Best Online Forex Broker in South Africa

Navigating the complex world of forex trading can be a daunting task, especially for those who are new to the field. One of the most critical steps in this journey is finding the right online forex broker. With the South African forex market experiencing significant growth, traders have a plethora of options to choose from. This article aims to guide you through the process of selecting the best online forex broker that suits your trading needs in South Africa.

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Forex brokers in South Africa

South Africa has a growing and regulated forex trading industry. Forex brokers operating in South Africa are required to be registered and regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). It’s essential to choose a reputable and regulated forex broker to ensure the safety of your funds and the integrity of your trading activities.

Here are some forex brokers that were known to operate in South Africa;

  1. AvaTrade
  2. Pepperstone
  3. Oanda Corporation
  4. Tickmill
  5. FxPro
  6. Saxo Bank
  7. ThinkMarkets
  8. CMTrading
  9. FXTM

How they Operates

  1. IG South Africa: IG is a well-established and globally recognized broker. They offer a range of trading instruments, including forex, CFDs, and more. IG South Africa is regulated by the FSCA.
  2. CM Trading: CM Trading is a broker with a strong presence in South Africa. They provide forex and CFD trading services and are regulated by the FSCA.
  3. HotForex: HotForex is another popular broker that offers various trading accounts, including those for South African traders. They are regulated by the FSCA.
  4. AvaTrade: AvaTrade is a global forex broker with a presence in South Africa. They offer a wide range of trading instruments and are regulated by the FSCA.
  5. FXCM South Africa: FXCM is a well-known forex broker that operates in South Africa. They are regulated by the FSCA and offer various trading platforms.
  6. Saxo Bank: Saxo Bank is a Denmark-based broker with a presence in South Africa. They offer a wide range of financial products and are regulated by the FSCA.
  7. EasyEquities: While primarily known for stock trading, EasyEquities also offers forex trading services in South Africa.

It’s crucial to conduct thorough research when choosing a forex broker in South Africa or any other country. Consider factors such as regulatory compliance, trading platforms, fees, spreads, customer support, and the range of currency pairs and financial instruments offered.

Additionally, be cautious of unregulated brokers or brokers with poor reputations, as they may not offer the same level of security and investor protection as regulated entities. Always verify a broker’s regulatory status and read reviews from other traders before opening an account. Regulations and broker availability may have changed since my last update in September 2021, so I recommend checking the latest information and reviews to make an informed decision.

How to get started trading forex in South Africa

If want to get started trading forex in South Africa, your first step will be choosing a forex broker that is well-regulated and licensed to offer forex trading to residents of South Africa by the FSCA. Once you’ve chosen a regulated forex broker, you can use these next steps as a guide to start trading forex in South Africa:

  • Open a live account: After selecting a broker that is regulated with the FSCA, open a live account by completing the live account application form on the broker’s official website. Pro tip: Be sure to read your broker’s terms and conditions (these can vary from broker to broker).
  • Fund your account: Most brokers support a range of payment options, so you’ll need to pick the method that’s right for you (PayPal has become a popular deposit method among forex traders, learn more by reading our guide to PayPal for forex traders). Pro tip: Always start with an amount of risk capital that you can afford to lose.
  • Learn the trading software. Before placing any live trades it’s a good idea to learn how to use your broker’s trading software works. Whether you prefer web, desktop, or mobile, using a demo (or, virtual) account is a great way to test your skills before risking your live trading funds.
  • Enter the forex market. Once you’ve used a demo account to familiarize yourself with the broker’s trading platform, you can start trading with live funds. Choose your desired trade size, and open a long position by clicking buy on a given currency, or open a short position by clicking sell.
  • Develop a trading plan. To achieve long-term success as a forex trader, it’s important to spend time developing a trading plan. Creating a trading strategy that will enable you to trade consistently while pursuing your trading goals and managing risks.

Can you get rich by trading forex?

Unless you already have a significant portfolio and have taken massive risks (and gotten lucky) or have a highly detailed trading methodology, the odds of getting rich from forex trading are stacked against you; year after year, the majority of forex traders consistently lose money.

The best traders have a long-term plan or methodology, even if they are actively trading each day to manage the average risk/reward on each trade.

For the successful minority, most will realize the extra earnings as complementing their income, in the form of capital gains, while the largest wealth creation will be from traders who let their profits ride over the longer term, or had consistent winners and an overall sizeable portfolio to begin with.

Pro tip: It is extremely rare for someone to turn $2,000 into $2 million by trading forex, and such claims are often made by scammers or as a marketing tactic by influencers on social media. The exception is if someone has a history of returns (i.e., a track record) that can be audited, such as seen in the investment disclosures that hedge funds prepare for potential investors.

What time does the forex market open in South Africa?

In a nutshell, the forex markets open in South Africa at either 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm local time, on Sunday evening, depending on whether daylight savings time (DST) is in effect in other parts of the world (South Africa does not observe DST). That being said, forex market hours are a bit more complicated than that, so we’ve included an infographic, along with a more detailed explainer below:

Generally speaking, the global forex markets are open from 9 pm Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Sunday, until 9 pm UTC on Friday each week.

It’s important to note that South Africa runs on South Africa Standard Time (SAST), which runs two hours ahead of UTC – though this can vary. For example, when the U.K. observes daylight savings, such as during British Summer Time (BST), SAST will run one hour ahead of UTC (UTC+1).

