The last twenty years have seen US-headquartered Oanda, grow into an established player on the global online broker stage. Today they facilitate forex and index/commodity CFD trading for customers across the world.
This detailed review of Oanda will cover everything from fees and trading platforms to accounts and regulations.
Table of Contents
- A Brief History
- Minimum Initial Deposit
- Spreads & Commissions
- Other Fees
- Oanda Trading Platforms
- Mobile Apps
- Methods of Payment
- Account Types
- Demo Account
- Additional Features
- Safety & Security
- Oanda Regulation
- Oanda Trading Hours
- Contact & Customer Support
- Accepted Countries
A Brief History
Before we get bogged down in the facts and figures of this Oanda trader review, it can help to first paint a picture of where the Oanda corporation started and how far they have come.
Oanda’s modest beginnings date back to 1996, making it one of the early online forex brokers. Then it offered investors access to spot forex and CFDs. Today, however, Oanda is well established in the forex market, offering 124 trading instruments, corporate FX services, currency management solutions, plus data on exchange rates for global enterprises.
Although headquarters are in the US, it has several global offices, including Tokyo and London. In fact, Oanda operates across eight global financial centers, with clients in over 196 countries. It has attained licenses from major regulatory jurisdictions, including:
- The UK
- The US
Despite failing to get a mention in many Oanda review forums, the FxTrade platform, launched in 2001, was actually the first fully automated forex trading platform.
You may have seen on Oanda spread betting reviews and forums that the company offers spread betting. Whilst this is true, it is only available to Oanda Europe Ltd customers, who reside in the UK or the Republic of Ireland.
Minimum Initial Deposit
Oanda has historically stuck to requiring no minimum initial deposit. It ensures aspiring day traders and those with limited capital do not have to deposit more than they can afford as they find their feet.
In addition, Oanda’s minimum lot size is one unit of the base currency of the quote. They do also offer nano lots and a lot size calculator.
Spreads & Commissions
Whether you are looking for an Oanda Europe Limited, Singapore, the Philippines, or US prices review, Oanda remains highly competitive whatever your location.
Oanda spreads are comparable to other big firms, such as FXCM and FxPro.
To offer traders the best prices, Oanda uses an automated machine to monitor global prices, and spreads will also respond to market liquidity and volatility. High volatility, in particular, can widen spreads. Both current and historical average spreads are clearly outlined, which should quell some traders’ concerns over hidden fees.
This transparent approach was echoed by Vatsa Narasimha, CEO of the OANDA Global Group, who stated, “We believe the retail trading industry as a whole will benefit from a more transparent approach where brokers are held accountable for making questionable statements or falsely disclosing their interests.”
There is an important point to make when comparing Oanda spreads with agency brokers (no dealing desk). So, just comparing spread alone won’t always give you a clear conclusion, as sometimes, other factors can impact the cost of trades over a period of time.
For those looking to trade on margin, you will find leverage offerings at Oanda. For retail clients, maximum leverage is decided by regulators in your geographic region, however, all Oanda users can further reduce their leverage limit.
It is also worth highlighting, that whilst you could potentially increase earnings, margin trading can also amplify losses. Therefore, utilizing stop-loss orders to limit potential losses with leverage is a technique employed by many.
Oanda’s trading fees are straightforward and highly competitive. However, Oanda introduced an inactivity fee in September 2016. Fortunately, this effective tax will only affect those who do not place any trades for at least two years.
Note there is no deposit bonus when you sign up with Oanda. It is worth keeping an eye on the official website for any changes to overnight (rollover) fees, financing charges.
Oanda Trading Platforms
It is time to move onto the FxTrade part of the review, an essential component of the Oanda offering. Overall, the system is well designed and easy to use, offering a multitude of tools and analytics.
You can trade directly from the chart. You benefit from complex order types, such as buy, sell, plus trailing stops. Account analytics are at your disposal. This financial trading software also includes charts from MultiCharts, which allow for advanced and sophisticated studies and display styles. On top of that, you get watch lists, news feeds, plus economic analysis. Accessing historical and live exchange rates is also straightforward.
