Our Rating Methodology
At Trusted Brokers, we're on a mission to help you find the best trading account for you, whether you're a beginner or a pro. That's why we assign a score between 1 and 5 stars to each broker to help you in your decision-making process.
Here's everything you need to know about our methodology.
Overview of our rating categories and criteria
We rate each broker across 18 distinct criteria, grouped into the following 5 categories:
- Markets: our rating reflects the breadth and depth of a broker's financial products, relative to other brokers in our panel.
- Trading environment: our rating reflects your ability to trade across a wide range of platforms, without restrictions.
- Deposits and withdrawals: our rating reflects your ability to move money in and out of your account quickly and cheaply, ideally in your own currency.
- Investor protection: our rating reflects the safeguards in place to protect your funds. These safeguards include a broker's regulatory environment, the availability of an investor compensation fund and negative balance protection.
- Customer service: our rating reflects the quality of our interactions with a broker's customer support. We consider the speed and helpfulness of their responses.
Rating categories and criteria
- 1. Range of markets:we assign top scores to brokers that allow you to trade across the widest possible range of markets.
- 2. Range of instruments:we assign top scores to brokers who provide access to a large number of instruments.
- Trading environment
- 3. Range of platforms:we assign top scores to brokers who support a wide range of platforms (such as MetaTrader 4, 5, cTrader and TradingView).
- 4. Range of trading conditions:we assign top scores to brokers who allow you to choose between instant and market execution, or trade on raw spreads.
- 5. All trading styles are allowed:we assign top scores to brokers that allow you to trade without restrictions. This includes automated trading, hedging, netting and scalping.
- 6. Swap-free trading is available:we assign top scores to brokers that allow you to trade without swap on positions left open overnight.
- Deposits and withdrawals
- 7. Choice of account currencies:we assign top scores to brokers who offer a wide range of currencies for your trading account, as this could help you avoid unnecessary currency conversion fees.
- 8. Choice of deposit and withdrawal methods:we assign top scores who support many deposit and withdrawal options. These include bank transfers, card payments, electronic wallets and cryptocurrency.
- 9. Our experience with deposits and withdrawals:we assign top scores to brokers who've processed our deposits and withdrawals smoothly.
- 10. Deposit fees:we assign top scores to brokers without deposit fees.
- 11. Withdrawal fees:we assign top scores to brokers without withdrawal fees.
- Investor protection
- 12. Regulated in reputable countries:we assign top scores to brokers regulated in jurisdictions like the European Union, the UK, the UAE and Australia.
- 13. Investor compensation fund:we assign top scores to brokers regulated in countries where you can claim compensation if your broker goes bankrupt.
- 14. Negative balance protection:we assign top scores to brokers who guarantee that you cannot lose more than you have invested.
- 15. Segregated accounts:we assign top scores to brokers who place client funds in separate accounts, distinct from theirs.
- Customer service
- 16. Customer service speed:we assign top scores to brokers who responded quickly to our enquiries.
- 17. Customer service helpfulness:we assign top scores to brokers who provided helpful answers to the questions we asked them.
- 18. Contact methods:we assign top scores to brokers with a wide range of contact methods (e.g. telephone support, email or WhatsApp).
We assign a score between 1 and 5 stars to each of the above criteria, for each broker. 1 star is the lowest possible score, and 5 stars is the highest.
Overall rating compilation
We calculate a broker's overall rating from the bottom-up, by averaging the ratings assigned to each of these criteria. We assign the same weight to each criteria. We feel that this is the easiest and most transparent way to calculate an overall rating. In doing so, we're also able to calculate category-level ratings.
Data collection process
Our ratings and reviews reflect our personal experience of opening an account and of trading through each broker. We place trades through their real-money accounts and sometimes test their demo accounts. We always contact their customer support through different channels to assess the speed and helpfulness of their responses.
We also consider the following data sources:
- We use publicly available information on every broker's website to update factual information in our reviews.
- From time to time, we browse user reviews on third-party websites to understand how others have experienced their service. We pay particular attention to criticisms.
Regularity of updates
We re-evaluate and fact check our brokers ratings and reviews at least every 3 months to reflect industry changes and new developments. We also perform updates on an ad hoc basis, whenever necessary. The last updated date is clearly shown on each review.
Limitations and considerations
While we do our very best to objectively score and review each broker, it's important to acknowledge limitations inherent in our approach.
- Trading fees: we don't assign a score to trading fees, as they vary by instrument, account type and sometimes market conditions. Instead, we tend to comment on trading fees, especially if they are higher than average. We also publish guides discussing the best brokers to trade gold or crypto.
- Swap fees: we don't assign a score to swap fees either, as they tend to vary by instrument and with market conditions. You'll need to pay attention to these if you plan on keeping your positions open overnight.
- Funding fees: our scores reflect deposit and withdrawal fees. However, as these fees often vary by funding method, you will need to assess them on a case-by-case basis.
That is why we encourage you to use our overall rating as a starting point to guide your own research. For example, you could use our star ratings to help prioritise your search, by focussing on the highest rated brokers first.
You could also look beyond our overall rating, and consider our category-level ratings instead. If you value investor protection more than anything else, focus your search on the brokers with the highest scores in this category.
At Trusted Brokers, we know how important clear and transparent ratings are to the trust you place in us. We hope this outline has given you a clear understanding of the criteria we consider and how we summarise them. Please get in touch if you have any feedback or suggestions regarding ways in which we could improve our methodology.