One of the great things about Forex trading is that it can be done from anywhere. But due to regulations and different lifestyle factors, some countries are a cut above the rest for forex traders.
We’ve pulled together the data on the best countries for forex traders, focusing on countries that have no capital gains tax, and taking the following into account:
- Cost of living
- Crime rate
- Healthcare rating
- Broadband speed
- Road traffic
- Forex regulations
You can see the top findings in this table, or read on for our analysis on each country.
Although many of these countries have a high cost of living, which will not be an issue for most professionals, there are also some with a relatively low cost of living which are great options for those who are early in their trading journey.
It’s important to keep in mind that traders aren’t always tied to local regulations – somebody who lives in the Bahamas, for example, doesn’t have to use a forex broker regulated by their local regulatory body unless a regulation states otherwise.
16. Turks and Caicos
At the bottom of our list is the Turks and Caicos Islands. This country is known as a tax haven and has undergone rapid economic growth over the last two decades, mostly thanks to the rise of tourism and offshore financial services.
The cost of living in Turks and Caicos is lower compared to some others on this list – it costs around $2641 a month for a single person to live there.
The crime rate here is rated at 51.78 out of 100, positioning it as the third least safe country on our list. Crime has increased in the past three years – specific crimes include corruption and bribery, homes being broken into and items being stolen.
Broadband speed in Turks and Caicos isn’t the fastest, which is not ideal for traders. The average speed is 39.8 Mbps, putting it in twelfth place for broadband.
Forex trading here is regulated by the Turks and Caicos Islands Financial Services Commission (TCIFSC). The pros of trading here include flexibility and high leverage accounts – this means there’s a higher chance of earning more money. Cons include negative balance protection not being mandatory and the risk of scammers due to the location.
15. The Bahamas
The Bahamas is lower down on our list for a few different reasons. Firstly, the Bahamas has the highest crime rate of the featured countries with a rating of 62.06 out of 100 with a risk of vandalism and theft, violent crimes such as armed robbery and assault, corruption and bribery, plus more.
The cost of living is also high with the average monthly cost being around B$3304 ($3305). The Bahamas also came last on our list for healthcare with a low rating of 40.43 out of 100.
On a more positive note, the Bahamas has a decent broadband speed of around 55.89 Mbps, a wide range of attractions for good work-life balance, and has little traffic – the average time spent in traffic (one way) is just 25 minutes.
The Securities Commission of The Bahamas regulate Forex trading here and are said to be one of the stricter bodies of the Caribbean Islands. Similarly to other offshore trading accounts, positives include high leverage options and that the SCB has banned binary options for traders. Although, the Bahamas is known as a ‘tax haven’ which could attract scammers.
14. The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands (BVIs) are known for their offshore financial services sector – they are one of the most attractive places in the world for establishing an offshore business as a ‘tax oasis’.
Despite this being one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean, the cost of living isn’t as high as the above countries. It costs around $2441 a month for a single person to live in the BVIs, putting it seventh on our list. The crime rate is also significantly lower, with a rating of 37.50 out of 100.
Unfortunately, work-life balance may be an issue here with relatively few tourist and leisure attractions, putting the BVIs in the fourteenth position of these featured countries. Broadband speed is also further down the list, with the average speed being just 24.9Mbps.
Similarly to the above, Forex trading here has the same pros (high leverage, flexibility) and cons (negative balance protection not being mandatory and risk of fraudsters due to the location) as the other offshore countries.
Vanuatu is in the sixth position on our list for cost of living – it costs a single person around 236,475 VUV (Vanuatu Vanu) a month, which is equivalent to around $2126. The lack of traffic is another positive factor of Vanuatu, with the average time in traffic being just fifteen minutes!
Most worryingly for a forex trader, Vanuatu has the worst broadband connection out of all the countries looked into, with the average connection being just 15.44 Mbps.
Vanuatu is the second-worst country for healthcare on our list with a rating of 40.51 of 100. Particular issues include equipment for modern diagnosis and treatment, accuracy in filling out reports, responsiveness in medical institutions, and costs.
Forex trading is overseen by the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC). The positives of trading here include high leverage and flexibility. Vanuatu is also one of the easiest places to gain a broker licence. Negatives include negative balance protection not being mandatory, also this location may also attract scam artists.
12. Cayman Islands
Out of all the Caribbean islands we have looked into, the Cayman Islands have a high cost of living, with the average cost being around 6418 Cayman Island Dollars ($7707) a month, making this the second-highest country on our list for cost of living.
Fortunately, the high cost of living stings a little less as the Cayman Islands have a low crime rate level, rated at 33.3. Crime has increased a lot over the past three years, although residents report that they still feel safe walking alone during the day and night.
