From the perspective of a profession trader, I have experienced many discussions as well as arguments with a large number of traders over the years to find the best ECN forex brokers. Nevertheless, we figured out each broker has its own pros and cons so there might be no perfect broker at all. For example, regardless of the fact that US and UK brokers are highly reliable, Cyprus brokers can offer even more attractive trading conditions, involving lower spread, lower margin, better trading platforms and payment systems… In short, I believe each person will has their own best ECN brokers 2018 which is based on their countries and trading methods. Still, all brokers should strictly follow some basic standards. The current best 5 ECN forex brokers in the world will be listed out in this article. Some relevant criteria will be discussed so as for you to choose the best domestic ECN broker for yourself.
Based on my experience, I have four main criteria when it comes to rating a broker including trustworthy, reasonable trading cost, good trading conditions and local supports. Throughout the article, I will analyze each standard thoroughly and also examine the relevant categories.
|Trustworthy||Reasonable trading cost||Trading conditions:||Local supports.|
➤Efficient payment system
➤Developing more trading platforms
➤Better execution speed
➤Lower swap or fee swap.
➤Multiple language services
Most ECN traders are familiar with a huge trading amount frequently, therefore before they start their trading career, choosing a reliable broker will be the most important process ever. Their total amount of trading volume can reach a peak of hundreds of thousands of dollars, so some traders are willing to pay extra trading costs to ensure the quality of trading.
Which broker is reliable?
Regulations are important when it comes to choosing a broker since it demonstrates the transparency of the broker. Basically, regulations are profit/non-profit organizations that are responsible for overseeing the honesty of their regulated brokers. It is very complicating to be able to receive regulations from big agencies since each regulation has their own sets of restrictions that all regulated brokers have to follow, such as:
- Maximum Leverage rate
- Quotes quality
- Minimum operation fund
- Bonus amount
- Segregated accounts establishment to protect clients
- Advertising messages to avoid misunderstanding for traders
Regulations provides traders with a sense of safety, since traders recognize that the broker’s operations are being guarded by an independent authority that enforce the honesty of the broker.
However, regulations can cause even more lethal drawbacks to brokers. Apparently US/UK ECN brokers tend to experience more obstacles than other brokers such as:
- High spread and commission
- Higher margin requirements
- Less trading platforms supported
- Less payment methods
Surprisingly, these disadvantages are rooted from the regulation system itself. Regulations do not allow brokers to provide high leverage, therefore the trading volume and income of brokers are badly affected. In addition, brokers must also pay an amount of fee termly to their regulation agencies to afford insurances for clients’ fund and provide money into segregated accounts. In other words, somehow regulations can make brokers gain less income and spend more extra costs. Therefore brokers are left to to charge spread and commission fee from traders. In order words, more regulations come with more restriction for brokers.
Even though US and UK regulations are reliable, their rules do not allow them to protect traders from different regions in the world. Therefore Asian or African traders should not trade with US/UK brokers because if an unexpected trouble ever occur, they will not be able to protect traders’ benefits.
Following is the list of regulations each broker has:
|1||Exness.com||CySEC, FCA (UK)|
|2||FxPro.com||CySEC, FCA (UK), DFSA (Dubai), FSB (South Africa).|
|3||XM.com||CySEC, FCA, ASIC|
All these famous brokers are qualified with famous regulations such as CySEC, FCA or ASIC. Again, one regulation is enough for each broker.
The 5 listed brokers are among the top retail forex brokers with the trading volume as:
- Exness: $400 Billions monthly.
- XM:$300 Billions monthly
- FxPro: $ 100 Billions monthly.
Obviously, large trading volumes proves the transparency and trustworthy of a broker. Those retail brokers above have been worked for over 10 years, yet no scam reports or fraud accusation have been filed against them. Most negative feedback about these brokers are not worth mentioning since it is due to the lack of understanding from customers about brokers’ trading systems.
Example: A few traders complained on the trading platform of Exness that they experienced Stop Loss even though the price had not hit stop loss prices. Nevertheless, the reason is because the default Exness price chart is Bid price, thereby Stop Loss will be Ask or Bid price depend on the trader’s buy or sell positions.
2. REASONABLE TRADING COSTS
US brokers tend to charge highest spread and commission.
Forex.com and FXCM are reputable for charging only 1.7 – 2 pip for the EUR/USD currency pair. It is important to note that the spread rate of these brokers is already 50% lower than that of US broker. As for ECN accounts, the spread for each lot is merely 0.0xx pip and costs from 5 to 7$. I personally rate Exness as the best one in this criteria since their spread rate is relatively small, ranging from 0.0xx pip to almost zero if there is no big news around during the meantime. In addition, Exness ECN account charges the least commission fees comparing to other brokers, only 5$ per lot while ICMarket charges from 6 – 7$ and XM charges 6$.
