How did we choose our best forex brokers in the USA?
The most important factor for the Trading Brokers team to consider when choosing the best USA forex brokers was that the brokers are regulated in the United States by the CFTC and NFA. Once the brokers regulation had been confirmed, we then researched and analysed the brokers forex trading service in great detail and assigned them with an unbiased broker rating based on our own findings. During this research, we gave great consideration to what we deem to be amongst the most important factors to consider when choosing an online forex trading broker, including:
- Regulation: A USA forex broker should be authorised and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA).
- Forex Trading Platforms: The forex broker must offer a range of the best trading platforms that are user friendly, intuitive and compatible across multiple desktop, web and mobile devices.
- Forex Trading Instruments: They should have a large selection of minor, major and exotic currency pairs for trading.
- Spreads: The forex brokers spreads on currency pairs should be competitive and as low as possible.
- Commission: The commission charged for trading forex currencies should be competitive, the lower the better.
- Fees: Any additional fees such as accounting, inactivity, etc, should be made clear to traders from the get go.
- Execution Speeds: The forex broker should have reliable trade execution speeds with minimal slippage.
- Liquidity Providers: Ideally, the forex broker will have a vast pool of liquidity providers (LPs) in order to deliver consistent execution speeds and tight spreads.
- Forex Trading Tools: The forex broker should provide a vast array of trading tools for analysing charts, planning and managing trades, trading signals, social trading, etc.
- Forex Educational Resources: Most new traders will need a selection of educational materials on different trading topics to help them improve their trading skills and knowledge. Training tools can include video tutorials, trading guides, webinars, etc.
- Forex Account Types: There should be flexible account options to suit different forex trading styles and budgets.
- Forex Account Funding Options: The best forex brokers should offer a choice of convenient account deposit and withdrawal methods.
- Customer Support: The forex brokerage should have a prompt, polite and knowledgeable customer support team on hand to answer traders general and technical questions.
USA forex broker regulation
Forex trading is the speculating on the price of one currency against another currency, commonly known within the trading community as a currency pair. Online forex trading has increased in popularity over the years with many online brokerages opening which has given traders a vast choice of brokers who are all competing for their business. This can make it difficult to choose the best forex brokers in the USA although due to strict regulatory requirements, there are not actually that many brokers who offer forex trading to US clients when compared to other countries.
We believe that it is of upmost importance that a forex broker providing services to clients in the USA is authorised and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA). Using a regulated broker helps to give traders peace of mind that they are using a brokerage firm which is subject to strict rules and regulations put in place to protect investors. It is worth mentioning that there are some non-USA forex brokers that still solicit clients located within the USA. There are also USA forex brokers who offer online forex trading services to clients located in some countries outside of the USA. In this instance, it would be a considered a sensible idea to ensure that the broker in question has the relevant regulation within the jurisdiction that they operate from.
Before a forex broker can accept US forex traders as clients, they need to be registered as a Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) by the financial regulatory body, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The broker should also be regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA) as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM).
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is an independent agency of the US government created in 1974, that regulates the U.S. derivatives markets, which includes futures, swaps, and forex trading. The stated mission of the CFTC is to promote the integrity, resilience, and vibrancy of the U.S. derivatives markets through sound regulation and transparency.
The Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) requires certain firms and individuals that conduct business in the derivatives industry to register with the CFTC. CFTC regulations also require, with few exceptions, CFTC registered firms to also be members of the National Futures Association (NFA). The CFTC has delegated registration responsibility to NFA.
All futures professionals that are required to register with the CFTC are only granted registration after a thorough and detailed investigation of their background to determine if they meet the strict standards set forth in the CEA.
National Futures Association (NFA)
The National Futures Association is the self-regulatory organization for the U.S. derivatives industry, including on-exchange traded futures, retail off-exchange foreign currency and OTC derivatives. NFA is headquartered in Chicago and maintains an office in New York City. Designated by the CFTC as a registered futures association, NFA strives every day to safeguard the integrity of the derivatives markets, protect investors and ensure members meet their regulatory responsibilities.
Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED)
A retail foreign exchange dealer (RFED) is an organization that acts, or offers to act, as a counterparty to an off-exchange non-U.S. currency transaction with a person who is not an eligible contract participant and the transaction is either:
- a futures contract, an option on a futures contract or an option contract (except options traded on a securities exchange); or
- offered or entered into, on a leveraged or margined basis, or financed by the offeror, counterparty or person acting in concert with the offeror or counterparty on a similar basis.
Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) Registration
A futures commission merchant (FCM) is an entity that solicits or accepts orders to buy or sell futures contracts, options on futures, retail off-exchange forex contracts or swaps, and accepts money or other assets from customers to support such orders. If a broker is soliciting or accepting orders to buy or sell retail off-exchange forex contracts and accepting money or assets from retail clients, the brokerage firm needs to be designated as a Forex Dealer Member and comply with requirements outlined on the NFA website.
Verifying the regulation of forex brokers in USA
If a forex broker has been licensed by the CFTC and NFA to operate in the United States (USA), they should be provided with a registration number as proof that they are registered. This number is usually located on the brokers website, near the footer where they state who they are regulated by. You should check on the NFA website to validate the current status of the broker registration to ensure that it is valid and up to date. It has been known for some scam brokers to fake regulation, some even going as far to clone another brokers website. When you are looking up the registration number, you should find details of the brokerage firm including their website, contact details and if they have any cases brought against them.