Futures markets have gained significant popularity within the stock market. If you’re keen on venturing into futures trading, selecting the right broker is crucial to implementing successful strategies.
In this article, we will explore the 5 best futures brokers, highlighting key factors to consider when choosing the right service provider for your needs.
What is the futures market and how has it evolved?
The futures market provides allows trading financial instruments through long-term contracts. These contracts establish predetermined prices for buying and selling financial assets at a future date.
Historically, futures contracts were primarily utilised in markets such as:
- Commodities: agriculture, energy, and basic goods.
- Financial market: stock indices, currencies, and bonds.
The purpose of these contracts was to hedge risks and mitigate potential fluctuations by executing transactions at predetermined prices specified in the contracts. Furthermore, these contracts offer investors the opportunity to speculate on the future value of assets, thereby potentially yielding profits.
Traditionally, the futures market has been predominantly accessible to institutional investors due to the long-term commitment and substantial capital required.
However, in recent years, the market has become more inclusive for retail traders with the introduction of mini and micro contracts. These new contract types have provided access to a broader range of investors who previously lacked the capital required for trading traditional futures.
Also, many brokers now allow the use of derivatives to facilitate futures trading. Spread betting and CFDs on futures means that trades can speculate on the futures contracts, but they do not actually own the futures or enter into any contract with the other party. Derivative trading is more convenient and affordable compared to real futures trading.
However, futures brokers in the UK are quite scarce, which makes it very challenging to find the right one if you use to trade futures for profit or to hedge other positions. Below, we’ll introduce you to the 5 best futures brokers in the UK.
5 best futures brokers in the UK
In the following table, we can take a look at the best futures brokers of this year:
IG is a reputable broker widely recognised for its excellence in futures trading. With a robust and user-friendly trading platform, IG offers traders a seamless experience. The platform provides advanced charting tools, real-time market data, and a range of order types, empowering traders to make informed decisions.
Traders can benefit from competitive pricing, low margin requirements, and reliable execution. Additionally, IG offers educational resources, research materials, and dedicated customer support to assist traders in enhancing their futures trading strategies.
With its comprehensive suite of features and commitment to customer satisfaction, IG remains a top choice for traders seeking a trusted broker in the futures market.
Check our in-depth IG review for more information.
|Futures costs||Starting at £10 per contract|
|Platforms||MT4, ProRealTime, IG Online Platform|
|Minimum deposit||No minimum for bank transfers, £250 minimum for PayPal, credit/debit cards|
Is IG the best futures broker?
✅ Regulated by the FCA.
✅ Advanced analysis tools
✅ Many other asset classes
✅ Multiple reputable trading platforms to choose from
Interactive Brokers is a leading broker renowned for its extensive range of trading options, including futures. With a powerful trading platform and cutting-edge technology, Interactive Brokers offers traders a comprehensive suite of tools and features to navigate the futures market.
Interactive Brokers provides access to in-depth market research, analysis tools, and customisable trading algorithms, empowering traders to make data-driven decisions.
Check our in-depth Interactive Brokers review for more information.
|Futures costs||£1.70/contract (fixed) or £0.65/contract (tiered)|
Variable for CFDs (i.e., spreads)
|Withdrawal cost||Free (one withdrawal per month)|
Is Interactive Brokers the best broker for trading futures?
✅ Regulated, trustworthy broker
✅ Advanced trading platform suitable for any strategy
✅ Over 600 futures contracts on a wide variety of financial assets
❌ Very complex trading platform, especially for beginners.
DEGIRO is a well-established broker that offers a range of investment opportunities, including futures trading. With its intuitive and user-friendly platform, DEGIRO provides traders with a seamless experience.
DEGIRO offers access to a wide selection of futures contracts across different asset classes, including commodities, stocks, and fixed-income assets, such as bonds. Traders can benefit from competitive pricing, as DEGIRO offers some of the lowest fees in the industry, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious traders.
