My Experience Opening a Forex Account with Markets.com

After researching a number of forex brokers, I decided upon Markets.com a few days ago. Even though I’m confident in my decision, going forward and opening my first account was a little nerve-wracking. However, the staff at Markets.com was incredibly helpful and made it pretty easy for me.

Open Account

Account Application

Applying for a Markets.com account was a breeze since everything could be done through their website. This feature wasn’t entirely shocking to me since I was aware that almost all other brokers provide the same option of opening an account online. I clicked on the “Start Trading Now” button, which was at the center of the main page.

The application just requires some basic personal information you would provide when opening any type of account online.

Required Documentation

For the purpose of verifying my identity and eligibility for an account, I had to upload a couple of documents to Markets.com’s website. This included a copy of a government issued ID and proof of address. I sent a copy of my driver ‘s license and cellphone bill. I was a bit skeptic about uploading this type of personal information online but after reading several reviews I figured they wouldn’t rip me off. I got confirmation shortly after I sent the documents. I also discovered after the fact that I could use their mobile app to upload my documents as well, a pretty convenient feature.

Deposit

Markets.com minimum deposit amount for their classic account is $100. However, I’m pretty committed to learning forex trading and have put some cash aside from my part time job and so I decided to deposit $500. This certainly puts a dent in my pub and pizza funds but it will be worth it in the long term.

Ideally, I’d like to add another $2,000 so I can be upgraded to a standard account. As a standard account holder, I was given some freebies, most notable of which is access to the company’s News To Mobile service. For those who don’t have student loans to worry about, it’s worth noting that the company also offers a VIP account, which gives you many benefits like a generous welcome bonus and complimentary forex signals.

Although Markets.com accepts payments via credit card, I decided to make my deposit via bank wire. Tempting as it is to have a bigger account, I prefer to trade with my own money. I don ‘t want to get sucked into a cycle of borrowing money on my credit card to fund my trading endeavors. Happily, Markets.com didn’t charge any extra deposit fees like some other brokers, just as advertised.

Customer Service

Markets.com customer service was all that I was hoping for. My rep, Monika, was very patient with my lack of forex trading knowledge and was able to answer my questions in a clear and polite manner. Although most brokers would pitch the same marketing boost for their customer service, I doubt everyone can live up to their promises. I loved the fact that I could connect to a customer support rep 24/5, which is about the same times the market is open. It ‘s a nice for a student like me who has study schedules during the early morning and afternoon hours.

Trading Platform

As I previously mentioned, I was a little intimidated by metatrader. It seems very powerful and sophisticated with advanced charting and automated trading options. However, I decided to start with Sirix Web Trader since it allowed me to meet and connect with other forex traders. It ‘s really neat to get to see what other people are trading and have the option of copying their trades. It ‘s really for seeing how some of the forex trading theory I’ve been ready about is actually used in practice.

How Easy Was It?

Since the time I submitted my application, it took less than a week to get my live trading account activated. It wasn’t really a much wait for me since I also had some papers and projects to finish. As a pointer, I advise future applicants to double check the documents they send to the company as a prerequisite for a trading account.

Summary

Overall, Markets.com is a stalwart companion for forex trading. Opening the account was a relatively painless process. In any case, I’m happy that done and I can move onto trading. I have a bunch of articles I want to read and videos to watch on Markets.com ‘s website before putting on some real trades however.

Why I Chose Markets.com as my Forex Broker

I’ve spent the last few weeks researching forex brokers. With so many new ones popping up here and there, I can probably continue do this for years. It’s high time to make a decision, open an account, and get on with forex trading.

Decisions

One resource that really helped me make up my mind was this review of Markets.com review by ConnectFX – it’s very a balanced and comprehensive review clearly written by an expert. The comparison chart and wizard on that website also helped me weigh my options and come to a decision.

Trader Education and Market Analysis

As a new trader, I know I have a steep learning curve to climb. I will be trading against market veterans with a lot more experience and capital at their disposal. It would be best if I can learn the lessons of the market without making costly mistakes in the process.

