Beginner’s guide: How to trade forex in Kenya

You can trade forex in Kenya by signing up with a licensed and regulated forex broker that accepts traders in Kenya. You can only access the global forex market via a broker’s electronic trading platform which provides advanced trading tools, charts, daily market news and educational material.

Here are frequently asked questions about trading forex in Kenya and valuable tips for beginner traders on how to manage your risk.

Choose your quick section of our how to trade forex in Kenya below

 

10 Best Forex Brokers in South Africa for 2022

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Our Beginner’s guide : How to trade forex in Kenya Revealed

What is forex trading?

Forex stands for foreign exchange. Trading forex involves speculating on currency prices and potentially making profit when the prices move in the right direction.

Currency is traded in pairs where one currency is speculated to rise or fall against another currency. Most beginner forex traders trade the major currency pairs which include the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound and Swiss Franc.

Retail traders can only access the forex market via a broker using their electronic trading platform. It’s recommended that forex traders in Kenya only trade currency pairs with a broker that is licensed and regulated in the UK, Europe or Africa.

8 Tips to help you choose a forex broker in Kenya

Choosing which forex broker to use to trade forex in Kenya is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. The forex market is the largest and one of the most liquid asset class on the global financial markets. Trading forex is risky and there is a high chance you will lose money when starting out as a new trader.

Choose a reputable forex broker you can trust and beware of dishonest forex brokers and forex scams in Kenya.

Our pick of the 10 best forex brokers in Kenya HERE.

Choose a forex broker that’s regulated by a top-tier authority

It’s highly recommended you open a forex account in Kenya with a broker that is licensed and regulated by a Top-tier authority. Their regulation status should be available on their website but you should still check their regulation status with the authority to make sure that their membership is valid and they have not been de-regulated.

The top 6 regulatory authorities in the world are:

  • United Kingdom : FCA and PRA
  • Australia : ASIC
  • Switzerland : FDF
  • Hong Kong : SFC
  • Denmark : DFSA
  • South Africa : FSCA

Don’t be taken in by flashy websites or “get rich quick” promises. Scam brokers are known to develop fancy-looking websites which make them look like a legit forex broker. Choose a broker that is well-established, well-known and receives good online reviews for its ease of withdrawals.

Choose a forex broker that offers MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the best trading platform for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced traders. It’s the most popular trading platform in the world and the majority of global broker offer MT4 or MT5 as a primary platform or an alternative to their own trading platform.

Forex trading platforms are your gateway to the financial markets. Retail forex traders cannot access the forex market without going through a broker and trading via their platforms. MT4 acts as a bridge between you and your broker and the forex market. MT4 has a user-friendly interface and is built with advanced trading tools and analysis software.

Choose a forex broker that offers a free demo account

A free demo account is a basic requirement of a reputable forex broker. If a broker wants you to deposit funds to start trading instantly on a live account; watch out; it’s a forex scam.

All regulated forex and CFDs brokers that you can trust offer a free demo account. The aim is to give beginner traders time to build up experience and hone their trading strategy without the risk of losing their own money. With a demo account, you trade forex in Kenya with virtual (fake) money in real time.

Choose a forex broker that offers competitive account features

The key account features to consider when looking for a forex broker that accepts traders in Kenya are:

Minimum deposit required

The minimum deposit is the amount of money you need in your trading account to open a position. Initial deposits range from $0 to $100 on mini, micro and Standard accounts.

Beginner traders usually pick a forex broker that requires a small initial deposit and then use leverage to open a larger position than they can fund themselves. Remember, use leverage with extreme caution.

Leverage available on a margin account

Leverage allows forex traders to open larger positions sizes with a smaller initial deposit. You access leverage in your margin account. As a trader, it’s crucial that you understand both the benefits and the pitfalls of trading with leverage.

Leverage can magnify your profits but it can also wipe out your capital. Use leverage with caution when trading forex in Kenya.

Spread and commissions

Forex brokers make money on the spread. This is the difference between the bid and ask price of a currency pair. Forex brokers generally don’t charge commission on Standard accounts; usually only account types like Professional ECNs are commission-based.

A reputable forex broker will be transparent about what fees and commissions they charge, and whether they offer fixed or variable spreads. Shop around for the best forex broker that suits your trading style.

Choose a forex broker that makes it easy to deposit and withdraw funds

Forex brokers have different deposit and withdrawal policies for funding trading accounts. Check if the forex broker charges a fee for deposits and withdrawals.

The most common ways to deposit and withdraw money from your trading account are bank/wire transfers, credit card payment or e-wallet payment with PayPal, Skrill or Neteller.

You can spot a scam forex broker by reading online reviews. The first sign they are dodgy is if there are a lot of complaints about not being able to withdraw money from a trading account. The broker has probably taken the money and run.

Check how many currency pairs are offered

Currency pairs are categorised as major, minor and exotic pairs. The majority of forex traders speculate on the major currency pairs which have the greatest liquidity. Liquidity means they can be bought and sold easily because they are in higher demand. Choose a forex broker that offers currency pairs that you are interested in trading.

