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How to Choose the Best Online Broker
There�s never been a better time to be an investor: Competition among online brokers is fierce, which means costs are coming down and services are being ramped up.
But picking the right brokerage account comes down to your individual priorities. Some investors are willing to pay higher trade commissions for a state-of-the-art platform; others count costs above all else. Here�s how to find the best online broker for you.
Choosing the best online broker
To evaluate brokers, you should look at the following factors:
Look at commissions on the investments you�ll use most
Brokers generally offer a similar menu of investment options: individual stocks, options, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and bonds. Some will also offer access to futures trading and forex (currency) trading.
The investments offered by the broker will dictate two things: whether your investment needs will be satisfied, and how much you�ll pay in commissions. Pay careful attention to the commissions associated with your preferred investments:
- Individual stocks: Some brokers still charge a commission to buy and sell stocks, either per trade or per share. However, there are several brokers that now charge no commission, including TD Ameritrade, E-Trade and Interactive Brokers.
- Options: Options trades often incur the stock trade commission plus a per-contract fee, which usually runs $0.15 to $1.50. Some brokers charge only a commission or only a contract fee.
- Mutual funds: Some brokers charge a fee to purchase mutual funds. You can limit mutual fund transaction costs or avoid them completely by selecting a broker that offers no-transaction-fee mutual funds. (Mutual funds also carry internal fees called expense ratios. These are charged not by the broker, but by the fund itself.)
- ETFs: ETFs trade like a stock and are purchased for a share price, so they are often subject to the broker�s stock trade commission. But many brokers also offer a list of commission-free ETFs. If you plan to invest in ETFs, you should look for one of these brokers.
- Bonds: You can purchase bond mutual funds and ETFs at no charge by using no-transaction-fee mutual funds and commission-free ETFs. Brokers may charge a fee to purchase individual bonds, with a minimum and maximum charge.
Pay attention to account minimums
You can find highly ranked brokers with no account minimum, including TD Ameritrade, Merrill Edge and Ally Invest. All three are on NerdWallet�s list of the best brokers.
But some brokers do require a minimum initial investment, and it can skew toward $500 or more. Many mutual funds also require similar minimum investments, which means even if you�re able to open a brokerage account with a small amount of money, it could be a struggle to actually invest it.
It isn�t impossible, however: We have strategies for how to invest $500 and how to invest $1,000.
Watch out for account fees
You may not be able to avoid account fees completely, but you can certainly minimize them. Most brokers will charge a fee for transferring out funds or closing your account. If you�re transferring to another broker, that new company may offer to reimburse your transfer fees, at least up to a limit.
Most other fees can be sidestepped by simply choosing a broker that doesn�t charge them, or by opting out of services that cost extra. Common fees to watch out for include annual fees, inactivity fees, trading platform subscriptions and extra charges for research or data.
Consider your trading style and tech needs
If you�re a beginner investor, you probably won�t need extras, like an advanced trading platform. But you may want an education and a little hand-holding. This could include videos and tutorials on the broker�s website, or in-person seminars at branches. Many brokers offer these services free to account holders.
Many brokers offer educational resources for new investors.
Active traders, on the other hand, will want to look for a brokerage that supports that kind of frequency. That includes weighing a broker�s trading platforms, analysis tools, research and data offerings in addition to commissions � including discounts for high-volume traders � and fees.
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Plenty of high-quality online brokers offer access to trading platforms, tools and research for free, so beware of brokers that nickel and dime each feature; those costs can add up quickly.
Take advantage of promotions
Online brokers, like many companies, frequently entice new customers with deals, offering a number of commission-free trades or a cash bonus on certain deposit amounts. It isn�t wise to choose a broker solely on its promotional offer � a high commission over the long term could easily wipe out any initial bonus or savings � but if you�re stuck between two options, a promotion may sway you one way or the other.
NerdWallet�s online broker ratings
Reviewing brokers is what we do best. Our ratings are comprehensive, thorough and � most importantly � objective.
