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Our Methodology

Sophisticated, tested, reliable
Last modified: Dec 2019

Our goal is to help you find the right online broker. Everything you find on Brokerchooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We are proud to share with you how our 10+ years finance experience combined with readers feedback create the foundation of your Brokerchooser experience.

We check over 100 criteria per broker

Did you know?

  • All brokers on Brokerchooser are regulated by authorities
  • The review scores are independent of financial compensation from brokers

We check the same 9 most important aspects at all brokers. These aspects are based on 5 to 10 hard-set criteria which add up to over a 100, each of them scored separately. The 100 criteria involve minimal subjectivity as the most are fact based.

The scores are designed to both capture the quality of the brokers well and to rank brokers meaningfully.

We check brokers anonymously with a live account

Everything in our reviews is based on a first-hand experience: we open a live account at each broker and deposit real money. The broker does not know we are testing. During the test we mark a score for each of the criteria.

The final review takes shape based on readers' preferences

The criteria scores are aggregated to get the final score. The weighting of this criteria is based on readers’ preferences to make sure the final score really reflects your preferences. The analysis is translated into everyday language.

The review and the overall scores are sometimes discussed with brokers  We correct any factual mistakes based on a discussion with the given broker but we keep the final word on opinions. The review is then updated regularly to keep up with the latest changes.

A final note: all the brokers you come across on Brokerchooser are safe. How do we know? This is our top selection criteria. They are monitored by the world’s top-tier regulators and they are either listed on a stock exchange themselves or during our background check we concluded that they disclose their financials transparently.

The 9 aspects

1. Fees

We get the fees from the brokers’ sites. Checking it all: stocks, forex, funds etc. We reveal hidden costs and dig deep in both trading and non-trading fees: to uncover your real costs we calculate the fees for buying a position, holding it for one week and selling it.

2. Trading platforms

Whether a broker is available on the web, on various mobile devices, and on desktop computers will affect your trading comfort significantly. Each trading platforms are tested for general user experience and for specific features as well, like placing orders, authentication options or customizability.

3. Product portfolio

Brokers are scored based on the number of markets they make available to you and the number of products they offer. The broker that offers more products (i.e. from stocks to futures) will get a higher score than a broker that only offers CFDs.

4. Security

Getting a clear picture where the broker is regulated, what investor protection you get, what history and background the broker has is vital for the security of your investment. Such information are given high weights.

5. Account opening

We test the account opening process. Sometimes even the list of required documents can be unclear for you at the time you start to open an account. We inform you of several aspects i.e. the ease of the process itself, the number of base currencies or the minimum deposits required.

6. Deposit and Withdrawal

We deposit and withdraw our money to test it happens. The methods, costs and times required to deposit and withdraw money are of special interest to readers. All of these are weighted. A broker that allows the usage of credit cards for free is evaluated higher than one that makes only wire transfer available for a fee.

7. Customer service

Each support channels are tested personally by Brokerchooser team members. Customer service scores of each broker are based on 8 meaningful interactions with the support on all channels: live chat, email, phone.

8. Research

Higher costs can be justified by a range of in-depth, unique and useful research tools. These allow you to get information on the market sentiment, trends, tickers, and companies. We look at all of the research tools the broker offers.

9. Education

A well-structured and quality educational section can help to make both the platform and trading itself easier to understand and safer. Brokers with useful and information-packed education tools such as webinars, tutorial videos or a demo account have higher ratings.

Have a question or suggestion with regard to our methodology? We are eager to hear your feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time is spent with each broker?

  • Even though we have a sophisticated methodology and we know exactly what we want to check it takes a week to research and write each of the reviews you see on Brokerchooser. Imagine the amount of research we save you! If you are very thorough and spend 2 hours with each broker (no-one does that) it would still take you a full week to collect just the raw information.

How many people are working on this?

  • Our team is made up of 4 full-time people and 4 part-time colleagues.

How often do you refresh the data?

  • We do a huge update annually during which we redo the whole test, score each criterion again and rewrite the review for all brokers. Beyond this we keep tabs on all of the brokers during the rest of the year as well and make smaller adjustments 1-2 times a year to reflect the latest data.

Do you treat brokers who pay more differently?

  • No, and we never did. Actually we don’t get any revenue from half of the brokers. The brokers we do get revenue from are not necessarily the ones we recommend to our readers most of the times. This is because contrary to some of our competitors we first choose brokers who we think are good, test them, and then write the review.