Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Best Forex brokers to consider

If you think you are ready for currency trading or simply are not happy with your existing broker, read this article on what I consider to be a few of the best Forex brokers in the industry.
There are well over 100 representable Forex brokers around the world that all claim of course to be the best solution for your Forex trading needs. However, like with every business, some are truly better then others, it all depends on your trading experience, how much money you are willing to invest in Forex, and your financial goals.
Just like with stocks, Forex is an investment vehicle, you can either do it yourself through a broker or you can get the help from a broker making the investments. Whatever you do, make sure you research all the best brokers that suit your needs first. For example, make sure you have all the contact information like phone numbers and (email) addresses handy before hand you sign up with one. If something goes wrong with your money, like the power goes out in the middle of a trade, you have to be able to get a hold of your broker quickly.
I have to say also that I do not endorse any Forex brokers in this article, I'm listing the industry leaders or the best brokers 'in town'. Personally I use FXCM (Forex Capital Markets) as my broker and I have been with them for little over a year and so far I'm pleased still.
I know in general how Forex brokers work and how the sign up process works, that's the experience I'm sharing.
Most Forex brokers offer free demo trading, which is very important because it gives you a feel of the trading platform you are maybe going to be using, which is your main window to the markets, so that's how ultimately you are going to make your money. Second, what are the fees the broker charges and how. Some brokers use the spread (the difference between the bid and ask price) to cover the cost and some have zero spread but charge you a fee upfront. Also most Forex brokers, like mine, offer a news outlet, trading alerts and analysts. Although these are not to be taken too seriously since Forex brokers are in business to generate trades, not making YOU money.
Some of these 'Forex experts' look and sound really professional, but the bottom line is that markets are speculative and unpredictable. Take them into consideration though, do look into other news outlets before you make a decision on your final trade. Me for example, I check three or four different sources a day, if 70 percent of all the analysts are bullish on  pair X, I take that into consideration on my trade, along with my own analysis and common sense.
Also, is the broker regulated and by what or which institution(s)? What different account sizes (and services that come along with that) are available (e.g: micro, standard, platinum; depending or the minimum deposit you make. Please note that most micro accounts (discount brokerage) don't come with any support, no phone or chat support, but with the low minimum investment it's pretty attractive to new currency traders.
Now let's take a look on what some of the brokers are, all these brokers listed have free demo accounts so you can check them out yourself and are regulated by the NFA National Futures Association (US),CFTC Commodity Futures Trading Commission (US) unless otherwise stated. (I take brokers that have no demo accounts or regulatory institution(s) backing them into consideration and actually advice you to stay away from them.)
When you sign up with a Forex broker, it's almost like signing up with a bank, you will have to give out very personal information such as your social security number (tax purposes and background check). If you want to sign up for a margin account you will even need to undergo a credit check...
This is going to be an 'open' post meaning I'm going to make this post a page of the website, updating the broker list frequently since they tend to change quite a bit and new brokers are entering the markets that need to be listed and reviewed.
FXCM has been around for quite some time, they offer several different account sizes. From Micro accounts with a minimum deposit of only $25 to get you 'in the game', to standard accounts, with a minimum of $2000 to active trader, which is their professional trading division that comes with level 2 type view of market depth with up to 10 levels of price, liquidity information, and lower spreads than FXCM standard accounts. Lower
commissions for high-volume trading.

Also they offer automated Forex trading where you can choose from over 40 different back-tested systems or you can build your own.
Third party trading platforms like Meta Trader 4 are also possible to use.
FXCM seems to be the most popular Forex broker on the web. But this is also because they seem to bombard any website in the industry with their advertisements, most popular doesn't necessarily mean the best. However like I said before I've been using them for over a year now and haven't had any major problems worth mentioning, however I did hear some horror stories about them while I did my research about Forex brokers, but none of the brokers I researched came clean out of the wash.
Visit: www.fxcm.com for more info.

CMS (Capital Market Services) Forex also offers $25 Micro accounts to get you in as well as mini (10k) and standard lots (100k). Their 'Universal accounts' allows clients to easily trade both 10k mini and 100k standard lots without the need to open an additional account. Their trading platform is called VT Trader 2.0 and claim it's 'revolutionary' with over 100 technical indicators, customizable interface and risk management tools, not to mention it's 'Chart Pattern Recognition Technology' tool that can scan pattern identify certain trading opportunities, pretty impressive since we haven't seen anything like it in any other trading platform. Also available on the iPhone.
Visit: www.cmsfx.com for more info.


Forex.com has only 2 different accounts, a standard account with a minimum of $2500 or a mini account with a minimum of $250. Both of them are available to try out with a demo account that uses the MT4 (Meta Trader, a widely popular trading platform), software. However Forex.com offers more then just Forex trading, the also let you trade precious metals like Gold and Silver on their platform! Although this is a totally different market, it's still intertwined with the currency markets. They claim to have tight spreads but they're nothing revolutionary. It looks like Forex.com is more focused on educational packages then offering something new that other brokers don't have. Sign
ing up with them lets you choose from different educational resources such as webinars and online Forex training courses. Helpful is you are brand new to the markets and need a lot of guidance in currency trading.
Visit: www.forex.com for more info.

The thing that bothers me the most about GFT Forex is that they don't state right away what account packages are available, like all the other brokers mentioned above have. Therefore I could not tell you what minimum investment you should have with them to open an account, but according to review websites it's $250 to open an 'account' (whatever that includes) with them. I've personally not verified this. In order to to request more information, that is by the way readily available with other brokers, about your account you need to fill out a form with your address and phone number in order to do so. It uses it's own trading platform called DealBook 360 which besides the abundant amount of technical indicators also let's you do automated trading. It's sophisticated trading platform is available on a web based browser, an actual software download or a mobile version like the Blackberry. The currency analysts that write for the fx360.com website are very professional and most of the time very accurate with their analysis. My favorite analyst Kathy Lien, which is often quoted in major financial outlets and seen once in awhile on CNBC with her analysis happens to be with GFT Forex.
Visit www.gftforex.com for more info.

more reviewed brokers to come...

Disclaimer:

All opinions expressed, trade recommendations/advice on this website are solely of John van der Munnik and are not affiliated with any investment firm or any other organization. You should not make an investment only based using this website VDM Trading for your trading needs without seeking help from your own financial advisor.