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Overall

FOREX.com has plenty of options for Forex and CFD traders across its regulated offerings globally. It is a suitable choice for beginners and advanced traders as its platforms offer related trading tools.

By Steven Hatzakis / April 4th, 2017 / Updated: July 27th, 2017

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Trust Score
Dislikes
  • The web version of the platform relies on a plugin that is not compatible with many browsers.
  • The technical indicators and drawing features in the mobile app’s charting mode are hard to access because a navigation icon is not available in portrait mode.

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Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is part of GAIN Capital Holdings (NYSE:GCAP), which through its trading names and subsidiaries, including the City Index brand, today operates in multiple countries and with licenses in several major regulatory hubs, including the US, UK, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

Through its international offices, the GAIN Capital group caters to over 200,000 retail and institutional clients, and offers 50 currency pairs in foreign exchange markets and 28 CFDs across major asset classes through its FOREX.com brand.

FOREX.com combines economic news, technical analysis, and automated trading tools within its FOREXTrader PRO platform, and offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, as well as GAIN Capital’s GTX ECN platform for institutional traders.

Commissions & Fees

FOREX.com’s commission and fees vary per account type and are comparable to its peers, including FXCM, FxPro, Saxo Bank, IG, and other competitors, when calculating the total cost of a trade on major currency pairs such as the EUR/USD and across its various pricing plans for volume traders.

FOREX.com offers four different pricing models, depending on account type and tied to volume or account balance levels, ranging from typical spreads of 1.9 pips or as low as 1.5 pips – and down to 0.84 pips in its most aggressive pricing plan.

For example, spreads were as low as 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD using 2016 data from FOREX.com for Mini and Standard Account holders. Meanwhile, Premium Account holders – who deposit at least $10,000 and trade 30 standard lots per month – receive up to 15% lower pricing or as low as 1.2 pips on the EUR/USD.

Finally, FOREX.com offers an Active Trader program – just launched in October 2016 in the US –  with five tiers of pricing, starting from level one to level five. Level one starts with spreads as low as 1.4 pips on the EUR/USD for traders who have a balance of least $25,000 and then spreads are further reduced with each level as traders pass a certain month-to-date (MTD) trading volume threshold. Level five pricing in the Active Trader program brings spreads down to 0.84 pips on the EUR/USD for traders who surpass $500 million in MTD volume. 

Forex.comDukascopyFXCMOANDAFxPro
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.7000.4200.7601.0001.200
All-in Cost GBP/USD - Active1.5001.0801.3601.5001.600
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.3000.9201.2001.2001.200
Average Spread GBP/USD - Standard1.8001.5801.8001.7001.800
Commissions & Fees 4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars
Overall 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars

FOREX.com caters to beginner traders as well, with educational content optimized for newcomers, although spreads are not priced as competitively for Mini Accounts. You can start a live Mini Account with as little as 250 units of base currency to begin trading at FOREX.com, or start with $10,000 and receive premium status after trading 30 standard lots.

Customer Service

Overall, FOREX.com’s customer service was easy to access. I had a chance to speak with live chat representatives on several occasions and talk with customer support staff on the phone when I called the company’s general phone numbers listed on their website.

Our initial experience with customer service was via chat after the demo account had expired because a pop-up in the platform prompts the user to ‘click here’ to renew. Then a chat window appeared and a representative helped renew the demo manually.

FOREX.com could improve its customer service by making it a policy to ask callers for their name and contact information in cases when their inquiry cannot be resolved on the phone. This would help make for a more positive customer experience for first-time users who don’t know which department to reach, or in cases when a general support representative cannot answer their inquiry.

On a different occasion, when speaking with a customer support representative in the UK via phone, he was able to easily answer general questions related to the platform as well as technical inquiries. It’s also worth mentioning that FOREX.com provides weekend support on Saturdays from 9 am-5 pm EST.

All in all, FOREX.com ranked in the middle of the pack, providing an industry standard experience.

Research

FOREX.com does a great job in centralizing its research within the FOREXTrader PRO platform and keeping it well organized for clients to gain easy access from one place.