The broadband speed in the Cayman Islands is quite slow – the average speed is around 16.12Mbps, putting this country in the second to last position for broadband speed.
The Cayman Islands are a relatively easy and well-regulated place to trade forex. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) sets standards for any broker doing business in the country – they enforce regulations that minimise the risk of fraud and illegal activity. The pros and cons for forex trading in the Cayman Islands are the same as the above offshore regulations.
11. Hong Kong
Known for being one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the traffic in Hong Kong is the worst on our list – people living in the country spend an average of 43 minutes in one way traffic.
Hong Kong is also the third most expensive place to live on our list! It costs around HK$45555 a month for a single person to live there – this is equivalent to $5819.
In more positive news, Hong Kong also has very fast broadband, operating at 254.4 Mbps on average, and little crime – Hong Kong is rated at just 22.08 out of 100, residents feel safe walking alone at night.
Forex is regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong (SFC). The SFC have a great reputation and are one of the top regulators within the industry – they offer low leverage options, which reduces the risk for traders. The only negative for forex trading in Hong Kong is that negative balance protection is not mandatory.
Belize is the final Caribbean Island on our list and is the third cheapest out of the other featured countries for the cost of living, which is around 2518 Belize Dollars ($1239) a month. As well as the cost of living being lower compared to others, traffic in Belize is also low – the average time spent in traffic is just 20 minutes.
Belize has a higher crime rate than other countries we looked at, with a rating of 50.92. This has risen in the last three years with corruption and bribery, in particular, being a big risk. Belize is the third-worst country for healthcare on our list with skill and competency of staff, speed in completing examinations and reports, equipment for modern diagnosis and treatment, and wait time in medical institutions all being rated low.
Forex trading is regulated by the International Financial Service Commission (IFSC) – an independent self-regulatory agency under the Ministry of Belize Securities and International Financial Services Commission Act. Similarly to other offshore countries, positives include high leverage and flexibility – Belize also has strict privacy laws which can protect traders. Negatives include that the location may attract scammers and that negative balance protection is not mandatory.
Malaysia is the second cheapest country to live in on our list. It costs around 4227RM ($1018) per month. This country also provides a good work-life balance, with a wide variety of tourist and leisure attractions
Unfortunately, Malaysia has the second-highest rate of crime of our featured countries, falling just behind the Bahamas with a rate of 56.74. Crime has increased a lot over the past three years, with the biggest worries including being mugged and robbed, having items stolen from cars, vandalism and theft, and corruption and bribery.
Forex trading is legal, but only recently – there are still a lot of grey areas. Financial Regulatory responsibilities are left with the Securities Commission in Malaysia – Forex trading is only legal if institutions and agencies approved and regulated by Malaysian law are used. If unauthorised agencies are operating, all the Securities Commission can do is warn investors that they aren’t regulated – there is no strict protection.
Brunei has a low cost of living compared to other countries on our list, coming in at the fourth most affordable country. It costs around B$2310 ($1703) a month for a single person to live here. Brunei has the best healthcare of all the featured countries with a high rating of 77 – the main positives being the cost of healthcare and the location convenience of healthcare institutions.
With relatively few tourist and leisure attractions across the country, work-life balance may be negatively affected in Brunei. Also, the broadband speed isn’t the best, with the average speed being around 33.94Mbps.
Forex trading has grown in popularity across Brunei – the volume of Forex traded has increased year on year over the last five years. As long as traders are following and respecting Islamic laws, it’s perfectly legal. However, forex trading isn’t regulated yet which could bring the risk of scammers and shady brokers.
Monaco, also known as ‘the billionaire’s playground’, is known for its casinos, lavish wealth, and glamour. Given its nickname, it is not surprising that it came at the top of our list for cost of living, costing around €10,075 a month for a single person to live in Monaco, this is equivalent to $11674.
Another downside is that residents could struggle with work/life balance – there are just a few tourist and leisure attractions across the country, putting Monaco at the bottom of our list for this category.
Monaco is the third safest country out of all featured countries, with a lower crime rate ranking of 20.82. This country is also third on the list for the best healthcare with a high rating of 75.
Finances in Monaco are regulated by the Commission for the Control of Financial Activities (CCAF). Forex trading has been growing in population over the years but there are still some unclear aspects. A positive of trading in Monaco is that there aren’t too many regulations. However, a negative is that not all Monégasque customers not always accepted by EU brokers.
The cost of living in Oman is low compared to other featured countries – it’s the third most affordable country on our list. It would cost around 591 Omani Riall ($1535) a month. Oman’s crime rate is also low, putting it as the second safest country on our list – the crime rate is rated at just 20.13.
