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10 questions you should ask your Forex or CFD broker in advance
Would you like to know whether the broker you prefer works seriously and is suitable for your type of trading? In the following we give you 10 short questions that you should ask your Forex or CFD broker in advance if you want to find out whether the broker works reliably and is suitable for your needs.
1. Price of spread?
Some brokers advertise spreads from 0 pips without clarifying when and under what conditions these spreads are available. You may never get these trading conditions while trading if you do not test the broker first and make sure you are opening the correct account type.
You need to find out what spreads typically apply on which currency pairs that the forex broker offers. And not just the major currency pairs. If you want to trade more exotic currency pairs, you shouldn't have to pay huge sums of money here.
2. Do special conditions or restrictions apply to trading?
Often times, forex brokers advertise low spreads, but they only apply in quiet markets or are available to a small group of clients. These conditions are often reserved for traders who meet the broker's requirements in terms of account size, trading volume or country of origin.
For example, some brokers require a minimum account size or trading volume before gaining access to the advertised low spreads. The only way to find out whether the broker actually keeps what he promises is to read the experiences and reviews of other traders on the respective broker in our Forex Broker Comparison and on their websites usually found at the bottom of the home page under Key Information Documents or you can always ask the customer support at the brokerage to provide you with this crucial information.
3. Are there any other fees in addition to the spread?
Some brokers offer low spreads, but make their profit at different costs. For example, some brokers incur fees for using the trading platform or there is a monthly basic fee that is only waived for a certain portfolio size or a monthly minimum trading volume.
4. Do the spreads apply to all customers?
Many forex brokers now claim to have the lowest spreads in the industry. But not every trader gets these spreads too. With some brokers, differences are made based on the trading behavior of the trader, the account size or the trading volume. Traders with larger accounts or high trading volumes often get better terms and are better treated. The bottom line is that all traders who do not receive them pay these special conditions in the form of larger spreads. Therefore, it is generally best if the broker grants all customers the same conditions.
5. Does anyone else make money on their trades other than the broker?
It is now quite normal for Forex brokers to give intermediaries (so-called Introducing Brokers or IBs) part of the commission they have earned. Basically there is nothing wrong with that. This type of marketing is commonplace in the finance and insurance industry in particular. However, you can take advantage of this fact for yourself. Some of these intermediaries pass on part of their commission to their clients when they open their accounts through the IB.
6. Will my trade be executed at the price I clicked?
The lower the spread, the better for you. But whether you pay even this low spread depends on good order execution. In the case of requotes, delayed order execution, slippage or stop hunting, the lowest spread does not help you. If available, these things only happen in live trading and never on the demo account.
You want to take a position at the indicated price, but your position is executed a few pips to your disadvantage or your order is rejected entirely. If this happens again and again, every trader can guess what this means for trading, as all these losses have to be recovered first. You cannot look into a broker in advance, but you should be aware of the possible problems so that you can take immediate action if one of these problems occurs. One of the best ways to avoid such complications in advance is to ensure that the broker is monitored by a reputable regulatory authority so that you can contact them in such cases.
7. Do I have unlimited access to a demo account?
In addition, a demo account can be very helpful in observing how prices and spreads change under different market conditions and giving you an idea of how well the forex broker is executing orders. Of course, this is only the case if the demo platform behaves exactly like the live platform.
Therefore, ask the broker whether and if so how far the demo platform differs from the live platform.
In order to test new trading strategies and approaches, you should have unlimited access to a demo account.
8. How are the interest and payments calculated?
In forex trading, interest accrues when trading overnight or over the weekend. This means that you will pay or receive interest based on the size of the open positions that you have not closed by 5 pm EST depending on the direction of the position. Intraday traders therefore usually try to close their positions beforehand. For traders whose investment horizon extends beyond intraday trading, interest rates are a point that should not be neglected when choosing a forex broker. Therefore, before opening an account, ask the forex broker whether and how much interest you have to pay or receive for holding positions overnight.
9. If the broker offers fixed spreads
In Forex trading, the rates and spreads change with every tick of the market. With a broker that offers fixed spreads, these are usually higher than with a broker with variable spreads. Is it worth it ? That depends crucially on your trading behaviour. Fixed spreads allow you to trade during news, events or other more volatile market situations where a floating broker's spread is most likely to widen. But whether the fixed spread broker allowing this to happen if you are making profits with this strategy or finding excuses is a different matter. Therefore, always read the small print and see if there are any exceptions or regulations for orders that are placed during news or other volatile market phases. If so, you pay the fixed spread insurance for free. Another point is order execution. What regulations does the broker have for requotes, partial executions or the rejection of orders. Make sure that the broker has the necessary liquidity to execute your orders correctly and that you get the advertised spread.
10. Do you have unrestricted access to information?
Some forex brokers or banks are reluctant to share information that will help the trader make profitable trading decisions. Other brokers share information such as the current distribution of the long and short positions of their customers (the so-called customer sentiment) with all traders. This is information that may help you make profitable trading decisions.
So ask the broker what information he is providing you with.
If you ask your Forex or CFD broker these questions and he can answer all questions to your satisfaction, you are already a good step further in your search for the best broker for your needs. If not, we encourage you to keep looking and look for another broker. There are now enough FX & CFD brokers who offer their customers a good service at good prices.
First of all we check where the broker is regulated, what investor protection they provide, their history and background. This information is given the highest weight.
Commissions & fees
All fees are extracted from the brokers’ sites. We check all available fees: stocks, forex, funds, etc. We look also for hidden costs within both trading and non-trading fees. Such fees can be for buying a position, holding it and selling it.
Brokers are reviewed and compared based on the number of markets and the number of products they offer. Brokers that offer a wider range of products (e.g. forex currency pairs, stocks, CFDs to Cryptocurrencies) will get a higher rating than brokers that only offer one product category (e.g. forex)
Each trading platform is tested, whether it is web-based or a desktop application. The user handling of those platforms impact the trading comfort, as well as the depth of functions, analysing tools, and customization options.
4. Deposit and withdrawal
We deposit and withdraw our money to test how the process works. The methods, costs and the time required to deposit and withdraw money are of special interest to readers. All of these are weighted. A broker that allows the use of credit cards for free is scored higher than one where only wire transfer is available, for a fee.
5. Account opening
We test the account opening process. Sometimes even the list of required documents can be unclear for you when you start to open an account. We give you information on several aspects of account opening, like the ease of the process itself, what account types are offered and the minimum deposits required.
A well-structured and quality educational section can help to make both the platform and trading itself safer and easier to understand. Brokers with useful and information-packed education tools such as webinars, tutorial videos or a demo account earn higher ratings.
8. Customer service
Each support channel is tested personally by Brokerchooser team members. Customer service scores of each broker are based on 8 meaningful interactions with support on every channel, be it live chat, email or phone.
Higher costs can be justified by a range of in-depth, unique and useful research tools. These allow you to get information on market sentiment, trends, tickers and companies. We look at all of the research tools the broker offers.
Have a question or suggestion regarding our methodology? We are eager to hear your feedback! Just send us a contact request.
Risk warning: Foreign Exchange and CFDs are complex and leveraged instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading Forex and CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how Forex and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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