Forex brokers are the connection between you and Forex trading. By using a broker you can trade currency pairs on one of the most popular trading markets in the world. Whilst there are many available to choose from, all offering many different features, it can be daunting when it comes to choosing the right one to invest with.
The hardest part can be negotiating the sheer number of brokers offering their services across the world. With many based in one country and licensed in another, and offering many different languages, you can spend much of your time just searching through the information available. It can be hard to know where to start which is why we are here to help.
From checking that a broker has licensing from a legitimate source, to checking what features each one offers, there are many factors to consider. Starting with a checklist of what is important to you can be a good place to begin. You can then use our extensive research, reviews and recommendations to help you draw up a shortlist of brokers before you decide on the one for you.
What should you be looking for when choosing a Forex broker? In this guide we take a look at:
- The various features offered by a Forex broker from licensing to analytical tools
- What welcome and deposit bonuses are offered by the best broker sites
- How to choose the right broker site for you and what you should be looking for
Our Top Recommended Brokers Updated: January 2018
Types of Broker Features
The best Forex broker sites are all competing for your business in a very competitive market place. Therefore they need to ensure that they offer the best features and incentives for you to trade with them.
For many the biggest draw is a deposit bonus whilst for others it is the analytical tools or whether the platform offers a virtual demo account. Not all brokers offer a free demo account, some will offer them once you have made a deposit but this is a very popular feature of a broker as it allows you to get used to trading on the platform with virtual money before you make a deposit.
If you are looking for a broker that offers the best trading platform then you should check that they offer mobile trading and that you can trade on any device. For many it is important to be able to trade on the move whether that be on a smartphone or tablet.
So what are the most popular broker features that most traders look for?
You will have your own list of criteria when it comes to making your choice and once you have made this list you can shortlist those that offer the features that you are looking for. We provide you with information with a list of criteria already researched and analysed to make the information easier for you to filter.
What Makes a Great Broker
First and foremost the critical requirement for a broker is that they invoke trust. As an online service this is not always easy. How do you know that you can trust a Forex broker with your money? There are a number of ways to find a company that you can rely on.
Firstly look for one that is licensed and regulated. This is one of the best ways to assess if a broker can be trusted. In addition to the trust aspect you need to ensure that they offer you a good trading experience. Is their platform easy to use? Ease of use is high on the list of criteria when choosing a broker. You need to ascertain if they offer a good mobile trading experience and that this extends to all types of devices.
Their terms and conditions, bonuses offered, the number of currency pairs they offer and the education tools are also high on many traders list of requirements. When looking for a great broker you are looking to ensure that they tick all of these boxes. In addition to this transparency is key. Sometimes it can be hard to find the information that you are looking for. A good broker will ensure that all the information, including customer support, is easy to find and displayed on their website.
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Bonus And Welcome Deals
Whilst a bonus or welcome incentive is an important factor for many traders you need to consider if this is important to you? Are you likely to choose your broker based on the bonus that they offer? Now many Forex brokers offer bonuses to incentivise people to open an account and make an initial deposit. Once you make a deposit they will often match this or offer a percentage of your deposit as a bonus.
Some brokers actually go one step further and give you a bonus before you deposit any funds. These bonuses vary greatly between brokers with some not offering one. Whilst some may offer a flat bonus based on a minimum deposit, others will offer a percentage ranging from 10% to 100% of your deposit. A welcome bonus is an excellent way to get to grips with trading as it allows you to trade without risk.
Having these tradeable funds means that you can get used to trading on the website and make your early mistakes (if any) without risking losing your own money. It is important to note though that once you have received your welcome bonus you can't just withdraw it. Often you need to trade it a minimum number of times before you can withdraw it. After the first deposit bonus many brokers will offer deposit bonuses to incentivise you to keep on trading.
Finding The Best brokers
Whether you are new to Forex trading or have a little more experience, finding the right broker can often be the hardest part of your trading experience. Before you even get to grips with spread betting, currency pairs, the various analytical tools and how to get the best out of trading you are faced with the finding the best broker. There are lots of good brokers, all who offer multiple benefits.
First you need to decide which of the available features are important to you. Are you more interested in the bonus than the trading experience for example? Whilst it may all seem like a lot of time and effort to spend researching the various brokers, help is at hand. We have done all of the hard work for you with our team of experts spending their time researching and analysing every single broker. They carry out this research by using their own trading experience to trade with each individual broker.
In addition to this our experience of the financial markets allows us to ensure that the brokers we recommend are trustworthy, licensed and regulated and a safe place to invest your money. If we put our name to a broker then it is because we have thoroughly vetted every aspect of trading with them. We then share this information with you enabling you to put together a shortlist before deciding which one to conduct your forex trading with.
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Is Forex trading regulated and safe?
Forex trading is regulated by financial bodies across the world. Whether it is safe all depends on the broker that you choose. It is critical to choose a broker that is licensed and regulated and has a good history of trading. The brokers that we recommend have all been tried and tested, all have relevant licensing and more often than not are well established. Making an informed and educated choice means that you can have peace of mind whilst trading.
Can I trade without downloading software?
With many Forex brokers you don't need to download any software to execute trades as the trading platform does everything for you. For advanced trading you may choose to download software particularly if you wish to use automated trading so that you don't need to be online all the time. If you are new to Forex trading you don't need to worry about downloading any software however as you become more experienced you may decide to.
Do I need to start trading with real money?
No. There are a couple of ways to trade without using your own funds. The first is a demo account. Many brokers offer demo accounts with a specific amount of virtual funds so that you can get used to trading on the platform before you risk your own funds. Another way to trade without using your own money is by using your welcome bonus. There are many brokers that offer welcome bonuses without the need for a deposit.
How do I make deposits and withdrawals?
To deposit funds with your chosen Forex broker you can use one of many methods. There is the usual debit/credit card option but you can also use electronic wallets. Many brokers accept Paypal, Skrill and wire transfers. Wire transfers will mean that you have to wait for the funds to clear before you can trade. When making a withdrawal the funds will be sent back using the same method but can take a few business days to reach your account.
What is a Forex broker welcome bonus?
A Forex welcome bonus is a sign up bonus used to incentivise new traders. If you are looking for a broker you need to check what welcome bonus, if any, a specific broker offers. Often it is a fixed fee, sometimes it can be a percentage of your initial deposit. You don't always need to deposit funds to receive a bonus but this will vary from broker to broker. Not all brokers offer them but it is used as an incentive to encourage you to trade with them.