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The 12 Biggest CFD & Forex Broker ComparisonCFD and Forex Broker Review

414 Different data-points across 12 CFD Brokerage services make this the webs biggest, most in-depth comparison.

Are CFD’s murky, opaque & highly risky? Who can you trust?  Who provides the best customer service and protection?  All will be revealed.

Highly risky, they can be, but during this extremely detailed review, I learned that outside the USA this is a big multi-billion Euro business that focuses on Europe and Asia, with millions of traders actively speculating 24 hours a day 5 days a week.

The Battle: 8 Rounds – The Gloves are off

This Head to Head Forex Broker Battle features 8 rounds:

(click Round Number to jump to section)

The Gloves are Off for this Review & Comparison

  • Round 1: Foreign Exchange, Crypto Currencies (Bitcoin)
  • Round 2: Equities, Exchange Traded Funds and Indices Trading
  • Round 3: Commodities, Bonds & Treasuries
  • Round 4: Account Funding, Age, and Size of Company?
  • Round 5: Investor Protection & Regulation – What safeguards and investor insurance is in place in case of bankruptcy?
  • Round 6: Trading Software and Platform – What do you get in the package?
  • Round 7: Customer Support, Research & News, Education – will you get the support you need?
  • Round 8: TRUST – Online Followers, Tweets & Customer Ratings – How trustworthy are they?
  • Final Bell: The Judges have tallied the points, who are the winners?
  • Jump Straight to the Winner – Go ahead spoil the surprise 🙂

Note: Contracts for Difference – Only for UK, Europe, Australia & Asia

Interestingly there are a few countries where this type of trading is forbidden, notably the USA and China as it is deemed a type of gambling, and India as trading using leverage is illegal there.

However, all is not lost, if you are interested in Trading the Foreign Exchange & Commodities markets and are resident in the U.S.A, we have a detailed service review of the top 5 best Forex Brokers Accepting U.S. Clients.

If you are looking for a full-service brokerage house taking U.S. clients have a look at our 10 Best US Stock Brokers Review

What are Contracts for Difference (CFD’s)?

Here is a video from City Index (one of the leading brokers in this category) describing what CFD’s are.

So enough of the preamble LET THE FIGHT BEGIN.

Round 1: Foreign Exchange (fx), Crypto Currency Services

Foreign Exchange (Fx) Offerings.

The Foreign Exchange market is the biggest most liquid market on earth with an estimated $5.3 Trillion traded per day, which is about 30 times the size of the stock markets $28 Billion.

The comparison table above pits our 12 contenders against each other, to see who offers the most different foreign exchange pairs and at what potential levels of leverage.

Crypto Currencies Offered

We also include Crypto Trading comparisons, which essentially mean “does the broker allow you to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Etherium which are based on the blockchain technology”.  Also at what levels of leverage.

A Special Note on Commissions:

Different brokers choose to charge in different ways, as the commissions and cost structures can be complex, I would advise when you have selected a few brokers you are interested in, you need to delve in detail into their terms of services and commissions structures.

The key terms in the commissions’ columns are explained here:

  • Spread:  This broker mainly charges through the spread (the difference between the Bid and Offer Price.  Spread only pricing makes understanding the costs simpler, but depending on the amounts you trade might not be the best option.
  • Overnight Interest:  This is the cost of funding your leverage overnight, like a mini bank loan.  Most brokers will have this included by default
  • Variable:  This means you may have different options for costs, for example $X per lot, or $X per $1 Million volume traded.

Broker# fx Pairsfx Leveragefx Commissions# Crypto CurrenciesCrypto Leverage
IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison601:500$7 per lot51:20
FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison601:100$45 per $1million61:20
Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USA801:400Spread
Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison501:300Spread111:5
AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison501:400Spread111:20
plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison501:300Spread101:20
eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & Comparison471:400Spread + Commission71:1
InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & Review107N/ASpread or Commission1N/A
CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison841:200Spread11:6
AG Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison601:100Spread
CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf Stocks3301:500Spread
FXTM CFD Broker Review & Comparison501:500Variable

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Round 1 Results (the top four are tied)

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison IC Markets takes round 1, but it is very tight, they offer 60 currency pairs and $7 per lot, with a superior leverage of 1 to 500.  They also offer 5 cryptocurrencies (and growing) with a leverage of 1 to 20.

FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison FxPro are offering a mix of 60 currency pairs (enough for most traders) and offering a selection of 6 Cryptocurrencies.  They also allow the option of not just trading on the spread but a commission on $45 per $ Million of volume, so you can choose which is cheaper for you.

Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USA Forex.com offer an excellent 80 fx pairs and are available for U.S.A. consumer which is a serious bonus.  Commissions are on the spread only but the spreads are tight and they offer transparency in spread and execution.

Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison Martkets.com offer 50 currency pairs at 1 to 300 leverage and 11 cryptocurrencies, whilst wisely dipping the crypto leverage down to 1 to 5.

AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison AvaTrade is also a winner in this group offering 50 currency pairs at 1 to 400 leverage and an incredible 11 cryptocurrencies at 1 to 20 leverage.

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Round 2: CFD Brokers offering Stocks, ETFs & Options Trading Services

Do you want to take advantages of the vehicle of CFD but utilize your knowledge of individual stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) or even Indices?

Then this round is for you.

Shares & Equities Traded

The first 3 columns in the table shows:

  • Shares #: the number of shares you can trade
  • Shares Leverage: the possible leverage you can utilize .e.g 1:10 mean for every $1 of your capital you can leverage $10
  • Shares Commission: How does the broker charge for its services.

Indices Offered for Trading

If you want to bet on a particular set of Indices, then the number of indices on offer, the leverage you can use on them and the commissions will be an important factor.

Exchange Traded Funds Offered

Rather than trade stocks or indices you may want to trade an industry or sector of the market, this is where the ETF trading comes in.  Which broker offers the best selection at what levels or margin?

BrokerShares #Shares LeverageShares CommissionIndices #Indices LeverageIndices CommissionETF #ETF Leverage
plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison20001:20Spread231:300Spread701:100
IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison130+1:200.01% of Trade151:200Daily Financing
Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison20001:10Spread251:150Spread301:100
CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf Stocks90001:200.10%901:500Spread
CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison45001:20Spread211:200Spread
eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & Comparison7501:5Spread & Commission121:100Spread + Commission58N/A
AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison1001:20Spread191:200Spread & Overnight Interest211:20
InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & Review881:20Spread & Commission10VariableSpread or Commission59N/A
FXTM CFD Broker Review & Comparison1801:33Spread111:200Variable
AG Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison3001:20N/A14VariableSpread
FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison1501:20Spread271:200Variable
Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USA

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Round 2 Results: 2 Leaders but 2 strong contenders

plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison Plus500.com come in strong in this round.  They do not offer the most equity trades or the most indices but combining equities, indices and Exchange Traded Funds selection they have the best portfolio also offering higher potential levels of leverage.

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison IC Markets again lead the top, although having fewer shares on offer the commissions are excellent. They offer lightning-fast execution on 22 Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) Stocks, 49 New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Stocks and 49 NASDAQ Stocks.  They also off 200 to 1 Indices leverage on 15 Indices and daily financing, producing a package that is extremely cost effective.

Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison Markets.com have a similar offering to Plus500, with 2000 stocks possible to trade, with a 1 to 10 leverage.  25 Indices are also offered with a 1 to 150 leverage.  30 ETF’s are also available with a 1 to 100 leverage.

CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf Stocks CMC Markets offers by far the most equity trades (9,000) and the most indices (90).  If you are not interested in ETF trading then CMC Markets offers you the very best selection of global stocks and indices.

CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison  City Index offer a huge selection of stocks and indices but no ETF’s. However, you need to balance the other rounds to see if City Index is for you.  They have been around a long time and offer a solid service.

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Round 3: Commodities, Bonds & Treasuries Trading Services

What I like about the CFD brokers is they are opening up markets previously inaccessible to the individual trader.

A select few brokers offer a range of:

  • Futures:  Trade the future prices of commodities such as Sugar, Corn, Oil and more
  • Bonds / Treasuries:  You can even trade corporate bonds or country treasuries, opening up a whole new world for many.
BrokerCommodities / FuturesCommodities LeverageBonds / TreasuriesBonds Leverage
CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf Stocks1101:200501:400
CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison311:100111:200
IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison171:10091:100
AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison171:20051:100
FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison311:100
InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & Review26N/A
plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison171:152
Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison151:200
AG Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison121:100
eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & Comparison61:100
FXTM CFD Broker Review & Comparison51:200
Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USA

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Round 3 Results: 1 Winner – 2 Contender

If you are indeed interested in trading Commodities, and Bonds, then there is 1 clear winner and 1 contender.

CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf Stocks CMC Markets offers an incredible 110 commodities and futures to choose from and over 50 corporate bonds and treasuries, combine that with superior leverage and you have a winner.

CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison City Index comes in second with a good selection of 31 commodities and 11 bonds (enough for most people really)

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison IC Markets also offers the full suite of commodities and bonds, with 17 commodities offered at 1:100 leverage and 9 different Bond & Treasury Vehicles at again 1:100 leverage.  IC Markets Commodities include:

  • Spot Energy Contracts – Crude Oil, Brent and Natural Gas
  • Metals – Gold, Silver & Platinum
  • Soft Commodities – Sugar, Coffee, Corn, Wheat, Soybean, Cotton, Orange Juice & Cocoa

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Round 4: Funding & Company Size – CFD Broker Comparison

An important question often asked by people new to trading is “how much money do I need to start”?

