Foreign currency online
Our task in finding competitors to TD Bank (TD Ameritrade) was successful and the five that we found were Ally Invest, Oanda, Interactive Brokers, Forex.com, and IG. According to their websites, all are American companies, except IG, which is based in London. Our method in finding these major competitors was to look at lists from top financial/forex websites, such as Stockbrokers.com, Investopedia, NerdWallet, and ForexBrokers.com. We then picked the online forex companies that were mentioned the most and identified stand-out features in each. We discuss our findings below, including what makes them unique and their features.
Standout Feature: Responsive web UI that fits all screen sizes and orientations
Why Ally Invest: Apart from being one of the most mentioned in "best of online forex trading companies" lists, Ally Invest has tools and amenities that surpass TD Ameritrade's online platform such as having a web-based app and robust research and educational material. Their trading platform is browser-based, with real-time streaming quotes and data. They have a mobile app, but their website is responsive and offers a lot of the power the full web version brings, which is a feat as other companies usually make separate apps for mobile while ignoring mobile on the web.
Notable tools include an options pricing calculator that compares current prices and bids and makes predictions based on theoretical values. Traders can also identify the tax implications of their trades through the Maxit Tax Manager.
- 50 currency pairs offered
- Commission by spread markup
- A robust educational platform that is available for free
- Profit-and-loss calculator
Standout Feature: Third-party marketplace with a platform to build apps in Python and C#
Why Oanda: Apart from being rated the second best forex trader by Investopedia, Oanda is very friendly to novices as investors can trade 70+ currency pairs and have an account minimum of $0. Oanda gives traders the option of trading on four platforms: web, desktop, mobile, and MetaTrader 4. Their mobile app, fxTrade, is available on both iOS and Android and offers robust charting which provides 33 technical indicators to choose from. One eye-catching feature about the app is the way there is seamless transitioning from the charts to a ticket window. By drag-and-drop, users can enter their orders from the charts and limit order levels.
Their desktop trading platform, fxTrade, is even more powerful, with 80 indicators to choose from and the ability to overlay multiple currency pairs within a single chart. fxTrade is also available on the web and has a Marketplace with third-party apps such as Seer Trading Platform, Ninja Trader, and MultiCharts. Anyone can build their own apps on the platform using supported languages like Python and C#.
- Ability to trade on MT4 and MT5 platforms
- MT4 platform streams news headlines from Reuters, Market Pulse, MarketWatch, Dow Jones, CNBC, and others.
Standout feature: Options Strategy Lab that lets traders create complex multi-leg options orders
Why Interactive Brokers (IBKR): Made primarily for professional currency traders, IBKR offers many tools and features along with the ability to trade 115 currency pairs. The access to 6,100 CFDs such as bitcoin futures makes forex trading on this platform top-tier. Their technology is great too, especially their Desktop Trader Workstation, which is considered one of the best advanced traders in the world. The Options Strategy Lab gives users the ability to create simple and complex multi-leg options orders and compare up to five options strategies simultaneously.
The platform gives users access to real-time monitoring, alerts, watchlists, and the ability to customize the dashboard. Even though it is made for professionals, novices can set up simulated trading platforms so they can practice and get better. There is also a lot of educational material, and research is provided by well-known institutions like Zacks Investment Research, Market Realist, and Seeking Alpha.
- Mobile app with many of the Trader Workstation features such as advanced trading shortcuts, over 50 data columns, charts, and scanners.
Standout Feature: In-house global research team that writes updates from USA, EU, and Asian markets
Why Forex.com: Forex.com is one of the more popular and most powerful forex trading platforms, with users being able to trade around 84 currency pairs. It is made for very active forex traders. Like IBKR, CFDs can be traded like Bitcoin Futures in the US and other cryptocurrencies in the UK.
Their technology offerings are even more superb, with their Advanced Trading platform, Web Trading, and the MetaTrader 4 platform. Their charting is probably the most robust out there, with 139 technical indicators and drawing tools. Powerful tools include AutoChartist, which scans the markets for emerging patterns and trade ideas. These patterns are drawn from news sites and research firms. Other tools on their platform include Faraday TV, Volatility Analysis from Autochartist, and Faraday Market Movers.
- AdvantageFX mobile app which has live alerts, market updates, open positions, etc.
Standout Feature: Charts generated from any view
Why IG: As the only foreign-based forex company in this list, the London-based IG is constantly named as one of the best forex trading platforms in the world. What makes it so highly rated is that there is no account minimum, it offers 91 currency pairs to trade, and is the largest CFD dealer in the world. Traders will be even more impressed with the technology.
Most trading on IG is done through their web-based platform, where its proprietary technology enables charts to be opened up from any view that shows live market prices and/or big rates. There are a total of 22 indicators to choose from with the ability to add alerts to any of them. IG's other platforms include the MetaTrader 4 platform, and L2 Dealer platform, which enables Forex Direct trading, a type of trading not available in the US. Their mobile app comes with simple features like alerts, sentiment readings, watch lists, and an economic calendar.