For traders who appreciate advanced trading tools and quality market research, FXCM is a winner – especially for algorithmic trading. Though its range of tradeable markets is growing, it remains fairly narrow, and the pricing at FXCM is just average.
FXCM pros & cons
- Founded in 1999, FXCM Group (FXCM) is a Leucadia Company, which falls under the arm of Jefferies Financial (NYSE: JEF).
- FXCM is regulated in three tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs.
- In our testing, FXCM earned Best in Class (top 7) for its Platforms and Tools, Education, Professional Trading, Algorithmic Trading and Social Copy Trading. There’s no question; FXCM delivers in the areas important to traders.
- FXCM publishes detailed monthly execution reports highlighting slippage statistics and trade execution quality across all order types.
- In addition to the native Signals market on MetaTrader, FXCM offers the ZuluTrade platform for copy trading.
- FXCM is a leader in algorithmic trading solutions, whether you’re a beginner using Capitalise.io or an advanced coder using Python.
- Research and educational content are of good quality, but trails category leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank in terms of quantity and variety.
- FXCM offers a limited selection of CFDs, while access to its vast array of exchange-traded securities is segmented away in a different account and platform.
- Effective spreads (with commissions factored in) for forex and CFD trading are slightly higher than the industry average.
- Although a wide variety of third-party platforms are supported for algorithmic trading, MetaTrader 5 (MT5) is not available at FXCM.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
|Mobile Trading Apps|
Is FXCM safe?
FXCM is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 96 out of 99. FXCM's parent company is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by three tier-1 regulators (high trust), three tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). FXCM is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and via Friedberg Direct, with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of investments
The range of products available to you will depend on which global entity under the FXCM Group houses your trading account. In addition to a growing selection of nearly 300 CFDs that includes fractional shares and 42 forex pairs, FXCM offers exchange-traded securities across 43 exchanges in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to FXCM clients.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available at FXCM through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents.
FXCM offering of investments:
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||276|
|Forex Pairs (Total)||42|
|US Stock Trading (Non CFD)||Yes|
|Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Crypto Disclaimer (UK)||Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents (except to Professional clients).|
Commissions and fees
FXCM’s pricing for forex trading is slightly higher than the industry average.
Standard account spreads: Using the time-weighted average tradeable prices from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, all-in spreads on the EUR/USD at FXCM were 1.4 pips, which is higher than the industry average (although it is worth noting that Q2 2020 saw more volatility due to the coronavirus’ impact on markets).
Active trader discounts: FXCM’s Active Trader Rebate Program (not available in the U.K. or EU) has five tiers. Depending on the tier, traders can receive a rebate ranging from $5 per million traded (Tier One) to as much as $25 per million traded (Tier Five). It’s good, but not great – Tickmill and FP Markets offer far more competitive pricing for active traders. For example, FXCM’s commission-based pricing has low underlying spreads of 0.2 pips during peak hours (using Q2 2020 data for the EUR/USD), yet the effective spread is closer to 1.1 pips after including the commission-equivalent of $0.90 per mini lot.
Active Trader requirements: The requirements for each tier may vary depending on which FXCM Group entity you use. In the U.K., for example, a $25,000 account balance with at least $50 million (or 500 lots) of monthly volume will see the commission per side drop to $3 ($6 round-turn). This brings the effective spread to 0.8 pips, based on an average core price of 0.2 pips (using Q2 2021 data for the EUR/USD). Above $150 million in monthly volume, commissions drop slightly to $5 per round turn, which would bring the effective spread to 0.7 pips in the above example. Deeper discounts are available if you trade over $500 million per month at FXCM.
Execution methods via order type: FXCM offers “At Market” orders, which have the potential for slippage, and “Market Range” orders, which are less likely to experience slippage but can be rejected if the requested price or price range is no longer available. Likewise, limit orders are more likely to experience positive slippage. I found the ability to select execution type by order to be more favorable than having the execution method separated by account type like FxPro does.
Other notes: FXCM publishes detailed monthly execution statistics, showing the percentage of orders filled with positive or negative slippage across its offered order types. Through the 8 months ending August 31, 2021, FXCM delivered average price improvements on at least 23.78% of orders executed each month, compared to negative slippage on just 12.69% of total orders. The remaining 63.54% of monthly orders experienced zero slippage. According to its spread widget, the effective spreads at FXCM on the EUR/USD in August 2020 are closer to 1 pip than the displayed price. This effective spread is due to the likelihood of price improvements (primarily on its limit orders).
FXCM pricing summary:
|Minimum Deposit||Starts from $50|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.4 (Q2 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||1.1 (Q2 2020)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
|Execution: Agency Broker||Yes|
|Execution: Market Maker||Yes|
Mobile trading apps
Thanks to its combined offering of both Trading Station and MetaTrader 4 (MT4), FXCM delivers a reliable, feature-rich mobile experience for forex traders.
Apps overview: FXCM doesn’t offer the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform, but the broker makes up for that shortcoming with its wide support for third-party algorithmic trading platforms.
Ease of use: Though the Trading Station mobile app may appear to lack an official watchlist function, it’s worth noting that traders can select instruments for display, and that these instruments will sync across devices and platforms. Also, the app includes a comprehensive trade ticket, which offers advanced order types such as one-cancels-other (OCO) orders.
Charting: With nearly 60 indicators and multiple drawing tools, charting in the FXCM mobile app is a pleasure. Trendlines can be drawn with precision thanks to a magnifying glass feature that auto-zooms while dragging the trendline into position.
