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FXCM Review

Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis | July 11th, 2019

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.

The ForexBrokers.com Annual Review (3 years running) is among the most cited in the industry. Our Head of Research, Steven Hatzakis, is frequently referenced as a leading analyst covering forex brokers and cryptocurrency. Learn more.

Since 1999, FXCM 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.

As a subsidiary of Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF), formerly known as Leucadia, the FXCM Group has multiple entities in major jurisdictions, including entities regulated in the UK, Australia, South Africa and indirect affiliated offices in Canada, and Japan.

Review Summary

Rank: 9th (of 28)

While its range of tradeable markets is narrow, FXCM caters well to high-volume traders, algorithmic traders, and traders that appreciate robust charting tools and quality market research.

Benefits

  • Trading Station platform comes loaded with algorithmic trading tools.
  • The FXCM App store offers multiple third-party platforms.
  • Regulated in multiple major financial jurisdictions.
  • Excellent educational resources.

Considerations

  • Discontinued offering CFDs trading on single shares.
  • Narrow range of tradeable markets.
  • Mini accounts are not offered.
  • No longer accepts US clients after losing US regulatory license.

Is FXCM Safe?

help 90
Trust Score

FXCM is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 90 out of 99. FXCM is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by three tier-1 regulators (high trust), two 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), Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.

Regulations Comparison

FeatureFXCMeToroPepperstoneIG
Year Founded1999200720101974
Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes No No Yes
Bank No No No Yes
Tier-1 Licenses3226
Tier-2 Licenses2104
Tier-3 Licenses0000
Trust Score90887999

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 19th (of 28)

FXCM shines most in its Active Trader account offering, where low commission rates and average spreads provide competitive pricing for high volume traders.

Benefits

  • Using the time-weighted average tradable prices from July 1, 2018 to September 30, 2018, all-in spreads for Standard accounts at FXCM are 1.3 pips on pairs such as the EUR/USD and USD/JPY.
  • Active Trader accounts are available for clients that deposit at least $25,000, which come with a lower commission rate of $25 per million and access to premium research. For example, Active Trader accounts are charged as low as £4 per standard round-turn lot (£2 per side) on the EUR/USD pair, bringing the all-in cost to roughly 0.45 pips, based on average spreads of 0.2 pips for Active Trader accounts using the above referenced period.

Considerations

  • Standard account holders are only charged the prevailing spreads, where traders realize the spread on each trade, whereas Active Trader accounts are charged a commission per trade, in addition to prevailing spreads.
  • After discontinuing its mini account offering in 2018 and switching its commission-based Standard Account to spread only, the broker’s offering is more focused.
  • Dealing Desk accounts are not subject to the FX Commission pricing model at FXCM, such as the Standard Account, and may include a markup in the case of an intermediary, such as an introducing broker, as per FXCM UK’s November 2018 rate card.

Further Reading

Fees Comparison

FeatureFXCMeToroPepperstoneIG
Minimum Initial Deposit$0.00$200$200.00£250.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.303.001.160.750
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.800N/A0.8600.363
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commissions & Fees 3.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4.5 Stars

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 5th (of 28)

FXCM sets a high bar. The broker offers a growing range of trading platforms and tools for algorithmic trading, including its Trading Station platform and third-party platforms such as MetaTrader4 (MT4) and NinjaTrader, which are accessible via desktop, the web, and mobile.

Benefits

  • FXCM’s main trading platform, Trading Station, does well at catering to the entire spectrum of what a forex trader needs, regardless of skill level. The Marketscope 2.0 charting feature within the platform, which seems like an entire additional platform on its own, is a powerful charting package that runs in parallel to the main platform window.
  • The web version of Trading Station runs smoothly and comes with a respectable array of features, including news, videos, research, market data signals, and links to external resources. Charts pack nearly the same number of indicators as the desktop, with 50 available, and the platform’s 18 drawing tools were generally easy to use.
  • Trading Station aside, it’s worth noting that the NinjaTrader platform from FXCM features numerous trading tools, including automated trading capabilities, where trading strategies and indicators can be created from scratch using NinjaScripts.
  • The FXCM App store provides various add-ons, technical indicators, and automated trading robots for its Trading Station, MetaTrader 4, and NinjaTrader platforms, as well as access to third-party products and platforms such as the Seer Trading Platform for algorithmic trading.
  • There is a dedicated technical support team to assist traders in developing their MetaTrader4 Expert Advisors (EAs). The team will even help code strategies for clients for a nominal fee.

