Forex Trading South Africa : Get Started with Forex in South Africa

At Forex Trading South Africa, we provide you with the most trustworthy and independent reviews of Forex brokers in South Africa.

Compare every broker in South Africa side-by-side using complete and accurate data. We only work with brokers that meet the highest standards of regulation and customer care.

You will be a more successful Forex trader with our library of tips, guides and articles. If you are learning how to trade Forex in South Africa, we can provide you with everything you need to maximise your profits.

We are Forex trading experts who provide you with the must trustworthy and independent reviews of Forex brokers in South Africa.

We provide you with the most trustworthy and independent reviews of Forex brokers in South Africa.

Compare every broker in South Africa side-by-side using complete and accurate data. We only work with brokers that meet the highest standards of regulation and customer care.

You will be a more successful Forex trader with our library of tips, guides and articles. If you are learning how to trade Forex in South Africa, we can provide you with everything you need to maximise your profits.

We are Forex trading experts who provide you with the must trustworthy and independent reviews of Forex brokers in South Africa.

Compare Forex Trading Brokers in South Africa

The Most Trusted and Independent Forex Broker Reviews in South Africa

At Forex Trading South Africa, we have two goals

  • We want to help you compare the best brokers in South Africa so you can find the right one for your needs
  • We want you to feel secure when you place your money with that broker

We Compare Forex Brokers Side-by-Side Using Complete and Accurate Data.

To meet these goals, we have created a comprehensive broker comparison process and produce an annual State of the Forex Market report.

Forex Trading SA compares and rates every broker we work with using the following criteria:

  • Regulation: The FSCA in South Africa are an excellent regulator – they have a good track record of protecting customers and taking down criminals – but for additional security, you should look for a broker regulated by at least one of the big three regulatory agencies (FCA, CySEC, ASIC)
  • Broker Type: Most brokers are either ECN/STP or market makers but some can be a combination of both; you will find that many brokers will provide an ECN/STP service on their higher-deposit account types while acting as a market maker for their Cent and Standard accounts.
  • Trading Conditions: This includes what kind of spreads are available, how much leverage is offered and how many currency pairs are available. These factors all directly impact your profit or loss, so you really don’t want any surprises.
  • Trading Platform: MetaTrader 4 is still the industry standard but many brokers offer MetaTrader 5, cTrader or their own proprietary platforms.
  • Minimum Deposit: This changes by account type for many brokers, with higher minimum deposits often linked to better trading conditions. We will always highlight the minimum deposit available regardless of the account type.
  • Deposit and Withdrawal Methods: All brokers accept traditional payment types such as debit/credit cards, many accept online payments through Skrill and Neteller and some will also accept Bitcoin.

If you already know what you want from a broker then you can use our comparison tool to quickly narrow down the field to find the perfect broker for you.

The Risks of Forex Trading

If you are a new trader, then finding a good broker is only the start. Trading Forex is a high-risk venture and most traders ending up losing money in the long-term. There are many reasons traders lose money but they can be generally placed into four categories:

  • Lack of Forex education
  • Lack of trading discipline
  • An untested trading plan
  • Poor or non-existent risk management

But you can avoid these dangers – our education section is full of articles and tips for new and experienced traders. We want to help you to maximise your profits and avoid the big losses that occur when a Forex trader runs into trouble.

A quick guide to opening a Forex account in South Africa

We also publish a quick guide to opening a Forex trading account in South Africa which covers:

  • How to choose a broker
  • How to use a demo account
  • How to learn to trade successfully
  • How to develop a trading strategy
  • How to manage risk
  • What documents you will need to provide to your broker
  • How to Trade Forex in South Africa
  • How Forex trading works
  • What are leveraged products?
  • Best Forex Trading Apps
  • Best FSCA-Regulated Forex Brokers
  • Technical vs. fundamental analysis
  • Develop a trading plan
  • Forex trading tips for beginners
  • What tools do Forex traders use?

What is Forex Trading?

Forex Trading or the foreign exchange market is a global decentralized or over-the-counter market for the trading of currencies. This market determines foreign exchange rates for every currency. It includes all aspects of buying, selling and exchanging currencies at current or determined prices.

Currency pairs are an expression of one currency’s value in terms of another currency. For instance, if the USD/ZAR is at 1/10 we are saying that 1 US Dollar is equal to 10 South African Rand.

In Forex trading, common currency pairs include GBP/USD, AUD/USD and EUR/USD. If you buy the GBP/USD you are effectively buying the GBP and selling the USD at the same time. When you close your position, you are selling the GBP that you had bought and buying back the USD. If the GBP has strengthened against the USD in that time, you will have made a profit – as you will now be able to afford more USD than you originally sold. More detailed information on how Forex trading works is here.

How do you trade Forex?

A broker is the only way for individuals (known as retail traders) to access the Forex market. Depending on how a Forex broker is set up, they will either maintain the market (market maker) or offer a direct connection to the international market (direct market access). Either way, a trader will need to create an account at a broker to get started.

Forex trading is usually executed via a product called a Contract for Difference (CFD) with your broker. This is a contract between you and your broker to pay any difference in the price of the two currencies between opening and closing your trade. This is very useful, as it means that neither you nor your broker needs to actually hold any currency.

What is the difference between trading Forex and trading equities?

