OANDA Review 2021
Oanda was co-founded by a computer engineer Dr. Michael Stumm and Dr. Richard Olsen in 1996. It is one of the leading Forex Broker companies in the US. Despite several giant steps in the Forex and broker markets, Oanda is still a privately held company.
Oanda offers comprehensive Forex data analytical services through its dedicated platform. It has limited CFD and other trading products, Forex, and money transfers being the core businesses on offer. Oanda trading platform is considered one of the best desktop trading platforms. It also integrates the industry leader MetaTrader4, with a developed mobile app for both.
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Let us take a glance at what Oanda offers to its clients.
Account Opening and Availability
You can open an individual or business account, termed standard and premium with Oanda. The account opening process is fully online through its web portal. Oanda allowed account opening from all international destinations with exceptions as restricted countries like Iran, North Korea, etc.
An exceptional offer with Oanda is to open sub-accounts. Clients can operate up to 19 sub-accounts with Oanda. Each full account can accommodate you with 9 base currencies. These sub-accounts then add up as a great diversification tool by choosing different base currencies for each account. Also, clients can apply different trading strategies with each sub-account. It offers a great flexibility tool that many of OANDA's competitors do not offer.
You can set up a DEMO account before you get the taste of real trading. Account set up procedure follows the standard pattern of providing identity documents, verification, and account approval.
Products and Markets
Oanda offers a wide range of CFD and Forex products. The CFDs cover Indices, FOREX, Commodities, and metals. The forex pairs cover all majors and a good range of minors. However, the biggest drawback with Oanda is the lack of options with other products. There are no stock and ETF CFDs, neither the direct stock trading options.
Metals, bonds, and Cryptocurrencies also offer a limited number of options. Oanda also doesn’t offer any Futures and ETF CFDs.
Oanda compensates for the lack of individual stocks and ETF options with good leverage and margin offers. Individuals with premium accounts can enjoy greater leverage from OANDA. Although it covers most of the Forex and indices CFDs, additional options for individual stocks, Futures, and Bonds would add flexibility to the OANDA platform.
Oanda does not charge for account funding options. The trading costs are usually more affected by the spreads on offer than other costs. Oanda charges overnights financing costs on open trade positions that include an admin fee of 2.5% plus the interbank annualized interest rate.
The approximate overnight financing costs depend on the long or short position taken by the trader. Oanda charges an admin fee plus the interbank interest annualized. An estimation of these costs is given below:
|Instrument||Long Rate||Short Rate||Long Cost||Short Cost|
|US SPX 500||-2.74%||-2.26%||-$0.28||-$0.23|
|US Wall St 30||-2.74%||-2.26%||-$2.27||-$1.87|
Oanda also charges account inactivity fees if your trading account remains inactive for 12 months. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees charged by OANDA though.
Oanda applies tiered margin requirements with open trade positions. Generally, the higher the value of an open trade position the higher margin you’ll need to maintain.
|Tier||Net Open Position (USD)||Margin|
|1||< 2 M||0.50%|
|4||> 50 M||20.00%|
Tiered margin requirements work differently from flat margin requirements. For example, a leveraged position of $ 3.0 million would require a margin of $ 20,000, calculated as:
Tier 1: $ 2,000,000 × 0.50% = $ 10,000 Tier 2: $ 1,000,000 × 1.0% = $ 10,000
So the total margin requirement would be $20,000.
Oanda offers competitive spreads as well. Their spreads on indices start from 0.4. Oanda charges a commission + base pricing charge on trade deals. It also has a spread only charges option. Additionally, Oanda publishes historical spread costs to support its transparency claims on charges to the clients. For example, the average historical spread on US SPX 500 is 0.4 for the last one week.
Trading Platforms: Built-in and third-party
Oanda offers 4 trading options with its built-in trading platform and MT4. It has a download version for both, an online trading account set up, and mobile apps for IOS and Android. You can access the Oanda trading platform through most of the devices with three modes of access having support.
Let’s see some key features with Both Oanda and MT4 trading platforms.
With Oanda, you can securely login with two-factor authentication that provides an additional layer of security.
Oanda offers several international language support to its users. The trading platform interface feel is clean and intuitive. Empowered by MT4 advance trading tools. From selecting different order types to the automation of trade strategies, users can make full use of these tools.
- The depth of the market features lets users execute large trade sizes in one transaction.
- Users can automate trading strategies through MT4 trading tools.
- A wide range of MT4 trading tools means users can develop personalized analytical tools to customize the trading strategy.
- MT4 trading’s mini terminal combines with the “depth of the market” tool to showcase the real-time market indicators.
- The mobile version of the Oanda trading platform lets users set alerts and notifications. However, the desktop versions do not offer any alert feature currently.
The Oanda trading platforms offer historic spread cost tables. It has dedicated margin calculations and interest calculator tabs as well. Users can analyze the margin formulas first hand before entering into actual transactions. For active users, Oanda offers portfolio reports, summary, and spread costs in real-time.
Oanda offers five trading order types:
- Market Order
- Limit Order
- Take profit Order
- Stop loss
- Trailing stop
Users can combine the order types that comes as a standard feature with any trading platform these days.