FXCM mobile trading:
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
Other trading platforms
With its wide range of available platforms and deep offering of trading tools, FXCM has set the bar high and competes among the best brokers in the industry. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced algorithmic trader, FXCM has plenty of options, and as a result FXCM finished Best in Class, Platforms and Tools in our 2022 Review. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced algorithmic trader, FXCM has plenty of options.
Platforms overview: FXCM’s platforms include its proprietary Trading Station platform, MetaTrader 4 (MT4), TradingView, and NinjaTrader 8 – all of which support algorithmic trading. FXCM also offers ZuluTrade for social copy trading and Trader Workstation, powered by Interactive Brokers, for stocks.
Charting: FXCM’s flagship trading platform, Trading Station, caters to forex traders of all skill levels. One highlight is the Marketscope 2.0 charting tool, which is a powerful charting package that runs parallel to the main platform window. Trading Station is a viable competitor to MetaTrader, and features complex back-testing options such as the ability to account for potential historical slippage and trading costs.
Trading tools: The web version of Trading Station comes with a respectable array of features wrapped in a responsive and modern design. I found the platform to be rich with options, with news headlines, videos, research, signals, and analysis from Trading Central, along with links to external resources. Trading Station’s web version provides 55 charting indicators (almost as many as the desktop version) and its 26 drawing tools are generally easy to use. There are even seven predefined layouts to choose from, such as the News Trader theme.
NinjaTrader desktop: It’s worth noting that the latest version of NinjaTrader (version eight) for desktop is available at FXCM. The platform features numerous trading tools, automated trading capabilities, and the ability to create trading strategies and indicators from scratch using NinjaScripts. Similar to the MetaTrader platform, NinjaTrader users can either make their own or choose from over 1,000 NinjaScripts developed by third parties. NinjaTrader also has a market replay and analyzer tool, alongside over 150 default indicators.
Algorithmic trading: The FXCM App store provides various add-ons, technical indicators, and automated trading robots. FXCM supports a wide array of specialty platforms, including QuantConnect, MotiveWave, AlgoTerminal, AgendaTrader, Sierra Chart, NeuroShell Trader, StrategyQuant, Capitalise, and the Seer Trading Platform for algorithmic trading. There is also a dedicated technical support team to assist traders in developing their MT4 Expert Advisors (EAs).
FXCM trading platform:
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Market||Yes|
FXCM provides a respectable variety of market research from a combination of in-house content and third-party materials. Overall, FXCM’s research is a touch above the industry average and will satisfy most forex traders, though it’s not as rich or diverse as what’s offered by the best brokers in this category.
Research overview: FXCM’s research tools include premium content from Trading Central, news headlines from Investing.com and FxStreet, and a market screener tool on FXCM’s website. There is also premium content available from eFX Data, which I found to be a source for high-quality market analysis. Finally, FXCM Plus provides signals and trading ideas powered by Trading Central, alongside Autochartist which is available as an indicator from the FXCM app store.
Market news and analysis: FXCM produces a Daily Snapshot video series on its YouTube channel that features market coverage from its in-house analysts. There is also the recently launched FXCM Market Talk podcast, and daily articles as part of its Market News section. I found the Insights section rich, yet more focused on educational content than up-to-the-minute market developments.
If you reside in the EU: Some of FXCM’s research services and content are not available to EU residents, such as its Insights in-house research (e.g., trading signals, live online classroom, SMS trade alerts, video library, and trade volatility tool).
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
FXCM’s in-house education is above average, and primarily takes the form of articles, videos, and content produced for its YouTube Channel.
Learning center: FXCM’s diverse range of written content includes two comprehensive guides, as well as a vast library of articles (nearly 200 in total) that cover topics like trading tips and strategies, charting, and indicators. It also provides a selection of articles broken down by experience level, with options for beginner, intermediate, and advanced traders.
Room for improvement: FXCM’s video library has dozens of videos, and has been updated to include embedded content from its YouTube channel. That said, I’d like to see FXCM expand its educational video content beyond platform tutorials and archived webinars.
Finally, some of FXCM’s educational content is only available if your balance exceeds certain minimum thresholds. While minimum balance requirements could incentivize some traders to utilize the educational resources, I think it’s better to make the content free for all clients. Motivation can instead be inspired by creating interactive courses that feature quizzes and incorporate progress tracking. It’s worth mentioning that — while your trading account balance must meet a threshold to access certain educational content — FXCM also offers vouchers of up to $500 that you can use to buy apps from its Apps store.
|Has Education - Forex or CFDs||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||Yes|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||Yes|
FXCM is an excellent choice for algorithmic forex traders thanks to its wide array of related platform options that provide advanced charting tools and support automated trading strategies.
FXCM is also a great option for beginners, due to its wide range of educational materials and easy-to-use platforms, including its latest integration with TradingView.
For forex and CFDs trading, FXCM ranked Best in Class in 2022 across multiple categories, including Platforms and Tools, Education and Professional Trading.
Since 1999, FXCM, also known as Forex Capital Markets, has been a pioneer in developing online forex offerings for retail traders. With its headquarters in London, FXCM has grown to have multiple international offices and is licensed in several major regulatory hubs globally. With its exit from the U.S. market in 2017, FXCM no longer accepts U.S. clients. Today, FXCM operates as a subsidiary of Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE: JEF), formerly known as Leucadia. Jefferies holds $53 billion in total assets as of its latest annual report for 2020. Read more on Wikipedia.
2022 Review Methodology
For our 2022 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 39 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.
Each broker was graded on 113 different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm. This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure. Read about Trust Score here.
As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy.
Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, 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 related instrument. 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.
About the Author
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. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.