If you are a newcomer to the exciting world of trading foreign currencies, one of the first tasks on your agenda is to choose a forex broker that you can trust and that will serve your interests. Much has changed in the US market and across the globe over the past decade due to concern over the degree of losses sustained by many new entrants into this field. Finding a forex broker in the US can be challenging due to the level of regulation now in place. However, we have completed a review of the best brokers in the US to help you in your search. Read our guide and learn about opening an account in the US, forex regulations in the US, and further information to help you understand forex trading.
Regulators have been particularly concerned about the billions lost in the binary options arena, where fraud and aggressive marketing practices abused thousands of optimistic traders. As a result, rules have been tightened in many jurisdictions, especially within the US, but forex trading remains legal and continues to attract new entrants every week. In 2021, there were nearly 2.2 million forex traders in North America and around 13.9 million across the globe.
To access this market, however, the first step is to obtain a reputable forex broker. At first, finding a good forex broker might appear to be a daunting task, but WeCompareBrokers.com has made it easy for you by doing much of the heavy lifting involved. A list of the best USA forex brokers is presented below to narrow your search and help you choose a suitable US forex broker. You should also perform your own personal due diligence before opening an account and making your first deposit.
There are hundreds of forex brokers that would like to have your patronage. They can be locally domiciled brokers, international brokers located outside the US that have licences to market to US customers, and a multitude of virtual brokers that may try to win your approval without having the necessary credentials to do so. You should avoid this latter group and focus only on registered forex brokers in the US.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the primary regulator in the US with oversight responsibility for the foreign currency arena. The National Futures Association (NFA) has a secondary role. Recently enacted rules have been set up to protect consumers from fraud and the risks involved in trading these financial instruments. When new rules were adopted, many brokers chose to leave the US market. The ones that remained are limited in number but are supplemented by other major global brokers in the industry.
The CFTC ensures that brokers maintain adequate capital, advise their clients of the risks that pertain to forex trading, restrict marketing practices from being too aggressive, ferret out fraudulent brokers, and generally maintain order in the community. Regulators are your friends, and it is wise to check with them about their latest warnings or observations on the industry.
From a forex trading perspective, regulatory oversight in the US market is regarded as the strictest of the major jurisdictions. After Dodd-Frank legislation was adopted in 2010, only a small number of forex brokers currently remain active and in compliance with the CFTC and the NFA. It is legal to trade with these brokers or with international brokers that are regulated in other jurisdictions and comply with US regulatory and tax reporting requirements. US regulators, however, forbid any trading that involves contracts for difference (CFDs).
New regulations were also adopted for opening an account with a forex broker. These rules are commonly known as Know Your Customer (KYC) legislation. They were enacted to adhere to various global anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism statutes. Brokers across the globe will typically require proof of identity in the form of a national ID card, passport, tax ID or driver’s licence and proof of address, either a copy of a utility bill or bank statement, as well as personal information such as contact information, date of birth, employment status and currency you wish to use.
There is an account approval process that follows, which can be quick or take a matter of days, if the broker requires further verification. Homepages will typically have a ‘Get Started’ button prominently displayed. Brokers will usually give you access to their free demo trading platform before final approval, which is a good way to get acquainted with the broker’s trading system, how orders are executed, how to review your portfolio, and, most importantly, how to employ your specific trading strategy. As you finalise your registration, you should be provided with details of risk disclosures. Forex trading is risky, and brokers are required to remind you of this.
Once approved, you will be asked to deposit funds in your account. Brokers have learned to avail several local payment providers in addition to standard wire transfers and basic credit card transactions. Brokers may or may not charge a fee for making a deposit. Most of them do not but keep in mind that the local payment provider or bank will charge fees for their services. It is best to review these fees before choosing your funding option.
Safety and security are paramount when choosing a financial partner in the forex industry. You will always be better served to have a broker that complies with a major regulatory body such as the CFTC in the US. The process for finding the broker that will best suit your interests is as follows:
Step 1: Define your needs when it comes to a broker – i.e., size, experience, segregation of client deposits, intuitive platform, low fees and spreads, minimum deposit, available training materials, free demo practice system, product offerings, copy trading and award recognition.
Step 2: Choose your forex account type – i.e. mini, standard or managed account. This will depend on the level of risk you wish to adopt, time to trade and investment available.
Step 3: Gather information about online forex brokers in the USA.
Step 4: Identify a group of three to five alternative brokers that match your needs.
Step 5: Evaluate and compare your alternatives.
Step 6: Choose your broker.
Step 7: Open and fund an account, practice on the demo system, and then trade.
Step 8: Monitor your broker’s good and bad performance.
When you have a group of brokers to choose from, comparing their features is a great way to find the most suitable option for your requirements. We Compare Brokers provides a unique service to help with these comparisons. Our compare feature allows you to enter two brokers side by side and then review how each one compares with the other across different criteria.
Brokers that offer low fees and tight spreads will broadcast that fact on their homepage or present a visible table of average spreads for various currency pairs. It is also a practice of many brokers to offer their best fee and spread deals to customers who deposit higher amounts than the bare minimum required at the outset. Be aware that there is also very competitive pricing for institutional clients such as banks and hedge funds. These clients are trading at the high end of the scale, far higher than retail forex traders. Do not expect to receive institutional pricing equivalents.
Unlike stocks, forex trading can involve margins much greater than in share trading. This ability to magnify your stake in the forex market is called ‘leverage’. Gains can be magnified, but losses can also be magnified in addition to higher spread costs. Caution is always advised. Major regulators no longer allow leverage in ‘100’ multiples. In the US, leverage on major pairs is limited to ‘50:1’ and to ‘20:1’ on minors. As a comparison, in Europe, leverage on major pairs is set at ‘30:1’.
It is always worth comparing brokers to help assess the best offers, fees and spreads available.
Trading forex is a high-risk endeavour. Casualty rates can be high, but only for those traders who did not prepare beforehand. Practice trading is the best way to gain experience and become familiar with how the market and your broker’s platform work. It is also where you can develop your step-by-step trading strategy and fine-tune it for the eventual heat of real-time trading. Patience and choosing a time when you can trade without distractions are good habits to develop.
In addition to providing stop losses and other risk management techniques, many brokers offer copy trading as an alternative to traditional forex trading. In that situation, you select from a pool of expert traders and have your portfolio mimic their opening and closing of positions. This feature can help you build your experience and develop strategies for successful trading.
Choosing reputable and reliable forex brokers in the USA need not be a daunting task. The staff at We Compare Brokers.com are continually monitoring the brokerage community and providing reviews for only the top-rated ones for your consideration. We have done the hard work for you. If you narrow your search down to two brokers, try out their demo systems for free to determine which one is more comfortable and easier to use. If you want educational support, be sure to review those materials. Lastly, monitor your results. You can always change if you are not satisfied. We will be there to support you once again with your selection effort.
If you enter ‘Best forex brokers 2022’ in your search engine, you will see several top-rated brokers that are not from the US. Many of these may say that they are “not accepting citizens from the US”. Many brokers do not want to comply with stiff regulatory rules in the US, set aside large amounts of capital in a US bank, or offer CFDs – a popular instrument without regulatory clearance in the US. For brokers that wish to operate in the US, they will typically set up a separate subsidiary for US clients only that complies with local standards.
Standard personal identification materials will typically include a copy of your driver’s licence and/or passport and a name, email, phone number, account currency type and date of birth. You will also be required to submit evidence of your actual address of residency, usually a copy of a utility bill or bank statement, country of citizenship, social security, or tax ID.