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CFD & Forex Trading Account

19 minutes
CFD & Forex Trading Account
Cristian Cochintu
Cristian Cochintu
21 March 2024
Ready to start trading forex, shares, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies and other investments? Opening a trading account is the first step.

Many brokers allow you to open a trading account quickly online, and you generally do not need a lot of money to do so — in fact, many brokerage firms allow you to open a trading account with no initial deposit. However, you will need to fund the account before you open positions. You can fund the trading account by transferring money from your bank account or online with a CC. There should be no fee to open a trade account and you should be able to open a risk-free demo account and practice before investing real money. 

How to open a Trading Account – Quick Guide 

  • Fill in a simple form: We’ll ask about your trading knowledge to ensure you get the best experience 
  • Get verification: It'll usually take a couple of hours to verify your identity. 
  • Open a demo trading account: practice with 50.000 and test our award-winning platform. 
  • Fund and start trading: You can also withdraw your money easily, whenever you like 


What is a (forex) trading account 

A trading account is an investment account that enables you to trade on markets such as currencies, shares, indices, cryptos, and more. You may also be able to trade on both desktop and mobile. However, this is dependent on your provider. 

A forex account is a trading account where you can trade currency pairs. If you buy the EUR/USD, you are holding for the US Dollar to become weaker per Euro over time. The Euro must become worth more money in dollars for you to make a profit. 

However, in the last two decades, many forex brokers added shares, indices, commodities, and other assets to their offerings. As traditional forex brokers became CFD brokers, the traditional forex account became a trading account, offering a wide range of markets, not just currency pairs.    

You hold the money in your (forex) trading account as margin or collateral, and you can close open positions and withdraw that money at any time. You keep your account with the broker who acts as an intermediary between you and the markets you want to trade.  

Choosing a (forex) trading account for your needs might involve reviewing those offered by several online brokers with differing features in order to determine which broker is the most suitable host for your particular strategy, risk tolerance, and preferences. 

Looking for some guidance to start trading? Here are our top-notch guides: 

Forex Trading  
Stock Trading  
Futures Trading   
Commodity Trading  
Cryptocurrency Trading 

Characteristics of (Forex) Trading Accounts 

There are various types of trading accounts depending on the deposit amounts and functionality. Once a novice trader decides to open a forex account for the first time, the most common decision what to start with would be a demo account. A demo account is a training account and works exactly like a real one, except that the money you use is virtual (i.e., not real) money. 

Real trading accounts have different capabilities based on different criteria. We state some of the most common: 

  1. Size of trade positions.
  2. Operation of the Account 

Which type of account is right for you depends on your tolerance for risk, the size of your initial investment, and the amount of time you trade daily. Naturally, each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages and can be identified among the broker’s account offerings.

1. (Forex) Trading Accounts Based on Lot Size 

The classification of the trading account can be based on the minimum size of positions you can take. There are 3 basic trading account types for retail trading: 

Standard Trading Accounts 

The standard trading account is the most common. This type of forex trading account gives the user access to standard lots of currency each worth $100,000. 

That does not mean that you must put down $100,000 of capital in order to trade. The rules of margin and leverage (typically 30:1 in forex) mean that only $3,400 needs to be in the margin account for one standard lot to be traded. 

The Pros 

  • Service: Because the standard account requires adequate up-front capital to trade full lots, most brokers provide more services and better perks for individual investors who have this type of account. 
  • Gain Potential: With each pip worth $10, if a position moves with you by 100 pips in one day, the gain will be $1,000. This type of gain is not possible with any other account type unless more than one standard lot is traded. 

The Cons 

  • Capital Requirement: Most brokers require standard accounts to have a starting minimum balance of at least $2,000 and sometimes $5,000 to $10,000. 
  • Loss Potential: Just as you could gain $1,000 if a position moves with you, you could lose $1,000 in a 100-pip move against you. This loss could be devastating to an inexperienced trader with just the minimum in an account. 

This type of account is recommended for experienced, well-funded traders. 