Choose a forex broker that offers good customer service

Retail forex traders access the forex market via trading platforms so the process is fully automated. However, when things go wrong, you need someone to talk to who can help you resolve the problem. The forex market operates 24-hours a day, 5-days a week. Your broker should be available to support you when the forex market is open.

You can check how good a forex broker’s customer support is by checking online reviews or calling their Customer Support to experience for yourself what type of service they deliver.

Choose a forex broker that offers a swap-free Islamic account if required

People of the Muslim faith can trade forex on the global market with a swap-free Islamic trading account. This type of account is compliant with the Shari’a Law which is a code for living that all Muslims should adhere to under Islamic faith.

How does a swap-free Islamic account work?

The Islamic account was introduced to allow traders and investors of the Muslim faith to trade the global financial markets without violating the Sharia Law. The main feature of an Islamic account is it is a swap-free account, meaning there is no rollover or swap charges for holding positions open for more than 24 hours.

A forex swap is an interest fee that is either paid or charged to you at the end of each trading day. The benefit of a swap-free forex account is you can open long-term positions without running the risk of reducing your profits due to swap commissions.

Forex brokers that offer swap-free Islamic accounts for traders of the Muslim faith compensate these losses by offering their clients spreads that are wider than standard forex accounts. Some brokers charge a flat rate of commission per trade. Swap-free Islamic accounts are only available to traders and investors of the Muslim faith.

What type of trading does swap-free accounts affect?

Forex swaps mainly affect swing traders. Swing trading involves taking a long position and holding positions open for several days or even weeks. Therefore, a swing trader that respects the principles of Islamic finance must work with an Islamic account if they want to avoid paying interest.

 How to open a forex trading account in Kenya

You open a forex trading account in Kenya by signing up with a broker that accepts traders in your jurisdiction. Remember, only use a licensed and regulated broker who is well-established and is safe to use.

Step 1: Test drive different forex brokers

The best way to choose the right broker for your trading style is to give them a test drive. You can do this by signing up for a free demo account on at least three broker platforms. Demo accounts aren’t a 100-percent test of broker performance because you are not trading in live conditions. However, they do give you time to test the trading platform and the broker’s customer support.

Demo accounts are free to open and you trade with virtual money. There is no risk; you won’t lose a cent of your own money even when things go horribly wrong. Demo accounts are the best way for beginner traders to put a forex broker to the test; just close down the account if you aren’t satisfied.

Step 2: Register an account with the best forex broker

You’ve picked the best forex broker for your trading needs and now it’s time to start trading live with real money. When you are ready to open a live account, choose between a personal or a business account. If you’re a beginner forex trader, you’ll open a personal account.

Registration involves some paperwork which you usually submit in PDF format. Most forex brokers don’t charge to open an account but check what other fees you will be charged. For instance, how much does it cost to deposit money into your account by bank transfer or credit card. These costs add up and eat into your profits.

Step 3: Choose the type of account to open

Forex brokers offer different types of account; ranging from Mini, Micro and Standard accounts to Professional, ECN and Raw Spread accounts. Beginner forex traders usually start with a Mini or Standard commission-free account and trade in smaller lots.

A great way to learn how to trade forex in Kenya is to copy other traders. This is called social trading and it’s done on social trading platforms, which are a new addition to forex trading. You benefit by learning from forex trading experts who also usually mentor you. It also means you can keep your day job while expert traders do the hard work for you.

Step 4: Account activation

Your account will be activated once the broker has received all the necessary paperwork and validated your details. You should receive an email within a few days of registering an account that gives you instructions on how to complete your account activation.

You’ll get a final email with your username and password as well as instructions on how to fund your account.

Step 5: Deposit funds and start trading

Log into your forex trading account and follow the instructions to deposit funds using whatever method you prefer.

Now you’re all set to start trading forex!

Log into your account, set up your charts on the trading platform and place your first order. Don’t forget to manage your risk; always set up stop loss orders and other tools that safeguard you from losing money when trading currency pairs.

How to become a successful forex trader in Kenya

Forex trading is not a “get rich quick” scheme. It’s one of the most risky financial instruments to trade because you can use leverage to speculate on currency pair prices. The biggest mistake beginner traders make and why they lose money trading forex is they overleverage positions. This means you’re trading with more money than you have available.

Our #1 tip for beginner forex traders is sign up for a forex trading course with a reputable trading academy. You can do this online at the same time you’re experimenting with forex trading using a free demo account.

5 Benefits of online trading courses

  1. Learn the fundamentals of forex trading

Gain an in-depth understanding of foreign exchange and how to master the trade. Successful forex traders understand how currency values are determined, how to identify trends and factors that can impact on currency prices.

  • Develop a trading strategy

Trading requires discipline and a sound strategy that suits your needs. Forex trading is risky so it’s important to adopt a trading philosophy that will be a strong foundation as you learn and grow as a forex trader.

