Last Updated on by Patrick Mahinge
There’s a multitude of Forex brokers in Nigeria to choose from, and it isn’t always easy to decide which one is best for you. It’s important that you choose a broker that’s not only honest but also very reliable.
So, “Who’s the best forex broker in Nigeria?” You ask. The following is short list of the important details you should check before you choose a forex broker in Nigeria.
- Registration and Regulation: Your Forex broker should be registered with a regulation authority. Basically, brokers regulated by the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia are more reliable. However, this does not mean that brokers regulated in other jurisdictions such as Cyprus are any less reliable. It’s also not uncommon to forex brokers regulated in more than one jurisdictions. A good example of this, and one of the best forex brokers in Nigeria is HotForex. Click here to see a list of all HotForex regulators.
- Spread and Commissions: The spread is difference in pips between the bidding price and the asking price of a currency/commodity, and it’s what most forex brokers use to make money on every trade placed through their network. It’s an obvious advantage to choose a forex broker who offers less/tight spreads. Again, HotForex wins over all the other forex brokers in Nigeria for having the best spreads ever.
- Leverage: Leverage simply indicates a percentage of funds that you are allowed to borrow from the broker when you open an account. If 99% of the total value required to open a trade would be covered by your typical broker, for example, then that would leave you personally responsible for only the remaining 1%. A $100 trade would require $1 to be opened. Basically, a broker with larger leverage is better, even if you don’t intend to use all the leverage. With regards to leverage, FXTM (ForexTime.com) has the highest leverage at 1:2000
- Minimum Deposit: There’s usually a minimum amount of capital required to start an account. This initial investment can vary anywhere from $1 to a few thousands dollars. If you don’t have that much capital, you’d appreciate trading with a forex broker who has the lowest minimum deposit. Many of the brokers in our list of the best forex brokers in Nigeria have reasonable minimum deposit, but IQ Option takes the trophy home with an initial deposit of just $1.00.
- Interest/Swap: Is there a daily credit or debit rollover of interest? For traders who hold their positions for few days, weeks or longer, this can be an imperative feature.
Best Forex Brokers in Nigeria
- XM Forex
- Grand Capital
- IQ Option
The growth of the forex industry in Nigeria has given rise to hundreds of forex brokers. Given the sheer number of forex brokers, it can get difficult or at the very least confusing to the forex trader to choose the right Forex broker to trade with.
Of course, these days there are way too many sites dealing with forex broker reviews that claim to offer unbiased reviews and the like. However, forex traders should not base their decisions simply on what they read, but rather take a more individual approach in the process of choosing a Forex broker.
By letting reviews influence your decision, you are indirectly putting your trust in a forex broker based on the information written on some website. This approach can prove quite dangerous as there are lot of aspects that can be revealed only after a trader begins trading with a forex broker over a period of time.
In this article, we present a few facts on how forex traders in Nigeria need to spend time and research that will assist traders in how to choose a forex broker in Nigeria.
The forex industry started out over a decade ago and initially it was just a few forex brokers who were the true pioneers that began offering online trading to the traders. Given their success, in little to no time, more and more forex brokers came up on the scene, such kind of forex brokers are what we refer to as copycat forex brokers who offer little to no differentiation in the products that they offer.
ECN Forex brokers then came along and changed the game. ECN Forex trading, which was previously only offered to institutional investors was now available to the individual forex traders as well.
How to Choose the Best Forex Brokers in Nigeria
Finding a Forex Broker that caters to your specific needs as a trader can be a daunting task to say the least.
There are a massive number of brokers in Nigeria and they all differ vastly in how they operate and what they offer.
A novice trader has to be very vigilant not to fall into the honey traps some Forex brokers set up to attract unsuspecting aspiring traders.
It doesn’t matter what kind of trader you are, the first thing that any trader have to pay attention to when choosing a Forex broker is the reputation of the broker.
If the broker has bad reputation then there is no need to look any deeper at that broker. Some Forex brokers are very good and take good care of their clients while others are very close to being considered scammers. Some are even down right criminal but these types of brokers are not that common anymore since regulation in the Forex industry is pretty good nowadays.
Forex Broker Regulation in Nigeria
Regulation is of course not perfect but a broker located in US and especially EU has quite a few rules to obey before they can start accepting clients.
When choosing a Forex broker is can be a good idea to look at where the Forex Broker has its seat, in other words which jurisdiction the broker is incorporated.
EU is definitely preferred simply because the EU requires the client funds to be in segregated accounts. This means that if the broker goes bankrupt he will not take your trading funds with him in the fall. That’s why even a lax jurisdiction like Cyprus, which is a EU member, is preferable to USA.