Mini and Micro Trading Accounts 

A mini/micro trading account is simply a trading account that allows traders to make transactions using mini/micro lots. In most forex accounts, a mini lot is equal to $10,000, or one-tenth of a standard account, while a micro lot is equal to $1.000. Most brokers offering standard accounts will also offer mini/micro accounts to bring in new clients who are hesitant to trade full lots because of the investment required. 

The Pros 

  • Lower Exposure: By trading in $10,000 and even $1.000 increments, inexperienced traders can trade without blowing through an account, and experienced traders can test new strategies without risking too much capital. 
  • Low Capital Requirement: Most mini/micro accounts can be opened with $100 to $500, and they come with leverage of up to 30:1 under ESMA guidelines or even 500:1 under offshore regulations. 
  • Flexibility: The key to successful trading is having a risk-management plan and sticking to it. With mini/micro lots, this is a lot easier to do because if one standard lot is too risky, you can buy five or six mini lots and minimize your risk. 

The Cons 

  • Low Reward: With lower exposure comes low reward. Mini accounts that trade $10,000 lots can only produce $1 per pip of movement as opposed to $10 in a standard account, while micro lots that trade $1.000 lots can only produce $0.1 per pip. This type of account is recommended for beginners or those looking to dabble with new strategies. 

Note: A lot of forex brokers do not have any restrictions on what size of positions you can take. You can trade only for 1 U.S. Dollar or 100,000 or more U.S. Dollars.

2. (Forex) Trading Accounts Based on the Operation of Account 

Apart from the size of the trading positions you can take for your trading, another classification could be based on the day-to-day operation of your (forex) trading account. 

Managed Trading Accounts 

Managed trading accounts are trading accounts in which the capital is yours but the decisions to buy and sell are not. Account managers handle the account just as stockbrokers handle a managed stock account, where you set the objectives (profit goals, risk management) and the managers work to meet them. 

There are two types of managed accounts: 

  • Pooled Funds: Your money is put into a mutual fund with that of other investors, and the profits are shared. These accounts are categorized according to risk tolerance. A trader looking for higher returns would put their money into a pooled account that has a higher risk/reward ratio while a trader looking for a steady income would do the opposite. Read the fund's prospectus before investing. 
  • Individual Accounts: A broker will handle each account individually, making decisions for each investor instead of the combined pool. 

The Pros 

  • Professional Guidance: Having a professional forex broker handle an account is an advantage that cannot be overstated. Also, if you want to diversify your portfolio without spending all day watching the market, this is a great choice. 

The Cons 

  • Price: Be aware that most managed accounts will require a minimum $2,000 investment for pooled accounts and $10,000 for individual accounts. On top of this, account managers will keep a commission, called an account maintenance fee, which is calculated per month or per year. 
  • Flexibility: If you see the market moving, you won't have the flexibility to place a position. Instead, you'll have to rely on the account manager to make the right choice. This type of account is recommended for investors with high capital and no time or interest to follow the market. 

Social Trading Accounts

Social Trading is a concept in which you can replicate the trades of other traders whose shown track records of success you appreciate. This kind of trade account can be automatic where you do not interfere and can be a networking or social trading platform where you may decide to follow a trade or neglect it.  
Copy Trade and Mirror Trading are the most popular subcategories of broader Social Trading. 

The Pros 

  • Reduces Emotions: Because social trading determines when a trade gets opened, closed or amended, it removes the stress of making trading decisions. This is particularly helpful for new investors who may initially find the capital market overwhelming. Instead of worrying about the market’s day-to-day fluctuations, an investor can simply check the performance of their social trading account at the end of each week and determine if they want to continue using the strategy. 
  • Verified Results: Forex brokers that offer social trading usually examine, test, and validate the trading results of strategies they upload to their platform which helps filter out losing trades. For instance, before a new strategy is accepted, a broker may require it to have a 12-month track record of profitability with a specific maximum drawdown limit. When selecting a CFD and forex broker that offers social trading, investors should ask how a strategy's results have been verified to ensure it has undergone rigorous testing. 

