Forex traders usually only think about themselves and what they can do in order to make more money for themselves. This is understandable, however it is good to know how Forex brokers make their money, as you will be the one paying for their services as an individual Forex trader. It is your right to know where your money is in fact going.
Forex brokers make their money in two different ways. The first way in which they make money is by taking a commission on every trade you place. ECN brokers will take a direct commission on each of your trades, however you will most likely be starting out with a market maker as a beginner and these brokers only take their commissions through the spreads.
Market makers make their money by building their fees into the spreads that you will receive on your Forex trading platform. Spreads are relatively simple. They are the differences between the “ask” and “bid” prices of currencies. The ask price is the price at which Forex brokers are willing to sell a currency at, and the bid price is the price at which brokers are willing to buy a currency at. You don’t need to get into detail. As long as you go with a broker who offers fixed and reasonable spreads, you will have nothing to worry about.
Forex brokers also make money by earning interest when you apply leverage to your trades. When you leverage your money, you essentially start controlling much greater amounts of capital. Since you are controlling more money, the Forex broker starts to earn more interest. This is not a cost to you of course, it is simply another revenue source for Forex brokers.
Another way in which Forex brokers make their money, is by taking the opposite side of a Forex trader’s position, allowing them to profit when the Forex trader loses. This will only be done by market makers in the industry. However, you have nothing to worry about as this is simply how they work. Once you are making a lot of money, then you might want to consider opening an account with an ECN broker, but until then a market maker is absolutely fine. A lot of Forex traders remain profitable with market makers for years.
Market makers aren’t evil by any means, they simply work differently from more high-end brokers. If you are just starting out, it would be highly recommended to go with a typical retail Forex broker. Once you are making a significant amount of money, or perhaps when you get to a stage where you are considering trading full-time, then might be a good time to think about signing up to a more high-end broker. As a beginner Forex trader though, it probably isn’t worth going straight to a high-end broker. You need to take one step at a time. You will know when you need to change your broker anyway, when the time comes.
In conclusion, Forex brokers make their money mainly through the spreads you will see on your Forex trading platform when looking at your price feeds and placing trades, direct commissions if you are trading with an ECN broker and interest which they earn when you start applying leverage to your trades and controlling more significant amounts of money.