Forex Broker Reviews 2021 List
BaFin, FCA, FINMA
CySEC, IFSC, IFSC
ASIC, VFSC, FMA
CySEC, FSB, FSC, MiFID
FCA UK, CySEC, FSA SC
ASIC, BaFin, FMA, FSC, DFSA, CNMV
Forex Market is a global marketplace that functions without any central authority. It is one of the most liquid marketplaces in the world. The largest walk-in marketplace that operates physically we know is NYSE. According to the NYSE Composite Index, the average trade volume of the New York Stock Exchange is currently 3.8 billion USD per year.
The forex industry has a daily turnover of over 5 trillion USD. A huge virtual market platform with a decentralized authority makes it a giant industry that is growing massively every year. In addition, the forex market’s price is continuously rising while the volume is growing exponentially.
How to Choose the Best Forex Broker?
In a virtual industry such as Forex, checking a broker’s physical existence is difficult. Moreover, there are millions of brokers on the market, and thousands are entering every year. Generally, it makes choosing a broker more difficult for newbies. Therefore, choosing a broker is the key challenge for retail traders.
The key advantages of having an established broker are twofold- it can help you establish more precise trading prices and avoid trading at higher spreads, which is quite common with novice brokers.
Investing in Forex can be quite lucrative as long as you know the selection criteria of the forex brokers. Having done some research, we suggest looking for the following features in a broker:
There are many scammers you’ll see pretending to have the expertise to deceive thousands of traders when you start online Forex trading. In most of the cases, these con artists lack the legitimacy to be claimed as a broker.
To persuade the retailers, they simply created a professional-looking website and promotional social media accounts. They offer random bonuses and discounts to register more clients with them and churn significant amounts of money as commissions, swaps, and other hidden costs.
So, how do you differentiate a real broker from the ones that are scams? Different regulatory bodies operate worldwide in order to ensure this degree of transparency for brokers and financial service providers. These organizations function as an authority to check the quality of financial services and allow them to operate in the market through licensing them.
To obtain a license, brokers and other financial services must adhere to a set of regulations imposed by the regulators who investigate and assess their capital flows, policies, and legal issues. They also hold the responsibility to initiate an instant judiciary process if any rule or standard is violated. No entity can legally engage in any business activity with consumers unless it is regulated by these authorities.
Here’s a rundown of some of the world’s most powerful regulators:
ASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission
FCA – Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
CFTC – Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (US)
BaFIN – The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (Germany)
CySec – Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
FINMA – Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority
FMA – Financial Market Authority (Austria)
FSA – Financial Services Agency (Japan)
FSB – Financial Services Board (South Africa)
IFSC – International Financial Services Commission
Besides the above facts, make sure to choose a broker with at least 5 years of experience in the industry. It is not advisable to trade with a broker who lacks sufficient user reviews and has not had their service thoroughly tested by a sufficient number of clients.
Security of your Trading Account:
You have to share a lot of your personal information while opening a Forex account, like your birthday, credit card number, transaction details, etc. In the market, there are a number of hacker rackets that gain access to your accounts and conduct illicit transactions through those accounts.
So, before signing up with a broker, thoroughly research their history and technical specifications. Also, when filling out any type of web form, look for the SSL encryption sign to ensure your data is safe on the server.
Legitimate brokers always come up with exclusive security features as fraudulent activities are real common events in the forex industry. With the advancement of AI technologies, brokers are trying to add top-notch security against your data breaches. But to keep your account secured you have to maintain the checklist below:
- Use strong passwords for your accounts
- Use firewalls to keep your connection private. You can add a VPS server as well, that is an advanced way to keep your data more personalized.
- Keep your trading device protected from virus and malwares
- Don’t share your password for a co-use. Also, avoid trading in any public network.
Brokers can be found all over the world, and they all offer the convenience of online trading. However, the location of their headquarters is imperative to know. Every regulator can’t ensure the standard level of transparency. Since trading is done differently in different parts of the world, the strictness of the regulations may vary.
The geographical position of a broker is a key determiner of the regulatory authority a broker is associated with.
