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Forex broker review 2013

Опубликовано в All about the forex group | Октябрь 2nd, 2012

forex broker review 2013

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The second quarter was when I had the biggest drawdown, as I probably over traded from May — June. I was pretty aggressive in trying to get into the broad yen sell off at the beginning of the year, but it looks like I was too late and got chopped up for it. But on the bright side, my average winners were much larger than my average losers, which gives me a lot of hope for Good luck to you in your own trading endeavors! This content is strictly for informational purposes only and does not constitute as investment advice.

Trading any financial market involves risk. Please read our Risk Disclosure to make sure you understand the risks involved. There is no such thing as being right or beating the market. If you make money, it is because you understood the same thing as the market did. If you lose money, it is simply because you got it wrong. There is no other way of looking at it.

Musawer Mansoor Ijaz. Partner Center Find a Broker. Forex Market Crypto Market. Trading currency crosses opens a whole new side of the currency markets, as different crosses possess different qualities that can suit any style of trading. The traditional market structure based on dealer-customer relationships has given way to a trading network topology where both banks and non-banks act as liquidity providers.

This is effectively a form of "hot potato" trading, but where dealers are no longer necessarily at the centre. In the next section, we start with a bird's eye view of the main facts to shed light on FX turnover growth since We then put the trading patterns of financial counterparties and recent changes in market structure under the microscope. Finally, we explore underlying drivers of FX trading volumes between and in greater detail.

Trading in currency markets is increasingly dominated by financial institutions outside the dealer community "other financial institutions" in the survey terminology. These non-dealer financial institutions are very heterogeneous in their trading motives, patterns and horizons. They include lower-tier banks, institutional investors eg pension funds and mutual funds , hedge funds, high-frequency trading HFT firms and official sector financial institutions eg central banks or sovereign wealth funds.

Reasons for their shrinkage include the sluggish recovery from the crisis, low cross-border merger and acquisition activity and reduced hedging needs, as major currency pairs mostly traded in a narrow range over the past three years. Another key factor is more sophisticated management of FX exposures by multinational companies. Firms are increasingly centralising their corporate treasury function, which allows hedging costs to be reduced by netting positions internally.

The declining importance of inter-dealer trading is the flip side of the growing role of non-dealer financial institutions Table 1. The primary reason is that major dealing banks net more trades internally. Due to higher industry concentration, top-tier dealers are able to match more customer trades directly on their own books. This reduces the need to offload inventory imbalances and hedge risk via the traditional inter-dealer market.

Trading activity since has risen fairly evenly across instruments Graph 1 , left-hand panel, and Table 1. Non-dealer financial institutions have become the most active participants in currency markets. Who exactly are these players? What do they trade and why do they trade FX? With the new and more granular description of the group of non-dealer financial counterparties in the Triennial, we can now shed light on these important yet hitherto unanswered questions.

A significant fraction of dealers' transactions with non-dealer financial customers is with lower-tier banks. Smaller banks do not engage in market-making, but mostly serve as clients of the large FX dealing banks. The most significant non-bank FX market participants are professional asset management firms, captured under the two labels "institutional investors" eg mutual funds, pension funds and insurance companies and "hedge funds". Institutional investors differ from hedge funds not only in terms of their investment styles, horizons and primary trade motives, but also the mix of instruments they trade.

These counterparties - also often labelled "real money investors" - frequently transact in FX markets, as a by-product of rebalancing portfolios of core assets, such as international bonds and equities. The management of currency exposure is often passive, requiring only a periodic resetting of the hedges, but can also take a more active form, resembling strategies of hedge funds. Options provide them with a convenient way to take leveraged positions to express their directional views on exchange rate movements and volatility.

Some of the more actively trading hedge funds and proprietary trading firms also specialise in algorithmic and high-frequency strategies in spot markets. This small share notwithstanding, these institutions can have a strong impact on prices when they are in the market. The trading of non-dealer financials such as institutional investors and hedge funds is concentrated in a few locations, in particular London and New York, where major dealers have their main FX desks Table 2.

Dealers' trading with non-dealer financial customers exceeds that with non-financial clients by a factor greater than 10 in these centres Graph 2 , centre panel , much higher than in other key FX trading locations, eg Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong SAR. Investors seeking best trade execution often prefer to trade via sales and trading desks see glossary in London or New York even though these investors may have their head office in other time zones.

