Best Regulated Brokers 2024

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Written By
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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.
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Edited By
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Jemma Grist
Jemma is a writer, editor and fact-checker focused on retail trading and investing. Jemma brings a unique perspective to the forex, stock, and cryptocurrency markets and works across several investment websites as a researcher and broker analyst.
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Fact Checked By
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Michael MacKenzie
Michael is a writer and editor with over a decade in journalism and publishing. His niche lies in editing and fact-checking content in the financial services sector, with a focus on online brokers and trading platforms. Michael previously reported on politics and economics in the Middle East and edits books for established publishers.
Updated

We strongly recommend that traders only use regulated trading platforms. Why? Authorization from a respected regulator is the best sign that you can trust a broker and that it operates a fair trading environment.

Choosing a well-regulated broker also reduces the risk of falling victim to trading scams, which have plagued the industry in recent years. In 2023, the FCA in the UK issued a record 2,285 scam warnings, while the FBI in the US reported investment scam losses of $4.57 billion, up from $3.31 billion the previous year.

Explore our pick of the best regulated brokers. We’ve verified the regulatory credentials of every platform listed.

Top 10 Regulated Brokers

Our tests show these 10 regulated brokers and trading platforms are in a league of their own:

Click a broker for details
  1. 1
    FOREX.com
    Regulated by: NFA, CFTC
    Active Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    3.8 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
    MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, ACH Transfer
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN
  2. 2
    NinjaTrader
    Regulated by: NFA, CFTC

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    2.9 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.2 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
    NinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
    ACH Transfer, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
    USD
  3. 3
    eToro USA
    Regulated by: SEC, FINRA
    Invest $100 and get $10
    https://www.daytrading.com/ is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the MSB and/or the BD.

    Ratings
    4.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.9 / 5
    3.4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4 / 5

    $10
    $10
    SEC, FINRA
    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto
    eToro Trading Platform & CopyTrader
    ACH Transfer, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer
    USD
  4. 4
    OANDA US
    Regulated by: NFA, CFTC
    CFDs are not available to residents in the United States.

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    3.7 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:50
    NFA, CFTC
    Forex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
    OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
    Wire Transfer, Visa, Mastercard, Debit Card, ACH Transfer
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD
  5. 5
    DNA Markets
    Regulated by: ASIC

    Ratings
    3 / 5
    4 / 5
    4 / 5
    3.9 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.6 / 5
    1.8 / 5
    1.6 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.4 / 5

    $100
    0.01 Lots
    1:500
    ASIC
    CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
    MT4, MT5
    Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, BPAY, Skrill, Neteller, Bitcoin Payments, Bitwallet, AstroPay, Mastercard
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD
  6. 6
    IG
    Regulated by: FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
    Forex trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

    Ratings
    4.9 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.8 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.9 / 5
    5 / 5
    4.6 / 5
    4 / 5

    $0
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
    FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
    Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
    PayPal, Wire Transfer, Mastercard, Credit Card, Visa, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, ZAR, SEK, DKK, CHF, HKD, SGD
  7. 7
    Pocket Option
    Regulated by: MISA
    50% Deposit Bonus

    Ratings
    2 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4 / 5
    4.2 / 5

    $50
    $1
    MISA
    Binary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
    Web, MT4, MT5
    Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Bitcoin Payments, Volet, Perfect Money, Visa, Mastercard, Debit Card, WebMoney, FasaPay, Ethereum Payments, Maestro, JetonCash
    USD
  8. 8
    IQCent
    Regulated by: IFMRRC
    20% to 200% Deposit Bonus

    Ratings
    2.5 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    2.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    2.5 / 5
    3 / 5
    2 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.1 / 5

    $250
    $0.01
    1:500
    IFMRRC
    Binary Options, CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
    Online Platform, TradingView
    Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer, Bitcoin Payments, Ethereum Payments, Visa, Mastercard
    USD, EUR
  9. 9
    RedMars
    Regulated by: CySEC

    Ratings
    3.3 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    3.8 / 5
    4 / 5
    2.8 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.7 / 5
    4.6 / 5

