I have an account with CMC Markets and also with Oanda – I like the charting platform that CMC Markets uses (interbank fx), and I like the way you can drag the charts around and resize them. I also like the fact that your money (I gather) stays in Australia or the UK according to where you’re located, and CMC Markets are big enough that it ought to be safe (they have a separate client trust account).
On the negative side the CMC Markets Marke tMaker dealing platform can be a bit slow (especially when prices are moving very fast!), and are prone to re-quoting (more of a problem if you trade CFDs, I gather), and like all brokers, they seem to have an attraction magnet between price and your stop, and a repulsion magnet between price and your take profit order! But this is no worse than any other broker or spread betting provider. I’ve checked on a few occasions when there were suspicious price spikes on CMC, and it wasn’t just them. The minimum lot sizes are 10,000 pound (for cable and gbp/jpy), 10,000 eur/usd, and 20,000 for most other pairs. Spreads and margins are also quite competitive at CMC Markets.
On the whole I think I like Oanda better for forex trading – they are USA based, but have a good reputation. I like the online trading platform – it is easy to keep track of your account, and they accept limit/stop orders with both take profit and stop – CMC Markets will allow you to do one or the other (with “If-Done” orders), or a OCO (“One Cancels Other”) to set a stop and take profit with an open order; in this Oanda is easier to keep track of. Best of all, Oanda allow you to trade any size parcel, and I would highly recommend starting off with micro lot sizes (1000 parcels), something I only did after losing too much real money with CMC Markets. However this is much better than trading with just a demo account, as it is still real money and this is the best way to get your trading skills up. The charting tools are not so good on its own, but you can always use Metatrader or CMS Visual Trader demo or the CMC Markets Market Maker platform as your main charting platform.