If youve read all the previous chapters, you should be pretty familiar with the major aspects of how Forex Brokers operate. So now its time to ask the most important question of all: how do I choose the best Forex Broker of them all? Lets find out!
In previous chapters, we have introduced you to a wide range of criteria by which to pick the right Forex broker for you. However, as you mightve guessed, not all criteria have the same importance when choosing your broker.
In a perfect world, full of perfect brokers, you wouldnt have to choose, but chances are that you are going to make some compromises when making your choice. To do that you need to have a clear order of priorities. So here is a list of our picks for the 10 most important characteristics a great Forex broker should have, by order of priority.
It should come as no surprise that the most important quality a Forex broker should have is ethical business behavior and fair treatment of clients and their funds. In all fairness, there is nothing to prevent a non-regulated broker from acting ethically and responsibly towards clients; however, there is also nothing to guarantee it. That is why it is paramount to trade only with licensed and regulated brokers.
We find that European regulators have the right combination of client protection and broker flexibility, so picking a broker regulated in the EU is a safe bet.For more information check out our chapter on Licensing and Regulation
As weve discussed in Chapter 2, every broker type has advantages and disadvantages, and when picking a broker it is essential that they operate in a manner that suits your trading style.
To put it succinctly, if you are ascalper, aday trader, or a trader who prefers capitalizing on short-term swings, as opposed to holding out for longer-term trends, thenMarket Makersare probably the best fit for you due to their fixed spreads and fast executions that guarantee no slippage.
If youre a long term trader who has the capital to open sizeable currency positions, then anSTPorECNbroker would be more suitable to your needs, as you may find the much larger liquidity and tight spreads a more advantageous offer.
Having a platform that you are comfortable with makes it easier for you to capitalize on market opportunities, no matter what kind of trader you are.
Easy to use is of course a relative term: some of you may find the advancedMT4 platformeasy to navigate, while to others it might look like an impenetrable jungle of graphs and figures.
Whatever platform you settle on, make sure it has a good charting suite. Even if you currently only have the most basic charting skills, as you gain experience you will want a charting software that will let you spread your wings.For more information see our chapter on Trading Platforms.
Customer service is one of those thingsthat you hope to never need, but if you do end up needing it, the service you get can make a huge difference… not just to your general customer experience but also to your balance!
Make sure that your brokers customer service has numerous channels through which they can be contacted, that they are available throughout market hours, and that they are able to care for your needs in a language youre comfortable speaking.
As with any service, you want to get the most bang for your buck, so considering how much a broker charges for each trade is only natural. Whether your broker works on spreads or commissions,you can refer to Chapter 5 for our list of what we consider reasonable feesfor some of the most popular instruments. If your broker charges commissions in addition to spreads, simply count the two together to see if the end price is reasonable or not.
Dont get freaked out byovernight rollovers this is a standard fee and sometimes the difference inswap interest ratescan actually go in your favor. But do watch out for extra hidden fees such as account inactivity fees, or exorbitant withdrawal fees.
Even if Forex is your main game, its always a good idea to have options to expand into other assets in order to diversify your portfolio.
Commodities such as Gold, Silver, Oil and Gas have become pretty standard fare for Forex Brokers, but you can do even better with a broker that offers stock indices (eg. NASDAQ, Dow Jones, S&P500) or stockCFDs.
Trading options often depend on the type of broker youre trading with and the regulations they are obliged to uphold, but you can still find a lot of variance among brokers who are similarly stacked on these two criteria.
The most important options to have is flexible leverage (dependent on your risk appetite, but you should at least be able to trade with 1 x 100 leverage), and flexible stops, meaning that you can edit yourStop Loss and Take Profit orderseven after opening the trade.
Practice makes perfect, and theres nothing like a demo mode to enable you to test out new skills and strategies.
Make sure that you have unlimited virtual money (or however your broker may call it) and that you get live market rates in demo, otherwise your practice wont have much application in the real world of financial markets.
Having an account manager who is personally in charge of monitoring your activity, giving you suggestions and steering you towards market opportunities is a huge plus.
While this is a service many brokers offer only to their larger clients, it doesnt hurt to get in touch and ask about getting your own account manager even if you dont have thousands of dollars to invest in Forex.
Finally, in a world where over 25% of traders manage their trades exclusively on smartphones and tablets, having the option of trading on the go is simply a must.
Make sure that your brokers mobile trading app is free of charge, and secondly that it delivers in terms of the essential functionalities that you need in order to open, close and edit trades, including charts and streaming news.
With all this in mind, youre ready to choose the best Forex broker for you. To do so, you can both compile your own list of brokers and check off the desired parameters for each, or you can use any of a number of websites that rank brokers for you.
The advantage of using a website with brokers review is that all of the hard work is done for you, and if youre not an expert trader, getting an expert opinion might not be such a bad idea.
Broker reviews,such as the one on our website, will notonly give you detailed lists of the brokers services, tools and features, but also rank them according to trader experience and show you the percentage of traders who choose each broker, so you can see for yourself how popular each broker is.
Reminder! Theres no need to wait for a time when you really need support to contact your brokers customer service. In fact its better to contact them before signing up to see what kind of service you can recieve.
In a world with online forums, bad brokers have nowhere to hide. Before signing up with a broker, check out a Forex forum or two, such as theForex Peace Army, to see what your fellow traders say about them.
Like any industry, Forex brokers like to pat themselves on the back by giving out various industry awards: best broker, most innovative broker, best platform, you name it!
So why settle for the rest when you can have the best? Check out your brokers industry awards online or on their website to see how they stack up.
Absolutely! All services are free, so you to take advantage of the opportunities that Forex trading offers.
and start trading by following our forex signals and trade strategies!
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