Most of the top-level regulatory bodies are situated in the USA or UK. They are allowed to operate in several countries with the respective regional authority licenses. If you want to trade in a global marketplace you should consider the FCA or CFTC regulated brokers. CySEC is also a mentionable name in the world of regulatory bodies that authorizes overseas operations conducted by the brokers serving EU clients.
The trading conditions offered by the brokers in Europe are different from those in the US. That is why along with the UK brokers there are many EU brokers that don’t provide their service in the USA.
During the last 15 years, ASIC is also providing the credibility of a strict regulation system for financial advisors, brokers, and credit unions. In fact, it has built itself up as the strictest regulator in current days.
If you are new to trading, it is recommended that you give preference to a broker regulated by one of the jurisdictions mentioned above.
Broker Trading Platform:
This is the first and foremost technical fact you will have to deal with once you have chosen your broker.
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular platform amongst traders. Despite the fact that many brokers have their own proprietary platforms, MT4 is the most widely used platform in the world.
It is also possible to program your trading strategy for automatic implementation if you are competent at programming. If you are new to trading, it is suggested that you don’t open an account with a broker that doesn’t provide you with the MetaTrader4 platform.
A huge part of your success in the forex industry will be determined by your skill in using the trading platforms wisely. It has a multitude of charting tools, economic calendars, technical indicators, trading signals, and order execution types.
MetaTrader5 is also a widely known trading platform. It is the following version of MT4 that has multiple cool features like Partial order filling policies, options for netting and hedging mode, and 6 types of pending orders. Most of the user functions that were available in MT4 are present in MT5. But the programming language designed for the auto trading facility is quite different from MT4.
There are other trading platforms developed as individual proprietary platforms by the brokers.
Some of these custom trading platforms are-
NInjaTraders, TradingView, cTrader, RTrader, etc.
SaxotraderGO, IBKR TradingView, eToro copy trading platform, plus500 trading platform are some popular proprietary platforms offered by the brokers tailored for different trading styles.
There are also trading platforms for customized trading strategies. cTrader is such a platform to help you with exclusive charting features and manual technical analysis tabs for CFDs. Its advanced technology will allow you to make fast-entry execution as it features order execution for both 32 and 64-bit processors simultaneously.
The forex industry was regarded as filthy due to its virtual wealth because of this factor. This is a feature offered by your broker to let you trade on an amount that is several times more than you have in your account for trading. The rest of the money is lent by the broker you are dealing with. When you are trading with 100:1 leverage, you have a buying capacity of 100000$ if your trading figure is 1000$.
Leverage is a crucial metric because it earns you a good profit when the market is in your favor. This can also result in a loss of significant capital if your speculation turns out to be incorrect.
To terminate his risk, the broker temporarily shuts down all your trading positions once you have lost 10%-30% of your main trading amount. This is called a margin call. In this situation, you might receive a request from your broker to deposit more money into your account to keep your positions ongoing, or to close out all of your trades altogether.
This is a term you will often see when you trade with a specific account type. It is just a derivative ratio of the leverage provided by your broker. The margin requirement is the percent of real currency you must deposit with the broker while you are trading with leverage.
For example, assume your broker is offering you 20:1 leverage. This means that your minimum margin requirement is 1/20 = 5%. In a 20:1 leverage ratio, you must have a minimum of $1,000 in real cash in your margin account to trade up to $20,000. To maintain 20:1 leverage on larger volumes, you must deposit more.
The margin requirement increases the potential profits of your trade, therefore, choose a broker with a lower margin requirement no matter how much you trade.
It doesn’t matter if you are a novice or experienced trader, trading cost is always a key factor to keep an eye on. A huge part of your market research has to be deployed for finding a broker that requires a reasonable trading cost. However, the cost charged by the brokers varies according to their regulation, service quality, and their influence in the inter-bank market.
Forex brokers charge you in three major forms:
It is the difference between the BID price and the ASK price. The bid is the price at which a forex market maker or broker is willing to buy the base currency (say, USD) in exchange for the counter currency (CAD). In contrast, the asking price is the price at which the forex broker is willing to sell the base currency in exchange for the counter currency. An ASK price is typically greater than the BID price.
