Online Forex Trading & CFD Brokers: Ultimate Guide

Last updated on October 3, 2023

Learn about online Forex trading, discover top CFD brokers, and much more.

Our mission here at thoughts.money is to provide you β€” and every trader β€” with 100% unbiased online Forex trading broker reviews.

And help you make informed trading decisions when selecting among the top FX brokers in the world.


What you'll learn:

β“΅ Why Are Online Forex Trading Reviews Important?

Unbiased broker reviews are important for many reasons. To start with, it helps you understand what to look for when searching for a broker online. It also helps you avoid scam brokers by offering you all the regulated ones at your fingertips. 

In addition, we make it easy for you to select among top brokerage companies based on your own needs, skills, preference, and experience. Our goal is to present valuable content in an easy-to-digest format so you can learn and understand how to trade currency pairs efficiently.

By breaking down important information.

Including trading conditions, spread, leverage, trading platforms, educational resources, order execution, customer support, payment methods accepted, regulation, tradable instruments, asset classes, pips, strategies and much more.

We make it easier for you to make informed trading decisions.


β“Ά Our Process for Forex Reviews

Honest broker reviews are hard to find.

For this reason, our process involves going through the entire process of opening an account, performing the KYC procedure, making a deposit, placing a few trades with the broker’s platform, navigating the tools and resources available, requesting a withdrawal before we come to a conclusion.

We simply do not recommend any broker that doesn’t fit into our criteria. We are here to protect you from dishonest brokers. This is our promise to you. 

Our process involves:  

  1. Opening a real account
  2. Verifying our account
  3. Making a deposit
  4. Testing the platform & order execution
  5. Interacting with the customer support
  6. Navigating the educational resources & tools
  7. Requesting a withdrawal
  8. Evaluating the demo & account types offered 

β“· Why Use thoughts.money for Choosing a Broker?

You should never follow someone’s advice blindly when it comes to risking your own hard-earned cash, especially on social media sites like Reddit. Our vision is to be the single most important source of information available on the web when it comes to FX and Stock trading. 

It takes a lot of time and effort to collect, analyze, and present the findings of our research to you in an easy-to-read format. And we do this because we are all experts in the field of online FX trading and through the years we have encountered many illegitimate brokers whose sole purpose is to scam beginner traders just like you.

For this reason, we now want to hit the nail on the head and end this once and for all for your own protection.


β“Έ Thoughts.money: We Want You to Succeed

Here at thoughts.money, we focus on your success. And we want you to know the pros and cons before risking your own money.

Choosing a broker is hard enough, let alone selecting a top one out of hundreds available. Our job is to make it easy for you β€” and every trader around the globe β€” to make informed decisions based on the data and information we collect on every broker out there. 

❖ Numerous Criteria for Every Broker

To offer unbiased reviews we run each and every broker through the same rigorous criteria. This includes:

  1. Tradable assets offered
  2. Regulation and protection
  3. Customer support
  4. Payment methods accepted
  5. Trading platforms
  6. Order execution
  7. Account opening process
  8. Deposit & withdrawal speed
  9. Educational resources  
  10. Demo & account types

β“Ή Easy Search of Forex Broker Reviews

We make it our mission to review as many brokers as possible. We want you to have access to unbiased information on every broker out there. And we want to present it in a clear and easy-to-find way.

You can simply search your broker’s name to find our review and go through it. This can help you understand if your current broker is legitimate and how it compares with other FX brokers.

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trader buying and selling on online trading forex app
Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

❖ Accurate Descriptions

Here you can always expect to read accurate descriptions of what a broker has to offer to both beginner and seasoned traders. By doing so we help you β€” and everyone who wants to learn about FX trading β€” the proper way to do it without falling victim to bad brokerage companies.

❖ Get Scam Alerts

By following thoughts.money, you can get free alerts when we identify a broker who doesn’t comply with the relevant rules and regulations. This way we can help you avoid being scammed by unregulated brokers who want to take your money and run away. 


