads Markets.com list suggests the broker is very competitive.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 01/08/2021
Compare Lowest Spreads >>
Markets.com is a multi-regulated online broker that provides easy-to-use trading platforms with trading tools ideal for beginners.
Depending on the asset classes you wish to trade, two proprietary Markets.com platforms can be used – Marketsx and Marketsi as well as MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5. In total, Markets.com provides access to thousands of CFDs derived from a diverse range of asset classes:
Note: FCA regulation does not allow cryptocurrency trading products, clients with Markets.com UK are not able to buy and sell crypto products.
As well as providing a great selection of beginner-friendly trading tools, Markets.com is a multi-regulated broker that is overseen by five major financial authorities. Markets.com subsidiaries and their respective regulator include:
Additionally, the broker’s parent company, Playtech, is a component of the FTSE 250 Index and listed on the London Stock Exchange and therefore adheres to strict disclosure requirements.
View Markets.com Review >>Visit Markets.com >>
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
Plus500 is a CFD provider that offers its proprietary trading software as a web trader platform or mobile app. You can trade a wide range of financial instruments as a Plus500 client, gaining access to over 2,000 shares, cryptocurrency, option, index, commodity and forex markets.
As a market maker broker, customers trade fixed spreads with the broker setting its own bid-ask prices and filling orders using their own internal liquidity. Plus500 spreads are wider than ECN brokers. yet you pay no commission costs on top of the fixed spread. Overall, there are minimal trading fees and account management costs, as you pay no fees when depositing funds and no commission fees when you open or close a trade.
Whether you are using a mobile or tablet device, Plus500 offers an easy to use proprietary trading app, well-suited to beginner traders. Plus500”s mobile trading app is compatible with the following devices:
Plus500 offers excellent risk management features with top-tier regulation and guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLOs). As forex and CFDs are complex instruments that come with a high risk of losing money, strong risk management tools are vital for beginner traders. To add further transparency regarding financial reporting and regulation, the CFD provider is listed on the London Stock Exchange and overseen by seven different tier-one financial authorities:
Note: FCA regulation changes mean Plus500UK cannot offer cryptocurrency products for trading. Other subsidiaries still offer as they use a different regulator.
While signing up to a highly regulated CFD provider protects your funds and provides negative balance protection in certain locations, you can manage risk yourself using basic and premium pending order types. GSLOs allow Plus500 customers to pay a premium to receive a guarantee that Plus500 will execute your order at the price they specified, regardless of gapping. As well as order types, risk management features on Plus500 mobile trading app include traders sentiment, market and price alerts plus an economic calendar.
View Plus500 Review >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘72% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
Pepperstone is a regulated broker with ASIC, FCA, CySEC, BaFin, CMA, and DFSA that facilitates forex and CFD trading for traders around the world. If you are a resident of the UK or Ireland, the broker also offers spread betting services.
The top broker offers the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader trading platforms. Each platform provides ultra-tight spreads, fast execution, and great market access, yet we recommend using MT4 for the great range of trading tools Pepperstone offers on the platform.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the most popular forex trading platform worldwide. An advantage if you are a beginner forex trader is you can switch between MT4 forex brokers if needed since most online brokers offer the platform. MT4 is hugely popular for several reasons, including the ability to copy-trade and purchase automated robots from the widest trading community currently available for retail investor accounts.
MT4 is suitable for both beginner and experienced traders, with extensive financial instruments and automated trading tools available. You can manage the high risk of trading using various order types, develop automated trading strategies using Expert Advisors and backtest and optimise strategies using MT4’s backtesting features.
As well as the comprehensive range of inbuilt trading tools, MetaTrader users can download an add-on suite of Smart Trader Tools to enhance the MT4 platform. The package includes 28 additional technical indicators and Expert Advisors, designed to automate market research, analysis and trading.
Pepperstone fills orders using 22 top-tier liquidity providers, giving traders access to some of the best spreads available to retail investor accounts. The broker executes orders with no dealing desk (NDD) and straight-through-processing (STP), with Equinix servers allowing for fast execution speeds. As shown below, Pepperstone executes orders faster than competing online brokers, ensuring you experience minimal slippage.