This is because liquidity in currency markets is typically highest at the London open and in the overlapping hours of London and New York. Prime brokerage has been a crucial driver of the concentration of trading, as such arrangements are typically offered via major investment banks in London or New York Graph 2 , right-hand panel. Through a prime brokerage relationship with a dealer, non-dealer financials gain access to institutional platforms such as Reuters Matching, EBS or other electronic communications networks ECNs and can trade anonymously with dealers and other counterparties in the prime broker's name.

The rise in electronic and algorithmic trading also contributed significantly to the concentration in centres. For certain types of algorithmic trading, speed advantages at the millisecond level are critical.

Such high-frequency trading requires co-location close to the main servers of electronic platforms typically in the vicinity of London and in New Jersey. The trend towards more active FX trading by non-dealer financial institutions and a concentration in financial centres is particularly visible for emerging market EM currencies. A decade ago, EM currency trading mostly involved local counterparties on at least one side of the transaction eg McCauley and Scatigna Now, trading of EM currencies is increasingly conducted offshore Graph 3 , left-hand panel.

It has especially been non-dealer financials often trading out of financial centres that have driven this internationalisation trend Graph 3 , centre panel. The ease and costs of trading minor currencies have improved significantly in this process. Transaction costs in EM currencies, measured by bid-ask spreads, have steadily declined and converged to almost the levels for developed currencies Graph 3 , right-hand panel.

As liquidity in EM currencies has improved, these markets have attracted the attention of international investors. The strong growth is particularly visible in the case of the Mexican peso, whose market share now exceeds that of several well established advanced economy currencies.

China set itself to promote more international use of its currency and introduced offshore renminbi CNH in Ehlers and Packer The growing participation of non-dealer financial institutions has been facilitated by the availability of alternative electronic platforms.

The FX market of the s was a two-tier market, with the inter-dealer market as clearly separate turf. This has changed. There is no distinct inter-dealer market any more, but a coexistence of various trading venues where also non-banks actively engage in market-making. In today's market structure, electronic trading dominates. This market-wide presence, together with its slowing expansion, suggests that electronic trading has matured.

The voice contact may, for instance, provide advice on alternative order execution strategies or ways to implement a trade idea. It may also help to avoid high-frequency traders as a counterparty, or to ensure execution in a busy market. The emerging microstructure caters to the demands of a more diverse set of market participants. Non-financial institutions mostly prefer direct contact with their relationship bank, either via the phone or via a single-bank platform.

Financial customers are less loyal to their dealer than non-financials and have more dispersed trading patterns Table 3. They often trade either directly with dealers electronically eg via Bloomberg Tradebook or direct electronic price streams , or indirectly via multi-bank platforms and electronic brokerage systems that were previously the exclusive venues of inter-dealer trading EBS and Reuters Matching.

The shift away from a clearly delineated inter-dealer market is reflected in the execution methods data in the Triennial. There are two main reasons for this shift. First, as a response to competition from multi-bank platforms eg FXall, Currenex or Hotspot , EBS and Reuters opened up to hedge funds and other customers via prime brokerage arrangements in and , respectively.

These platforms became active arenas for proprietary trading firms specialised in high-frequency trading. Second, due to increased concentration of FX flows in a handful of major banks, top-tier banks have been able to net more flows internally.

By internalising trades, they can benefit from the bid-ask spread without taking much risk, as offsetting customer flows come in almost continuously. As these banks have effectively become deep liquidity pools, their need to manage inventory via traditional inter-dealer venues is much reduced. The trend towards flow internalisation left its traces in the data.

The flip side is that dealers try to attract flows to their single-bank platforms to benefit further from internalisation. We now explore possible factors behind the rise in FX trading volumes in more detail, from both a macro and a micro perspective. When interpreting the Triennial, it is necessary to bear in mind that the survey month was probably the most active period of FX trading ever recorded.

The monetary policy regime shift by the Bank of Japan in early April triggered a phase of exceptionally high turnover across asset classes. In the months that followed, the rise in yen trading partly reversed Bech and Sobrun To gain a better understanding of the drivers in FX volumes between and , it is important to take a closer look at the trading motives of non-dealer financials, which have grown into the most dominant players.