β“Ί What Are the Different Types of Forex Brokers?

There are three different types of brokerage firms available. Why should you care? Because depending on the type that you choose to trade with, your goals can be aligned properly with your broker goals. Read below to understand the differences.

❖ No-Dealing Desk

No-dealing desk (NDD) refers to those brokers who simply redirect your trades. They do not have a dealing desk (as the name implies) and they simply charge a small fee or commission based on the notional volume traded. 

This type of broker is neutral towards their clients. In other words, they do not profit when a trader loses or makes money. This broker type makes their money simply from the spread which is the difference in price between the bid and the ask.

❖ Market Makers

Market makers are simply those brokers who take the opposite side of your trades. They act as liquidity providers and make most of their money from your losing positions as well as by earning commissions.

This makes Market Makers the least favorite among traders and investors as this type of broker benefits when you lose. So, their goals are not aligned with their clients’ goals. 

However, there are still some decent brokers out there who operate with the market maker model and are doing an incredible job to the trading community. Read our reviews here at thoughts.money to educate yourself before choosing one.

❖ ECN Brokers

This type of broker uses Electronic Communications Network (ECN) to match the trades of their clients to other market participants including CFDs on Stocks, FX and more. Similar to the NDD brokers, ECN brokers do not benefit when a client loses or makes money.

They simply reroute your orders and charge a commission based on the number of trades and notional volume traded. 

The difference between NDD and ECN is that the commission is fixed in the spread for the NDD brokers whereas ECN brokers offer direct access to liquidity and charge a commission per trade.

Both ECN and NDD are neutral towards their clients, and this makes them favorable among FX and Stock traders.

Broker TypeNDDECNMarket Maker
FeesYesNoYes
CommissionsNoYesYes
Goals alignedYesYesNo
Types of CFD Brokers

β“» Are Forex Brokers Safe?

As in every line of business, there are many scammers. And that’s why you need to be extremely careful when selecting among the best Forex brokers. Our job here at thoughts.money is to identify the scammers so that you are aware of them and only promote legitimate FX brokers.


β“Ό Your Guide to Online Forex Trading

Read this guide to learn how to trade currencies online, how to open a trading account, what to look for when searching for an FX broker, what tools you’ll need, why order execution matters as well as what the most traded FX pairs are.

❖ How to Open a Forex Trading Account

Opening a trading account involves three easy steps:

  1. Select a broker
  2. Open and verify your account
  3. Make a deposit and start trading

Step 1: You need to choose among the top brokers reviewed here in thoughts.money. This is the most important step in your trading career.

This decision can make or break your trading journey. A legitimate broker can offer you protection, helpful support, educational resources, and an optimal trading environment. Choose wisely.

Step 2: Once you identify the broker of your choice proceed with opening an account. You will need to fill out a few personal information questions and perform a Know-Your-Client (KYC) procedure.

This step is to protect you as well as make sure that you are given the appropriate service and products depending on your skills and experience. Every regulated broker follows this step. Avoid those who don’t. 

Step 3: Now is the time to select one of the payment methods accepted and make a deposit. Legitimate brokers accept several payment methods including Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, PayPal, Neteller, and bank transfer among others.

Just remember that withdrawals will be made into that same account.

❖ Types of Trades

There are two types of trades that you can place depending on the direction you want to take on a particular financial instrument. 

  1. Going long (Buy)
  2. Going short (Sell)

Buy: When you go long (or buy) a tradable asset it means that you are optimistic about the price of that instrument. It means that you speculate that the price will increase.

And that is why you choose to buy, to benefit from the increase in price. The increase can be a few pips or several hundred pips depending on the news, time, volume and other factors around that particular instrument.

Sell: When you go short (or sell short) you take the opposite direction. You want the price to decrease in order to profit.

Remember that when trading CFDs you don’t actually own the underlying asset, you simply speculate on the direction of the price movement. Hence, you can sell something that you don’t even own. It’s called selling short. 

