Knowing how to choose a Forex broker means you’ll need to know what they do and why you need one.
These investment professionals are often regarded as essential components to working with the foreign exchange market.
Let’s get into the details of what brokers do and how you can find the ideal one for your needs.
What Do Brokers Do in Forex?
Brokers are the group of individuals that help make trading on the foreign exchange market possible.
They have multiple tasks that they’re responsible for, and below are some of the most common ones.
Handling Your Finances
Regardless of the market, the primary objective of any broker is to make sure your money makes money.
They are responsible for holding your funds in an account while managing any losses and profits.
You’ll also find a brokerage that will manage any commission fees while adhering to withdrawal requests.
This point is significant for beginners since you’re unlikely to have enough knowledge to experience success right away.
By working with a brokerage, you’ll have a line into expert advice to help you make the most out of your trades.
Over time, you’ll be able to diversify your own skillset to where you might not even need a brokerage’s advice.
Offering Trading Platforms
Brokerages are also essential because they offer an assortment of trading platforms for you to use.
These platforms can often be accessed digitally, allowing you to manage your finances and trades independently.
Depending on the brokerage, they will likely have a brand-specific trading platform for you to use.
Can I Trade Forex Without a Broker?
Before finding a brokerage, it’s important first to consider whether one is necessary or not.
The idea of trading without a broker can be enticing, especially since it could help you avoid commissions and hidden fees.
With that said, technically, you can trade foreign currency without a broker, but the rates aren’t worth the effort.
The only way that you can trade Forex on your own is to visit a Forex kiosk, typically found in shopping malls or airports.
These kiosks are designed to help travelers and tourists exchange their cash at their point of entry.
With that said, their exchange rates are often abysmal, and they typically tack on a lot of fees per transaction.
Using this method, you’ll find you might lose more money than you would if you went with a bank or brokerage.
Since it’s so cost-prohibitive, it’s not recommended for experienced or beginner traders.
Become a Broker
The most important thing to remember with trading Forex is that you need access to the interbank market.
The only way to get access is to work with a brokerage or become a broker yourself.
With that said, you’ll have to register as a legal entity, get a brokerage license, and open your accounts.
You also have to purchase a trading platform and design a website to trade on the foreign exchange market.
If you’re looking for a business opportunity, this could be viable; otherwise, it’s a time-consuming process.
What Type of Broker Do I Need?
When you’re figuring out how to choose a brokerage, you need to differentiate between real and faux brokerages.
Many companies are shrouded in the illusion of being a brokerage.
When in reality, they simply hold the other side of the position while also managing your money.
In these situations, the faux brokerages will create their own rules, procedures, and policies around the transactions.
You’ll have a significantly more challenging time attempting to make any profit off your money, as they hold the other position.
Whereas with a notable and reputable brokerage, they do all of the hard work for you.
After doing your background research, a legitimate brokerage will trade for you using the interbank market.
They will often charge a small commission, if any at all, for the services they provide.
As long as you can find a trusted Forex brokerage, you can begin trading foreign currencies nearly immediately.
What To Look for in the Best Forex Brokers
Knowing what to look for in the best Forex brokers can help you learn how to choose a brokerage with ease.
Some of the essential details to keep an eye out for include the following.
How Important Is Regulatory Compliance for Brokers?
An official entity will always regulate trustworthy brokerages.
Not only do these regulations protect your finances, but the brokerages’ reputations as well.
You’ll need to ensure that you’ll be protected against manipulation and fraud.
In the United States, Forex brokerages need to be registered with the CFTC (U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission).
They will also need to be a member of the NFA (National Futures Association).
These two governing authorities ensure the brokerage’s credentials are valid and their practices are ethical.
It’s important to note that there are plenty of regulatory authorities worldwide explicitly designed for Forex trading.
Ensure that you thoroughly research a company’s credentials before trusting them with your money.
For extra assistance, here’s a list of the most popular regulatory bodies by country:
- United States: (CFTC) Commodity Futures Trading Commission and (NFA) National Futures Association
- Canada: (IIROC) Investment Information Regulatory Organization of Canada
- United Kingdom: (PRA) Prudential Regulation Authority and (FCA) Financial Conduct Authority
- Australia: (ASIC) Australian Securities and Investment Commission
- France: (AMF) Autorité des Marchés Financiers
- Switzerland: (SFBC) Swiss Federal Banking Commission
Another critical factor to think about when choosing a brokerage is how they store and manage funds.
In the United States, regulated brokers have a Net Capital Rule, which describes the amount of capital liquidity they need.
In the event brokerages close, the Net Capital Rule ensures there’s a safety net for traders to fall back on.
Brokerages that comply with the Net Capital Rule will also be required to keep client funds separate.
Each client will have a segregated account, which ensures their money will only be used for their trades and nothing else.
A great example of this is in the United Kingdom, which offers government-provided deposit insurance for brokers.
If clients’ funds are misappropriated, the government helps individuals recover part or all of their funds.
