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OANDA Forex Review

Published by Usman Ahmed, MBA (Researcher)

Reviewed by Bowen Khong, ACCA

OANDA is best known for providing seamless conditions to trade forex and CFDs. Although the broker’s product portfolio lacks competitive variety, still it has a well-maintained research section and offers excellent options for algorithmic trading. With competitive pricing and intuitive trading platforms, the company appears to be more suitable for novice traders. In this piece, I review various features and services available at OANDA in detail.

OANDA Overview

OANDA is an online brokerage firm co-founded by Dr. Stumm and Dr. Olsen in 1996. While the company operates through seven different entities worldwide, it holds regulations in five jurisdictions, including Asia, Europe, Canada, Australia, and the USA.

With a team of experts from information technology, financial modeling, computer engineering, marketing, and customer services, the company has evolved from a tech startup to a leading financial intermediary. The company gets its final accounts audited every year and submit the financial reports to respective regulatory bodies in each accounting period. Aside from keeping clients’ investment with top-tier banks in segregated accounts, the broker doesn’t offer any insurance on margin accounts.

ProsCons
Solid regulatory framework
Accepts U.S. Clients
Excellent research facility
Supports copy trading 
No deposit minimums 
Limited product portfolio
Charges in-activity fee
Disorganised educational resourcesS
low customer support

Who Is OANDA For? 

As OANDA holds multiple regulations worldwide, it is therefore well suited for risk-averse traders. Despite having limited tradable assets, its excellent research facility, and easy-to-use trading platforms make it a perfect choice for beginners. 

While the broker supports algorithmic trading, copy traders may also show a keen interest in signing up with it. Whether clients prefer to use a company’s proprietary trading platform or MT4 suits them more, OANDA has both options available to fulfill clients’ trading needs. 

The company’s trading cost is quite competitive and can attract high-volume traders to explore trading opportunities. The company also has a dedicated website for news feed and market analytics that keeps traders abreast of the market and helps them make informed decisions. 

Not to mention, the broker accepts any amount without having a minimum deposit requirement, making it accessible for even less privileged traders all around the world. In short, the broker has every solution available for your trading needs except for the limitation in offering a wide range of financial instruments. 

Sign up bonus: As of this writing, OANDA does not offer any sign up bonus.

Is OANDA Safe?

Yes, Oanda is safe for all types of traders. The broker holds multiple licenses from top regulatory authorities, including the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IROC), National Futures Association (NFA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Although the broker does not offer insurance on margin accounts, it provides indemnity insurance if the company becomes insolvent.[1]

Further, the company employs advanced security protocols, such as SSL web encryption and two-step authentication to safeguard clients’ personal and financial information. Not to mention, the broker doesn’t offer negative balance protection and doesn’t guarantee stop loss either.

As a result, extra slippage in a high volatile market could become a concern for many traders. Still, the company’s regulatory framework and high-tech web encryption offer reasonable assurance concerning the safety of affairs with the brokerage firm.

Rating: 4/5

Year founded:1996
Publicly traded: No
Licenses: IROC, NFA, MAS, ASIC, FCA
Backlist: Nil

Offering of Investments

Oanda offers multiple classes of assets to trade, including forex, indices, metal, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. However, it lacks competitional variety in each asset class. For example, the broker offers only 45 Forex pairs, 15 indices, 07 commodities, 03 metals, and 01 digital asset – bitcoin. Not to mention, the range of offering also varies depending upon your selected entity and the account type.

For instance, clients holding a swap-free account with the broker can access a total of 26 financial instruments to trade. On the other hand, 68 tradable assets are available for standard and core account holders.

Similarly, crypto CFDs are not available for U.K. residents amid FCA restrictions on trading crypto CFDs in the U.K. Therefore, do not forget to confirm the availability of a specific asset from the broker before signing up with it.

Rating: 4/5

Forex: Spot TradingYes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)40+
Social Trading / Copy-TradingYes
CFDs instrumentsForex, Metals, Indices, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies 

Commissions and Fees

Oanda employs a competitive pricing model. Oanda’s spread cost stays between 0.2 pips to 1.6 pips, depending upon your selected account type. At present, the company offers three types of accounts, including standard, core, and swap-free accounts.[2 

Given below is a quick overview of each account available at Oanda.

Standard: Suitable for all traders, the Standard account can be opened in four base currencies, including USD, EUR, HKD, SGD. Spread in the standard account starts from 1.0 pips, while the maximum leverage available is 1:200. Clients depositing less than $9000 are not required to have their accounts verified. Traders are allowed to use as many trading strategies as they wish, including hedging and scalping techniques. 

Core: Core account targets short-term traders, high-volume investors, and Expert Advisors (EAs). While the minimum amount to open a core account is $5000, clients can fund their account with a maximum of $9000. The broker offers the lowest spread for core account holders, starting from 0.2 pips. All other perks in the core accounts are the same as in the standard account. 

Swap-free account: The broker facilitates sharia practicing traders by allowing them to open a swap-free account. However, swap-free accounts come with U.S. Dollars as the only base currency available. Spread in the swap-free account starts from 1.6 pips.

While the company doesn’t stipulate the minimum deposit amount for sign-up, clients can deposit a maximum of up to 9,000 U.S. Dollars. The broker also doesn’t charge any fees on deposits and withdrawals. However, the company applies an inactivity fee of $13 on dormant accounts exceeding one year grace period.

