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TopedgeFX.com

Honest Trading Product | Reviews

Forex Reviews Ι Stocks and CFDs Brokers

When you want to trade Forex, Stocks, Futures, Cryptocurrencies, Bonds or CFDs, there’s always a broker or an exchange where you can open an account to facilitate your trading.

In fact, since trading became popular on the internet, hundreds of brokers have sprang up and they all masquerade as “the best brokers” to trade with on the internet.

Some of the features they use to lure traders include:

  1. Education capabilities
  2. Market research and analysis including weekly trade ideas
  3. AI software for trading
  4. High leverage and tight spreads
  5. Deposit bonuses
  6. Cutting-edge trading platform

Because there are literally hundreds of brokers on the internet offering the same exact thing, one may ask:

How do we choose the best broker and avoid the bad ones?

To answer that question, we’ve selected 3 brokers that we think have at least met industry standards.

These brokers are ranked according to features, level of customer support, regulations, reputation and many other factors.

On the other hand, we leave traders to decide which brokers they want to choose. Usually, one trader’s style is different from another trader’s strategy.

The two traders cannot be satisfied by one broker due to their varying trading styles and needs in general.

The list of the best brokers to trade with

As we’ve said previously, we’ll rank brokers based on their capabilities and most of these parameters are looked at in favor of the client.

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So we’ll also look at how they handle customer funds, structure of their business, whether or not they’re regulated and also length of time that they’ve stayed in operation.

On top of that, we usually update this list to reflect any changes or actions that may have been taken against any broker by their respective regulatory authorities.

We’re only listing brokers that are regulated by financial organizations listed below:

Some of the financial regulators above are made up for independently governed agencies while others are operated by the Central bank of the country where the financial regulator is based at.

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Our Ratings: 75/100

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Reading time: 14 minutes

Did you know the forex market is the largest financial market in the world, with over $5 trillion traded every single day? Not only does it allow central banks and corporations to trade with each other, or holidaymakers visit new destinations, it also also allows speculators to take advantage of a market that trades 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.

There has never been an easier time to access the world’s forex market either. At the click of a button you could be trading on the direction of the Euro, British pound, Japanese Yen, US dollar or even the Russian Ruble! There are hundreds of currency pairings to trade from, so you’re free to find the ones that interest you most.

However, while the financial gains of trading the forex market seem lucrative, it’s not considered easy. Having a sound trading education, a properly funded trading account and understanding of risk management techniques are essential. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals who will try to scam individuals through forex trading scams.

Forex scams will be around for as long as the Forex market exists. As schemes are evolving, scammers are always somewhere nearby, trying to extort your money away. But could there be a solution to this problem?

Investment scams take many different forms. Some of the scams are even named after their creators – such as a Ponzi scheme, after the infamous scammer Charles Ponzi. Forex scammers tend to target beginners or uneducated traders. The best way to combat this, and avoid getting scammed, is by getting a good Forex trading education, so you are aware of everything before you enter the markets.

Once you master the markets, you are no longer an easy target. Forex scams often use phrases like “a too-good-to-be-true investment opportunity” as a way of convincing you to part ways with your money. When you lack trading experience, swindlers will try to exploit your optimism and fears. Here’s where Forex scammers step in and make you exciting offers.

How To Spot A Forex Trading Scam

The most important giveaway of a Forex scammer is the guarantee of unusually large profits with little or no financial risk. First of all: there’s no such thing as a 100% guarantee. If there was, there’s no way traders would share it with other market players. Some of these offers may sound very attractive, especially to beginning traders. But as the saying goes, the only free cheese is in the mouse trap. The bottom line is this: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Here a few simple rules to follow in order to avoid scammers:

  • Remain safe and don’t run after empty promises
  • Be especially wary of software that claims to have found a ‘secret formula’
  • Do not install any programs until you are certain they won’t damage your computer

Another giveaway is that scammers never register with any regulatory authority. Remember – true brokers always provide proof of their legitimacy. If you suspect that a Forex brokeris lying about their regulation, you can contact a regulatory authority who may be able to provide a list of regulated companies, and a list of cases opened against regulated companies. This will help you understand which Forex brokers to avoid.

Three Major Types of Forex Scams to Avoid

Those involved in forex scams, money scams and general trading scams are always trying to find new and innovative ways to take advantage of new traders. However, there are three major types of forex scams that people commonly fall victim to. Understanding them is the first step in trying to avoid them.

