Online Brokers and Trading Platforms 2023

Compare the best online brokers and their trading platforms to make sure you pick the most appropriate to your needs. Use the comparison of spreads, range of markets and platform features to decide the best broker for you. Here we list the top online brokers in 2023, with full expert reviews of their trading platforms.

The Best Online Brokers

#1 - boast a global reputation. Regulated in the UK, EU, US and Canada they offer a huge range of markets, not just forex, and offer tight spreads on a cutting edge platform.

  • Instruments: Forex, CFDs, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos, Futures, Options
  • Regulator: CySEC, IIROC, NFA, CFTC, FCA, CIMA
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5
  • Min. Deposit: $100
  • Min. Trade: $1
  • Leverage: 1:200

CFD Trading

Go long and short on a range of popular financial markets with low fees.

Forex Trading is a leading FX broker. Offering a large range of currency pairs and some of the tightest spreads in the industry.

Stocks Trading offer access to thousands of US, EU and UK stocks, with spreads of just 1 point. See why are about more than just forex...

Crypto Trading

Trade the major cryptos against USD, EUR, GBP and AUD. All traded with tight spreads. No virtual wallet required, just a trading account. Note, cryptos are not available in the US, UK or Canada.


  • Demo account
  • Fast execution speed
  • Low minimum deposit


  • No copy trading

#2 - eToro USA Securities

eToro is a social investing platform that offers stocks, ETFs, options, and crypto. eToro securities trading is offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc. (“the BD”), member of FINRA and SIPC. Cryptocurrency is offered by eToro USA LLC (“the MSB”) (NMLS: 1769299) and is not FDIC or SIPC insured.

  • Instruments: Stocks, Options, Cryptos, ETFs
  • Regulator: eToro USA Securities Inc (“eToro”) - SEC, FINRA
  • Platforms: Own
  • Min. Deposit: $10
  • Min. Trade: $10
  • Leverage:

Stocks Trading

Trade US stocks from the country's largest exchanges.

Crypto Trading

eToro US leads the way in cryptocurrency trading. 1% fee for buying or selling crypto added to the spread (from 0.75% for BTC), with their own wallet service and the largest number of cryptos to trade in the market. eToro copy trading is only for cryptos. Crypto asset investing is highly volatile and unregulated. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.


  • Demo account
  • Strong regulatory oversight
  • Low minimum deposit


  • No MT4 integration

#3 - NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader offer investors futures and forex trading. Use auto-trade algorithmic strategies and configure your own platform while trading with the lowest costs.

  • Instruments: Forex, Stocks, Crypto, Futures, Options, Commodities
  • Regulator: NFA, CFTC
  • Platforms: Own
  • Min. Deposit: $50
  • Min. Trade: Varies by asset
  • Leverage:

Forex Trading

Trade currencies, including pairs with the USD

Stocks Trading

Take positions on large public companies and household names.

Crypto Trading

Trade micro Bitcoin with low fees

#4 - OANDA

OANDA offers 70 forex pairs with two competitive pricing models and a substantial welcome deposit bonus

  • Instruments: Forex
  • Regulator: CFTC, NFA
  • Platforms: MT4
  • Min. Deposit: $0
  • Min. Trade: $0
  • Leverage: 1:30 EU, 1:200 Global

Forex Trading

Take positions on major, minor and exotic currency pairs with competitive trading conditions.

Stocks Trading

Speculate on major stocks and indices via leveraged CFDs.

Crypto Trading

Speculate on the world's biggest cryptos by market cap

#5 - Webull

Webull offers a popular online stock trading app with low fees and generous bonuses.

  • Instruments: Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptos, forex, ADRs, fractional shares, OTCs
  • Regulator: SEC, FINRA
  • Platforms: Own
  • Min. Deposit: $0
  • Min. Trade: $5
  • Leverage:

Forex Trading

Webull offers FX trading with tight floating spreads

Stocks Trading

Webull offers trading on 2,000 US stocks and shares via a powerful mobile app.

Crypto Trading

Webull offers trading on popular cryptos such as Bitcoin against the US Dollar.

#6 - IG Group

IG-US offer spread betting, CFD and Forex trading across a range of markets. They are FCA regulated, boast a great trading app and have over 47 year track record of excellence.