    €250
    0.01 Lots
    1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
    CySEC
    CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
    MT5
    Credit Card, Wire Transfer, Debit Card, Sticpay, FasaPay, Bitcoin Payments, Trustly, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Klarna, Mastercard, Visa
    USD, EUR
  10. 10
    Interactive Brokers
    Regulated by: FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA

    Ratings
    4.5 / 5
    3.5 / 5
    4.5 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    3.3 / 5
    3 / 5
    4.4 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.3 / 5
    4.5 / 5

    $0
    $100
    1:50
    FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
    Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
    Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
    Cheque, ACH Transfer, Wire Transfer, Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, TransferWise, Debit Card
    USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Here is a short overview of each broker's pros and cons

  1. FOREX.com - Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.
  2. NinjaTrader - NinjaTrader is a US-headquartered and regulated brokerage that specializes in futures trading. There are three pricing plans to suit different needs and budgets, as well as ultra-low margins on popular contracts. The brand's award-winning charting software and trading platform also offers a high-degree of customization and superb technical analysis features.
  3. eToro USA - eToro is a social investing platform that offers short-term and long-term trading on stocks, ETFs, options and crypto. The broker is well-known for its user-friendly community-centred platform and competitive fees. With FINRA and SIPC oversight and millions of users across the world, eToro is still one of the most respected brands in the industry. eToro securities trading is offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc.
  4. OANDA US - OANDA is a popular brand offering exceptional execution, low deposit requirements and advanced charting and trading platform features. The top-rated brand has over 25 years of experience and is regulated by trusted agencies, including the NFA/CFTC. Around the clock support is available for short-term traders, alongside flexible contract sizes and automated trade executions.
  5. DNA Markets - DNA Markets is a forex and CFD broker established in 2020. The broker operates two entities in Australia and the offshore jurisdiction, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Traders can access 800+ markets, with a Standard account for beginners and a Raw account for experienced traders. The reliable MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are available, alongside Signal Start.
  6. IG - Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand-US offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.
  7. Pocket Option - Established in 2017, Pocket Option is a binary options broker offering high/low contracts on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. With over 100,000 active users and a global reach, the platform continues to prove popular with budding traders.
  8. IQCent - IQCent is an offshore binary options and CFD broker based in the Marshall Islands. The brand continues to offer a range of unique account types with bonuses and perks, including payout boosts, TradeBacks and free rollovers. With 100+ assets, around-the-clock trading and 98% payouts, the firm is popular with aspiring short-term traders.
  9. RedMars - Launched in 2020, Cyprus-based RedMars offers competitive spreads on more than 300 instruments and leverage up to 1:500. Three accounts are available - Standard, Pro and VIP - serving a range of budgets and experience levels, with a fast and fully digital account opening process.
  10. Interactive Brokers - Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

Best Regulated Brokers 2024 Comparison

Best Regulated Brokers 2024 Comparison
Broker Regulators Instruments Platforms Minimum Deposit
FOREX.com logo
NFA, CFTC Forex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral $100
NinjaTrader logo
NFA, CFTC Forex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto NinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal $0
eToro USA logo
SEC, FINRA Stocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto eToro Trading Platform & CopyTrader $10
OANDA US logo
NFA, CFTC Forex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA) OANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist $0
DNA Markets logo
ASIC CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto MT4, MT5 $100
IG logo
FCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting Web, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral $0
Pocket Option logo
MISA Binary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos Web, MT4, MT5 $50
IQCent logo
IFMRRC Binary Options, CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Crypto Online Platform, TradingView $250
RedMars logo
CySEC CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos MT5 €250
Interactive Brokers logo
FCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral $0

FOREX.com

"FOREX.com remains a best-in-class brokerage for active forex traders of all experience levels, with over 80 currency pairs, tight spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions. The powerful charting platforms collectively offer over 100 technical indicators, as well as extensive research tools."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

FOREX.com Quick Facts

Bonus OfferActive Trader Program With A 15% Reduction In Costs
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Futures, Futures Options
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsMT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, PLN

Pros

  • The in-house Web Trader continues to shine as one of the best-designed platforms for aspiring day traders with a slick design and over 80 technical indicators for market analysis.
  • There’s a wealth of educational resources including tutorials, webinars, and a stacked YouTube channel to help you get educated in the financial markets.
  • FOREX.com offers industry-leading forex pricing starting from 0.0 pips, alongside competitive cashback rebates of up to 15% for serious day traders.