As CFD and forex trading is complex and comes with a high risk of losing money, Pepperstone provides an excellent demo account and quality educational resources.
A comprehensive MetaTrader 4 course is available on Pepperstone’s website. The course is ideal for beginner traders as it helps you learn your way around the trading platform. You can learn about the extensive platform features, mobile trading, Expert Advisors, VPS, and Smart Trader Tools with the 11-part course.
Lastly, the top forex broker offers a demo account where traders can explore the MT4 platform and test trading strategies. Pepperstone adds $50,000 of virtual funds to your demo account, with the trial available for 30 days.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
Six key reasons that deem ThinkMarkets as a top forex broker for beginner traders are:
ThinkMarkets offers two forex trading accounts. The broker designed its Standard Account type for beginner traders, with no commission fees and a $0 minimum deposit required to open an account. You pay no funding costs when using deposit methods such as wire transfer, debit card, Neteller, Skrill and credit card. In Australia, Paypal and POLi are available payment methods, while in South Africa Zotapay Africa is offered. On top of fee-free deposits, you also pay no withdrawal fees.
A unique feature offered by ThinkMarkets is that all customers receive negative balance protection. This helps reduce the high risk that comes with forex and CFD trading, as you cannot lose more than you have deposited into your trading account.
If your trading account balance reaches $0, the online broker’s Negative Balance Protection policy will close all your open positions to ensure you do not end up with a negative balance. If negative balances occur because of high volatility in CFD and foreign exchange markets, the broker will pay you out any negative balance. Most forex brokers do not offer this feature, which gives you peace of mind when using the ThinkMarkets platform.
The ThinkMarkets standard account type is a spread only account that does not charge flat-rate commission fees. This means that the forex broker makes their money primarily from the difference between the ‘ask’ and ‘sell’ price of any forex pair. The minimum spread is 0.4 pips and the average spread is 1.2 pips for commonly traded major forex pairs.
If you are an experienced trader wanting ECN-style pricing, a ThinkZero account type is available that offers tighter spreads, but you pay a flat rate commission fee. Although spreads are wider than a ThinkZero account type, standard account types are better suited if you are new to trading, as you can avoid commission fee calculations.
ThinkMarkets offers an online training course for beginner, intermediate and experienced traders. As well as weekly webinars and trading platform tutorials, there are also trading guides covering topics like:
Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week (weekdays) and operates from the following locations:
There are also local numbers for Italy and Spain.
ThinkMarkets customers can choose from MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) or the online broker’s proprietary trading platform, ThinkTrader.
MT4 is the most popular trading platform worldwide and is ideal for beginner forex traders. MT4 features include:
AutoChartist is an excellent tool if you are a beginner trader, as the software automatically scans CFD and foreign exchange markets, seeking trading opportunities that those new to trading may miss. AutoChartist simplifies and automates technical analysis, allowing you to save time researching markets and conducting analysis.
MetaTrader 5 offers certain improvements compared to MT4 including more timeframes, technical indicators, charts and pending order types as well as improved backtesting, yet many features such as AutoChartist and the platforms social trading tools remain the same. MT5 is better suited if you want to trade share CFDs, as the platform provides access to a wider range of financial instruments, including stock markets and ETFs. Both MT4 and MT5 are available as the following trading apps:
Lastly, the online broker’s proprietary trading software is well-known for its user-friendly yet advanced charting tools. To trade forex via ThinkTrader, you can choose between a desktop trading platform and trading apps compatible with both iOS and Android devices. ThinkTrader platform features include:
Note: FCA regulation requirements mean ThinkMarkets UK’s subsidiary does not have cryptocurrency CFDs.
