1. Trade Offer
One of the essential elements of any modern-day broker is their trade offer, and that is why we encourage our readers to pay special attention to this category. To put it simply, a trade offer is the range of assets that can be traded through a Robo Advisor or a brokerage. Unfortunately, not all traders are experienced enough to differentiate a „good“ trading offer from the „not so good“ ones. Luckily, we are here to help.
With the assistance of the modern online trading companies, investors are nowadays able to trade in derivatives, stocks, futures, commodities, and many other assets. International markets are within reach of any trader who picks a good brokerage, and if your broker offers an extensive supply of underlying assets – your profits and returns can go sky high. Buying and selling various types of assets may seem intimidating at first, but most traders enjoy having a diversified portfolio. For those reasons, they need to have a provider who can serve as a one-stop-shop for all their needs, and that is why a plethora of options plays a significant role when it comes to the trade offer. However, the „quantity“ of the assets should never take precedence over „the quality“ of those trading instruments, and that is why we urge our readers to take their time and think carefully about this particular category. Please take into consideration:
- The number of available assets
- The quality of assets
- The diversity of trade offer
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2. Commissions, Fees, and Costs
The process of buying and selling various types of assets is all about making profits, and how can we make lucrative returns if we are forced to pay enormous fees to Robo Advisors and brokerages for their services? Of course, no one is saying that we should receive those services free of charge, but experienced traders are well-aware of the fact that not all brokerages are created equal and that some of them charge higher fees and commisions than others. The art of choosing the appropriate one for your needs may seem hard to master, but if you perform your reading and your due diligence – you will quickly learn everything there is to know about the way certain broker companies charge for their products and features. It goes without saying that we are here to help, and that is why we try to present our readers with the most comprehensive overview.
For instance, modern-day brokerages charge either fixed or floating spreads, but they also sometimes include fees for deposits and withdrawals, service fees, inactivity fees, maintenance fees, etc. Not to mention the commissions for trading and margin fees, and in some cases, there is also the so-called advisory fee. Of course, not all of these expenses are equally important, and that is why you should pay attention to the following elements during your voting process:
- The amount of fees
- The frequency of costs and expenses
- The importance of fees
3. Account and Deposit Models for Different Types of Investors
Different people have different needs and preferences, and this is as true is any area of life as it is true in regards to dealings in the global financial arena. That is why brokerage houses from all over the world offer various types of account types and trading models. On average, brokerages will have three or four account types ready for you as soon as you sign up for their services, and this range of options offers investors the chance to find the model which best suits their trading style. Since the world of Forex trading and Robo Advisors is a highly competitive market, broker companies are coming up with new ways to please their clients and help them on their journey through the turbulent waters of the online trading sea.
We are also here to help, and we believe it is best if you take a look at several elements before casting your vote. For example, we advise you to check if the Robo Advisor in question offers account types with low minimum deposits, or if they only supply VIP and PRO accounts which require higher equity and large trading volumes. Also, you may want to see if the broker provides managed accounts or retirement accounts. The so-called „Market Maker“ trading models are typically reserved for beginners, while the STP (Straight Through Processing) accounts are usually reserved for professional investors. In short, the most important aspects you should keep in mind are:
- Account types for beginners and pros
- Services included in the trading model
- Registration process
4. Trading platform and mobile trading
In today's high-tech world, having a reliable and intuitive software plays a vital role in any business you are involved in, and the same goes for financial trading. As a matter of fact, we encourage our voters to pay special attention to this category before they give their vote to a certain candidate, simply because a good trading platform can make a huge difference in your overall trading experience. You want your Robo Advisor or brokerage to have a responsive and functional software solution, which can serve as a one-stop-shop for all your needs and everyday trading activities.
Our readers should take a look at the design of the platform, and the overall simplicity of the site. For example, the vast majority of brokerages nowadays use a well-known MetaTrader4 software package, which has been around for more than a decade. Of course, a lot of companies decide to invest in their own proprietary software, and these platforms can be highly sophisticated and full of features as well. In addition to all that, it is imperative that a brokerage offers a mobile trading option, i.e. to have dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android. Before you place your vote, think about the following points:
- Design of the platform
- Is the platform customizable?
- The quality of the mobile app
5. Usability of the website
In an ideal world, all Robo Advisors and brokerages would have super-fast, state-of-the-art websites which would perform immaculately and without any glitch. Unfortunately, we live in a world that is far from perfect, and that is why we want to remind the voters that not all broker companies offer the same quality of service when it comes to the usability of their site. In other words, you should pay attention to several aspects before you make the call and reward a broker with your vote.
For instance, the voters should verify if the website has a clear and easy-to-use website. What this means is that investors need to be able to find their way around the site quickly and efficiently. Because of this, „search“ functions are a must in today's trading world. Also, the usability of the site can be affected by the number of languages offered, but the most important aspect is the reliability of the software. Lagging and slow order execution are proper red flags, and you should stay clear of such websites. We all want to have our trades executed in real-time, and that is why our voters are advised to have in mind the following elements:
- The layout of the website
- The number of languages offered
- Lagging and speed of execution
6. Customer support
Having satisfied customers is a must in any line of business, and financial trading is no exception. Happy clients are the ones who will come back, and this axiom is highly important in the competitive world of Robo Advisors and broker companies. We want our award winner to be the one which can offer the best trading environment, and having a professional and competitive customer support is something that is vital in reaching this goal. Informative and polite customer support teams can help less experienced traders with their first steps in the trading world, and our voters will surely recognize the importance of this category.
