Forex brokers need to be associated with a large financial institution such as a bank in order to provide the funds necessary for margin trading. In the United States a broker should be registered as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as protection against fraud and abusive trade practices.
Before trading Forex you need to set up an account with a Forex broker. You may feel overwhelmed by the number of forex brokers who offer their services online. Deciding on a broker requires lots of research on your part. There are several areas to examine before you sign on the dotted line with any broker. Here are some things that you need to look for in making your choice:
- Safety of Funds
Is the broker regulated? Are client funds insured?
- Order execution
How fast is the broker’s order execution?
Will they place you on manual execution?
Do they offer automatic execution?
How much can you trade before having to request a quote?
Do they offset all clients orders?
Do they trade against their clients?
Is it fixed or variable?
How tight is the spread?
Is it larger for mini accounts?
How much slippage can be expected in normal and fast moving market conditions?
- Margin requirements
What are the margin requirements and how are they calculated? Does the margin change with currency traded? Is it the same for mini accounts and standard accounts?
- Forex Trading Platform
Is it reliable during fast moving markets and news announcements?
How many different currency pairs can you trade?
Do they offer an Application Programming Interface (API) for automated systems trading?
What other features does it offer? (One click trading from the chart, trailing stops, mobile trading etc.)
- Account Size
What is the minimum account balance?
Can you trade mini accounts?
Do you earn interest on the unused equity in your account?
Can you adjust the standard lot size traded?