If you are a foreign currency investor looking to trade forex online, you will find that many brokers compete for your business. How do you make your choice? How can you tell apart the best forex brokers from the not-so-good ones?

Forex Broker Regulation

The last thing you want is to trade with a rogue forex broker that steals your money, re-quotes prices, and trades against you. To avoid that pitfall, only deal with reputable and compliant brokers.

If you are in the UK, check to see if your broker is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

If you are in the US, check to see if your broker is a member of the National Futures Association and whether it is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

If you are not in the UK or US, know that your country has regulatory authorities similar to the FCA, CFTC and NFA. Never deal with an online broker that is not fully compliant.

Forex Broker Account Features

The account features that your forex broker offers determine your trading experience to a significant degree. Consider these four account features before you commit to a broker:

  • Margin and leverage. Forex brokers allow traders to access leverage and thus increase their profits on their winning positions. Leverage ranges from 50:1 to 200:1. The problem with leverage is that it works against the trader on losing positions.
  • Spreads and commissions. Even the best forex brokers need to make money. They earn their profits from thecommissions and spreads they charge. The spread represents the difference between the Bid and Ask prices. The most popular currency pairs offer the narrowest spreads.
  • Initial deposit requirements. Beginner traders like small deposit requirements as they can prevent them from losing a lot of money. Initial deposit requirements often depend on the account type you open with the broker.
  • Deposits and withdrawals. As a trader, you have to be able to deposit money quickly and efficiently when you want to. You also want your broker to honor your withdrawal requests on time.

Available Currency Pairs

You may have a preference to trade one currency pair over another. You need a broker that supports the currency pair you want to trade.

Customer Service

When you have a problem, you have to turn to customer service. You need a broker that offers round-the-clock customer service and knowledgeable support staff.

The Trading Platform

The trading platform is your interface with the forex markets. It delivers many features to help with your technical analysis, trades, and charting needs. Good trading platforms are feature-rich, intuitive, and responsive.

You have to be aware of the style of forex trading you want and your financial goals. Every broker has advantages and disadvantages. Which one suits your needs the best depends on your personal preferences, such as risk tolerance, goals, and trading style.