Best Brokers For Professional Traders

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Written By
Contributor Image
Written By
James Barra
James is an investment writer with a background in financial services. He has worked as a management consultant, where he delivered large-scale operational transformational programmes at some of Europe's biggest banks. James authors, edits and fact-checks content for a series of investing websites.
Updated

Experienced and active traders can qualify for a professional trading account, with more attractive account conditions than their retail counterparts, in return for a larger deposit and fewer safeguards. We have compiled a list of the best brokers for professional traders, taking into account factors such as:

  • The minimum deposit
  • The maximum leverage
  • The fees and rebates
  • The personalized support
  • The exclusive perks

Best Brokers For Professional Traders 2024

These are the 5 best professional trading accounts based on our findings:

Best Brokers For Professional Traders Comparison

Best Brokers For Professional Traders Comparison
Broker Minimum Deposit Leverage Platforms Automated Trading Fast Execution Instruments Regulators Visit
AvaTrade logo
- 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro) WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM Visit
OANDA US logo
$0 1:50 OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader Forex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA) NFA, CFTC Visit
Pepperstone logo
$0 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro) MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader CFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB Visit
XM logo
$5 - MT4, MT5 Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader Forex, Stock CFDs, Turbo Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Precious Metals, Energies, Shares, Crypto, Futures ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, FSC, FSCA Visit
IC Markets logo
$200 1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global) MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader, cBots on cTrader, Myfxbook AutoTrade CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Futures, Crypto ASIC, CySEC, FSA Visit
FOREX.com logo
$100 1:400 MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Cryptos, Futures, Options, Commodities NFA, CFTC, CIRO, FCA, CYSEC, ASIC, SFC, FSA, MAS, CIMA Visit
IG logo
$0 1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro) Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader, build your own on ProRealTime CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA Visit
FxPro logo
$100 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro), 1:1000 (Via Prime Ash Capital Limited) FxPro Platform, MT4, MT5, cTrader, AutoChartist, TradingCentral, DupliTrade Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Futures FCA, CySEC, FSCA, SCB, FSC Visit
CMC Markets logo
$0 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro) Web, MT4 Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Treasuries, Custom Indices, Spread Betting FCA, ASIC, MAS, CIRO, BaFin, FMA, DFSA Visit
Fusion Markets logo
$0 1:500 MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, DupliTrade Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader, cBots on cTrader CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Crypto ASIC, VFSC, FSA Visit
ForexTB logo
$250 1:30 (Retail), 1:400 (Professional) WebTrader, MT4, TradingCentral Expert Advisors (EAs) on MetaTrader CFDs, Forex, Indices, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies CySEC Visit
Saxo Bank logo
- 1:30 TradingView - Forex, CFDs, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, futures, options, warrants, bonds, ETFs DFSA, MAS, FCA, SFC, FINMA Visit

#1 - AvaTrade

Why We Chose AvaTrade

The AvaTrade professional account offers high leverage up to 1:400 on forex and 1:25 on cryptocurrencies. Over 1250 instruments are available alongside lower fixed spreads of 0.6 pips on forex. Traders get a choice of proprietary and third-party software and can get started with an accessible deposit of $100.

"AvaTrade offers the full package for short-term traders. There is powerful charting software, reliable execution, transparent fees, and fast account opening with a low minimum deposit."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Bonds, Crypto, Spread Betting, Futures
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, FSCA, ISA, CBol, FSA, FSRA, BVI, ADGM
  • Platforms: WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaFutures, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro)

#2 - OANDA US

Why We Chose OANDA US

OANDA US offers a popular professional trading account with oversight from the NFA. Clients can get lower fees with up to $15 per million rebates or spreads from 0.1 pips with a $3.50 commission per side. A free VPS is also available to pro traders.