  • Instruments: Forex, ETFs, CFDs, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, options, futures, spread betting
  • Platforms: MT4
  • Min. Deposit: £250
  • Min. Trade: 0.1 lots
  • Leverage: 1:30

CFD Trading

Trade leveraged CFDs on a variety of assets including stocks, commodities and forex

Forex Trading

Trade a range of major, minor and exotic currencies

Stocks Trading

LSE-listed IG Group offers stock trading via CFDs, spread betting (in the UK) and digital 100s. Margin requirements vary.

Crypto Trading

Trade four major cryptocurrencies paired with USD

#7 - Pocket Option

Pocket Option is a global binary options broker with a sleek proprietary trading platform and competitive range of assets.

  • Instruments: Binary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices
  • Regulator: IFMRRC
  • Platforms: MT5
  • Min. Deposit: $50
  • Min. Trade: $1
  • Leverage:

Forex Trading

Binary and OTC options can be purchased on over 30 foreign exchange pairs.

Stocks Trading

Trade major company stocks and take positions on popular indices.

Crypto Trading

Pocket Option supports popular cryptocurrencies on a beginner-friendly app.


  • Multiple payment methods
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Copy trading


  • No MT4 integration
  • Weak regulatory oversight

#8 - IQCent

IQCent is an offshore binary options and CFD broker with 10+ payment methods and a $50 minimum deposit. Clients benefit from copy trading tools and in-depth market analysis.

  • Instruments: CFDs, Binary Options, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies
  • Regulator: IFMRRC
  • Platforms: Own
  • Min. Deposit: $50
  • Min. Trade: $0.01
  • Leverage: 1:500

CFD Trading

Trade leveraged CFDs on popular markets including stocks and commodities.

Forex Trading

IQCent offers major, minor and exotic currency pairs with tight spreads.

Stocks Trading

IQCent offers trading on four German stocks alongside several established indices.

Crypto Trading

Trade popular crypto tokens via leveraged CFDs.

#9 - Moomoo

Moomoo is an app-based stock broker that offers trading in US, Hong Kong and Chinese shares. Clients can get started with a sign-up bonus and $0 minimum deposit.

  • Instruments: Stocks, Options, ETFs, ADRs, OTCs
  • Regulator: SEC, FINRA, MAS
  • Platforms: Own
  • Min. Deposit: $0
  • Min. Trade: No minimum
  • Leverage:

Stocks Trading

Moomoo offers online US and Hong Kong stocks, and China-A shares trading across options, ETFs, ADRs, OTC, US, plus IPOs on a proprietary trading platform.


  • Low minimum deposit
  • Strong regulation


  • No copy trading
  • No MT4 integration
  • Narrow range of investments

#10 - Nadex

The leading US trading Exchange. Nadex offer genuine exchange trading to global clients on Binary Options. Fully regulated by the CFTC.

  • Instruments: Binary Options, Knock Outs™, Call Spreads
  • Regulator: CFTC
  • Platforms: Own
  • Min. Deposit: $250
  • Min. Trade: $1
  • Leverage:

Forex Trading

Speculate on the price movement of 11 currency pairs with binary options contracts.

Stocks Trading

Speculate on 8 global indices via binary options contracts.


  • Free demo account
  • Regulated exchange
  • Extensive educational resources


  • No welcome bonuses or financial incentives
  • No MT4 or MT5 platform integration

How to Compare Online Brokers

Before you can find the best internet broker for active trading you should determine your own investing style and define your individual needs – how often will you trade, when, for how much money and using which financial instruments?

Then, when choosing from all the top-rated brokers, there are several factors you can take into account.

If you simply pick the broker with lowest fees, you might have to compromise on trading platform features (or face hidden costs later).

It is best to do a comparison of several trading platforms and features, both locally and from all over the world, to find one that suits your needs.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to online brokers and their trading platforms. Platform layout might be a personal preference, likewise accounts with balances in specific currencies.

Much like traditional brokers, the best online brokerage will tick all of your individual requirements and details.

These are some of the key points and areas to compare in this competitive market:


Online Trading Platform Features

Customer Service

Assets and Markets


Final Word On Comparing Online Brokers

Do your homework and make sure your online broker can cater to your specific requirements. It’s always worth giving your potential trading platform a test.

Set up a demo account, make sure you like the platform, and send off some questions to gauge how good their customer service is. Get this choice right and your bottom line will thank you for it.

Need a shortcut? Check out the winners of the Awards this year.