Minimum Balance Comparison

With CFD’s because of the use of margin you can start with very little.  As opposed to traditional brokerage houses who require a minimum of $2,000 to $5,000, CFD brokers typically start with $0 for a demo account and $100 or $200 for a Live Account.

Year Established & Number of Clients.

As we start to look at the credibility of these brokers, a good starting point is how long have they been in business and how many trading clients do they have.

BrokerMinimum BalanceEstablishedNumber of Clients
IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison$2002007$339 Billion in Trades Per Month
InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & Review$10020077000000
eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & Comparison$10020084500000
FXTM CFD Broker Review & Comparison$1002011600000
Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USA$2502001200,000
plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison$4002008155000
CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison$1001983150000
CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf Stocks$100198960000
Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison$1002012
AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison$1002006
FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison$5002006
AG Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison$250

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Round 4 Results: Mixed Messages, Winner Unclear

Whilst all the contenders in this round allow you to open a live trading account from $100 and upwards, the differentiator is how long they have been in operation and how many clients they have.

Only 6 of the 12 actually publish the number of clients they have some claims are more believable than others.

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison IC Markets do not sponsor fancy football teams and they do not offer sports cars as prizes, what they do offer is world class execution and an established track record.

They do not divulge the number of clients they have, because they do not need to.  Our visitors vote with their actions and IC markets for traders is the most popular choice.  What we can say is that in 3 years IC Markets trading volume has grown from $50 Billion in 2015 to over $339 billion in 2018, solid growth.

InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & Review  Instaforex claim to have over 7 million clients, this I find a little difficult to believe as they have only been in operation since 2007.  However, they are huge in Asia and really engage their clients in massive competitions giveaways, like winning a Lamborghini.  They also establish their credibility by being an official sponsor of Liverpool Football club.

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison IC Markets do not sponsor fancy football teams and they do not offer sports cars as prizes, what the do offer is world class execution and an established track record.  They do not divulge the number of clients they have, because they do not need to.  Our visitors vote with their actions and IC markets for traders is the most popular choice.

eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & Comparison  Etoro claim 4.5 million clients and were established in 2008.  This number is believable as they have been viral for quite some time, offering a social trading first environment for copy traders.  I tried out the service first hand and it works.  See the full eToro review here.

FXTM CFD Broker Review & Comparison ForexTime offer a great all-round service and register and number 3 in terms of client base with 600,000 traders.  Established in 2011 they are growing fast and offer a good balance of markets, customer support and tools

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Round 5: Investor Protection & Regulation – CFD Broker Comparison

We all lived through the financial crisis in 2007-2008, some banking institutions did not though.  In this section we look into the background of the Broker:

What Investor Protection do they offer?

Depending on the regulator they have in the region they operation there are different standards:

  • Segregated Funds – all companies offer this it essentially means your funds are not accessible to them for other purposes or investments, they are under your control.
  • Guaranteed Stops:  This is a nice feature, meaning when you are placing a very volatile trade, you do not want your “Stop-Loss” being missed due to a large fluctuation in price.  This would put you at excessive unforeseen risk.  Those that offer guaranteed stop trades usually seek a wider Spread Commission to help fund the risk the company takes.

Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) Protection

Nearly all companies are obliged to provide this by the regulator.  If the Broker goes bankrupt any funds you have in an account with them will be guaranteed up to this amount.

Brokers headquartered in Cyprus (regulated by CySEC) typically have a 20,000EUR compensation, those regulated in the U.K. by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have a 50,000GBP insurance.

This is a large difference which you need to consider.

Parent Company & Ownership

Another important factor is how is the company structured.  Is it a private company resident in an unregulated tropical island, or is it a Publicly Listed Company on the UK FTSE Exchange.  Important criteria I think you will agree.

