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Aaaarggghh, welcome to TopForexbrokers.co.za, the jungle of currency trading.
My name is Zaargh, king of this Forex jungle, and I am happy to see that you finally have decided to look more into the Forex trading industry and I am more than ready to help you pick the best possible option for you.
Here we are going to talk a little bit about what you need to know when choosing your Forex brokers, who the best brokers in SA are and how to pick the right one for you. How do I go about doing this?
Well, one thing I do really good – I provide you with a big (and growing) number of reviews for every South African Forex broker I come across, talking about the way they do their business and whether this is constructive and good for their clients. The other thing I do is teach you how to recognize the good brokers from the bad ones. This will help you become a more independent trader that is capable of going through the Forex industry without making the mistake of associating with a scam broker.
There is a whole lot for you to learn about Forex trading, which is why you and we both are here. So let us get started by jumping into the very basics of Forex and go on to try and understand who the best South African Forex brokers in 2019 are.
The list of the best Forex brokers in South Africa is not a long one, and it is a composite of international and local brokers. The reason for this is simple: the Forex industry in South Africa is just emerging, which means it has yet to be filled up with local, well managed and trustworthy Forex brokers.
I have done our best to find out which brokers are licensed to operate in South Africa, have the best track records and are worth working with. The South African Forex broker list below contains a quick overview of the companies and their conditions. And then it is followed a short summary of each brokerage, but don’t be afraid to learn more about them in more detailed reviews that I have assembled for you, my friend.
CySEC, FCA, ASIC
MT4, MT5, WebTrader
A final note before we start with the descriptive list: the companies detailed here are licensed both in South Africa and abroad. This means that some of them will not be licensed by the FSCA (also known as the FSB). While still reliable; we would like you to consider that dealing with a broker that is not locally licensed might be dangerous, as reporting misconduct will be a more complicated process and might not produce any results, since the company does not necessarily have obligations to work well within your community.
XM is one of the best Forex brokers in the world, which is why it is also possibly the best South African Forex broker currently on the market. The brokerage provides its clients with a number of bonuses, starting or otherwise, as well as a number of options for a platform of your choice. Read more about XM in our detailed review.
IQ Option is one of the leading brands in the Foreign Exchange industry, offering their services globally. The company has also entered the South African market, which is why we have listed it here. It is one of the most legit South African FX brokers out there, which is why you need to read more about them and definitely consider starting working with them. Click here to read IQ Option review.
CM trading is another South African broker that is locally licensed, locally based and is reliable in its trading and the relationships it has with its clients. You can read more about them in our detailed review, but they are definitely worth your attention if a local brokerage is what you are looking for.
JP Markets is a regulated South African broker, it is licensed locally to operate in for providing trading services to retail FX clients. While they might seem like a safe choice, the broker fails to provides a bang for your buck. So if you are looking for a broker that provides great trading conditions, a variety of tradable assets, and superior tools – you better choose another brokerage.
If you are new to the Forex industry or are just starting to find out more and more about it, you might be a little confused about what a Forex broker is. What are they and what do they do? Do you have to have a relationship with one to participate in the Forex market and are some Forex brokers better for some people as compared to others?
Well, at its very basis, a Forex broker is someone who enables you to trade on the Forex market, helps you do your best, and takes a small payment for this. A Forex broker gets licensed by a Financial Regulatory body to trade on Forex markets and then uses this license to allow retail traders (individuals who would like to trade on the Forex market) to participate in the market. South African Forex brokers do the same thing as all of the other Forex brokers in the world: they provide users with a platform that will allow retail traders to participate in the market. In theory, all Forex brokers operate within the same framework, but individual companies have their own rules and ways of trading and charging money, which is why you need to learn more about them.
There are, of course, other, more in-depth concepts that concern Forex brokers, but those do not need to be discussed here since they will not help you in choosing the best South African FX broker to work with.
So what are some of the things you need to consider when trying to choose which Forex brokerage you want to start trading with? The list of things is a little longer than you would initially think. Picking the right FX brokerage means considering what kind of money you will end up paying them over time, what kind of trading platforms they have, the speed of their customer support, their bonus programs and what kind of educational sources they offer.
Here is a breakdown of some of the items to consider and the explanations.
