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How to choose the best Forex broker: 11 selection criteria

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Choosing a reliable broker for forex trading is very important especially for beginning traders. Beforehand, you should think about the requirements that the best broker, in your opinion, should meet and compare them with what it offers. Many brokers on the Forex market have different conditions and each one offers different benefits. So, it's not going to be an easy task to find among them the one that best suits your individual requirements.

Below we are going to describe the most important 11 criteria that will help you evaluate a forex broker and then make your choice.

 Reliability of Forex Broker

Reliability

There is no point in opening an account with a broker if the money is stolen or access to the account is lost. A million dollars earned won't bring any joy if you can't withdraw it from your account. That's why the reliability of a broker is very important.

The reliability of the broker, as a rule, is estimated by the following criteria: the credibility of the broker, how long he works in the foreign exchange market, the availability of licenses, risk insurance and the availability of the contract for the possibility, in case of what, the legal settlement of disputes.

  • The authority of the broker - do not particularly trust the reviews of brokers on the Internet and ratings, as well as posted certificates. Reviews can be written by competitors or ordered by them, and certificates can be forged. It is better to look for information on specialized forums, in the media, etc.
  • The period of work of a forex broker on the foreign exchange market. The longer the broker has been providing its services professionally, the more trustworthy and reliable it is considered to be. But not always, a broker with experience can be honest and open, and new companies that have not so long ago emerged, in the beginning try to provide quality services, earning themselves a positive reputation and increasing the flow of new clients, not always, of course, remain such.
  • License - the license is a kind of guarantor of honesty of the brokerage company. The fact is that the licensed activity provides the possibility for traders to submit complaints and claims to special authorities. Such special controlling bodies exist in all the developed countries. In the USA - it is the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), in UK - the FSA (Financial Services Commission). In Russia - CRFIN, in Ukraine - UCRFIN.
  • Liability and risk insurance is a very important criterion that can protect your funds in case of bankruptcy of the broker. Therefore, check what insurance guarantees the forex broker provides.
  • Legal settlement of disagreements. All obligations of the broker and the trader are described in detail in the Brokerage Services Agreement.

Trading conditions

Trading conditions

Since you want to choose a forex broker to trade with, this is the second important criterion to pay attention to. Some part of the money you will be giving to the broker. This is the spread, swap and commissions. This is what brokers make big money on  and trading conditions can differ from broker to broker by several times.

For the trader, the lower the spread (the difference between buying and selling the price of a currency pair), the better, the more points he will earn, for the broker, on the contrary, the higher the spread, the more he earns in commissions.  The absence of spreads and commissions in general (with the exception of some shares) is a sign that the company is not a broker in any way, but draws prices in the terminal as it pleases.

You should also take into account the fact that spreads can be fixed, unchanging under any circumstances in the market, and floating, which can vary significantly at certain events and the release of important news.

Three types of spread payment that forex brokers use:
  1. fixed spread
  2. floating spread
  3. commission payments are based on a percentage of the spread

Which spread should I choose: fixed or floating?

Floating spreads can be in the range of 1 to 7 pips from time to time for most major currency pairs, it depends on the level of market volatility.

The fixed spread can be from 2 or more pips. As a rule, the average fixed spread on the major currency pairs at Forex fluctuates in the range of 3-4 pips. If the spread is higher than 5-6 pips, it is a sign of a dishonest company and we advise to avoid them.

Which spread is more profitable fixed or floating? We choose a floating spread, because in a "calm market" you can open a deal with a minimum spread, smaller than the fixed one. If you prefer to trade on the news, it is better to choose a fixed spread. Floating, usually increases, as a rule, in several times.

For trading on ECN accounts, small commissions may also be charged. Their amount depends on the conditions of the broker. You can choose an ECN account if you need very tight spreads. Usually it is important for scalpers and when trading robots scalpers and pips, which quickly open and close orders at the minimum profit.

Minimum broker deposit

Deposit (initial payment)

The third important point when choosing a broker. If the minimum amount is more than you can afford to deposit or lose, you should not register with such a broker. Many traders prefer to start their trading career by risking small amounts of money, which leads them to look for a broker that requires a low down payment.

A serious forex broker, presenting an excellent service, may have a relatively large minimum deposit, $1000, for example, in order to be sure that his client is serious about trading. But Forex is very fickle and this money can be lost as a result of trader's mistakes.

Do not choose a broker with too tempting conditions for depositing, usually they are not met. And in the case of winning you will not be able to withdraw your money.

Order Execution Speed

Order Execution Speed

Slippage can worsen your results by tens of percent. Order execution is very important for active trading, imagine that each trade will be executed 1 point worse. In 1000 trades you will lose 1000 pips, and in a year they make even more!