As a beginner trader, you should only choose a broker that has tier 1 regulation. ThinkMarkets is overseen by three core financial authorities, with trading regulation varying between jurisdiction:
ThinkMarkets is a top CFD broker ideal for novice traders with relatively low fees, top-tier regulation, and strong trader protection policies. You can choose between three easy-to-use platforms being MT4, MT5 and the online brokers proprietary trading software, ThinkTrader. If you want to learn how to trade forex before using a live account with real money, ThinkMarkets offers a demo account.
Full ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
eToro is a pure social trading broker and platform that suits beginner traders wanting to spend as little time possible researching financial markets and developing trading strategies. eToro’s trading platform allows you to copy the strategies of experienced investors while sharing ideas via newsfeeds and connecting with traders around the globe.
eToro clients can copy the trading strategies of experienced traders, known as Popular Investors. To find trading strategies to copy that suit your risk tolerance and investment objectives, you can view a Popular Investors trading history, portfolio performance, and location.
Social trading is a soft entry into currency trading for beginners as more experienced traders are conducting the fundamental and technical analysis for you. It can be an opportunity to learn from active traders who have vast experience in trading financial instruments.
As well as forex pairs, eToro’s Popular Investors develop trading strategies that include Stocks, Commodities, ETFs and Indices.
Rather than copying Popular Investors, you can also invest in CopyPortfolios that include a bundle of financial instruments. Two types of portfolios are available with the broker requiring an initial minimum deposit of $5000, yet you face no ongoing portfolio management fees.
If you are a beginner trading wanting ECN pricing then IC Markets is a good choice:
As well as a standard account type, the CFD broker offers an award-winning Raw Spread Account type. Similar to ECN brokers, IC Markets connect customers with top-tier liquidity sources such as banks and financial institutions, allowing retail investor accounts to access institutional grade spreads with no dealing desk (NDD) execution. Rather than wider no commission spreads, Raw Spread account holders gain access to ECN-like spreads as low as 0.0 pips. To compensate IC Markets for its brokerage services you pay flat-rate commission fees based on volume.
Commission fees incurred by Raw Spread account holders are $3.50 per 100k traded or £2.50 per 100k if the base currency set is the pound. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees charged by IC Markets with a minimum deposit of $200 required to start trading.
Since the raw spread account doesn’t markup spreads, the remaining difference between the ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ price of a currency pair (like EUR/USD) is set by the market. With IC Markets, their market size and access to top-tier diverse liquidity pools help them achieve the lowest average spreads of any broker.
As shown below, IC Markets Raw Account spreads are competitive. The online broker offers the tightest spreads for major forex pairs, such as:
You can choose between MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 or the cTrader trading platform. As an IC Markets customer, you can use the following trading tools to learn how to trade forex and develop trading strategies:
In addition to low spreads and an excellent range of trading platforms for beginners, IC Markets is seen as a trusted broker around the world. IC Markets Australian subsidy is regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission, AFSL 335692), while CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, Licence No 362/18) regulates European operations.
Overall, if keeping trading costs to a minimum is your key aim when currency and CFD trading, then IC Markets is the recommended broker for you.
Full Review Of IC Markets >>Visit IC Markets >>
One of the best educational tools you can utilise as a beginner trader can use is demo accounts. Two different demo accounts are available at Forex.com, one designed for the broker’s proprietary trading platform and the other for MetaTrader 4 (MT4).
With real-time market conditions, demo users can practice trading forex and CFDs in the same environment as a live account. You can implement backtesting against historical data on both platforms, with over 80 forex pairs and metals available.
Demo accounts are available for 30 days and funded with $10,000 of virtual money. You can open one demo accounts per platform, meaning if you are unsure of which platform to try out, you can open a demo trading account on both the Forex.com proprietary trading platform and MT4.
EasyMarkets offers forex traders three key risk management tools to reduce the risk of CFD and forex trading. Beginner forex traders can protect their trading account balances with three key easyMarkets risk management features:
easyMarkets was the first forex broker to launch Deal Cancellation back in 2016. The tool allows you to cancel a trade within 60 minutes and get your money back when market prices move in an unfavourable direction.