Some brokers will charge you a competitively wider spread than the original spread available in the market. There are others who will give you the genuine spread in the market that is called Raw spread. A raw spread broker typically charges a commission on your trading volume. Most brokers charge two types of spreads.
Broker Fixed Spread:
This spread is offered to the traders before the order is placed. The broker is bound to charge the promised spread when the trade is closed. It is quite good for beginner traders as they lack the skills in calculating trading costs effectively.
It varies as per the condition of market volatility. If you can calculate your charges and profit from a trade regularly, a floating spread may give you good results. Because here the trading cost is closer to the market rate. You can close your trade when you sense that spread may increase if you have learned to trigger your decisions with financial news and market analysis.
It is a figure deduced from your account balance as a fee for trading through their platforms.
Commissions are fixed depending on the trading account type and trading volume. If your broker is charging a commission for your trading, they will let you trade with a tighter spread that is closest to the live market rate.
You anyway pay trading fees with the commission and the spread rate they provide. They also charge fees for certain other facts. For example, the overnight fee is charged for holding a position after the trading hour is closed. It is also known as swap rate.
Some brokers will charge you an inactivity fee for performing no transactions for a long period. Besides, there may be fees applied to your deposits and withdrawals depending on your trading regions and payment methods.
Another thing that may apply to your indirect cost amounts is the currency conversion fee. It is charged when you are funding your trading account with a currency different from the base currencies offered by your broker.
Deposit and withdrawal:
You can deposit and withdraw money using your debit/credit card, wire transfer, and electronic payment gateways like PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Fasapay, Payoneer, Klarna, etc. Because of these cloud payment systems, trading is now more flexible than ever with easy transaction processes.
Before opening an account the deposit and withdrawal features should be checked and double-checked properly. One of the key things is, you should choose a broker that offers a good range of base currencies. It will help you to get rid of the extra currency conversion fees.
It is also wise to have a broker that supports transactions with the payment system they already have. It allows you the flexibility to save time and effort with a known transaction system. You will know the time range for the payment execution and the way to approach their service team for immediate needs.
You also keep an eye on your bank entity because most of the traders having complaints about withdrawal delay experience that when the withdrawal money reaches the bank account and undergoes verification procedures regarding the source of money.
This is another feature you must look out for before you start trading with your real money with a broker. The Minimum Deposit demanded by a broker may range from 10$-10000$. The higher your deposit amount is, the more advanced facilities will be provided by your brokerage firm. You will be able to trade with more buying power and leverage. The trading cost will also be lowering as per the percentage of your trading account with more deposit amounts.
But you also have to remember that you should not put the money in your trading account that you can’t afford to lose. Once you deposit, the broker has control over the amount in your balance.
It is often recommended that new traders separate their investment amounts by asset type and into multiple accounts. This helps them to know the service traits and cost structures for different brokers. Besides, it teaches you to manage the risks through speculating on different marketplaces and reading the market trends for several trading instruments.
A trading account can be classified in various ways, based on the deposit amount and functionality that the account offers. You certainly need to ensure that you have an idea about how to trade and the service features as well as the cost plans offered by your broker. A Demo Account helps you here.
Why should you trade with a Demo Account Before opening a real trading account?
Because it minimizes your risk. It is always recommended to practice trading with a demo account. It is a dummy trading account with virtual money. You are given all the elements for making artificial trades without investing any real money. Thus, you get the opportunity to practice your trading drills and get to know the trading platforms properly.
The forex market is an industry where almost 80% of traders lose their investments. Besides too much competition and a heinous amount of fraud rackets, the lack of knowledge about trading styles, tools, platforms, and strategic investment plans, most of the individuals put their funds at the risk of high volatility.
Practicing with a demo account will make you able to scale up your budget allocation for investments as per the trading cost and your suitable trading conditions. Most of the brokers offer a demo account. If you are into trading, you have to learn consistently about the market from the education section and apply those learnings in the demo trades.