Besides we all know what regulatory scandals have surfaced in the US lately, most recently the Madoff scandal. Such a scandal couldn’t happen in the EU since the accounts of the clients are separated from the brokers assets.
If you are a US resident you have little choice though as the IRS is hunting down anyone that is hiding any money outside the US and not declaring it. Although the number of US based Forex brokers are not that great there are some good ones. It will take a little more work to find one that will suit your specific trading needs if you decide to go with a US based broker. If you know what you are doing it can be better to select a EU based one as these are safer. Just make sure you keep friends with the IRS.
Types of Forex Brokers in Nigeria
Next up in your broker research should be what type of broker you want. There are many types of Forex brokers available. You can even trade directly with some Forex exchanges as well which can be a quite refreshing affair if you are used to the usual run-of -the-mill.
Depending on your trading style it is wise to go with a forex broker in Nigeria that is in line with that style. For example if you are a High Frequency trader or a so called Algorithmic Trader then a ECN (Electronic Communication Network) broker is the best choice (see our list of best ECN brokers in Nigeria here).
Otherwise a Market Maker or a STP (Straight Through Processing) broker can be just as good as long as the spreads are low and the broker reputable. If you are just making say a couple of trades a week (aka Position Trader) the cost of each trade is (or at least should be) low in comparison to the profit you make.
Trading daily or 4H bars gives a much higher average profit than trading 1M bars so in that respect the costs of trading are not that important for a Position Trader. Of course the spreads must be reasonably low – I mean who wants to pay extra even if we are just talking about a few bucks in most cases.
If you are a High Roller with very large account trading, say, 100 standard lots then over time trading costs accumulate and can amount to thousands of dollars. Better to spend that money on a necklace for you wife – right?
For those of you that love Algorithmic Trading (aka fully automatic trading) there are not that many choices. The reason for this that the trading costs have to be really low. We also don’t want to get involved with Market Makers since these are too slow and thus not at all suitable for Algorithmic Strategies.
The best choice for algorithmic traders is definitely an ECN broker and not an STP due to the way a STP broker works. A STP broker is basically just a Market Maker without a Dealing Desk. A true ECN Forex broker on the other hand only makes money from the commission, nothing else.
A true ECN broker has an interest in helping you since he wants your long-term business – that is not the case with other brokers. However, there are ECN brokers that are not true ECN but rather STP posing as ECN. Can be difficult to sniff out these brokers but if the broker is reputable it shouldn’t be a problem at all.
To summarize what we have been discussing in this article the most important thing is to find a reputable broker that suits your trading needs. That requires some research on your part or you can always have a look at the reviews on this site and decide for yourself.
Most of the brokers here are more geared towards Position Traders than Algorithmic Traders since most aspiring traders are using discretionary trading systems and not automatic software. To be an Algorithmic Trader you have to have quite a bit of knowledge about programming, which most traders don’t. That doesn’t mean you cannot make a very good income trading discretionary – you certainly can.
The difference is that an Algorithmic Trader have more freedom since the execution of all the trades are handled by the program and there is no reason for the trader to sit glued to the screen.
1. Determine your trading style and approach
The first step in choosing a good forex broker is to pause and ask yourself a few questions.
- What type of a forex trader are you
- What are your preferred trading instruments. Do you primarily trade on forex pairs or is CFD’s more like you?
- How many times a day or week do you trade.
- Do you trade during specific hours or during news releases?
Most forex brokers in an effort to gain a large share of the market usually tend to ignore such aspects. What this translates to is that while your prefer to trade Forex pairs, the broker that you choose is more suited to trading CFD’s or vice versa. The same is reflected on aspects such as the spreads, liquidity providers and so on.
2. What’s the Trading Environment With the Broker?
It makes no logical sense to join a forex broker who for example offers only one type of a forex trading platform, something that you are unfamiliar with.
Researching and identifying what type of trading platforms are available is the second important step. If you are not familiar with the forex trading platform, then chances are that you are setting yourself up for a big disappointment and potential losses as well.
Another factor to look into is your preferred base currency to trade with. Why should you compromise and go through the trouble and even lose out on the exchange rate when your Bank, Credit Cards all make use of the Nigerian Naira? There are many forex brokers in Nigeria today and with just a little research, you can easily identify the forex broker that truly meets your expectations.
Customer service is another important factor that is often put down the checklist. Would it make any logic to wait for over six hours for support to get back to you while you have some serious issues with your orders? Not right! While choosing a forex broker, ensure that the support times matches with your trading times or at the very least, make sure that customer support is offered during your local time zone.
