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Forex Brokers Checklist
It’s common sense that your account should be safer with the regulated brokers, it’s also clear that The Financial Conduct Authority, FCA (UK) or National Futures Association, NFA (US) are preferred regulators to, say, Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, FSC or self-regulatory bodies like FMRPC.
Unfortunately, the strictest regulation does not guarantee a positive trading experience, otherwise we wouldn’t send our members periodic notifications on the outrageous regulators findings like this one.
This is the reason why we created Forex Peace Army in 2006. In the past retail forex industry was a barely regulated "wild west" with traders reviews and community discussion as the only source of truthful information about the companies.
We witnessed the very positive changes with regulators in the recent years, but this did not diminish the role of consumer reviews. Our members indicate problems with companies months and even years before regulators step in and dealt with their dirty operations.
What about professional broker reviews some other sites have? Please ask yourself, why would professionals spend time to write these long, well-illustrated, and comprehensive reviews? Additionally, ask yourself, why professional reviews tend to nearly always be overall positive, only occasionally mentioning minor flaws. The obvious answer is that these "professionals" are looking to get compensated for their time.
Traders’ reviews may not look as appealing as professional reviews, but they are unbiased, current (describe what is going on with the company now), and based on actual experiences with the broker. Forex Peace Army is committed to keep its broker reviews as honest as humanly possible; our editors are extremely experienced and have an advanced suite of custom coded tools to enable them to screen out fake, paid, self-promoting reviews as well as fake negative reviews from competitors.
Advice. If you know the name of the forex broker start typing it the "Search by name" box above or browse the list of all brokers. Read the reviews and especially pay attention to the following points:
- ease of withdrawals
- ease of deposit
- cancellation of profitable trades
- ease of account opening and verification
- execution speed and reliability
- stop hunt
- professionalism of support
Additionally, please search our Scam Alerts Folder for recent traders complaints, and pay attention to alerts posted on review pages.
Carefully reading and understanding trading conditions of a particular forex broker is an important part of research that unfortunately often gets overlooked. Let us give you a few examples:
- if you are planning to use a scalping strategy, high spreads may render your strategy unprofitable
- if you are planning to profit on news events, pay attention to special trading condition during major economic announcements
- if your forex robot requires high leverage and low margin requirements, this combination may not be available with this particular broker
Other important factors to research:
- Minimum deposit
- Availability of currency pairs, precious metals, oil, crypto currencies
- Commissions and Fees
- Competitive rollover fees
- Trading restrictions, FIFO, minimum open trade time, news trading restrictions, arbitrage restrictions, etc.
Advice. Always carefully read and understand the forex broker’s trading conditions before opening a trading account. Do not hesitate to ask support if you don’t understand something or have additional questions
Next, practice on a demo account at the broker. Do sufficient testing of your trading strategy, forex expert advisor, forex signal service or whatever else you are planning to use with this particular broker. Remember, profitability on a demo account does not always mean a live account will be profitable. Losses on a demo account may underestimate losses on a live account.
If you are happy with everything so far, open small live forex trading account and test it again (including the withdrawal process). Increase the account size gradually.
Keep an eye on the newer reviews for your broker here on Forex Peace Army. Also, after you’ve tested the forex broker’s live trading system thoroughly, please leave a review to share your experience and help other traders.
4. Trading platforms.
There are a few common trading platforms like Metatrader, cTrader, TradingView Web Platform and also proprietary ones developed and maintained by particular fx brokers like Dukascopy’s Jforex (and others too numerous to name here).
A common trading platform like MT4 or MT5 gives you access to the marketplaces full or free and paid trading signals, expert advisors, and other forms of trading ideas. In-house developed platforms often give you access to broker-specific features (like API access for algorithmic trading or connection with Social Trading applications or Money Managers).
Advice. Common platforms like MT4 are a good start for beginner traders. You can download the software with your PC, Mac, or mobile device. You will be able to try many brokers without additional learning curve of proprietary trading platforms and enjoy extensive array of indicators, and trading strategies available through the marketplace.
Who does not like bonuses, freebies, or promotional offers? We do too, but urge you to read the fine print. Some bonus terms are reasonable while many others are traps designed to keep you from withdrawing your money.
Always read and make a copy of the bonus terms before accepting any bonus from a forex broker.
6. Icing on the cake.
As this niche gets more competitive, to attract traders forex brokers often add free useful (and expensive if purchased separately) tools and services for account holders that may include:
- Educational materials for novice traders.
- Market news and webinars
- Forex expert market commentary
- Economic calendars
- Calculators and trading tools
- Technical analysis tools
- Personalized trading strategy and market advice
- Reuters or AP/Dow Jones financial newswires
- Automated strategy builders
You are certainly encouraged to take advantage of such offers.
Advice. Before paying for expensive trading tools or services check if they are available with a good forex broker for free, at substantial discount, or with some minimum account balance.
7. Other Forex Broker resources on Forex Peace Army.
- FPA member Pharaoh has written the definitive guide on how to select a forex broker. He based this on his own experiences picking his first forex brokers.
- We already mentioned Scam Alerts Folder above, how about Resolved Issues Folder? Everyone make mistakes, not everyone is willing to admit and fix the issues. Even the best broker will have problems. Don’t you want to know how they would handle a problem before you deposit your money?
- Sometimes it seems like there are only complaints about forex brokers. That's why there is a special thread just for people to share their good broker experiences.