With so much at stake, its imperative that you zero in on the right broker. Benzinga has done your forex homework for you, so breathe easy and check out a few of our suggestions.

If you fret about the volatility and risk associated with stocks, then forex trading is likely not your cup of tea. There are a plethora of risks involved, including leverage, transaction, country and interest rate risks, to name a few.

Best for low costs:FOREX.com Open an account

Best for beginners:FOREX.com Open an account

Best for platform & research tools:TD Ameritrade Open an account

Best for advanced traders:Interactive Brokers Open an account

Best currency pairs offered:FOREX.com Open an account

The choice becomes further complicated for two reasons:

There arehundreds of brokerswho offer a multitude of platforms for trading currencies.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for forex trading.

Understanding the Risks Involved in Forex Trading

Our Picks for the Best Forex Brokers in the United States

Best Forex Broker for Advanced traders: Interactive Brokers

Best Forex Broker for Research and Tools: TD Ameritrade

Best Forex Broker for Currency Pairs Offered: FOREX.com

Forex trading is a global, decentralized, over-the-counter market for trading global currencies. The market participants in a forex market include traders, investors, governments, banks, businesses, etc.The market is open 24 hours, five days a week.

Although there is no physical marketplace for the forex markets, important world trading centers for currencies are located in Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris, London and New York. It can be confusing; this video breaks down forex opening and closing times around the world.

Forex quotes are offered by central banks and what our broker quotes is the average of all the quotes received from the banks. Essentially, the broker acts as a market maker and sells the currency pair to you and not another trader.

, with roughly $3 trillion worth of transactions handled each day, allowing easy entry and exit.

That said, the forex market is not regulated and therefore, lacks transparency.

The number of currency pairs traded is limited, making

. This is unlike the equity market, where a plethora of stocks are trading.

associated with the currency market offers sizeable profitable trading opportunities. On the contrary, high volatility also exposes one to high risk.

in terms of pips facilitates trading even with low capital.

Understanding the Risks Involved in Forex Trading

Conventional wisdom states that high returns are always associated with high risks. There is no dearth of risks in the forex market. Here is brief on a few major risks one should be wary of while trading currency pairs.

Exchange rate risk or currency risk arises when an investor needs to close out a long or short position at a loss due to adverse movement in the exchange rate of the currency pair they are trading.

Once an investor decides to take a plunge in the forex market, he does by opening a margin account in a brokerage, which provides him with leverage or loan for trading.

Theleverage provided could be in the ratio of 50:1, 100:1 or 200:1depending on several factors. A 50:1 leverage means the trader has to maintain at least $1 for every $50 worth of trade he makes.This is substantially higher than the 2:1 leverage allowed in stock trading and 15:1 for futures trading.

Thisexposes a forex trader to enormous leverage risk if his bet goes wrong. When his position loses value to the extent of him not meeting the margin requirement, the broker will begin to liquidate his assets just so that the account complies with the margin requirement.

Volatility refers to the change in the value of the currency pair held as an investment, annualized and expressed as a percentage. The volatility associated with a currency pair also poses a risk to currency traders.

With the direct relation interest rates share with the value of a nations currency, the prevalent benchmark interest rates or a change thereof can introduce risk in currency trading.

Sovereign risk refers toa nation failing to meet its interest payments or principal repayments, which in turn can impact the value of the nations currency. Devaluation of a nations currency also creates sovereign risk.

Since the currency market is not regulated in both the trading and clearing, a forex trader may be exposed to counterparty risk, which arises if the forex broker defaults or does not keep up his end of the bargain.

If this happens, a currency trader will be straddled with huge losses.The best way to go about trading safely in the forex market is to choose well-regulated brokers.

It is best to do a background check on the agency under whose regulatory jurisdiction the broker falls.Forex trading is regulated by bodies such as theCommodity Futures Trading Commission, or CFTC, which regulates leveraged trading offered to retail traders.

The CFTC requires that all online forex dealers be registered and meet strict financial standards enforced by theNational Futures Association, or NFA.

After carefully considering prices, platform, fees, and the number of currency pairs offered, we made our picks for the best forex brokers. Scroll down for our picks and click on the full reviews for more information.

The famous Thinkorswim platform is a totally comprehensive, self-directed research platform that

provides some of the most user-friendly tools to analyze foreign exchange markets.

Offers 84 tradable currency pairs the most of all the picks on this list.

High-volume traders have the options to reduce trading costs by up to 15% with FOREX.coms Active Trader Program.

The firm also provides an app for a mobile platform that makes everything easier forFOREX.comclients who are always on the go.

Forex.com, a subsidiary of GAIN Capital, strictly offers commissions in the form of slightly widening the spread of a currency pair offered by one of their liquidity providers.