The Cons 

  • Robustness of Strategies: Some social trading strategies may only provide good results under certain market conditions. For example, a strategy may perform well in trending markets but underperform in rangebound markets. Investors should test the results of a strategy in various market environments to ensure its robustness. 
  • Risk Assessment: Although it is straightforward to see if a mirror trading account is generating a profit, it is often more difficult to determine what risks were taken to make that profit. For example, a strategy that has returned 300% over the past 12 months may look great initially, but further analysis of the strategy may reveal that to achieve that result, the investor would have had to endure an 80% drawdown on their capital.

3. (Forex) Demo Accounts  

A demo trading account or ‘forex demo’ is a great way to start operating in the world’s largest financial markets. You only need a (forex) demo account with the online broker of your choice to get your feet wet.

Forex demo accounts are offered for free by most online brokers. These (forex) demo accounts have most of the capabilities of a “real” account. 

Why a (forex) demo account is free?

It’s because the broker wants you to learn the ins and outs of their trading platform, and have a good time trading without risk, so you’ll enjoy their products and services and deposit real money. 

You should demo trade until you develop a solid trading strategy and plan before you even think about putting real money on the line. 

How to open a forex demo account? 

You can easily open a (forex) demo account in a matter of minutes, and trade the global financial markets risk-free. 

Demo account traders often also get access to at least some of the broker’s client services and customer support staff so that they can get a better sense of what dealing with the broker will be like when they decide to fund a real trading account. 

Traders wishing to open up a (forex) demo account can typically navigate to the website of one or more online brokers and follow instructions displayed there for opening up a demo trade account with the brokers they select. 

When opening a forex demo account, you may also need to select an amount of virtual money to fund the demo account with and enter some personal data to identify yourself. 

Pros of (Forex) Demo Trading 

Both novice and experienced traders routinely use forex demo accounts to practice trading and try out a new broker or strategy. 

Some of the more common advantages of engaging in forex demo trading include the following:  

  • See if You Like Trading Currencies – Those new to online trading, in general, can use a demo account to see if they are mentally and emotionally suited to the rigors of speculative, leveraged trading. Everyone is different, and some folks might really enjoy trading CFDs, while the activity may not suit others’ tastes, personalities, or lifestyles at all. 
  • Trade at No Risk While Training – Novices who are still learning to trade currencies and other assets often feel considerably more confident putting their real money at risk in the market if they have a chance to try things out first. A forex demo lets them put their training into practice in a close to the real-life environment without putting their real money at risk. This allows them to make common beginner’s errors while they learn without having to pay for the consequences out of their own pocket. 
  • Practice Good Money Management Techniques – One of the keys to enjoying long-term success involves learning to implement well-established money and risk management principles. A forex demo account allows a new or experienced trader to practice such techniques thoroughly on real exchange rate movements and see for themselves how the typical benefits accrue to their practice account in virtual money profits. 
  • Learn to Manage Your Emotions When Trading – One of the most challenging aspects of CFD trading for many people involves learning how to manage their emotional responses to winning and losing trades in such a way that it encourages overall profitability. Coping appropriately with otherwise normal psychological responses to making and losing money — such as fear, greed and hope — can often distinguish the successful trader from the loser. 
  • Test a New Trading Strategy Without Risking Real Funds – Wise experienced traders and novices alike will generally want to test the success of any day trading (including scalping), swing trading or any other trading strategy they come up with before implementing it in a live trading environment. This allows them to accustom themselves to following the system and to work out any bugs in it that might become apparent while using it as real exchange rate movements occur. 
  • Try Out a New Broker’s Trading Platform – Unless you are using a trading platform like MT5 that a lot of online brokers support, you will probably want to use a forex demo account to see whether a new broker’s proprietary web or client-based trading platform is suitable for your trading needs. Find out if a chosen platform is comfortable enough to work with it daily. All features and functions must be easy and understandable for you. 
  • Check if a New Broker Has Helpful Features and Services – Forex brokers eager to have you open a live forex trading account with them will often give demo traders access to their special client features, educational and news services, and customer support departments. This can be a great way to check out the quality of the broker’s overall services before committing any real trading funds to make sure that they are the sort of trading partner you will want holding your account. 