What Is An Online Trading Platform?

Online brokers have in part become popular because of their simple online registration and easy to use online trading platforms, which make retail trading much more accessible.

The trading platform is the software used by an investor to see price data from the markets and to place orders with a broker.

Market data can either be retrieved from the broker in question, or from independent data providers like Thomson Reuters. In this section, we detail how to pick the best online trading platform.

Normally, an online broker will offer their customers a branded trading platform that’s more or less unique to that individual broker, but there are also independent solutions that can connect to multiple online brokers.

An independent platform can be a good choice for the experienced trader, whereas using a broker’s own platform is the easiest way to get started for beginners.

How an Independent Trading Platform Works
How an Independent Online Trading Platform Works

Online Trading Platform Features

The best online trading platform will have a combination of features to help the trader analyse the financial markets and place trade orders quickly. In particular, a top-rated platform will offer excellent implementations of these features:

  1. Access to current and historic market data – A trader needs to be notified of market price changes as soon as possible to be able to act before an opportunity is gone or a loss has materialised. Historic data is necessary for technical analysis and backtesting of strategies. Not all online trading platforms have a backtesting feature, though, so check before you commit to a specific piece of software.
  2. Charting and other visual aids – Trends and market sentiment are best visualised through different charts and plotting of relevant technical indicators.
  3. Order execution – Once you have decided to place a trade, it needs to be executed on the market immediately. A great online broker platform will execute orders in less than a second. Investors that use automated trading want even faster execution, usually counted in milliseconds, depending on the strategy used and how price-sensitive it is.
  4. Automated investing – A trading platform that offers automation capabilities enables a trader to make market moves even if he/she is not at the computer at the time. The classic “stop loss” feature is a simple form of automation, but there are much more advanced platforms that enable you to program your own robot to carry out elaborate strategies or to react much faster than you can do yourself.
  5. Broker independence (optional) – You might want to become an expert on all the features of your online platform but still have the option to change which broker you use. The solution is an independent trading platform (listed below), that can connect to several different online brokers.

Compare Brokerage And Online Platforms

Independent Trading Platform Comparison

An independent trading platform is used for visualising market data and managing your investment portfolio, but it needs to connect to one or more online brokers to actually place a trade on the market.

These professional investing platforms typically offer a more advanced interface than that of the average brokerage and help you to find and place trades with one or more online brokers of your choosing.

Using an independent platform you don’t have to relearn a whole new software just because you change to a different broker.

Independent platforms often come with advanced features such as enhanced charting and pattern analysis, automated trading and investing alerts/signals. Different online trading platforms have different strengths.

Note – Not all online brokers support this kind of integration with independent platforms, so use our reviews to find ones that do.

Live Accounts

When choosing between online brokers, you also need to consider the types of accounts on offer. For example:

The account that is right for you will depend on several factors, such as your appetite for risk, initial capital and how much time you have to trade. With that said, below is a breakdown of the different options, including their benefits and drawbacks.

Cash Accounts

Most online brokers offer a standard cash account. This is simply when you buy and sell securities with the capital you already have, instead of using borrowed funds or margin. Most online brokers will offer a cash account as their standard, default option.


There are several benefits to cash accounts. Firstly, because there is no margin available, cash accounts are relatively straightforward to open and maintain.

Also, you have less risk than margin accounts because the most you can lose is your initial capital. Finally, you don’t have to pay the interest costs that come with margin accounts.


Investing with a cash account also means you have less upside potential because there is no leverage. For example, the same gain on a cash and margin account might represent a 50% difference in returns because margin accounts require far less capital.

In addition, you have to wait for funds to settle in a cash account before you can trade again. At some online brokers, this process can take several days.

Overall then, the absence of margin means these accounts probably aren’t the right fit for the majority of active traders.

Margin Accounts

Most online brokers will offer a margin account. Essentially, margin trading allows you to borrow capital to increase your position size. For example, you may only pay half of the value of a purchase and your broker will loan you the rest.

Note – trading platforms often apply margin restrictions on certain securities during periods of high volatility and short interest.

Local regulation may also impact the margin or leverage offered, for example, the FCA in the UK have now said retail investors there are not able to trade cryptocurrencies on margin. ASIC in Australia and the SEC in the US currently take a different view.


Margin accounts come with several benefits;

Firstly, you can choose when you pay back your loan, as long as you stay within maintenance margin requirements.

