Reviewing Broker Reviews: What Makes Them Truthful?

Updated on December 19, 2019
Amanda Bliss profile image

Amanda is a graduate student focusing on global economic trends.

If you are a fan of reading reviews like this author, you will agree when we say that not all broker reviews are truthful.

That’s also true for other kinds of reviews. Movie, book, and product reviews are sometimes worse than the item they are reviewing.

Reviewing Broker Reviews

Broker reviews are useful for those who plan to get the services of a broker.

We’re talking about money, and money is precious. We don’t want that to go to waste. Or worse, for us to get scammed.

That being said, there are good reviews out there. They are truthful, accurate, and really helpful to the reader.

So, what makes a good broker review?

NOTE: the images in this article are only screenshots to show the readers examples. This article in no way promotes any of the websites/service providers seen on the images.

It Provides a General Rating

Readers usually do not have a lot of time to spare when they search for broker reviews. Beginners, for instance, are typically antsy to start trading with a broker.

A good review provides a general rating that users can refer to if they do not wish to read all of the reviews in a list.

Look at the image below:

As you can see, it has a rating with stars that tells you right off the bat the overall impression of the reviewer.

At the same time, it also tells you just how high or low the broker ranks among the others it is reviewing. Just by looking at the rating and ranking, you already have of the quality of the broker is.

Emphasis on Special Features

Another telltale sign that the broker review you’re reading is good is that it provides emphasis on special features.

Look at this second screenshot:

This review does not tell you how the broker ranks or rates against other brokers. What it does tell you is the feature that sets the broker apart from the others.

For the case of this review, it says that OANDA is the “best for beginners.”

And in this one, they tell you that Saxo Bank is “best for research.”

Using this, you get a good grasp of what to expect from a broker.

Detailed but Well-Structured Body

This is a no-brainer. A good review provides as much information about the company as it can. Although each reader looks for different specific details, the following are usually the most important:

  • Trading conditions
  • Platforms (MT4, MT5, mobile, web, etc)
  • Markets
  • Assets
  • Accounts

Some reviews are not super comprehensive, but they nail down the most important aspects of working with a specific broker. Look at this:

This type of review gives the summary of the broker’s services using the stars system. Again, not all readers have the time to read the full review.

Most of the time, you’ll just skim and scan the review. This summary often comes after the full review, but it’s also not rare to see in the beginning.

As for the structure, it should have clear and easily readable divisions. If the review starts discussing the broker’s rates and commissions, and then swiftly shifts to its trading platform, it becomes apparent that the review is not well developed.

It Shows, Not Tells

More on the body of the review: it should show the reader how the broker provides services; not just tell it.

It should be informative AND descriptive. Remember, the review aims to give the readers a feel of the experience.

And perhaps the best way to do that is through video reviews.

In this broker review, the author let the audience explore not only the website of the broker but also its platform. It provided commentaries on how to navigate the website and platform.

At the same time, reading/watching the review becomes an immersive experience for the audience.

It Shows the Downsides Too

We want the review to be as truthful and fair as possible to the reader. As a result, a good review must contain the broker’s real or potential downsides.

It may be a glitchy trading platform, an inflexible withdrawal process, or even something as bad as a scam history and accusations.

You cannot expect these reviewers to be severely critical of a broker, but most truthful reviews almost always contain negatives.

See what we mean:

In this part of this review, the author initially provided some good points for the broker’s research features.

However, the author quickly set the reader’s expectations right by comparing the feature to those from other brokers.

As a result, you get a more objective look at the feature. At the same time, their comparison is easily verifiable. Check it for yourself, if you want to.

It Comes from A Reputable Reviewer

Broker reviews are easily believable when the person doing the review is visible.

Most of the time, readers want to know who’s telling them what.

It is actually one of the things that help them decide whether to believe the review or not.

Look at this profile of a reviewer.

For readers, it’s easy to believe whatever this person is writing because of his profile and credentials. With even further research (read: Googling), the user can verify his information.

It Compares with Other Reviews

This isn’t to say that the particular review you’re reading should say the same stuff other reviews are saying.

But a broker review should resonate, somehow, with some or most other reviews of the same broker. At the same time, it should offer something new to the reader.

Two reviews of the same broker may be contradictory. But it’s almost certain that you’ll find a middle ground.

In that case, it will be your duty to weigh which review proved its point more solidly. Which sounds more truthful and which one sounds a bit too good to be true? Which review answers more questions? What’s the general consensus of other reviewers?

In this screenshot, we can see how the website shows the average ratings reviewers give to the broker.

We won’t mention the broker. But by looking at this graph, we can say that more reviews gravitate towards the negative. Still, many other reviewers find it a good broker to use.

Summary

To wrap things up, here’s a quick recap of all the points a good broker review should have:

  • General Rating
  • Emphasis on Special Features
  • Detailed but Well-Structured Body
  • Shows, Not Tell
  • Shows the Downsides
  • Reputable Reviewer
  • Compares with Other Reviews

If the review ticks off all of these things, the broker review you’re reading is probably a truthful and accurate one.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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