While there are many forex trading courses for sale, I’d prefer to save some money upfront and get as much good training I can from my broker first. Markets.com really stands out to me in terms of what they offer. They have introductory articles, ebooks, more than 5 webinars a month, live seminars and also offer 1 to 1 training.

Customer Support

Another especially important consideration for me is customer support. Time is money in the capital markets and I don’t want to be stuck on hold for hours with technical problems while the market moves.

Markets.com has won multiple awards for customer service including the London Investor Show Forex Best Customer Service 2012 award and The Global Banking & Finance Review, Best Broker in Customer Service Europe 2012 award.  They also assign a personal account manager to all of their clients (not just VIPs) so I’ll have a single point of contact for any issues that arise.

While I speak fluent English, I was impressed by the fact that Markets.com offers customer support in other languages as well. As a matter of fact, the company has more than 24 local numbers for traders in different countries. Moreover, they’ve got several email addresses that you can write to for prompt response. If you prefer a live chat with one of their support representatives, it’s also an option.

Trading Costs

While Markets.com doesn’t have the lowest spreads amongst the four brokers I’ve research, it doesn’t charge a lot of miscellaneous fees. Avatrade will charge a $25 monthly inactivity fee and Forex.com will charge a $40 international wire fee.

I’ve read controlling costs is a key factor in long term trading success. As a newbie trader with a small account, I would rather than slightly higher per trade costs than have my funds bled away slowly by administrative fees.

Product Coverage

While I plan to focus initially on forex trading, I would like the ability to branch out into commodities, indicies, stocks, bonds, bitcoin etc… in the future. Markets.com and Avatrade have pretty comprehensive coverage. However, HotForex and Forex.com don’t cover bonds, ETFs and bitcoin. Furthermore, Forex.com doesn’t even cover single stocks.

Trading Platforms

All four brokers I looked at offer Metatrader. However it seems a bit complicated and not too user friendly to. It also requires you to download software to use it which might not be convenient if I’m working in the library or computer lab on a school computer. I think I’ll probably start with one of the browser platforms when I trade on a laptop.

I leaning towards using Sirix Webtrader available via Markets.com. It’s a social trading platform and so I’ll be able to see what trades other traders are putting on and have the option of copying them. This will be a good way of getting educated in forex trading. HotForex and Forex.com don’t have social trading platforms. Avatrade has one called Zulutrade but Sirix from Markets.com seems more friendly to me.

Account Types

Of the four brokers I researched, HotForex has the lowest minimum deposit of only $5. However, there’s not much you can do such a small amount of capital even if I used leverage. After all, it does takes money to make money. The $100 minimum deposit required by Markets.com is certainly affordable, even on my tight student’s budget.

Summary

Overall, the main selling points for me was Markets.com’s depth educational resources, excellent customer service, no miscellaneous fees and broad product coverage. While its true that many forex brokers offer similar services, there are still some that try to differentiate themselves. And Markets.com strengths are the most important qualities for me in a forex broker at this time.

I’m going to wrap it up and open an account with Markets tomorrow. Wish me luck! Will write about how it goes.

Forex Broker Review #4: Forex.com

I heard recently that regulation of forex brokers is much tougher in the US. So far, I’ve only researched Europe based brokers. I wanted to take a quick peek at how they do things across the pond before signing up for an account.

Forex.com Overview

forex.com

Forex.com was founded in 2001. Although it’s based in the US, it services clients from over 180 countries. It is subject to many different regulators including the CFTC, NFA, and SEC in the US, the FCA in the UK, the FSA in Japan, SFC in Hong Kong, and ASIC in Australia. With such a long operating history and so much regulatory scrutiny, it’s bound to be a solid and reliable broker.

Product Range

Forex.com allows you to trade around 50 currency pairs as well precious metals like gold and silver. If you want to trade commodities, you’ll need to open another trading account with another company called Daniels trading. The other brokers I’ve seen so far allow you to trade commodities and stocks in the same account so this seems pretty inconvenient.

