Forex Broker Reviews
Other than choosing a marriage partner, this might be one of the most important decisions an individual can make. Indeed, a broker is a business “partner” much like a spouse and both can help or hurt your finances in more ways than you can count.
Recommended forex brokers reviews can be found below:
|InstaForex||yes||$100 No Deposit Bonus!!||1||reviews||9|
|XM||yes||30% up to $10,000||5||reviews||9|
|MegaTraderFX||yes||First Deposit 20%, Loyalty 10%||5||reviews||6|
|FxPro||yes||up to $1,000||100||reviews||5|
Most of us learn by experience, usually bad experience. That's certainly the case with forex trading, and even more so when it comes to choosing and working with forex brokers. Here are few helpful hints derived from the experiences of traders:
Spreads. The number one criteria that many use when choosing a broker. This is understandable since the spread is the major cost or expense of trading and can be especially critical for high volume intraday traders and scalpers. Spreads on major currency pairs amongst brokers vary widely, with some close to a low of .20 of a pip, while some of most popular and largest brokers charging 2-4 pips . Moreover, some currency brokers offer fixed spreads while others have variable spreads. The best way to choose is to compare the average number of trades one expects to do each month and compare the fixed to variable spread cost. Traders whom are more active during the times when the market is most liquid or volatile, might find the fixed spread broker or account type preferable. Another way to decide which broker to choose (assumes consideration of the other factors discussed below) is what currency pairs or commodities will a trader focus on? If the trader is concentrating on exotics or crosses, then they will also need to compare those rates, which can be many multiples higher than the major currency pairs. Traders whom focus on metals (gold and silver) for example, might find that there is only a small difference between brokers spreads, so this could relegate spreads to a lesser priority when deciding on a broker. It should also be noted that many of the brokers offering the lowest “too good to be true” spreads , are not good choices for a variety of other factors. In fact, some brokers whom offer low spreads do so as it's the only way they can compete in a market crowded with brokers.
Commission. Electronic Communications Network (ECN) trading brokers, those with institutional platforms like Currenex or their own proprietary platforms will generally charge a commission in addition to the spread. These brokers tend to be the most transparent and spreads are usually close to the lowest interbank rates. ECN brokers will have variable spreads, but normally the commission is fixed, with discounted commission rates on larger orders placed over a specific period. ECN brokers-or those that call themselves such- give traders direct access to the market. True ECN brokers will have Depth of Market (DOM) modules in their platforms which provide data related to market liquidity.
Leverage. It's a beautiful thing when it works for you, but when it works against you, it can destroy your account. Leverage is the ability to buy or sell much more than your trading capital would permit, so it's key for the majority of forex traders. Some online forexbrokers offer up to 1:1000 and a handful offer 1:2000 leverage for micro and mini accounts, while others offer 1:400 or 1:500 in standard accounts. The average is closer to 1:200 while larger accounts will generally be at lower leverage levels of 1:100 or 1:50. Financial regulations cap the leverage that many brokers can offer, and it's usually tied to the size of the account. Some brokers allow leverage to be adjusted directly through the trading platform, while others require email notification.
Platform. The majority of retail traders use the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform, though there has been a shift to the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) by some traders due to it's “one click” fast entry and exit features. More brokers are starting to offer the MT5 platform which has motivated the larger MT4 only brokers to offer enhanced MT4 platforms which also feature “one click” entries. MT4 has the greatest number of technical and custom indicators available for download, as well as Expert Advisers (EA), and this can be important factor when choosing the right trading venue. Other platform choices are Trading Station II, proprietary platforms from some of the more popular retail brokers, as well as Ninja Trader platform. In addition, there are institutional platforms used by banks that are now being offered for the retail market.
Dealing Desk, Market Makers and NDD. These are some of the most important considerations when choosing a broker. Is the broker a market maker? If they are, their interests may or may not be aligned with yours and they could work against you. Indeed, these fx brokers make money from spreads, act as buffers, adding another layer of intermediary between trader and market. They routinely trade against their clients and make money when the trader loses. Brokers whom advertise as Non Dealing Desk (NDD) are generally ECN and/or STP brokers and provide direct market access which translates into fewer or no re-quotes for the trader, more transparency and less market manipulation, as well as hastier execution during highly liquid market conditions.