The spreads that a Forex brokerage offers is an important part of choosing your broker. A lot of Forex brokers make their money through the spreads, which is basically what a brokerage might charge per each trade you make. Usually, a spread is the difference between the lowest selling and the lowest purchasing price of a certain currency. With the most frequent currency pairs, such as USD/EUR (or US dollar and Euro) the spread is rather low, with the average being in the range of 0.5-2 pips for the best South African brokers. Though some companies might have different spreads, for different reasons.
If a company has extremely low speeds, watch out, they might be making money differently from a company that has a high spread. Whether the low speed is a way of attracting unsuspecting victims or simply the result of the company charging commission, it is important to consider what kind of spread you are willing to pay per trade, before you start working with a broker.
Some Forex brokerages opt to make their money not through spreads, but through commissions. These companies might have a smaller spread than offered on average, but this is balanced out by the commissions they charge either per trade, per withdrawal, per deposit, or other possible options.
Many South African scam brokers opt for this option, as usually, they can attract unknowing traders with low spreads and then take their money simply by charging high rates of commission. Though not all commission brokers are scams. Some simply prefer to charge a commission that is of a fair amount. Though, when you try to find a broker, try to make sure that they either don’t charge commission or that the commission they charge is far relative to the service they offer.
The trading platform is one of the most important features you will have to consider when choosing the broker you want to work with. Large, international Forex brokerages usually offer a number of them, so they can provide all of their customers with an option for trade. A small South African Forex broker might just offer one or two trading platforms, such as the MetaTrader 4 or the MetaTrader 5.
A trading platform is where your trading will be happening – this is where the current exchange rates are detailed, where you can place orders, and where you can see the outcomes of your trading. So choosing your platform wisely is the key to successful trading. There are many types of trading platforms out there: MT4 and MT5 (as mentioned above), as well as cTrader, Webtrader, as well as possible custom, broker dedicated trading platforms.
This is one of the most underrated and the most important qualities of a Forex brokerage you must look into. Good customer service might mean the difference between having your funds transferred to you when you need them, or losing all of your money because of a single error or internet lag. Best South African Forex brokers will get back to their clients within minutes of being contacted through chat, phone call or email, while also providing the needed information or services.
Underestimating this service is what causes a lot of traders to get in trouble with their customers. If your client cannot get in touch with you, it means they cannot trust you, which means they will not continue trading with you much longer.
The number of currency pairs and what kind of currency pairs a Forex broker offers is an important detail about the company that needs to be considered. The biggest brokers in the world will offer a large and diverse number of currency pairs for their traders to work with. The top South African brokers can offer just as many as world’s best. A currency pair is the combination of two currencies that can be exchanged for each other with a broker on a platform.
The number of available currency pairs is usually limited with every broker, and not all currency combinations are offered with all brokers. This is why it is important to look at this information when trying to figure out who you want to trade with, as the currency pairs will be shaping your trading behavior and the kind of income you will be making for yourself. There are of course more popular currency pairs than others, but those have less volatility and less reward than the riskier, less popular ones. What currency pairs you choose to trade is entirely up to you.
These are some of the main concepts that need to be considered when picking a South African FX broker to trade with, but there are also numerous other concepts and details that you should be looking when picking one. You can learn more by reading our detailed reviews, where we explain why we look at certain details of a company and how we can differentiate between a scam and a legit broker. These guides (and other tips we provide) will also assist you to identify the best Forex brokers for beginners, professionals, or other types of traders with preferences for specific strategies.
Of course, as mentioned before, there are certain regulations that any best Forex broker in South Africa and around the world need to conform with, in order to be able to operate within the areas they do operate in. The regulations are produced by Financial Regulatory bodies, that create certain standards for financial services, define certain terms and conditions for companies to be able to operate within the borders of a state, protect individuals from scams and illegal actions, as well as imposing fines and pursuing legal action against companies who violate the terms and act in against the interests of their customers.
The regulations usually are numerous and very strictly imposed and are there to protect all participating parties from each other and themselves. The South African Forex brokers are regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, FSCA in short, formerly known as the Financial Sector Board, or FSB in short.