Trading Platforms

Forex.com offers a number of different platforms including Forex Trader Pro, MetaTrader 4 and Tradable. There are also mobile app versions of these platforms for your phone and tablet so I can trade on the go. If I can a break between classes or am stuck in a boring lecture, it will be nice to check on how my trades are doing with these apps.

Education

Forex.com also offers some webinars and online courses on trading techniques and strategies. They also offer live trading sessions where you can ask experts about their trading secrets for making good money.

Customer Support

Forex.com offers customer support via telephone, fax, email or Live Chat. They also won the “FX Empire Best Customer Support Award for 2014.”

Account Features

Forex.com requires a minimum deposit of $250 to open an account. This is substantially more than the European brokers – for example, I can open an account at HotForex with just $5.

They also have many fewer deposit options. You can send money with a wire transfer or check but you can’t use your credit card or online payment services like paypal, skrill, neteller, etc…

Leverage

Leverage seems to be much lower as well with max leverage of 50:1. Although this is probably enough for my purposes, it’s always nice to have the option to increase leverage as my experience and risk appetite may grow over time.

Fees

Although the forex spreads seem pretty reasonable, Forex.com does charge a lot of miscellaneous fees. For example, I’ll get hit with a $40 fee if I make a deposit via international wire. If I deposit $250 to open an account, that means I’ll lose 16% of my funds before I even trade.

They’ll also charge me a $15 inactivity fee. With classes, exams and papers, there will definitely be times I can’t watch the market. I wouldn’t want my money to be sucked away if I don’t have the time to trade.

Summary

While Forex.com certainly does appear to be a solid broker, the fees are significantly higher than Markets.com, HotForex and Avatrade. It also doesn’t offer any promotions, which makes me think the forex broker business in the United States is much less competitive than Europe.

While I don’t think I’ll go with Forex.com, it was certainly interesting to be observe some of the differences between US and European brokers.

Forex Broker Review #3: Markets.com

While doing some further reading on Avatrade, I discovered that they were in the process of being acquired by Playtech. Playtech is a FTSE listed gaming company who is also the parent company of Markets.com, a competing forex broker. While the merger was aborted due to some regulatory issues, it made me think about how strong Market.com’s business must be that Playtech would be looking to takeover yet another forex broker. And so, I decided to a little further research on Markets.

Markets.com Overview

Markets.com is growing fast globally in the forex market as a reputable broker. It offers various trading platforms including web based and easy to use ones for beginners. A cool aspect of trading with Markets.com is the mobile feature. I can trade on a regular web browser for my computer, and I also have the option of trading via apps on one of my mobile devices like my tablet or cell phone. This brokerage firm is ranked as one of the fastest growing providers in the forex market area.

Markets.com

Markets.com Team

The people behind Markets.com’s software, trading platforms and customer service are supposed to be some of the very best in the world. Their employees are highly experienced and educated in currency trading to begin with, and they are also put through the firm’s rigorous service training program and forex market education course.

Customer Support

The support is trained well enough for Markets.com to conduct business with people in over a hundred countries and in 25 languages. If I become a client of this broker, then I will get 24 hours a day assistance and tech support for 5 days out of every week of the year.

Demo Account

There are some things regarding the features I happen to like. The first thing is being able to have a free practice account and trading with live prices and data from the market.

Account Opening Bonus

I’ll also get $25 bonus if I sign up to trade with this broker without having to deposit any money. Although, it is not large amount of money, getting free money along no account opening fees is pretty cool, unlike a lot of other places.

Trading Platforms

The interface looked pretty solid and intuitive. It has a variety of simple to advanced charts to analyze the currency market in the past or present to help determine the future of a currency. I could make a dozen trades at once if I wanted to, and this broker makes it easier with the stop-loss and take-profit features on the interface.

Leverage

The final thing I liked the was the high leverage of up to 200:1. Although HotForex and Avatrade offer higher maximum leverage, I doubt I will make use of that.

