One essential ingredient that you must have when starting on line foreign currency exchange trading is an account with a Forex trading broker. The currency trading broker is your connection into the markets and they will provide the essential cover that allows you to trade with margins.
The question is how do you select the best Forex brokers. There are at least 7 criteria points to be considered when you are deciding where best to shop for a Forex currency trading broker.
This works on multiple levels. You need a broker that you can rely upon to be trustworthy and who will not all of a sudden vanish like a puff of smoke from the internet taking with them all of your hard earned money. The FX market is surprisingly devoid of regulations so there are a vast number of Forex brokers to choose from and as is like with many things in life some Forex trading brokers are more honest than others.
The first step is to check up on the reliability of the currency trading broker and to confirm your online Forex broker is regulated. In the USA this means that you want a Forex trading broker that carries a current registration with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and also the National Futures Association (NFA).
Check for a Forex currency trading broker with an unblemished record regarding any complaints logged against them on the National Futures Association website. Other countries have their own regulatory bodies for example the Financial Services Authority in the UK performs the same function.
Another consideration is whether the online Forex broker’s trading platform is reliable. The Forex trading platform is the financial software that will connect you to the FX markets whenever you want to trade. If the online Forex trading platform is often offline then this will cause you some major problems. For example you could miss out on either opening or closing a trade at the optimum time.
It would be best to check a number of online Forex trading forums for feedback from individual users regarding the amount of downtime that they have experienced. Remember it is like with all online forums do not listen to the loudest voice as they may have a vested interest either way in recommending or not recommending who in their opinion are the best Forex brokers
2. Services Provided by the Best Forex Brokers
The Forex markets trade for a full 24 hours each day that’s from Sunday evening through to Friday afternoon Eastern Standard Time. Check that your Forex broker’s trading platform is reachable available during all of these times, The best Forex brokers trading platforms will be available and they will also offer around the clock customer support on Forex trading days.
Check that they cover at the seven main currencies that are USD, JPY, CAD, AUD, CHF, EUR and GBP certainly the best Forex brokers will.
The best Forex brokers will offer you a minimum of the following essential tools, which are instant execution of your Forex trade at the price displayed, technical analysis charts and financial trading charts. Most will also offer a training program to teach the basics of using the tools.
3. Forex Broker Costs
Online Forex brokers do not make commission charges to their customers so the way they make their income is from the difference in the Forex trading spread. The Forex spread is the differences between the buying and selling prices on any of the currency pairs. The Forex trading spread is usually any spread between 1 pip and even sometimes less to around 3 pips; this will depend upon the online Forex brokers terms of service and the currency pair being traded.
The piece of the pie taken by the spread can make all the difference between achieving a profit or making a loss in your Forex trading account. This will affect both the immediate term and also the longer term so you will need to scrutinize closely at what level the spread will be computed. If you can decide which pairs you are likely to trade most frequently the spread on those pairs will be more important to you than on others. For example I prefer the USD/GBP trading pair, which is known as cable.
Beware of special short term marketing maneuvers like special offers of lower Forex trading spreads that may not last long once you have committed your funds.
Consideration need to be given on how much is the minimum amount of capital you can invest in order to open a Forex trading account. Good advice given to new traders is to start out small, which means looking for a Forex broker who will let you open an account with a minimum of $250 or hopefully less.
4. Margins, which are also known as Deposits
Margins are a variable that change from Forex broker to Forex broker. A lower margin requirement means giving you a higher leverage, and higher leverage can give you the ability to create greater profits, or losses from a fund of the same size. Margins allow you to magnify the opportunity to make more money
5. Size of the Trade also known as Lot Size
Trade size varies from one broker to another. Generally 100,000 trading units of currency is considered a standard lot, 10,000 of trading units is a mini lot, and 1,000 trading units is a micro lot. Some brokers do offer fractions of a lot too, which give you more power to set your own lot size. This could be perceived as a bonus or just an added complication depending on your point of view.
There are other matters to be considered which include the interest paid on the Forex margin account, the rollover charges when trades continue over to the next trading day and any other FX trading policies that the broker may have which could affect your Forex trading account commerciality. These are the main points that you should be looking out for when choosing the best Forex trading broker.
6. Customer Service
This is very important especially when you have just started out using a Forex trading platform. Like with all new things there will inevitably be teething troubles and you will want to be able to speak or email someone and get an instant response. The best Forex brokers will provide this service.
7. Forex Exit Strategy
There will be a time when you want to realize some of the profits that you have made and be able to withdraw your money quickly and easily. Make sure that you are able to get your money within a couple of days as some online Forex brokers insist on a 14 day delay which is totally unnecessary