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Investor Brain: Online Currency-Trading Sites Multiply

Online Currency-Trading Sites Multiply

IF YOU LIKE TRADING ON VOLATILITY, THERE IS nothing quite like the forex market.
It is open 24 hours a day, five days a week, and the players range from global banks to individuals. The daily volume is well over $3 trillion, according to the Bank for International Settlements. Despite its gargantuan size, the market isn’t tightly regulated, and traders can use lots of leverage, which poses benefits and dangers. There is no central exchange; the market moves from one country to another. As Tokyo is closing, for example, London is opening.
Among the 25 firms we evaluated for our annual Best Online Broker review, published on March 16, E*Trade, Interactive Brokers, MB Trading, thinkorswim and TradeStation all come with some kind of built-in forex- trading system. OptionsXpress and TradeKing have enabled currency futures trading, and customers of SiebertNet can place forex trades through a live broker.
Last week, Zecco (http://www.zecco.com) announced it is partnering with the forex trading firm GAIN Capital (http://www.gaincapital.com) to launch Zecco Forex. “Today’s volatile forex markets have created an attractive and complementary opportunity for our investors,” said Jeroen Veth, CEO of Zecco Holdings. “Zecco Forex provides them access to another asset class where they can make trades independent of overall equity-market direction.”
ZECCO’S FOREX OFFERING (http://www.zecco.com/forex) is a separate legal entity from its regular platform, so customers must sign up for a separate account. In time, however, the firm plans to integrate the two platforms into a single display, but that isn’t likely to happen until next year, according to Zecco spokesman Gabriel Dalporto.
When you arrive at Zecco’s forex site, you will find some educational content, as well as an opportunity to sign up for a practice account with $50,000 to start. The practice account lets you play with the analytical tools in the GAIN Capital platform and gives you a feel for how forex trading works. The account includes real-time quotes and charts, along with all the trading tools and information available to Zecco Forex customers. These tools include single and contingent order types, a real-time newsfeed and market commentary, plus daily and weekly research.
Should you decide to take the leap to trading with your own money, you can sign up for either a mini account, with a minimum deposit of $250, or a standard account, with $2,500. Those who deposit $10,000 or more can use a more advanced trading platform. The Java-based downloadable trading platform, ForexTrader Desktop, runs only on Windows, while the more advanced ForexTrader Web can be used by those with Macs and the Safari browser.
Most forex brokers don’t charge explicit commissions; they tack on a fee to the price paid for the trade. Zecco’s spreads are in line with what most of its rivals charge; a list can be found at http://www.zecco.com/forex/trade-pricing.html.
A key component of forex trading is leverage. Yes, stock and option traders can employ leverage by trading on margin. But their use of margin is minuscule, compared with that often found in foreign-exchange trades. You can utilize leverage of as much as 200 times the size of your account, so with just $500, you can hold $100,000 of currencies. With high leverage, however, comes much greater risk. It is imperative to stay on top of all your open transactions to avoid a huge margin call. Failure to use leverage prudently can be disastrous, as Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and thousands of no-down-payment home buyers found out.
Zecco Forex’s offering lets customers trade in 37 currency pairs, though most of the action is in just a few currencies (primarily the U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, euro and British pound). The Zecco community is starting to see action in its newly launched Forex section, so you can discuss your strategies with other traders.
FIDELITY’S FIXED-INCOME AUTO-ROLL program (http://www.fidelity.com) went live at the end of March. It allows customers to automatically reinvest the principal of their matured new-issue U.S. Treasury bills, notes and FDIC-insured certificates of deposit into similar new-issue instruments. The goal is to make it easier for customers to remain fully invested and leave less cash on the sidelines.
The Auto Roll Program’s methodology takes into consideration the original instrument’s security type, size, term to maturity and coupon frequency when locating a new purchase. Customers can verify that the pending trade matches their objectives through a Fidelity e-mail alert. If they decide not to reinvest, there is an option to cancel the trade.
Auto Roll is available for new-issue Treasuries and certificates of deposit with a term to maturity of five years or less. If a Treasury or CD that matches the original investment isn’t found, Fidelity will alert the customer and move the principal of the mature instrument to the default cash position in his or her brokerage account.


NOTES ON SWITCHING ACCOUNTS: In response to our March 23 “How To Switch Brokers Painlessly” column, Steve Sanders, vice president at Interactive Brokers (http://www.interactivebrokers.com), tells us that there is a sister system to the Automated Customer-Account Transfer System, or ACAT, used by many firms. Called the Currency and Banking Retrieval System, it passes lot and cost-basis information from one broker to another. Adds Sanders: “It is up to the discretion of the broker to use this system. [Interactive Brokers] makes full use of this system, whenever the ACAT transfer broker also makes use of this system.”

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Forex trading Brokers : Looking for a competitive FX (forex) trading account?

Forex trading

FOREX TRADING BROKERS :Looking for a competitive FX (forex) trading account?

We’ve compiled a table of the leading forex trading providers. Here you can easily compare the different offers, and apply for a forex trading account right away.
CompanySpreadAvg spreadLeverage ratio 1:Trade minAccount min24 Hour tradingDemo accountApply
ETX Capital
Variable0.6 pips200£0.10£100yesyesApply
Core Spreads
Cloud trade fixed, MT4 variablefrom 0.6 pts1000.01£0yesyesApply
24option
Variable40024£500yesyesApply
London Capital Group
Floatingstarts from 0.61:3001 contract£0yesyes
City Index
Fixed1 point20:1 to 400:125p£0yesyesApply
FxPro
Variable0-3 pips500£1,000£100yesyes
Moneycorp Markets
Variable3 - 4 pips100£100,000£10,000noyes
Tradefair
Variable2 - 5 pips2001 contract£0yesyes
TD Waterhouse
Variable2 - 5 pips2001 contract£0nono
Selftrade
Variable2 - 6 pips101 contract£0yesyes
NatWest
Variable2 - 5 pips200£10,000£200yesyes
Internaxx
Variable1 - 5 pips101 contract£0noyes
Barclays
Variable2 - 5 pips100£50,000£5,000yesno
CMC Markets
Variable0.9 (EUR/USD)2000.01 units£0yesyesApply
GFT
Variable1 - 5 pips4001 contract£120yesyes
XTB
Fixed & Variable0 - 2.8 pips100£10,000£500yesyes
InterTrader Direct
InterTrader copmany logo
variable1 pip1001 contract£1,000yesyesApply
IG
VariableEUR/USD: 0.7530:1 UK
30:1 EU ESMA
200:1 Australia
£1 for spread betting and $1 for CFD trading£150yesyesApply
Forex.com
Variable1.3 - 2 pips400£1,000£250yesyes
eTorro
Fixed2 - 5 pips400£2£35yesyes
Accendo Markets
Variable1 - 5 pips1001 contract£1,000yesyes
RBS
Variable2 - 5 pips200£10,000£200yesno
Spreadex
Fixed2 - 5 pips1001 contract£0yesnoApply
Saxo Capital Markets
Variable1 - 5 pips200£10,000£5,000yesyesApply
FP Markets
Variable1 - 3 pips100£10,000£1,000yesyes

Important information about this page: We've done our utmost to make this table as comprehensive as possible, including as many service providers as we can. We provide this free of charge. In order to fund this service we make it easy to apply directly from this page to providers that may give our group a referral fee should you choose to use their service. Rest assured this does not affect the cost to you for using any of these service providers. We do not recommend a particular service and you should always select the service that's right for you. We regularly check the accuracy of the information in the tables, however if you spot something that is not correct or feel there is a leading service provider missing, please contact us.

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