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The Forex market, i.e. the international currency market, is a market that almost never sleeps and has a huge daily turnover of several trillion dollars. On top of that, there is the CFD market, i.e. market for contracts for differences, which are also quoted on Forex. These markets have many participants, while investors are constantly trying their hand at using short and long positions when trading in currencies and contracts. However, before an investor can make the first investment in foreign currencies or CFDs, they have to open an investment account with a selected broker. The decision on who to entrust with investment brokerage within the CFD and Forex market should be preceded by in-depth analyses. A good policy is to choose a proven broker with good reputation in the industry (check: which will charge the lowest possible fees and currency spreads. What exactly should be considered when choosing a broker with which the investor will finally sign a cooperation agreement?

The broker’s credibility

Every investor would certainly like to be able to cooperate with a broker that shows integrity and reliability in its activities, for which quality procedures are important. The Broker should be licenced by a market regulator. In Poland, such licences are issued in by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA). Foreign brokers are also subject to regulations, but by foreign regulators, not the PFSA. For the sake of their own security, the client should refrain from concluding agreements on maintenance of a brokerage account with Forex and CFD brokers from so-called tax havens, such as the Virgin Islands, etc. It is better to conclude an agreement with a foreign broker supervised, among others, by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) in Cyprus or Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) from Australia. If a broker is not included on the regulator’s list in a given country, this should be treated as a warning that it is better not to conclude a cooperation agreement with it.

Brokerage platform for investments

The broker provides the investor with access to advanced software — an investment platform which, among other things, allows them to conclude transactions. It would be good for the future investor to be able to test it without incurring any additional costs for doing so. The broker would have to allow the client to open a free demo account with access to the key tools on the platform in order for them to see what these tools are. Later on, if the platform turns out to be functional and suitable for the investor, they may decide to establish long-term cooperation with the broker and sign an agreement on brokerage services. They will then gain access to the fully functional investment platform and an investment account will be opened for them. The only thing left will be to pay the minimum deposit required by the broker onto the account in order to start placing buy and sell orders for currency pairs or CFDs.

The broker’s offer

What the broker offers the client is extremely important. The more financial instruments there are on the broker’s platform, the better the chances that they will include those worth using to make a profit. Brokers may limit the leverage used on the Forex and CFD market. On top of that, limitations specified by ESMA apply in the European Union.

For most clients, an important aspect determining the choice of the Forex and CFD broker will be the amounts of fees or commissions and spreads. The spread is the difference between the purchase and sale price of a currency pair. The lower it is, the better for investors. It is similar with fees of any kind, e.g. for maintaining an investment account or for placing orders.

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