BrokerInvestor ProtectionICF Protection $Regulated ByParent Company
CityIndex CFD Broker Review & ComparisonSegregated Accounts
Free withdrawal
50,000 GBPFCA-UKGain Capital NYSE Listed
Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USASegregated Funds50,000 USDFully Regulated, US, UK Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, JapanGain Capital NYSE Listed
IC Markets CFD Broker Review & ComparisonSegregated Funds
Banking with top tier Australian Banks NAB & Westpac
Indemnity Insurance by Lloyds of LondonFully Regulated ASIC AustraliaInternational Capital Markets Pty Ltd ASX Listed
plus500 CFD Broker Review & ComparisonSegregated Funds
Guaranteed Stop (Wider Spread Less Risk)
50,000 GBPFCA-UK, CySEC-CyprusPlus500 Ltd; a company listed on AIM, London Stock Exchange, and headquartered in Haifa Israel.
CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf StocksGuaranteed Stop Losses
Segregated Accounts
50,000 GBPFCA-UKCMC Markets UK plc - London Stock Exchange
FXPRO CFD Broker Review & ComparisonSegregated Accounts
Negative Balance Protection guarantee for all clients
Top Tier Global Banks
20,000 EURFCA-UK, CySEC-Cyprus, FSB, Dubai FSAFxPro Group Limited
Markets.com CFD Review & ComparisonSegregated Funds20,000 EURCySEC-CyprusSafecap a Subsidiary of Playtech PLC - LSE Registered FTSE 250 Company
InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & ReviewNo Reference20,000 EURCySEC-Cyprus
British Virgin Islands BVI
InstaForex Group
FXTM CFD Broker Review & ComparisonSegregated Funds20,000 EURCySEC-Cyprus, South Africa FSB, FCA-UK, FT Global FSC BelizeFT Global Limited
eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & ComparisonSegregated Funds.20,000 EURCyprus SEC, South Africa FSB, UK FCAPrivately Owned: eToro UK LTD & eToro Europe LTD
AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & ComparisonSegregated Funds20,000 EURCentral Banks of Ireland, ASIC, Japan FSAPrivately Owned
AG Markets CFD Broker Review & ComparisonNo Details AvailableNo ReferenceFSCL New zealand
New Zealand Companies Office
Advanced Global Markets Ltd New Zealand

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Round 5 Results: 4 Winners + 7 Contenders

The top 10 in the list are all fully regulated and have Investor Compensation Funds (ICF) in place to protect your funds in case of they file for bankruptcy.  However, 3 Brokers stand out due to higher levels of ICF Protection and being publicly listed companies.

CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison CityIndex are owned by Gain Capital Holdings Inc. and are publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Ticker NYSE: GCAP).  The benefits of Public Listing are clear, open financial reporting and investor and exchange oversight.

They are also regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and offer 50,000 GBP Investor Protection.  Also, they offer free fund withdrawals, unlike other Brokers.

Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USA Forex.com are also owned by Gain Capital Holdings Inc. and are publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Ticker NYSE: GCAP).  The benefits of Public Listing are clear, open financial reporting and investor and exchange oversight.

As Forex.com are approved for business in the U.S.A they have a very deep level of financial regulation across their entire global business.

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison Are one of the few Forex Brokers, completely residing in Australia, they are open, transparent about their business model and banking services.  They have a full indemnity insurance with the worlds leading insurer, Lloyds of London, and only use Top Tier Australian Banks to host the segregated funds.

plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison Plus500 are publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker LON: PLUS), regulated by the UK FCA and offer 50,000 GBP Investor Protection.

Plus500 is only 1 of 3 Brokers on the list that offers Guaranteed Stops, this is important as you can ensure that you do not subject yourself to more risk than you intent on volatile trades.

CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf Stocks CMC Markets are also on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker LON: CMCX), they offer 50,000 GBP Investor Protection and are regulated by both the UK FCA and in Cyprus by CySEC.

CMC also offer Guaranteed Stop Losses for those risk trades.

FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison FXPRO do not seem to be publicly listed, but they are a global broker regulated in the UK, Cyprus and Dubai.

Most notably they are the third Broker on this list to offer what they call Negative Balance Protection.  Interestingly they offer Negative Balance Protection to ALL CLIENTS which is excellent.

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Round 6: Trading Platform Software Comparison

CFD and day trading is a hotbed of quick decision making and the more advanced traders’ test algorithms and even incorporate automated trading through BOTS to scalp pips per trade.  So, the tools available to you through the broker could be a critical deciding factor.

This table has a search box, so you can simply type in, for example, MetaTrader and it will filter for you.

BrokerSoftwareMobile Software
IC Markets CFD Broker Review & ComparisonMetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
cTrader
eLab Trade
Mam/Pamm
myfxbook Autotrade
ZuluTrade
Yes
FXPRO CFD Broker Review & ComparisonMetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
cTrader
FXPRO Markets
FxPro Quant Strategy Builder
cAlgo Algorithmic Trading
Yes
AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & ComparisonAvaTradeActt
MetaTrader 4
MT4 Floating Spreads
AVAOptions
Automated Trading
Yes
Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USAWeb: TradingView
MetaTrader4
NinjaTrader
Yes
Markets.com CFD Review & ComparisonAward Winning Markets.com Trading PlatformYes
FXTM CFD Broker Review & ComparisonMetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
FXTM Trading Signals
Yes
CityIndex CFD Broker Review & ComparisonMetaTrader 4
AT4
Yes
InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & ReviewMetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
IFX Options Terminal
Multiterminal
Yes
eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & ComparisoneToro Web Trader
eToro OpenBook
Yes
AG Markets CFD Broker Review & ComparisonMetaTrader 4
AGM WebTrader
Guardian Andel for MT4
Yes
CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf StocksCMC Markets Trading System
Includes Sentiment Indicators
Yes
plus500 CFD Broker Review & ComparisonOnline YesYes

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Round 6 Results: 3 Clear Winners – 5 Contenders

Essentially the top 8 in this list offer most of what any trader would normally need, especially both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.  Read on to find out what separated the 3 winners in the list.