Straight Through Processing (STP). No, not the STP auto product once advertised as the “racer's edge.” This one is the “trader's edge,” and refers to Straight Through Processing. These brokers send orders from clients directly to the interbank market and liquidity providers such as large banks. Greater liquidity means orders are filled more rapidly. FX Brokers whom offer true ECN platforms, No Dealing Desk AND STP should be given the highest consideration by those deciding on a broker.
Automated trading. As more traders use robots, trading algorithms or Expert Advisors on their platforms, traders may want to check if their broker has any restrictions on their uses. Some high speed scalping algorithms (algos) will not work through some brokers due to speed of orders, or broker's spread, which could be prohibitive.
Market Hours. While the markets are open 24 hours for 5 days of the week, they do have specific trading hours or sessions, and it is worth noting the forex trading hours offered by the broker. Some brokers have platform maintenance during off hours, or they calculate swaps on a different timetable. It's also worth noting that a few brokers allow trades to be adjusted during the weekend and some open earlier than others. This could affect traders, particularly those whom want to get a jump on the Asian and Pacific market openings after a weekend.
Margin requirement. This varies with each broker-as does the margin account interest rate- and should always be taken into consideration as it can affect the strategies and trading methods that one wishes to employ.
Account Types. Does the broker use ECN technology ? Do they have Islamic accounts? Do they offer micro, mini or only standard accounts? What are the deposit requirements for each type of account? Most retail traders would probably consider the deposit requirement key in their decision. Fortunately, many brokers are now offering more features to traders with initial deposits under $1,000.
Segregated accounts. Some brokers will hold trader's account deposits in separate funds not co-mingled with the brokerage or company funds. This can be important especially if the broker encounters financial problems or goes bankrupt, as the funds enjoy some degree of legal protection.
Trading Instruments. Check what instruments can be traded. Many currency brokers have limited currency pairs and commodities offerings, though some will have extensive pairs including many of the most obscure exotics, commodities like oil and metals like platinum as well as the increasingly popular Contracts for Difference (CFDs). It's a good idea to go with the broker whom offers more choices as traders often find their setups and strategies have applications beyond major currency pairs. Another point to consider is that traders may want to delve into futures and options. The brokers that can offer all possibilities, are worth considering.
Rollover or Swap. This is the amount of interest paid or earned by the trader for leaving trades open overnight. This can be important for traders whom participate in the “carry trade,” earning interest on buying high yielding currencies with low yielding ones, or those that employ trading strategies requiring them to keep trades open for a length of time beyond a day.
Slippage. You place an order at a certain price, only to find that it has been placed at a different price, which could reduce or eliminate your profit, and always increases the cost of theThis can occur for a variety of reasons, from placing orders in highly volatile markets, slow internet speed, slow platform speed, or because the broker profits from the increased spread. This is a very important factor when choosing a broker. Unfortunately, traders may not discover this until they detect a pattern of slippage after they have opened a live account. Best to start small with any broker.
Hedging. Most forex brokers and platforms offer hedging. However, brokers in the United States are prohibited by the National Futures Association (NFA) from offering hedging, so traders whom wish to employ this trading strategy will likely look for brokers located outside the USA.
Minimum stop or limit orders. Some brokers restrict stops and limits to a minimum distance from the trade price. On average, this is generally about 2 pips, though some brokers have 5 pips+ requirements. This can be insignificant to some traders, but for scalpers or those employing high speed automated trading methods, this can be prohibitive.
Regulation. Most of the top forex brokers reviewed are located within jurisdictions covered by financial regulation. While the coverage can vary, it usually includes provisions for protection of trader account funds in the case of broker bankruptcy or fraud, as well as capital requirements for the broker. In the United States, brokers are regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA). In the United Kingdom, they come under the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Japan, the EU and Scandinavian countries also have their own regulatory organizations which provide protection for traders, though the NFA and FSA are the standard bearers. It's also important to note that some brokers located outside the United Kingdom can be registered with the FSA UK, though their status may not be as stringent since they come under local regulations as well.
Reputation. Before choosing a broker, it's a good idea to check the blogs and forums related to forex trading, especially those containing broker reviews and ratings. Traders seem to be a talkative lot, and share quite a bit of information about every facet of trading. Broker opinions and anecdotes tend to get the most attention, either praise or vitriol. It can seem ironic, but some brokers whom receive poor reviews, are often the most prolific advertisers on these sites. Doing due diligence before one opens a live trading account can save a lot of heartache and money later on.
