That being said, the expectations among traders have increased as well and in order to keep customers happy, brokers go far and beyond providing not just a gateway to the markets, but also secure, stimulating and dynamic trading environment.
Which features should you expect to receive these days?
While 10 years ago the only option for trading currency was MetaTrader 4 in its original disguise, today there are countless options for user-friendly, yet efficient trading platforms, which provide flexible and easy access to the financial markets.
Today you can easily find web-based or desktop platforms with quick and easy access to forex market from any computers with an internet connection. Moreover, you can also benefit from mobile trading suitable for trading on the go.
Free Demo Account and Education
Brokers that do not offer sufficient amount of practice time, in my opinion, are not trustworthy. Why should a new trader hurry and open a real account while there is so much learning and practice needed?
Good forex broker needs to provide free basic trading courses and demo account to practice with enough virtual money and for at least 1 month period (in some cases, demo account is available for unlimited amount of time and that is, of course, the best option of them all). There is no need to rush. Practice makes perfect especially in online investment.
Some brokers go beyond and provide useful guides, tutorials, video explanations and even webinars with professional traders. All of these are great indicators how good your broker really is.
Technical and Fundamental Analysis
One of the important services all professional brokers should offer is fundamental and technical analysis with complete breakdown of major currency pairs, innovative charting tools, economic calendar, technical indicators, current market sentiment, latest economic headlines, news feeds and in some cases even other traders’ activity statistics. Since forex trading is a dynamic investment, time and information is gold!
From streaming rates, wide range of currency pairs to choose from, different kind of assets, to high leverage options, single click executions and extensive order types – your forex broker needs to have it all to ensure your success.
The basic order types should include Market Orders, Stop Orders, Entry Orders and Limit Orders.
Some of the advanced orders can have At Market and Market Range, Complex OCO orders, Simple OCO orders and others.
Charts are extremely important for the analysis of the market, therefore your broker must have flexible, readable and accurate charting software with advanced charting tools such as Fibonacci lines and Gann Fanns, and popular pre-loaded indicators.
Today you can use expert advisors with most of trading platforms. If you see that your broker doesn’t allow you to use EA, maybe it is time to look for another one. The use of expert advisors should be limitless and unconditional.
Competitive Spreads on Majors and No Extra Fees
Low spreads on major currency pairs is a must. When I say low, anything higher than 3 pips for EUR/USD is a rip off.
You shouldn’t be charged extra for deposits, withdrawals, trading, rollover or margin calls. The only profit that brokers should be making is from the difference between buy and sell price.
Your trading account and activity needs to be secured by SSL encryption across the website. The broker also needs to go an extra mile and test their website and trading platform for malicious attacks and fraud.
You are entitled to receive both technical support and trading guidelines via email, phone and live chat. Brokers that do not provide professional live chat services will definitely lose its place in the competitive environment.
Deposits and withdrawals should be processed in a fast and simple manner. A broker should also over a selection of payment methods to suit all types of traders. There is no reason why you should be waiting weeks for wire transfer. Today a broker is expected to accept alternative payment methods such as Paypal and Skrill to allow the fastest possible processing times.
Social Trading Features
Today it is all about socializing and your trading experience should not be an exemption. With millions of traders around the world, social trading is becoming a must. In order to achieve higher profits, today you can follow and copy the activity of successful traders. One of the brokers that offer this innovative feature is eToro. With more than 500,000 registered users, you can copy and share your experience with others and build truly impressive online portfolio.