Choosing a Broker to Trade With

Choosing a broker can a daunting task. There are so many things to think about that sometimes the decision-making process can get confusing. The task itself needs to be broken down first into two elements being personal choice and general choice. The personal choice is related to how you trade. So if you are a part-time trader only being at your screen morning and evenings then you may want a broker that is able to give excellent mobile platforms. Conversely you may have the privilege of trading for a living so you may believe the pip spread is a more salient competitive factor in your decision-making process. Whichever factors are important to you by reading on you will have some tools and information to be able to make the correct broker decision that is right for you.

Spread

The spread is the difference between the Ask and the Bid. This is effectively how the brokers make money. Generally the less traded the pair then the higher the spread. If you have a pair with high volume in the market then the likelihood is the spread will be lower than others with a lower amount of transactions. The important note here is the higher the spread the more you need to make before you are in profit. If the spread is 3 pips then you start out the trade at negative 3 pips so you need to make this back to break even. This is especially important when you are deciding what to trade.

Education

Finding a broker with a strong level of educational resources may appeal to you especially if you are a new trader. However you maybe seasoned pro and not get any real benefit from the educational resources. Even if you do not use the educational resources it is still a good idea to find a broker who has the knowledge bank. This is because it demonstrates the professionalism of the broker. It is also a good idea to want to keep learning and brushing up on your knowledge and understanding is never a bad idea.

As part of the education offered online some brokers also provide either live or web seminars. These are an excellent resource for meeting fellow traders or gaining knowledge from someone else’s opinion and expertise. Trading is a dynamic industry so a broker that provides an opportunity to continue learning by sharing expertise is definitely worth further investigation.

There is so much to learn in trading so having a broker that provides an unbiased forum for learning can be a great resource to help you become a consistently profitable trader. You must also consider information overload so if you know the broker provides excellent education then you may not need to waste time and possibly money looking for development material elsewhere.

Platforms

The main types of platform offered are

  • Web-based
  • Program download – usually MT4
  • Mobile

The type of trader you are will dictate the platform you favour. So if you are trading part-time and would like to log on at work or in your breaks then you may find that the broker offering a mobile and web platform the best option. If you are at home most of the time then a program download will probably suit address your needs. I would recommend that trading on MT4 as early as possible is the best way forward. Most reputable brokers supply MT4 so downloading this should not be a big issue.

Licensed

You must ensure you broker is correctly licensed before you commence trading with them. This may seem obvious and most brokers are. However there are some brokers on the internet that are not registered and could well be unethical processing your orders. Ensuring the correct licensing and that the broker is part of the syndicate of financial authorities is essential for your protection.

Leverage

A very important aspect of trading that you must be careful of is over leveraging. Trading can offer great returns however it can also lead to losses that you may not be prepared for. Speak with your broker and understand the leverage being offered. Be sure to understand that the higher the leverage is not always the best because you are ultimate putting more at risk. Some brokerage firms offer 400:1 or more leverage which if you trade at this level could lead to substantial profits or losses.

Friendly Help Desk

You will be conducting a business transaction with your broker possibly on a daily basis. It could even be that you are dealing several times in one day. Although I would not recommend trading too often because it is quality of trade as opposed to quantity. However there will be times, especially in the early days, that you want to discuss certain things with your broker. You will want to ensure the helps desk of the broker is professional and helpful so you are able to trade as effectively as possible. After all trading is difficult enough without having to deal with any uneccessary nuances.

Money Transfer

The exciting part! Taking money out. For sure you do not want to be waiting or debating for days on end when you have finally mastered trading and you wish to take money out of the account. When deciding which broker to use be sure that money transfers happen in a timely and accurate manor. The method of transfer must also be acceptable so you will need to understand how this process works. The quality of the broker can often be shown in how they manage the financial transactions and the external support they have to do this.

