Why I started Compare The Forex Broker
Hi there, I’m Mark Owen, I live in London and I’ve been trading for close to 12 years.
I also run a successful trading education company called Trade and Train.
One of the questions I’m asked the most by my clients is “How do I find a good broker”?
It’s a good one to ask. It’s also something that I believe I am highly qualified to answer.
As you can imagine, in all my years of trading, I have been there, done that (and got the T-shirt as we say here in the UK).
I created CTFB to give my honest thoughts about which broker is right for you.
In my experience, having a good broker can sometimes mean the difference from success and failure.
Admittedly, some brokers will understandably not always like what I have to say.
Although if it leads to them improving their offering or changing the way they do business, then I consider that a win for everyone.
I did some digging online and wasn’t impressed with what was on offer for other comparison sites.
Unlike most comparison sites, I actually put “skin in the game”. That means I will open an account and trade with real money, then I review with my honest thoughts on what went well and what didn’t go well.
I don’t just recommend the biggest broker (who offers to pay you handsomely if you do, thanks to their very expensive prices), because I know that is plain wrong.
My mission is to help you, the trader. Not the broker.
Finally, I wanted to say thanks for taking the time to visit and for reading my reviews.
Short of time ?
Of course, many people are short of time. I get that.
Based on feedback on the site after it launched, I’ve now added my “Best of the Best” to save time rather than a list of all the reviews and readers choosing themselves based on what they like.
I have ranked them in order of preferences.
How do we assess brokers?
The way I like to compare forex brokers is based on a set of crucial criteria of the following:
- Account Opening
Pricing – Spreads, Commission and other charges.
Think about it! You hopefully trade with the intention of creating wealth for yourself and achieving your financial objectives. The aim is to generate consistent profits in your account.
Then you will understand that every less dollar you pay is a dollar more in your account!
Let’s take an example to prove the point.
Most brokers typically charge £7/$10 commission per trade.
What if you could instead pay something like £3.50/$4.50? Then let’s say you traded 10 times a month, every month for a year.
Broker A – 10 trades x £3.5 x 12 months = £420
Broker B – 10 trades x £7 x 12 months = £840
That is an incredible £420 difference! To put that into perspective, that’s almost a return flight to Australia every year!
Just by knowing which brokers charge you less, you are already going to be a lot better off than 95% of all the other traders out in the market who don’t think about this as much.
Customer Service & Support
Have you flown Ryanair or experienced a poor customer experience before?
Just because something is good value, doesn’t mean you should put up with sh**!
The same applies to forex trading. If you’re not getting support when you need it, or are not feeling like the broker appreciates your business then take a walk!
There are a lot of brokers out there who would love to have your business.
This is an underestimated point for me. I appreciate good service.
Maybe you don’t need good support – you just want to be left alone. I cover that in some of my reviews too.
You only need to open an account once usually with a broker, so why is this important?
In my time trading with dozens of brokers, often the hassle that I had to go through to open the account was a very good indicator of who ended up being rubbish.
If it takes more than a few days and constant emails to open your account – forget about it.
The way I see it, we’re not applying for a home loan or adopting a child, it’s just a forex account.
The best brokers in my view tend to also have the best application process that is fast, easy and allows you to get going ASAP.
No one likes their precious time to be wasted. It is 2019 and a crap experience is just not worth your time. Trust me when I say it’s important.
Like our point around service, execution can be a hidden cost. Most don’t think about it or even know how to.
If you get even a slight execution delay, you can end up missing out on the price you asked for and end up overpaying in what’s called “slippage”.
It’s these small little things that add up. It’s my job to help test them for you so you don’t need to worry.
This one is a bit trickier.
It is difficult to accurately measure or quantify the reliability of a broker.
For example, how do we know how much downtime they had, if any?
How do we know their spreads stay consistent and not just advertised as being good and then turn out not to be?
Admittedly, it’s hard. And the evidence is hard to come by.
Often, it’s just the stability of their systems and if there’s been an outage during my time of trading with them.
Other times, it’s using my spread calculator software that I’ve built or combing through forums for how brokers did actually handle an outage or error when it happened.
I put this last because while it is important, it is a challenge to write about.
I leave this one in my reviews at the end in case sometimes a broker has something quite cool that I didn’t think fit into another category.
Maybe they have a cool MT4 Plug-in or offer other tools to get going.
It’s not necessarily too important but I do like to pick up on things that seems unique to the broker.