Most Trusted Brokers
Choosing one of the most trusted brokers when trading online is important to protect yourself from bad actors. A large number of scam forex, ECN, binary options and cryptocurrency brokers have cropped up and cannot be trusted. Many fraudulent brokers also operate in the stocks and shares markets. Traders that invest their money with a non-trusted online broker risk losing their investment capital completely.
In this 2022 guide, we will look at why it is always best to choose a top trusted broker, before exploring some of the top things to look out for. We have also compiled a list of our recommended best-trusted brokers below.
Why It Is Important To Choose A Trusted Broker
Sadly, in the world of online trading, scams and dodgy brokers can be all too common. Many untrustworthy brokers promote themselves online via social media, offering fake endorsements and promises of huge returns.
Fraudsters often allow traders to make an initial profit, encouraging further investment, before suspending their account and stealing the trader’s money.
In another type of scam, known as a ‘bucket shop’, criminals create an entire fake platform, where (unbeknownst to them) customers can only trade with other users or the site itself.
This creates impossible conditions for the trader, while the platform itself makes a profit.
In short, by not using one of the most trusted brokers, traders put themselves at significant risk of losing all their investment capital.
In addition to straightforward scams, non-trusted online brokers may implement practices that work against the trader, while the most trusted brokers always allow their clients to trade on a level playing field.
For instance, some fraudulent forex brokers move quoted rates arbitrarily to trigger stop orders, allowing them to make more money from commission.
Other brokers may have higher spreads than they first advertise, perhaps cleverly concealing a floating spread system. To protect your investments then, it is best to choose one of the top trusted brokers.
What To Look For In A Trusted Broker
When choosing a trusted online broker, always check where the company is registered and which organisation it is licensed by.
Each country has its own financial regulatory body that upholds the set of laws that brokers must obey. For instance, the FINRA is responsible for regulating US stockbrokers, whereas in the UK firms must be registered with the FCA. Other key bodies include CySEC (Cyprus), the FSC (Mauritius) and the IFSC (Belize).
The laws governing financial practice vary across the world.
For example, in the UK and EU, binary options can only be sold to professional traders. Similarly, CFDs are banned in the US.
Additionally, trading certain assets (like binary options) may be regulated by a gambling body instead of a financial organisation. Familiarise yourself with your country’s rules and regulations to ensure that you remain within the law.
The most trusted brokers will clearly advertise the regulatory bodies that they are registered with.
Some organisations, like FINRA and the FCA, have created a searchable online list of trusted brokers, as scammers may make false claims about regulation.
Occasionally, dishonest online brokers say they are regulated by non-existent bodies, so make sure you fact-check any dubious organisations!
Not all countries impose equally strict rules on stock brokers.
In particular, offshore brokers (based in territories like Seychelles, British Virgin Islands or St. Vincent & the Grenadines) can be subject to weaker regulation.
Using an offshore broker is perfectly legal but you will not be protected if something goes awry. However, many offshore brokers can be trusted: there are several legitimate reasons (for example, tax purposes) why a company may be based in a particular country.
That being said, for your peace of mind, it may be worth using a trusted on-shore broker for online trading. At the very least, approach offshore brokers with caution and be sure to do some extra research.
Company History & Trader Reviews
Doing a quick internet search on a firm’s history should help you pick out the best brokers. Generally speaking, the most trusted brokers will have been trading for longer than a year.
There are also online blacklists of dodgy firms; Traders Union regularly updates its list of scam forex brokers.
Blacklistedbrokers.com also keeps a record of dodgy forex and binary options brokers. Additionally, FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool lists outstanding legal actions against a broker.
To find the top trusted brokers, it can be worth reading customer reviews online.
A few disgruntled online reviews, however, do not automatically mean that a broker is a scam.
A significant proportion of traders make a loss, perhaps due to inexperience in the market, and this does not necessarily mean that the broker is at fault.
Nonetheless, pay serious attention to reviews alleging that customers couldn’t withdraw funds from their accounts.