This guide should help you out in finding the right broker for you. It is essential that you do your homework thoroughly. Choosing the correct broker that suits your trading style is a difficult process however following the above guidelines should put you well on your way to making the correct choice. Getting the correct broker will enable you to concentrate on the important aspects of trading. With the right broker you can rest assured you can do your analysis and trade efficiently and effectively. By following the above detail you will well on your way to find the perfect broker for you and your trading style.

An excellent broker that I HIGHLY recommend is ECMarkets

General Information

ECMarkets is quickly establishing itself as one of the most innovative Forex brokers in the market today. A stylishly designed website makes navigation very easy. The clear easy-to-use interface extends to clear easy-to-use trading platforms. Everything about ECMarkets is designed to put traders at ease and make them feel comfortable and confident enough to begin trading as soon as possible.
Trading Platforms

ECMarketsoffer a wide range of trading platforms that ensure their customers can trade at anytime, anywhere. Currently, there are 5 trading platforms available :

  • MetaTrader 4 – Offering a huge selection of trading tools and indicators enabling single-click trading directly from the charts.
  • ECTrader Lite – Easy-to-use downloadable platform.
  • ECMobile Trader – Comprehensive trading platform available on just about all mobile phones including iPhone, Blackberry and Android.
  • ECPro AutoTrader – Downloadable automated platform which allows every trader the opportunity to trade using proven successful trading strategies, even when away from the platform.
  • ECWeb Trader – Easy-to-use platform requiring no download allowing access to your trading account from anywhere in the world.

Trading Accounts

ECMarkets offer three different types of accounts depending on deposit amounts: Mini Account – $100 – $2499 Standard

$2500 – $19999

VIP $20000 or more
The three accounts come with varying benefits and features aimed at generously rewarding depositors with a higher-than-average welcome bonus of us to $2000 and helping traders increase their skills and knowledge base to become better, more successful traders with unlimited access to a comprehensive education resource center which includes such features as free live webinars, trading signals sent to mobiles and  private one-to-one tuition.
Practice Account

ECMarkets also offer a free practice account on both the MetaTrader 4 and ECWeb trader platforms. The demo account contains $100,000 and is the perfect way to learn to trade without risk or obligation. To upgrade from a practice account to a trading account is a simple process and takes only moments.
Tradable Assets

ECMarkets offer a large selection of assets to trade as well as all the major currency pairs. Recently, Bonds have been added to the list creating a diverse and wide range of tradable assets: Forex – All the Major Currency Pairs CFD’s – Gold, Oil, Silver, Sugar, Corn, Wheat, Soybean Stocks – Including Google, Sony, Nokia, Apple, EDF and many more Bonds – Including Japanese, Euro and the UK Leverage – Up to 200:1
Regulation

ECMarkets is part of the SafeCap group, who are licensed and regulated in Cyprus by CySec; the financial authority in Cyprus, an EU member state and thus licensed and regulated under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). ECMarkets is registered with some of the world’s leading regulatory bodies including the FSA, BaFin and BdF.  ECMarkets adheres to strict uncompromising financial standards with all client funds insured by the Investor Compensation Fund for Customers of Cypriot Investment Firms (up to 20,000 Euros)
Education

ECMarkets provide a complete education system aimed at getting the novice trader confident enough to start to trade and increasing the skills and knowledge base for the more experienced trader. The impressive step-by-step education resource center includes:

  • Introduction to Trading
  • Technical and Fundamental analysis
  • Free Live Webinars
  • One-to-One Training Sessions with the Experts
  • Comprehensive Glossary

Banking

ECMarkets offer an extensive list of payment and withdrawal methods that include most of the worlds commonly used payment options. Nearly all major credit cards are accepted and ECMarkets provide a transparent and simple banking system without complications. Minimum Deposit is $100.
Languages

Currently the website is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian
Customer Service

ECMarkets maintains a high level of professional multi-lingual support 24/7 via telephone, email and live chat.
Conclusion

An attractive and solid Forex broker offering uncomplicated trading in a safe, regulated environment with many features not found elsewhere.

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