When it comes to trading Forex, choosing the right broker can make a significant difference in your success. One of the most important decisions traders have to make is choosing between a dealing desk and a non-dealing desk broker. The two types of brokers have different ways of executing trades and providing liquidity, which can significantly affect a trader’s experience and bottom line. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each type of broker and help you decide which one is right for you.
Dealing Desk Brokers: The Basics
A dealing desk broker, also known as a market maker, is a type of broker that takes the other side of their client’s trades. When you place an order with a dealing desk broker, they will either match it with another client’s order or take the other side of the trade themselves.
How Dealing Desk Brokers Make Money
Dealing desk brokers make money by taking a markup on the spread. The spread is the difference between the bid and ask prices of a currency pair, and it represents the cost of making a trade. Dealing desk brokers widen the spread slightly to make a profit.
Pros and Cons of Dealing Desk Brokers
One advantage of dealing desk brokers is that they can offer fixed spreads, which can make it easier to plan your trades. Because dealing desk brokers take the other side of your trades, they can offer higher leverage than non-dealing desk brokers. Also, dealing desk brokers can also provide traders with instant trade execution, since they are the ones providing the liquidity for each trade.
However, dealing desk brokers have been criticized for having a conflict of interest. Because they make money by taking the other side of their clients’ trades, there is a risk that they may try to manipulate the market to their advantage. Additionally, because they take a markup on the spread, their prices may not always be as competitive as those of non-dealing desk brokers.
Non-Dealing Desk Brokers: The Basics
A non-dealing desk broker is a type of broker that does not take the other side of their client’s trades. Instead, they act as an intermediary between their clients and the interbank market, which is where banks and other financial institutions buy and sell currencies.
How Non-Dealing Desk Brokers Work
Non-dealing desk brokers use either an Electronic Communication Network (ECN) or Straight Through Processing (STP) to connect their clients directly to the interbank market. With an ECN, clients’ orders are matched with other clients’ orders. With STP, clients’ orders are sent directly to liquidity providers, such as banks and other financial institutions.
Pros and Cons of Non-Dealing Desk Brokers
One advantage of non-dealing desk brokers is that they typically offer tighter spreads than dealing desk brokers, because they do not take a markup on the spread. Additionally, because they do not take the other side of their clients’ trades, there is less risk of a conflict of interest in trade execution.
However, non-dealing desk brokers may charge a commission for their services, which can add to the cost of trading. Additionally, because they connect directly to the interbank market, they may have less control over the pricing of their trades. Some traders have reported that non-dealing desk brokers can suffer from slippage, which means that the price they receive for their trade may be worse than the price they were expecting.
Which Broker Should You Choose?
When deciding between a dealing desk and a non-dealing desk broker, there are several factors to consider. First, consider your trading style and strategy. If you prefer to trade with fixed spreads and high leverage, a dealing desk broker may be a good choice. If you prefer tighter spreads and direct market access, a non-dealing desk broker may be a better fit.
If you are a scalper or a high-frequency trader, you may prefer a non-dealing desk broker that can provide you with access to the best available prices. If you are a longer-term trader, a dealing desk broker with fixed spreads may be more suitable.
Second, consider the broker’s reputation and regulation. Look for brokers that are regulated by a reputable authority, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK or the National Futures Association (NFA) in the US. Read reviews from other traders and check the broker’s history of regulatory action.
Finally, consider the broker’s trading platform and customer support. Look for a broker that offers a trading platform that is user-friendly and reliable, with access to real-time market data and analysis tools. Choose a broker with a responsive and helpful customer support team that can assist you with any issues that may arise.