Since futures come in all shapes and sizes, we advise our voters to pay attention to the range of assets offered by the respective brokerage. After all, we want only the best candidate to win our yearly Futures Award US. Therefore, the list of underlying assets which you can trade with is one of the most important categories when choosing the winner. A lot of investors would agree with the statement that „the bigger the offer – the better the provider“, but the quality of the assets is equally important.
Our long-lasting experience in the financial world tells us that the quantity of the underlying assets, such as commodities, stocks, or bonds, does not play a crucial role in determining the overall quality of the brokerage. Instead, the „importance“ of the assets is what matters here, and this means that clients need to have access to the most notable assets at any time and any place. A brokerage with a diverse trade offer can significantly improve your returns and save your precious time. Also, your trading experience will be dramatically enhanced once you sign up with a high-quality provider. Our Future broker comparison pages can help you with this particular task, but here are some other things which you need to remember:
- Extensive supply of assets
- Easy access to the most traded assets
- Highly diversified offer
Top 3 Futures Broker Comparison
Commissions, Fees, and Costs
The goal of financial trading is making profits, and it can be challenging to achieve a favorable price difference if your brokerage charges enormous fees on every trade you place. That is why we compared dozens of brokerage companies and examined their policy of charging fees and commissions. Our voters should be aware that not all costs are the same, and some of them can be easily reduced, or even avoided altogether. Your focus as a client should be exclusively reserved for the market and the constant fluctuation of prices, and you should never worry about some unexpected commission which could eat away half of your hard-earned returns.
Since the majority of providers will charge the costs on the so-called per-trade basis, it is vital for the investors to make these expenses as low as possible. Also, the brokerage will charge spreads, which can be fixed or variable, and there are margin rates as well. Aside from those, modern-day broker houses can charge you for custody fees, fees for money transfers, service fees, and so on. Since this evaluation process picks only the top of the crop, we suggest that you keep these things in mind:
- The total quantity of the costs
- The necessity of the fees
- The frequency of charging the clients
Account and Deposit Models for Different Types of Investors
When it comes to trading in Futures contracts, there are two main types of traders: the ones who hedge and the ones who speculate on the movement of prices. However, both of these types enjoy having a wide range of trading models to choose from when they sign up with a particular provider. Our in-depth guides and comparisons can provide you with a comprehensive overview of the account types that can be found in today's trading market. On average, brokerage companies offer 3-4 different models, and clients can select the one which best suits their trading style. Not all of us have the same needs and preferences, and that is why our readers will be the ones who will make the call and choose the winner of the Futures Award US.
The world of futures and other derivatives is a highly competitive arena, and that is why broker houses need to hold on to every client they can get. By offering a range of options, brokerages ensure that potential clients will find something that suits their needs. However, not all deposit models are offering a good quality/price ratio, and we advise our readers to be careful and to sign up only for those account types which will give them the best bang for their buck.
- Different trading preferences and styles
- The diverse and comprehensive range of account types
- Account models for all levels of trading experience
Trading Platform and Mobile Trading
A responsive and well-designed trading portal is a must in today's derivatives trading, and broker companies from all over the globe are constantly trying to improve their software solutions. Unfortunately, not all of them are equally successful at this task, and our readers will evaluate which trading platforms provide the investors with the best features. It's worth noting that even though some trading portals come equipped with all the bells and whistles, their design may not be intuitive enough. Sometimes less is more, and simplicity can be as valuable as dozens of state-of-the-art indicators and tools can be.
To be clear, we are not implying that you should not use high-tech sophisticated trading platforms. On the contrary, we encourage our readers to look for impressive software packages that can suit their needs in the best possible way. For instance, MetaTrader4 is still being considered as the industry standard, and the vast majority of providers will offer connectivity with this software. Similarly, almost all brokerage houses have become aware of the importance of mobile technologies, and their proprietary apps are popping up across the popular application stores. In addition to all that, our readers should consider customization as an important factor as well since personalized trading portals are a dream come true for an experienced investor. Here are some things you may want to remember:
- Customization is possible?
- Is the mobile app available?
- Is the platform well-designed and intuitive?
Usability of the Website
As was mentioned in the previous segment of this guide, intuitive and adequately designed trading terminals can provide investors with the best possible trading experience. That is why most brokerage houses constantly look for ways to enhance the overall usability of their websites. However, this is sometimes easier said than done, but the vast majority of designers and experts would say that a clear and simple layout goes a long way when it comes to having a user-friendly site. The winner of our Futures Award US should have an accessible, functional trading terminal, and it should act as a one-stop-shop for all your needs and trading preferences.
Besides being easy to use, the website should be available in several languages, which significantly increases the points for usability as well. Also, modern-day traders have no time to spare, and they want all relevant information to be available at the snap of the fingers. Search functions and FAQ sections can be beneficial in this respect, but the most important element of a good website is its speed and reliability. In other words, all traders want to invest through a site that has no issues with lagging and connectivity, and it is imperative that order execution never fails because of a poorly optimized website.
- The simplicity of the layout
- Multilingual website
- No lagging or optimization issues
Every once and a while, we all get stuck with something, and we need someone to push us in the right direction. The role of customer support service is precisely that – to provide assistance in times of need. Since the process of trading futures and other derivatives is a fast-paced activity, all traders want to be up and running as soon as they sign up with a provider. In short, they want to have all of their problems solved in a matter of minutes, and that is why a reliable customer support service is vital for a pleasant trading experience. That is also why we suggest to our readers that they pay a lot of attention to this category before casting their vote.