#1 Forex Robot Scams

A forex robot is a trading program which uses algorithms, or lines of computer code, as technical signals to enter and exit trades. Typically forex robots are built using expert advisors, or EAs, within the popular MetaTrader suite of trading platforms.

Of course, not all forex robots are scams. Searching online for forex robot scams list may help you avoid some of the known scammers. However, here are a few things to watch out for to avoid any forex robot scams you may come across:

  1. Marketing messages that are unrealistic: If the author of a forex robot has to ‘sell’ you on it the dream of what it could do for you, then it’s unlikely they’ll have the results to back it up. After all, numbers don’t lie, or do they?
  2. Very high percentage growth returns: There are some forex robots that are advertising systems that should over 4,000% return in just a few years. This may seem fantastic, but it’s important to look at the statistics. The return could just be closed trades, the system may have open trades that if the stop losses were hit could wipe out any gains.
  3. Undiversified scalping strategies: Many forex robots employ a scalping system which means they trade for very small profits. This then shows a high win rate and can inflate the results in a supportive market condition. Yet, market conditions change, and if the system loses more per trade than it wins, it will only take a few losing trades to wipe out any accrued profit.
  4. Using unregulated brokers: There are some forex robots that show extremely good results using unregulated brokers no one has ever heard of. In this instance, the results might be good on their own interbank spreads but if you open an account with them your spreads and commissions will be wider, thereby eating into much of the profit.

At the end of the day, if you are considering using a forex robot, then treat it like a business rather than make an emotional decision. Start with an online search for a forex robot scams list and then do your own due diligence. As the saying goes, ‘if it looks too good to be true it usually is’.

#2 Forex Signal Seller Scams

Forex signal sellers are individuals who send out trade ideas which usually include a currency pair, direction, entry price, stop loss and target levels. There are multiple things to look out for so you don’t fall victim to these kinds of forex trading scams and money scams:

  1. Subscription fees: Individuals may market you amazing results without any verification. To get access to the trades, you often need to pay high subscription fees, or they start out low and use credit or banking details for other kinds of money scams. If their trade calls were so good, why sell them at all?
  2. Broker-tied signals: Some signal sellers offer you trading signals, but only if you sign up with a specific broker. This means they may be getting a kickback from the broker, so are motivated to send you any trades for you to take regardless if they win or lose. Having said this, there are some that will want to keep you profitable so they can continue to receive their kickbacks from the broker, which acts as their payment for the service.
  3. Unverified results: It’s all well and good saying your forex signals have made a high percentage return but if they can’t show a verified track record it means they’re not trading the signals themselves – which is clearly a red flag in itself.

The key to avoiding any type of currency exchange scams, money scams or trading scams is to, again, think like a business and do your due diligence, rather than act on an emotional decision of inflated promises and dreams.

#3 Phony Forex Trading Investment Scams

There are many adverts nowadays promoting phony forex trading investments scams and phony forex investment funds. In essence, a slick marketing message or salesperson will sell you on the phantom, or unverified results, of their forex fund. All you need to do is send them your investment, and you can sit back and enjoy the returns.

Of course, many people who send their money over often never see it again. The company says they’ve never heard of you and have not received any funds from you. What started as a forex trading investment scam now turns into one of those money scams.

Another outcome, is that they open an account for you, usually with an unregulated shady broker. However, after one or two trades, they wipe out your account. While they blame it on the market, it’s all gone to their brokerage company. And, because it is unregulated, it’s very difficult to get your money back – just another type of currency scam.

Why You Should Educate Yourself To Avoid Trading Scams

As Forex trading carries exceptionally high risk, losses are inevitable. Retail speculators are almost always trading undercapitalised, and are subject to the problem of gambling addiction and improper use of leverage. Any speculator who trades without skill is essentially playing against the market as a whole, which has nearly infinite capital, and they will almost certainly go bankrupt as a result.

In all fairness, a large number of the reports of money being stolen by brokers is a result of weak trading, and not scam brokers. If unskilled traders spent time developing a proper trading methodology they would become better traders much quicker, and would likely avoid Forex scammers altogether, as they would suitably informed about the potential risks and what to avoid.

Most retail traders should be able to use almost any trading platform with any broker, and see very little difference in their results – it’s that simple. Once you accept your losses, trade with a trading system, and master your market, it will be much harder for you to fall for a scam.