❖ The Most Traded Currency Pairs

The most traded FX pairs are:

  • EUR/USD (Euro/US dollar)
  • USD/JPY (US dollar/Japanese yen)
  • GBP/USD (British pound/US dollar)
  • AUD/USD (Australian dollar/US dollar)
  • USD/CAD (US dollar/Canadian dollar)
  • USD/CNY (US dollar/Chinese renminbi)
  • USD/CHF (US dollar/Swiss franc)
  • USD/HKD (US dollar/Hong Kong dollar)
  • EUR/GBP (Euro/British pound sterling)
forex currency pairs
Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

❖ Top Foreign Exchange Platforms

You can trade FX, Stocks and other derivatives on several trading platforms. The most popular ones among traders are MetaTrader4 (MT4) and MetaTrader5 (MT5). Most brokers offer these platforms as well as their proprietary ones.

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These platforms allow traders to place trades on the Web, Desktop and on the go via mobile apps.

❖ Check for Educational Tools

Top brokerage companies will include a free educational section on their site. This is to help beginner traders to enter the exciting world of online trading the right way.

You need to study and learn how Forex trading works before opening any trades. You can do so via the free demo accounts offered by most trusted brokers.

There are also several other resources available including easy-to-digest eBooks, informative videos, helpful analyst views and actionable tips as well as economic calendars.

❖ Consider Execution Speed

Order execution is important when trading Forex and other CFDs. Lightning-speed order execution means that β€” when you click buy or sell on an instrument β€” your order will be executed without any delays or slippage.

This is beneficial because the price you see is the price you’ll pay. Brokers who do not support superfast execution might execute your order at a worse price. This will automatically jeopardize your trade and make it more difficult for you to succeed in your trading journey.

A prudent thing to always do, when choosing a broker, is to identify the ones who will fill your orders in just a few milliseconds.

❖ Consider Customer Support

Friendly and helpful customer support is crucial especially when you are just starting out as a novice trader.

A knowledgeable customer support can help you navigate through the trading platforms offered as well as guide you towards the right direction when selecting an account type.

Always go with the broker who offers the best customer support because you never know when you will need help during your investing journey.


β“½ Advantages of Trading with a Regulated CFD Broker

There are many benefits of trading FX, Stocks and other tradable assets with a Canadian brokerage firm. Here are the most important ones:

  • Data and funds security
  • Negative balance protection
  • Large array of trading instruments
  • Regulation to the highest standards
  • Round-the-clock professional support 

β“Ύ Why You Should Try New Canadian Forex Sites

As more and more brokerage firms pop up, traders should take a look to see how these compare against each other. Competition is good for traders. This means that they get better trading conditions. This includes:

  • Flexible leverage 
  • Competitive pricing
  • Advanced trading tools
  • Easy-to-use platforms
  • Free educational resources
  • Optimal trading experience 
  • Friendly 24/5 customer support

❖ Trading Rules in Canada vs. the United States

There are many similarities between trading rules in Canada and the US. Each country has their own regulations that brokers need to comply with.

For example, Canadian brokers need to follow the guidelines as set by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) whereas brokers in the US need to comply with the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

These regulatory bodies make sure that:

  • Traders and investors are protected
  • Brokers comply with all applicable laws
  • Licenses are given only to legitimate brokers
  • All transactions are recorded and reported
  • Traders are assigned the appropriate leverage

❖ Power of Regulatory Agencies

Regulatory agencies around the world β€” including Canada β€” have a lot of power over brokers. This makes them a crucial part of the Forex industry. As stated already the most prominent one in Canada is IIROC which makes sure that traders are always protected. 

Brokers who do not comply with the guidelines set by the regulator will face strict consequences including paying high penalties and even being shut down for good.

And that is why opening an account with a regulated broker should be on every trader’s list. By doing so, traders are protected as well as offered an optimal trading environment.

❖ A More Lenient Canada

Canadian regulators are thought as more lenient compared to US regulators. But make no mistake. The IIROC will make sure that each and every single trader in Canada is protected fully when placing a trade with a regulated broker.

