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Author: Ben Morratt
Portfolio Manager
Ben Morratt

American Traders Guide

If you are a Forex trader looking to trade in the USA, then you may have already discovered that your options are limited. The laws that govern financial trading in the USA are so strict that only brokers that are regulated by the NFA or CFTC are allowed to offer their services to residents. This means that international brokers are not allowed to solicit their services.

You can, of course, look further afield yourself but many Forex brokers don't offer their services to residents of the United States because of the strict regulations. Because of this you will struggle to find one that isn't US-based and that trades in a reliable and trustworthy manner! That said there are many benefits to trading with a home-grown company.

Although there are strict regulations you will find a choice of brokers that offer their services to you, as a United States resident, all that score highly when it comes to the critical elements of trading. We carry out a thorough review of all Forex brokers to ensure that they operate within the regulations of the country and that they offer what you need.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The elements to look for from a USA broker
  • Any taxes and fees that you will payout
  • How we research and rate the best brokers

Recommended US Websites

Risk Warning / Ad Disclosure

Risk Warning: The products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never risk money that you cannot afford to lose.

Ad Disclosure: Some of the links that you will find on this website are advertisements for which we do receive financial gain from referring new customers.

Traders in USA

United States

With Forex trading in the USA being strictly regulated you will find less international brokers then you would typically find. This isn't because trading is prohibited, but because of the criteria required to be able to obtain a license. This has limited the number of brokers offering their services to US residents. Despite this there is still a good choice of regulated brokers. Here's what you should look for:

Local Licensing

Because of the demands that the NFA and CFTC place on brokers that want to offer Forex trading service in America, you need to ensure that you choose a licensed one. Some will ignore the regulations and try to trade under the radar. To ensure that you are trading with a broker that is operating within the licensing requirements look for the NFA/CFTC symbols and check out our recommendations and reviews.

Bonuses And Deals

Often used to encourage you to open an account, welcome bonuses take one of two forms. There is a non-deposit bonus or the deposit bonus. As the name suggests the non-deposit bonus doesn't require you to spend any of your own money. The bonus will generally cover the first few trades. A deposit bonus is often worth more but requires you to make a deposit first.

Currency Pairs

As one of the leading global currencies, the USD features in many of the "main" Forex pairs available to trade in. In addition to the main pairs, you have the "minors" and "exotics". These pairs tend to be less easy to predict, but the spreads are often greater. If you want to have the choice of pairs then you need to find a broker that offers more than the main ones.

Customer Support

As a new trader, or new to the broker, then you want to ensure that you can get hold of someone if the need arises. If you have a question or query, how do you get hold of customer support? There are often many ways to get in touch with someone. Make sure the broker that you choose is visible and can be contacted.

Todays Top Traders
Trader Broker Asset Profit

Broker Fees And Tax

The tax payable on Forex trading profits is subject to tax, but this can be applied in one of two ways, and this is where it can get complicated. There are two IRS contracts; 988 and 1256. 988 is the tax payable on spot trades which are settled within two days. These are subject to income tax.

Then there is the 1256 contract which applies to future contracts. These are subject to capital gains tax. If you are confused as to which applies to you, and if you do a mixture of short term and long-term trades, then it is advisable to seek the advice of a tax professional.

When it comes to fees, there are a few to consider:

  • Commission fees - The amount you pay on a successful trade, deducted at source
  • Withdrawal fees - A small fee that is charged by some brokers every time you make a withdrawal from your account
  • Transaction fees - This may be charged by your credit or debit card or your electronic payment provider
  • Currency conversion fee - Often most brokers accept deposits and payout in USD, so currency conversion may not apply to US residents

Before you select your broker, it is worth taking a look at the fees that they charge so that you know the actual cost of trading. Consider how you can reduce the expenses by making fewer withdrawals and payment transactions.

Expert Reviews

American Licencing

There is quite a lot to know about the legalities and regulation of Forex trading in the USA. It is one of the more challenging trading markets in the world. In most European countries, you need to apply for a license and meet specific criteria to obtain one. In the USA however it is much more stringent.

The main issue for brokers is that they are required to have a large amount of capital to be granted a licensed by the NFA/CFTC. This requirement prohibits many brokers from applying for a license to trade, and you will notice that most of the massive global brokers don't accept US traders.

Because of this, you can be reassured that the brokers who do have a license are serious about protecting their client's investments. When you choose a broker that is licensed by the NFA/CFTC you are picking a reliable and trustworthy one. That's not to say that many of the global ones aren't, just that the capital required is too restrictive. Be careful though; there are those brokers who will claim to have a license that don't so make sure you check it out.

Our team are experienced, many of them have been traders for a number of years.

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How we Recommend Brokers

Our job is to make your trading experience better. To do this we offer a selection of the best US Forex brokers. Each broker is tested on several criteria to ensure that the service that they offer is of the best quality.

We test several elements of trading to ensure that they not only offer good welcome bonuses or an excellent mobile trading experience but that they offer a holistic experience. We look at their customer service, their payouts, the number of assets they offer, welcome bonuses, whether they provide a demo account and much more.

Our team of experts are experienced in Forex trading; many of them have been professional traders for several years themselves. They know exactly what to look for and will place several trades to make sure they can establish the suitability of the platform. We then take these findings and score the broker on each of the applicable trading features.

These findings are presented to you in the form of comprehensive and detailed reviews, designed to help you make an informed decision. All you need to do is find the brokers that best suit your requirements and decide who to open an account with.

Recommended US Website

Risk Warning / Ad Disclosure

Risk Warning: The products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never risk money that you cannot afford to lose.

Ad Disclosure: Some of the links that you will find on this website are advertisements for which we do receive financial gain from referring new customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Is Forex trading in the USA legal and safe?

It is legal to trade in Forex in the USA despite the lack of international brokers that accept US traders. The reason for the low number is regulatory requirements.

Do I need to pay fees and taxes on my profits?

Yes, you will need to pay tax on your Forex trading profits. The question is which type of tax you will need to pay. It is best to seek advice from an accountant before you submit your tax returns.

Can I test brokers before trading with real money?

You can either use a demo platform, or you can use a no deposit bonus. The demo platform is a virtual trading environment with virtual funds and a simulated version of live trading.

Is it easy to make deposits and withdrawals?

Most brokers accept major credit and debit cards and electronic forms of payments. To withdraw funds, you request your withdrawal, and the money is returned.

Can I trade using my mobile or tablet device?

The answer to this all depends on whether the broker offers a mobile-friendly solution. Do they offer an app? Many brokers do. If not, they provide a mobile responsive website.

Meet The Author
Ben Morratt
Ben Morratt
Portfolio Manager

Ben’s contributions as a freelancer to the site since 2013 are highly valued. He has a real talent particularly within short-term speculation, making many successful trades on the directions of the global financial markets. Learn more.

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