Geographical exclusions. Although trading is a global business, it's local in some regards. Many brokers are legally prohibited from offering their services to some regions of the world. Ironically, many traders whom are citizens of, or reside in the United States, are restricted from opening accounts or trading with many brokers outside the USA. This is a result of U.S. financial and tax reporting requirements that non U.S. brokers find difficult to comply with.
Promotional offers. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Some brokers now offer large deposit bonuses as a way of attracting clients. This can be useful for traders, though the funds are often teasers and withdrawn from the client's account after a certain period or if the account balance drops below a certain level. Traders should consider other factors and ask themselves why a broker would offer bonuses in the first place. After all, there is no free lunch and chances are the trader is paying for that bonus some other way.
Demo Accounts. Always a good idea to take a car out for a test drive before buying. The same for a forex broker. Try the demo account for at least 30 days, and maybe longer. Be advised that live accounts with the same broker, may not be as seamless an experience as trading the demo account. Traders sometimes find that their live accounts don't execute trades as rapidly or efficiently, Slippage-which may not have been an issue with the demo account-can become one with the live account. Many traders therefore, will give the live account a “test drive” as well, depositing fewer funds until the broker exits their “probationary” period.
Customer Service. At some juncture, traders will have a need to contact their broker to resolve a technical, account or trading issue. The level and quality of customer support can make a huge difference in the trading experience. Many of the top forex brokers assign customer service representatives to traders, regardless of account size. The bottom line is how quickly and diligently these support staff work to fix problems and whether they followup with their tasks. Brokers that reply, call or email in a timely matter tend to be brokers that traders want to stick with, even when spreads or leverage are not optimal.
Payment and Withdrawal Options. The more the merrier. One should also take note of the length of time for processing as this can vary from broker to broker. Traders should also be aware that payment options don't necessarily correspond to withdrawal methods. Some brokerages will allow payments via one method such as PayPal, but have restrictions on how funds can be withdrawn. Transparency on the broker's website is key and it's worth asking the broker via email about their the details of their policies as some require transfers to be approved by their in-house financial departments, and may restrict amounts as well as withdrawal destinations.
Broker Review – What to Look For?
There are a growing number of brokers available online and equally expanding amount of websites that offer forex broker reviews and rating. When choosing a broker, online reviews can be very helpful. Along with your own research, the rating can truly help you find the broker that suits your needs.
What are some of the features forex brokers are rated for? Let’s go over the most acceptable standards:
None of us enjoys filling complex online registration forms. While some brokers request documents upon registration, others allow you to sign up within minutes and start trading. Brokers that have hassle free registration process win a vote!
For a novice trader practice is crucial. Today all forex brokers offer demo accounts. The question you should be asking is for how long. There are brokers with unlimited time demo account. There are also brokers with 30-day demo account. An extra point goes to brokers with longer demo option.
Most traders love bonuses and trading competitions. Whether it is a welcome bonus, or a winning prize in a challenge – it is nice to get a special treat.
Platform offered by a broker is definitely one of the features that gets rated. Trading platforms differ and here are just a couple of things you need to check when it comes to choosing one:
Web-based or download
MetaTrader 4 in in-house interface
No dealing desk
Trading tools along with news, economic calendar, market analysis
Accurate trading prices
Currencies, commodities, indexes, stocks
It’s nice to have options, especially when it comes to deposits and withdrawals. The more payment methods are available, the better. A great broker offers different kinds of payment methods, such as credit card, moneybookers, paypal, neteller, liberty reserve or wire transfer.
Professional, fast support is important when you are trading forex. Whether you have a technical issue with the trading platform, have a question about brokers terms and conditions or simply need a trading advice; the winning broker is the one that offers multilingual customer support both online, on the phone and via email.
What is The Best Broker for Beginner?
You have learned what forex is all about and now it is time to start trading for real. Among hundreds of forex brokers available online, which one is the right one for you? What forex broker is the best for a forex beginner and why?
Finding a good broker is entirely up to you. Be prepared to send at least couple of days reading reviews, going though terms and conditions, contacting broker’s customer support, visit forums etc. The reason for all this is that a broker that suits one trader may be not a good choice for another. Choosing a broker depends on your trading preferences and expectations, available investment capital and overall knowledge of forex.
