Before we list the top 5 Forex brokers of 2013, let’s first understand what a forex broker is and how it works.
This is from Wikipedia: “The foreign exchange market (forex, FX, or currency market) is a form of exchange for the global decentralized trading of international currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends. The foreign exchange market determines the relative values of different currencies.”
Put in a different way, the foreign exchange market or forex market as it is often called is the market in which currencies are traded. There is no central marketplace for the exchange of currency, but instead the trading is conducted over-the-counter. Unlike the stock market, this decentralization of the market allows traders to choose from a number of different dealers to make trades with and allows for comparison of prices. Typically, the larger a dealer is the better access they have to pricing at the largest banks in the world, and are able to pass that on to their clients.
A Forex broker is a type of financial institution which acts as the middle man between two parties who want to trade Forex. They take the currency from one source and give it to another source who wants to buy it. In your case the two parties constitute of you and the “interbank”. “Interbank” refers to networks of banks that trade with each other. Typically a forex broker will offer you a price from the banks that they have relationships with. Many forex brokers use multiple banks for pricing and they offer you the best one available. Forex brokers may also provide a trading platform and other brokerage services for traders (such as you).
Just like a car dealer, forex brokers take the product from one source, sell it to another and then make a little bit of money on each transaction. In the case of a Forex broker, they make money off of the Forex spread. This is the difference between what buyers are willing to buy for and what sellers are willing to sell for. The amount of money is very nominal for each transaction. This is very similar to the way a market maker on the NASDAQ makes money.
Forex brokers may be ranked based on several criteria such as,
- Whether the forex broker is under the supervision of a trustworthy regulatory authority
- Low spread
- Sufficient leverage (Leverage is a ratio between the total capital available for your trading and the actual capital that you have on your trading account. For example, a ratio of 100:1 means that your broker would lend you $100 for every $1 of your actual capital.)
- A demo account to play around
- Many more
Based on the different criteria, below is our list of top 5 forex brokers for 2013.
Top 5 Forex Brokers of 2013
Well-funded Pro account holders can benefit from low-commission trades, online forex trading and one-click trading. Alpari provides 24-hour multilingual support and free research tools.
The best option for traders is the Alpari Pro account. Standard account holders do not have direct access to the market and may not enjoy the lack of control they may feel over their profits and losses.
The Verdict: 9.63/10
If you can manage a Pro account, Alpari has a lot to offer. Pro accounts are ECN accounts with reasonable commissions and online trading with a regulated U.S. forex broker.
This is a well-regarded Swiss institution with the ability to support custodial banking services (segregated banking). It is an ECN-type broker with a reputation for transparency and fairness.
You can only use MetaTrader with this service with a third-party adaptation. In addition, Dukascopy does not accept U.S. clients.
The Verdict: 9.6/10
If you are an experienced forex trader looking for equal trading rights, transparent pricing and ECN liquidity, Dukascopy can satisfy your requirements. It can handle large volume trading, even up to two million USD in one click.
MB Trading is a regulated Electronic Communications Network (ECN) broker operating in the United States, and is not a market maker broker. It supports Pay for Limit and commission-free accounts, spreads as tight as .1 pip and scalping.
This forex broker does not support hedging as a trading strategy. In addition, MB Trading is primarily for European and U.S. citizens. It does not offer accounts to citizens of numerous countries, including Canada, Morocco, Ukraine and Vietnam.
The Verdict: 9.25/10
MB Trading is one of the best for volume traders because its commissions are low, it has incentives for limit orders and it supports tight spreads. It is also a good choice for those who want to trade not just forex, but also stocks, futures or options via one platform.
ATC Brokers only charges traders a fixed commission rate of 40 cents per side per mini contract on all pairs. This broker supports Straight Through Processing (STP) order execution.
This forex broker is for experienced traders who can handle the large initial deposit, varying spreads and a 10,000 minimum trade lot size.
The Verdict: 8.88/10
ATC Brokers is a good choice for skilled traders looking to trade currencies and futures. This forex broker is well regulated in the United States as a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) and is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Oanda does not require a minimum account deposit and does not enforce a minimum trade lot size. This forex broker is regulated by agencies in the U.S., Singapore, Canada, the U.K. and Japan. Some rate this broker with the highest profitability percentage.
Oanda is a market maker broker, so it is imperative that you do your own research and pull data feeds from another service to compare numbers. As with any broker, educate yourself and trade wisely.
The Verdict: 8.5/10
Because this forex broker does not require a minimum deposit or trade lot size, it may be suitable for those who have little to invest in the foreign exchange market. Oanda also calculates interest continuously over 24 hours rather than the standard overnight, which can work to your advantage.