With 200:1 leverage, I could put on trades of up to $40,000 with just $200. I doubt I’ll max out when I begin trading but it’s good to have the option available.

Summary

Overall, I get a pretty good feeling about Markets.com. They have been around a long time and seem to have a solid business. It’s also comforting to see they have such attentive customer support. It will especially come in handy for a newbie trader like me.

It’s also pretty cool that they sponsor my favorite football club, Arsenal. But anyways, I’ll try to keep my football loyalties out of my forex broker selection. LOL

Forex Broker Review #2: Avatrade

It’s been a little while since I looked into HotForex. While it’s a promising option, I didn’t want to just sign up with the first forex broker I came across without investigating other options. Next on my list is Avatrade.

Avatrade Overview

Avatrade

Avatrade was established in 2006 and is an award-winning forex broker. They provide all of the top features that make it easy for me to trade: plenty of assets, educational tutorials, real-time data and numerous platforms to choose from. As my trading skills improve, I can switch from a basic trading platform to a more sophisticated one.

The minimum deposit to get started is only $100. Maximum leverage is 400:1 and they have more than 200 assets available, which is amongst the highest in the industry. They keep upgrading their system to add the most cutting-edge features, including Bitcoin trading.

They also have some special promotions and bonuses if I refer a friend.  That’s great because I have a couple mates who are also looking to get into forex trading.

Account Types

They also offer free demo trading accounts. It will be a good opportunity for beginners like me to get familiar with making trades without risking my money.

The real accounts include Silver, Gold, Platinum and Ava Select. Each have slightly different minimum deposit accounts, fees, and features. I’ll probably go for the silver if I open an account with Avatrade.

Trading Software

I can choose from many trading platforms including Avatrader, Metatrader 4, Ava Options, Mirror Trader, and Zulu trade.

In any case, every platform seems to provide me with all the information I need to trade efficiently. They all seem pretty user friendly and intuitive.

Order Types

Avatrade enables various order types: market, entry, stop and cancel.   Using them in combination can allow for active risk management. For example, the “Cancel Order” institutes a new trade immediately when the parameters of an old trade have been met.

Market Info

Avatrade also has many educational resources I can use to learn more about forex including video tutorials, webinars and the Hush Trade website. The financial news feed provides me with current market information, economic indicators for fundamental analysis, and colorful charts and graphs for technical analysis.

Costs

Avatrade offers fixed or floating spreads ranging from 3 to 7 pips. This seems little bit on the expensive side but they do seem to offer a lot of services compared with other brokers.

Customer Service

In terms of customer service, Avatrade offers support via telephone, email or Live Chat. Although they are based in Ireland, they also have branches all over the world and multilingual support staff.

Summary

Avatrade seems like a solid, reputable broker who has been around for a long time. Compared with Hotforex, it seems to have a much broader range of products and educational resources. However, it’s spreads and account fees are quite a bit higher. I think I’ll investigate a couple more brokers before making a decision.

Why Would I Want to Research Forex and Forex Brokers?

After hearing over and over from my father about it taking money to make money, I decided to look into the world of investing. (You know this but I’m just reiterated for dramatic flourish) The old expression he and so many others still use today set me on my path to research future riches. I researched different fields of investment and different people. I was researching investment records one day, and I read about a man named George Soros.

He had made a record-setting one day trade, and by coming to the conclusion the Great British Pound was going to tank hard, heavy and fast, Mr. Soros made a profit of over $1 billion dollars in a single day on the forex market. A person made over $1 billion by betting money on money, which is called currency speculation. George Soros is now worth over $20 billion, and he is why I decided to focus my research on the forex market and find a good brokerage firm, so I can be like him.

Things have changed a lot with the trading of different currencies because of the Internet. Large financial institutions, hedge funds, the extremely rich like George Soros and central banks like the Federal Reserve, the European the Central Bank, Bank of England and others. The combination of the Internet and brokerage firms specializing in currency speculation and their advanced software has made it possible for the average person like me to diversify into the forex market or start in the forex market as a day trader.

