Founded in 1995 by Richard Olsen and Michael Strumm, and incorporated in 1996, OANDA is a Canadian based foreign exchange broker that provides a number of trading and currency information services worldwide. The company was created in the belief that technology and internet would globalize the marketplace, and they wanted to be a part of that. Today they handle more than a million queries a day.
OANDA is a member of several regulatory bodies which include CFTC, NFA, MAS, IIROC, FCA, KLFB, FFAJ and ASIC. Over the years they have consistently won several awards for “Best Customer Service”, “Best Value Forex Broker”, “Best Retail Trading Platform” and more. This proves that they have a dedication to their clients and the history to be able to follow through with promises. What makes this broker unique aside from their own platform, is the number of research tools that they provide free of charge to anyone interested.
Individuals who sign up to OANDA will be able to trade more than 60 major and exotic currency pairs, in addition to silver and gold crosses. Clients can also trade commodities such as crude oil, corn, wheat, bonds and global market indices over Dow Jones, S&P 500, ASX 200, FTSW and German DAX.
OANDA doesn’t believe in having multiple account types although do offer a live account for individuals and businesses/corporations, and a demo account which has almost the same features. When opening a live account, traders will have the option of selecting a leverage from 20:1 to 50:1, as well as a currency from a list of several (AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, SGD, CHF and USD). For traders who wish to trade in multiple currencies, it’s possible to create up to 19 sub accounts. It’s possible to deposit and withdraw funds directly from a sub account providing the method used is in same currency.
OANDA doesn’t charge a commission like most other brokers, although traders can expect to pay a spread based on real-time markets. Spreads start as low as 1.1 although drop even lower at 0.5 for indices.
OANDA’s traders have the choice of using the industry leading MetaTrader 4 platform across multiple browsers, or OANDA’s own fxTrade WebTrader platform. Both can be accessed by mobile devices and are designed to provide a user friendly interface from which to trade, with access to current and historical market data, historical trading transactions and risk-free testing. For tech savvy traders who would like to build their own automated trading system, OANDA offers an API solution which can be developed for corporations, hedge funds, brokers and money managers. The API suite is also free to use.
Clients who use OANDA will also have direct access to trading tools. The broker offers a Chrome extension called fxTradeNOW which provides trading capability directly from browsers while viewing the market. In addition to this, traders have access to trading news and analysis through vitality graphs, correlation tables, candlestick patterns, and currency strength heatmaps. They also provide a wealth of educational products which are designed to be easy to understand and help traders of all levels.
Due to recent changes, it’s no longer possible to deposit funds into OANDA using credit card or Paypal. However, deposits are available via the following means:
Deposit Limit: 10,000 units of currency (or 1,000,000 JPY) per calendar month.
Processing Time: Immediate.
Charges: Bank may charge a fee.
Bank Wire Transfer
Deposit Limit: No limit.
Processing Time: 1 - 3 business days for domestic transfer in USD. Up to 5 business days for international transfers.
Charges: Bank may charge a service fee.
Note: Bank wire instructions available once logged in under “My Funds”.
Deposit Limit: No limit.
Processing Time: Up to 7 business days upon receipt.
Charges: No fees.
Note: Check must be drawn from a U.S. bank and be in USD.
Those who wish to withdraw can do so at any time, but must leave enough funds in their account to cover any margin calls on existing trades. No information has been provided for people wishing to withdraw by debit card, although it should be an option that takes up to three business days according to sources. Other withdrawal methods include:
Bank Wire Transfer
Processing Time: 1-2 business days within the U.S. and up to 5 business days internationally.
Note: Withdrawals by bank wire are subject to fees which vary depending on the currency used. These include:
Paypal (USD Accounts Only)
Processing Time: 1 business day.
Note: No fee is applied for the first withdrawal within a calendar month, although a $15 fee is charged for any additional Paypal withdrawals.
Check (USD Accounts Only)
Processing Time: 1-2 business days.
Note: It may take up to 7 days for a check to be received after it has been sent by OANDA. One check per calendar month won’t be charged a fee, but any additional checks within that month will cost $15.
OANDA’s customer support is available on a 24/5 basis starting from Sunday at 1pm EST to Friday at 6pm EST. It’s possible to get in touch using live chat, email or telephone. They are dedicated to helping their clients globally, and have offices in Bayfront Singapore, Chicago USA, London UK, Tokyo Japan and Toronto Canada. They also have help and user guides on their website to assist traders with immediate but common enquiries. They’ve won several awards for best customer service and will strive to assist in any way they can.
While many new brokers have only been on the scene for a handful of years, OANDA has been operating for two decades and have played an important role in globalizing Forex through online trading. Even so, their trading practices are innovative as well as transparent, and there is no discrimination between traders (which is why they only have one type of account). Perhaps the only downside to this broker is that they are a market maker which is something to keep an eye on.Visit Oanda