❖ First Regulatory Agency in Canada

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) was founded more than a decade ago back on June 1, 2008, as a non-profit corporation to protect all traders.

Any broker who intends to offer Forex trading services on margin must be registered on IIROC and comply with the regulator’s guidelines.


β‘ͺ What Should Canadian Traders Look For in a Forex Broker

To be successful in Forex trading you need to have access to an optimal trading environment. This includes access to a plethora of trading instruments like Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and more. 

You should also look for brokers who offer competitive pricing. This is usually quoted in the spread in pips. Good brokers offer ultra-tight and even raw spreads from 0.0 pips.

A robust and powerful trading platform like MT4 or MT5 is also crucial to your success. This will mean no slippage and no requotes for your trades. An easy-to-use platform will make your experience more pleasant. 

Most brokers offer free educational resources and trading tools to help you learn, improve your skills, and enhance your overall trading experience. A free demo account is also offered by most brokers in Canada.

High leverage can boost your trades and help you make a significant gain. But you also need to be careful as leverage is a double-edged sword. It can multiply your gains, but it can also multiply your losses too.

❖ Look for Regulated Forex Brokers

If you want to be a profitable trader then you need to trade only with regulated and licensed Forex brokers. This is important because if you choose an unregulated broker to place your trades you have no control over the legitimacy of the broker.

Unregulated brokers might run away with your money and leave you with nothing. As a result, all traders should use regulated brokers for their online FX trading.

❖ Try to Look for Brokers that Offer Your Home Currency

It is easier to trade with brokers who accept CAD. This means you won’t need to pay any conversion fees when making a deposit or withdrawal, so you keep more of your hard-earned cash.

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❖ First Time Trading? Look for Negative Balance Protection

Negative balance protection is imperative for any new trader and means that you will not lose more than what you deposit.

For example, if you only deposit $100 CAD you cannot lose more than that. So, you are protected, and you won’t lose more than what you deposit. This is very important so always trade with brokers who offer negative balance protection.


β‘« How to Verify if a Forex Broker is Regulated

Here at thoughts.money, we go through every broker available and check their legitimacy and if they are regulated by any regulatory body in your chosen country.

You can also check it yourself by going to the relevant regulator (like Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) and searching the name of your chosen broker.


⑬ Is Forex Trading Taxable?

Online trading of foreign exchange (FX) can result in capital gains. If the net gains are more than $200, then you need to report it in your income tax and pay the relevant tax. If it is less than $200, then you do not need to report it. 

However, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) explains that if you meet certain criteria and you are defined as a day trader then all your trading is considered business income and therefore all your capital gains must be considered income and taxed as such.

forex trading involves taxes
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

β‘­ Online Forex Trading & CFD Brokers FAQ

We prepared an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section for you so you can find answers to the most basic questions when it comes to online FX trading.

❖ Is Online Forex Trading Legal?

Yes, in most countries you can legally trade Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and other CFDs.

❖ Does MetaTrader Work in All Countries?

Yes, you can use both MT4 and MT5 in most countries. MetaTrader4 and MetaTrader5 are two of the most popular trading platforms in the world for all levels of traders and investors. However, there’s been a recent ban on iOS devices from the App Store.

❖ How Can I Trade Forex and other CFDs?

You can select a top broker that meets your needs. Then open a trading account, verify and fund your account, and then start online trading.

❖ Who is the Most Trusted Forex broker?

You should always choose the best broker who offers peace of mind by being regulated to the highest standards. There are many licensed and regulated Forex brokers. You can choose from our reviews here in thoughts.money.

❖ Which Is the Best Forex Broker?

There are many brokers that you can trust in Canada and in other parts of the world. The important thing is to do your research and choose based on your own needs. Most regulated brokers offer security, advanced technology, low minimum deposit, easy-to-use trading platforms, high leverage, tight spreads, and friendly 24/5 support.

❖ Do Forex Traders Pay Tax?