Cons

  • There’s no negative balance protection for US clients, so you may find yourself owing more money than your initial deposit into your account.
  • Demo accounts are frustratingly time-limited to 90 days, which doesn’t give you enough time to test day trading strategies effectively.
  • Funding options are limited compared to leading alternatives like IC Markets and don’t include many popular e-wallets, notably UnionPay and POLi.

NinjaTrader

"NinjaTrader continues to meet the demands of active futures traders looking for low fees and premium analysis tools. The platform hosts top-rate charting features including hundreds of indicators and 10+ chart types."

Tobias Robinson, Reviewer

NinjaTrader Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Stocks, Options, Commodities, Futures, Crypto
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsNinjaTrader Desktop, Web & Mobile, eSignal
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • You can get thousands of add-ons and applications from developers in 150+ countries
  • Traders can get free platform access and trade simulation capabilities in the unlimited demo
  • Low fees are offered, with $50 day trading margins & commissions from $.09 per micro contract

Cons

  • Non forex and futures trading requires signing up with partner brokers
  • The premium platform tools come with an extra charge
  • There is a withdrawal fee on some funding methods

eToro USA

"eToro remains a top pick for traders looking for leading social investing and copy trading services. With a low deposit, zero commissions and an intuitive platform, the broker will meet the needs of newer day traders."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

eToro USA Quick Facts

Bonus OfferInvest $100 and get $10
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, ETFs, Crypto
RegulatorSEC, FINRA
PlatformseToro Trading Platform & CopyTrader
Minimum Deposit$10
Minimum Trade$10
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • Investors can access Smart Portfolios for a more hands-off approach, covering a range of sectors and markets such as renewable energy and artificial intelligence
  • The online broker offers an intuitive social investment network with straightforward copy trading on cryptos
  • The $10 minimum deposit and straightforward account opening process means beginners can get started quickly

Cons

  • There's no MetaTrader 4 platform integration for traders who are accustomed to using third-party charting tools
  • There's a narrower range of day trading instruments available compared to competitors, with only stocks, ETFs and cryptos
  • The proprietary terminal doesn't support trading bots and there are no additional stock market analysis tools

OANDA US

"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."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

OANDA US Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsForex, Crypto with Paxos (Cryptocurrencies are offered through Paxos. Paxos is a separate legal entity from OANDA)
RegulatorNFA, CFTC
PlatformsOANDA Trade, MT4, TradingView, AutoChartist
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • Day traders can enjoy fast and reliable order execution
  • Beginners can get started easily with $0 minimum initial deposit
  • The proprietary OANDA web platform continues to deliver a highly competitive charting environment, including 65+ technical indicators powered by TradingView

Cons

  • It's a shame that customer support is not available on weekends
  • The range of day trading markets is limited to forex and cryptos only
  • There's only a small range of payment methods available, with no e-wallets supported

DNA Markets

"DNA Markets is an excellent choice for short-term traders familiar with the MetaTrader platforms. The smooth sign-up process also makes it easy to get started while the $100 minimum deposit is accessible. That said, DNA Markets trails the top brokers in education, research and mobile trading. "

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

DNA Markets Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Crypto
RegulatorASIC
PlatformsMT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$100
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD

Pros

  • Convenient account funding is available with 7 base currencies, a $100 deposit and a wide range of payment methods
  • Short-term trading strategies are permitted including scalping and automated trading using Expert Advisors (EAs)
  • After a recent upgrade, there are now over 800 assets available to trade via CFDs, with a particularly impressive range of 120+ cryptos

Cons

  • Despite access to MT4 and MT5, there is no proprietary trading app for seamless account management whilst on the go
  • Although it continues to strengthen its client base and reputation, DNA Markets lacks the track record of top brokers like Vantage
  • Unlike many alternatives, there are limited educational and research tools for traders seeking an all-in-one solution