The healthcare system in Oman is fairly low on the list with a moderate rating of 58.23 out of 100.
There aren’t many forex traders residing in Oman, but with regulations being relaxed, forex trading is growing here. Forex is regulated by both the Capital Markets Authority and the Central Bank of Oman. Pros for trading in Oman include high leverage and flexibility. Whilst high leverage is great, Oman has no limitation on leverage which can increase the risk for traders massively! Also, negative balance protection is not mandatory.
The cost of living in Belgium is at the lower end of our list – it costs around €1571 ($1818) a month to live there. As well as the cost of living being lower compared to other featured countries, Belgium’s healthcare system is rated at an impressive 75.27 – putting it in second place. The work-life balance in Belgium is also considerable, with lots of tourist and leisure attractions across the country.
The crime rate in Belgium is rated at 45.06, putting them in twelfth position for crime, with crime increasing in the past three years.
Forex trading in Belgium is regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), who are part of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The ESMA set up any regulations and rules, and the local EU regulators, such as FSMA, must apply them. As well as having such a great regulator, other pros include the opportunity for high leverages for professional traders. Negatives include that you have to be a professional trader to trade forex, standard EU customer protections aren’t mandatory for professional traders meaning some brokers will revoke negative balance protection from them.
Singapore is renowned for its strict local laws and prides itself on stability and security – words forex traders love to hear.
The cost of living in Singapore is quite high compared to others on this list – a single person would pay around S$5003 ($3708) a month to live here. It’s also the second-worst country for traffic on our list, with the average time spent in traffic being 41 minutes.
The broadband connection in Singapore is very fast, operating at an average of 262.2Mbps. It is also a safe country with a low rating of 27.87 for crime – residents feel very safe walking alone in the day and at night.
Forex trading here is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) – one of the most respected and influential regulators in the entire region. The MAS prohibits unregulated brokers from operating there, protecting against fraud, corruption and bad practice for traders. If brokers aren’t MAS regulated, they can risk being banned from the country. There aren’t too many negatives when it comes to trading in Singapore!
3. United Arab Emirates
When you think of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you think of money! The UAE is the third richest country in the world, yet surprisingly, the cost of living here isn’t as high as you might expect – it costs around 9618 UAE Dirham ($2618) a month for a single person to live here, bringing it lower than some other countries on our list.
The crime rate in the UAE is very low, making it the safest country on this list with a ranking of just 15.21 and all aspects being rated either low or very low. Residents feel very safe walking alone during both the day and night.
Traffic here can be bad, with an average time of 36 minutes being spent in traffic.
Forex trading is completely legal – most brokers will typically register in Dubai as it’s a special economic area within UAE and home to the DFSA – one of the most respected regulators. Outside of Dubai, traders should look for brokers regulated by the UAEs federal securities commission authority, or the central bank of Dubai.
Positives for forex trading here include high leverage options for professional traders and low leverage for others – reducing the risks for non-professionals. The main ‘negative’ of forex trading here is that spread betting is illegal – whilst this isn’t a negative in itself, people may still offer it which can cause issues for traders if not careful.
2. New Zealand
A huge positive for forex traders is that New Zealand tops the list for broadband speed! Operating at an average of 264.16Mbps, traders will never have to worry about a bad connection.
The cost of living in New Zealand is bang in the middle of our list, costing around NZ$3696 ($2657) a month.
Forex trading is legal in New Zealand and is regulated by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). The main duty of the FMA is to ensure forex brokers follow strict guidelines enforced by the organisation – if brokers don’t follow these regulations, the FMA can revoke and cancel licenses, induce fines, and give other penalties.
These requirements protect traders and provide confidence – one requirement is that only FMA authorised brokers can be used. New Zealand brokers are reputable for being safe and secure. The only real ‘negative’ to trading in New Zealand is that negative balance protection is not mandatory.
Switzerland tops our list due to the low crime rate, substantial healthcare, fast broadband and great forex trading.
The crime rate here is rated low at 21.68, with all aspects being rated low to very low – residents feel safe during the day and night. The healthcare system is rated highly at 74.02. A huge positive for forex traders considering relocation to Switzerland is that the broadband speed is very fast, with an average speed of 222Mbps.
However, Switzerland does have a high cost of living – for a single person to live here, it costs around 3500 Swiss Franc ($3833) a month, making it the fourth most expensive country on our list.
Forex trading in Switzerland is great as they have strict local regulations which can protect traders and are regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) – brokers must be authorised by FINMA to operate in Switzerland. There are no clear negatives to trading in Switzerland!
To work out each countries position, we put them in order for each category and then worked out the average position based on their place within each category. To work out the score for each country, we took all of the different factors into account to create a score out of ten.
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