The global foreign exchange market (Forex) is the most liquid and the most transparent market in the world. But while the Forex trading market is very transparent, most Forex brokers are not transparent. Only very few of the publish data about themselves. You will rarely find a FX broker that publishes the number of active Forex traders or the number of new clients acquired during the past three months.
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So there is no easy way to find out which FX brokers are large and which ones are rather small. But this would be interesting to know. One could say that the larger a FX broker is, the better the services it provides. You can look at each customer being a “vote” for that FX broker. So the more traders a FX broker has, the better it must be. We cannot say that the largest forex broker is automatically the best FX broker. But size is a good indication for the quality of a broker. Furthermore, Forex brokers with a huge client base must have been active in the market already for a long time – otherwise they would not have reached that size. So you can assume that their trading software is stable and advanced (the FX broker has had enough time for the development and improvement of the trading software). And you can also assume that this FX broker will remain active in the market for a long time. So choosing a big Forex broker increases that chances of trading with an established and reputable broker where you will still be able to trade FX or CFD in two or three years.
Measuring the Size of a Forex Broker
How to figure out how large a broker is if there is no publicly available data? Our team from Broker Reviews has made an indirect analysis and tried to measure the relative size of some of the Forex brokers we have reviewed on our website. We have chosen three metrics and determined the ranking of brokers for each of these metrics. The sum of the rankings then led to our estimated size of the various FX brokers.
Criteria for Determining Size of a FX Broker
Google searches: With the Google Adwords keyword tool we measured how often specific brokers were searched in Google. If a FX broker is googled often, then it must be a large broker. Of course the results have certain limitations. For example, a broker might also be searched often because its website is down often. And some FX brokers have a generic brand name such as “easyMarkets” (this broker was known as “easy-forex” until summer 2016). It is possible that someone searches for terms like “how to make easy profits with forex trading”, which would also count as a search for “easyMarkets”. And a FX broker might also be small, but many people might search for it because it is running a large-scale advertising campaign.
Google results: Here we have measured how many search results for the brand name of the FX broker can be found in the search engine Google. We assume that if there are plenty of websites writing about a specific FX broker, then this broker must be a large broker. Of course, we have the same limitations here as with the Google searches.
Alexa Rank: Alexa is a web service that attaches a toolbar to browsers. With the Alexa toolbar it measures which websites are visited by the user. The tool is not very exact, but it gives at least an indication of whether a broker is large or small. One limitation is that the rank is measured per domain. When a broker like Forex4you has specific domains for each country (forex4you.com for the U.S., and fx4you.de for Germany), the .com domain is visited less often and that brokers seems to be smaller than if when that broker would use its international domain for visitors from all countries (eg forex4you.com/de).
Despite all this uncertainty, we still believe that with the combination of these three factors we were able to draw a rough overview of the relative size of some of the brokers reviewed here. So eToro, InstaForex and AvaTrade are among the world’s largest FX brokers.
List of Largest Forex Brokers