Brokerages typically offer 24/5 availability, but this should be tested and verified. Also, the reaction speed needs to be taken into consideration, since all investors want to have their problem fixed as soon as it appears. Competent and knowledgeable teams can be of immense value in these situations, and friendliness goes a long way as well. Nowadays, brokerages offer various communication channels which you can use to contact their personnel, and the most common of these are e-mail, live chat, phone, WhatsApp, Skype, and so on.
- Competence and professionalism
- Various communication channels
- Reaction speed
7. Methods of Payment
A fast and reliable money transfer is also an important element in financial trading, and the voters should take their time when examining this category of our Robo Advisor Awards. Broker companies offer all sorts of payment portals, and novice traders are often overwhelmed by the abundance of options when it comes to deposits and withdrawals of their funds. However, different money-transfer methods come with different quality of services. Of course, the costs and fees will differ as well, and that is why our voters need to be alert when giving their vote to their respective candidate.
Unfortunately, fees are not the only thing you need to keep in mind. Diversity and speed are two highly important categories when it comes to payment methods, and brokerages are usually aware of this fact. They provide several payment portals on their websites, such as wire transfers, credit cards, and so on. The presence of e-wallet services, such as Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal, is also a factor worth considering. Convenience and usability of these payment portals should be included in the voting process as well. The combination of these elements will give us an objective picture in the end, which our readers can use as a reliable reference later on.
- Processing fees and costs
- Amount of money-transfer options
- Speed of processing
8. Additional Offers
To be honest, additional offers are not the determining factor in this voting process, but they can serve as a nice little incentive for traders who are facing a dilemma when choosing their respective Robo Advisor or brokerage. In other words, we all love free stuff, and some brokerage companies are simply better than others when it comes to generosity. Perks and gifts can even be the element that will tip the scales in favor of a certain candidate, and that is why we suggest to our voters to be diligent and patient when going through additional offers of the brokerage companies.
For example, a Demo account is a must in today's trading, and the vast majority of brokerages will provide virtual funds for you to try out all the features of their site. Similarly, bonuses and promotions are gradually becoming an industry standard, and investors are being pampered with all sorts of freebies. However, bonuses frequently come with tricky terms and conditions, and this aspect can differentiate the candidates for the Robo Advisor Award. Additionally, some brokerages include all sorts of educational material in their offer, and these webinars, e-books, and guides can greatly help investors in their day-to-day activities and trading operations.
- Bonuses and promotions
- Demo accounts
- Educational material
9. Regulation & Deposit Protection
As we all know, not all Robo Advisors and broker companies are trying to operate in a legitimate and trustworthy manner. As a matter of fact, some of them are having malicious intents and they are attempting to scam the gullible investors and strip them of their hard-earned money. That is why we consider this particular criterion one of the essential ones, and our voters should acknowledge this fact as well. Regulations and licenses can tell you a lot about the quality of the brokerage. As a rule of thumb, unregulated brokers are operating in a shady manner, and it is advisable to stay clear of those sites.
Geographical location plays a part in this category as well. Brokerages that are registered in offshore countries could be less safe and secure than the ones coming from the EU. A seal of approval from the reputable governing bodies, such as CySEC or FCA, is a strong indicator that the brokerage operates in a legitimate manner. The integrity of the brokerage will give you a guarantee that your investments are protected, and this usually means that the funds are held in segregated accounts. An SSL encryption can also play a role in the deposit protection, and that is why our voters will give an objective opinion about the Robo Advisors if they consider all of these relevant factors.
- Is the brokerage regulated by a reputable governing body?
- Segregated funds
- SSL encryption
10. Opinions of the Trade Press and Awards
A good rating is a thing which is hard to gain and easy to lose, and that is why our voters should be cautious when examining this element of the Robo Advisors in question. What we mean by this is that an occasional negative review should not be the determining factor in your decision-making process. As we all know, almost everyone can write a malicious report these days. That is why specialist media play a significant role when it comes to coverage of the global financial world, and we advise our voters to pay attention only to the reports provided by high-authority sites.
Positive coverage in the media is a strong indicator of the quality of a broker, and these aspects should not be ignored. Similarly, awards from the reputable portals can be of significance. However, it is important to check „the quality“ of the awards, i.e. to verify who, why and how gives the awards in question. Only the most renowned awards will have a certain value in this evaluation process, and our voters should examine all of these elements in full detail before making the final call. Additionally, reviews on specialized forums can provide us with a reliable feedback as well.
- Review in the specialized media
- Overall rating in the trade press
- The integrity of the awards won
WHO WILL BE THE WINNER OF THE ROBO ADVISOR AWARD US? VOTE NOW AND HELP US DECIDE!
Our evaluation of the brokerage companies should help the readers with their decision-making process, and it is imperative to state once again that our independent stance allows us to be objective in the reviews and comparisons. As a matter of fact, it is not us who makes the final call, it is the readers of our portal. Our role is just to supply them with the most relevant information, and we perform this task in a highly professional manner. That is why you should test the brokers by following our guidelines, and if you apply all of the strict criteria we listed above – there is no doubt that your vote will go to the best possible candidate.
We applied all of our expertise and experience into the broker comparisons which you can find on our portal, and these detailed guides are the best source of knowledge for anyone who wants to learn more about the online trading world. Please vote and let us know who you consider being the best candidate!