One criterion to consider when choosing your broker is the spread, which is a major expense or cost of trading and will be important for high-volume traders. Many times, spreads can vary widely on major currency pairs, so it is important to find out what Forex brokers are offering. Some top online brokers offer variable or fixed spreads. If you are unsure which option to select, consider how many trades you expect to do in a month and then compare it with a variable and fixed spread costs. If you are more active while the market is volatile, you may have a fixed spread better.
If brokers use their own platforms or institutional ones, they likely charge commission and have a lower spread. Their spreads are typically variable, while the commission is fixed, though they can and do offer discounted commissions on large orders. While this option isn’t for everyone, you can use them if you understand the commission rates.
Market Maker, Dealing Desk, NDD
Online Forex brokers could be considered dealing desk or market makers, meaning that they act as a buffer between you and the market. In most cases, they will trade against you, the client, and will make money off of you if you lose the trade. While it may sound like a bad thing, they can offer more leverage and other incentives to use their services, making them a top choice among many.
The Forex market is open 24/7/365, so it is important that your broker offer similar hours. While not every online broker offers 24/7 access to their platforms, you should find one that offers as much as possible and find out why the platform isn’t open 24/7. In most cases, maintenance is scheduled during off-hours so that no regular maintenance will interrupt platform abilities. Some brokers will also open earlier, especially from a weekend, so consider this if you will want to deal with Pacific or Asian markets.