Forex Broker Review Criteria
When choosing a Forex broker in South Africa, each category within our Forex broker reviews should be carefully considered. It is important that traders fully understand the importance of each. Although they all matter, some carry more weight than others. Within each category, you will find sub-categories.
- Regulation and fund safety is at the top of the criteria to be checked off. The Forex industry has evolved a lot in terms of regulation. A broker without some form of regulation does not last long before they are shut down by regulators. A trustworthy broker should be regulated with either one of the following entities; FSCA (South Africa), FCA (United Kingdom), ASIC (Australia), CySEC (Cyprus) – The benefit you receive with a South African FSCA regulated Forex broker, is the surety that any issues can be resolved within SA. This simplifies matters for you as a trader.
- Broker Type refers to DMA (Direct Market Access) or MM (Market Maker) brokers. Although the latter is taboo, such brokers can still offer a great trading experience with fair market conditions. At some point, an institution, hedge fund, bank, broker or trader is taking the opposite side of your trade. Where your order is executed is not as important as receiving fair trading conditions. Order execution time, slippage and price latency will be covered within this category. Some brokers do not allow scalping or hedging – We will inform you if these trading methods are allowed.
- Support is an important factor for traders seeking a good broker. Having easy access to different channels greatly increases trust and peace of mind. Educational material, trading tools and webinars play a big role in supporting traders while extending their account lifetime. The brokers that put effort into providing adequate resources are well rewarded.
- Deposit and Withdrawals are right at the top after regulation. Some brokers make it extremely easy to deposit but withdrawals seem to be slow and lengthy. We will cover deposit and withdrawal fees, methods and ETAs. No “umms” and “ahhs” at withdrawal time. Minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts are also a key factor and will be discussed.
- Trading Conditions are subcategorized into the different account types that brokers offer. Each account type has its own leverage, spreads and minimum lot sizes associated with it. As per our standards, each and every broker listed will provide traders with a demo or no deposit bonus account to practice with. Swap-free accounts, also called Islamic accounts, are becoming a standard offering. We expect brokers to offer these accounts to all traders in the near future.
- Trading Platforms come down to trader preference. Although there are excellent proprietary platforms designed by brokers, traders tend to stick to what they know best. MetaTrader 4 is the king of the Forex trading platforms. MT4 has a vast amount of online tutorials available for free. MetaTrader is also an EA (Expert Advisor) and robot friendly. Indicators are also in abundance compared to MetaQuotes’ latest MetaTrader 5 platform.
- IB Affiliate Program is not only important to marketers but to the traders that use the broker. Refer a-friend programs allow users to easily generate a tracking link to share on social media and email. Active traders produced via these links result in a financial gain to be used to trade with.
Regulated Forex Brokers in South Africa
Although there are many regulators globally, not all are rated equally. Some Forex brokers in South Africa hide behind smaller entities which are not well managed nor trusted. Brokers that are regulated by internationally recognised entities should be preferred over their counterparts in; Bermuda, Cayman Islands and St Vincent. These are small island states that are not considered to provide the same level of safety and security to their traders.
Forex brokers that are regulated by one of these entities are a strong indication of safety, security and fair operations.
- Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) – South Africa
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority, formally know as the FSB, is the financial markets conduct regulator of South Africa. Ensuring a transformed financial sector, the integrity of financial institutions and fair outcomes for customers.
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – United Kingdom
The Financial Conduct Authority is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK Government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry.
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) – Australia
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is an independent Australian government body that acts as Australia’s corporate regulator. ASIC’s role is to enforce and regulate company and financial services laws to protect Australian consumers, investors and creditors.
- Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) – Cyprus
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, better known as CySEC, is the financial regulatory agency of Cyprus. As an EU member state, CySEC’s financial regulations and operations comply with the European MiFID financial harmonization law.
FAQs to Choosing a Forex Broker in SA
The importance of choosing the right Forex broker is what sets you up for long term success. That is only the beginning of a profitable trading journey. We elaborate and provide insight into choosing the right broker. First and foremost you need to understand; what is Forex trading and how does it work.
- How to Select the Right Broker?
Whether you are a new, intermediate or expert trader, you might want to re-evaluate your broker choice. We point out the review and selection process you should follow. Your broker is like your bank. You are trusting them with your money. This decision should not be taken lightly. You should feel at ease at all times. You should be able to recommend your broker to family and friends. These are good indications that you have made the right broker choice.
- How to Start Forex Trading?
Your first step is to make an educated decision on the broker you will trade with. Opening a live account with your selected account currency, account type and leverage is an important step. Deciding how much you are going to fund your trading account with should be well thought through. Never risk money you cannot afford to lose. Don’t put yourself under unnecessary financial stress. You are then ready to implement your trading strategy and execute your very first trade. Read our full article on how to start Forex trading.
- How to Decide How much You Should Deposit?
This is a very important topic and ties in with other mentioned factors. What you put in is what you get out. Trading is no different than any other business. A business that only has a capital input of R1,000 is not going to get very far in the respected industry. You should have the same mindset when it comes to your trading account. Never risk money you cannot afford to lose.
- How to Avoid Tax Trading Forex?
Depending on your country there might be different tax implications set on profits or losses. You should always consult an accredited accountant or local TAX revenue service.
- How Much Do I Need to Start Trading Forex?
Only you as a trader can truly answer the question as to how much you should start trading with. We can simply provide you with industry averages and reasoning to better make your decision. The median first-time deposit in South Africa is R15,000 with the low end being R1,000. Seeing first-time deposits of R100,000 and up is not uncommon. As trading is a, ‘you get out what you put in business’, it does not make financial sense to start with an amount you would not be satisfied with getting out on a monthly basis. Unless you are a trading wizard you cannot expect to triple your account on a monthly basis. Realistic returns based on our research is between 3% – 30% depending on your overall skill level.
- How to KYC/Verify Your Account with Your Broker?
Any and all regulated Forex brokers in South Africa and globally have to KYC (Know Your Client) each live account opened by individuals or companies. This is to prevent money laundering. You would normally be asked to upload the following documents; Proof of Identity (ID, Passport), Proof of Address (Utility Bill, Bank Statement), Proof of Bank Account (Bank Statement, Bank Verified Proof of Account) – Some brokers might require more than 1 document depending on your country and risk profile.
Forex trading in South Africa should be approached the right way. We are here to make that journey informative and successful. Visit our Forex trading education section to boost your knowledge.