How We Test
Our mission at ForexBrokers.com is to provide in-depth, unbiased reviews of international forex brokers, and world-class coverage of the global forex industry. Our team is committed to providing our readers with objective, accurate content and data-driven reviews.
We fact-check and review our guides, reviews, and articles on a dynamic rolling basis to ensure that our readers are getting the best, most up-to-date information.
As the forex world evolves, so do we; our proprietary testing methodologies and algorithms are constantly being refined, and we strive to set the standard for the most rigorous evaluations and in-depth research in the industry.
In April of 2017, ForexBrokers published its first Annual Review. Since then, we’ve conducted research, gathered thousands of data points, and crafted tens of thousands of words of research on online forex brokers – every year.
We assessed thirty-nine online brokers for the ForexBrokers.com 2022 Review, published in January 2022. During our five months of research, testing, and data collection, we collected a total of 4,407 data points and published over 50,000 words of research.
Ensuring the quality and accuracy of our data is a top priority at ForexBrokers. We regularly audit and validate our data, and as on our sister site, StockBrokers.com, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year.
Research and Data Leadership
Steven Hatzakis is the Global Head of Research for ForexBrokers.com (and for our sister site, BrokerNotes.co). An expert voice on the complexities of global forex trading and international regulatory agencies, Steven leads the research and testing efforts at ForexBrokers. He also serves as the lead writer for our online broker reviews, and is our final voice for decisions pertaining to rankings and opinion scoring.
Steven has decades of experience in the foreign exchange markets and has published over 1,000 articles covering the forex industry. Click here to read more about Steven.
Our Editorial Principles
- If we love a service or company, we’ll tell you – no matter what.
- If we think a company or service has room to improve (or should be avoided altogether), we’ll let you know – no matter what.
- If we’ve determined that using a broker or service provider puts your money at risk, we’ll say so – no matter what.
Here are a few things that we’ll never do to make money:
- We never change our opinion of a product or service, or modify our evaluation process to gain or preserve an affiliate partnership.
- We never highlight (or deliberately conceal) a specific product or service to gain or maintain an affiliate relationship.
- We never alter our proprietary data-driven algorithms (like Trust Score) to favor an affiliate partner.
- We never share marketing revenue information or advertising campaign data with our researchers or our editorial team.
Broker Evaluations and Testing Methodologies
Broker evaluations at ForexBrokers are based on our collected quantitative data as well as the qualitative observations and qualified opinions of our expert researchers.
Our evaluation process begins with a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the broker’s products and services. We examine any and all aspects of the broker’s offering that may be of interest to the broker’s customers. This includes a deep dive into all websites operated by the broker, all available content across a variety of mediums, and rigorous testing of the broker’s proprietary tools and/or software.
After we’ve completed our testing of the broker’s products, services, and tools (collecting and validating thousands of data points in the process), our expert researchers and writers begin the process of crafting opinion scores. Opinion scores are for those aspects of broker reviews that simply aren’t easily quantifiable (such as the relative complexity of a new mobile trading platform designed for beginner traders, for example).
With our quantitative and qualitative examinations of a broker’s product offerings complete, we turn our attention towards the broker’s regulatory status; this research helps us determine whether you should trust the broker to keep your money safe.
All testing is conducted on modern devices that run the most up-to-date operating systems available. Our Desktop PCs run Windows 11, and we use MacBook Pro laptops running macOS 12.4 for trading on the go. For mobile testing, we use the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra devices running Android OS 12.
All testing on mobile devices is conducted via an 802.11n wireless WiFi connection; 4G connections are used when WiFi is not available. All websites and web-based platforms are tested using the latest version of the Google Chrome browser.
Determining whether you can trust a broker with your money is one of the most difficult – and most important – distinctions you need to make when choosing a broker. The team at ForexBrokers wanted to help traders make informed, intuitive choices based on the level of trust between broker and trader. That simple idea resulted in the development of our proprietary tool, called Trust Score.
We’ve collected comprehensive data on dozens of brokers that span a wide range of regulatory environments, jurisidictions, and countries. Based on our extensive research, we’ve sorted regulatory agencies into three categories (Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3), with Tier 1 indicating the most stringent regulatory environment (which is good) and Tier 3 the least.
Our proprietary algorithm combines our data collection on brokers with our exhaustive research on international regulators to produce an individual Trust Score for each broker. Trust Score is a ranking from 1 to 99 (the higher a broker’s Trust Score, the better).
Click here to learn more about Trust Score.
At ForexBrokers, all broker evaluations begin with a Yes/No assessment, which is based on over 100 proprietary variables that collectively inform our final ratings and rankings.
But what does that really mean?
Points are awarded for each “Yes” answer that can be assigned to each of our variables (“No” answers result in zero points). The number of points awarded for each “Yes” answer varies, depending on the significance of the variable (not all variables are graded equally; some features are considered more important than others).
Then, the total number of points earned from those “Yes” answers is divided by the number of total points possible, which results in a final “Yes/No” score (or, the broker’s Variable Score).
Next, our team of expert researchers and writers craft and assign opinion scores for each category. Opinion scores range from 1 - 10, with one being the lowest score possible (very bad), and ten being the highest (very good). Half points are used, e.g. "9.5", so scoring isn't restricted to just whole numbers.
Our editorial team utilizes opinion scoring to better represent those important distinctions that can’t be quantified or summarized in a “Yes/No” answer. These separate scoring systems represent our efforts to include a wide range of observations in our broker evaluations; we strive to include quantitative data as well as qualitative analysis in our ratings and rankings.
To determine a final percentage score for one of our scoring categories, the broker’s Variable Score and Opinion Score are independently weighted and then combined to produce a Final Score. Weightings vary by category, depending on the complexity of the category. This Final Score is then translated to a star rating.
Commissions & Fees scoring
Scoring for our Commissions & Fees category utilizes a separate scoring rubric due to the inherent complexity of the category.
First, multiple scenarios are assessed for placing trades. For example, the average reported and/or observed spread for the EUR/USD pair. Brokers are then awarded points depending on how expensive (or inexpensive) their average spreads (in this example) are, relative to their peers.
Next, multiple scenarios are assessed for different investor types on a monthly basis, incorporating any miscellaneous account fees, alongside any active trader or VIP rates. The goal is to determine a net, "all-in" cost per trade.
Finally, all data is analyzed to determine an overall score for Commissions & Fees.
For the ForexBrokers.com 2022 Review, all brokers were assessed on 113 different variables across eight primary areas: Commissions & Fees, Offering of Investments, Platforms & Tools, Research, Trust Score, Mobile Trading, Education, and Overall.
The weightings of each category were as follows:
|Commissions & Fees||11%|
|Platforms & Tools||11%|
|Offering of Investments||10%|
ForexBrokers bestowed “Best in Class” awards to the top seven brokers across our primary review categories, as well as the following additional categories:
- Social Copy Trading
- Professional Trading
- Crypto Trading
- Algo Trading
- Beginners, Ease of Use
- Trust Score