Some knowledge of the forex market’s intricacies is necessary before you can successfully operate as a trader.
Even with the best forex broker for beginners and access to the best forex trading courses, it could take an extended period of time of study and preparation to develop a viable and consistently profitable trading strategy.
You can participate in the forex market without actively trading by funding a managed forex account, similar to how you might invest in mutual funds to gain access to the stock market.
A managed forex account allows you to indirectly take part in the forex market by employing market professionals to trade your money for you.
Best Managed Forex Accounts:
- Alpari International
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What’s a Managed Forex Account?
Unlike a regular forex trading account, where you make all the trading decisions and actively buy and sell currency pairs, a managed forex account consists of a trading account where a trader or money manager trades on your behalf.
This type of account has higher costs and fees than a standard forex trading account and requires a higher minimum deposit in most cases.
A money manager deals with market logistics very similarly in a forex managed account compared to traditional equity and bond investment accounts. Nevertheless, the account remains completely under your control, and the money manager’s only access to your account is the ability to trade in it.
The money manager cannot make deposits or withdraw funds from the account. Remember, making a profit in a managed account is not guaranteed due to the volatility in the forex market, so all managed accounts should provide a disclaimer stating that you can lose money.
Most clients give their money manager complete control over transactions made in their managed forex account, although you can often instruct the money manager on the strategies and trading signals you would like them to consider as they trade on your behalf. This effectively takes you out of the trading picture so you can avoid the emotions and psychological issues that accompany winning and losing trades.
Remember, not all forex brokers are created equal, so carefully consider your needs and broker features before you open an account. Furthermore, if you wish to have someone else manage your forex trading account, be sure they have adequate training and infrastructure at their disposal as well as a respectable track record as a trader.
Keep in mind that once you open a managed account, account managers will generally have minimum time and deposit requirements and sometimes charge penalties for early fund withdrawal. Minimum deposits for these accounts can also be considerably higher than for a standard forex account.
Is a Managed Forex Account Right for Me?
How involved do you want to be in the forex market? If you want full personal involvement and complete control over your forex positions and capital, then a managed account might not be for you.
On the other hand, if you prefer to have a professional trade for you and risk your money according to their established trading methods and/or software, then a managed forex account may be best. When you open your managed account, the trader you hire should screen you to determine your risk tolerance level and take note of specific strategy instructions you may have.
Managed Forex Accounts are Great for You If…
- Are busy and can’t watch the market
Many people simply don’t have the time, experience or disposition to trade in the forex market. Paying attention is a full-time commitment, but career or family obligations can distract and divert your attention. A managed forex account gives you the freedom to pursue other activities that you otherwise might not be able to.
- Prefer to let someone else do the trading
If you have ever traded in the forex market, you have an idea of the directional uncertainty most traders suffer and the notable volatility currency pairs can exhibit. Know your limitations if you have a problem taking losses and opt to employ a trading professional instead.
- Don’t have the psychological make-up of a trader
Some people lack the psychological personality types best suited for trading. For example, if you can never admit when you’re wrong, holding onto a losing position could wipe out your entire trading account. Another example would be a predisposition to overtrading because you find trading exciting. However, trading excess can also take its toll financially, physically and mentally. Rather than risk trading yourself, you may want to find a good account manager.
- Want to plan for the future.
If you want to plan for the future, you are likely holding assets for long periods of time and need a sort of custodian to manage your assets. As a result, you can use a managed account that aims to accomplish these goals. Choose a broker with managed accounts that will work with you, discuss your goals and ensure you reach those goals. A managed account allows you to effectively forget about your investments, knowing they are managed properly and gaining value.
Managed Accounts Might Not Be a Fit If…
- You want complete control of your trading and finances
If you have trading experience and prefer to stay in complete control of your trading account and the allocation of your assets, then you would probably not be happy with a managed forex account.
- You lack enough risk capital
Minimum deposits for a pooled managed account usually start at $2,000 and individually-managed accounts start with a $10,000 deposit. This could deter some traders from opting for a managed account.
- You want to make quick cash.
You can invest in the forex market to make quick cash, but you often need complete control of your account to do so. A managed account cannot make quick cash, the way an experienced investor would earn profits with short-term investments. If you plan to make quick cash, you might want a separate account to operate manually.