  • Learn to walk before you run

Beginner forex traders need to be patient and learn the basics of trading before they start trading larger positions. Even experienced traders make mistakes and dedicate time to managing their risk and honing their trading skills. Online trading courses are practical as well as informative.

  • Online mentoring

Forex trading courses are usually supported by expert traders who mentor newbies on their journey to becoming a successful trader. Forex mentors answer questions, share their trading secrets and show you how to manage risk.

  • Networking and copy trading

Forex traders become part of an online community that is willing to share their knowledge and expertise. You’ll meet fellow beginner traders online as well as expert traders who’ll support you as you grow and develop as a forex trader in Kenya. Forex is a global market so you can learn from the best around the world.

Is forex trading popular in Kenya?

Yes, forex trading is very popular in Kenya. Finance Magnates reported in early 2022 that more traders in Kenya are gaining trust in the forex trading industry as they can now visit brokerage offices in the country.

It’s reported that retail forex and CFDs trading in Africa is booming and many large global forex and CFDs brokers have applied or gained full regulation with FSCA in South Africa and the CMA in Kenya in 2020/21. Regulated brokers can now freely market and provide their online trading services in Kenya and retail traders can now trade currencies in a regulated environment.

Why has forex trading in Kenya grown?

Finance Magnates attributes the growth of forex trading in the African capital markets to relatively stable economies in the regional economic hubs like Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, as well as the growing interest in forex trading among Africa’s retail investors.

South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya have registered the highest retail trading volume in the last five years in Africa. A big driver of the growth of forex trading in these regions is said to be the young demographics, cheaper Internet, higher mobile penetration and tightened regulations.

In 2017, Kenya became the second-only country in Africa to have a regulatory authority to put a framework in place for forex trading through CMA. South Africa introduced the regulatory body FSCA in 2004. The first broker, EGM Securities, got its license in February 2018 which allowed it to operate as a domestic forex broker in Kenya.

READ MORE : Report on State of Kenya’s online forex trading industry in 2022

 Is forex trading legal in Kenya?

Yes, forex trading is legal in Kenya. The industry is not officially regulated but there are legal guidelines you must follow that have been set out by the public body that regulates non-banking companies in Kenya.

Who regulates forex trading in Kenya?

Forex trading in Kenya is regulated by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). Founded in 1989, the CMA was established by an Act of Parliament, Cap 485 A under The National Treasury and Planning. No forex broker in Kenya can legally operate without an online forex license issued by the CMA.

The CMA is a regulating body charged with the prime responsibility of supervising, licensing and monitoring the activities of market intermediaries, including the stock exchange and the central depository and settlement system and all the other persons licensed under the Capital Markets Act.

The CMA plays a critical role in the economy by facilitating mobilisation and allocation of capital resources to finance long term productive investments.

Do you pay tax on forex trading profits in Kenya?

Yes, you are required to pay tax in Kanya on any profits made trading forex on the global markets. All profits from forex trading are classified as Capital Gains Tax and are taxed at 10 percent of the gross.

If a Kenyan resident generates profit from trading in an offshore trading account while residing within the borders of Kenya, the profit is regarded as normal taxable income and needs to be declared in their tax returns. In this case, it doesn’t matter where the income originates from, but rather where the person resides while generating that income. 

Is it safe to trade forex in Kenya?

Yes, it is safe to trade forex in Kenya is you use a broker that is licensed and regulated by a Top-tier authority. Trading foreign exchange is risky and many people lose money trading this asset class. To protect yourself, you need to use the risk management trading tools available on the trading platforms. This includes limit orders and stop-loss orders.

Why it’s important to trade forex in Kenya with a regulated broker

Despite the fact that Kenya now has a government-mandated regulatory authority, there are still many forex brokers who operate in Kenya illegally. They carry out elaborate forex scams to dupe unsuspecting beginner brokers, even hosting fancy websites that make them look legitimate.

If you use a forex broker that is not licensed and regulated by a Top-tier authority in the main global jurisdictions or CMA in Kenya, you stand the risk of losing your capital investment if the broker is dishonest and acts illegally. You have no recourse with a regulatory authority if you have a problem with the broker, particularly in cases where you cannot withdraw funds from your account.

The new regulatory framework for trading forex in Kenya was put in place to protect traders and investor’s interests and ensure a conducive environment for online forex and CFDs trading in the country. A CMA license is mandatory for all forex brokers in Kenya and it is illegal or a criminal offence for any broker to operate without such license.

FOREX TRADING AFRICA DISCLAIMER

Forex is a complex instrument and trading forex involves a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You need to understand how forex trading works and decide whether you can afford to take the risk of losing money on trade orders that do not go your way.

Forex Trading Africa annually reviews brokers regarded as the best in the world and provides information on the products, fee structure, market analysis and service they offer. We aim to provide important information for you to base your decisions on when choosing the right forex broker for your needs.

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