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big difference in charts between oanda/alpari, why ?

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Hello all,

 Hopefully this is the right place to ask this kind of question, it seems to be totally about developing stuff here, but since this is MT4 forms so I guess this topic might be in the right place, hopefully!

 I'm trying to decide which broker should I go with, choosing between the famous two, Oanda & Alpari... downloaded MT4 for each of them, and started seeing so much difference in the "charting" between both versions..


The above snapshots are both on the hourly frame, the discrepancies  between both are huge... I always thought the data should be exact since every pip makes a difference for a trader...

Please check the 6 candles on the left example and how they differ from one another... and for the right example, it shows that alpari makes all the week days of the same size, while oanda kind of splits a part of friday and monday and makes them as a one day, which ofcourse makes the daily charts of both brokers totally different...


May someone please advise me which one is better for technical analysis ? which one shows the actual market data ?

for instance, since we are in the weekend, I'll write down the ask/bid values of EUR/USD for both brokers, which are so different from one another:

Oanda: 1.36031 - 1.36136  //  Alpari: 1.36012 - 1.36112

How are they so different ? which broker's charting MT4 is showing actual market values ? which one is more reliable, for example, if I take gaps so much into consideration, which broker's MT4 is more reliable when it comes to gaps ?


Lastly, I googled a lot to decide which broker is better than the other, it seems like oanda have lower spreads but they are market makers with dealing desks, while alpari have wider spreads but enables their clients to act directly with the market (ECN) ... so it looks like alpari is a better choice overall, am I thinking it right??


Sorry for the long post and many thanks in advance for your help 

Ali Akcaagac
Ali Akcaagac  

Well both charts are correct. What you miss here is the basic understanding of Market Makers and how they work.

FOREX is mostly a uncontrolled area, where you deal with so called "Market Makers". See it as kind of big market, where 100 people are selling apples. The one sells them for 1.3512 per kilo, the other for 1.3514 per kilo at the same time. There is NO exact match from one Market Maker to the next. They all buy, sell, alter, manipulate, cheat their prices to make their own living out of it. FOREX can be seen as not controlled market compared to the stock market.

Also you need to understand that the data sent to you on a demo account (I assume this to be the case) can also be sent to you with a delay of 15-20 minutes. A lot of Brokers do this to avoid feeding people with free live feeds. This can also cause the big differences in your hourly candles. If for example BrokerA sents you a feed with 5 mins delay and BrokerB sents you a feed with 10 mins delay, then you might end up with such a result.

As an advise to every trader I can assure, that it's always best to have 2-3 different sources of DATA FEEDS to make sure that your Broker is not cheating you. I always trade with what my Market Maker provides me as data and I also have a live feed with other data. This makes me able to compare and see the real live feed and what my Broker sents to me.

Which Broker to decide is hard to say but I can assure you that they all have ways and algorithms to rip off the people. FOREX is not just about buying and selling. It's also about surviving your Broker from ripping you off. There is much more to consider and you need to be highly skeptical with everything. The FOREX market is full of sharks ripping you off in a blink of a second.

Make sure you never tell your basics and trading styles to anyone. Not even your Broker.

Be careful with setting stop losses and take profits. You store these infos on the systems of your Broker. They might initialize stop hunting.

Never store your settings on your Brokers machine. There are various trading platforms (thinkorswim, protrade, etrader ...) who stores your setup on their machines. Moving Averages, Chartsetup, Indicators etc.. It's like telling them what you do.

Finally I am glad that you did this comparison and figured this "misbehaviour" out on your own.

Ali Akcaagac
Ali Akcaagac  
While I am online again. You also need to look further into the contracts of the brokers. It's not just DATA that matters. What also matters is the rest. Comissions, fixed or variable spreads, customer service, emergency numbers (to call them up once your internet is blown up), overnight rates etc. Some brokers allow free CASH IN but charges money once you want to CASH OUT. e.g. you open an account with 500 USD. Opening costs you 0 USD. And once you trade your account to say 600 USD and want to cash out a bit then plenty of brokers charge you 10-30 USD for that one cash out. E.g. 600 USD and you want to take off 100 USD then in reality you might end up getting 70 USD. Also watch out how long the cash out takes. I write this because a lot of brokers believe that once you pay in that you are already screwed. They treat your money as theirs. So watch out to not end in a bucket shop.

That was so much informative, thank you sir for taking the time to explain all of that!

I've been trading in local stock market for a while till I decided to change to forex, maybe that's why I thought Forex is as controlled as stock markets, I am used to consider chart data as facts.. however, in my local stock market(Egypt), the data feed is 100% controlled, but, there is so much more corruption in the stocks movements and news/rumors, the market isn't regulated by any means to protect small/average traders, they only protect the BIG POCKETS even if they are corrupted, which most of them are! I would definitely choose the forex market over my local stock market even if the data feeds aren't as controlled

So, when I go live with a broker, I should still keep one or two demo accounts from another providers to get a better overview of the market and catch any strange behavior in my broker's data feed...

Both oanda and alpari have MT4 and that's the platform I kind of got used to, so I guess MT4 is storing everything(except SL & TP) locally ? which should be fine... I believe I saw some code here in the forum that makes SL locally, and if the price hit it, then it will send the order to the server for immediate execution, that should make it totally safe to hide SL/TP from my broker?

 I've read a lot about hunting stops, and I never understood why brokers do it, isn't it better for them if my account stayed alive, so that they keep making money out of the leverage interest and spread/commission values ?

Following your post, I digged more into alpari website to find answers your points, that's what I came up with so far:

1- Alpari applies NDD/ECN to all their plans, shouldn't that be enough to eliminate the probability of hunting stops ?

2- Just as you said, deposits costs nothing, while withdrawal costs 10~13 GBP per transaction, so I guess I shouldn't be withdrawing small amounts of money, incase I made any profits at all !

3- They(alpari) have variable spreads, which I found to be wider than those of Oanda's variable spreads, but I can accept that if they really provide ECN which Oanda doesn't... 

4- emergency numbers, I didn't check that yet with them, but I guess I have some kind of redundancy when it comes to internet, ADSL line at home and Mobile data on mobile, so if the home ADSL is down, I still can take actions using MT4 on mobile...

5- They don't charge commission on the "market account", which I intend to open..

Sorry again for the long post aakcaagac, but I really need all the help I can get before putting real money in the forex market, I traded actual money in the local market and lost a lot because of the unbearable corruption, now I've been trading on oanda's demo account for a couple of months, and will trade for more two months on alpari's demo account before actually putting real money with either of them... hopefully I won't be wiped out "again" 

probably weekend bars at Oanda make the difference.
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