Charts, Alerts, and Premium Tools
MT4 comes with powerful analytical and charting tools. Oanda integrates market research and charting tools to enhance the trading experience for its users.
Some key features offered by Oanda for charting and analytical purposes include:
- 30 technical indicators.
- 24 analytical objects: lines, channels, geometric shapes, as well as Gann, Fibonacci, and Elliott tools.
- 9 timeframes including M1, M5, M15, M30, H1, H4, D1, W1, and MN
- Industry popular features such as Renko charts, OCO, keyboard trading, Expert Advisor, and MLQ4 language indicator.
- MT4 technical analyses powered by AutoChartist.
- The trading performance portal that comes from Chasing Returns.
Apart from the lack of pricing alerts on Oanda’s desktop version, we can find all industry-standard trading tools. It comes with most of the powerful fundamental and technical analysis tools that any trader can think of. The MT4 trading platform further increases the customization options for the users.
Platform Security and Regulation
Oanda is one of the leading Forex and trading platforms since its inception in 1996. It is still held as a privately owned company and isn’t listed yet. Listed companies report stricter financial measures. Oanda does not have a banking license as yet as well.
Oanda is, however, regulated by some top tier regulatory authorities in different regions.
- Oanda Corporation is regulated by the CFTC and the National Futures Association in the US.
- Oanda Global Markets is regulated by the BVI Financial Services Commission in the British Virgin Islands.
- Oanda Europe Markets Ltd. Operations are regulated by Malta Financial Services Authorities as a category 3 investment services license holder.
- Oanda Europe is regulated under the Financial Conduct Authority in London.
Oanda is also regionally registered and regulated in other countries including Canada, Australia, Japan, and Asia Pacific Regions.
Oanda offers no additional negative balance protection to its users. Only European users get protection through their respective regulatory authority as standard protocol. However, Oanda’s established history and modern trading platform tools mean there is little room for fraudulent activities for its users.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
A good thing for Oanda customers is the range of base currencies. Its customers can choose from 9 different base currencies. Add that with the option of 19 sub-accounts with Oanda, and the customers can save much on currency conversion costs. It can also help lower the total trading costs for its customers.
Oanda does not charge for any deposit or withdrawal fees directly. Any charges related to the bank or card provider only. It accepts all major forms of funding options including bank transfers, electronic wallets, debit cards, and credit cards.
- Bank Transfers are available for all regions.
- Credit card deposits are available for European and Australian customers only.
- Deposits by Debit Card options are available for all users except in Canada and some Asia Pacific countries.
The fund's withdrawal option is the same source that account holders use for depositing the funds. All funds withdrawals are free except for the bank transfer option that incurs a $25 transaction fee.
Oanda offers an abundance of educational material, industry news, blogs, and trading guides. Its Market Pulse covers comprehensive industry news and events. They also provide useful customer training through live events and webinars.
Oanda offers 24 hours dedicated customer support on 5 weekdays. Its mode of communication are:
- Live Chat with an Advisor
- Direct Call support
- Email, and
- Chatbot for basic queries.
The in-depth industry analyses and market news make up for the lack of 24/7 live support. However, Oanda customers can expect high standards of expert advice from their dedicated representatives.
Things We Like about OANDA
Oanda has been in the trading business for well over two decades now. It ticks most of the boxes for traders looking for Forex and CFD trading instruments.
Here are a few plus points that we liked from the Oanda trading platform:
- Excellent trading platforms with built-in and MT4 trading experience.
- Account opening with up to 9 base currencies and 19 sub-account options.
- Developer portal that comes with API offering customization and trading automation options.
- Excellent marketing research tools.
- A lot of customer education and industry news sources.
- Competitive spreads, margins, and trading costs for customers in most regions.
- No direct withdrawal or deposit fees.
Oanda comes with standard account and trading security features as well. It is a well-known trading platform with an established history.
Things We Wish To See From OANDA
Oanda is a forex centric broker firm that emphasis on Forex trading and capital management. It covers most of the basics when it comes to CFD trading. As an established industry player, there are certain features that Oanda customers would love to see sooner than later.
- It hasn’t been listed on any stock exchange yet and does not hold any banking license as yet.
- A wider range of products and markets would provide further flexibility for its users.
- It needs to add Individual stocks, stock CFDs, ETFs, and Futures in their trading products as industry-standard offerings.
- Lack of customer portfolio analytical tools.
- It doesn’t offer any social trading tools that most of its competitors offer as modern trends these days.
- It can lower its overnight financing costs to make the total trading costs more competitive.
- It can increase customer support to a full 24/7 live support.
A Quick Wrap Up
Oanda offers simple account opening, funds withdrawal, and deposit options. It offers a good range of base currencies and sub-accounts. It is more forex centric than the CFD trading platform. It offers an excellent trading platform with MT4 as the standard option. Customization with its API developer codes offers further flexibility to its clients. However, its listing and banking license can enhance its stature further. It can also lower the overnight financing and Forex Costs to keep the trading costs at competitive levels.