Some people still refer to the FSCA as the FSB, and so do some local brokers. If you find that a company is referring to the FSCA as the FSB, it might be a good tell that the company has scarcely any idea of what is going on in the market or in terms of licensing and that you might want to stay away from them. The FSCA licenses and oversees the actions of all Forex brokers within the country. Usually, the top South African Forex brokers will all be licensed by the FSCA, meaning that they are legitimate and can be worked with safely.
The regulations imposed by the FSCA are rather numerous and technical, which is why we are not going to get into the detailed discussion of each aspect of the regulation and how it affects the South African Forex brokers. What we are going to discuss is how the goals expressed by the FSCA affect the local Forex brokerages and how they will help you remain protected from a company acting in bad faith. Here are some of the main objectives listed by the FSCA in 2018:
With these objectives listed, it should be easier for the consumer and trader to understand why they would want the FSCA to regulate the Forex broker they might be trading with. The regulatory body intends to protect the average person within the financial sector from being deceived or scammed.
So this means that if a South African FX brokerage decides to try and deceive you, not give you the money you have earned, or otherwise profit from your trust, you will be able to report them to the FSCA, sue them and get your funds back, as well as warn others of this behaviour and possibly take their operational license away.
There are of course international Forex brokers in South Africa that are not necessarily licensed to operate by the FSCA. Still, these large scale brokers will accept traders from South Africa onto their platforms, not only that, they even try to attract them through online marketing. Why would they be doing this and are these companies trustworthy?
Well, the issue here is a little more complicated than when considering whether a local broker is licensed by the FSCA or not. We have warned you, before, of dealing with companies that are not locally licensed. This is because some of these companies might believe they are not obligated to act in good faith towards customers that are not within the sphere of licensing of the company.
So if a company is licensed to operate by some regulatory body located on an island nation, you might find yourself being scammed or not given the funds you earn, simply because they don’t believe you have the resources or the time and will not sue them. This is true of small and cheap Forex brokers, but they are usually relatively easy to identify if you know what to look for.
We recommend you avoid companies that are licensed by offshore regulatory bodies that do not have an international presence, especially companies that have sketchy web pages and strange terms and bonus offers that are a little too good to be true.
Though not all financial regulatory bodies are born equal. While a small island nation regulatory body might not be as strict, there are those that take the actions of the companies they regulate very seriously, whether these actions take place in Europe or South Africa. Regulatory bodies such as CySEC, FCA, BaFIN, ASIC and a number of others all take their licensing requirements very seriously.
These are all bodies based in large economic contexts – Europe, Australia, UK and so on. If a company has a transgression anywhere in the world and is licensed with one of them, it is likely to face big problems and big fines with these bodies. So even if a company is not necessarily licensed by FSCA, if it is a large company and is licensed by one of these bodies or one like it, you know it is a trustworthy one. If a South African FX broker is licensed by one of them and the FSCA, then you know they are doubly as trustworthy.
Here are some of the international Forex brokers operating within South Africa or accepting South African traders on their platforms that are licensed by these regulatory bodies and can be trusted to act in good faith:
Now that we have covered the best Forex brokers in South Africa 2019 and have discussed the qualities of such brokers, as well as the financial regulatory bodies that make sure these brokers retain these qualities, it is time we talk about the menaces of the Forex Industry: scammers. With the growing popularity of the Forex industry within South Africa, we have seen a growing number of brokers enter the market. Some of them international, others local.
Among these a bunch of ill faith companies have appeared, unlicensed by the FSCA or internationally, who are doing their best to attract inexperienced traders and deceive them, so they can take their money.
These scammers are very easy to identify, most of the time, and yet many people still fall for their ruses. So, to protect our users, here is a list of some of the best known (or the most obvious) South African scam Forex brokers:
This was a Forex “brokerage” ran by pastor Colin Davis. This brokerage was found to be a Ponzi scheme by the FSCA. The scheme had seen around three hundred million Rand invested into it, only to be stolen by Colin Davis. By the time the scheme was uncovered only one hundred million of the total invested sum remaining. The scandal that followed was heard of all over the country and should serve as a warning to all other South African traders being promised amazing returns every month.
Some more Forex trading companies in South Africa that should be avoided and that our users should also be aware of are:
You can read more about each of these in their detailed reviews. Even if you don’t, remember to avoid them like the plague!