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison IC Markets offer a huge selection of tools, MetaTrader 4 & 5 and cTrader and ZuluTrade, but what separates them from the crowd is their focus on institutional pricing and tools.

You can locate your IC Markets Virtual Private Server (VPS) directly in the NY4 & LD5 IBX Equinix Data Centers in New York and London, meaning you get the lowest latency for your transactions.  If you are a high volume professional algorithmic trader, utilizing scalping and robots then this is the solution you need.

IC Markets also enabled a True ECN setup, which means you can even get access to institutional pricing for Foreign Exchange from 0.0 pips.

FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison  FxPro offer MetaTrader 4 & 5 to be able to access their market and trade.  But what is special is they have mature and well-developed software to meet the needs of more advanced traders.

FxPro Quant enables you to perform advanced back-testing and turn your hypothesis into trading algorithms, then you can take it to the next step and let the system trade on your behalf based on the rule you have set.  These algo trading strategies can then also be used in MT4 and cTrader.

FxPro cAlgo also allows you to create your own powerful indicates and automate the execution of them in the currency market.

Combine these tools on your own Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosted by FyPro and BeeksFX and you will have a very powerful low latency solution.

AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison AVATrade also have an excellent selection of tools including MT4 and ZuluTrade. The standout offerings include DUPLITRADE which allows you to copy the trades of traders you hand pick and you can see their trading history.

RoboX is also an Algorithmic system that apparently allows you to apply over 100 million trading strategies tailored to your needs and risk profile.

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Round 7: Customer Support, Research & News, Education

This round compares the quality and level of customer service, research and education:

Customer Service:  The better the customer service the happier the customer; a problem with your fund’s transfer; angry with being issued a margin call, will you get an answer?

In-House Research & Streaming News:  It is clearly an advantage if the broker provides ideas and research analysis, also real-time news can cost up to $50 per month, so having it included in the service is an advantage.

Education:  Learning the ropes in CFD, trading can be a challenge and clear documentation of how the broker’s systems work is clearly good.  Some brokers offer live webinars and very professional video lessons too.

BrokerCustomer SupportResearch / NewsEducation
CityIndex CFD Broker Review & ComparisonLive Chat & Phone SupportEconomic & Earning Calendars
Signals
Alerts Market Analysis
Trading Opportunities
Exclusive News from Analysts
Comprehensive Videos on all aspects of CFD trading
InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & ReviewLive Chat & Phone Support36 Analysts
News
Videos
Extensive List of Videos
FXTM CFD Broker Review & ComparisonLive Chat & Phone SupportDaily Market Analysis
Economic Calendar
Forex News Timeline (Real Time)
Yes, primary webinars & seminars & good videos
IC Markets CFD Broker Review & ComparisonLive Chat & Phone SupportMarket AnalysisYes, but limited
AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & ComparisonLive Chat & Phone Support6 Analysts
Economic Calendar
Sharp Trader dedicated website
FXPRO CFD Broker Review & ComparisonLive Chat & Phone SupportTrading CentralTrading Central
Limited Webinars
Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USALive Chat & Phone SupportEconomic & Earning Calendars
Signals
Alerts Market Analysis
Yes
CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf StocksLive Chat & Phone Support to Experienced Team
Offices Globally
Economic & Earning Calendars
Signals
Alerts Market Analysis
Trading Opportunities
Morning Star Quant Reports
Reuters News
CMC TV
Comprehensive Videos on al aspects of CFD trading
Markets.com CFD Review & ComparisonLive ChatMarket Consensus
Markets.com Traders Trends
Trading Central
Trending Now
Events & Trade Reports
Weekly Webinars
eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & ComparisonWeb OnlyWebinars & Social CommunityTrading eCourse
Videos
AG Markets CFD Broker Review & ComparisonChat & Single Phone in New ZealandEconomic CalendarLimited Set of Videos
plus500 CFD Broker Review & ComparisoneMail Only (compaints on twitter)NoneNone

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Round 7 Results: 5 Winners

How can there be 5 winners in this category?  Well, the winning combination is having the ability to connect via Live Chat & Telephone Support, dedicated analysts providing trading ideas and insights and lastly a high-quality educational portal.

CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison City Index provide very high-quality in-house analysis with detailed explanations of trading opportunities and the technical analysis to back it up all combined into a dedicated technical analysis portal. City Index also provides exclusive news direct from their team of researchers and analysts.

You can scan the markets for technical setups and the Recognia algorithms even suggest appropriate stop and limit levels.  Also the video at the top of this page “Introduction to CFD’s” is a great example of the professional quality of the educational material and training courses provided by City Index.

InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & Review  InstaForex is huge in Asia and are clearly targetting the Asian market.  Taking a look at their website you will see that the quality of the English used is not up to scratch.  Taking that aside, they have an enormous amount of educational content and videos.  They also have trading ideas and research from their large team of 36 Analysts.

FXTM CFD Broker Review & Comparison ForexTime offer live chat and phone numbers for immediate support.  They also have 5 dedicated analysts providing exclusive updates to clients throughout the day.  They also provide a professional daily market update videos and market forecasts.

AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison Through the SharpTrader dedicated website you get access to research from 6 analysts.  Packed with high-quality training videos this is a good package.

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Round 8: TRUST – Online Followers, Tweets & Ratings

The final knockout round is the customer’s experience.  This can be a challenge to gauge.  We sifted through thousands of tweets, used twitter sentiment systems and trawled the internet forums for feedback on these brokers.

Three things are clear:

  • 1: Twitter Followers: Do they have enough twitter followers to make the analysis of tweets meaningful?
  • 2: Negative Tweets: How many negative complaint tweets did the company receive in the last 3 months?
  • 3: Ratings:  There is a great site called TrustPilot in the UK where many CFD Traders have been very vocal, we added up all the Average & Above Ratings to provide a final % Rating
BrokerTwitter FollowersNegative Tweets 3 monthsTrustpilot (% => Average Rating)
IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison3,500098% (292 ratings)
Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison7,400496% (339 ratings)
FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison21,000085% (51 ratings)
plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison90,0001887% (404 ratings)
FXTM CFD Broker Review & Comparison12,5000100% (8 ratings)
CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison12,000084% (45 ratings)
CMC Markets Review - Share, Etf Stocks11,500083% (6 ratings)
eToro Social Trading CFD Broker Review & Comparison76,000259% (444 ratings)
Forex.com Biggest Forex Broker in USA119,000434% (6 ratings]
AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison8,80095% (64 ratings)
InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & Review26,0003No Data
AG Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison1,7000No Data

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Round 8 Results: 4 Clear Winners – 4 Contenders

The comparison table is sorted on the Trust Pilot Scores, with those brokers having the most ratings on top.  We took this approach because the more user rating you have the more reliable the result.

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison IC Markets takes the lead here with a perfect score of 98% average rating or above based on 292 Trustpilot Reviews.  This means only 2% of their customers were unhappy, a very good result by any standard.  They also did not have a single negative tweet in the last 3 months (to May 2018).  Trust is everything in the CFD and Forex Brokers Industry and IC Markets have outstanding customer loyalty.

Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison  Markets.com also scored an impressive 96% satisfaction rating on Trustpilot based on 339 ratings.  They did have 4 negative tweets on the back of 7,400 twitter followers.  The complaints were regarding a support ticket taking 3 days to get a response and also a 4-hour maintenance window in the morning trading session.  That aside the Trustpilot score was excellent and they have many happy customers.

FXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison  FxPro have a large twitter following of 21,000 people and not a single complaint amongst the thousands of tweets int he previous 3 months.  They also scored well in the Trustpilot reviews with an 85% approval rating based on 51 reviews.

plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison  Plus500 have a monstrous twitter following of 90,000 people, however, they did have 18 negative tweets in the last 3 months.  Complaints ranged from issues with fund transfers, accounts locked out and problems with money withdrawal.  However, this is a contract to the very good Trustpilot ratings with an 87% approval rating based on 404 reviews.

FXTM, CityIndex and CMC Markets all had Zero negative Tweets and good results in Trustpilot, although the number of Trustpilot reviews was fewer.

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Final Bell: The Judges have counted the points, and the WINNERS are……

After the points are counted we have 5 winners and 3 honorable mentions.  Choosing a broker for contracts for difference (cfd’s) is essentially down to the following factors:

  1. What will you trade primarily? Foreign Exchange, Stocks & ETF’s, Bond & Commodities or even Cryptocurrencies.
  2. How will you trade?  Automated with algorithms scalping pips as an intermediary requiring low latency connections to the markets, or as a simple day trader manually based on a tested system
  3. What levels of customers service and fund protection do you require?

We have 5 Winners because each of the top brokers has a great all-around service but also specialist areas which ultimately based on your needs will influence your decision of choice of broker.