Withdrawal and Deposit Convenience
The best brokerages worldwide will allow their clients to deposit and withdraw their funds without hassle.
If you encounter a company that makes it more challenging, it could be a sign of poor practices.
The only reason the brokerage should hold your money in an account is to use it to conduct trades.
What Are the Most Common Payment Methods Good Forex Brokers Use?
As with any online purchase you make, it’s important to consider the payment options before getting a product.
If a specific brokerage doesn’t offer common forms of payment, likely, their practices aren’t up to par.
The most common payment methods you should expect to see include:
Digital Wallets (PayPal, Skrill, GiroPay, China UnionPay, etc.)
Digital wallets are often convenient because they add another layer of protection to the transaction.
Instead of giving a brokerage your banking information, the digital wallet acts as a third party.
Bank wires can be preferred if you’re transferring large quantities of money to your trading accounts.
Typically, you can either do bank wires digitally or visit your bank in person to complete the transaction.
Credit and Debit Cards
With the modernization of trading, more people are relying on credit and debit cards.
They’re an efficient method of depositing money directly into your investment accounts with protection.
Also, you have the convenience of immediately seeing if a transaction is approved or declined.
The final popular option for standard payment methods is direct deposit into your bank account.
If you’re working with a reputable brokerage, there’s not much to be concerned about with this avenue.
You’ll provide your direct deposit information to the platform, allowing you to transfer money within 24 hours seamlessly.
When choosing a Forex broker, there are a couple of other things to consider.
From minimum deposits to education and tools, let’s look at a few important details.
What Is the Minimum Deposit for the Brokerage?
This point is vital for first-time traders, as you won’t want to invest too much at the beginning.
Always inquire about the minimum deposit Forex brokers provide to ensure you’re working with a reputable company.
Typically, the amounts will be meager, significantly lower than with the stock market.
If you find a Forex broker that has higher minimum deposits than expected, it could be concerning.
The amount of money in your account shouldn’t matter, especially as the regulations are very loose.
Does the Forex Broker Offer Trading Education and Tools?
Choosing a brokerage has a lot to do with education, as does working with the foreign exchange market.
With that said, the broker you select should have an ample amount of information available for you to use.
Remember, you’re picking a brokerage to have access to top-tier financial advice to help you make money.
Price Action Traders Institute is a fantastic example where you can find pertinent information about Forex trading.
Individuals can brush up on the best upcoming strategies and professional tips and tricks for getting started.
You’ll have access to a diverse community of traders, all looking to put their motivation into their success.
Premium Services Offered By the Broker
Premium services are an optional advantage of using some brokerages, especially if you have the extra cash to spare.
By paying a premium fee, you can access better real-time data, helping you manage your investments.
Depending on the brokerage you choose, premium services could differ.
You might be able to take advantage of the following:
- One-on-one advice
- Real-time analysis feeds
- Premium trading ideas and tips
- Direct access to analysts
- Premium Forex signals
Do All Forex Brokers Offer Negative Balance Protection?
Not all brokers offer negative balance protection, but it is definitely a benefit you’ll want to consider.
With this benefit, you’ll never be able to lose more money on your investments than you have deposited.
Imagine if you have $1000 in your account and experience a 125% loss due to leverage, causing you to owe $1250.
With negative balance protection, the amount that you owe will never be more than $1000, your deposited amount.
It can be a significant selling feature for brokerages to offer this benefit since their clients will never wind up more than allotted.
Which Forex Brokers Accept U.S. or Non-U.S. Clients?
Another important question to consider before choosing a broker is to make sure they accept U.S. or Non-U.S. clients.
A few of the most notable include:
- TD Ameritrade
- CMC Markets
- Saxo Bank
Available Trading Platform
Every brokerage provides their clients with a trading platform they’ll use to make their trades.
This is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a Forex broker, especially to stay up-to-date with your finances.
A poorly designed trading platform can limit the number of tools you can access, putting you behind the competition.
There are several types of trading platforms you’ll find, with MetaTrader4 being one of the most preferred.
What Is the MetaTrader4 (MT4)?
MetaTrader4 is a convenience you’ll have when choosing a Forex broker with access to innovative tools.
It’s a free-to-use platform that analyzes financial markets to provide you with a higher-quality trading experience.
One of its most impressive features is that it’s adaptable for both first-time traders and experienced veterans.
By downloading the platform, you’ll have access to mobile trading, automated trading, and web trading.
Users will be able to consult with expert advisors, have a flexible trading system, and take advantage of algorithmic trading.
MT4 is often regarded as one of the most convenient trading applications for Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and more.
How To Choose a Forex Broker: Final Thoughts
Knowing how to choose a Forex broker requires a lot of research and a basic understanding of what they should offer.
From the minimum deposit Forex brokers require to premium services, there are plenty of features to consider.
With positive reviews and trusted certifications, you can quickly find top-tier brokerages to help you with Forex trading.