"OANDA remains an excellent broker for US day traders seeking a user-friendly platform with premium analysis tools and a straightforward joining process. OANDA is also heavily regulated with a very high trust score."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: Forex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
  • Regulator: NFA, CFTC
  • Platforms: OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:50

#3 - Pepperstone

Why We Chose Pepperstone

Pepperstone offers a top-rated professional trading account with leverage up to 1:500 and over 1200 CFDs. The Active Trader Program offers competitive cash rebates up to 15% while the Razor account provides spreads from 0.0 pips with a tight commission of $3.50 per side. Fast execution speeds of around 30ms will also appeal to high-volume day traders.

"Pepperstone stands out as a top choice for day trading, offering razor-sharp spreads, ultra-fast execution, and advanced charting platforms for experienced traders. New traders are also welcomed with no minimum deposit, extensive educational resources, and exceptional 24/7 support."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting
  • Regulator: FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)

#4 - XM

Why We Chose XM

The XM professional account will appeal to traders familiar with MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. More than 1000 assets are available alongside spreads from 0.0 pips and a low commission. A free VPS is also provided if you maintain an account balance of $5000 and trade 5 lots per month.

"XM is one of the best forex and CFD brokers we have tested. The flexible account types will suit a variety of short-term trading styles while the $5 minimum deposit and smooth sign-up process make it easy to start trading."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: Forex, Stock CFDs, Turbo Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Precious Metals, Energies, Shares, Crypto, Futures
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, FSC, FSCA
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5
  • Minimum Deposit: $5
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots

#5 - IC Markets

Why We Chose IC Markets

IC Markets is a true ECN broker with an excellent professional trading account. Over 2000 instruments are offered, including 60 forex pairs. Ultra-tight spreads are available with a $3.50 commission, though cTrader offers a $3 commission. Pro clients also retain negative balance protection. On the downside, there is no rebate program.

"IC Markets offers superior pricing, exceptionally fast execution and seamless deposits. The introduction of advanced charting platforms, notably TradingView, and the Raw Trader Plus account, ensures it remains a top choice for intermediate to advanced day traders."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Futures, Crypto
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, FSA
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Deposit: $200
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global)

Comparing Brokers With Pro Accounts

Based on our tests, the best professional trading accounts offer low deposits, high leverage, tight spreads, fee rebates, advanced tools, and priority support.

Our team unpack these comparison factors and our methodology in more detail below.

Minimum Deposit

While professional traders tend to have more capital than retail investors, a lower minimum deposit still makes a broker more accessible.

Our team compare the initial deposit requirements at different pro trading accounts to find the brands with the most straightforward funding requirements.

  • AvaTrade requires a reasonable $100 deposit to get started with its professional trading account.

Leverage

Brokers tend to offer higher leverage in their professional trading accounts.

While in the EU, UK and Australia, leverage is generally capped at 1:30 for retail traders, pro traders can access rates in excess of 1:400.

  • FxPro stands out for its 1:500 leverage on popular products like forex.

Fees

Fees are particularly important for professional traders who often employ highly leveraged strategies with very tight margins.

We consider brokers with low, raw spreads as the most suitable for professional traders. As well as the tightest spreads, we also assess the round-turn commission, and any additional fees such as charges for account maintenance, withdrawals, and third-party tools.

  • IC Markets offers tight spreads from 0.0 pips alongside a $3.50 commission. You can also lower the commission to $3.00 on cTrader.

Rebates

The level of rebates and volume requirements can have a significant impact on the bottom line of a high-volume trader.

As a result, we evaluate the discounts available in professional trading accounts.

  • Pepperstone offers rebates on trading fees starting from 15% for traders with a volume from £20–£99 million, rising to 20% from £100–£199 million, 25% up to £299 million, and a tailored rate thereafter.

Support

The best brokers for professional traders offer dedicated account managers with priority support and shorter queue times.

This is because any downtime could effectively stop you from doing your day job, and an issue with your platform or funding method could scupper a carefully planned position or lead to heightened losses.

