Your Online Forex Trading Broker -- Why Use Alerts?

by : Kerry Graylor

When you are searching out an online forex trading broker, it is worth making sure that you get a broker who will send you forex alerts. This is simply an email or cellphone text message alerting you to the latest developments in the forex market. Often the broker will recommend a particular course of action in the message, which you can follow or not as you like.

Until you get into foreign exchange trading, you may not see the value of this. It's simple to explain. Forex is a 24/7 trading platform because currency trading happens in all 24 time zones across the world. This means massive opportunities for traders with billions of transactions happening every day. But it also means that, unlike stock market traders whose day ends when their national market closes at 5 or 6 pm, forex traders have to keep track of a constant flow of information.

Nobody can be watching markets 24/7. Brokers and companies can do it, of course, by employing staff on shifts, but a sole trader has to take time out. Even if you stick with just the top five markets -- US, Euro, Britain, Australia, Japan and Switzerland -- you have 15 pairs of currencies to monitor in 4 different time zones. And sometimes big money can be made on the more volatile minor currencies. If you want to have any kind of life away from your computer without missing out on the majority of opportunities, see your kids and save your marriage, the best way to manage this is by receiving alerts.

You will also what to check what type of alerts your prospective broker offers. Some just send out a summary of developments once a day. Others send alerts when something big happens. This may be once a day or more or less, depending on the state of the market. This type of alert subscription may be much more expensive because the timing of forex trading information is so important. You have to trust the broker's judgement of what is considered important enough to prompt an alert, and of course it is still up to you to decide whether to act on the information that you are given.

Brokers who offer forex alerts may either include them in their service or charge an extra fee for the subscription. This could be a "hidden cost" which you will want to take into account when comparing brokers. If you join thinking you will not use the alert system, and then later realise that you need it, you could end up paying more than with a broker whose initial fee was higher but with alerts included. There may also be a cost to receiving them on your cellphone.

You will also want to check out what type of alerts are given. Some brokers cover stocks and bonds as well as forex trading. Others offer the possibility of tailoring your alerts depending upon how active you are as a trader and whether your style is more conservative or aggressive.

Most serious forex traders who subscribe to an alert system consider it absolutely necessary to their success. As with all systems, of course it is not perfect, and smart traders will always back up their broker's advice with some checking of their own to make sure nothing is missed. But alerts from an online forex trading broker can be a life-saver for busy traders who cannot be spending all their time watching the forex markets.