It might be helpful to see how South Africa’s forex market schedule compares to other major financial centers across the world. We’ll use the week of March 27th, 2022 as an example.

Let’s take a look at forex market opening times:

Sunday, Mar 27, 2022 New York, USA (EDT) 16:00 (UTC-4) – Opens
Sunday, Mar 27, 2022 South Africa (SAST) 22:00 (UTC+2) – Opens
Sunday, Mar 27, 2022 London, UK (BST) 21:00 (UTC+1) – Opens
Monday, Mar 28, 2022 Wellington, NZ (NZDT) 09:00 (UTC+13) – Opens
What time does the forex market close in South Africa?
Global forex markets are open from 9 pm Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Sunday, until 9 pm UTC on Friday each week. The closing time for forex markets in South Africa will be as follows, compared to other major forex trading financial centers:

Friday, Apr 1, 2022 New York, USA (EDT) 16:00 (UTC-4) – Closes
Friday, Apr 1, 2022 South Africa (SAST) 22:00 (UTC+2) – Closes
Sunday, Mar 27, 2022 London, UK (BST) 21:00 (UTC+1) – Closes
Monday, Mar 28, 2022 Wellington, NZ (NZDT) 09:00 (UTC+13) – Closes
What are the forex trading time zones?
Time Zones and DST: When it comes to forex trading time zones and market hours, it’s important to know that South Africa runs on South Africa Standard Time (SAST), which runs two hours ahead of UTC/GMT. Though as we noted earlier, this can vary.

For example, when the UK observes daylight savings, such as during British Summer Time (BST), SAST will run one hour ahead of UTC/GMT (UTC+1, or GMT+1).

Which South African forex broker is best for beginners?

From among all forex brokers that accept clients in South Africa and that are regulated by the FSCA, IG is the best forex broker for beginners in 2023. IG offers a substantial variety of in-depth educational content and materials for new investors and traders, alongside trading platforms that are well-designed and user-friendly. IG even offers a standalone mobile app – IG Academy – that is exclusively dedicated to education. IG is also regulated in numerous top-tier jurisdictions, making it one of the most trusted forex brokers globally. Learn more about why IG is a great pick for beginner forex traders by reading our full-length review of IG.

What South African brokers have the best forex trading apps?

The best forex trading apps deliver must-have features such as powerful trading tools, integrated research, and advanced charting capabilities along with a smooth user experience that makes it easy to manage orders and place trades. We’ve tested mobile trading apps for dozens of the top forex brokers in the industry, and our research has determined that these are the best forex trading apps from forex brokers that accept residents from South Africa brokers in 2023:

Saxo Bank – SaxoTraderGO mobile app, MetaTrader mobile
IG – IG Trading app, MetaTrader mobile
Interactive Brokers – IMPACT app, IBKR mobile app – mobile, MetaTrader mobile
OANDA – fxTrade mobile, MetaTrader mobile – Trading app, Investmate, MetaTrader mobile
AvaTrade- AvaTradeGO and AvaOptions, MetaTrader mobile
Forex trading apps

What is the cheapest broker in South Africa?

In 2023, Tickmill is the most affordable low-cost broker in South Africa for forex trading. Tickmill’s PRO account requires just a $100 minimum deposit, and features the broker’s lowest spreads and commissions. Based on average spread data provided by Tickmill for August 2022, average spreads to trade the EUR/USD hovered at just over a tenth of a pip (at 0.11 pips). With the round-turn commission of 0.4 pips ($2 per side) the effective spread (or, all-in cost) at Tickmill is a staggering 0.51 pips – which is among the lowest in the industry. To learn more, read our full review of Tickmill.

Why is Choosing the Right Broker so Important?

The importance of selecting the right broker cannot be overstated. A broker serves as the intermediary between you and the larger forex market. They provide a platform for trading, offer leverage options, and facilitate all your transactions. Therefore, it’s essential to choose a broker that is reliable, well-regulated, and offers competitive spreads and fees. The right broker can significantly impact your trading experience and profitability.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Forex Broker

Regulation: The first and foremost thing to check is whether the broker is regulated by a reputable financial authority. In South Africa, look for brokers regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). A regulated broker adheres to strict guidelines, ensuring your funds’ safety.

Trading Platform: The broker’s trading platform should be user-friendly and feature rich. It should offer a range of tools and indicators to assist you in market analysis. The platform’s stability and speed are also crucial factors.

Customer Service: Good customer service is essential, especially for beginners who may require guidance. Look for brokers that offer multiple channels of communication, including live chat, email, and phone support.

Account Types: Different brokers offer various types of trading accounts, each with its own set of features and benefits. Choose an account type that aligns with your trading style and financial goals.

Fees and Spreads: Lower fees and spreads can significantly impact your profitability. Always compare these aspects among different brokers before making your final decision.

Questions to Ask Before Making a Decision

  • What is the minimum deposit requirement?
  • Is the trading platform compatible with your devices?
  • What types of assets can you trade?
  • Are there any hidden fees?
  • What is the broker’s policy on withdrawals?

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Choosing the right online forex broker is a significant step in your trading journey. Take your time to research and consider all the factors mentioned above.

Remember, the South African forex market is diverse and offers numerous opportunities for traders. Making an informed decision will ensure a smooth and profitable trading experience.

Note: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Always consult with a financial advisor before making any trading decisions.

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