On the downside, the platform lacks an ultra-modern look and some functions are awkward to use. Instead of being able to open the news, forums, and economic analysis in the platform, they open web pages in separate browsers. Again, you open Oanda’s order book outside the application. This can all prevent a smooth trading experience at times. Speed tests show server times and execution rates are industry standard.
The conclusion – the FxTrade platform caters to the needs of traders of all experience levels. You have all the tools needed to trade just a few clicks away, not to mention a whole host of useful additional features.
FxTrade API Libraries
A subscription to Oanda also means you can explore automated trading. API python tutorials can be found online to help you get the most out of your API instruments. Automated trading allows you to execute far more trades than you ever could manually. It also means you can be active in several markets at once, from gold and oil to binary options and bitcoin CFDs.
Notifications can be created for when you enter and exit positions and pre-programming your criteria can be done with the aid of Algo labs. This affords you more time to download historical data, analyze tick data, and craft effective strategies.
For experienced traders and technophiles, the FxTrade API libraries can also help do all of the following:
- Access current and historical market data
- Stop-loss, take-profit or entry orders
- Access past trading transactions
- Risk-free testing
- Trade requests
If Oanda’s desktop platform doesn’t appeal, you have the option of the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) download. This review found the industry standard includes advanced charting, watch lists, plus trade automation via an ‘expert advisor’ (EA) plugin. You are also able to save layouts and chart profiles. In addition, you can draw up swap rates, as well as live and monthly exchange rates charts from within the platform.
On the negatives, creating or amending EAs can be challenging. This is especially true for new traders who may be unfamiliar with the unique programming language. Whilst the audible alerts can be annoying, there are customizability options, not to mention a mute button, so we can let that drawback slide.
There also include several other fantastic trading tools available at Oanda:
- MotiveWave – This professional charting and technical analysis platform offers more than 250 built-in studies/indicators and 30 built-in trading strategies. This high-performance and easy-to-use software is a powerful weapon to have in your trading arsenal.
- Oanda Market Reports – Powered by Autochartist, this tool provides a brief summary of the markets. An email is actually sent to traders before they start analysis for the day ahead. Market Reports provide a technical outlook of the forex markets for the next 48 hours.
Drawing up a forex order book, indicators and potential strategy are also quick and easy. For those wanting to hedge, it is not prohibited. You can view both long and short positions for the same product on the MT4 platform.
Note traders will also find additional platforms are available in the Oanda Marketplace. These include third-party apps, plus algorithmic trading platforms, such as the Seer trading system.
Note Oanda does not offer Metatrader 5 (MT5).
If you are frequently on the move, being able to enter and exit positions from your mobile or tablet can prove extremely useful. Those looking for an Oanda mobile and iPad review will be impressed with the capabilities of the FxTrade mobile trading platform. Not to mention the integration with a range of devices, from iPhones to the Windows Phone 8.
Once you have your web login details, you can then download historical quotes, battle with forwarding rates and start speculating on the FTSE 100 or Nasdaq, for example. Also, the platform is straightforward to navigate and the sleek design allows for a stress-free experience. There is access to Oanda’s trading instruments, spread history, account analytics, as well as complex order types.
You retain the ability to trade directly from charts, plus you can benefit from charts with indicators and price overlays. You also have the option to tweak display styles to find a format that compliments your trading style. As a bonus, the news, economic calendars, and financial announcements all open with ease from inside the app. This makes gauging market sentiment straightforward.
There is regular maintenance to ensure instrument lists are up to date. This also means any issues and glitches are swiftly remedied.
Overall, their mobile offering allows for a hassle-free transition from the desktop application.
Methods of Payment
Understandably, an increasing number of day traders are looking for straightforward deposit and withdrawal systems.