Most modern brokerages have support teams that are on standby 24/5, but their reaction speed is not the same. Some will respond much faster than others, and these differences could play a big role in our evaluation process. Similarly, not all support teams have the same competence, and it is highly important to have contact with professional and informative personnel once you encounter a nuisance or a certain problem. Additionally, not all providers offer the same communication channels, and these discrepancies should be taken into consideration as well.
- Professional and competent personnel
- Diverse communication channels
- Reaction speed and availability
Methods of Payment
Our experience in the online trading world has given us a relatively well-rounded view of the situation in the market. For example, we are fully aware of the importance of the money-processing services, and we want our readers to understand those aspects as well. Traders want to be able to deposit and withdraw their funds in a convenient and efficient manner, but not all broker houses provide them with functional tools to do so. To be honest, the majority of today's providers will offer a range of payment methods, but some of those are much better and faster than others, and that is why we want to educate and empower our readers.
For instance, modern Futures broker houses offer payments via wire transfers, credit cards, and e-wallets (PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, etc.). Of course, there are other payment methods available as well, and this diversity is much appreciated. Clients want to have freedom of choice, and the number of options could be a relevant criterion on which you could base your vote in this particular category. Other factors could include the actual processing speed of the payments, as well as the costs of deposits and withdrawals. To summarize all that, here are some of the most important things you need to consider:
- How many payment methods are available?
- Are the methods diverse and convenient?
- The speed of money-processing
In the highly competitive and turbulent world of financial trading, broker companies are using various tricks and methods to attract and entice their potential clients. For instance, all sorts of bonuses are present in the market, and providers are offering those gifts on various occasions. However, not all bonuses are made the same, and we urge our readers to be careful when signing up for those „gifts“ since they can come with „inconvenient“ terms and conditions, to say the least. Our experts have examined a lot of bonus types, and that is why this evaluation process is based on objective and knowledgeable approach.
Aside from bonuses, providers are often willing to give away other types of freebies, and we all love free stuff, don't we?! Demo accounts are one version of free stuff, simply because you will not spend a dime while using virtual funds. These account profiles offer no risk, and they are ideal for novice traders. Other additional offers may include market reports, news, economic calendar, and so on. Education is important as well, and we pay special attention to this segment, i.e. we investigate if the broker provides the clients with easy access to e-books, info materials, webinars, and similar content.
- Are there any bonuses offered?
- Is demo account available?
- Educational materials and informative content
Regulation & Deposit Protection
Futures contracts are a form of derivatives since they derive their price from other assets, and this form of trading is highly popular in today's financial world. However, some Futures providers are not in the business to make profits the old-fashioned legitimate way, and they are looking for ways to rip off gullible beginners and first-time traders. Because of this, regulatory bodies play a vital role in keeping things under control, and they protect the traders from fraud, abusive trading, and manipulation. When it comes to the Futures market, the most respectable governing body is CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), but there are other notable authorities as well. If your brokerage proudly displays a seal of approval from such an agency or commission, you can be confident that they operate in a legitimate and transparent manner.
Deposit protection can be achieved through other methods as well, and we suggest that our voters take those elements into consideration. For instance, some providers do not keep the funds in segregated accounts, and this is a red flag which should not be ignored. Similarly, modern websites should have integrated SSL encryption, and this service can help with the protection of the client's sensitive information. Since this category is very important, please perform your due diligence and take in mind some of the following elements:
- Is the broker regulated and licensed?
- Are the funds held in segregated accounts with reputable banks?
- Is SSL encryption integrated into the website?
Opinions of the Trade Press and Awards
Just like our rankings for the Futures Award US, other portals may have similar systems for determining the quality of a particular broker. For example, our checklist consists of the 10 most relevant categories, and this gives us the confidence that our evaluation is not missing out on any important factors and segments. By doing so, we provide positive coverage only to those providers who are truly worthy of our recommendation. Hopefully, other portals share our worldview, and that is why we look for positive reviews and headlines about the broker companies which we evaluate.
Our readers should take into consideration only the writings of high-authority sites and specialist media since we all know that nowadays a grumpy kid can write a negative review and post it on his blog in a matter of minutes. Forums are also a source of unreliable information, in most cases, but if the information provided in the comments is filled with facts – there could be some truth in it. Providers with good ratings and reputation are usually the ones who win prestigious awards, but we also suggest that you check the integrity of those awards before assigning them with any real value. In other words, it is important to know who gives the award and how the actual evaluation process takes place.
- Positive coverage in the specialist media?
- The number of negative reviews and opinions
- The type of awards won
The final word – Why your vote matters in choosing the winner of the Futures Award US?
Even though personal preferences are often hard to avoid, we believe that the criteria suggested in this overview should provide our readers with sufficient references on how to vote for the best candidate. If you decide to follow those guidelines, there is no doubt that you will make the right choice. Our assessments and evaluations of the providers can be found in the „Broker Comparisons“ section, and we encourage the readers to visit those pages for additional information. The more you know about a particular provider – the easier it gets for you to decide whether the company in question indeed has the necessary qualities to receive our award.
We value your opinion and we want to hear your voice. Therefore, do not hesitate to vote for the winner of the Futures Award US. Your experience and knowledge are most appreciated on this portal, and as you could see – we work hard to provide our readers with informative and relevant guides on financial matters.