In Defence of Forex Broker Reviews
Two weeks ago, Yohay from ForexCrunch has published an interesting article on Forex broker reviews. But I’ve read it only today. It raises a very important issue and can be quite useful to many Forex traders. At the same time, it’s going too far in some aspects, in my opinion, while some of the commentators of that article, by saying that the Forex reviews can’t be trusted at all, made me to write this response “in defence”.
I wouldn’t want to hide that my wish to write this post is largely dictated by the fact that I run a site with a lot of Forex broker/VPS reviews for some time now and I monetize it with the affiliate links of some brokers/VPS services.
First, I’d like to say that there is a lot of false Forex reviews on the web, a lot more than the genuine ones. And that’s a huge problem. Second, there should be a definition between the author’s (“expert’s”) reviews of the brokers/services and the reader’s (trader’s) reviews, because, obviously, they tend to be quite different in their nature and in motivation of the authors. Third, there are different kinds of reviews – the ones I call helpful and the ones I call unhelpful (more about it later).
The case with the author/expert reviews of the brokers is usually quite simple. As Yohay says you can look if there are any affiliate links or many ads of that broker on the site and tell that this review will probably be biased, unless it’s just some mere list of broker’s objective properties. Praising a Forex broker in such case is an obvious sign of the fake review.
The problem comes when there is an affiliate link for the broker but the reviews are submitted by the site’s visitors. First, you can’t be sure that they are submitted by visitors and that actual visitor’s reviews go through to the publication. Second, the webmaster of the site can easily stop the bad reviews and let through the good ones (and for the competing brokers to do vice versa). That’s how the Forex broker reviews can be manipulated.
On the other hand, it heavily depends on the desire of the site’s owner to uphold the neutrality principles and to offer the unbiased information to the traders. I believe that the serious site owners that don’t like to sacrifice their reputation in order to make some quick buck will never manipulate the broker reviews against the traders’ good. It simply isn’t worth that. Unfortunately, the on-line Forex industry has already become a place where everyone hardly trusts anyone and losing a reputation (and with it, a popularity and a regular flow of visitors) is thousands times easier than gaining it. That’s why, in my humble opinion, it’s still possible to find the sites with the unbiased Forex reviews. It’s not so hard to find out whether a site only accepts the good reviews of some brokers (and the bad ones of others) by looking at those reviews – if you can find all kinds of reviews for a single broker: from praising to those accusing in scam, then there are chances that this site prefers to provide the unbiased image of that broker.
Regarding the usefulness of the reviews, there is one important moment. There are helpful reviews and unhelpful reviews. When I am looking to buy something (for example, some home appliance or a piece of PC hardware), I always look for reviews. I usually find a lot of them. But I never pay attention to the unhelpful ones – reviews that consist mostly of the phrases that don’t tell me anything exactly about the product, like “it sucks”, “I used it and it was bad” or “better don’t waste your money”. While I try to read the helpful reviews – such reviews that tell about the specific advantages or disadvantages of the product, about some particular problems with it, like “the support didn’t answer my request in 12 days” or “the handle broke off on the second month”. With Forex broker reviews it’s often quite easy to tell the one from another. Some popular examples of the unhelpful reviews are (all reviews are actual reviews people left at EarnForex.com):
Fast Execution they have which is important to me. I like this broker.
This broker has been very good. Excellent and fast orders. Good support.
I don’t advice you this broker.he is the very bad broker I have never seen.
The helpful one would provide some useful detailed information instead:
The platform and system do work very well and so far support has been excellent.
They do charge a COMMISSION and it is rather HIGH. 2.95$ per 10,000.00 in and out. Here is what that means to you as the trader.
After this mornings trading April 6, 2010 my P/L showed 27.92$. Not bad for couple hours work however my net was only 8.18$ as they KEPT 19.74 $ in the form of COMMISSIONS.
JUST THE SIMPLE RAW TRUTH….I will not be here much longer.
BTW, one click executions take 360 seconds to 10 minutes with real account, be aware of these if u wanna open account … cuz today i am seeing kinda situations these days…
I opened a classic acc with this broker recently, so far so good. I like their new website.
no paypal (hope they will add it soon)
no automatic mbookers
Despite the fact that in my recent poll about the usefulness of the Forex reviews the majority of the voters said that they generally find them useful, I, unfortunately, can’t use it as an argument here because there were only 9 voters. And that’s quite a little selection to be an effective example.
Finally, I’d like to say several things about my own experience in keeping the reviews and ratings as real as possible at this site. I guess it will be interesting to know for many people:
* I filter out about 5 out of 10–12 reviews daily because they are fake reviews with a 99% probability. They are mostly bad reviews from the competition, but not always.
* About 50 rating votes per day are deleted because they are 100% fake (on some crazy days the number can be even as high as a thousand fake votes).
* I always approve the bad reviews for the brokers even if I am affiliated with it. For example, one of such brokers was marked as a scam by me after receiving some reviews and many of such brokers have requested to remove the bad reviews from their pages on my site and some of them even threatened to badmouth my site if I don’t do it.
* There was one case when I removed the genuine reviews of some Forex broker. It was by their author’s request because the broker wouldn’t return his money if I wouldn’t do it. I’ve removed the reviews, the person has got his money from the broker and I’ve returned the reviews back. I’ve got some threats from that broker afterward.
My final advice to all Forex traders is to look carefully not only at the reviews they are reading about the Forex broker that they are considering, but also to read its site carefully, try to communicate with the support team, call its office, check it out on demo account, then check out the real account execution with some really small amount of money and only then proceed to the actual trading with this broker. The reviews play only a small part here and only at the start, to get some basic image of the broker and their reputation among a rather limited number of traders. And sorry for taking so much of your time with this post.