Forex Articles > What is a Forex broker?
What is a Forex broker?

Have you ever felt intrigued by the many advertisements on high leverage and great profit potential involved in currency trading? The golden gate of the kingdom of money, we are told, is reached by the road of forex. Are forex brokers highway robbers infesting that road, or honest dealers making our journey easier? We'll discuss the brokerage business in this article.

A forex broker is the mediator between the retail and wholesale forex markets The wholesale market is comprised of banks and similar large institutions, and the retail market, of course, includes individual traders who are seeking to acquire speculative gains. Forex brokers are not traders themselves, but occasionally they will have their own staff trading the market on their behalf.

Forex brokers allow retail traders to interact with the markets, and are compensated for their services through the bid-ask spread which is the difference between the price a trader must accept to sell (bid), and the price he must pay to buy(ask) a currency. Since forex traders suffer losses often, brokers make the utmost effort to protect themselves. First, they net out the positions of their clients with entries on the opposite side. Since the vast majority of forex traders lose money, by entering the opposite order they usually make profits. And they also protect themselves by activating margin calls in case that a trader's account value falls below a threshold level (margin requirement).

At the inception of the forex brokerage business, retail trading was largely unregulated as authorities did not possess the expertise and background for effective oversight. Today, however, numerous regulatory bodies which include the CFTC in the U.S., the BaFin in Germany, and the FSA in the U.K. ensure a healthy, legal and competitive environment by maintaining strict regulation of the business. As such, one of the most important considerations for a beginning forex trader is guaranteeing that the broker is regulated by the relevant national authority.

In general, today's laws and regulations do not protect forex traders in the same way that stock traders are protected. Accounts opened with online stock brokers are usually protected against broker insolvency by up to $100000, and yet there is no equivalent protection for forex traders. UK-based brokers are required to segregate client assets from the firm's own capital, and so, creditors cannot press claims against forex traders if an FSA regulated broker goes bankrupt.

Forex trading is a great, profitable career for the committed individual. And a carefully scrutinized, patiently selected broker can be an excellent partner for a successful forex trader. Ultimately, finding the right broker is not just about screening forex broker lists, but improving our own discipline, and analytical skills in determining what we want from trading. Set your goals right, and you can reach them in due time. Vacillate in defining your aims, and success will likewise hesitate to come your path.

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