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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.