You can make deposits and withdrawals into your Oanda account with any of the following:
- Bank wire transfer
- Credit & debit cards
Their website guides you through the process and their customer service should be able to help with any withdrawal problems.
There are also other options available, depending on your location. Those in China can use China UnionPay and Bpay, for example. So, it’s worth heading over to their website to see what works where you are.
It is worth noting there can be withdrawal costs. These can be as much as 20 to 35 euros if you opt for a bank transfer. Having said that, you do get one monthly card withdrawal without charge.
Overall, Oanda customer reviews have shown traders are content with the current money transfer mechanisms.
Oanda offers a single, standard account, that requires no minimum deposit. Unfortunately, high-volume traders with deep pockets may be disappointed by the lack of additional perks that some brokers offer traders with significant capital. However, it does mean everyone gets to benefit from over seventy currency and precious metal pairs, plus trades of any size.
Oanda demo account reviews are quick to highlight an impressive perk to the Oanda practice account. Whilst many forex brokers offer a practice download for a limited time period, Oanda’s FxTrade demo account is available for as long as a trader needs to hone his strategy and build his confidence.
Once you have your demo login details, you have nearly all the same functionality as live account holders. Funded with simulated money, their practice account is the ideal way to get familiar with market conditions and test drive Oanda as a potential broker.
Once your confidence has grown with volume indicators, currency heat maps, and backtesting, you can then upgrade to a live account with ease.
If you are asking what about this review separates Oanda from the rest, then their extensive range of research and trading tools may just do the job. Their offering surpasses many retail trading platforms.
Oanda’s academy, for example, offers the following:
- Webinars – These online videos cover a host of subjects, from ‘Getting Started in Trading’ to more advanced topics, such as ‘Fibonacci Retracements and Clusters: An Advanced Look at Trend Formation.’
- Interviews – Learn from experienced traders as they discuss a range of topics, from trading plans to strategy.
- Articles – These detailed articles appeal to traders of all experience levels.
- Tutorials – Tutorials can help users with a whole range of topics, including how to trade bitcoin, reading data feeds and identifying correlations. In addition, you can learn how to start scalping and compare recent live spreads. All of which may help increase your intraday trading salary.
On top of that, Oanda has made access to historical average exchange rates straightforward. Viewing open and long-short positions ratios is also quick and easy. Furthermore, monthly and yearly averages, plus historical classic interest rates can be found. This can all make conducting in-depth research a hassle-free process.
You can also benefit from news reports from a range of sources on Oanda. These include MarketPulse, 4Cast, plus the Dow Jones FX Select, where you will find breaking news, trend analysis, plus policy commentary. In addition, there is straightforward access to margin and leverage calculators to help you establish potential profit and loss.
The only downside is that with so many resources available, locating them can be a bit of a minefield.
Safety & Security
With an increase in cybercrime, digital security became a prominent concern in broker reviews in 2017. So, is Oanda a reliable broker? Fortunately, your personal data and trading activity are kept secure. They do this by using high-tech, sophisticated encryption technology.
In recent years, too many day traders have fallen victim to unscrupulous brokers. This makes selecting a licensed and regulated broker, all the more important. Oanda’s proactive approach to regulation should bring peace of mind to customers.
After receiving several international awards, it is little surprise to learn customer reviews are content with the standard of regulatory oversight. Oanda is regulated in the following countries:
- US – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- Canada – Investment Industry Regulatory Organization (IIROC)
- UK – Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Australia – Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
- Singapore – Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
- Japan – Financial Services Agency (FSA)
It is also worth highlighting, that despite far-reaching regulatory oversight, the extent of account protection in the event of default can vary depending on where you hold your account.
This Oanda review found the following key benefits:
- Product diversity – As a day trader, a range of products could mean greater opportunity. With Oanda, you get access to 71 currency pairs, 16 stock index CFDs, 23 metal CFDs, 8 commodity CFDs, and 6 CFD bonds.