Secondly, you can leverage assets to magnify your position size and potentially increase your returns (or any losses).

Also, interest rates are normally lower than credit cards or bank loans.

Finally, if you have a concentrated portfolio, you may be able to use existing securities as collateral for a margin loan.


Despite the benefits, there are serious risks. With a cash account, you can only lose your initial capital, however, a margin call could see you lose more than your initial deposit. You also have interest charges to factor in.

In addition, you need to check maintenance margin requirements. If not, you could get short-squeezed resulting in forced liquidation from a margin call.

Overall then, margin accounts are a sensible choice for active traders with a reasonable tolerance for risk.

Managed Accounts

Some online brokers also offer managed accounts. A managed trading account is simply when the capital belongs to you, the trader, but the investment decisions are made by professionals.

These might be referred to as an advisor on the account – these advisors have complete control of trades. There are two standard types of managed accounts:

  1. Pooled Funds – With this type of account your capital goes into a mutual fund along with other traders’ capital. The returns will then be distributed between the investors. Normally, online brokers divide these accounts according to risk appetite. For example, those looking for large returns may put their funds into a pooled account with a high risk/reward ratio. Those looking for more consistent profits would probably opt for a safer fund. Minimum investments for pooled accounts are around $2,000.
  2. Individual Accounts – With this account, your broker will manage your capital individually and make investment decisions tailored to your needs. The main benefit is having an experienced professional on your side. However, you will pay for that privilege with account maintenance fees and commissions. In addition, some online brokers will impose high minimum investments of at least $10,000.

Overall, managed accounts are a good fit for those who have significant capital but little time to actively trade. However, those with less capital and those with time or the inclination to enter and exit positions themselves may be better off with an unmanaged account.

PAMM accounts fall into this category.

Account Levels

Some online discount brokers, common in India for day trading, will offer just a standard live account. However, others will offer numerous account levels with varying requirements and a range of additional benefits.

For example, a Bronze account may be an entry-level account. Here you may get access to chat rooms, a weekly newsletter and some financial announcements and commentary. These entry-level accounts normally have low deposit requirements.

If you were to deposit more, say over $1000 and make a certain number of trades each month, then you may be eligible for a Silver account. This may grant you access to courses, a personal account executive and more in-depth market commentary.

Deposit a bit more, $5000 for example, and you may be eligible for a Gold account. For this you could get:

Finally, some online brokers will offer a top tier account, such as a VIP account. To qualify for this account you might need to deposit upwards of $20,000. You may also need to trade 500 lots quarterly, for example.

However, for your larger deposit, you might get even more hands-on help, as well as greater deposit bonuses, free trades and other financial incentives. You may also get full access to a wide range of educational and technical resources.

So, the best discount brokers will offer a number of account types to meet individual capital and trade requirements. It’s also worth bearing in mind that generally, the more you can invest the greater the perks and trading experience.

Final Word on Accounts

When choosing between online brokers, you need to consider whether they have the right account for your needs. The main factors to consider are your risk tolerance, initial capital and how much you will trade.

Note you can also open different accounts if you want to use several different strategies.

Regulation & Licensing

One key consideration when comparing online brokers is that of regulation. There are several different regulatory bodies around the world. The reputation of these authorities varies, but almost all can give consumers a high level of confidence in the online brokers they license. Here are some of the most highly ranked regulators;

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) also offers an over-arching guide to all European regulators, imposing certain rules across Europe as a whole – including leverage caps, negative balance protection, and a blanket ban on binary options.

These rules only apply to retail traders, not professional accounts. Any broker regulated by an ESMA approved authority can legally trade in any EU country, including Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Poland, Luxembourg, Ireland and Greece.

Many jurisdictions do not require financial services to be regulated by their national authority to be able to trade.

Therefore, online brokers can operate by being regulated offshore or with one of the authorities mentioned above.

Examples include Switzerland, Bulgaria, the Bahamas, African nations, such as Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya or Egypt and those across Asia, including, the Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Oman, Qatar, Dubai, Korea, Thailand and Kuwait.

Online Broker Regulation

How To Try An Online Broker For Free

A demo account is a great way for beginners to practice and test a broker or trading platform without using real money. A demo account is funded with simulated money, so you can try out the online broker’s platform features and get familiar with acting on the markets.

