Online Brokers That Offer Forex Trading
Forex trading refers to the practice of trading various currency pairs in the global electronic market. Due to the worldwide interest in currencies, this kind of trading goes on virtually 24 hours a day, with volume fluctuating depending on time zone and type of currency.
This type of trading vehicle has gained in popularity due to the ease of participation and the small amount of leverage needed to take advantage of movements in currency price. The instruments are normally traded as pairs, with the value of one currency in relationship to another. For example, one of the most traded pairs is the Euro and US dollar.
Many of the firms that offer Forex trading specialize in that market alone, relying on the global volume and interest to support their business. However, to address growing interest in Forex, several major online brokers offer currency trading alongside stock, options and mutual fund products. This is in response to both customer demand and the growing volumes traded in Forex.
Largest Brokers with Forex Trading
The dominant force in Forex among large brokers is TD Ameritrade. Utilizing their high tech trading platform by Think Or Swim, traders have access to 137 currency pairs right on their desktop software. There is a choice of trading either commission or no-commission Forex, and many charting tools compliment the offering.
Etrade comes in next with 56 currency pairs and a rating equal to TD Ameritrade. Fidelity does offer 190 pairs, but only 16 of those can be accessed online, with the remainder available through a broker. That can increase commission cost, but in reality the 16 pairs available should be enough for any retail Forex trader. Finally, Schwab offers 8 currency pairs for its online customers.
Other Brokers Offering Forex
Tradestation has an impressive 44 currency pairs available, and WellsTrade tops that with 70. OptionsXpress offers 21 pairs and then Tradeking rounds out the list with 6 currency pairs available.
The fact that many online brokers do not offer Forex trading underscores the specialization of this area in terms of commissions, strategies and customer support. For many small brokers it may not be part of their business model, even though customers may request it. Most professional Forex traders will still select firms that offer Forex alone, but this high volume trading arena is now available to retail traders at some online brokers.