Finally, check that a broker’s site has an SSL certificate, which will help to avoid malware and cyber threats.
The most trusted brokers generally have good customer support.
A well-run customer service department indicates that a broker cares about their clients’ trading experience.
One common red flag for dishonest brokers is that they have customer support that is hard to contact or non-existent.
It is well worth reading trusted broker reviews and rankings to find stock brokers with reputable customer service departments.
There are also several industry prizes (for example, the Broker Of The Year award from DayTrading) given to trusted brokers with excellent customer service.
Good customer service becomes important when things go wrong, so it can be well worth picking one of the most trustworthy brokers to look after your capital.
Dishonest brokers tend to advertise heavily on social media or online. Other fraudsters promote their platform using fake accounts on messaging apps.
Unlike the most trusted brokers, their ads tend to focus on ‘getting rich quick’ and may emphasise flashy or expensive products.
Dodgy brokers’ adverts tend to ignore the risks of online trading and fake endorsements by celebrities or economic ‘experts’ are common.
Forex trading, binary options trading and cryptocurrency trading are most commonly affected by scams.
The best-trusted brokers will never cold call potential clients. Any broker asking you to make an immediate payment is also suspicious, so be wary.
Transparent Pricing & Deposits
The top trusted brokers have their pricing details available online.
All information concerning spreads, fees and withdrawals should be easily accessible and clearly laid out. If a site advertises very low spreads, be careful: some brokers use a variable fee system, with spreads actually much higher than claimed initially.
Furthermore, dishonest brokers may implement extra ‘hidden’ charges on withdrawals. To avoid paying these hidden fees, check the small print on a broker’s website – if the costs do not match up to what is advertised, the broker may not be trustworthy.
Reading customer or professional broker reviews can also help you to identify disingenuous brokerage firms.
Additionally, the most trusted brokers will not require suspiciously high minimum deposits. While some accounts with high leverage aimed at professional traders may require large minimum deposits, those aimed at beginner traders should be more affordable. Beware of brokers offering excessively generous deposit bonuses as a reward for signing up quickly.
Negative Balance Protection
Many of the more legitimate and trusted brokers implement negative balance protection (NBP), which means that losses cannot exceed the funds held in a trader’s account.
It is often applied to leveraged products like CFDs. NBP makes it impossible to owe a broker money, as this can be a stressful and unhappy situation.
However, it is still possible to lose all of your capital. Many regulatory bodies, including the FCA, require that brokers have negative balance protection.
Reputable Strategies & Tools
If a broker uses software that you have not heard of, Google the name to check that it is legitimate. Additionally, a broker that focuses heavily on PAMM (Percentage Allocation Management Module) accounts may be untrustworthy, though many legitimate firms offer such services.
Final Word On The Most Trusted Brokers
Using one of the most trusted brokers will allow you to trade with confidence and peace of mind, though risks are still present.
Too many traders each year are scammed by dodgy firms, losing large amounts of money in the process. However, by choosing a trusted broker, you can protect your capital and trade with peace of mind.
Why Should I Choose One Of The Most Trusted Brokers?
Choosing a trusted broker will help you avoid online scams and look after your capital. By using one of the best-trusted brokers, you will ensure that trading is fair and equitable.
How Can I Tell If a Broker Is Trusted Or Not?
The most trusted brokers will often be regulated, have good, contactable customer service and be well-reviewed online. Beware of brokers that promise massive rewards without any risks.
Should I Choose A Regulated Broker?
Regulated brokers have to obey strict legal requirements. By choosing a trusted regulated broker, your earnings will be protected if things go wrong.
Are There Trusted Binary Options Or Forex Brokers?
Yes, there are several trusted binary options and forex brokers. However, scams are especially prevalent in binary options and forex trading, so traders should be careful. Follow the guidance above to look out for warning signs.
Who Are Some Of The Top Most Trusted Brokers?
The top trusted brokers will likely be those that are regulated in your territory. For a full list of regulated firms in your area, see here.