There are several important questions that you should ask before you choose a broker. Some time spent on research now, can dramatically improve your future trading experience.
Are you a secure broker owned by a registered company?
Check that the brokerage takes trader security seriously. look for:
Comodo SSL protocol
Segregated trader accounts
Company registration number
Brokers vs Dealers?
Be sure that you are in contact with a forex broker and not a forex dealer. Only a brokerage will allow you to trade CFDs.
Is the broker well established and do they have a good reputation?
It’s usually better to sign up with a well established online brokerage. Some have been in business for over 30 years now. However, there are also some new brokerages that get excellent reviews.
Do you provide instant order execution?
Any modern trading platform should provide instant order execution – don’t bother with any broker that doesn’t have it.
Do you impose fees, commissions or other costs?
Good CFD brokers will offer competitive spreads. They make their money in a transparent and ethical manner. Check whether there are fixed spreads, variable spreads or commission charges based on percentages of the spread. It’s important to ask about how long it takes to make a withdrawal and whether there are any fees. You should also check whether you need to supply any ID or documentation.
Do I have a good choice of trading accounts?
It’s important to sign up to a trading account that matches your budget, experience level and financial expectations. many brokers have at least 6 account types. Take the time to research them – and the different benefits that each account offers.
What is the leverage and margin requirements?
Good brokerages should offer at least x200 leverage on most assets. ideally the margin requirement will be 1% or lower.
Are the spreads the same for each asset
One way brokers make money is by setting spreads (usually 0.2 – 4 pips) on trades. Any honest broker will clearly display spread costs, but some assets may have higher spreads. You should always check your potential costs before you open a position.
Can I practice trading with a demo account?
All new traders are strongly advised to practice trading with a demo account. If a broker doesn’t offer one, or places a lot of conditions on using one, look somewhere else.
Are rollover rates simple and transparent?
It’s important that any rollover fees should be clearly displayed and the terms should be easy to understand. Rollovers are usually only an issue for highly leveraged trades and certain forex trades where there is a disparity between each currency’s interest rates.
How much money can I lose?
Generally speaking, CFD traders can only lose the money invested in a particular trade. However, a few brokerages may allow trader accounts to be emptied, or even overdrwan by trading losses. Be very clear about potential liabilities. We suggest scheduling a personal training session to learn about risk management and how to set effective limits on your personal trading.
Is there 24/5 or 24/6 customer service in my language?
Check whether a broker provides effective customer service in your own language, or in a language you easily understand. It’s worth reading reviews of each broker’s customer service.
Can I get an account upgrade?
It’s always worth asking about promotions and special offers from a brokerage. Even if a broker doesn’t offer many bonuses, they may be willing to give you an account upgrade or access to better trading tools or tighter spreads.