If you�re struggling to sort through the above, or just want the reassurance of an expert opinion, we�re here to help. Our team looks at all of the factors outlined above to select the best brokers for each type of investor. Here are some of our current favorites:
How to Choose the Right Forex Broker
Choosing the Right Forex Broker
As of today, there are hundreds of Forex brokers around the world claiming to be the best among the rest. But we all know that only a few of them are really good Forex brokers.
Some will even tell you how they helped their clients make millions of dollars within a week . Some online Forex brokers will even inform you that they are regulated by the EU and other spurious agencies that do not exist.
The most annoying lie is that they do not charge commissions. If they don�t charge commission, then how do they make their money? Perhaps by lying to you about the real price of the currency, a practice that is immoral and evil .
To avoid such bogus Forex brokers, you really need to make sure due diligence is practiced . And we believe you are on the right track of choosin g the right Forex broker with the following tips .
|Alliance Investment Management||www.allianceinvestment.com|
|Capital One Forex||www.capitalone.com|
|City Credit Capital||www.cccapital.co.uk|
|City Point Trading||www.citypointtrading.com|
|Credit Financier Invest||www.cfifinancial.com|
|Forex Broker Inc||www.forexbrokerinc.com|
|Fort Financial Services||www.fortfs.com|
|Global Brokerage Inc||www.ir.globalbrokerage.info|
|KGI Futures Singapore||www.kgieworld.sg|
|Larson And Holz||www.lh-broker.com|
|Larson&Holz IT Ltd||www.lh-broker.com|
|Mega Trader FX||www.megatraderforex.com|
|MultiBank Exchange Group||www.mexgroup.com|
|RBC Capital Markets||www.rbccm.com|
|Rosenthal Collins Group||www.rcgdirect.com|
|Sun Hung Kai Financial||www.shkf.com|
|Trade Pro Futures||www.tradeprofutures.com|
|Vinson Financials Ltd||www.vinsonfinancials.com|
|Xtrade Europe LTD||www.xtrade.com|
Forex Broker Reputation
How many years of experience do they have?
Are they registered by FCA, NFA, CFTC, CySec, ASIC or any reputable regulatory body?
Do they have good or bad reviews?
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing any Forex broker.
Of course, some of them will prevaricate about their reputation.
But you can confirm their claims by doing your research on the Internet or by contacting their previous or existing clients.
You would also be better off if you use our platform to check their reputation. At Forex Rank, we help you to find the most reputable forex brokers that can meet your needs.
We also show you the rankings of each Forex broker so that you can make the right decision. All listed forex brokers on forex ranks website have been �reputation verified�. We have researched every broker to make sure they meet our standards and feel confident providing this to you, the trader.
Broker Deposits and Withdrawals
After you�ve confirmed the reputation of your potential Forex broker, the next thing you should consider is whether you have the leverage to terminate your Forex account and withdraw your funds anytime you are not pleased with the services offered.
This right should not be negotiable. You should also confirm that you can deposit money with your Forex broker with ease. In sum , make sure that all these criteria are clearly specified in the terms and conditions of working with your potential Forex broker.
In simple terms, the spread is a difference between the price of buying a currency (ask price) and the price of selling a currency (bid price) .
It is the gain which you r Forex broker helps you to make by selling a particular currency. In return, your Forex broker charges you for maximizing your spread, which is not fixed most times due to market changes.
So, make sure you compare the commission of each Forex broker before you make your final decision. We have seen situation s where Forex brokers would lie about the spread in order to maximize their own profit.
Thus, you need to be ve ry vigilant about pricing. Another option you have is to use Forex Rank to select the best Forex broker who will not try to manipulate the spread.
A margin is a short-term loan you borrow money from your Forex broker at a fixed interest rate so that you can increase your investment return.
Before setting up a margin account with your potential Forex broker , ask him or her about the margin percentage, which is usually 1% or 2%. The lower the margin percentage, the lower the amount you will deposit with your Forex broker.