One possibility is that FX turnover rose due to growing interest in FX as a separate asset class; another is that trading volumes in currency markets grew as a by-product of international portfolio investments in other asset classes. It is also relevant to elicit the implications of the evolving market structure, characterised by an increased participation of non-dealer financial institutions, greater diversity and lower search costs. Market participants generally regard FX as an asset class in its own right.

To exploit profit opportunities, currency hedge funds and overlay managers see glossary , for instance, frequently pursue quantitative strategies that involve the simultaneous purchase and sale of multiple currencies eg Menkhoff et al The most popular and best known is the carry trade, which seeks to exploit interest rate differentials across a range of countries.

Another popular strategy is momentum trading, a bet on the continuation of exchange rate trends. A less known value strategy involves buying currencies perceived to be undervalued and selling those perceived to be overvalued, where the fundamental value can be determined by, for instance, a long-run equilibrium concept like purchasing power parity.

Such simple strategies have been profitable for some time Graph 4 , left-hand panel , attracting new entrants into the market. In particular, the carry trade provided investors with attractive and not very volatile returns in the run-up to the crisis. The and surveys also reported that turnover growth largely reflected the activity of investors engaged in such strategies Galati and Melvin , Galati and Heath It is unlikely, however, that quantitative FX strategies were the main drivers of turnover growth this time.

Interest rate differentials have shrunk, as many central banks have been easing monetary policy. Major exchange rates mostly traded in a narrow range, characterised by temporary bouts of volatility and sudden policy actions, eg during the European sovereign debt crisis. Neither carry trades narrowly defined nor momentum trades performed well in these conditions Graph 4 , left-hand panel.

Consequently, currency hedge funds suffered significant outflows over this period Graph 4 , right-hand panel , with some funds going out of business. A more compelling explanation for the stronger FX activity of non-dealer financials is the rise in international diversification of asset portfolios, triggering currency trading as a by-product. Over the past three years, equities provided investors with attractive returns and emerging market bond spreads dropped, while issuance in riskier bond market segments eg local currency emerging market bonds soared.

Not only did this give rise to the need to trade FX in larger quantities and to rebalance portfolios more frequently, but it also went hand in hand with a greater demand for hedging currency exposures. Among the currencies of advanced economies, FX turnover picked up the most for countries that also saw significant equity price increases. In fact, for these currencies the participation of hedge funds was particularly strong Graph 5 , centre panel. Factors at the micro level have also contributed to the growth in FX volumes in recent years.

First, a greater diversity and involvement of non-dealer market participants have increased the scope for more gains from trade; second, a rise in the connectivity among the different players has led to a significant drop in search costs; and third, the velocity of trading has increased due to a proliferation of computerised algorithmic strategies. Recent years have seen a greater diversity of participants active in the global FX market.

New types of participants have entered, such as retail investors see box , high-frequency trading firms and smaller regional banks eg headquartered in emerging markets. Greater activity by more heterogeneous players expands the universe of trade motives, and extends investment horizons, factors associated with more scope for trading Banerjee and Kremer In the late s, FX trading was mainly the domain of large corporations and financial institutions.

Banks charged small "retail" investors prohibitively high transaction costs, as their trades were considered too tiny to be economically interesting. Their business model was to bundle many small trades together and lay them off in the inter-dealer market. With trade sizes now much larger, dealers were willing to provide liquidity to such "retail aggregators" at attractive prices.

Retail FX trading has since grown quickly. New breakdowns collected in the Triennial show that retail trading accounted for 3. The largest retail volumes in absolute terms are in the United States and Japan. That said, Japan, which has a very active retail segment, is clearly biggest in spot Graph A , left-hand panel.

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Card copies should be emailed to support tier1fx. Third-party deposits are not accepted. The broker does not apply fees on incoming deposits, although it is possible that fees may be charged from the issuing bank. Funds are credited to the trading account the same day that they are received.

All withdrawals are credited back to the same bank account or card that was used to make the deposit. Profits can only be withdrawn to bank wire due to anti-money laundering policies. Withdrawal requests are processed by the company within 1 business day. In the case of non-SEPA bank transfers, it can take business days for funds to be received in the bank account. The broker does not offer any bonuses or promotional opportunities. This seems like a convenient excuse not to offer bonuses to their clients.

