Choosing a reputable broker is a vital step in giving yourself the best platform to succeed in the trading industry, whether you are a new trader or have many years of experience. To be labelled as a reliable and trusted CFD broker, you must score well in several different categories. Here at AskTraders we look at several different criteria when assessing individual brokers. Some of which are fees, support, the account types, the platform, customer support and more. We also dive into the current CFD trading landscape to try to provide you with the best CFD broker on the market.
Opening a CFD trading account should be free, however there are costs involved in trading CFDs. These can include spreads, real-time prices, and add-ons for trading platforms as well as payment related charges like deposits and withdrawal fees.
In addition to these costs and fees, leverage is an essential aspect when ranking the best CFD trading platforms. Using leverage allows you to access more capital than you have in your trading account. High levels of leverage can be very appealing as they allow you to multiply your profits, however leverage can also lead to big losses. Leverage is crucial to CFD trading, high leverage may not be a fit for your current trading activities.
Several brokers now offer a variety of CFD trading accounts types aimed at different traders. Typically these range from beginner accounts for new traders to VIP accounts for those with many years of experience. The account type you are offered usually depends on your initial deposit amount, however trading volume can also be a factor. Depending on the account you sign up for there may also be different levels of customer support as well. If you do sign up to a beginners account, you will be able to upgrade your account as your capital and trading volume increase.
The broker’s platform you will be using to trade is an important factor to consider. Choosing an intuitive and easy to use interface is essential for successful CFD trading. Depending on which broker you opt for, there may also be the option of choosing specially developed software solutions. Many brokers will also allow you to use existing platforms such as Meta Trader 4.
Most traders will usually prefer a platform they can customise to suit their needs. When looking at the best CFD trading platforms, it is also important to focus on the technical analysis side: Are the charts easy to understand? Do they offer the indicators I need? What trading systems do they offer? Technical indicators will be vital to your trading strategy so, in general, the more the platform offers the better.
One feature that is prominent now is being able to trade while on the move. If this is something you feel you will need then look for a broker that provides an app for smartphones and tablets that is well-designed and easy to use.
The first thing to watch out for here is checking that the whole website is available in a language you can understand. Most brokers will have an English language website as well as the option to select from several other languages. When looking through the broker, it is crucial to make sure that you can understand all of the details on its website.
A critical point to watch out for here, and one that will be able to give you an impression on the CFD broker as a whole, is the broker’s website. It should be easy to use, well organised and to guide you through their offers swiftly. ‘One-click’ navigation is particularly popular as it allows you to view everything about the broker’s offer immediately. When navigating through the site, it is essential that you can view information such as contact options, cost models and fees, offers, account types, and terms of service. Information about the broker and an FAQ section may also be helpful.
While we hope your CFD trading experience goes smoothly problems may occur from time to time. These may be platform related or something to do with deposits or withdrawals. When evaluating a provider, we place great value on the contact options and the quality of the provider’s customer service.
The majority of brokers will provide you with a live online chat function where you can reach customer services quickly. Barring that, they should also offer other methods of contact such as via telephone, email, or an online contact form. All means of communication should be free of charge.
The customer support team must be able to communicate in your preferred language, as this could cause avoidable communication issues if they do not. That said, the majority of brokers will have support teams that can speak many different languages.
In addition to general customer support, some brokers may provide a VIP support service as well as a personal account manager, depending on your account or status.
When opening your trading account the first thing you will need to do is deposit funds. If you are successful enough to generate profits, you will then want to withdraw them to your bank account so it is vital to consider the payment methods available.
Almost all CFD brokers will offer you the opportunity to deposit money via credit card, bank transfer or online payment methods. Card transactions are still the most popular way of paying money into a trading account, as it is uncomplicated and takes a short amount of time.
Bank transfers are considered very secure, but processing usually takes several days.
As mentioned before, many brokers allow deposits via online payment services (Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, for example). These are popular methods of payments due to the speed of transactions.
As discussed previously, there may be fees associated with deposits and withdrawals, so it is essential to research and acknowledge these before proceeding. There may also be deposit and withdrawal limits that you need to be aware of before making a transaction.
One last point to be aware of is that you may have a limit on the number of payments you make per month, anything over that limit may incur a fee.
All of the points above require research so that you can be sure of all costs and limits involved when opening an account with that CFD broker.
Often brokers provide useful offers to their customers – starting with educational content. Only brokers with strong educational content can be considered worthy of the “Best CFD Trading Platform” award . Even experienced traders can benefit from offers such as webinars or video tutorials. Some brokers also offer seminars, while others limit themselves to a blog with tips or even a trading academy. Extras such as an economic calendar or market analysis tools can also be helpful.
Regulation and deposit insurance are important issues, yet, they are not a guarantee that you will get a reputable CFD broker. There is always a risk that you could be subject to unfair practices or brokers not following regulations. However, you can be sure that regulated providers are licensed to offer their services on the market. The financial authorities that are responsible for the broker in that region will conduct regular checks on their activities.
To confirm that a broker is regulated, you can look up the directory of the authority specified on the broker’s website and examine their licensing information. We also suggest that you research the amount of deposit insurance the broker offers. It will allow you peace of mind knowing that the money in your CFD account is protected in the event of bankruptcy, up to a certain amount.
If you are worried about CFD fraud, there are a few checks that you may inevitably wish to perform. In a provider comparison, you should make sure that the data transfer is always encrypted. By choosing a secure password, you can also contribute to your data security.
When assessing a broker Information from the financial press is most beneficial. When it comes to forums, on the other hand, these can be less reliable. Like trading, the broker reviews in forums can be subject to many emotions. For example, someone who has made high returns with that broker may provide overly positive comments, overlooking any negatives. While someone who has done the opposite and lost money will tend write comments based on negative emotions and possibly not relay the full facts.
Established brokers, with experience or brokers that have received awards such as the “Best CFD Trading Platform” can be often seen in the press. So make sure to look around and scour media coverage of the brokers as they may provide some insight. If they have received awards on numerous occasions, it will give you positive feedback on how they operate. Even if a broker has been named “Best CFD Broker“ in the past, it is worth seeing if there are any more recent awards.
Any awards received will be able to provide a level of trust between you and the broker. Magazines and trading websites will subject brokers to a test and give annual titles and awards for CFD trading. They will scrutinise platforms, broker support services and security on regular occasions. It is undoubtedly an excellent means of assessing a broker – you can usually find the awards listed on their website.