A warning though – even the best practice platform can’t replicate the pressures that come with having real money on the line, but it’s a great way to learn the basics and get started with zero risks.

Read more about Demo Accounts

How Online Brokers Make Money

Even among the top online brokers, you will find contrasting business models. Having said that, there are two main types:

  1. Market Makers
  2. Over-the-counter (OTC) brokers

Market Makers

Some of the best online brokers for day trading are market makers. Market makers are constantly ready to either buy or sell, so long as you pay a certain price. That means they may lose out in price shifts before they find a buyer/seller.

But, of course, for taking that risk, they seek compensation. So they set the bid price marginally lower than listed prices while setting the ask price slightly higher. That tiny margin is where they will make their money.

Now that may seem like an insignificant amount. However, tens of thousands of trades are placed each day through good online brokers for day trading that use these systems. Unsurprisingly, those minute margins can quickly add up.

Note online brokers using this model normally offer either fixed or variable spreads:

Let’s take a look at an example – if you want to sell 50 shares of Tesla, good market makers will buy your shares, regardless of whether they have a seller lined up yet.

However, they may buy those Tesla shares for $300 each (the ask price), while offering to sell them to another trader for $300.05 (the bid price). That $0.05 is where your online broker is making their money.

These kinds of differences directly impact trade quality – read more about that here.

OTC Brokers

Many of the best discount brokers follow an OTC business model. In fact, they are the most popular type of online broker.

The immediate lure is the apparent lack of costs and commissions. However, on the best trading platforms, it isn’t quite that simple.

Essentially, an OTC broker will act as your counterpart. They will take the opposing side of your position. As a result, you don’t have to pay a commission or fees in the same way. You are simply trading against the broker.

The best OTC futures or CFDs brokers, for example, may have both sides of the trade covered, promising a handsome margin. However, some of the best online brokers may also hedge to offset risk.

The Comparison

There are several key differences between online trading platforms that utilise these systems:

The top online brokers will often use a variation of one of these models. Check reviews to see which model a prospective broker is using to get a feel for where and how they expect to make their profit.

Broker Payment Methods

Different online brokers support different deposit and withdrawal options. The availability of specific payment methods can be of importance to traders, as fees and transit times vary between methods. For example, you might make it a hard requirement that an online broker accepts PayPal.

For some traders, it might be essential that a deposit or withdrawal is instantaneous, while others are fine with a processing time of a few days. Any trader making frequent deposits or withdrawals surely wants to look out for low transaction costs.

Cryptocurrency is one payment method about which online brokers take very different views. Cryptocurrency deposits are slightly riskier, particularly as some stablecoins are heavily linked with other (less stable!) coins.

Different Regions

With the world migrating online, in theory, you could opt for brokers in India or anywhere else on the planet. However, there are tax considerations and regulations worth keeping in mind before you choose a broker in Australia, Singapore or anywhere outside your country of residence.

Canada and the US also have pattern day trading rules – but both are quite separate. Read more about this on the rules page. Just note that Canadian brokers may differ significantly from both US or European versions, and online brokers in South Africa will vary also.

Bottom Line

The online broker you choose will quite possibly be your most important investment decision. In this article, we’ve compared the top factors, helping you to evaluate what’s important to you.

Everyone’s requirements are different so there is no clear universal winner to turn to.

Once you know your requirements, you’ll then be able to compare brokerages and find the best trading platform for your needs.


What is the best online broker in 2023?

There is unfortunately no single best broker for all traders- Trading frequency and access to specific instruments or markets are important factors that vary with each individual trader.

For example, if you make many small trades, the broker’s fees and the speed of the trading platform are important considerations. You also want access to good technical charts.

For infrequent trading these things are not as critical, but perhaps having access to cryptocurrencies is, and so on. To find a broker that fits your requirements, use our list of online brokers and read the the in-depth reviews for further details.

What is the difference between a broker and a trading platform?

Many consider “broker” and “trading platform” to be the same thing, but they are in fact slightly different.

A trading platform is the software that allows a trader to put buy and sell orders on the market. A broker is the company that facilitates the actual access to the markets and carrying out those orders.

A broker may offer multiple different trading platforms to its clients, for example an in-house proprietary software along with support for the popular MetaTrader 4 independent software platform.

This allows traders to pick the one they like best, and in the case of some independent platforms like MetaTrader, to trade via multiple different brokers on the same platform.

Further Reading