Check our in-depth DEGIRO review for more information.
|Futures cost||€0.75 per contract|
Is DEGIRO the best broker for trading futures?
✅ Well-regulated broker
✅ Intuitive platform
✅ Some of the lowest costs in the industry
✅ Ideal for beginners
❌ No CFDs or spread betting
With Saxo Bank’s advanced trading platform, SaxoTraderGO, traders have access to a wide selection of futures contracts across various asset classes, including commodities, stock indices, and interest rates.
Saxo Bank offers competitive pricing, transparent fee structures, and robust execution, ensuring efficient trade execution. Additionally, Saxo Bank provides educational resources, market analysis, and research tools to support traders in developing and refining their futures trading strategies.
Check our in-depth Saxo Bank review for more information.
|Commission per contract||£3 for classic account|
|Platforms||Proprietary platform (SaxoTraderGO)|
Is Saxo Bank the best platform for futures trading?
✅ Powerful proprietary trading platform
✅ Suitable for experienced traders and investors
✅ Competitive costs for futures trading
❌ High costs, including non-trading fees, such as platform fees, custody, and costs for financial reports
Exante is a reputable broker that specialises in providing comprehensive futures trading solutions. The platform is equipped with state-of-the-art tools and features, such as real-time market data, and advanced charting capabilities. Moreover, Exante places a strong emphasis on client security and regulatory compliance, safeguarding traders’ investments.
|Futures cost||From $1.50|
|Platforms||Proprietary trading platform|
Is Exante the best broker to invest in futures?
✅ Over 600,000 assets available for trading
✅ Over 1,100 servers across the world to ensure safe data transfer and low latency
✅ FIX API for algorithmic traders
❌ No futures from the UK market
❌ High minimum deposit
Key factors to consider when selecting a futures broker
Here are some of the most important factors to consider before choosing the best futures broker:
- Regulatory compliance – Diligent investors and traders opt for well-regulated brokers. Choosing a broker that is regulated by reputable authorities ensures that the broker operates within defined guidelines and standards, providing a level of safety and security for traders’ funds. For instance, all five futures brokers above are regulated by the FCA, the regulatory entity in the UK.
- Trading Platform – Some brokers like DEGIRO offer beginner-friendly platforms, while others like Interactive Brokers may seem quite intricate if you haven’t traded futures before. If you are unsure which one is the best for you, you can opt for opening a demo account first and testing the trading platform using virtual funds.
- Product Offering: A diverse range of futures contracts across various asset classes allows traders to access a wide range of markets, providing opportunities for portfolio diversification and the ability to capitalise on different market trends and opportunities.
- Pricing and Fees: Understanding the fee structure is crucial to assess the cost-effectiveness of trading futures. You need to consider factors such as commissions, spreads, and other charges to ensure you can trade in a cost-efficient manner and maximise your potential returns.
- Research and Educational Resources: Access to market research, analysis tools, educational resources, and webinars can help traders stay informed about market trends, develop trading strategies, and expand their knowledge. These resources provide valuable insights and empower traders to make informed decisions.
Don’t miss our guide on futures trading if you want to learn more about this market and how to make profits with a futures strategy.
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Best futures brokers: summary
In conclusion, the selection of a reliable broker for futures trading can significantly impact the success of your investment or trading strategy. Whether it is real futures trading or trading via derivatives, you need to make sure you opt for the right broker for your needs, knowledge, and market experience.
Best futures brokers FAQ
Can I trade futures even if I have limited capital?
Yes, with the emergence of mini and micro contracts and derivative trading, the futures market has become more accessible to retail traders with limited capital.
How do I ensure the security of my funds when trading futures?
It is crucial to choose a futures broker that is regulated by reputable authorities, as regulatory compliance ensures the safety and security of your funds.
What are the benefits of trading futures compared to other investment options?
Futures trading offers several advantages, including high liquidity, leverage options, the ability to profit in both rising and falling markets, diversification opportunities across asset classes, and the potential for enhanced portfolio risk management through hedging strategies.