Here at Business24-7, we want to make it easy to find the right online broker for you. Reliable information and unbiased data serve as the basis for all the content we provide. With over 10 years of financial expertise under our belts, we use feedback from our readers to create the best possible Business24-7 experience. Here’s how we do it!
300 broker criteria checked
We examine nine crucial areas for each broker, all of which are divided up into 272 criteria – as shown in the table below.
Deposit and Withdrawal
*Data such as the originating country, which is exempted from the scoring process, are covered.
By December 2019, a total of 57 brokers had been reviewed, covering a total of over 15,000 points of data during that year.
In addition to the criteria above, we have populated a database that specifies the countries from which every broker accepts clients. A total of 227 countries have been included in the dataset.
Anonymous broker checks using live accounts
All our reviews are fuelled by first-hand knowledge, which means we open live accounts with each broker and depositing funds. This testing is conducted without the knowledge of the broker, and each criterion is duly assessed.
Our readers’ preferences and our experiences serve as the basis for our final scores
After checking the broker criteria, we use a weighting system to convert our findings into a points tally. Our expertise and the preferences of our readers serve as the basis for our weighting system, which ensures that our scoring actually mirrors what our clients need to know and the topics they are interested in.
Every year, we further refine the weighting system for our scoring approach. The table illustrated below demonstrates how our system was adapted for 2020 and how certain areas were considered either more or less important.
Weight ranking – the Business24-7 methodology
- All our brokers fall under the remit of financial authority regulation
- None of the brokers reviewed receive any financial compensation during the review scoring process.
Occasionally, the brokers we review are consulted on the overall scores we calculate. This gives us the opportunity to eliminate any errors, but we have the final say on any opinion published. Any changes which come up are then regularly incorporated into these reviews.
A final point to make is that every broker listed on Brokerchooser is monitored by one or more of the leading financial regulators. This is how we can be sure that none are a scam. We also go to great lengths to ensure that any broker we review either has a strong banking background or is available on a reputed stock exchange.
The 9 areas of testing
We obtain details on fee structures from the websites owned by the brokers we review. Every fee goes under the microscope, including those for forex, funds, stocks, etc. Not only do we bring hidden costs to light, we also deep dive into all trading and other fees. To get the precision our customers need, we work out the fees required to buy a position, hold it for a week and sell it.
It is vital to understand all details regarding each broker’s regulatory status, the investor protection available, and their background and history. Without this data, the safety of any investment would be compromised and that is why we give these criteria significant weighting.
Trading comfort is significantly affected by various factors. Does your broker have a website? What about a mobile app? And how about desktop computer access? That’s why we test each platform for overall UX, but also delve into specifics such as how to customize your experience, authenticate yourself and place orders.
Deposits and withdrawals
We use our own funds to place deposits and effect withdrawals for each broker we review, which is crucial to test efficacy. We have discovered that the process, fees and timings involved are primary considerations for our readers, and these criteria all have their own weightings. For example, we give brokers who allow credit card purchases a higher score than those which only make fee-based wire transfers available.
To save you time, we try out the process for opening accounts, so you don’t have to. It is often the case that the documents required to open an account are not clearly specified. We overcome this by providing all relevant data on the account opening process, including the ease of doing so, the account types available and the minimum deposit level.
If a broker allows you access to more market markets and products, they will be rated better according to our system. Those brokers that provide a truly holistic range, including everything from futures to stocks, will be scored better than those that off, for example, that only provide CFDs.
There can be no doubt that education is a vital component in making any trading platform more secure and understandable. Those brokers which provide educational tools (demo accounts, webinars, tutorial videos, etc.) that achieve this goal are favoured in our rating system.
Our members of staff test every support channel offered by each broker. We evaluate customer service quality using a total of eight quality support interactions as our research basis, including email, phone and live chat.
Higher costs are fine if the range, depth, ubiquity, and usefulness of the research tools available justify them. They can aid understanding of trends, market sentiment, the companies themselves and their tickers. Therefore we examine each research tool offered by each broker we review.
Do you have any questions or ideas about our methodology? We would be very keen to hear from you! Please write to us at [email protected]
How long do you spend assessing each broker?
- Despite adopting a complex methodology and having a strong awareness of what checks are important, we spend between 7 and 10 days researching and writing up each Brokerchooser review. That’s time we save you, and even if you were to do your own research spending a couple of hours looking at each broker (which nobody does), all the raw information would take at least 7 days to collate.
How many staff members do you dedicate to this task?
- We have 17 members of staff, twelve of whom are working full-time and five part-time.
How frequently is the data updated?
- Every year, we conduct a complete overhaul of our methodology and testing process. Each criterion is re-scored and each broker review is rewritten. But we go further. We also continuously monitor each broker all year around and make any adjustments required during the year to mirror the most up-to-date information available.
Do brokers who pay higher sums get preferential treatment?
- The short answer is no, and we would never do this. In fact, we receive zero revenue from 50% of the brokers we review. Those who do pay us often do not get included in the recommendations we submit to our readers. The reason is simple. Customer focus and unbiased opinions are paramount to determine which broker is best for your specific requirements.