Best Forex Brokers
Updated for 2018
We have been involved in the forex industry for half a decade. During that time, we have been involved with numerous brokers.
Below, you will find our picks for the best forex brokers. We have personally traded with the brokers below, and have done thorough research of them.
Please note: None of the brokers below accept clients from the USA. Conditions may vary between non-professionals and professionals.
What happens to the money I deposit?
The money you deposit with any of the brokers above, are held in segregated bank accounts under trustee arrangements. This ensures that the cash remains yours, rather than the broker’s. It also means that it’s easily identifiable as client money, so the broker and its creditors don’t have any charge, liens, or rights of set-off or retention over it.
They usually have a number of segregated bank accounts at a range of credit-worthy high street banks such as Barclays and Lloyds. They intentionally ensure that client money is split between a number of banks, and we’re not permitted to hold it all in one place.
What if the broker goes into liquidation?
In the unlikely event of this happening, all clients would have their share of the segregated money or segregated assets returned, minus the administrators’ costs in handling and distributing these funds.
If the broker is regulated by the FCA, then any shortfall of funds of up to £50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS is the compensation fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms.
It is designed by the UK government to act as a ‘safety net’, and usually covers private investors (retail clients) and small businesses if they have been clients of a financial services firm which becomes insolvent.
What if a bank goes into liquidation?
The losses would be shared by clients in proportion to the share of money held with the failed bank. Funds lost in this way may be compensated for under the FSCS up to a limit of £85,000 per person, per institution, subject to other balances held with the bank in question.
Find out more about what the FSCS covers and who is eligible to claim at their website.
How does the broker earn money?
The main way brokers earn money is through the spreads that they wrap around the market price. The costs of any given trade are factored into these two prices (known as the offer and the bid), so you will always buy slightly higher than the market price, and sell slightly below it.
If the EURUSD is trading at 1.1750 and has a two point spread, for example, it might have an offer price of 1.1751 and a bid price of 1.1749.
Sometimes you’ll also need to pay other fees when trading with a broker:
- Share CFD commission
- FX conversion
- Overnight fees (swap)
For more details, you can visit the broker website.
Does brokers aim to profit from my losses?
No, not the brokers featured above. Their business model is based on providing individuals with the opportunity to trade the world’s financial markets, in exchange for fair and proportionate transaction fees. It is a well-known fact that trading successfully is difficult, and most speculative traders tend to lose. However, they do not typically benefit from trading losses that an unsuccessful client may experience.
Mostly, the clients offset each other’s positions. For example if client A buys one lot of the DAX and client B sells one lot of the DAX, both sides of the trade are covered. This means the broker is not exposed to the profit or loss of either client. Instead, they make their money via the spread (i.e. the transaction fee) that each client pays to trade.
Sometimes, a large majority of clients will trade in one direction. When this happens, they will protect their exposure to risk by hedging in the underlying market. For example, if client A and client B buy the DAX, we may buy actual DAX futures. This then covers the amount they will pay out if both clients are successful.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), requires all European brokers to classify their clients as either non-professional or professional.
The main difference is that professionals will have lower margin requirements than non-professionals. The professionals can also lose more than their deposits (non-professionals can not).
If you answer ‘yes’ to two or more of the following, you could be eligible to be classified as a professional trader.
- Has your trading averaged 10 significantly sized leverage transactions per quarter over the last 4 quarters?
- Do you have a financial instrument portfolio, including cash deposits, exceeding €500,000?
- Have you worked in the financial sector in a professional position, requiring knowledge of derivatives trading, for at least a year?
We generally advise you to remain as a non-professional client, due to the negative balance protection.
Do you have any questions regarding the brokers mentioned above, feel free to drop us an email here.