IG

"IG continues to provide a comprehensive package with an intuitive web platform and best-in-class education for beginners, plus advanced charting tools, real-time data, and fast execution speeds for experienced day traders."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

IG Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Futures, Options, Crypto, Spread Betting
RegulatorFCA, ASIC, NFA, CFTC, DFSA, BaFin, MAS, FSCA, FINMA, CONSOB
PlatformsWeb, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, MT4, AutoChartist, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:250 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, ZAR, SEK, DKK, CHF, HKD, SGD

Pros

  • As a well-established broker, IG operates under strict regulatory guidelines in multiple jurisdictions, maintaining a high level of trust
  • The proprietary web-based platform continues to caters to traders of all levels, with advanced charting tools and real-time market data useful for day trading
  • IG is amongst the best in terms of its range of instruments, which includes stocks, forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, providing ample diversification opportunities

Cons

  • Beginners might find IG’s fee structure complex, with various fees for different types of trades or services, potentially leading to confusion or unexpected charges
  • Stock and CFD spreads still trail the cheapest brokers like CMC Markets based on tests
  • While there is negative balance protection in the UK and EU, there is no account protection or guaranteed stop losses for US clients

Pocket Option

"Pocket Option excels for its easy-to-use web platform which provides a best-in-class user experience for short-term binary traders. The $50 minimum deposit is also accessible for beginners while opening an account is really easy. Looking at the negatives, Pocket Option still trails alternatives in its market offering and regulatory credentials."

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

Pocket Option Quick Facts

Bonus Offer50% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsBinary Options, Currencies, Commodities, Stocks, Indices, Cryptos
RegulatorMISA
PlatformsWeb, MT4, MT5
Minimum Deposit$50
Minimum Trade$1
Account CurrenciesUSD

Pros

  • Extremely fast and smooth sign-up process that takes less than 2 minutes
  • The MetaTrader platforms offer integrated analysis with helpful technical summaries for short-term traders
  • The web platform shines for its straightforward design and usability that will appeal to beginners looking to speculate on popular financial markets in a few clicks

Cons

  • Pocket Option offers a slimmed down iteration of the MT4 and MT5 that doesn't provide the full charting package for advanced traders
  • The maximum binary contract length of 4 hours is restrictive for longer-term trading strategies. Alternatives like Videforex offer binaries up to 1 month
  • The MISA is a weak regulator with limited investor protection for retail traders

IQCent

"IQCent will appeal to day traders looking for a straightforward binary options and CFD trading platform with low fees, a range of accounts, and copy trading. Getting started takes less than 1 minute and a $250 deposit. "

Jemma Grist, Reviewer

IQCent Quick Facts

Bonus Offer20% to 200% Deposit Bonus
Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsBinary Options, CFDs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
RegulatorIFMRRC
PlatformsOnline Platform, TradingView
Minimum Deposit$250
Minimum Trade$0.01
Leverage1:500
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Pros

  • The broker offers up to 98% payouts on binary options, which is more than alternatives like Pocket Option, only offering up to 92%
  • The broker's 24/7 customer support is fast and reliable, responding within 1 minute during tests
  • Keen traders can take part in trading contests with cash prizes

Cons

  • The market analysis is very basic with limited technical summaries and insights from analysts
  • There's no automated trading support for algo traders
  • IQCent charges a punitive $10 monthly inactivity fee if you fail to place at least 1 trade per month

RedMars

"RedMars is the best fit for experienced day traders familiar with the MetaTrader 5 platform and based in the EU, where the broker is authorized by the CySEC. However, the threadbare education and research tools make it unsuitable for beginners."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

RedMars Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsCFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Cryptos
RegulatorCySEC
PlatformsMT5
Minimum Deposit€250
Minimum Trade0.01 Lots
Leverage1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR

Pros

  • Clients in the EU, in particular, can trade with peace of mind knowing RedMars is authorized by the CySEC with up to €20K compensation available through the ICF in the event of bankruptcy
  • Getting started on RedMars is incredibly easy - you can be up and running in just a few minutes based on tests
  • The broker supports a range of flexible payment methods, including wire transfers, credit cards, e-wallets, and notably cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • RedMars falls short for newer traders, with little in the way of education, no beginner-friendly platform, a steep minimum deposit, and inadequate support during testing
  • The no-frills trading environment offers little beyond the basics, with no Islamic account, PAMM account or copy trading.
  • While RedMars' spreads are within industry averages, they don't offer a significant edge over the cheapest day trading brokers we've personally used, notably IC Markets

Interactive Brokers

"Interactive Brokers is one of the best brokers for advanced day traders, providing powerful charting platforms, real-time data, and customizable layouts, notably through the new IBKR Desktop application. Its superb pricing and advanced order options also make it highly attractive for day traders, while its diverse range of equities is still among the best in the industry."

Christian Harris, Reviewer

Interactive Brokers Quick Facts

Demo AccountYes
InstrumentsStocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Funds, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds, CFDs, Cryptocurrencies
RegulatorFCA, SEC, FINRA, CFTC, CBI, CIRO, SFC, MAS, MNB, FINMA
PlatformsTrader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, GlobalTrader, Mobile, Client Portal, AlgoTrader, OmniTrader, eSignal, TradingCentral
Minimum Deposit$0
Minimum Trade$100
Leverage1:50
Account CurrenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, INR, JPY, SEK, NOK, DKK, CHF, AED, HUF

Pros

  • There's a vast library of free or paid third-party research subscriptions catering to all types of traders, plus you can enjoy commission reimbursements from IBKR if you subscribe to Toggle AI.
  • The TWS platform has clearly been built for intermediate and advanced traders and comes with over 100 order types and a reliable real-time market data feed that rarely goes offline.
  • IBKR is one of the most respected and trusted brokerages and is regulated by top-tier authorities, so you can have confidence in the integrity and security of your trading account.

Cons

  • You can only have one active session per account, so you can’t have your desktop program and mobile app running simultaneously, making for a sometimes frustrating trading experience.
  • TWS’s learning curve is steep, and beginners may find it challenging to navigate the platform and understand all the features. Plus500's web platform is much better suited to new traders.
  • Support can be slow and frustrating based on tests, so you might find it challenging to reach customer service representatives promptly or encounter delays in resolving issues.

How Did We Choose The Best Regulated Brokers?

To find the best regulated trading brokers, we:

  • Took our database comprising around 500 online brokers and trading platforms;
  • Pinpointed those that are regulated after verifying their credentials on the respective regulator’s databases;
  • Sorted them by their rating which balances 100+ data entries with the personal observations of our testers.

All Regulators

Do I Need A Regulated Broker?

Yes. If you want to trade on a secure trading platform then selecting a regulated broker is a no-brainer.

Sometimes traders may opt for an unregulated broker to access trading promotions or high leverage that aren’t permitted in tightly regulated jurisdictions, but we do not recommend this, especially for newer traders.

There are three key reasons why you should choose a regulated broker:

  1. Protection: Many regulators require authorized brokers to provide retail traders with access to compensation in the event the firm is unable to meet its financial obligations, negative balance protection to prevent traders losing more than their deposited funds, and to operate segregated accounts so client funds cannot be misused. For example, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) in the US provides up to $500,000 per person and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK provides up to £85,000.
  2. Transparency: Regulators normally require brokers to be transparent about trading fees, order execution, and risks, all of which are critical considerations for day traders. For example, in the European Union (EU), regulated brokers are required to publish the percentage of losing traders on their website, especially when using complex products like contracts for difference (CFDs), which are popular with active traders.
  3. Security: Regulated brokers are often required to implement systems to protect your data, notably encryption protocols and security audits. For example, the ASIC in Australia requires multi-factor authentication for digital transactions while the FCA in the UK requires brokers to adhere to strict rules under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
For these reasons, I only deposit funds with regulated brokers. As a UK-based investor, this means I hold my capital with FCA-regulated trading platforms.
author image
James Barra
Author

Are All Brokers Created Equal?

Where things get slightly tricky is that simply choosing any ‘regulated broker’ isn’t enough.