Three Signs of Forex Trading Investment Scams

1. Trading Systems and Education Without Any Proof

There are a lot of scammers selling trading systems and education. When you ask them to provide any proof of their trading history, they evade the answer. There are also many traders who would offer their systems without a trading room or any services. These types of scammers are sometimes referred to as “snake oil merchants”. “Snake oil” is the term traders use for false traders and trading systems that have no valid proof of their trading history.

2. Email Spam Asking for Personal Info

Scammers may also ask you for personal information, such as:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your phone number
  3. Your home address

Don’t give away your personal details to someone you don’t fully trust. Be suspicious of brokers who don’t provide you with a written risk disclosure statement. Even if they do, read the statements thoroughly, because the devil is in the details. Remember, data may become currency soon.

3. No Background

Never work with someone who refuses to provide you with their background information. Be it a broker, a trader, an educator, or a money manager. Always do a quick check online to see if the person or company is legit.

According to New York Magazine, a kid from Queens, New York City in the USA made tens of millions of dollars by trading stocks on his lunch breaks at Stuyvesant High School. What happened in reality, is that it turned out he never made any money, and all his profits were made in a paper trading account.

How to Avoid Forex Scams

The best way to avoid investment scams is to take your time. Don’t rush your decisions – and make sure to assess all the pros and cons first. Finding a reliable Forex broker is not an easy task, but you’ll benefit in the long run from investing your time. The first step you should take when you come across a Forex broker or agency is to google their business name.

Look for customer reviews on reputable websites. If there are none or they are sound fake, you should stay away from that service provider. Additionally, you can browse through scam reviews and see if a Forex broker is as reliable as claimed. Also, make sure to find out if there are any outstanding legal actions against the broker.

For example, you can:

  • Visit Forex forums and see whether there are any complaints about fund withdrawals, and if so:
  • Contact the user who posted the complaint and ask for more details.

Perhaps the user was mistaken or confused, but it never hurts to ask. A proper background check will also minimise your risks.

Keep Away From Opportunities That Seem Too Good to Be True

Easy money? No way! Don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s easy to make money with something like ”20% gain per month”. It’s pure nonsense, because Forex & CFD (contract for difference) trading requires a lot of screening time, education, patience, and quick wits to become profitable. There is no easy money achieved here. If you dedicate your time and learn how to trade properly, you might achieve an additional source of income.

Further Steps You Can Take To Protect Yourself

Make sure to compare the regulations of the regulatory authority with the terms on the broker’s website to find inconsistencies and anomalies in their terms. If you don’t trust your own judgement, or you simply don’t have time, ask the advice of a licensed financial advisor. Additionally, you can ask for business registration proof before registering with a broker. Make sure to read through all the fine print when opening an account. Sometimes scammers use account incentives against the trader, when it comes to withdrawing funds.

  • If you receive bonus funds and wish to withdraw them, a Forex scammer may deny you that right due its terms and conditions.

Don’t forget that when you start live trading – always trade a small volume for a short period initially, and then attempt a withdrawal. If everything goes smoothly, it’s safe to deposit more funds. The availability of a Demo account is another indicator of a good or bad broker. If you don’t get offered this option, or are discouraged from demo trading, this is a strong indication of a Forex scammer.

Questions To Ask To Avoid Forex Trading Investment Scams

Remember that you have every right to ask questions. A few proper questions, can determine whether you are dealing with a trustworthy broker or a Forex scam artist. Make sure know your rights, research the contacts, and check the company’s registration and business background. Keep in mind that all the information you receive from a potential new broker must be in written form. Never rely on phone conversations or oral statements.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What can you do when you realise a broker’s offer is not for you?
  • How binding is the contract?
  • How easy is it to reach customer service?
  • Can you contact the broker by phone, Skype or email?
  • Do they list a physical address?
  • Do they use actual names?
  • Are they a registered company?
  • Can they provide performance history?

Conclusion

To ensure you’re not a victim of a scam, always use a regulated broker that is well established, has favourable online reviews, and is 100% transparent in their fees and compliance policies. The allure of quick money and easy cash will always be omnipresent, which is why you should make sure that you fully understand what it truly takes to become successful at currency trading, without using quick-fix schemes that put you at risk.

Trading With A Demo Account

Trader’s also have the ability to trade risk-free with a demo trading account. This means that traders can avoid putting their capital at risk, and they can choose when they wish to move to the live markets. For instance, Admiral Markets’ demo trading account enables traders to gain access to the latest real-time market data, the ability to trade with virtual currency, and access to the latest trading insights from expert traders.