By trading onFOREX.com, theres a good chance thatyou will receive the lowest spreads the market has to offer.

It remains as the only foreign exchange broker that publicizes its execution scorecard and financial strength. GAIN has almost $1.5 billion in assets and available liquidity of nearly $350 million. It executes 99.65% of trades in under one second, and has executed 100% of limit orders at the price or better.

The brokerage continues its mission of being completely transparent with its customers by making security its number one priority. The firm guarantees that it will never engage in proprietary trading, and is registered with 6 other jurisdictions worldwide through its affiliates.

packed with features perfect for the beginning investor. Youll find live streaming market data, commentary, screeners, analyst research, and much more. The platform provides the easiest to use interface, crafted for beginners.

FOREX.commakes iteasy to stay informed, especially with their newsletter delivered right to your inbox. The newsletter, powered by Faraday Research, goes through the market and identifies entry and exit points for you.

Plus,FOREX.coms site provides courses for beginner to advanced traders, so even as you grow your knowledge, you wont outgrow the educational offerings on the platform.

Most beginners dont want to dump their life savings into a new account. Luckily, FOREX.comonly requires a $50 minimum depositon their standard account.

Best Forex Broker for Advanced traders: Interactive Brokers

Frequent traders with a thirst for different order types (63!)

securely through Interactive Brokerss website

Interactive Brokershas come a long way from its inception in 1977. The company was one of the first to offer a simple, multi-asset interface.

Traders who prefer commision based fee structures will find excitement with s

The minimum commision is $2.00, with commissions ranging from 8 to 20 basis points based on monthly volume. TD Ameritrade is the only other firm that can beat the $2.00 minimum, by charging a $1.00 minimum on all foreign currency trades.

Essentially, you are paying a small premium for the services and powerful tools that come along with use Interactive Brokers.

The firms acquisition of FXtrader prompted users to choose from20 different order types, including trailing stop limit, bracket, Good For the Day, Good Till Cancelled, and more.

The best part is that you will never have to worry about security or liquidity, as all of Interactive Brokers vendors combine for nearly 60% market share.

Read Benzingas full Interactive Brokers Review

TD Ameritradeofferspowerful charting tools, capable of comparing multiple currency pairs alongside each other, as well as providing any necessary technical indicators.

Although its not as important when trading foreign currency, the platform also allows you toanalyze social sentiment from Twitter.

Doing this, one may be able to correlate a price change with news being released.They provide reputablethird-party research tools from Morningstar and Market Edgethat tailor to the many beginners who may struggle to navigate the companys flagship platform.

Additional free perks that are easy to use include the ETF market screeners that charge no commissions whatsoever. Beginners may choose to strictly choose from foreign currency ETFs with allocations that most resemble their diversification preferences.

Read Benzingas full TD Ameritrade Review

If you are an advanced trader, you want the most currency pairs a brokerage has to offer. Being able to hedge a riskier bet with other currencies provides you an effective trading strategy if you know how to pull it off.

According to their website, Oanda is used by the treasury teams at PWC, Twitter, Expedia, and other gigantic enterprises.

One of the few forex brokers to provide MetaTrader support for U.S. clients, m has an impressive array of pairs to trade and three different accounts to choose from. Its educational materials are spot-on, but the margin requirements arent as accommodating as some competing forex brokers.

This publicly listed discount broker, which is in existence for over four decades, is service-intensive, offering intuitive and powerful investment tools. Especially, with equity investing, a flat fee is charged, with the firm claiming that it charges no trade minimum, no data fees, and no platform fees. Though it is pricier than many other discount brokers, what tilts the scales in its favor is its well-rounded service offerings and the quality and value it offers its clients.

Trade commissionfree for 90 days & get up to $2500

Frequent traders with a thirst for different order types (63!)

minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available

for cash account, or a margin account with $2,000

securely through Interactive Brokerss website

If you consider yourself a sure-footed professional trader, Interactive Brokers might be a major possibility for you, particularly if youre adept at navigating tricky trading platforms (can you say 124 option indicators?) or have done more than just dipped your toe a coupla times into the complex world of international markets.

If youre into trading on margin, youre in luck. Interactive Brokers offers the lowest rates in the industry.

Low pay-per-share commissions on stock trades (up to 1,000 shares) and on options trades (up to 20 contracts)

Vast order types options for professional traders

Interactive Brokers charges account fees (including annual, transfer, closing an inactivity fees) and offers an extremely complex trading platform

Lower minimum activity requirements ($3/month) and opening account minimum requirement ($3,000) for clients 25 and younger.

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Advertiser Disclosure:TD Ameritrade, Inc. and Accretive Capital LLC are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each others services and products.