Choosing a forex broker raises another question - the speed of order execution is also one of the most important. Time of execution of the order, both opening and closing orders, at any moment of trade should not exceed 1 second. The speed and accuracy of order execution at the prices specified in the order affect the final profit. If there is a delay of more than 1 second in order execution, it causes a requote and the order is executed in the opposite direction of profit. If the price is also executed on the opposite side of the profit, sell is lower and buy is higher, this is a sign of cheating. If this happens often you lose money, our advice is to change your broker.

Deposit and withdrawal

Deposit and withdrawal

It is not possible to make money in forex if you cannot easily withdraw your money from your trading account. Remember that the broker is only the holder of your money, so there can be no excuse for any unreasonable delays or denials of payment.

Reputable Forex brokers always take care of trouble-free deposit and withdrawal of funds.

If you have experienced delays or rejections when depositing or withdrawing your funds - close your account immediately.

There's no room for compromise, everything has to be like at the most serious bank. Traders with experience check the broker before depositing a large sum. At first they deposit a small amount, and after a few days make a request for withdrawal. If there were problems, the account is deleted.

There should be as many deposit and withdrawal options as possible, the deposit/withdrawal process itself should be simple and fast. Pay attention to the amount of withdrawal, if you deposit $70, and the minimum amount of $100 - will not be nice.

Leverage

Leverage

The amount of leverage is also an important criterion to consider when choosing a broker. Leverage can have values from 1:1 to 1:1000, depending on the broker. Each trader selects the value of leverage individually taking into consideration the trading strategy and the deposit size. There are brokers which leverage can change on weekends.

So how to choose the right amount of leverage? It is quite clear that the greater the amount of leverage, the greater the resulting profit. This is when trading is profitable. But when trading is unsuccessful, the size of losses also increases. Some experts advise to consider the following when choosing a leverage:

  • for aggressive trading the value of 1:500 or higher is suitable;
  • for more conservative trading suitable leverage 1:100 or 1:200;
  • for investing should choose the minimum from 1:2 to 1:10

Forex trading platform

Trading platform Forex

Depending on the characteristics of your computer and software, you can choose either a terminal program or a Web terminal (java). It is very important to understand on which platform you will be most comfortable to work. Also, you have to make sure that the platform you choose won't crash or freeze, especially during extremely volatile hours.

An aggressive trader or a trader who prefers short and frequent trading (intraday/scalping) must have a stable platform that rarely or never fails. On the other hand, a trader who does not follow the market around the clock and trades with long-term strategies may not bother about it.

типы счетов

Account types

Some brokers offer a large variety of account types. Others have a few types, but with a lot of customization. The number of account types is not that important. The main thing is to have a possibility to choose a spread and a leverage suitable for you. Nevertheless, reputable Forex brokers usually offer these types of trading accounts:

  • demo account - trading without investing money, allows beginners to learn how to work with the terminal and trade, and an experienced trader the opportunity to test their trading strategies;
  • cent account – a special feature is the use of cents as the unit of settlement. For example: a cent account with 1,000 units equals 10 USD or other account currency. For many beginning traders, this is an  affordable amount to make the first steps in trading and risk to lose in case of unsuccessful trading not a significant amount.
  • standard account – is an account for experienced traders who need special conditions for using trading strategies.
  • ECN NDD is chosen by professional traders for whom instant execution of orders and absence of requotes are of key importance. The main choice is made by professional traders for trading with Expert Advisors, the efficiency of which depends on the speed of execution.

We advise beginning traders to start trading by opening a cent account with a small deposit.

Служба поддержки брокера

Support Service 

Friendly, patient and professional customer service can help traders, especially beginners, with questions. It is necessary to pay attention to the means of contacting the support service: e-mail, chat or telephone. Before the opening of the trading account we recommend to communicate with the support department by chat or by phone, or to ask questions by e-mail. Pay attention to the speed and competence of the answer.

Many novice traders want to open a trading account with a foreign broker. Although they have the best reputation, but it is necessary to take into account the necessity of a good knowledge of English. Not many foreign brokers have Russian-speaking support.

Innovation forex broker

Novelties, availability of additional services

It is a must for any trader to have quick access to real-time charts, news and economic data. It is desirable to have a news release schedule, online currency charts for viewing in a browser, professional market analytics, and the free Autochartist analytics service is also welcome.

Forex brokers bonuses and promotions

Bonuses and Promotions

This is not the main indicator of a broker's quality, you should pay attention to it in the last place, after the broker suits you according to the first 9 criteria. Promotions and bonuses are given in order to attract more clients. The main bonuses a generous broker can offer are: deposit bonus, percentage on your available funds,rebate (partial spread rebate).

We hope that this article will help you choose a Forex broker that best suits your needs.

We wish you good luck and growth of your deposit!

Making money on forex

 

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