When searching for the right forex broker, figure out what kind of trader you are first. The faster you understand yourself, the easier it will be to find the best suitable broker. Here are some things to consider when choosing forex broker:
- What kind of trading platform is offered? (If you don’t have any experience with metatrader 4, it might be a good idea to start with more user-friendly interface)
- What are the minimum deposit requirements?
- Are there any hidden fees? (for withdrawals, for overnight, for an non-active account etc.)
- Is customer support efficient and professional? (email, phone, online chat)
- Is there a demo account for practice?
- What do others say about this broker?
- Is the broker regulated and certified? (Regulated forex broker is generally more reliable than non-regulated brokers. It is important to protect yourself and your money, because once you start earning big, things can turn nasty if you are not with a good broker).
- What are the spreads for the currency pairs you are planning to trade? (some brokers offer fixed price instead of spreads. Decide what is more suitable for you)
- What is the maximum leverage available? (make sure you understand all the risk involved with the use of leverage).
- What are the payment methods available? What is your preferred payment/withdrawal method?
- What kind of services will you get – daily updates, recommendations, mobile trading, live news, daily analysis, free advisor… etc.
- What kind of bonuses are available for new traders?
Mini Accounts - I Have $10 to Invest
If you want to start trading with no more than $10, you are searching for brokers like LiteForex or InstaForex. Both brokers offer metatrader 4 platform and mini forex accounts with small minimum deposits.
Professional Forex Brokers with Metatrader 4
If you are more advanced in forex trading, have at least $100 to invest and looking for something more professional, I would say Instaforex, XM, Liteforex are your best choices.
Easiest Trading Platforms
If you are looking for easiest trading platform ever with cool buttons and user-friendly interface, try eToro and Avatrade.
The only way to figure out what forex broker is best for beginners is by trial and error. Start trading with several brokers and see which one you prefer. Over all, risk is involved in everything you do in this life. Don’t let fear stop you from forex trading. The trick is to learn and understand the risks involved and then take the right decisions.
Forex Brokers – Honest or Scam?
Forex brokers - as forex traders we cannot live without them! They are our magic bridge between humble living and the vast world of forex market. And in order to survive in forex market you have to make sure that the forex broker you have picked is honest and reliable.
To everyone's regret, not all forex brokers are reliable though. So in order to avoid "I can't live with and without my broker" situation you have to check every term and condition of the forex broker you have picked. Don't let any condition or extra fee catch you by surprise. The more you know about your forex broker, the better!
The first thing you should check is support. While trading you can run into technical problems, find yourself asking trading questions or even be unable to locate your trading history. Forex broker should provide a fast and professional support to every question that might arise via chat, email or phone call.
The best way to check this is to open a demo account and see how fast support answers your requests. After all, if a forex broker doesn't take a good care of potential traders what will happen when you turn into a real client? A professional forex broker will give an outstanding support, especially in technical area.
Second thing to check in a forex broker is leverage options. Just a reminder for those who forgot – leverage is like a loan. For example a leverage of 1:100 will turn your $1000 into $100,000. But, of course, never ever forget that there is a great risk involved with this trading option.Overall suggestion is not to drool over high leverage option. It might just be a perfect trap where you lose all your savings!
One more thing that is crucial in choosing the right forex broker is the spread. You might ask why to care about spread? If the spread is how forex brokers are getting paid for their service why would I care about it? Just a quick reminder, spread is a difference between buying and selling price. So the bigger the spread is, the more the exchange rate has to rise in your favor to break even. To make things short – avoid high spreads! Whenever you see spreads higher then, let's say, 6 pips, RUN!
Let's not forget the trading platform. There are two options web-based and download trading platforms offered by forex brokers. Which one is better? This is something you should decide for yourself. Whether download or web-based, make sure that the trading platform has every trading tool you need, including charts, news, available currencies etc.
Just to summarize – investigate, interrogate and cross-examine your forex broker before you jump in! Test your forex broker with demo accounts and make sure to read those extremely boring terms and conditions. Oh, and one more thing, don't miss anything written in tiny letters in beige font – it might just be another "invisible" extra fee.
There, we said it all. Here is the list of forex brokers that I believe to be honest and reliable.