Brokers mostly offer three types of retail accounts for the traders. With the growth of your trading balance, you will be offered greater account types.
A micro account is recommended if you have a small amount of money to invest and are not skilled enough to make accurate predictions based on historical market data. With this account, you can trade a micro lot that is worth 1000 USD.
If you are investing lower amounts and can’t afford to take much risk, you should open a Micro Account. It is mostly recommended for new traders who are just learning the live market trend. Brokers usually offer a minimum deposit below 100$ for this type of account. But some brokers offer high leverage and quote very low minimum deposits up to 10$.
Trading with a micro account is for analyzing price movement in the case of small investments. The profits you will count with this account will also be little.
When you are ready to handle a handsome amount of sum around 10,000$, you can open a mini trading account. The minimum deposits for this type of account are in the range 200$-500$. With a mini account, you will enjoy more platform and tools features along with access to a wider range of asset classes. Besides, the spread costs also may be lowered by some brokers rather than their micro-accounts.
The risk is going to be 10 times larger with chances of larger profits with the same ratio. During this time you will look deeply at developing a good knowledge of the trading resources and understanding of the facts that affect the market trend.
This is the most premium type of retail account. Standard Account is for traders who have professional skills in trading. They know how to handle a large amount of money. If you think that your speculation is worth risking an amount of 100,000 units (a standard lot) of your trading currency, you may go with a standard account.
A broker provides the highest of their facilities to their standard account clients. As the trader with this account can trade larger amounts, he is worthy for the broker as well to bring them more profits from the spread charges. These traders are facilitated with the opportunity to trade CFDs with derivatives. It means that they don’t have to depend on the currency pair, they can trade on custom pairs made with different market products and speculate on them.
You will also enjoy more technical features from the broker in a standard account. The usual minimum deposit for a standard account is 1000$. With a standard lot, one movement of the pip will give you or take away 10$. Brokers offer the highest flexibility of margin requirements for standard account clients.
STP and ECN accounts:
The retail accounts mentioned above always provide wider spreads than the direct rate going over the market. These brokers are known as the Dealing Desk brokers. They maintain a virtual desk where they process orders by showing them prices set by themselves. They are also known as market makers. They often take the opposite side of your trade. Here, your trading execution usually takes more time than live market execution as the brokers remain as a mediator between you and the market. The broker sets the spread based on the price accumulated from other market participants like large banks, hedge funds, and liquidity providers.
For trading with the direct market spreads and instant execution advantages, you may open an STP or ECN account. Through the STP account, your investment is directly routed to the liquidity providers. These types of accounts come up with great benefits. As the executions are done instantly, you can take complete advantage of the financial news for making your trades successful.
These brokers earn from adding a specific markup with a floating spread (STP) or charge a commission on your total trade volume.
With such a type of trading your fund is exposed to the direct liquidity of the market. So, you have to know how to manage your risk and close the trade before you see a loss. You will get rid of any additional trading costs that you would have to pay to the market makers. If you are able to trade standard lot sizes at a good frequency and have good skills in scaling your investments, an STP or ECN account will provide you with the most transparent cost structure available in the market.
The key reasons traders choose these accounts are-
- Instant execution,
- Direct access to a liquidity pool and
- Exposure in the interbank network with other market participants.
Education and Research:
It is a very useful aspect of the service that your broker provides and is often ignored by the traders before choosing a good broker. But to succeed in the forex industry, you must need the educative and informative resources that will help you to develop a smart sense of speculating on the pip movements.
A true forex broker will provide necessary study materials and guidelines to its traders. It is beneficial for brokerage firms if you learn to trade well and invest more money. Your increasing trading volume is their key metric for generating more through charging spreads. There is a wide array of broker websites where you will find guides, case studies, and other educational contents that will school you with the technical features of the platforms, market jargon, trading basics, and industry research.
Another important area of knowledge that should be provided by the broker is the latest market updates. The brokers’ website and platform should have sections for displaying live prices for the tradable assets, forecasts on the events in the financial industry, and important statistics that may help to decide while speculating on a pair.