Cons of (Forex) Demo Trading 

Although a forex demo account can offer both new and experienced forex traders considerable advantages, some traders find the experience lacking in several significant ways. Some of the more common disadvantages of demo accounts include the following: 

  • Forex Demo Accounts Often Have Limited Funds and Duration – Many online forex brokers will limit the funding of a forex demo account to the amount it was initially set up with and so allow no virtual funds to be withdrawn from or deposited into the account. Also, demo accounts often have a fixed time duration after which they expire. This could mean that your demo trading track record might be lost or terminated at a time that may not be convenient for you. 
  • Real Trading Conditions May Differ – Although demo trading seems very realistic and uses real exchange rate data as it unfolds, the reality of trading can be quite different, especially during the fast markets surrounding major economic indicator releases or during major news event announcements. 
  • Order Slippage May Not Occur as Often – In order to make their demo trading experience as attractive as possible to potential clients, online forex brokers might largely or even entirely eliminate the slippage from their system. Thus, if a stop loss is triggered in a forex demo account, it might be filled at the same price it was entered at, while if a stop loss was triggered in a real account at the same time and level, it might have actually been filled at a considerably worse rate depending on actual market conditions. 
  • Re-quotes May Be Less Frequent Than in Live Trading – As with order slippage, some online brokers looking to attract new clients via their demo trading programs might reduce or even eliminate re-quotes from their demo systems. In practice, re-quotes are a common — but generally undesirable — a reality for traders operating in live trading accounts since the market often moves while orders are being entered, so the system needs to re-quote a new exchange rate before the trade can be confirmed as executed. 
  • Order Execution Times May be Faster – Since demo trading does not actually result in real transactions being entered into the market that can have profit or loss implications for the market maker or broker, the actual execution rate does not matter like it would with a real transaction. This can result in faster market order execution times observed when trading in demo accounts, while execution times seen for real account trading can depend on market conditions and may involve one or more re-quotes in fast markets. 
  • Demo Spreads May be Tighter Even in Fast Markets – Due to the fact that a forex demo account does not involve real money for the trader or market maker, online brokers looking to impress potential clients might quote artificially tight spreads to demo account traders. In reality, the actual dealing spread quoted might be considerably wider, especially in fast markets when the exchange rate can move and fluctuate rapidly. 
  • You Might Learn to Overtrade – Some people find the experience of trading to be quite enjoyable and the thrill of entering a deal and taking risks can cause them to trade excessively. Sometimes the right thing to do as a trader is to just sit on your hands, rather than getting into the habit of continually pulling the trading trigger. Using a demo account involves no actual risk of financial loss, other than possibly the opportunity cost of not having taken the trades in a live account, so some people get into the bad habit of indulging their love of trading to an excessive degree. This can ultimately cause them to become unsuccessful traders when they move to a live account. 
  • Excessive Use of Leverage Can Cause Live Trading Disasters – Some traders seem to enjoy using the high degree of leverage offered in demo accounts by some online brokers to take very large positions relative to their virtual account size. While this can make them large virtual profits if their view turns out to be correct, it can also wipe out their account if the market goes against them. Using such high leverage compulsively can also be a recipe for failure if this behavior pattern gets repeated when trading in a live account. 
  • Poor Trading Habits Do Not Have Real Consequences – Although forex demo accounts can be a useful way to learn to avoid trading mistakes, some people do not seem to learn their lessons quite as well if the real loss of money was not involved. This can result in the establishment of undesirable trading habits that will need to be overcome for a trader to enjoy long-term success when operating in a live trading account. 
  • Your Emotional Responses Might Be Different – Trading generally involves learning to manage your emotional responses appropriately. Sometimes this key lesson can only be learned by actually making or losing real money since people may psychologically shrug off the virtual profits and losses accruing in their forex demo account. 
  • Use Similar Account Sizes and Risk or Performance Can Vary – When trading in a forex demo account, it makes sense to use roughly the same investment capital amount and risk-taking parameters you intend to use when trading real money. If you do otherwise, then your performance expectations may not be met once you start trading a similar strategy with a live trading account. 

Typical Requirements to Open a (Forex) Trading Account

The first thing that you'll need to do is decide on an online broker. This can be accomplished by playing with different forex demo accounts by various brokers. You can find a step-by-step guide to choosing the best CFD & Forex broker for your needs. Once you've decided on a company, you'll go through a standard sign-up process that is like opening a bank account. 