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Review - WinnerIC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison

IC Markets: Best for Traders wanting  Auto Trading, Algorithmic & Copy Trading, Direct Market Access, Great Customer Support and a Perfect Customer Approval Rating.

IC Markets offer a huge selection of tools, MetaTrader 4 & 5 and cTrader and ZuluTrade, but what separates them from the crowd is their focus on institutional pricing and tools.

You can locate your IC Markets Virtual Private Server (VPS) directly in the NY4 & LD5 IBX Equinix Data Centers in New York and London, meaning you get the lowest latency for your transactions.  If you are a high volume professional algorithmic trader, utilizing scalping and robots then this is the solution you need.

IC Markets also enabled a True ECN setup, which means you can even get access to institutional pricing for Foreign Exchange from 0.0 pips.

As IC Markets explains on it’s website “IC Markets, a forex ECN broker utilizes the True ECN pricing for all of it’s account types, this means that you the forex trader are offered direct access to our interbank prices feeds from over 50 different bank and dark pool liquidity providers. Trading in a True ECN marketplace allows traders to benefit from the best possible prices available from Tier-1 banks and dark pool liquidity providers.”

IC Markets offer a solid selection of 60 Fx Pairs and 5 Cryptocurrencies with very high potential leverage options (1:500) for those with experience.  Add to this 17 commodities and 9 Bond options and the market selection is good.

They topped the charts in terms of customer satisfaction ratings in TrustPilot with a 98% Approval based on 292 ratings, and not a single negative tweet in the previous 3 months.

IC Markets is based in Australia, banks with the best top-tier banks and is insured by Lloyds of London.  However, I could not find any evidence of Investor Protection Funds being in place.

Read the Detailed IC Markets Review here

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Recommended SoftwareFXPRO CFD Broker Review & Comparison

FxPro: Best for Traders focusing on Forex (fx), CryptoCurrency Trading & Commodities, who want great fund protection, customer service, and a great low latency Algo & Automated trading platform 

FxPro is a great allrounder featuring as a winner in 5 of the 8 rounds. They offer a mix of 60 currency pairs (enough for most traders) and offering a good selection of 6 Cryptocurrencies.

They also allow some commissions flexibility, with the option of not just trading on the spread but a commission of $45 per $ Million of volume, so you can choose which is cheaper for you.

FxPro also offers a huge selection of 31 different commodities and futures to trade

In terms of Investor Protection importantly FxPro offer Negative Balance Protection for ALL CLIENTS, meaning you cannot lose more than you have risked in your account, which is an issue with many of the other CFD Brokers.  Combined this with a 20,000 EUR Investor compensation fund and a UK regulator and you have a good mix.

FxPro also have a first-class software platform, offering MetaTrader 4 & 5, but what is special is they have mature and well-developed software to meet the needs of more advanced traders with FxPro & cAlgo

FxPro Quant enables you to perform advanced back-testing and turn your hypothesis into trading algorithms, then you can take it to the next step and let the system trade on your behalf based on the rule you have set.  These algorithmic trading strategies can then also be used in MT4 and cTrader.

FxPro cAlgo also allows you to create your own powerful indicates and automate the execution of them in the currency market.

You can combine these tools on your own Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosted by FyPro and BeeksFX and you will have a very powerful low latency solution.

Finally, a top-tier customer support system with experienced agents available on the phone, and an 85% Trust Pilot Approval Rating and Zero negative tweets in the last 3 months.

Read the Detailed FXPro Review Here

CityIndex CFD Broker Review & Comparison

City Index: Best for a huge selection of Markets in Fx, Equities, Indices, Commodities & Treasuries, combined with winning Customer Service & Exclusive Research Analysis & News

City Index is the grandfather of this industry having been established in 1986.  But it is no old man, it competes and succeeds in nearly every area.

City Index offers a staggering 4500 shares (the 2nd largest selection) to trade and 21 different indices (the 3rd largest).

They also offer 84 Fx currency pairs (the 2nd biggest selection), 31 Commodities and 11 Bonds & Treasuries (again the 2nd largest selection).

What we are saying here is City Index offers a great selection of vehicles to trade across all categories.  They only offer one Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) at the moment, but I am sure they will add more.

In terms of Size, City Index has over 150,000 clients actively trading with makes them one of the bigger players, and as opposed to the likes of eToro or Instaforex, City Index will attract the more professional traders due to it’s professional customer service strong investor protection and UK regulatory Governance.

Being the oldest in the industry has benefits in terms of maturity.  An 84% approval in TrustPilot ratings and Zero negative tweets in the last three months, make City Index a solid, stable and trustworthy CFD broker with a great selection of tradable markets.

Read the Detailed City Index Review here

Markets.com CFD Review & Comparison

Markets.com: Best for traders wanting the Best Selection of Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Indices & ETF’s to Trade combined with industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings.