It often comes last while considering a broker to trade with. But if you remain indifferent to investigating the customer support details, you may face hilarious issues regarding your withdrawal and trading executions.
Your broker should provide dedicated customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They should be accessible via a variety of media so that you can communicate with them immediately if you encounter any problem.
Also, ensure that the customer service has a diverse language offering and that service is available in your native language. You can evaluate the quality of customer service by accessing the chat section on the broker’s website. If you see a queue of more than ten people during working hours, still they have responded to you within half an hour, you may consider the service quite up to the mark.
Their email feature can also be used to inquire about different investment opportunities pertaining to your account. Good brokers reply within 24 hours with the necessary insights into your approach.
Different Types of Forex Brokers:
There are two basic types of brokers in the forex industry:
- Dealing Desk Brokers:
A dealing desk is a place for conducting trading activities by market activists appointed by financial institutions. It is the place where all kinds of buy and sell orders are put, executed, and closed through transactions. In online trading, a dealing desk is incorporated by thousands of traders maintaining their investments through virtual networks. Besides the retail traders, a broker’s dealing desk also consists of professional traders who handle hedging and maintain the liquidity.
A dealing desk broker is also known as a Market maker as he creates a market for their clients. They either march your buy order against another sell order and vice versa or directly act as the opposite party to your trade. They are also capable of setting the price of your currency pairs for the clients. They usually charge wider spreads than the regular market rates and often provide fixed spreads.
If those aspects are making you concerned that dealing with the market makers may be riskier for you, don’t get baffled. Probably, they will trade against you and try to gain profit from your losses. As they are filling both buy and sell orders for the clients, manipulation of price for each direction will terminate profitability for the trades in the opposite direction. In addition, trading with fixed spreads and high leverage may be beneficial to your risk management when you have lower amounts to invest.
So, a good DD broker that has well-maintained liquidity pools, quick execution systems, and lower fixed spreads can be a good choice for a consistent trader.
- Non-Dealing Desk Brokers:
These brokers directly expose your order to interbank market liquidity. You will be trading at the opposite of the liquidity providers and other market participants. From the name you also can say that there is no trading desk intervention here. They are also divided into two groups;
1. ECN Brokers: They create a liquidity pool through the trades placed by the retail traders, market makers, and liquidity providers. They operate the hub between these market participants through a technology called an Electronic Communication Network. The system eliminates the chance of any middleman getting involved as all the trading process happens through automated accumulations.
They provide the raw market rate and instant trading execution to the traders. Another benefit of trading with an ECN broker is you can trade outside official trading hours. So, you can trade any time of the day you want without being concerned about swap charges.
2. STP Brokers: They also transfer your trade directly to your liquidity providers. The only difference is they have fewer entities to source the trades from. Also, they charge an additional mark-up on the live market price. They are prior choices for scalpers and intra-day traders because they allow the traders to trade while the financial news is cast. This, along with the robust execution system helps the traders to speculate on the instant movement of the market.
Broker Reviews FAQs
How much money can I make from forex trading?
Ans: Let me give you the straight answer. There is no specific number to it. Because of the promotions and the dynamics of trading opportunities people are attracted to the industry. They see it as a money-making hub. But over 75% of investors see losses over here.
So, the question remains, how is sustainability handled? Can you really take trading as a profession or not? If you can, what is the amount you should earn to call yourself a successful trader?
And most importantly, if most of the investors are losing their money, then why are people doing it?
It’s because, even after losing most of your trades, you may make a profit on your total investment for a certain timeline. And the vast amount of trades make a loss on individual total trade volumes even if over 70% of total trades have been won by those losing traders.
Your profit or loss is calculated based on your total trading amount. So, it is more of a percentage than a number. Suppose you have won 7 trades and lost 3 trades out of 10 orders you have made. If you made a profit of 350$ from the winning trades and lost 120$ from the losing trades. So, your average win is 350$/7=50$ and your average loss is 120$/3=40$.