To open your FREE demo trading account, click the banner below!

About Admiral Markets

Admiral Markets is a multi-award winning, globally regulated Forex and CFD broker, offering trading on over 8,000 financial instruments via the world’s most popular trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Start trading today!

This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.

Is Your Forex Broker a Scam?

If you do an internet search on forex broker scams, the number of results is staggering. While the forex market is slowly becoming more regulated, there are many unscrupulous brokers who should not be in business.

When you’re looking to trade forex, it’s important to identify brokers who are reliable and viable, and to avoid the ones that are not. In order to sort out the strong brokers from the weak and the reputable ones from those with shady dealings, we must go through a series of steps before depositing a large amount of capital with a broker.

Trading is hard enough in itself, but when a broker implements practices that work against the trader, making a profit can be nearly impossible.

Key Takeaways

  • If your broker does not respond to you, it may be a red flag that he or she is not looking out for your best interests.
  • To make sure you’re not being duped by a shady broker, do your research, make sure there are no complaints, and read through all the fine print on documents.
  • Try opening a mini account with a small balance first, and make trades for a month before attempting a withdrawal.
  • If you see buy and sell trades for securities that don’t fit your objectives, your broker may be churning.
  • If you are stuck with a bad broker, review all your documents and discuss your course of action before taking more drastic measures.

Separating Forex Fact From Fiction

When researching a potential forex broker, traders must learn to separate fact from fiction. For instance, faced with all sorts of forums posts, articles, and disgruntled comments about a broker, we could assume that all traders fail and never make a profit. The traders that fail to make profits then post content online that blames the broker (or some other outside influence) for their own failed strategies.

One common complaint from traders is that a broker was intentionally trying to cause a loss in the form of statements such as, “As soon as I placed the trade, the direction of the market reversed” or “The broker stop hunted my positions,” and “I always had slippage on my orders, and never in my favor.” These types of experiences are common among traders and it is quite possible that the broker is not at fault.

Rookie Traders

It is also entirely possible that new forex traders fail to trade with a tested strategy or trading plan. Instead, they make trades based on psychology (e.g., if a trader feels the market has to move in one direction or the other) and there is essentially a 50% chance they will be correct.

When the rookie trader enters a position, they are often entering when their emotions are waning. Experienced traders are aware of these junior tendencies and step in, taking the trade the other way. This befuddles new traders and leaves them feeling that the market—or their brokers—are out to get them and take their individual profits. Most of the time, this is not the case. It is simply a failure by the trader to understand market dynamics.

Broker Failures

On occasion, losses are the broker’s fault. This can occur when a broker attempts to rack up trading commissions at the client’s expense. There have been reports of brokers arbitrarily moving quoted rates to trigger stop orders when other brokers’ rates have not moved to that price.

Luckily for traders, this type of situation is an outlier and not likely to occur. One must remember that trading is usually not a zero-sum game, and brokers primarily make commissions with increased trading volumes. Overall, it is in the best interest of brokers to have long-term clients who trade regularly and thus, sustain capital or make a profit.

Behavioral Trading

The slippage issue can often be attributed to behavioral economics. It is common practice for inexperienced traders to panic. They fear missing a move, so they hit their buy key, or they fear losing more and they hit the sell key.

In volatile exchange rate environments, the broker cannot ensure an order will be executed at the desired price. This results in sharp movements and slippage. The same is true for stop or limit orders. Some brokers guarantee stop and limit order fills, while others do not.

Even in more transparent markets, slippage happens, markets move, and we don’t always get the price we want.

Communication Is Key

Real problems can begin to develop when communication between a trader and a broker begins to break down. If a trader does not receive responses from their broker or the broker provides vague answers to a trader’s questions, these are common red flags that a broker may not be looking out for the client’s best interest.

Issues of this nature should be resolved and explained to the trader, and the broker should also be helpful and display good customer relations. One of the most detrimental issues that may arise between a broker and a trader is the trader’s inability to withdraw money from an account.