In the excitement to signing up to your Forex broker, never overlook the finer details of the deal. Factors such as commissions charged by the forex broker or any other administrative overheads that come into play during times such as making your withdrawals.
The devil is always in the details, so spare some time carefully reading through the terms and conditions of the Forex broker before you decide to start trading with them.
4. Regulated V/s Non Regulated Forex Brokers in Nigeria
This makes for an interesting debate as there are valid different schools of thought. However, considering this fact. Forex brokers such as MF Global which was a reputable forex broker licensed by the CFTC went bust due to mismanagement of funds.
This fact alone proves the point that regulation in fact has nothing to do in influencing your decision.
Truth is that more clients lost money with regulated forex brokers going bust than otherwise. Perhaps one critical factor that traders should look out for is if the forex broker offers segregated accounts. This is an important aspect as it ensures that in the unfortunate event that a forex broker goes bust, at the very least your funds are secured and hence better the chances to get your money back.
Also, ECN Forex brokers are usually more robust given the business model that they operate, as compared to Market Makers or Dealing desk forex brokers whose profits is directly dependent on the trader’s profits and losses.
ECN vs Market Maker Forex Brokers in Nigeria
ECN Forex broker or a Market Maker. This is a question most forex traders in Nigeria battle with. To further the case, the debate as to which of the forex broker models, ECN or a Market Maker seem to be endless.
ECN Forex brokers are largely preferred to Market Makers due to the fact that it offers the best forex spreads without any price manipulation. A Market maker on the other hand acts as a counter party to the trades and there fore the spreads displayed by a Market maker forex dealer greatly differs to that of ECN Forex brokers.
In the table below we highlight some major differences between an ECN v/s Market Maker type of forex brokers.
Anonymity of Trading
Unlike an ECN forex broker, a Market Maker dealer knows exactly what your open positions are, your trading strategy and style and can use this to their advantage and is essential as they take counter positions to your trades.
Client – Bank Trading
An ECN Forex broker connects the trader directly to the market participants that include liquidity providers such as banks.
ECN Brokers offer faster connectivity and display the best spreads from the liquidity pool. The price displayed is the price at which your trades will be executed.
Market Makers do not display the available liquidity in the markets unlike an ECN Forex broker.
Counter Party Trades
Market Makers forex model always takes a counter position against your trades. ECN forex model allows for Straight Through processing.
News Based Trading
Most Market Makers do not now allow trading during economic releases. ECN forex brokers are scalper friendly with the exception being that the spreads are much more volatile at such times.
Market Maker forex brokers always offer fixed spreads and do not charge commissions. An ECN Broker charges commissions based on trading volumes and offers the lowest spreads possible.
Market Makers allow trading with as low as $1. ECN Forex brokers require a minimum of $100 to trade with and Currenex Account holders require a minimum of $50,000 as starting capital.
ECN Forex brokers do not offer high leverage that is typical of Market Makers, which could be as high as 600:1. Lack of high leverage isn’t much sought after because besides the potential profits it offers, the risks are just as high.
Given the fact that a Market Maker type of forex dealer is a counter-party to their client’s trades, the Market Maker model is exposed to the market risks. Whilst such risks are well managed by making use of appropriate hedging with a high-tier counter-party, it might not always be the actual case.
Furthermore, even if the risk is well managed with a Market Maker, the risks still loom large. An ECN Forex broker on the other hand does not have to worry about being exposed to the market risks, as they only provide a service for which an ECN forex broker charges a commission. At no point is an ECN broker exposed to market risk and the likelihood for an ECN forex broker to become insolvent is far lesser in comparison to a market maker type of dealer.
Insolvency can cause serious implications for a client’s funds which the broker holds. Most reputable Market Makers however maintains their client funds in a segregated account away from the company’s operating capital to keep their risk management tight.
Choosing an ECN forex broker that offers segregated accounts is always better than choosing a regulated forex broker. At the very least your funds are secured and thus gives you a higher chance to get your capital back in case the forex broker goes bust.
A simple way to figure out if segregated accounts are used is to keep an eye on the Bank WIREs, if the same account number is used for both deposits and withdrawals.
Forex trading can be fun but is only for those traders who are more serious and wish to truly take advantage of the forex industry. Follow these simply tips and you are on the right path to choosing the ideal ECN forex broker in Nigeria that meets your needs.
- Best Forex Brokers in Nigeria
- How to Choose the Best Forex Brokers in Nigeria
- ECN vs Market Maker Forex Brokers in Nigeria