For those who want to learn more about this particular way of trading, we aim to introduce you to the concept of ECN Forex trading, explain some of the benefits, look at any downsides, and help you to find the best ECN Forex brokers for your needs.
ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network, and refers to a type of computerized network or forum that can be used to enable the trading of financial products, in this case, foreign currencies. It is usually an electronic system that distributes orders entered by market makers to a number of third parties. It then enables the orders to be executed in part or in whole. It happens with stocks too. The network acts like a kind of bridge between liquidity providers, for example major banks, and smaller market traders, like those of you reading this page.
Via an ECN Forex broker. A Forex ECN broker makes its money by charging commission on each transaction. The more trades its enables, the higher the return. There is one last benefit worth mentioning, and that is the fact that an ECN broker only matches trades between market participants, and cannot trade against its clients. Which is something that many people worry about when using certain types of retail Forex brokers, such as market makers.
Some of you will be disappointed to learn that they charge a fixed commission fee for every transaction. However, it might cheer you up to learn that it is often cheaper, and certainly more transparent that anything charged by a market maker. Another downside is that calculating stops and targets can be a little difficult when using an ECN platform, because prices are constantly changing and because of variable spreads.
Slippage is also possible, in particular when a session overlaps. All due to clients and various factors are having an influence all at the same time. But a word of warning, because not all ECN brokers are what they seem. A good way to find out whether you are planning to trade with a real ECN broker is to ask yourself a few simple questions.
And make sure you pick one that fits your requirements perfectly. We will feature some of the best ECN Forex brokers right here on this site, as well as a number of other types of brokers.
What sort of qualities should you be looking for? With an ECN broker you can be sure of fixed commission fees, and tighter spreads. Whereas a market maker will always take the opposite site of your trade. Other qualities worth considering are trade execution and liquidity.
Preferably you want a broker that guarantees seamless and instant order execution, all at the best possible price. This time, however, our advice is to read them very carefully, as each individual broker will have their own set of rules, services, and prices. The connection between ECN and foreign currency trading is really rather recent.
At the time this was pretty unique because it enabled buy-side FX market participants to be price makers as well as price takers. All provide access to an electronic trading network, which are supplied with streaming quotes from top tier banks across the globe. The engines that match prices are able to perform checks and match orders in milliseconds. Using an ECN broker for Forex trading means a trader can benefit from greater price transparency, speedy processing, more availability as well as increased liquidity.
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