Markets.com specialize in the sheer number of tradable stock market based vehicles, with 2000+ shares, 25 Indices and even 30 different ETF’s to trade.

They also offer a great selection of Fx Pairs (50) and the best selection of Cryptocurrencies (11) with good levels of leverage up to 1:300 on Foreign Exchange.marketdotcom-review-b

They are one of the newest entrants to the market having been established in 2012, but they are part of a large company – PlayTech PLC a FTSE 250 registered company specializing in betting.

They offer 20,000 EUR Investor protection and are regulated in Cyprus.

Add to this the fact that they have an incredible 96% Customer Approval Rating in Trustpilot (based on 339 ratings) you have a solid broker to trade with.

Read the Detailed Markets.com Review Here

AVATRADE CFD Broker Review & Comparison

AVATrade: Best for those who want to Automate Trading & have a great selection of Cryptocurrencies

AVATrade offer the biggest selection of Cryptocurrencies to trade (11) and 50 Fx pairs at 1:400 leverage.  They also have 19 indices and 21 ETF’s to trade, but are a little light on equities with only 100 on offer.  They do however have 17 Commodities and are only of only 4 brokers to offer Bonds & Treasuries.AVA Trade Review

AVATrade has an excellent selection of tools including MT4 and ZuluTrade. The standout offerings include DUPLITRADE which allows you to copy the trades of traders you hand pick and you can see their trading history and vet them first.

RoboX is also an Algorithmic system that apparently allows you to apply over 100 million trading strategies tailored to your needs and risk profile.

Through the SharpTrader dedicated website you get access to research from 6 analysts.  Packed with high-quality training videos this is a good educational package.

AVATrade, seem to struggle with the customer satisfaction aspects, whether it is perception or reality they scores only a 5% approval rating in TrustPilot (based on 64 ratings) and have 9 negative tweets for the 3 months to Dec 2017.

Read the detailed AVA Trade Review here

Honourable Mentions

InstaForex - Forex, Indices, Stocks CFD Comparison & Review

InstaForex: Best for Traders in Asia wanting the biggest Selection of Fx Pairs (107) and strong News and Ideas from + 36 dedicated Analysts

InstaForex is huge in Asia and is clearly targetting the Asian market.  Taking a look at their website you will see that the quality of the English used is not up to scratch.  Taking that aside, they have an enormous amount of educational content and videos. InstaForex

They also have trading ideas and research from their large team of 36 Analysts.

Instaforex claim to have over 7 million clients and have been in operation since 2007.

However, they are huge in Asia and really engage their clients in massive competitions giveaways, like winning a Lamborghini to traveling experiences.

They also establish their credibility by being an official sponsor of Liverpool Football club.

Read the detailed InstaForex Review here

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plus500 CFD Broker Review & Comparison

Plus500: The Best Selection of Exchange Traded Funds (70+) & 10 Cryptocurrencies

With 155,000 clients, Plus500 is one of the larger players and is floated on the London Stock Exchange.  They do not offer the most equity trades or the most indices but combining equities, indices and Exchange Traded Funds selection they have the best portfolio also offering higher potential levels of leverage.

They are also only 1 of 3 brokers to offer Guaranteed Stops, which is excellent

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Now it’s over to YOU, what did you think of this review?

If you did share it with friends on twitter or facebook or leave a message below  

If you disagree with anything in this review or have a correction to submit, please leave a comment below or contact us directly here.

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CFD Risk Notice - ESMA & FCA Risk Warning - "CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Capital at risk"

Notes on the Review:  Liberated Stock Trader has affiliate referral agreements with some of the Brokers in the review.  This means if you sign up with your broker of choice we may receive a referral payment.  These payments help fund this site.  This may seem to represent a conflict of interest, however, this review is impartial and only recommends the best solution in any given round.

Summary
Who are the Best Forex Brokers?
Article Name
Who are the Best Forex Brokers?
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IC Markets: Best for Auto Trading, Direct Market Access & Perfect Customer Approval Rating City Index: Best for Fx, Equities, Indices, Commodities & Treasuries + Winning Customer Service & Exclusive Research Analysis & News Markets.com: Best Selection of Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Indices & ETF’s to Trade combined + Industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings. AVATrade: Best for those who want to Automate Trading & have a great selection of Cryptocurrencies InstaForex: Best for Traders in Asia, Biggest Selection of Fx Pairs + 36 dedicated Analysts
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Liberated Stock Trader
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4 COMMENTS

  1. That is a top review, just spent 30 minutes going through it. I am thinkin about FXpro, but I really want to trade bitcoin an other, what would you recommend

  2. I signed up to IC markets, and I have to say, this is a first class service, in the murky world of CFD brokers and lots of complaints IC markets is ahead of the the rest by far. Thanky ou for the review of I am really happy you helped my make a good decision.

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