Choosing a proper broker is an important issue for comfortable trading. And it's not easy as one has to consider lots of different aspects. First of all, I would recommend to pay attention to the year of the company's foundation and to dynamics of its development. If the company has been at the market for a considerable period of time it may serve as a sign of its financial stability, well-established business process, developed risk management system. And if the company regularly introduces new services or opens new branches it's also an encouraging signal for a trader. Of course, I don't mean that young companies provide bad services. There are lots of companies which has appeared within recent 5 years and develop successfully. Then I absolutely agree with most of you that regulation of the broker should be checked. I personally doubt the reliability of brokers registered in the offshore countries. Certainly the contract should be scrutinized thoroughly, esp. such sections of it as 'the contracting parties' & 'reipient of funds'. And at last I reckon one needs to check how a broker protects its clients' funds in case of unforseen events (e.g. bankruptcy). The segregation of clients' accounts from the company's ones is the best variant.