For ins tance, if you want to trade $1,000, 000, a 1% margin percentage means that you will deposit $10, 000 and a 2% means you will deposit $20, 000. So, the more funds you deposit into your margin account, the more the risk you are taking. For instance, a 2% margin requirement represents a leverage of 50:1 while 0.50% represents a leverage of 200:1.
A trading platform is the software application where all trades are performed. Some Forex brokers have devised disingenuous ways of manipulating their trading platform to their advantage.
Hence , your pri ority should be finding an online forex trading platform that is reliable a nd has the greatest automation. One of the best and most popular platforms is metatrader 4.
It features many built in trading and charting tools and also have a well made mobile app to trade on the go on your mobile device. Eg) Iphone Samsung�s, tablets etc.
Currencies and Other Markets Offered
There are more than 100 currencies in the world, but only a few of them are relevant in the Forex market.
This includes the U.S dollar/Swiss franc (USD/CHF), the Euro/U.S. dollar (EUR/USD), U.S. dollar/Japanese (USD/JPY), and the British pound/U.S. dollar (GPD/USD) �the majors�. Regardless, you should confirm whet her your Forex broker offers the selected Forex pairs you prefer before investing your funds.
All of our brokers listed have a wide range of markets to trade including currencies (Forex), cryptocurrencies(Bitcoin etc), futures,cfd�s, precious metals and stock indices. Take a look at our forex broker review page for more info Here.
This should be your most important criteria for choosing the right Forex broker.
You don�t want a situation where you want to buy or sell a particular currency and you can�t reach your Forex broker on time or need some important account changes handled.
A good Forex broker should be able to provide you 24/5 customer support as well as respond to your complaints and educate you about how you can minimize losses.
Offering a live chat to chat to clients is always a bonus. Forex rank has tested all brokers for customer service satisfaction.
There is nothing more fulfilling than choosing the right Forex broker. You will have peace of mind and have more time to do other important things (like trading!).
At Forex Rank, we take pride in helping you find the best Forex brokers from around the world. Just give us a try and you will be glad you did! You can check our Forex Broker Reviews so that you can feel confident that your money is in safe hands.
Binary Options � How To Choose The Right Broker
Binary options are becoming a more and more popular and accessible tool for exchange trading for private investors. However, most beginners with no experience or professional expertise make a lot of mistakes which are critical to their trading results. One of the main causes of loss of capital in binary trading is the choice of a brokerage platform which is unsafe and professionally unfit for effective trading. In this article we will offer a list of recommendations which will allow you to choose the optimum platform, based on its trading conditions and technical tools, for consistently profitable results with binary options.
So, let�s first understand the need for a broker for the implementation of trading processes and profiting. The presence of a mediator for working with options is necessary due to the legal conditions on the market which are set by regulators. Only having the status of a legal entity and a market regulator�s license allows you to directly enter into transactions with binary options. For this reason, the online investor needs a broker to register transactions on the binary market on their behalf.
When choosing a brokerage company many investors rarely pay attention to the complete list of the company�s working conditions or their technical capabilities. This eventually leads to negative results. In addition, the choice of an unsafe and non-professional trading platform can lead to collaboration with scammers who simply do not give you the opportunity to earn money and eventually take possession of your funds. For these purposes, there exist many schemes and technical approaches � from quote fraud to the outright theft of your investment. Against this backdrop, we recommend working with the resources of systemic, licensed companies, which occupy a fairly large segment of this financial services market.
The safety and professionalism of the broker can be determined in a number of ways � by using company ratings on special informational services or by making your own conclusions based on analysis of the broker�s activities and its professional services and tools. The latter method is the most effective and allows investors to determine the best possible operating conditions for binary trading instruments for themselves.
How is a professional broker different ?