The majority of research within the platform is available alongside multiple news channels, and integrated next to automated pattern-recognition modules from AutoChartist, which filters emerging and current trade ideas based on technical analysis.

FOREXTrader PRO Market Chartist

Within the platform FOREXTrader PRO desktop software, categories include Technical Analysis, Pivot Points, Market Analysis, Patterns, Trade Ideas, Forex Insider, Today’s News, and an Economic Calendar under the ‘Research and Ideas’ tab. The Insights tab provides blog updates from FOREX.com’s global research team.

FOREX.com’s platforms are rich with research from multiple channels, whereas the website was much lighter in terms of research content, as observed during the time of our review. This is in stark contrast to sites such as FxPro, which house research content and tools on their blogs, or OANDA, which houses research under its MarketPulse offering, or FXCM’s DailyFX site, for example.

It looks like FOREX.com is trying to develop its Forex Insights section, as the page has taken on a new look following the rebranding of the FOREX.com logo and website in the US – whereas the UK site still had its classic look around the time of our review. 

Platforms & Tools

The FOREXTrader PRO platform FOREX.com offers is the company’s main platform and comes with a great charting package loaded with tons of technical indicators and drawing tools.

The desktop version of the platform is well organized with lots of features squeezed into a customizable layout that is easy to navigate with multiple tabs per window, and a top row menu bar with subcategories to switch between and customize different sections.

FOREXTraderPRO desktop Windows

Technical Analysis tools are available for both beginner and advanced traders within the charting module in the desktop version of FOREXTrader, including automated technical analysis from AutoChartist, which scans the markets for completed and emerging patterns and trade ideas.

This makes it easy for beginners and experienced traders to find trade ideas and emerging patterns as they are detected automatically in real time, thanks to the pattern-recognition software.

More advanced traders can develop their own automated trading systems from the Strategy Center located within the platform and choose from at least 16 strategies that are available by default.

Overall, the FOREXTrader PRO desktop version is well suited to advanced retail traders, yet also provides beginners with user-friendly and intermediate features to help accelerate the learning process.

ForexTRADER PRO is also heavy in news and research, with a Market Update function, Forex Insider commentary, and Today's News powered by Reuters, in addition to an economic calendar with upcoming forecasts. The watch list was easy to use and customize thanks to its simplicity based on just rows and columns of data.

FOREXTraderPRO desktop watch list windows

Users can make many customizations to the default layout of the platform and save their settings for future access in case the default platform doesn’t match their screen resolution or preferences.

Overall, the platform navigation is easy, and the various windows can be rearranged with a drag-and-drop feature – similar to other platforms, including FXCM’s Trading Station. FOREXTrader PRO has a host of other options that make the platform feel very rich, with many available configurations and parameters that can be customized.

The order ticket window on the desktop version of the platform has multiple options for order type and duration, among other parameters for adding stops and limits.

FOREXTraderPRO desktop Trade Ticket Windows

Traders can choose between market execution, which can be subject to slippage, or instant execution, which will only fill within a specified degree of tolerance or deviation from the requested price. The order ticket could be simplified, and may be too complex for beginners; on the other hand, experienced traders will probably find it highly accommodating.

A ‘close all’ button in the FOREXTraderPRO desktop platform enables all open positions to be liquidated with a single click, similar to OANDA’s close all button. This is a feature not all brokers offer; meanwhile, it can be useful for traders who want to exit all positions quickly.

Overall, the FOREXTrader PRO desktop version is well suited to advanced retail traders, yet also provides beginners with user-friendly and intermediate features to help accelerate the learning process.

Moving on to the web-based version of the FOREXTrader PRO platform, the platform could not load across the browsers we tested on a Windows 10 operating system, as the Silverlight plugin is no longer supported on Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and other popular web browsers. 

The web-based version of the platform only ran successfully for our review on the Safari browser on a Mac operating system, after the required Silverlight plugin was installed – yet demonstrated considerable lag between the time a feature – such as a trend line tool – was clicked and when the tool became activated.

