Well, I am getting near to going live. But after reading reviews on various (MT4) brokers, I now feel this is a study in itself. It seems the most recommended have the worst reviews. The best/most recommended with favourable reviews at this time is Dukascopy, but its not MT4. I have crossed out MIGFX, Interbank FX and a few others.
Can anyone help please, I am now more confused than ever, and want get started within a few weeks.
This has become my greatest struggle. Being a US customer really isn't helping things.
I nearly went live with Nord Markets, only to find out that they can't help US customers via MT4 for some asinine reason.
Right now I'm looking at SPB - they seem to have everything I want, and they claim to cater to US customers.
If anyone knows a good non-DD broker that accepts American customers, I'm all ears! Well-functioning demo accounts via MT4 would be very helpful as well. MBT's demo servers are flaky as hell, so I'm not too high on them. I'm about to start working on a switch to my code to be able to use the FIX protocol, but that will be a project unto itself, and I'm ready to go now with MT4.
Finding the "right" broker is a challenge for all of us when we start out and while I believe that review sites can be helpful, the information can easily be skewed based on the size of the broker.
I think most people would agree that clients expect their brokers to perform to a certain standard. It is very rare that a client would go out of their way to post positive comments about a broker ( unless they did something really spectacular ) because they're simply doing what we expect them to do.
On the otherhand if the broker did something to upset a client, they are far more likely to want to shout it from the mountaintop.
This is why you will notice a direct correlation between the size of a broker and the number of negative reviews they receive.
Judging by the review sites it would appear that FXCM is the worst broker on the planet but that is only a reflection on the number of clients they have.
Suppose FXCM has 150,000 clients and Nordmarkets has 5,000 and let's say that the customer satisfaction rate at FXCM is 95% and at Nordmarkets it is 80%.
That would still leave FXCM with 7,500 dissatisfied clients ( 5% 150,000 ) and Nordmarkets with 1000 ( 20% of 5000 ). The impression created is that FXCM is "worse" because they have the most negative ratings but that must be considered in the context of their overall size.
Not to mention the people on review forms who are complaining that they can't get their order filled at the desired price 5 seconds after the Non Farm Payroll is released or the ones who can't accept responsibility for their own poor trading decisions and protect their egos by laying the blame on their broker.
All this to say that online reviews must be taken with a grain of salt
Now onto the issue of finding the right broker...
I personally place very high value on regulation and while I understand this isn't important to everyone, I like knowing that my broker is being held to certain standards ( capital requirements safety of funds etc ) and is held accountable for non-compliance.
I do not deal with any NFA regulated firms as I like to have the option to hedge as well as the higher leverage available in other jurisdictions.
I try not to keep my eggs in one basket and actually have accounts with several different brokers including Forex.com/uk, Tadawul FX FxPro and Go Markets
Of these brokers FxPro and Go Markets have the tightest spreads ( though they are variable ) but FxPro does not allow Americans. Tadawul has excellent fixed spreads provided you deposit $5k or more.
The minimum lot size at both Tadaulw and FxPro could be an issue as it is 0.05 lots at TDFX and 0.1 lot at FxPro
forex.com/uk is part of GAIN Capital ( one of the biggest retail forex brokers out there ) and even though they're a dealing desk broker my experience there has been very positive.
Go Markets is an Australian based broker ( ASIC regulated ) with Straight Through Processing and they have an account that is very beneficial for new traders.
It is called an "L-Plate Account" and it basically allows you to trade in "nano-lots" which is 1/10 the size of a "micro lot". So if you entered a trade for one nano-lot each pip would represent $0.01
You can not have more than $500 in this account but it is completely MT4 compatible, there is no minimum deposit and it's a great way to practice without risking a lot of capital. For "Newbie Island" this type of account is ideal.
Look under the Account Types tab on the Go Markets website for more information.
If you don't need anything smaller than microlots then the Standard MT4 Account should suit you just fine. Go Markets and FxPro are where I run my scalping EA's and I have been very happy with both of them.
I'm not sure if this helps or just blurs things even further but I wish you the best of luck in your search
Last edited by PipsyGirl; 06-03-2010 at 07:04 PM.
Well, thanks for all the comments and balancing out of Teresa. It seems I now have more brokers to look up as well as reconsidering those I have looked up. At this stage I am not that well educated on "spreads", "hedging", "non-dd brokers" "commission fees, "rollovers" and all that "stuff".
However, I am doing okay on a MIGfx demo after studying Candlesticks and Technical Analysis, and feel the other "stuff" will come when on a real account.
I have just read some reviews on Tadawul and they sound okay, so will try their demo for awhile and then decide.
I also started out a demo with MT4 and Forex.com/Gain. However, I have read many negative reviews about them. Many people consider they're a scam. I'm confused! Hoping to chose to right before I go live. Anyone knows? Thanks