If you have considered securing your financial future, it is likely that you have thought about buying stocks.
This is simply investing money by buying a percentage of equity in a company in anticipation that this company’s value will grow steadily in the future. If the company grows, then your investment also grows in tandem. If you are looking to invest your money then you need to find the right trading platform.
Introduction to forex
A popular way to invest money is by taking part in the forex market. What happens here is that because of world trade, different currencies are paired together and their value relative to each other fluctuates from time to time for a variety of reasons. By capitalizing on these fluctuations in value, buying and selling these currencies at the right time would result in a profit. Initially, only banks had the capacity to perform such transactions but with the advancement of technology, the forex markets have become accessible to virtually anyone with an internet connection.
Where to start
The decentralized nature of the forex market has allowed many brokerage firms to open up their doors to the public. Just like in any other business, the quality of service offered by different providers will vary. Even though forex trading is heavily regulated in most countries, it is not possible to trust all brokerage firms. Therefore, before throwing your money at the first broker that comes up after a quick Google search, please take your time to review a few of them on https://tradingguide.co.uk/how-we-test/. Different types of traders will have different needs therefore is it important to consider the following factors so you can find the right forex trading platform for you.
As stated earlier, most countries have stipulated brokers to align with stringent guidelines before making their services available to customers. This is not meant to be an inhibitor to firms that want to provide such services, but to protect the customer from being exposed to unscrupulous service providers.
For a business that depends on customers depositing their hard-earned money, this type of strict regulation is much needed. In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates all financial service providers. A quick search in the Financial Services Register will reveal if the broker you want to choose is licensed to operate in the UK and has the specific permissions to operate as a forex broker. Additionally, firms that have been identified as scammers or providing forex services without proper authorization are also listed.
If you are a novice in the field of forex trading then this is very important. Although there are numerous videos on YouTube with valuable information, most brokers usually set up webinars that end up diving deeper into all matters associated with forex trading.
After confirming that a firm has the necessary legitimate licenses, it is important to review the trading instruments offered on the broker’s platform. It would make no sense to stick with a broker that does not provide you with the opportunity to buy or sell the asset that you prefer. The assets are often classified into currencies (major, minor and exotic pairs) as well as commodities that are mostly Contracts For Difference (CFDs).
This is the actual platform that the broker provides for the broker to trade. Different brokers provide different types of platforms. The good thing here is that MetaTrader 4 (MT4) has for numerous years been the industry standard for traders worldwide. This cross-broker platform allows you to log in to different accounts that you may even have across different brokers. Other brokers provide additional trading platforms like web traders and mobile phone apps that come in handy especially when you are on the move.
In spite of being regulated by the necessary financial bodies, some brokers are still not reliable in that they operate their businesses using many underhand tactics. Things to look out for in reviews include rejection of orders, requotes, slippage and lack of liquidity. For example when the results of the Brexit referendum were announced, the British pound crashed tremendously against the U.S dollar. A reliable forex trading platform provider should still be able to provide services uninterrupted even in the event of increased volatility.
While brokers still need to make money, it is only fair that the fees charged to the customer are not extravagant such that it becomes nearly impossible to turn a profit. As such, it is important to make sure that the price of an asset offered by the broker is not too different from what is being offered by a majority of brokers. Other fees to look out for include spread, commissions, roll-over fees and daily swaps. Some brokers offer incentives such as bonuses to a certain percentage upon depositing. Take time to read and understand the terms and conditions attached to such promotions.
Testing the waters
Forex trading has often been perceived as a way to get rich quickly. While this is not impossible, it requires years of training and experience. The best and least stressful way to learn forex trading is through the use of practice accounts. This allows you to use virtual money to create and practice trading strategies as you would in a realistic market environment. If you find the right forex trading platform you will be able to setup a demo account to practice.