Setting up a brokerage account is a simple process — you can typically complete an application online in under 15 minutes. You'll need to provide a good deal of personal information to get your account set up, including the following: 

  • Name 
  • Address 
  • Email 
  • Phone number 
  • Account currency type 
  • A password for your trading account 
  • Date of birth 
  • Country of citizenship 
  • Social Security Number or Tax ID 
  • Employment status 

You will also need to answer a few financial questions, such as: 

  • Annual income 
  • Net worth 
  • Trading experience 
  • Trading objectives 

Industry Compliance

You might wonder why online brokers want to know all this information. The simple answer is to comply with the law. Forex and CFD trading, in general, has been a bit of a wild west industry since it went retail some time ago, and, because of that, regulations have been put in place to provide some degree of protection to account holders from various types of harm.  
It's unlikely that you will find any broker opening a (forex) trading account for you without requiring any type of documentation. If you do happen to find one that isn't asking many questions, you should be suspicious. If you are ever feeling wary about a particular broker, you can look them up through the local regulators to find out their status or to the blacklists published by reputable authorities like CySEC, FSCA in South Africa, or ADGM in the United Arab Emirates.


During the final steps of opening your (forex) trading account, you will see risk disclosures. Please take these seriously, online trading is a difficult business for beginners; it tends to eat them for dinner if they aren't careful. There are more losers than winners on average. The broker will remind you that currency trading and any other type of CFD trading can be a dangerous business, and they are required to do this.  
Once you've turned in all your information to be processed, the broker will verify it and typically ask you to send in some verification documents such as a government-issued ID, and maybe a utility statement to verify your name and address. This can slow down the process by a day or two, but it's nothing to worry about.  
Once your information is verified, you can fund your brand-new forex account and begin trading. One piece of advice that we like to give to all beginners is not to put any money in the trading account that you cannot afford to lose.  
It seems like obvious advice, but some people start off feeling like they know more than they do, and they take unnecessary risks. Open a trading account with a fair amount of money and trade small. Nothing can prepare you for the emotions that you feel when your money is truly at risk, so go slow in the beginning. 

How to open a (forex) trading account 

To open a (forex) trading account is very easy and intuitive. We are now going to walk you through the process step-by-step using  CySEC regulated broker 

Step 1: Register 

To open an account, click the "Register" button and complete your details. 

Once the platform is accessed, the registration process must be completed in order to operate with real money 


open account capex

Step 2: Verify 

Click "Complete the Registration and Start Trading" and upload your documents to your profile. You will now need to confirm your identity through two forms of ID. You will need to show: 

  • Your passport or driver’s license 
  • A utility bill or bank statement 

Step 3: Deposit 

To trade with a live account, it is necessary to deposit funds. This is done from the platform itself by clicking on the "Add funds" button. 

Depositing funds can be done through several different payment methods including debit cards, credit cards, bank transfer, skrill, and more. 

It is noteworthy that CAPEX does not charge any fees or commissions for depositing funds. 

Also, it is possible to trade on a risk-free demo account with a balance of € 50,000, which is ideal for getting to know the platform and testing trading strategies. 

Why open a trading account with

  • Easy-to-use platforms - Identify and respond to opportunities quickly and securely on fast, powerful platforms and natively designed apps. 
  • Competitive spreads - Trade popular markets like EUR/USD from 1 pip, USA 500 from 0.4 point,s and Gold from 0.44 points. 
  • Friendly support - We’re on hand to help you achieve your trading goals, right from the moment you join. 
  • Risk management tools - Help protect your capital in-platform with our range of stop and limit orders and keep track of your funds with an always-visible snapshot of your profit and loss. 
  • Expert education - Gain the skills you need to trade with our range of training resources – CAPEX Academy, and practice as you learn with your risk-free demo account. 


FAQ about Trading Accounts






Cristian Cochintu
Cristian Cochintu

Cristian Cochintu writes about trading and investing for Cristian has more than 15 years of brokerage, freelance, and in-house experience writing for financial institutions and coaching financial writers.