I’ve been scalping the forex market for a living for some time now, I’ve used heaps of of different forex brokers and found each broker to have advantages and drawbacks. Several of the forex brokers that I’ve trading accounts with are FXCM, Go Markets and IC Markets. As a day trader I find it hard to locate a broker that permits me to trade over news announcements this is why I have 3 brokers.
I have written this brief appraisal to share my opinions of each one of these forex brokers and help other people to make an informed choice when choosing the top forex broker for their day trading and scalping strategies. Below is a summary of my forex trading experience with all of my three brokers over the numbers.
“No Dealing Desk” this is the FXCM catch phrase, yes I am sure that they don’t have a dealing desk however the truth is nowadays not many brokers do, most hedging is automated. Getting more to the point FXCM are really not a bad forex broker, however they are better suited to learners instead of professional traders and scalpers. Over news periods their spreads blow out wildly, on one occasion I noticed a spread of 12 points on the AUD/USD, this really is crazy given it is generally offered on around a 2 pip spread. These kind of spread blow-outs make it almost impossible to utilize any sort of aggressive forex scalping plan with FXCM.
Are they an ECN or simply another “STP” broker?, this is exactly the question that I asked myself when I first commenced forex trading with IC Markets, at first I thought that they were just another so called “STP” forex broker but when I saw zero spreads I did some research and discovered that they are actually an “ECN”. To check it for myself I increased my lot size to 10 standard lots and much to my surprise my deals were processed immediately at the purchase price quoted on the screen. I still was not content so I decided to observe their spreads over non-farm payroll and I was very impressed with what I saw. The spread on the EUR/USD stayed around 0.5 – 1 pips this was very different to what I saw on the 2 other brokers platforms that I had running at the exact same time. If you are an active trader or forex scalper you actually can not get better then a 0.5 – 1 pip spread on EUR/USD over non-farm payroll.
Go Markets are an extraordinary mob, they state that they have tight spreads but it’s useless advertising tight spreads if you are not able to trade on them. I put this to the test and tried trading 10 normal lots when their EUR/USD spread was 0.6 pips, and just as I expected the trade hung on the screen and did not execute, about 30 minutes soon after I traded one mini-lot and the order was processed without any problems. I then decided to put this forex broker to the test over non-farm payroll, as I expected their spread in EUR/USD blew out to 10 pips, I didn’t even bother trying to trade on this ludicrous spread.
If you are trading micro or mini lots I’m certain that any one of these brokers will be fine however if you are planning to trade over the numbers or actively scalp the market my recommendation would be to deal using a forex broker like IC Markets who provide a true ECN model. You really can not go wrong with an ECN forex broker as you’re guaranteed, tight spreads, best execution and deep liquidity over the numbers.