Do not invest more money than you can afford to lose.
|IG||0.8||MT4, L2 dealer, ProRealTime|
|Interactive Brokers||0.1+commission||Trader Workstation|
The forex market in the United States is in many ways unique. High regulatory requirements on the one hand prohibit residents from trading through brokers who are not licensed to operate in the country, and on the other hand imposes requirements on brokers that only companies with significant resources can meet – including maintaining a minimum capital of at least $20,000,000.
While these circumstances limit the number of brokers through which an investor may choose to trade, it does not mean that the market environment is not competitive. On the contrary, competition among forex brokers operating in the United States is fierce and provides favorable conditions for traders. None of the players in this market can afford not to maintain the most competitive trading parameters possible. Primarily this refers to the price paid by the investor when making trades.
When trading with currency pairs the price for the trader is determined by the spread – the difference between the exchange rate that a forex broker sells a currency, and the rate at which the broker buys the currency. The spread is measured in price interest point or “pip”. Most currency pairs are priced out to four decimal places and a single pip is in the last decimal place.
Under current conditions, it is common for brokers to offer spreads of less than 2 pips for benchmark currency pairs such as the EUR/USD. This means that the trader will pay in the form of a spread no more than 20 USD per lot traded of 100,000 currency units.
In addition to the standard type of forex trading, where the client only pays a spread when making a trade, many brokers also offer accounts of the ECN (Electronic Communications Network) type. ECN brokers only route your orders straight through to the central interbank market and are filled at the best market rate with no dealer intervention.
This means the spread could be very close to zero. But when using this type of account, the broker charges a fixed commission per lot traded. This option may be more favorable depending on the volatility of the traded assets and the volume of trades.
To operate as a forex broker in the United States, a company must be registered as a futures commission merchant and foreign exchange dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and to be a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).
Most forex brokers operating in the United States have a presence in other markets such as the United Kingdom and the European Union. Clients in the US can trade major currency pairs with slightly higher leverage than in most regulated jurisdictions – 1:50, compared to 1:30 in the EU, UK and Australia.
|License||NFA, FCA, IIROC, SFC HK, ASIC, JFSA|
|Trading platforms||MT5, FOREXTrader|
Forex.com has been able to live up to the claims of its name by being a leading player not only in the US but also in other competing markets such as the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and Japan.
In addition to currency pairs, the broker offers trading in stocks, indices and commodities.
Forex.com does not offer ECN type accounts and clients only pay spread of around 1.3 pips.
Clients can choose between the industry-standard MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platform and the broker’s proprietary software called FOREXTrader. This platform is a full-fledged alternative to MetaTrader, featuring desktop, mobile and web versions and allowing automated trading through customized scripts.
Clients of Forex.com may use bank wire transfer, as well as debit/credit cards as payment methods.
|License||NFA, FCA, IIROC, SFC HK, ASIC, JFSA, MAS|
|Spread||OANDA web, TradingView, MT4|
|Trading platforms||1.1 pips|
Founded in 1996, OANDA has the same impressive array of licenses as Forex.com. The broker offers trading in all major asset types, including over 70 FX pairs. OANDA offers extremely fast trade execution and a spread of around 1.1 pips with a standard account.
The broker offers three options for trading software – its own web-based platform, TradingView and the preferred by most traders MetaTrader 4 (MT4).
Clients of OANDA may make deposits and withdrawals from and to their accounts via debit/credit card, bank wire transfer, checks and PayPal.
|Trading platforms||MT5, WebTrader|
Trading.com is one of the newest players in the US forex market. The broker, which built its brand in the UK, was granted a license to operate in the US in 2019. Since then, Trading.com has managed to record remarkable growth, no doubt due to the competitive terms it offers.
Trading.com specializes in forex trading and does not offer other asset classes. The broker promises trading of over 70 currency pairs with an extremely low spread, starting at 0.7 pips, and no additional commissions. Trading.com claims that extremely fast execution allows traders to circumvent US regulatory restrictions prohibiting the simultaneous opening of short and long positions.
Clients have a choice between the industry-standard MetaTrader 5 platform and a simplified WebTrader.
|License||NFA, FCA, MAS, JFSA, BaFIN|
|Trading platforms||MT4, L2 dealer, ProRealTime|
The broker branded IG is part of a financial services group operating since 1974. The main thing that differentiates IG from its competitors is the extremely wide choice of software solutions offered to its customers. Alongside its own web-based platform and MetaTrader 4, IG offers the L2 dealer and ProRealTime platforms. The broker allows API (application programming interface) trading, where you can combine the functionalities of different applications according to your needs.
For forex traders IG offers low spreads of less than 1 pip, as well as position protection from slippage with a guaranteed stop. The trader is paying a small premium only if the guaranteed stop is triggered.
However, unlike most of its competitors, IG requires a minimum deposit of 250 USD.
|License||NFA, FCA, Denmark FSA, DFSA, JFSA,|
Saxo Bank is another well-established broker operating in the US, European and Asian markets that can boast of having earned the trust of hundreds of thousands of clients. But the catch is that these clients are professional and institutional. Saxo Bank offers a very favorable spread of less than 1 pip, but the minimum deposit even for a starter account is extremely high – 2,000 USD. The broker also deploys its own advanced trading platform, SaxoTraderGO F, which allows customization of the interface and features according to the trader’s needs.
TD Ameritrade is a subsidiary of Charles Schwab following a takeover deal concluded in October 2020. The two brokers will be fully integrated in the near future, but currently still operate separately.
Because it operates exclusively in the United States, this broker can only offer stocks of companies listed in the United States and Canada. But the zero commissions for online trading of stocks and ETFs give it an undeniable advantage. However, trading conditions are not that competitive with an average spread of 1.3 pips.
TD Ameritrade points to its proprietary trading software called thinkorswim as its main advantage. More than 400 technical studies are included in the platform and available economic data includes 400,000 data points across the globe. The tools available to the traders include paper trading, performing advanced earnings analysis, plotting economic data, charting social sentiment and even replaying historical markets tick-by-tick.
|Trading platforms||IBKR GlobalTrader, IBKR Mobile, Trader Workstation, IBKR EventTrader|
Interactive Brokers, or IBKR is another broker targeting professional and institutional clients. However, Interactive Brokers also offers very favourable terms to individual retail traders. There are no minimum deposit requirements, and when trading with currency pairs you can count on a very low spread, reaching 0.1 pips. But on account of the raw spread, Interactive Brokers charges a commission. This commission depends on the trading volume and varies between 0.20 and 0.08 basis points. Depending on the experience and needs of the investor, he has a choice between several web platforms, desktop and mobile applications with different levels of functionality and complexity.