Broker Research Protects You

Protecting yourself from unscrupulous brokers in the first place is ideal. The following steps should help:

  • Do an online search for reviews of the broker. A generic internet search can provide insights into whether negative comments could just be a disgruntled trader or something more serious. A good supplement to this type of search is BrokerCheck from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which indicates whether there are outstanding legal actions against the broker. And if appropriate, gain a clearer understanding of the U.S. regulations for forex brokers.
  • Make sure there are no complaints about not being able to withdraw funds. If there are, contact the user if possible and ask them about their experience.
  • Read through all the fine print of the documents when opening an account. Incentives to open an account can often be used against the trader when attempting to withdraw funds. For instance, if a trader deposits $10,000 and gets a $2,000 bonus, and then the trader loses money and attempts to withdraw some remaining funds, the broker may say they cannot withdraw the bonus funds. Reading the fine print will help make sure you understand all contingencies in these types of instances.
  • If you are satisfied with your research on a particular broker, open a mini account or an account with a small amount of capital. Trade it for a month or more, and then attempt to make a withdrawal. If everything has gone well, it should be relatively safe to deposit more funds. If you have problems, attempt to discuss them with the broker. If that fails, move on and post a detailed account of your experience online so others can learn from your experience.

It should be pointed out that a broker’s size cannot be used to determine the level of risk involved. While larger brokers grow by providing a certain standard of service, the 2008-2009 financial crisis taught us that a big or popular firm isn’t always safe.

The Temptation to Churn

Brokers or planners who are paid commissions for buying and selling securities can sometimes succumb to the temptation to effect transactions simply for the purpose of generating a commission. Those who do this excessively can be found guilty of churning—a term coined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that denotes when a broker places trades for a purpose other than to benefit the client. Those who are found guilty of this can face fines, reprimands, suspension, dismissal, disbarment, or even criminal sanctions in some cases.

SEC Defines Churning

The SEC defines churning in the following manner:

Churning occurs when a broker engages in excessive buying and selling of securities in a customer’s account chiefly to generate commissions that benefit the broker. For churning to occur, the broker must exercise control over the investment decisions in the customer’s account, such as through a formal written discretionary agreement. Frequent in-and-out purchases and sales of securities that don’t appear necessary to fulfill the customer’s investment goals may be evidence of churning. Churning is illegal and unethical. It can violate SEC Rule 15c1-7 and other securities laws.

The key to remember here is that the trades that are placed are not increasing your account value. If you have given your broker trading authority over your account, then the possibility of churning can only exist if they are trading your account heavily, and your balance either remains the same or decreases in value over time.

Of course, it is possible that your broker may be genuinely attempting to grow your assets, but you need to find out exactly what they are doing and why. If you are calling the shots and the broker is following your instructions, then that cannot be classified as churning.

Evaluate Your Trades

One of the clearest signs of churning can be when you see buy and sell trades for securities that don’t fit your investment objectives. For example, if your objective is to generate a current stable income, then you should not be seeing buy and sell trades on your statements for small-cap equity or technology stocks or funds.

Churning with derivatives such as put and call options can be even harder to spot, as these instruments can be used to accomplish a variety of objectives. But buying and selling puts and calls should, in most cases, only be happening if you have a high-risk tolerance. Selling calls and puts can generate current income as long as it is done prudently.

How Regulators Evaluate Churning

An arbitration panel will consider several factors when they conduct hearings to determine whether a broker has been churning an account. They will examine the trades that were placed in light of the client’s level of education, experience, and sophistication as well as the nature of the client’s relationship with the broker. They will also weigh the number of solicited versus unsolicited trades and the dollar amount of commissions that have been generated as compared to the client’s gains or losses as a result of these trades.

There are times when it may seem like your broker may be churning your account, but this may not necessarily be the case. If you have questions about this and feel uneasy about what your advisor is doing with your money, then don’t hesitate to consult a securities attorney or file a complaint on the SEC’s website.

Already Stuck With a Bad Broker?

Unfortunately, options are very limited at this stage. However, there are a few things you can do. First, read through all documents to make sure your broker is actually in the wrong. If you have missed something or failed to read the documents you signed, you may have to assume the blame.

Next, discuss the course of action you will take if the broker does not adequately answer your questions or provide a withdrawal. Steps may include posting comments online or reporting the broker to FINRA or the appropriate regulatory body in your country.

The Bottom Line

While traders may blame brokers for their losses, there are times when brokers really are at fault. A trader needs to be thorough and conduct research on a broker before opening an account and if the research turns up positive for the broker, then a small deposit should be made, followed by a few trades and then a withdrawal. If this goes well, then a larger deposit can be made.

However, if you are already in a problematic situation, you should verify that the broker is conducting illegal activity (such as churning), attempt to have your questions answered, and if all else fails, and/or report the person to the SEC, FINRA, or another regulatory body that could enforce action against them.

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