This is how I am researching to pick a Forex Broker

Discussion in 'Forex Brokers' started by whirl, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. whirl


    Since I am a novice in the Forex World, any input/suggestion, feedback is well appreciated. Hopefully we can all work together to find someone that benefits us all.

    1. Read all the forums and posts and see what kind of feedback certain places have. The ones that generally have negative comments, I will not consider.

    2. Only if a broker has positive feedback, will I start to do a little research on them.

    3. Cost of Trading: Low spreads/or commission. I understand during more volatile times, the spreads can increase. What I'm asking for is for "regular" or quiet times for the lowest spread. A good benchmark I am using is EUR/USD spread of 2 pips. I mean if the market isn't moving why pay 50% more (one extra pip)when you don't have to? Over the course of daytrading the month can be serious difference. Also factored in, I don't mind paying commission IF the overall cost is cheaper than a bigger spread.

    4. I NEED trailing stops. I mean as much as I would LOVE to sit at the computer all day, if a position is going in my favor, why put a regular stop when I can put a trailing stop and go to sleep and make even more money? Worst comes to worse, it'll act like a regular stop. Now this isnt for scalping obviously since I can put this and willing to hold for hours/days as long as it's in my favor.

    5. (optional) Since I'm a novice, I'd like some type of guide to help me know when I should/shouldn't trade. Like big news events about to come out. Some type of ecnomic calander/ Real Time news would be nice. I mean this is optional I guess, but nice. Are there any good websites that can take the place of this?

    Ok, after taking out all the negative reviews I narrowed it down.

    Oanda - seems to get a lot of favorable reviews, tight spreads. Software is pretty much no frills, but the big problem is NO trailing stops. oh well

    Interactive Brokers - I can't seem to get ANY info on their website about features,spreads etc. on Forex. Can anyone help?

    IFX/ - nice 2 pip spread on EUR/USD, USD/JPY, but they charge commission which would almost make it 2 2/3 pips, so not as good as a deal as it seems. And for some reason it won't show your past transactions in the software. When I get a fill, I want to know where it gets filled. I have to go to a seperate weblink, ludicrous! - 2 pip spreads only if you put in like 25k and trade a lot:
    Also, I don't think it has trailing stops. - Seems to have some favorable reviews. 2 pip spreads right? I like the software they give you, pretty nice chart package, powerful. Do they give you streaming news at all?
    Also, was reading previous posts, saying that in Forex companies can go out of business so easily, and the bad ticks that may form? I like it, but their "investor protection" isn't really investor protection: - I am kind of leaning towards this. There doesn't seem to be much feedback, but the little that I've read seems to be ok. I went to the Forex Trade Show in Vegas and picked up their flyer. Their website says 3 pip spreads, but the flyer says EUR/USD and USD/JPY 2 pips, and GBP/USD USD/CHF 3 pips. When I dl the demo it was 2pips for the EUR/USD, altho on holiday/weekend it currently shows 3 pips?
    Their Investor Protection seems to make me more comfortable: Coverage
    Does that bond insurance have any validity? Better than Interactive which shows nothing?
    Also has trailing stops, and a pretty nice software documentation:
    Do they offer streaming news?

    Well, that's it for now. I'd like to open a forex account by the beginning of the year so I can start trading, but as you can see it's quite confusing. Can anyone please add feedback, positive,negative, corrections? 1st priority is safety of funds of cost, 2nd is cost, then features. But I need ALL these features, not this broker has this but not that. Otherwise it's useless.
    Oh and if there are others you can recommend this are more credible w/ these features please post.

    thank you, we are all here to help each other right?
  2. If I read your post correctly, cost should not be such a high priority. Especially as you won't be at the screen all day, your trades will be somewhat longer term and fewer in frequency. The spread cost factor would not be very important if this is the case.

    Although a trailing stop would seem logical at first instance, a trailing stop does not really improve your trading results. The lowered stop reduces losses/locks in gains, but also causes trades to be stopped out before reaching your take profit where without the trailing stop your take profit would have been hit. Remember currencies don't go up/down in a straight line.

    In your position I would choose the broker you are comfortable with and can trust. Safety of funds is also important (CFTC and NFA registered). After that features are important. Don't doubt to long, nothing is perfect in the end.

    edit: what size do you plan to trade? I would really recommend small size, don't think you can trade already, because you can't if you never traded before. Start with 1000 units per trade. Oanda, GFT, and probably others offer this (not every market maker).
  3. whirl


    thx for your response
    I've been daytrading stocks for 5 years so Im not a complete beginner, just a forex novice.
    I do scalp occassionally if time permits, and other times when I'm on a longer time frame I will "let it ride" which is why, I want a trailing stop. But other things being equal, when the market conditions are "normal" paying 3 pips as standard is crazy compared to 2 pips. 50% increase over the course of a month/year can be thousands of dollars. I don't have a set schedule, but I do want the option of scalping or holding a little longer depending on my time schedule.
    In the beginning I may trade 1 lot, but as I get more accustomed, 10+ lots or more would be common.
    Yes, reputable company, cost, then features are my priority. Altho I like oanda, however trailing stops is a must (assuming you know your time frame and where to set it)
  4. Can you use a limit order and adjust it periodically? You can adjust your methodology to fit your tools can't you?

    In my opinion trades should never go unmonitored and put on automatic...even profitable automation experts state that they need to monitor their automation...(and their log is full of mistakes that automation makes, and they have to go in and manually fix)

    and this is coming from ElectricSavant! there is going to be a slew of posts telling me that I am wrong!!! all the coders will tell me that I do not know what I am talking about...

    assuming you know your time frame and where to set it
  5. whirl


    Yes, only if i was around I can pick my exits. I'd like trailing stops as an option if i chose to. Not saying I will implement it all the time. But if I go to sleep or run an errand, I'd like the choice to put a stop under support, or a trailing stop under a trendline. Depending on the markets i will adjust and a trailing stop will be needed for certain situations. a broker that offers it, is a big plus to me.
  6. whirl,

    its just that you are giving up so much, just to get that trailing stop...

    I hope you can work it out...

    I have learned to be little more flexible and try to utilize my tools for what they can offer and adjust around them...instead of first having my methodology and searching for the tools to fit it...that can be frustrating...

    Plus you should have several methodologies, in my humble opinion, to trade Forex or any instrument with...

    Michael B.
  7. IB's IdealPRO coupled with trailing stops through the buttontrader front-end.
  8. oneway


    IB is stripped of superfluous software and features for one reason: Low Cost.

    The real question is what is the best Forex centric data feed and platform available to couple up with an IB account for executions. This assumes of course you are not interested in 'integrated' order management from within your tech display.

    This is a question I myself am persuing as I surf the web this morning.

  9. mogul


    I looked at IB's website. They have NO details at all. No pip spreads, software, features etc. It's hard to choose someone if they don't want to tell you the details. Not saying they are shady, but they act it for some reason. On their other products they give complete features and details. I'd like to know why. I did email them tho. [/B][/QUOTE]

    IB's site has details on their commissions, they don't take a typical 'spread' like the other brokers you mentioned. This is in fact cheaper once you get up in size.

    Also, do research on buttontrader. That's a sample front-end that will be your day to day software. Fully programmable trailing stops.
    #10     Dec 25, 2005