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OANDA is a US-based FX broker established in the 1990s by Dr Richard Olsen and Dr Micheal Stumm. Over the years, it has built a reputation as one of the oldest and best online forex brokers for both new and experienced traders. In 2001, OANDA became the first online broker to launch a fully automated platform known as FXTrade. The broker channels more than 20% of the spot forex around the globe, and it handles over one million trades every day. Oanda is the proud winners of the 2019 Best Online Brokers Awards.
Regulation is one of the key factors you need to consider when choosing a Forex Broker. Oanda is licensed and monitored by some of the toughest financial authorities, including ASIC and UK FCA. Experienced traders enjoy using OANDA because it gives them access to various opportunities in the financial markets, including CFD trading.
The brand operates in 8 different markets across the globe, including Canada, Australia, Singapore, Japan, US and the UK.
Oanda Proprietary fx Trade platform is fully compatible with PCs and mobile screens of all sorts. Also, it provides its traders with the famous MetaTrader4 (MT4) software. Oanda app marketplace supports integration with numerous 3rd party platforms and apps.
Oanda offers attractive trading costs that are below the industry average, but it focusses more on delivering superior execution quality and transparency. The brokers allow a lot of flexibility when it comes to lot sizes, but it lacks several important products such a single-stock CFDs and cryptocurrencies.
In this Oanda review, we will give a balanced analysis of the platforms commission and costs, pricing transparency, technology, regulation, and product offering analysis. Buckle up.
Trust, Security, and Safety
OANDA has built trust in the industry over the years. It won the Investment Trends Magazine’s award for a forex broker with the highest customer satisfaction in 2016. As aforementioned, the brand also scooped the 2019 Best Online Brokers Awards. So, you would be right to say that the platform oozes trust and reliability in every way.
Oanda is licensed and regulated by six-tier one (most trustworthy) regulators. These include:
- Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA).
- Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
- Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
Oanda protects its clients as much as is required by regulators. However, it doesn’t provide any additional protection. Not every client will be fully protected in the event of default. Since the platform has never been involved in a scandal and it is transparent, there hasn’t been any reason to believe that their security measures are not perfect.
Commissions and Fees
One of the major reasons OANDA is popular is that it doesn’t take any percentage of your money as commission. However, you may need to pay a token spread on your quotes. The amount of the spread isn’t fixed. It depends on the asset you want to trade and the market conditions at the time you make the quote.
Irrespective of the asset class and the market conditions, their spreads are still competitive. Typically at par or better than what its close competitors, FXCM and Pepperstone, offer. Also, the platform makes it easy for players to see the current spreads and the historical average spreads, which makes the pricing more transparent.
More notable, Oanda has no limits on the initial investment and industry average spreads. Also, as you deposit and trade more at Oanda, you will at one point be invited to join a program that provides cheaper than regular spreads.
Oanda does not charge an account inactivity fee, just like FXCM and Pepperstone, but you will be charged if your account stays inactive for a long period.
The ability to enter and exit trading positions is extremely useful for FX traders who are always on the go. OANDA has a mobile app that is available for download on Google and Apple app stores. Also, the Oanda mobile FxTrade platform is fully optimized for seamless loading on iPhones, Android, and Windows mobile devices.
The mobile platform gives you nearly all the perks of the PCs platform, including the ability to download historical quotes; speculating on NASDAQ, FTSE 100, Oanda trading tools, spread history, as well as the ability to place complex orders. The mobile platform allows you to trade directly from charts enriched with price overlays and indicators.
The great thing about the desktop app is that it also provides trading insights that help you make informed decisions.
The mobile interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The transition from Oanda desktop website to Oanda mobile platform is hassle-free. You will also have the ability to adjust and change display styles to match your preferred trading style on PCs.
Opening an Account
Account opening on OANDA is straightforward and intuitive. The website does not have a minimum deposit limit, but the sales team is a bit pushy. The broker accepts registration from many countries around the world, with a few exceptions including South Korea, India, Turkey, India, New Zealand.
Visit the website, and you’ll see an option to either open a trading or demo account.
The demo account comes with $10000 virtual cash, and it doesn’t have a time limit. This is a great advantage because unlike most Forex brokers who limit the lifespan of your demo account, Oanda allows you to practice as long as you need to horn your strategy and build the momentum you need for real money trading.
When you click on the trading account button, you’ll see an option to choose your country of residence. You can open one account, but the platforms allow you to create up to 19 sub-accounts. The sub-accounts support different currencies such as GBP, EUR, USD and more.
