To be deemed the ‘Best Broker’, a provider must meet several criteria. Whether you already have trading experience or are at the start of your currency trading journey, choosing a broker is an important process. In our broker comparison, we assess key criteria, such as fees, support and trading offers, and explain what to look for when selecting providers. Beside trading conditions and costs, we also take into account the current situations on the market – in order to identify the right spread betting broker for you.
Spread-betting brokers must meet several criteria before we can view them as reputable or reliable. One of the first things you need to accomplish when starting your trading journey is to find the right broker, and you may have to do this a few times even if you are a more experienced trader. When comparing brokers that offer spread-betting accounts, we assess critical criteria, such as fees, support and trading offers. Taking into account the current market situations is another vital factor in our comparison. We feel our method of assessing brokers and comparing them against one another is the best way to identify the best broker for you.
Opening a spread-bet account is free of charge. However, many brokers may charge fees based on the dealing spread, real-time prices, add-ons for trading platforms. There also may be additional costs for deposits, withdrawals, or inactivity fees.
In addition to trading costs and fees, leverage can have extra costs associated with it. With leverage, you can access more funds than you have available in your trading account. Some brokers will stagger the leverage on the amount of capital you have invested. Higher leverage can be an appealing trait for traders. However, we suggest only utilising it if you are a more experienced trader. High leverage may not be a fit for your current trading activities, especially as a newer trader.
There is a growing trend amongst brokers nowadays to offer a different range of spread-betting accounts. They usually provide a choice, generally starting with a beginner account and moving up to the higher end with VIP or platinum accounts.
The account type you go for is more often than not decided by your deposit size when you open the account. With this, brokers will usually vary the different support levels and trading platform level you receive. For example, the higher the account level, the better the support provided to you. Your account level may also vary depending on the trading volume. However, you are always able to upgrade the account in future.
The points to consider when looking at the different types of spread-bet account are the services you receive with each account, are there any offers, and how does each account type differ.
Determining the right trading platform for you is essential for successful trading. The best platforms that we have come across here at AskTraders are ones that have an intuitive user interface and allow for ease of operation. You might find that specially developed software solutions are available, and depending on the broker you choose, they may also allow the use of existing platforms such as MetaTrader 4.
Platform structure and layout is important. A customisable interface is particularly beneficial to allow you to focus on what you want when watching the markets. When comparing trading platforms, focus on the technical indicators and the trading systems offered. Because, when creating a strategy, technical indicators will be central to how you trade — the more support provided by the platform, the better, as you can focus on actual trading.
Trading while on the move has become a must-have feature – and one that allows for flexible use at any time. Apps for smartphones and tablets need to be typically well-designed and easy to use. A clear structure with an overview of your current trades is essential to having a great trading app.
When comparing spread-betting providers, you should first check that the whole website is available in a language you can understand – sometimes, you will only realise this upon second glance. Some brokers may have an English language website, but the majority will now allow you to set the language to your preference. Make sure that the site is easy to understand as details are important here.
Navigation is also an essential factor – the website should be organised and guide you through swiftly. The website should be an example of how the platform and broker runs. Hopefully smoothly. Having ‘one click’ navigation is also useful. When researching and assessing the website, it must provide easy access to the following information, contact options, cost models and fees, offers, account types, terms of service, and information about the broker. An FAQ section will also help figure out any unanswered questions you may have.
Once you have a spread-betting account and have been trading, you may find that trading, payout, or trading platform issues arise. Don’t worry as it is natural to come across some problems, especially when you are a newer trader. However, because of this, when evaluating a provider, we place great value on the contact options and the quality of the provider’s customer service. Many brokers provide a live chat option on their website, although you can usually reach customer support via other methods such as phone, e-mail or a contact form. Contacting your broker should be free of charge.
Equally important are the languages that are spoken by the support team. In most cases, they will speak English, but many brokers will have customer support staff that can converse in other languages as well. In addition to general support, some brokers provide a VIP service. As mentioned previously, this may depend on your account or status; some providers may also provide you with a personal account manager.
Of course, when you open your account, you will need to deposit money into that account before you can start trading. On the other hand, if you make any profits from your trading endeavours, you will want to withdraw them into your bank account. So, it is crucial to consider the possible payment methods.
The majority of spread-betting brokers offer credit cards, bank transfer and online payment services such as Neteller or Skrill. Credit cards are still the most popular means of payment, as transactions are uncomplicated and able to be processed within a short time. Bank transfers, while secure, usually take several days to process. You may also wish to use online payment services such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal. These payment methods are popular because of their transaction speeds. Most spread-betting brokers will provide the opportunity to use these services as well.
Considering the possible fees and limits is also another essential part of evaluating a broker. There may be a minimum limit on the amount of money you can withdraw. Some providers only allow a certain number of payments per month, and each additional transfer after that may come with a fee. Please note that most brokers will only allow you to withdraw money via the same way in which you deposited the money initially.
Many brokers provide useful additional offers to their customers – starting with education and training. Only those providers who have well-developed education and training offers are deserving of the ‘Best Spread-Betting Broker for Beginners’ 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 are also useful.
We consider regulation and deposit insurance the most important issues when searching for a broker. As traders, you are also money managers, and so, need to protect your money. Finding a broker that is both regulated and provides deposit insurance is part of that money managing process. It is not possible to completely exclude the possibility of spread betting fraud in trading. Still, you can be sure that regulated providers are licensed to offer their services on the market. The authorities will regularly check up on brokers to ensure they are adhering to regulations.
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 or possible stock market quotations, amongst other details. Finding out about the amount of deposit insurance is vital. It will provide you with additional protection and secures client funds in the event of bankruptcy, up to a certain amount. If you ask the broker, they will be able to tell you the amount.
If you are worried about spread betting fraud, there are a few checks that you can perform. Always make sure that the data is encrypted and choose a secure password. By doing this, it will help you in contributing to your data security.
Looking through press information about a spread-betting broker can be extremely helpful. However, forums, on the other hand, are less reliable. Positive and negative opinions are hard to judge as we are unsure of the context around the situation they are coming from.
The experienced brokers and ones that have been recipients of awards in the past garner some press attention. You should be able to find articles or snippets regarding the broker if you look online. Many brokers provide links to media coverage on their website. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain an overview of the current media coverage of the broker and the awards they have won.
Even if a broker has received an award previously, it is worth seeing if there are any more recent awards. Receiving them are essential for brokers to build trust with their customers. Various magazines subject brokers to a test and give annual titles and awards for spread betting trading. Brokers platforms, support services, and security come under scrutiny on a regular basis. Awards are certainly an excellent means of assessing a broker – you can usually find a broker’s achievements listed on their website.