This is because not all regulatory bodies offer the same levels of protection. There is a common misconception that financial agencies supervise brokers across numerous jurisdictions. However, often regulatory remit is limited to those brokers with a license issued within the regulator’s jurisdiction.

Therefore, bodies outside your financial jurisdiction may not provide such extensive legal recourse should there be an issue, be it access to investor compensation or formal dispute channels. For example, the JFSA in Japan offers up to ¥10,000,000 per investor through its Investor Protection Fund (IPF), however it’s primarily available to residents.

Equally, financial agencies enforce varying degrees of regulations. For instance, all FCA brokers must segregate trader’s funds. Whereas offshore bodies like the FSC of Mauritius may not enforce this regulation. Furthermore, FCA brokers must automate and process client withdrawals promptly, while offshore brokers have been known to delay withdrawals, which can be extremely frustrating.

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It isn’t necessarily that brokers are less interested in looking out for their traders. For instance, FCA licenses are relatively expensive so many small but still great brokers opt for CySEC authorization.

To help you understand which regulators are ‘good’ and crucially – which aren’t, we’ve drawn upon our collective decades working in the trading industry and personal experiences using various trading platforms to classify regulators based on the level of protection they provide:

I recommend extreme caution when dealing with brokers registered with ‘red tier’ regulators. They are sometimes used by scammers to strip traders of any legal protections they may be afforded in well-regulated regions.

In one high-profile case, the bad actors behind trading firm EverFX, convinced aspiring investors to move their funds to offshore entities where there was little to zero regulatory oversight.

The global scamming network is estimated to have made off with up to an eye-watering $1 billion.

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James Barra
Author

How Can I Check If My Broker Is Regulated?

Checking whether a broker is regulated is incredibly straightforward, with an increasing number of financial bodies operating digital, publicly accessible databases where you can input a trading firm’s details.

You’ll normally need to follow a few simple steps:

  1. Navigate to the respective regulator’s database (usually searchable on the agency’s website)
  2. Enter the broker’s company name or license number (often found at the bottom of the broker’s website)
  3. Read the search results to confirm they are authorized (check which investment services and where they are permitted to do business)
I have personally checked the regulatory details of hundreds of brokers on countless regulators’ databases, from the US and UK to Europe, Australia and beyond.

To show you how it’s done, below you can see the results of a search I ran on XTB, which claimed to be authorized by the CySEC.

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James Barra
Author
XTB broker regulation details on CySEC register
XTB – CySEC License

Bottom Line

Choosing a regulated trading platform should be your first priority. It’s a win-win for both traders and brokers.

For traders, it’s the best indication a firm can be trusted to operate in a fair manner. For brokers, regulatory oversight helps build a solid reputation and reduces the need to constantly try and undercut competitors in areas like leverage limits.

Picking a regulated broker is also especially important given the increasing sophistication of trading scams we’ve been witnessing with alarm in recent years, capitalizing on the growing class of ‘finfluencers’ and interest in artificial intelligence (AI).

Use our list of top regulated day trading platforms to be sure a broker is regulated.

FAQ

What Is Trading Regulation?

Regulatory bodies and watchdogs supervise financial markets and online brokers. They enforce a range of rules and regulations to protect retail traders.

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), since replaced by MiFID II, is the closest the world has got to an overarching regulatory system. It was brought into the UK in 2007 and has been the bedrock of Europe’s financial regulatory systems since.

What Is A Regulated Broker?

Regulated brokers receive a license to operate within that jurisdiction, so long as they adhere to specific rules and regulations, often designed to protect retail traders and the functioning of financial markets.

What Is An Unregulated Broker?

Unregulated brokers operate without having to adhere to a set of guidelines. Arguably, therefore, they do not have the same interest in safeguarding your interests. This allows them to offer attractive features like high leverage and welcome bonuses, but the catch is limited legal protection for your funds.

Which Is The Best Regulated Broker?

Use our list of the top regulated brokers to find a trading platform that best suits your needs. Our experts have independently verified the regulatory credentials of every broker recommended.

Article Sources

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