When we think of trading, we often think of equities on the stock market, and mistakenly include Forex trading in the same grouping. Forex trading differs from investing in equities in several ways:

Currencies are traded in pairs, whereas equities are physical shares that are purchased for cash.

The Forex market is a decentralised over-the-counter exchange, where all transactions and participants are confidential, unlike stock markets, which are centralised and where public records are kept of buyers and sellers.

Forex trading has a low cost of entry. In order to make substantial profits, equity traders use large amounts of capital, not an option for investors with limited incomes.

Forex trading is not investing as traders never take ownership of the asset being transacted. With CFD Forex trading, the trader is speculating on the future value of the assets involved in the trade. Thus, to call it an investment would be incorrect as traders are only speculating on the value of the assets.

What is Leverage?

CFD Forex trading is generally leveraged; the trader only contributes a small amount of the trade value and borrows the remainder from a liquidity provider (often large financial institutions or banks that work with your broker).

This has two effects: First, the cost of entry to Forex trading remains low. Second, all profits are magnified, but so are any losses. Traders are responsible for the losses of the full trading amount.

How do beginners learn to trade Forex?

Beginners are advised to learn to trade using a demo account before depositing money into an account. We have a guide full of practical advice to get you started, and more on how to place your first trade.

It will take some time and persistence to learn how to trade CFDs successfully, as traders need to study the many components and strategies to make trades more successful.

How to choose the best Forex strategy?

There are many different Forex trading strategies and you will not find success by using just one. The best trading plan will involve a number of strategies, all working in together in tandem.

At the most basic level, Forex trading strategy will rely on either fundamental analysis (analysing broader economic trends and geopolitical events – i.e. Brexit and it’s effect on the GBP/USD or the release of the US non-farm payrolls and it’s effect on the EUR/USD) or technical analysis (analysing historical price action on charts). Technical analysis, in particular, is a broad church and there are many strategies that rely on it in various ways.

Other factors to consider when planning a Forex strategy are the time of day (as this effects volatility), order types (such as a trailing stop loss – possibly the single most valuable part of any strategy) and automated trading software/bots (which can see movements in the market that you may miss).

For more detail on analysis and how to use it, we cover strategies and building a trading plan in our learn to trade section.

How much do I need to start trading Forex?

Trading accounts can be opened for as little as 5 USD (70 ZAR), but a recommended deposit is between 200 USD to 500 USD. A minimum 200 USD deposit is advised because your account balance will determine how much leverage you can use.

When you place a leveraged trade, your contribution is called the margin – depending on the leverage you have on your account this could 1% (with 100:1 leverage) or 0.5% (200:1 leverage) or even 0.25% (400:1 leverage). Your margin is your initial trading cost but your broker may also charge a commission per trade or other fees (such as a deposit fee if you use a credit card or bank wire).

The main cost of CFD trading is the spread. This is the difference between the buy and sell prices of a currency pair and is the broker’s fee for placing the trade. The spread is measured in pips (the smallest price move a currency can make). If the sell, or bid, price for GBP/USD is 1.22415 your broker may set the buy, or ask, price at GBP/USD at 1.22424 – a 9 pip difference – and the spread will be 0.9. The tighter the spread, the lower your costs will be.

What are the risks of trading Forex?

Trading Forex and CFDs carry a significant risk that includes losing all the money in your trading account over a short period. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to the high risk of losing your money. The principal risks of trading:

Risk 1: The Forex market is extremely volatile at times. It is, after all, because of this volatility that we can profit from trades. But the market can move very swiftly, and this can mean a trade can go against you in a concise period. If you are trading, you must be active in watching your trades all the time.

Risk 2: The Forex market is not something you can predict. There are just too many factors and actors on the market for it to be fully predictable. Traders need to set a win-loss target ratio where you account for some losses and use a strategy to minimise them.

Risk 3: CFD trading requires using leverage. Leverage is a tool used in trading to amplify your profits, but it also amplifies your losses which are automatically deducted from your trading account. Your account balance can be wiped out with a single bad trade.

Risk 4: In some cases, interest can be charged on your trades. For example, interest can be charged when you carry trades overnight where a tom-next adjustment is applied, and this could mean that your broker will take funds from your account to pay this fee.

What is the best time for trading Forex?

Profits from the Forex markets are made during times when the market is volatile, so it makes sense that traders should be active during those times. The most volatile periods are when the major major markets (Sydney, Tokyo, London and New York) are open, so traders should create a trading plan that takes these hours into account and plan trading sessions around when the Forex markets are open.

Do Forex traders pay tax?

Forex gains are not tax-free income, and all profits are taxable even if your brokerage and capital are overseas. South Africans are expected to declare taxes just as with any other income either as an individual or a company. For more on this read our taxation article.

Is Forex Trading Right For Me?

By now you should know that it is high risk, that you need to find a broker that you feel suits you best and the amount you want to put into your account with a broker. Trading Forex takes a commitment to learning, and you should be ready to:

  • Compare the best brokers in South Africa to find one that suits you.
  • Read our education section and learn everything you can.
  • Understand the way the Forex market and CFD trading works.
  • Learn the software and tools that will power your trading.
  • Be prepared to lose all the money you place in an account. Don’t deposit any money you can not afford to lose.