Licensing and Regulation
The section looks into where the broker is registered and where their operational headquarters are based. We also look into the regulatory bodies that the broker is licensed from. This is important to recognise because brokers who are duly authorised and licensed to offer services have undergone strict application processes and have a capital reserve that covers trading activity. The broker would have had to demonstrate that they have systems and controls in place to comply with financial legal frameworks.
The speed that information travels at now means mobile trading is a requirement, not just nice to have. The inclusion of mobile trading as the second item we look at puts the priority we place it at into focus. Traders should have the ability to execute trades where-ever and when-ever they please. We look at both iOS and Android applications along with any mobile trading platforms.
Brand and Functionality
How well known a brand is in the space is beginning to play and important role in broker selection. If the broker is used by friends or family members this builds trust and reputation in the broker. We look into how well known the brokerage is in the community and review its image. In this section we also look into the past of each broker, detailing fines or bans that they may be hiding.
An important element of the review process is how easy it is to register your account with the broker. Brokers that employ technology to do the heavy lifting around account verification and checks will score highly, brokers that require notarised copies of a birth certificate will not be. The ideal process should be as few clicks and forms to fill in as possible whilst providing an environment of trust for new traders to the brokerage.
One of the most important parts of the process for anyone using a broker for the first time is how easy it is to fund your account. We review each method of funding and actually deposit into a live account as part of the review process.
The real meat of the review process – how many currency pairs, instruments, metals, commodities or cryptocurrencies the broker offers along with the spreads. We also look into the types of products offered – CFDs, DMA, Exchanges etc to see how balanced the product offering is.
This section looks at the spreads that the broker has available, or the distance between the buy price and the sell price. We also look at how quickly the trades are executed and the difference in prices shown vs execution price. A broker that has large spreads, or a perceived slow platform isn’t going to score well in our review process, however a transparent broker that lists the spreads up front and locks in the prices will score higher.
This section looks at how to remove funds from your account, how complicated the process is and how long it can take.
Customer support should be there for you if something goes wrong, they should provide fast and knowledgable information that can resolve your issues quickly and easily, ideally in your own language. We look at the phone support, live chat and email support to see if they are suitable for trader, along with the opening hours of the support and the languages they speak.
The final section of the review process is the additional tools the broker layers onto your trading account for you. Typically Whichbroker.com doesn’t attribute a large weight to the trading tools that are provided, often for free, to account holders. This is because these tools can often be found online for free, or alternatively provide no real value to a trader making informed trades.
Reviews written by Whichbroker.com or its editorial team are not investment advice and should not be considered as such. Please read our full Editorial Policy regarding all content on Whichbroker.com.