- Applications – You are able to use Oanda’s proprietary desktop software and platforms like MetaTrader 4. Developers also work hard to regularly implement updates.
- Direct chart trading – Traders can enter and close positions directly from a chart. You will find this feature in both Oanda’s and the MetaTrader 4 trading platforms.
- No minimum account size – This allows you to open accounts with as little as $1, making it ideal to test and develop intraday strategies.
- Regulation – As detailed above, Oanda impresses with regulatory oversight by a number of bodies, across the world. This obliges Oanda to stay within rules and regulations designed to protect you, the trader. This should help reduce concerns over frauds and scams.
- Demo account – You get a lengthy free trial and it’s easy to download the MetaTrader 4 demo account. You can then open positions and get your head around average exchange rates live. You can also practice with guaranteed stop losses and a whole load more.
For all of these reasons, Oanda is widely thought of as among the top 100 traders.
Despite the numerous benefits, there also exits some Oanda negatives to highlight in this review:
- Missing instruments – Oanda are effective at facilitating the instruments they do offer. However, if you are looking for cryptocurrencies and single-stock CFD trading, you will be disappointed.
- Limited additional protection – Whilst Oanda do comply with regulatory standards, extra slippage and deposit protections could further benefit aspiring day traders, particularly in volatile markets. In addition, more could be done in terms of negative balance protection.
- Slow customer service – In a business where time is money, Oanda’s sometimes slow customer service could hamper and frustrate highly active traders.
- Disorganised resources – On the positive side, Oanda offers a multitude of educational and trading resources, from webinars to news sources. However, these resources are somewhat disorganised and are only available after launching external web pages. This could slow down your trading experience.
- ECN – Oanda is not an ECN broker, it is a market maker and some people believe you find lower spreads with ECN brokers.
Oanda Trading Hours
Oanda’s trading hours coincide with many of the global financial markets. Trading is available from approximately 17:00 on a Sunday to 17:00 on a Friday UTC – 5.
Having said that, Oanda’s hours of operation will vary depending on which division you hold your account. Asia Pacific traders can relax knowing all the key markets they want access to will be open for business on their Oanda trading platform.
Contact & Customer Support
In the day trading business, every second is money. This means every platform glitch and account issue could cut your profits. Therefore, having fast and effective customer support can prove essential. Fortunately, Oanda trading reviews are quick to highlight the company offer 24/7, multilingual support.
Apart from holiday trading hours, you can contact Oanda’s customer support team via email at all times. Alternatively, live online chat and phone support are also available during trading hours. See the official website for their contact phone number in your location.
You can find support in the following languages:
It is also worth highlighting, some negative Oanda customer reviews pointed out customer service response times can be slow. However, the hotline staff remains polite and helpful, endeavoring to use their support website and archives to answer your questions fully.
Overall then, users can trade confidently knowing effective support is on hand, regardless of location and time zone.
So, is Oanda a good forex broker? Well, they score extremely highly in ratings and reviews and it isn’t too hard to see why. They offer a straightforward setup, competitive pricing, a range of product offerings, not to mention sophisticated trading platforms. So, even when you compare Oanda vs FXCM and other well-known brokers, Oanda still consistently impresses.
However, there is certainly room for improvement in terms of customer service. Traders who prioritize fast and reliable support may want to look elsewhere.
Ultimately though, this Oanda review has found the company remains an attractive proposition to customers from all over the world.
Oanda accepts traders from Australia, Thailand, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Qatar, and most other countries.
Traders can not use Oanda from Belgium, France, Netherlands, Cyprus, United States.
|Global brand offering exceptional execution, low deposit requirements, and advanced charting and trading platform features.|
Vincent Nyagaka is a Professional Trader, Analyst & Author. He has been actively engaged in market analysis for the past 7 years. He has a monthly readership of 100,000+ traders and has taught over 1,000 students since 2014. Vincent is also an experienced instructor and public speaker. Check out Vincent’s Professional Trading Course here.