Reasonable payment systems for different regions.
US, UK brokers barely concern about payment systems problems since these systems operates efficiently in their countries. Meanwhile in other countries, especially Asia and Africa, these payment systems still need a lot of changes for better efficiency. For instance, apparently Asian banks will charge approximately 1.7 – 4% of my fund if I deposit by my Credit Card. To be frank, it is indeed a struggle for an average trader to earn 5% each month, which is why there is no point for someone to pay more than a half of his earnings to these banks just for a deposit. This is why it is very important for traders to find ECN brokers that offer local payment systems.
Based on my observation, I value Exness payment system as the best one of all brokers since they offer a variety of 30 different payment methods as well as many free local payment systems. Moreover, withdrawal process usually takes up to hours to complete while it is only milliseconds for Exness to complete this process. This feature is regarded as unique since no other brokers can perform the same thing as Exness.
Why is Exness Payment system so fast?
Exness possess the automatic system which ensures that the traders’ withdrawal information matches their ID before starting the trading process almost instantly. In addition, Exness also frequently charge money into systems such as e-wallets, banks, local payment systems… to keep the smooth flow of automatic transactions.
Good rebates and bonuses
Rebates or bonuses are not highlights for professional traders, since the bonus rate is pretty small compared to the large amount of money they invest in the forex market. On the contrary, what really matters is the credibility of brokers as well as the spread, swap and payment systems. Yet rebates and bonuses are still worth stating out since they are relevant to costs. Provided that a trader can receive as much as 5$ rebate per lot, then he can save up to 0.5 pip spread each lot (if the trade is in XXX/USD currency). Therefore I believe that reliable brokers will be able to come up with attractive rebates and bonus programs for new brokers.
Among the list of top 5 brokers, FXTM and XM are brokers that offer good bonus programs for beginners. A 30$ welcome bonus is rewarded when traders open an account for the first time and a 100% bonus when they deposit. Meanwhile, US/UK brokers rarely offer bonuses since it might break regulations if they do so.
3. GOOD TRADING CONDITIONS
According to the survey among 100 traders with the topic question as: “What type of Forex account do you think is the best for forex trading?”, I figured out that 95% of contestants rate ECN as the best account type yet 80% of them are using Market Market and STP accounts.
ECN account is ingenious for its low cost and transparency rate. Nevertheless, the biggest disadvantage of ECN account is volatility, in which quotes are much more volatile than STP and MM accounts. Not to mention, ECN slippages are higher and its quotes are not as stable as other accounts. In addition, no-quote errors and gaps are frequently witnessed when using in ECN accounts. The reason behind this is that ECN is a complex marker, where hundreds of thousands of traders are trying to compete to each other. Therefore, deciding to trade with a company (Market Maker) and a bank (STP) is certainly much more stable.
Are retail forex brokers’ quotes better?
Some traders think that liquidity providers are able to provide better quotes but it is proved to be wrong since these agencies provide quotes by themselves, therefore slippages and gaps will occur frequently.
The top brokers we listed above all search for quotes from tens different liquidity providers simultaneously instead of providing quotes by themselves. Moreover, these quotes must go through a careful analysis process to conforms to the retail clients’ needs. This system type is much more efficient since backup quotes from other sources are constantly available in case problems occur to liquidity provider. Not to mention, these well-known brokers only receive quotes from reliable liquidity providers.
Here are the top 3 Best ECN quote brokers
(Better quotes mean there are less slippages, gap, and no-quote problems.)
Better trading platforms
Apparently, he most famous trading platforms are MT4 and MT5, yet they are not absolutely perfect. Sometimes these platforms do not work on some operating systems such as Windows Vista, XP cannot be installed in some phones. This is the why some brokers would prefer to spend their money to create trading platforms that are compatible to their own phones. In this criterion, FxPro and XM take the leading in researching and developing new trading platforms.
Better local support
Even though English is the main language for support, but the best forex brokers 2018 also try to provide live chat, phone and local office support in more different languages. These brokers always provide 24/7 support along with more common languages such as English, Chinese and Thai.
Brokers’ support is utterly important in the forex market since this profession is extremely complex. The flow of their trading processes will runs smoothly and efficiently if local language support services are provided. The top 5 brokers in our list mainly work in Asia and Africa, where the biggest forex markets are located such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Malaysia, Vietnam, Iran, Russia…
Most regional offices of these brokers are located in China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Dubai. For those countries where regional support are not available, live chat and phone are always provided. These are some information about their support services::
– Exness: 13 languages and 24/7 support
– XM: 30 languages and 24/7 support
– FxPro: 19 languages