This would be followed by a form. Provide your details, accept the terms and conditions and open the account. It can be done within a few minutes, but the account may take days to be approved. Note that you will be required to provide a photo of your government-issued ID card and proof of residence.
Deposits and Withdrawal Options
Oanda supports a melange of deposit and withdrawal options, but availability may vary depending on your country of residence. The first deposit is free if made via bank-issued cards. Onda supports up to 8 base currencies which ranks it competitively compared to FXCM, which supports 7 base currencies and Pepperstone, which supports 10 options.
The base currency matters because if you load your account using it, then you won’t have to incur currency conversion fees. Another convenient way seasoned traders use to reduce losses on currency conversions is to open the multi-currencies bank account. For example, Tansferwise and Revolut both offer multi-currency bank accounts with favourable exchange rates and lower international bank transfer fees.
United States residents have access to checks, bank wire transfer, and debit cards on Oanda. Canadian residents have access to PayPal, bank wire transfer, and credit cards.European residents have access to debit cards, credit card, internet banking, bank wire transfer, BACS and SEPA.
Australian and Asian traders have access to BPay, bank wire transfer, credit cards, PayPal, debit cards, China UnionPay, DBS Pay Bills. Withdrawals can take 1 to 2 business days on a domestic level and about 5 business days on an international level.
Withdrawal fees depend on the amount you want to withdrawal and the method you are using.
OANDA doesn’t just offer trading services. It also offers investment products, which include indexes, bonds, commodities, precious metals, and forex. The platform offers 52 CFDs, and this is poor when you compare OANDA with other major brokers who offer between 1,000 to 10,000 CFDs.
Research Tools and Insights
This platform offers extensive real-time news feeds, economic analysis, advanced data analytics, calendars, pattern matching engines, volatility analysis, etc. There is a lot of information on the website, which may be difficult for beginners to sort through. Advanced traders, on the other hand, will not have a problem utilizing the resources. There is also a forum that allows traders to communicate with each other. However, the platform doesn’t have social investing tools available at this time.
Apart from the comprehensive insights for traders, the platform has educational resources that are grouped into four: basic trading education (an educational series for beginners), trading analysis introduction (also for beginners), capital management (for new and old traders who have interest in their investment products), webinars, and live classrooms.
OANDA has a currency converting tool that allows traders to check variations in exchange rates automatically. It also offers forex payments to corporate clients. The exchange allows users to enjoy the MetaTrader4 platform, which is now a favourite among traders because of its efficiency and reliability. Unlike many other brokers, OANDA has built-in programming language. The platform is incredibly fast, with traders completing transactions within 0.077 seconds. Also, the platform isn’t just available in English. Traders can switch to German, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. Traders who want to use the MetaTrader 4 platform have the option to choose from 17 different languages.
While OANDA is primarily ideal for advanced traders, beginners are welcome to use the platform. They can take full advantage of the tools and educational resources available on the platform. However, if you’re interested in trading cryptocurrencies, you will not have access to this service on OANDA. Also, the fact that there is no negative balance or account spillage is discouraging.
On a scale of one to ten, OANDA scores an eight. It is fast, reliable and regulatory compliant. OANDA has bagged several awards over the years. In 2016, it won the Most Preferred CFD Provider award, Singapore ShareInvestor Award, Best Value for Money award. It was awarded the Highest Overall Client Satisfaction, World’s Best Retail FX Platform award, Best Customer Service and Best Mobile Platform award in 2016. In 2016, the broker won the Best CFD Broker APAC, Best Trade Execution Provider, and Global Banking & Finance, Review Awards.
There have been many other awards over the years, but all of them prove one thing, OANDA is a reputable broker and traders are fully aware of this fact.
Is this your final decision?
We suggest you visit one of the popular trading platforms instead!
- OANDA is fully regulated by several governmental agencies including CFTC, ASIC, MAS, CySEC, FCA, FSA, NFA.
- Traders can open accounts with as little as $1.
- There are more than 71 currency trading pairs available on the platform.
- Apart from the currency offerings, there are many other asset classes available on OANDA.
- OANDA has a custom-built desktop, web, and mobile trading software available with a variety of features. The platform also has a MetaTrader 4 platform available.
- There is no spillage protection or negative balance available on the platform.
- There are various asset classes available, but OANDA still doesn’t offer cryptocurrency trading.
- While the customer service is available, representatives are slow to respond to inquiries.
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