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Easy Account Opening and Funding Methods

When you finally narrow things down to the broker that you want to trade with, you are most likely eager to open an account and fund it as quickly as possible, so that you can begin trading. Moreover, later on you might want to open a second and third account with the same broker, to use different strategies, and thus you want to open and fund these accounts quickly. 

As a result, you will be looking for a quick and easy online account opening application process and a less than 24 hour approval system, as well as a quick and easy money transfer method, such as a buffet of the many digital transfer methods, in addition to the standard wire transfer method. So let us proceed to examine Account Opening Procedures and Funding Methods, and what you should look for in each. 

Account Opening Procedures

1. Simple Account Opening Online with Digital Signature.

In recent years, I have opened many accounts entirely online, filling out my details in a simple three page online application, and ending it with my digital signature, as well as an online method to browse my desktop and upload my verification documents. Typical verification documents: 1) Proof of identity: typically a government ID such as a passport or drivers license; and 2) Proof of address: typically a bank statement or utility bill sent to your home address.

This totally online and digital account opening procedure is the way most brokers should be moving towards in this future. There is no paper fuss, and everything is done in mere seconds.

Don't waste your time with antiquated brokers who still insist that the application documents be printed out, signed and faxed back, unless they are required to do so by their regulatory agency. It's not that I care about the waste of trees cut down by this unnecessary paper process, though that is a valid environment reason. It is that I care about the waste of my time. I remember having to do this older procedure before, and it was a dreaded 1-2 hour extra paper hassle. I had to print out the 10 page application, sign it, and then go out and locate, drive to, and pay too much money for, a Kinkos fax because these shops are the only ones that carry an out-dated fax machine that everyone else has chucked in the garbage. Even if the broker requires the hand-signed application by email instead of fax, it feels like a waste of time. You have to print out the application, sign it, scan it back in and email it. Sure, it is not that difficult, but it feels like too many extra steps, particularly so after experiencing the refreshing instant gratification of opening accounts entirely online in recent years. 

I like visiting my grandma and admiring her antique furniture and quaint mannerisms and slow cooking. But there are some things about the past that I do not want to revisit. It can feel like going back through time (and not in a good way) to have to deal with brokers who insist on a hard copy, hand signed application that is mailed to them. Some firms under strict banking regulation, such as the Swiss forex brokers, need to have the application printed out and hand signed, with the hard copy applications manually mailed back to them, with a turnaround time of typically two weeks, depending on the speed of the courier system. I remember doing this once with Man Financial, and it was not fun. It was like living in the time before internet, which maybe is not so long ago, but it feels like the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. You have to consider if there are enough outside advantages with setting up with a broker that has you go through such a hassle. 

2. Account Approval Less than 24 hours

Even though the account application process is an online one, I do expect there to be a human person in compliance reviewing the application at some point and going over some internal checklist of items. I don't imagine this process to take more than 15 minutes of that person's time, but my application might not be the only one coming through that day, and there might be some difficult applications, particularly if they involve a corporate structure. Most brokers nowadays indicate that approval or a disapproval should be less than 72 hours, but in reality it should be less than 24 hours, with the 72 hours stated approval time just a way to give them extra time in case of harder cases.  

Sometimes I am delightfully surprised to see an instant approval system. I am given an auto-generated MT4 account login and password immediately after filling out my online application, and I can quickly fund it from a number of online deposit methods seen from within my instantly generated client area on the broker website. Now this is slick stuff and appeals to my twin-fold desire for cool technology and instant gratification. Everything 100% automated. No human beings behind the scenes making a mess and delay of things. The only stipulation is that the broker requires your account to be verified (that is, your identity and proof of address documents to be uploaded to your client area), by the time of any funds withdrawal, which can be anytime in the future. I have found that the Russian and Asian brokers such FXOpen, Alpari NZ, and InstaForex have lead the way with these online advances. Other brokers have begun to copy them, so look out for this trend

3. Additional Account Opening Procedure - Preferably Instant. 

There are many reasons for opening additional accounts, with the foremost being the desire to trade different strategies in different accounts. If you have several distinct strategies that you have not yet configured into a portfolio, you may want to have them trade in separate accounts in order to better see (or show off) their distinct performance. It is harder to distinguish good strategy in the midst of a bunch of poor ones. 

Ideally, you should be able to open up additional accounts instantly, through your client portal. There should be a button that indicates open real accounts, you choose the type of account, base currency, and leverage, you then press enter and the system auto-generates a new account for you. You should then immediately be able to transfer funds to this new account and trade. This is the type of client back office software that the Russian brokers such as FXOpen and Alpari NZ offer their clients, and it makes opening and funding additional accounts a breeze. Look out for brokers who have followed this trend. 

Not long ago I had accounts at FXCM and Forex.com and I was required to print out and sign (and fax / email) an additional account application in order to have an additional account. I then had to wait the customary 72 hours before I could be approved and set up for this additional account. This was crazy slow and the dread of filling additional documentation for a new account prevented me from requesting additional accounts. What surprises me is that these massive, wealthier brokers with 200+ employees are far less competitive and technologically advanced than their Russian counterparts. A few good Russian programmers make these giants seem like dinosaurs. 

Funding Methods

Look for Multiple, Fast, Secure and Inexpensive Funding Methods. Ideally there should be multiple money transfer methods for deposit and withdrawal, and they should all be speedy, secure and cheap. 

It is simply not enough these days to expect only the wire transfer method of deposit and withdrawal. Sure, it is secure, but it is not easy, cheap or fast. 

1. Multiplicity of Funding Options

What are the available transfer methods these days? 

Some brokers go out of their way to provide as many funding and withdrawal methods as possible. For instance, FXOpen lists all these options from within their client menu: 

I have noticed that these Russian broker sites like FXOpen, Alpari NZ and InstaForex do everything possible to make it convenient to deposit and withdraw funds. US broker sites provide the least amount of methods. 

Here is a table that lists the more popular funding methods that brokers tend to provide these days. 

Payment Method Description List of MT4

PayPal is a convenient on-line payment system that is widely accepted in U.S., Canada and United Kingdom.
Forex brokers that accept PayPal deposits are often good-standing companies.

WebMoney WebMoney Forex brokers allow their customers to use this secure, fast and low commission e-currency system to make customers' Forex experience less burdened with secondary matters. http://www.earnforex.com/


Moneybookers is a popular British electronic payment system that is acceptable world-wide. It is regulated by Financial Services Authority in United Kingdom. Brokers accepting this payment system confirm their valid bank account details and their physical location. http://www.earnforex.com/
Liberty Reserve Liberty Reserve Forex brokers provide their traders with an easy-to-use, fast and private way to deposit funds into a trading account as well as to withdraw the profit back from it. Liberty Reserve is popular among many non-U.S. Forex traders and is very secure http://www.earnforex.com/

2. Cost of Funding.

Ultimately, the benchmark of any Forex trader worth his salt is to be consistently profitable in the Forex Market. Check that there are not too many “financial leaks” deterring you from this goal. Do a comparison on the withdrawal/wiring fees of some brokers. Over the long term, you would be wiring back a portion of your profits on a consistent basis. For some traders, it could mean once every several months. Do your homework early so that the fees incurred do not cause too much of a dent in your trading profits.

Always remember to trade on a demo account for at least 2 months first before going LIVE on your chosen broker.

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