All forex brokers offer basic stop-loss features to manage risk, which allows you to pre-set the amount you are willing to gain or lose on a trade. An issue of basic stop-loss orders is gapping, which can cause forex brokers to not fill your order at your requested price.
Gapping leads to slippage, which might lead to larger losses than expected. A guaranteed stop loss ensures the broker will fill your order at the price you requested. While most online broker’s charge you a fee to place GSLOs, easyMarkets offers all traders free GSLOs.
The forex broker enforces a negative balance protection (NBP) scheme to help you with risk management. NBP automatically activates a ‘margin call’ when you approach a zero balance to avoid you going into debt. This closes all of your active and open positions, meaning you will never end up with a trading account balance less than $0.
Although negative balances may still occur if markets are volatile and gapping occurs, easyMarkets will cover any additional losses to ensure you won’t end up in debt or with an account balance under $0.
Deal cancellation, guaranteed stop-loss orders and negative balance protection are three features ideal if you are a beginner trader.
View easyMarkets Review >>Visit easyMarkets>>
CMC Markets provides access to over 9,500 financial markets and is overseen by multiple top-tier regulators around the world (FCA, IIROC, ASIC, FMA and MAS). To trade CMC’s full CFD product range, including shares, you will need to use the broker’s proprietary trading platform, Next Generation.
The easy-t0-use trading platform is available in a standard layout suited to beginners, or an advanced layout for experienced traders. The platform offers many inbuilt features to help you with trading and risk management when starting out.
View CMC Markets Review >>Visit CMC Markets>>
FP Markets is an excellent option if you want to fully automate trading, as the broker offers ultra-fast execution plus comprehensive automated trading tools on both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. With fast execution and ECN-style pricing, FP Markets you can trade knowing your orders are being executed promptly with minimal slippage.
You can develop and run Expert Advisors (trading robots) on both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. When using MT4 you can write Expert Advisors (EAs) using the MQL4 programming language while MT5 uses MQL5. If you are new to trading, you may find writing and developing your own EAs intimidating. An easier way to implement algorithmic trading strategies is buying and downloading indicators and EAs from the large MetaTrader marketplace online.
Both trading platforms offer backtesting abilities, yet MT4 only provides single currency, single thread backtesting while MT5 offers multi-currency, multi-thread strategy testing.
If you prefer copy trading over algorithmic trading, you can directly connect Myfxbook to your FP Markets MetaTrader 4 account. When using MT4, you can find and copy a wide range of systems, reducing the time you spend conducting analysis and trading manually.
If you are a Mac user, AvaTrade provides you direct access to 250+ financial instruments via MetaTrader 4. The MT4 Mac interface is easy-to-use and specifically designed for Apple devices to ensure efficient analysis. You can use the web trader platform with needing to download any software with the platform accessible from most browsers. Desktop, web trader and iOS iPhone/iPad trading apps are available and compatible with Mac devices.
When using AvaTrade’s MT4 Mac trading platform, you can incorporate a range of asset classes into your trading strategies, including forex, ETFs, shares, commodities and indices.
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex platform worldwide, with over 50% of retail traders choosing the trading software.
View our MT4 Broker page to find the best MetaTrader 4 forex broker for your needs.
The best way to start currency trading is with a demo account. This allows you to trade virtual currency using real forex software.
View our demo account page to compare the best brokers offering a free demo.
The best way to learn forex is by choosing a forex broker with a learning facility. These brokers offer webinars, guides, and even courses to help educate traders on currency markets and trading.
View our best forex broker list to see the top regulated brokers offering these facilities.
If you are a beginner trader wanting a user-friendly trading platform with a wide range of automated trading tools, excellent customer support and tight spreads, ThinkMarkets is one of the best online brokers. You can benefit from the risk management features ThinkMarkets offers, including Negative Balance Protection and top-tier regulation, while also accessing ultra-tight spreads and paying low trading fees. To explore ThinkMarkets trading platforms and financial markets, a demo account is available.
Please note: No online forex brokers on this list are regulated in the United States by the CTFC or NFA.
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.