Commission or Spread: Which Method of Profitability Do Forex Brokers Prefer?


Commission or Spread: Which Method of Profitability Do Forex Brokers Prefer?

When it comes to trading in the forex market, one crucial aspect to consider is the method of profitability used by forex brokers. Forex brokers facilitate the buying and selling of currencies and play a significant role in the forex market by connecting traders to the interbank market. In return for their services, forex brokers earn profits through various means, with the two primary methods being commission and spread.

Commission-based Forex Brokers

Commission-based forex brokers charge a fixed commission for every trade executed by their clients. This commission is usually a fixed percentage of the trade size or a fixed amount per lot traded. For instance, a broker may charge $5 per standard lot traded. The commission is separate from the spread and is charged in addition to it.


One advantage of the commission-based model is transparency. Traders can easily calculate the cost of their trades, as the commission is a fixed amount. This helps traders in evaluating the profitability of their strategies and managing their risk effectively. Additionally, commission-based brokers are less likely to manipulate the spread, as their main source of revenue is the commission charged.

Another advantage of commission-based brokers is that they often provide access to the interbank market. The interbank market offers direct access to liquidity providers such as large banks and financial institutions. This can result in tighter spreads, faster execution, and better trading conditions for traders.

However, commission-based brokers may not be suitable for all traders. Smaller traders who trade in small volumes may find the fixed commission to be a significant portion of their trading costs. For such traders, the spread-based model may be more cost-effective.

Spread-based Forex Brokers

Spread-based forex brokers earn their profits through the spread, which is the difference between the buying and selling price of a currency pair. When a trader executes a trade, they buy at the higher ask price and sell at the lower bid price. The difference between these two prices is the spread, which is effectively the cost of the trade.

Spread-based brokers do not charge a separate commission for each trade. Instead, they widen the spread to incorporate their profit. For example, if the interbank market spread for a currency pair is 0.5 pips, a spread-based broker may offer a spread of 1 pip or more, effectively earning the additional spread as profit.

One advantage of the spread-based model is that it is more suitable for traders who trade in small volumes. Since there is no separate commission charged, traders with smaller accounts can trade without worrying about a fixed commission eating into their profits. Additionally, spread-based brokers often offer variable spreads that may tighten during periods of high market liquidity.

However, the spread-based model does have its drawbacks. The main disadvantage is the lack of transparency. Traders cannot easily calculate the exact cost of their trades, as the spread may widen or tighten based on market conditions. This lack of transparency can make it challenging to evaluate the profitability of trading strategies accurately.

So, Which Method Do Forex Brokers Prefer?

When it comes to the preference of forex brokers, it varies depending on various factors. Some brokers may prefer the commission-based model as it offers transparency and a direct revenue stream. Others may prefer the spread-based model as it allows them to earn profits from a larger pool of traders, including those with smaller accounts.

It is worth noting that some brokers offer both commission-based and spread-based accounts, allowing traders to choose the model that suits their trading style and preferences. This flexibility caters to the diverse needs of traders in the forex market.

In conclusion, the method of profitability preferred by forex brokers depends on various factors such as their business model, target market, and the needs of their clients. Both commission and spread-based models have their advantages and disadvantages, and traders should carefully consider these factors when choosing a forex broker. Ultimately, the profitability of trading depends not only on the broker’s model but also on the trader’s skills, knowledge, and ability to navigate the forex market effectively.