On this issue, we offer a list of conditions and technical parameters for brokerage companies that are the hallmark of a secure platform with professional trading services for binary trading:
- A license from the national regulator of the trader�s country of residence
- A professional terminal, preferably a proprietary design, on which a variety of technical analysis tools and a wide range of support services are available
- A demo account � a quality training simulator available only on professional platforms
- Free training
- Quality analytics
- The minimum trading conditions
- A wide range of marketing related offers � bonuses
- Positive feedback from traders
As an example of a secure platform with a list of professional services that contribute to obtaining good results, we can offer the platform for online trading from the European Binomo broker, where investors can take advantage of the following range of services:
- A license from the Russian financial market regulator FMRRC
- The broker�s trading terminal is equipped with an indicator and chart set of analysis tools, gives access to a wide range of assets, and offers options yields of up to 90% and the maximum number of additional technical tools
- A demo account on the main trading platform for training in real market conditions
- A system of free training based on progressive approaches
- Daily professional analytics
- The widest possible range of bonus offers � for account replenishment, recurrent promotions, and professional tournaments with big prize pools
- The minimum trading conditions � a trading account starts at $10, the amount of the minimum bet is $1
- The bulk of traders� reviews are positive which gives the broker a good reputation
Taking into account the list of indicators for the company, the existence of a regulator�s license, as well as the availability of professional technical tools on the broker�s trading platform, this platform for binary trading is safe and effective for use on the binary market.
By choosing the right broker, you will be able to maximize your potential on the matter of consistently high earnings and save yourself from the unpleasant consequences of working with fraudsters.
ForeX Technical Analysis & Analytics
Технический Анализ и Аналитика рынка Форекс
How to choose the right forex broker (part 2)
Choosing the right forex broker is extremely important for successful work in the forex market. The absence of technical, financial and other organizational problems will allow you to fully concentrate on your trade and add positive emotions from working in the foreign exchange market.
This article continues the topic of choosing a forex broker to work in the forex market. The first part is read on this link � Forex brokers � difficult choice (part 1).
I deliberately do not refer and do not recommend any brokers in my articles, giving you the choice entirely. Approach it in a responsible and thorough manner.
Convenience of payments and withdrawal of profits
Your goal in the foreign exchange market is to earn money and spend it, fulfilling your dreams and plans in life. Therefore, your broker must provide you with the most suitable and guaranteed ways of both replenishing your trading account and withdrawing funds from it to your personal account. Standard set includes bank transfer, use of Visa or Mastercard payment systems, as well as international money transfer systems such as Neteller, Skrill and others.
This is usually enough. Many popular forex brokers provide a significant number of options for I/O funds, but you need to carefully study the conditions of payment electronic systems, sometimes the commission crosses out the convenience of using these methods of transferring funds.
Types of trading accounts
All forex brokers usually offer several types of accounts. The most common are the standard account and the ECN account. They may have different names and differ slightly from broker to broker.
The most common type of account is a standard or classic account. On accounts of this type, as a rule, the spread spread exceeds the spreads on ECN-type accounts, but there are no additional brokerage commissions, which facilitates transaction planning and profitability control. Among the shortcomings is the lower accuracy of quotations, the slower execution of orders, the use of prices during high volatility.
ECN account is the type of account on which there is a commission for each transaction, and a low but floating spread. ECN (Electronic Communication Network) is an electronic communication network through which the orders for buying and selling currencies of retail traders, banks and brokers are output directly to the suppliers of liquidity (Straight Through Processing or STP). ECN-broker in this case does not interfere with the trading process. The downside of direct access to the interbank market is the opportunity to use the price in cases of high volatility in the market (the release of important news) and spread expansion (sometimes very significantly) at moments of extremely low liquidity in the market (for example, at night or at the opening of markets).
The main characteristics of trading accounts include the following: account currency, minimum deposit, spread (fixed, floating, institutional), available leverage, a list of instruments that can be traded on this type of account, a lot of lots for opening deals, trading style and the ability to use robots on account of this type. Carefully analyze all the conditions and compare the types of accounts with each other. Then open a demo account of this type and work on it.
In the event that you plan to trade using algorithms, robots or advisors, you need to carefully select the account parameters with the trading style features of your algorithms. Having a VPN service provider will be a significant advantage for you. Speed and accuracy of execution of your applications are critical for robots on Forex.