I am narrowing down my decision between some really promising forex brokers. They are reputable, industry award winners and offer highly available customer support at all hours of the day by either phone or chat. According to my research, there are similarities, but there are still differences between the brokerage firms. Today I will start with HotForex.

HotForex

Just the aesthetic value of this broker made me feel impressed and intimidated. I get the feeling this is a broker for big traders only, but I am wrong. There is a demo account option to practice using the real-time forex market, and this broker has different levels of real accounts. I have seen a lot of different broker account options during my research, but I haven’t come across the chance to start a micro-account. I’ve seen the miniature account options, where the minimum starting deposit is a couple hundred dollars, but I could trade here for $5 if I wanted to.

When Hotforex.com says it has an experienced team member available to any client 24/7, I believe them. There is an advanced, sophisticated system behind everything with this broker, which is palpable just by browsing the site. The team’s technicians and customer service reps are no less sophisticated and advanced, which comes with a guarantee too.

The various account types is the feature I like the most, but it’s the features of the interface and experience, which separates this broker from so many others. There are a variety of tools, and the trading software is showing data at the exact same time it is happening. Interbank spreads and selling is accessible from the advanced, automated platform. I could go on and on. This broker has thought of everything an individual or institutional trader would need to meet any situation.

That’s one down and many more to go. I’ll be sharing my research on several forex brokers over the coming months’ worth of posts, along with some post about random subjects relating to investing. Good bye, for now!

The Day I Start Investigating Forex Trading

Today is the day when I stop being scared and begin my research of Forex Trading.

Why Trade Forex?

Thinking ahead to graduation, I realize work will take up the majority of my waking hours.  Choosing the right profession is key to a happy, satisfying future and something I don’t take lightly.  I want to find an occupation who gives me personal freedom, financial security and a sense of accomplishment.  I don’t want end up another corporate drone working a soul-crushing dead-end job for 40 hours a week and still not be able to make ends meet.

With many jobs, the boss tells you when to work, where to work and what to do. You might even be required to punch in, wear a uniform and you can be fired at any time.  Trading your personal account allows you to literally work from anywhere in the world. You choose when and where to work and you keep 100% of the profits you’ve earned.

What is Forex Trading?

Forex trading is an activity where people trade currencies in order to make profits. When you are trading in Forex, you are trading currency pairs. When entering a transaction, you will be buying one currency and selling another currency at the same time. All you have to do is to make a trading transaction and close the deal when the price action moves to where you can profit from your trade.

It does sound simple enough. However, it takes a lot of knowledge in order to be able to really profit from Forex trading. It is actually very rare for people to actually earn a living from Forex trading. I will not let this information dissuade me from learning about and then profiting from Forex Trading!

There are many different currency pairs that are available to trade as it depends on the Forex broker you sign up with. One attractive aspect of Forex is that it costs very little to make trades. Another attractive aspect for Forex is the leverage that many brokers offer. This allows you to make even more trades even though you don’t have that much money to trade with. All you have to do is find a broker that you feel comfortable signing up with. Then you can sign up with the broker.

The best thing to do if you are interested in Forex trading is to set up a demo account, which I plan to do very soon. There are plenty of Forex brokers that offer demo accounts for you to practice making trades with the Forex account. With the demo account, you can get some real time experience when it comes to making trades. You will be able to know what it is like to make winning and losing trades. Some Forex brokers even have a ton of information on what you can do to maximize your profitability when it comes to Forex trading.

In order to make profitable trades, you have to look at different strategies until you find one that works for you. Among the aspects of Forex that deal with profiting from trades are trends and indicators. One thing you want to pay attention to is the news of the market of the currency that you are trading. The news can have an effect on the price value of the currency. Certain pieces of news can cause the pricing to become volatile. Forex can be very profitable when you know what to look for in each trade.

Well, that’s a decent start in my research. At least I know what it is now. So much more learning to do! I’m off until next time.