It’s great that you’re taking advantage of the resources available on this site to learn about forex.
Most forex brokers will let you trade 24 hours a day during the week, so the fact that you want to focus on trading the Asian session (daytime in Japan and Australia) is not as important a factor in choosing a broker.
Recently, there have been several discussions on this forum highlighting the dangers of trading with unregulated brokers:
Therefore, what’s most important is choosing a well-regulated broker. You mentioned you live in the eastern time zone, but not the country. Forex is regulated by different governing bodies around the world.
- In the US, forex is regulated by the CFTC and NFA, and brokers are required to maintain net capital of $20 million.
- In Canada, forex trading is regulated by IIROC and funds are protected for up to $1 million per client by the CIPF.
Forex traders who live in those countries should consider brokers regulated locally. Forex traders who live in the Americas, but outside the US and Canada can also consider brokers regulated by other major governing bodies:
- In the UK, forex trading is regulated by the FCA and funds are protected for up to £50,000 per client by the FSCS.
- In Australia, trading is regulated by ASIC and funds are segregated in accordance with Australian client money rules.
Also, your expected starting balance of $4000 to $7000 falls right in the average range for most retail traders, and most brokers will offer trade sizes suitable for you.
Regarding your question about whether it’s better to trade on a spread only model or a spread plus commission model, you have to consider your total transaction cost. That means you must compare the round turn (opening and closing) cost of the spread only pricing to the spread plus commission pricing to determine which costs more. The more you trade, the more these costs can add up, so keep in mind that many brokers offer discounts or rebates for high volume traders including FOREX.com.
Transaction costs are important, but make sure not to neglect other important factors such as whether a broker offers 24 hour customer support when the forex market is trading during the week, what trading platforms and charting programs they support since each has its own strengths, and of course, where they are regulated, for the reasons mentioned previously.