A trading platform for trading in the Forex market, or a trading terminal, is specialized software that allows you to make transactions in the international foreign exchange market. Currently, there are many Forex trading terminals on the market from various companies, and they differ both in functionality and in ease of use. As a rule, all trading platforms are produced and supported by independent development companies, and forex brokers only provide them to their customers with the appropriate settings.
Most terminals are designed for the Windows operating system. If you want to trade with the Mac, like me, you will have to take a very serious approach to choosing a trading platform. Despite the fact that very many brokers claim that they have trading terminals for Mac, I could not find a high-quality terminal designed for Mac. As a rule, these are the same platforms for windows, transferred to a poppy with a huge number of technical problems. Accordingly, their quality leaves much to be desired. If you manage to find a good trading terminal, specially designed for Mac, write to me, I gladly protest it. In my opinion, the best solution for Mac users is to install the windows operating system on a virtual machine (for example Parallels Desktop). In this case, you will not be limited in choosing a platform and can safely install the most popular terminals MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5.
The most popular trading platform for the forex market is MetaTrader 4. It has several varieties � desktop, browser (on-line), for smartphones and tablets, which allows traders more freedom of action. The high popularity of the platform and its long existence have led to a very high stability of the platform, which is a very important factor for the execution of transactions in the foreign exchange market.
Under MT4 you can find countless indicators, advisers, scripts for both fee and free and other additional software. This allows very flexible customization of the platform for the needs of each trader. But recently there was information that the developer MT4 � MetaQuotes Software, gradually ceases to support this terminal in favor of a newer development � MetaTrader5.
If you already had experience working with any trading terminal, then the issue of choosing a terminal for you is obvious. If you make your choice for the first time � do not be lazy, open test accounts for different terminals and make your choice consciously. Follow the execution of transactions in different terminals, assess their convenience, ease of application of technical indicators. Their stability. Put several graphic models � trend lines, channels, figures of technical analysis. Switch the terminal to different timeframes, the indicators do not get knocked out, how quickly they are redrawn. For example, in MT4, trend lines and channels often go astray from their positions when switching timeframes or opening and closing a terminal. I hate it, but this is the only problem I have faced with MT4.
The trading terminal MetaTrader 4 was developed exclusively for margin trading, so if the broker provides opportunities in addition to trading in currencies and trading stocks, it will not work. But the new terminal MetaTrader 5 can be used to trade both currencies and futures, and stocks. In MT5 appeared a wider choice of timeframes, including M2, H2, H3 and others. The main attraction of the trading platform was the designer of advisers, which allows you to make your trading robot without knowledge of the programming language on the basis of more than 30 standard indicators. Also in MT5, it became possible to conduct multicurrency testing on history, which greatly simplifies the search for profitable strategies and allows you to abandon individual test programs. Also, the list of standard indicators and tools for graphical analysis has significantly expanded.
Take the choice of the terminal very seriously. It is with your terminal that you will spend most of your time in the foreign exchange market, where you will analyze the market and make trading decisions based on its data. If you get used to and thoroughly study one terminal, you will be very uncomfortable and difficult to switch to another trading terminal in the future.
The main purpose of the terminal is the execution of your transactions on the market, and the speed and quality of this performance are key factors in choosing a trading terminal. Ask a direct question to your broker � which terminal they recommend for speed and quality of execution of transactions and why. Listen to their arguments and then make a decision. Repeat the same question with other brokers. So you get basic information for analysis.
Demo or test account
All brokers offer the possibility of opening a test demo account. Be sure to use this opportunity before opening a real trading account. If you choose from several brokers � open test accounts for everyone. If you select a trading terminal, open test bills for each terminal. This is nothing to you, you usually just need to specify your name and email. Get a separate e-mail for virtual accounts (so that advertising does not annoy). Be sure to try and compare test bills. As a rule, the execution of transactions on test accounts is not much different from real ones, but there are differences from a broker to a broker. Ask the broker how they provide quotes for the test account.
