- Is my account deposit insured and how safe is my money?Find out if the broker provides any investor protection in case the brokerage firm fails and if the firm has solid financial standards, meeting the capital adequacy requirements.
- Is the broker regulated by an agency monitoring their activities?Find out if the broker is a registered member of any regulatory agencies and organizations overseeing the broker’s activities.
- Has the brokerage firm ever had any serious problems with clients or regulators?National Futures Association, for example, has a direct way to check registered broker/dealer’s background through the Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC) http://www.nfa.futures.org/basicnet/
- Type of broker- Market Maker or ECN (Electronic Communications Network)?Market Makers set the prices that traders receive by selecting the best bid and offer. ECN broker firms provide the bid and offer prices from the liquidity providers on the Electronic Communications Network.
- How user friendly and reliable is the trading platform?Find out if the platform is web or desktop based. Are there any restrictions on executions during extreme volatility times, slippage, constant freezes, crashes, etc.
- Is there phone dealing available in case of technical problems?
- Does the broker provide around the clock customer support?
- What are the bid and offer spreads and are there any commissions, margin interest, and other costs of trading?
- What are the broker’s leverage, types of accounts, and margin policies?
- Does the broker provide any additional, free of charge, services like real-time charts, news, alerts, courses, etc.?
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