Tier1FX only manages to offer demo accounts as their sole educational resource. As for trading tools, the website is even more barren of options. The broker imposes a day time limit before a demo account will expire. This is better than the one-month expiration period implemented by many other brokers, but we always prefer to see unlimited demo accounts.

Support is willing to consider requests to extend the life of the demo account, so long as one reaches out to support before the account expires, but this seems rather inconvenient when this should be available automatically. Fortunately, the account opening process is convenient and can be completed in less than five minutes.

The broker also offers demo accounts on multiple platforms, which could be used to test out some of their available options. Tier1FX explains that they try their best to respond to all inquiries within 10 minutes, whether the chosen contact method is LiveChat or email. There are also two direct phone lines available. The minute timeframe is certainty advantageous, considering that some smaller brokers can take business days to respond to email requests.

All contact information has been listed below. Email Sales: sales tier1fx. If one chooses any of those options on the sign-up list, a message will be displayed stating that service is not currently available to those clients. One possible away around this restriction would be to sign-up from the US Minor Outlying Islands for US clients, however, most of the restrictions are enforced. Tier1FX likely blacklists the aforementioned countries due to the fact that they are a more reliable regulated broker.

Multiple trading platforms are available, including the most popular MT4, in addition to several other options. On the upside, the account does offer low spreads from 0. Funding options are limited to bank wire and card deposits. On the plus side, withdrawal requests are processed within one business day. This is a self-regulatory and wide industry that rules, programs and develops services in order to assure the soundness of the market, traders, investors and, their right understanding of the binding responsibilities.

Additionally to this industry, the US Commodity Futures Trading Association also works as an independent governmental agency that controls the prospective goods and options of the American market. Therefore, a trustworthy Forex broker is registered in the aforementioned organizations as a Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer.

Leverage and Margin. Leverage operates in benefit of winner traders due to their high-profit potential increased. It also offers a loan boosted according to the margin of holders account, so traders have access to several Leverage amounts depending on the broker, such as or But be cautious when using it!

As it can be seen in the article Forex Leverage: a Doubled-Edge Sword and Adding Leverage to your Forex Trading, leverage might work in favor of traders, but it can ruin them according to their amplified losses potential at the same time. Commissions and Spreads. Commissions and spreads represent a source of money for brokers. Commissions can be charged with a specific percentage of the spread bind and price difference of a Forex pair.

Many brokers exonerate commissions and profit with wider spreads. This last can be shown when a spread is fixed as a spread of three pips — the minimum unit of Forex change price -, or when a spread price varies depending on the market volatility. For example, if a 1. The wider the spread, the harder the profit. Take this into consideration when comparing FX brokers. So, brokers can offer a variety of accounts depending on the initial deposits requirements, among them standard, mini and micro accounts.

Forex Brokers have policies regarding account withdrawals and funding. Withdrawals can be done by checks or wire transfer; and, accounts might be funded online by credit card, via ACH payment or PayPal, wire transfer, and business, personal or bank check. Brokers can also charge optionally a fee for any service provided.

Brokers can offer traders a broad selection of Forex pairs despite the great currency issues available for trading. Their offer should match with the pair s in which the trader or investor shows interest. However, a wide range is reduced to a few currencies as they get the whole attention of traders due to their enormous liquidity.

Remember, if you choose a broker that does not offer your favorite pair, you will miss a great part of your profits. Brokers support should be available to the client as Forex trading is happening: 24 hours per day. Personal calling to brokers should be simple and easy. Also, the platform design is a must to care: In contrast with poorly designed interfaces, a well-arranged trading platform has well-placed buy and sell buttons, customization options, order entry types, automated trading options, strategy builders, backtesting, trading alerts and, a panic button to close all open positions — only some software include this option — in order to avoid costly mistakes like adding a position by accident instead of closing it or going short when the opposite is desired.

Most brokers offer a free demo account, so traders can explore the platform before opening and funding one. Doing a bit of research before committing a broker it is beneficial and advisable. As a final remark: relying on your forex broker will be advantageous since more time and attention can be dedicated to the analysis and the creation of strategies. If you are interested to trade like a pro, Investopedia introduces a guide to teach you how to do it: Five patterns you need to know.

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