With the rise of forex traders on social media and influencers pushing forex signals, there is more teenagers than ever before looking to get started in the forex industry. There are even claims of 16 year old traders flipping accounts, making huge returns and some traders even getting funded by prop firms! Putting the rumours aside, it’s important to know if you can actually trade forex if you’re under 18?
The simple answer is you cannot legally trade a live forex account before you’re 18 years old. You are able to trade demo accounts and practice with paper trading, then open a live account when you’re 18. There is no hurry to get started on a live account anyway, as there are many steps teenage traders miss – which result in blown accounts. Let’s find out more…
Is It Legal To Trade Forex Under 18?
Sadly, it’s illegal to trade forex under 18 years old. Any broker that offers you an account if you’re under 18 is breaking the law and frankly is not a broker you want to be trading with. If a broker is willing to risk breaching these regulations, I guarantee their trading conditions are not going to be worth playing with.
It’s for good reason that forex broker do not accept clients under 18 years old. Most teenagers are not going to understand the severity of losses within the financial markets and not have any close to the years of risk management experience needed to survive the forex markets. With ‘traders’ constantly showing profits and ‘laptop lifestyle’ trading on Instagram, it’s easy to see why so many teenagers get sucked in.
The traders actually trading for a living (not scamming on Instagram with signals and low quality courses) are not teenagers. They’re financial market veterans that have spent thousands of hours studying, trading, managing risk and they only make a few percent growth on a good month – they certainly don’t flip accounts or make thousands from a tiny account.
How To Trade Forex Under 18?
Although you won’t legally get a forex trading account if you’re under 18, does that mean you can’t trade at all? No, luckily under 18’s can still trade the financial markets – just with fake money.
1. Demo Trading
Demo account trading is the best thing you can do if you’re looking to start forex trading under 18. Some brokers will give you a demo account without creating an account, but some won’t. If you’re struggling to find a broker offering free demo accounts I would check out our list of top forex brokers. If this still doesn’t help – download MT4. When you download MT4 as a trading platform, you will be automatically given a free demo account without having to verify KYC or any documents.
Demo trading is CRUCIAL to being a profitable trader. Traders come into the forex market on a live account, have no idea what they’re doing, no strategy, no risk management, get flustered and blow through all of their capital overnight.
I would recommend trading a strategy on demo for at least 3-6 months before even thinking about trading live. If a strategy is going to work, in those 3-6 months of demo account trading you should be getting consistently good results. If you don’t, it’s clear that your forex trading strategy and risk management needs a rethink.
90% of forex traders lose money and the majority of those losses could be avoided if these ‘traders’ went on a demo account for just a few months to test if their trading methods were actually profitable – because they probably aren’t!
2. Paper Trading
One of the best ways to trade forex under 18 is to paper trade the markets. This involves watching the live markets and charts in real time, then drawing on your positions, stop losses and take profits – but not actually taking the trade. You then log the results of your trading, honestly, in a spreadsheet. Paper trading is something that all forex traders have done hundreds of times. You are better off getting to grips with paper trading as soon as you can, before live trading.
The reality is a lot of teen traders think they have conquered the markets and know what they’re doing. The saying ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ comes to mind. Professional traders with 30 years of skin in the game only make a few percent on a good month, there’s no way you are going to outperform this as a teenager with a few months of reading. Stay safe and paper trade first until you find strategies with an edge.
There are a number of tools and softwares you can use to backtest the forex markets, without needing to be over 18. Backtesting is crucial and profitable forex traders have usually backtested for thousands of hours. You’re much better off getting this process done before you’re 18, if you’re going to do it at all.
Backtesting involves trading old price data in real time, to practice a trading strategy or risk management. The most common backtesting tools used are TradingView and Soft4Fx. I would personally recommend using the bar replay tool on Tradingview for your backtesting.
This is a crucial step and frankly I would never trade a strategy in the live markets without at least 1000 backtest trades logged in a spreadsheet. This is exactly how you need to be trading forex if you’re under 18 – you need to be backtesting instead of dreaming about flipping accounts.
What Teenagers Looking To Trade Forex Should Do
If you’re looking to start trading forex and you’re under 18, there’s still things you can do in the mean time. I’d recommend trying to put yourself in the best position possible to take on funded accounts when you’re 18.
1. Studying Forex
Just because you aren’t able to trade forex under 18, doesn’t mean you aren’t able to start learning the craft. It takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to learn how to trade consistently. People vastly under estimate how long the process actually takes – so starting earlier is always best!
There are forex courses on our top forex education list that range from $300-$5000. I would recommend finding something like Transparent Fx that sits around the $500 mark. There is also a huge amount of free resources online to learn how to trade forex, such as Babypips.
If you’re under 18, you probably have a lot of free time and very little responsibility in the grand scheme of it. I’d recommend trying to study forex for at least a few hours per day if you’re serious about doing this for a career. One of my biggest regrets from when I first got a live forex account is the fact I didn’t know enough. I didn’t trade on demo for long enough, I didn’t understand risk management and I got absolutely destroyed in the markets. You want to study for long enough that when you’re allowed a live trading account, you know everything you need to know!
2. Prop Firm Funding At 18
If you spend a few months or even years trading forex demo accounts as a teenager, you may not even need to create your own live account at 18. Forex prop firms like FTMO fund profitable traders up to $400,000 in capital, if you’re able to pass a profit challenge.
In fact, there are instant funding prop firms. In theory, on your 18th birthday you could get an instant funded $50,000 account from DT4X Trader. This is going to put you so far ahead of traders that illegally trade live accounts with $200 when they’re 17.
I’d highly recommend checking out our top prop firms list, to compare offerings in the market. When you’re 18, if you have a few months of good trading results on a demo account – I’d recommend trying to get funded from either DT4X Trader or MyForexFunds, so you can start trading much larger capital and get your trading career off the ground.
It may seem like a good idea, if you’re under 18, to set up a forex trading account in a relatives name so you can start trading the forex markets. The reality is, this is also illegal and can land yourself and your relative in trouble if the broker realise what you’re doing. There is also tax implications involved with doing this too. I would highly recommend focusing on learning the craft, then getting funded at 18. This will put you YEARS ahead of trying to take shortcuts.
Conclusion – Is It Possible To Trade Forex Under 18?
In short, you cannot trade forex with real money until you’re over 18. If you’re getting into forex as a teenager, learn the basics, put your time into backtesting, studying and paper trading until you’re 18. When you’re of legal age, setup a live brokers account and try to get prop firm funded.
You’re not going to be wasting time by building a solid foundation. If they let 16 year olds have forex trading accounts I guarantee 100% of the traders would lose their capital within a few weeks.
If you have any opinions on this please do let me know in the comments down below, I’m curious as to what other forex traders think!