  • OANDA stands out for its personal relationship manager on-hand to support with queries.

Tools

Professional traders can benefit from specialized tools to help execute strategies.

These can include Virtual Private Servers (VPS), which facilitate 24-hour access to financial markets with reduced latency. These are especially useful for algorithmic trading, and are frequently used in conjunction with MetaTrader’s Expert Advisors.

  • XM offers a free VPS when you trade 5 lots per month and have an account balance of $5,000 – achievable criteria for high-volume pro traders.

How To Qualify For A Professional Trading Account

The key difference between professional and retail trading accounts is that the former are normally only available to traders who meet certain criteria, whereas the latter are available to most adults who want to trade online.

The criteria to become a professional trader varies between regulators and brokers, but usually includes:

Brokers for professional traders normally only require two of these three criteria to be fulfilled. This means they can accommodate both working professionals who can prove they frequently make trades, and experienced retail traders who can show they have sufficient capital and are actively trading with large amounts.

Signing up for a pro trading account at CMC Markets

FAQ

What Is A Professional Trading Account?

Professional trading accounts are offered by some brokers and provide specialized trading terms for high-volume traders.

Importantly, pro trading accounts differ from retail trading accounts by offering higher leverage, lower spreads, fee rebates, advanced tools and dedicated support.

Can Anyone Open A Professional Trading Account?

Whereas retail trading accounts are available to most adults with the required documents and initial deposit, professional trading accounts are reserved for pro traders who meet certain criteria.

Criteria can vary depending on the regulator and broker, but applicants usually have to show they have experience in relevant trading products (e.g. forex and CFDs), a track record of placing large and frequent trades (e.g. at least 10 per quarter for the last 4 quarters), and/or a sufficiently-sized financial portfolio (e.g. upwards of €500,000).

What Are The Benefits Of A Professional Trading Account?

Pro traders are not restricted to the lower rates of leverage that top-tier regulators usually stipulate for retail investors – normally around 1:30. As a result, a regulated, reliable broker can offer professional clients up to 1:500 or more.

Professional clients usually execute a much higher volume of trades, and thus they are generally afforded more competitive fees with tighter spreads and lower commissions. Rebates are also common through schemes that offer greater discounts the more you trade.

Many brokers for professional traders will offer clients one-to-one, personalized account support, to ensure they can get the most out of their platforms and services.

Professional trading accounts often have access to the best tools and features a brokerage offers. This can include free access to or reimbursement for Virtual Private Servers (VPS).

What Are The Risks Of A Professional Trading Account?

Professional traders are not covered by the same safeguards imposed by regulators to protect retail traders. This means you may waive negative balance protection and restrictions on high-risk products like cryptocurrency.

Brokers for professional traders also require larger sums of upfront investment. These can take the form of higher minimum deposits and ongoing monthly trading volume requirements.

Are There Alternatives To Professional Trading Accounts?

Funded trading accounts are an attractive alternative for retail traders who want to make a step up from their standard trading accounts but do not meet the criteria to count as professionals.

A funded trading account allows traders to earn money from the profits of trades they make from capital provided by a prop firm. Most brokers with funded accounts require traders to complete a trading challenge to prove their skills, and then supply them with a set amount of starting capital that the traders can increase by meeting profit targets.

What Brokers Do Professional Traders Use?

Our team have ranked the best brokerages for professional traders. In running our comparison, we took into account multiple factors, from leverage, support, tools and fee rebates, to the safeguards you may have to give up, including negative balance protection and access to investor compensation schemes.

What Trading Platform Do Professional Traders Use?

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the independent trading platform most commonly used by professional traders. It has been around for a long time and is still the most popular, despite the later released MetaTrader 5. MetaTrader 4 offers technical indicators, charts and automated trading support, while also being very customizable.

Some brokers have proprietary trading platforms that are good enough for many professional traders. See our list of top brokers for trading professionals above for options.

Article Sources

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