So, you have made 10$ profit from your 10 trades. If your total investment for this trading timeline is 200$, you have a 5% profit for your day. Now, with this amount of capital you are capable of trading micro-lots. But within the same timeline and risk management, a trader who is investing 2000$ will be able to trade a standard lot and make 10 times more profit than you, which is 100$.
If you can prove yourself as a proficient trader who can bring up consistent profits for larger amounts of capital, you can be hired by large hedge fund and mutual fund institutions. The institutional traders make an amount of around 90,000$ per year. For an intraday trader, it can be 70$ for a day and 5600$ the very next day.
Can I trade forex without a broker?
Ans: Technically, yes. In this case, you would have to play the role of your own broker. With a required amount of capital, you will have to register with a trading platform that allows you to buy and sell currencies with a raw exchange rate. You can even start it from scratch.
You just have to short sell a currency that is going down in exchange rates and go long for a currency that’s on an uptrend. From the borrowed money you start your trade and then repay that at a lower rate from the income from the long traded currency.
You need to have a comprehensive sense of triggering your speculation with an understanding of the currency market, price charts, and financial news updates trading without a broker. Most of the newbie traders ask this question to find a trading process without paying commissions or fees. Moreover, most of the market makers or dealing desk brokers take the other side of their clients’ trades.
But without a broker, you will miss the opportunity to trade on a larger amount of sum savoring your small amount of deposit. Without the leverage system, you can’t make a significant profit to cover your losses which is quite inevitable in any trading. So, to conduct the business, you will have to have a pool of capital to risk more for gaining more.
Unless you ought to make a million to billion-dollar business network in the industry, it is recommended to find a regulated broker that features a fast execution system.
How do I know if my Forex broker is regulated?
Ans: Credible brokers keep their regulatory information on their website menu. They will also mention their licensing details with the authority. You can recheck the legitimacy of the broker from the list of regulatory organizations published on their website.
Besides, you will have thousands of websites that provide you with introductory information on trading basics and broker features. They publish in-depth reviews of brokers and present necessary insights on their legitimacy and trading conditions.
Lastly, you can test the broker by opening an account. Observing their execution time, withdrawal issuing time, and customer service you will have a firm idea of the legitimacy of your broker.
Can forex brokers manipulate prices?
Ans: A broker has to maintain a whole network of client orders, liquidity providers, and other market participants. They own the technology to show their suitable prices to their clients. They are also in charge of operating your trades to a notable extent. So, there are many ways for them to manipulate the price quotes which they do quite commonly with traders.
A broker gets the chance of price manipulation when you choose to be charged with fixed spreads. Here, they are legally allowed to charge a spread wider than the market rate that is provided by their liquidity providers.
They also sometimes charge a higher rate than the actual rate you placed your order at. This happens because of the delay of order execution which is often intentionally created by the broker for charging clients extra money. This is known as a ‘slippage’ in the market. They can even show you fake spikes in the chart so you can speculate on that and the trade goes the wrong way.
What to do if you are already stuck with a scam broker?
Ans: With the advancement of technology and communication media it is easier for scammers to outreach newbies and makes attractive promotions with low minimum deposits, bonus offers, and zero spreads. No wonder, you will lose your valuable investment along with blowing up a trading account that takes a lot of time and effort to set up.
Besides, there are market makers who profit from your losses through trading against you. So, never put the money that you can’t afford to lose. If you are already suspecting that your broker is scamming you through abnormal price manipulation, delaying executions and withdrawals, the following steps can be taken-
- Approach your broker customer support and try to investigate the reason for the inconvenience. Most of the traders lose their trade because of their errors and curse the brokers for their failure. So, make sure that you are not one of them. Discuss with your broker to find probable remedies to your issues and work on them together.
- If your broker is a scam they will be redundant to your complaints and rather, ask you for more investments with more attractive pitches. You then have to immediately talk in the traders’ forums and with the market experts about how to rescue your funds.
- You can then register a complaint against the broker and issue it toward the financial entity it is attached with for fund segregation and transactions.
- Lastly, you can even file a complaint against your broker to the regulators of your regions and pray for a chargeback.