FX traders should pay their own taxes according to the country’s legislation. Canada is no exception. Every Canadian trader should consult their accountant on how to properly file and pay their taxes.

❖ Is Cash FX Legal in Canada?

According to the Canadian regulatory body Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC), Cash FX is illegal in Canada and traders should not deposit any money with this broker. They should choose a legitimate broker instead.

❖ Can I Use IC Markets in Canada?

No, at the moment you can’t use IC Markets in Canada but there are many other legitimate brokers that you can safely use instead.

❖ Can a Forex Broker Steal Your Money? How to Trade Forex Successfully

There are many scams out there. Legitimate brokers are licensed for your own protection. This means that they also keep your money safe in segregated bank accounts, so that in case liquidation occurs, your funds will still be safe.

To trade Forex successfully you need to trade only with legitimate brokers. Like the ones we review here on thoughts.money.

❖ How much Do Forex Traders Make?

There are many successful FX traders around the world. Some are making millions, some are making thousands, and some are making a few hundred dollars per day. There are many who don’t make a cent though.

A large percentage actually lose money. You need to understand that patience is a virtue here. You need to take it slowly and try not to become successful overnight. Trading β€” just like anything else β€” takes time and effort. Keep going.

❖ How to Trade Forex Profitably?

Trading Forex is not an easy task. People who tell you otherwise are simply lying. In order to become profitable, you need to practice a lot β€” preferably on a demo account first β€” before you start trading with real money.

Also, you need to constantly strive to improve your skills by reading books about trading. If you keep at it for long enough you will eventually become profitable. Just remember to minimize your risk.

❖ How to Transfer Money from a Forex Account to a Bank Account?

In order to transfer money out of your trading account you first need to link and verify your bank account with your broker. To do that simply follow the procedure on your chosen broker. It usually involves making a deposit first so that the broker can verify that this is your own bank account. 

Most brokers will not allow you to make a transfer to a bank account other than the one you used to fund your account in the first place so make sure that you make a deposit with your preferred bank account.

❖ How to Open a Forex Account?

Opening a Forex account is very easy. All you need to do is choose a broker that you can trust, register and verify your account, upload KYC documentation, make a deposit, and then you are good to go. As simple as that. 

❖ How Big Is the Forex Market?

The Forex market is the largest financial market in the world. It is several times bigger than the stock market. It has a daily volume of more than $6 trillion. This makes it very liquid which is why traders and investors around the world add FX to their portfolios.

❖ How Much Money Do I Need to Trade Forex?

Most Canadian Forex brokers will accept clients with an initial deposit of only $100. However, there are many others who would accept minimum deposits of as low as $10.

As more and more brokers accept international traders, the competition is high. So, several brokers now have removed the minimum requirement which means that clients can decide how much they wish to start with. Yes, you can now start trading with even $1. 

❖ What’s the Best Strategy?

There are many trading strategies that you can use. Here are three of the most common ones:

β—† Scalping

Forex scalpers try to capture small changes in price that usually involve only a few pips per trade which β€” combined with high leverage β€” can make significant returns over time.

β—† Day Trading

Day traders do not focus on small price movements as the scalpers but rather focus on a single trade for the entire day. At the end of the day every trade is closed meaning that there are no rollovers.

β—† Swing Trading

Swing traders focus on their trades for a few days up to a few weeks at a time. This is a mid-term trading strategy that is not as demanding as day trading and scalping. 


Final thoughts

Online Forex trading can be an exhilarating journey. But you need to be careful to trade only with legitimate brokers to avoid getting scammed. It is our job here at thoughts.money to help our readers make informed decisions based on our findings. 

We only recommend trusted brokers. Who offer the best trading conditions.

Including high leverage, intuitive trading platforms, competitive pricing and tight spreads, ultra-fast order execution, a plethora of trading tools, free educational resources, and a great support team at your disposal to help you get started the right way. 


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Pavlos Written by:

Hey β€” It’s Pavlos. Just another human sharing my thoughts on all things money. Nothing more, nothing less.