FOREXTraderPRO Web Safari Mac

While FOREX.com's desktop and mobile versions of the FOREXTrader PRO platform rank highly, the web-based platform ranks lower (because of the plugin issue) compared to the web-based platforms of its competitors, including FxPro, FXCM, IG, OANDA, CMC Markets, and SaxoBank.

We would like to see FOREXTrader PRO run across a larger number of browsers, using a more widely accepted runtime environment such as HTML 5 or Java, as flash-based applications are slowly being phased out.  

FOREX.com also offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform, which supports automated trading strategies and is one of the most widely used retail trading platforms globally. MT4 lets users run their own trading systems or use systems obtained from third-party strategy developers.

In addition, GAIN Capital’s GTX Direct platform is reserved for traders who qualify as professionals or high-net-worth individuals who don’t already have a prime brokerage relationship.

The GTX Direct platform requires a minimum deposit of $100,000 for ECN access and provides tighter spreads, making it one of the company’s most competitive offerings but more for institutional traders than typical retail investors.

Mobile Trading

The FOREXTrader mobile app was very easy to navigate, and comes with a host of features. The mobile app has an economic calendar, alerts for live traders, market updates and news, and an easy way to scroll between prices, charts, and open positions.

The side menu provides easy access for you to get support via phone or live chat with FOREX.com; meanwhile, a number of educational videos for beginners are imbedded within the mobile app, and a FAQ section redirects users to the website from within the mobile app.

FOREXTraderPRO mobile quote screen

We would like to see an improvement in navigating the charting, as both the drawing features and technical indicator shortcuts are hidden from the display when the smartphone is held in portrait mode (vertically), as seen in the above screenshot. The shortcuts to technical indicators and drawing tools only appear in the upper right corner of the chart window when the phone is held in landscape mode (horizontally).

While this minor design problem appeared in version 2.5.9 of the FOREXTrader PRO mobile app, it may cause a user to believe there aren’t any drawing tools or technical indicators available for the charts, even though there are 26 indicators and 13 drawing tools we counted (after putting the phone in landscape mode).

Overall, trading and managing positions within the mobile app were easy, thanks to its fluid user interface and minimalist design. The summary, rates, and news tabs are on the top row, while less important categories are nestled in the easy-to-access side menu. The ForexTRADER PRO mobile app ranks highly with the mobile apps of other industry peers, including FXCM, OANDA, SAXO, and IG.

Other Notes

FOREX.com is a market maker. This can be a positive attribute as its ability to execute a trade will not rely on a third party the way an agency broker does, and thus trading with FOREX.com can result in potentially better execution in challenging market conditions.

The City Index brand was acquired by GAIN Capital in 2015, and operates as a separate entity with different platforms on offer – where clients of FOREX.com who wish to use a platform from City Index must open a separate account – even though certain staff at FOREX.com’s UK office cater to clients from both businesses (which share a common office).

Final Thoughts

GAIN Capital’s FOREX.com offering combines numerous important features for beginners and advanced traders, and its product offerings are rich, with multiple channels for technical analysis and economic news content, along with automated trading tools via the FOREXTrader PRO and MT4 platforms.

Considering the size of FOREX.com’s parent company, GAIN Capital, its years in operation, and management expertise and regulatory licenses in major jurisdictions, the brand is trusted by over 145,000 clients globally and has nearly $1 billion in assets.

Beginners can test drive a Mini Account with a minimum deposit of $250 at FOREX.com. If you are looking to access a broader range of asset classes and lower Forex spreads on the EUR/USD pair for the same deposit range, close alternatives for mini accounts are IG, FxPro, CMC Markets, and Plus500.

Overall, FOREX.com is an attractive choice and offers competitive pricing across its selection of platforms and products, where experienced traders can access premium account status with $25,000 when trading at least 30 standard lots per month, and highly competitive pricing is available on FOREX.com’s Active Trader account offering.

Methodology

For our 2017 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 20 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 255 variables. Learn more.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or currency pair. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more.

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Steven Hatzakis

Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Over the past 18 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.


Ratings Overall

Summary

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Education

Best in Class

2017
 5

Overall
  • Overall
  • Research
  • Investor Education

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Trading CFDs and FX involves a high degree of risk. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 4/05/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The ForexBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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