- You don’t want to go through the process required for opening a managed forex account
Getting a decent account manager requires some research and considerably more paperwork than trading your own account. It also involves signing a limited power of attorney agreement (LPOA) that is a legal document and shows that you have authorized the account manager to trade on your behalf.
Keep in mind that you can still lose money in a managed account, depending on the money manager, risk level, market activity and other conditions of your agreement. You should, therefore, check track records and testimonials for any account managers you consider and make sure that they have a good reputation within the trading community.
Features of a Great Managed Forex Account
A great managed forex trading account will show consistent overall profitability, as well as a low maximum drawdown level. The maximum drawdown level indicates the maximum loss of capital experienced in the trading account from its peak over the history of the account.
The maximum drawdown formula
(Equity high net value – Equity low net value) / Equity high net value
As an example of maximum drawdown, let’s assume you begin your account with $10,000, which then increases to $20,000, decreases to $9,000, increases to $21,000, falls to $6,000 and then increases to $22,000.
In this case, the equity high net value would be $22,000, while the equity low net value would be $6,000. This would give you a maximum drawdown of: ($22,000 – $6,000) / $22,000 = 72%, which would be considered high. The wide swings in the account’s value reflect the high maximum drawdown and suggest a risky investment.
The lower the maximum drawdown over time, the less risk the funds in the account have been exposed to. When you consider different account managers, the maximum drawdown level of the account statements they provide as evidence of their track record carries considerable weight.
Ideally, a time frame of three to five years for an account under management would give you a clear indication of the managed account’s maximum drawdown.
Other features of managed accounts
- What kind of return on investment (ROI) can you expect on your money?
- The type of managed account model to be used:
- Percentage allocation management module (PAMM),
- Lot allocation management module (LAMM), or
- Multi-account management module (MAMM)
- The type of trading and trading system the manager employs
- Are derivatives part of the trading strategy?
- Which type of signal or automated trading software will be used, if any, and what risk parameters does the software employ?
The way to find the best forex broker for managed accounts is to find an account manager you want to work with and then ask them which well-regulated broker he prefers to use.
If you already have a broker in mind, they may even have account managers they can recommend. Look over the account management agreement, past account statements showing an acceptable performance and the manager’s prospectus for their managed accounts, if any.
Get a sense of minimum deposit, drawdown policy, withdrawal limitations and penalties, profit-sharing parameters and risk levels for their different managed accounts. A prospectus should also include contact and background information for the manager who oversees your account.
The Best Forex Brokers with Managed Accounts
To keep your money safe, decide on an established forex broker to open a managed forex account and look for an individual account manager or group you feel is qualified to trade your account.
The brokers listed below all permit managed accounts, though doing your own research makes sense if you want to get a good return from their manager’s activities.
Based in Cyprus, FXTM is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) in Belize. FXTM offers clients a PAMM managed account and also offers copy trading.
Headquartered in Mauritius, HotForex is regulated by CySEC, the FCA, the South African Financial Conduct Services Authority (FSCA) and the Dubai Financial Services Authority. HotForex offers clients a PAMM account with a search engine to customize your managed accounts’ performance by filtering strategies, current ranking, PAMM strategy name, maximum drawdown and minimum deposit.
One of the largest brands in the industry, Mauritius-based Alpari has oversight from CySEC and the Belize International Financial Services Commission.
This broker has over 20 years of experience and offers a long list of PAMM accounts that you can choose from. Alpari’s list of PAMM accounts has both conservative and aggressive account managers and includes both maximum drawdown and capitalization information for each manager.
If you want to participate and make money in the forex market but you don’t want to trade on your own, then a managed forex account could be a perfect fit.
Keep in mind that, in addition to significantly higher minimum deposit requirements, you can be charged anywhere from 15% to 40% (or more) of your profits. You may also have to pay brokerage and additional manager fees, depending on the account specifics.
On the other hand, if you lack sufficient risk capital for a managed account or prefer to trade your own money, then you may be better off trading in a regular forex trading account, especially if you already have a viable trading strategy.
In addition to privacy, trading in a standard forex account gives you much more flexibility and has significantly lower costs than a managed forex account.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a managed forex account?
Managed forex is where you deposit funds into the account and an account manager trades it on your behalf.
How many forex accounts can I have?
You can have as many forex accounts as you want. The best approach is to work with 1 or 2 brokers.
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