The number of trading instruments at the broker.
The main forex brokers offer roughly the same set of trading tools. This is primarily the main currency pairs, major crosses and exotic currency pairs. Also, certain CFDs may be included in the trading conditions. If you clearly understand what trading tools you need you just need to clarify their availability with a particular broker. At the same time, the presence of a number of tools in the broker�s terminal greatly simplifies the analysis and information support of your trade. I recommend checking the availability of the following instruments at the broker: gold (XAUUSD), oil (Brent or WTI), US dollar index (USDX) and stock indices (S&P500, Nikkei, others).
Currently, the topic of crypto-currency is very popular and large brokers include in their terminals the ability to trade leading crypto-currencies, for example Bitcoin. Regardless of whether you will be trading in crypto-currencies, or not, having them in the terminal may be useful in the future and shows that your broker is trying to keep pace with the times and takes into account the needs of traders in the market.
Hedging on forex
Hedging forex is the ability to open a reverse position for an amount equal to the original position. In other words, this technique is called �Castle�. This is a very controversial technique in trading, but if you sometimes use it, you should find out whether the broker provides this opportunity. Not all brokers allow hedging in the foreign exchange market. There are options when hedging is allowed, but when one of the positions in the lock is closed, the second position is automatically closed. If the hedging opportunities are not reflected in the trading account, it is desirable to clarify this item with technical support. In addition, I recommend checking the execution of transactions in the lock on the test account.
One of the most important components of the broker�s work, which must be paid attention. The forex market works 24 hours a day, so ideally the broker you choose, customer support should be available at any time. Before opening a live account, you need to make sure that the broker�s support service operates qualitatively and efficiently.
Typically, all brokers provide support in English. If you know English, you should not have problems. And if not, you better find out in advance whether there is support in your native language and in what mode it works. Please note that in the course of trading you may face technical problems and in the absence of support in your native language, you should be able to quickly and accurately explain the essence of your problems in English.
Typically, brokers offer several ways to contact customer support � e-mail, live chat, phone call. Contact technical support for all offered channels. Evaluate whether representatives of the broker make the impression of competent employees, how they communicate with you, how you are answered, how quickly they respond to e-mail. All this will show you how your technical and financial issues will be handled in a real situation.
Do not hesitate to call, write and otherwise contact support and clarify all the questions that interest you. You are interesting to brokers exactly until the moment when your money is not transferred to the broker.
Market analytics and other useful chips from a broker
The competition for customers in the forex broker market is currently very serious. This forces brokers to provide traders with various additional services on the market. Study them and determine how important it is for you when choosing a forex broker. Among these services can be � learning programs and materials, periodic analyst of the currency market, and applying analytical and training webinars, provide news data in the trading platform, specialized indicators and settings for the terminal, holding a variety of contests and promotions.
Reviews about the broker on the Internet
Using a simple search, you in a short time will be able to find a large number of customer reviews about working with a particular broker. Studying the reviews, pay attention to the following points. How often there are positive and negative reviews. On what sites these reviews appear. When was the last time there were negative or positive reviews. How competently they are made up. A very common situation where novice traders after a short training, start trading in the forex without complying with the basics of money management, that usually ends with the loss of a significant part of the deposit and the blame they start the broker. On the other hand, forex brokers actively monitor Internet resources for reviews and a very large part of positive feedback belongs to the brokers themselves. Than digging through all this rubbish I suggest you concentrate on the responses of brokers to negative reviews and comments of traders. If they are competent, professional and appear quickly enough, this indicates a serious job at the broker with their clients. On the Internet, a huge number of sites and forums with feedback on the work of brokers. To choose you, I can recommend only one, which I use myself � www.forexfactory.com. You can register and ask in the appropriate branch the questions you are interested in about this or that broker.
I wish you luck in not a simple process of choosing a reliable forex broker, and I hope that my materials have slightly eased your path. If I missed any important points � write in the comments, I will definitely add them to the review.
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