Rating: 3.5/5

Minimum Initial DepositNot specified
Average Spread EUR/USD – Standard1.4 Pips
All-in Cost EUR/USD – Active1.4 pips
Minimum withdrawal Not Specified

Platforms and Tools

While Oanda offers a proprietary trading platform FXTrade in limited jurisdictions only, clients from most parts of the world can access the full suite of MT4 trading platforms at Oanda.

The broker’s flagship trading platform FXTrade comes with 80 built-in indicators. Moreover, its currency overlap feature enables traders to compare different currency pairs using a single chart. Clients can access the platform online and have them installed on their desktops. FXTrade charting and news features make it more suitable for newbies.

On the other hand, the MT4 ranks amongst the industry’s top trading platforms suitable for all types of traders. Besides being supported across all devices (desktops, mobile & tablets), the platform is fully equipped with basic and advanced trading tools.

Not to mention, the broker also supports algorithmic trading. Hence, some other third-party trading platforms, such as Seer Trading Platform, work best for copy trading. Clients can fine-tune their trading strategies with the platform’s back and forward testing automated system.

The broker allows clients to connect with multiple charting platforms, such as MotiveWave, Ninja Trader, and Multicharts which is also commendable. Notably, the broker also enables traders to build customized apps in different supported languages, such as Python and C++ via Quant Connect.

Rating: 3.5/5

Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Charting – Indicators / Studies (Total)50+
Charting – Drawing Tools (Total)30+
Charting – Trade From ChartYes
Order Type – Trailing StopYes

Research

Oanda offers a well-maintained research section featuring everything traders may need to have a classy trading experience. The broker’s wide range of offerings under the research section includes news headlines from Reuters, Market Watch, Technical Analysis, Autochartist, and Market Pulse. However, traders need to access each head using a separate browsing window that I didn’t like. 

While news feeds help clients to stay abreast of the market development, market watch enables traders to keep an eye on the price movement of their favorite tradable instrument. Technical analysis helps investors to forecast the price direction of underlying assets. Autochartist makes clients identify charting patterns using different technical indicators to find a tradable opportunity.

Market Pulse is the broker’s dedicated page for research and analysis. The Market Pulse page also has a currency converter tool and an economic calendar to explore. While traders can estimate conversion costs using the currency converter tool, the economic calendar helps clients keep track of upcoming major economic events. Overall, the company’s research section meets the industry standard on higher nodes.

Rating: 4/5

Education 

Oanda also takes pride in offering world-class educational resources. While clients can find a good balance between written and video content, online webinars with the company’s financial experts make the section even more learnable. Multiple video tutorials covering basic and advanced guides help traders learn how to perform technical and fundamental analysis effectively. A few tutorials on how to set up the platform and use different indicators are also available.

Although investors have a wide range of educational resources available in Oanda’s academic library, the content seems to be missing systematic arrangement. Traders might struggle to find the relevant content under each category since no filters are available to sort out the required data. Overall, the educational resources offer enough learning material, but the company should have considered adding more content. For example, a glossary could have been a superb addition since it helps clients learn complex trading terminologies and jargon.

Rating: 3.75/5

Mobile Trading

To facilitate on-the-go users, the broker also offers mobile trading platforms. Besides the MT4 mobile trading app, clients can use the broker’s proprietary mobile trading app equipped with multiple tools and features.

However, the mobile version isn’t as effective as the web terminal or desktop interface due to the limited options. Also, the small screen resolution appears to be a genuine deterrent for conducting in-depth technical analysis.

Not to mention, the mobile app’s sleekly designed drag and drop feature makes it very convenient for traders to enter orders and adjust their limit or stop-loss levels. Also, funding your account via mobile app becomes quite convincing as your account reflects your balance instantly after the transaction is completed. However, the mobile app lacks synchronization of newly added instruments and indicators with the desktop or web platform.

Rating: 3.5/5

Mobile devices Mac and Android
FeaturesOne click trading, watchlist, charting tools, price alert, etc.

Final Thoughts 

Regulation in the U.S. and other leading financial centers provides Oanda a certain edge over its competitors. The reasonable pricing structure and the robust research facility also make the broker a worthwhile option for trading forex and CFDs. However, the broker needs to extend its range of offerings to become an ultimate destination for all stakeholders. 

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Is OANDA publicly traded?

No, OANDA does not hold a listing on any exchange worldwide. It’s a private limited company operating with the brand name OANDA Corporation. 

Does OANDA accept U.S. Clients?

Yes, it does. The broker is amongst a few brokers that hold a valid license from the National Futures Association (NFA) to operate in the United States. Moreover, the broker is headquartered in New York, USA. 

How long does OANDA take to process funds withdrawal?

OANDA takes between 1-2 business days to process your withdrawals. However, it also depends upon your selected payment method. For example, withdrawals processed via wire transfers may take more time than debit or credit cards.  

How Can I Contact OANDA?

Clients can contact the company via telephone, email and live chat. Below are some contact numbers for different jurisdictions that may help. 

  1. Asia Pacific: +65-6579-8289
  2. North America: +1 (877) 626-3239
  3. Japan: +0120-923-213
  4. Europe: +44-20-7101-1600
  5. Australia: +61-2-8046-6258
Usman Ahmed, MBA (Researcher)
Usman Ahmed, MBA (Researcher)
Usman Ahmed is a currency trader and financial market analyst with more than 7 years of active trading experience. Besides holding a Masters degree in Business Administration, he has worked for some of the most renewed companies in the forex industry including FXCM, IQOption, MetaQuotes, Alpari, FXStreet, DailyFX and several others. Usman possesses strong technical analytical skills and is famous for his very own, informative and entertaining, writing style. He believes in naked chart trading analysis that is commonly known as price action trading. He follows global financial news and macro-economic events very closely.
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