Considerations

  • I was pleased to see the web version of Trading Station upgraded to HTML and that new features were added. However, I did notice a few minor usability issues while trying to resize windows or open a widget into full screen or detach mode. Small quirks aside, the platform has made a major leap ahead, and I look forward to watching it evolve further.
  • FXCM’s Trading Station platform and the company’s Active Trader offering can appeal to the sophisticated trader, while newcomers may face a steeper learning curve due to the advanced platform features that may require getting used to in conjunction with FXCM’s educational materials.
  • While NinjaTrader doesn’t come pre-loaded with trading strategies, users can either make their own or use third-party developed NinjaScripts, similar to the way in which the MT4 platform operates. The platform also has a market replay and analyzer tool alongside over 150 indicators.

Gallery

Further Reading

Tools Comparison

FeatureFXCMeToroPepperstoneIG
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes Yes No Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes No Yes Yes
Web Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes No Yes Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No No Yes No
cTrader No No Yes No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)51675122
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)31143117
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes No Yes Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields76712
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platform & Tools 4.5 Stars 4 Stars 3.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Customer Service

Rank: 14th (of 28)

To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.

Results

  • Average Connection Time: <3 minutes
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 6.3 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 4.6 / 10
  • Overall Score: 5.8 / 10
  • Ranking: 14th (23 brokers)
  • View Infographic

Research

Rank: 8th (of 28)

FXCM provides forex traders with a wide variety of market research tools and resources that will absolutely satisfy the majority.

Benefits

  • FXCM’s research tools including premium content from Trading Central, news headlines from Investing.com, as well as a market screener tool and a pattern-recognition scanner developed in conjunction with Grid Sight Technologies LTD, which is made available as an indicator.
  • It’s worth noting that FXCM has done a good job in incorporating educational information into its research, including webinars and its trading university program. FXCM finished in third place for Education in our 2019 review.
  • In 2018 FXCM launched Quant News, featuring webinars, videos, and news articles for algorithmic traders.

Considerations

  • None.

Gallery

Further Reading

Research Comparison

FeatureFXCMeToroPepperstoneIG
Daily Market Commentary Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes No Yes Yes
Weekly Webinars Yes No No Yes
AutoChartist No No Yes Yes
Trading Central (Recognia) Yes No No No
Delkos Research No No No No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Economic Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research 4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 4.5 Stars

Mobile Trading

Rank: 6th (of 28)

Thanks to the combination of Trading Station and MetaTrader4 (MT4), FXCM delivers a reliable, feature-rich mobile offering for forex traders.

Benefits

  • FXCM’s Trading Station mobile app packs a good range of features into a sleek design that was easy to use and comes with advanced features such as a comprehensive trade ticket with advanced order types, including one-cancels-other (OCO) orders.
  • Charting comes with nearly 60 indicators and multiple drawing tools. Trend-lines can be drawn with precision thanks to a magnifying glass that auto zooms while dragging the trend-line into position.

Considerations

  • One shortcoming of the Trading Station mobile app is the lack of any apparent watch list, which could be a useful feature and ideally one that would sync with the watch list used on the web and desktop versions of the FXCM Trading Station.

Gallery

Further Reading

Mobile Apps Comparison

FeatureFXCMeToroPepperstoneIG
Android App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple iOS App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - Forex Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes No Yes Yes
Watch List Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies3053026
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes No Yes Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable Yes No Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes No No Yes
Forex Calendar Yes No No Yes
Mobile Trading 4 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars

Offering of Investments

Rank: 21st (of 28)

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to FXCM clients.

Offering Comparison

FeatureFXCMeToroPepperstoneIG
Forex: Spot Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)39475991
CFDs - Total Offered2414493115000
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No Yes No No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes Yes Yes Yes
Offering of Investments 3 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 4.5 Stars

Other Notes

Following its extensive overview of crypto assets in 2017, including various educational content, FXCM launched bitcoin and ethereum as CFDs in 2018.

In 2017, FXCM exited the US market and is no longer accepting US clients. Through this process, part of its holdings were reorganized under the name Global Brokerage (NASDAQ:GLBR), which holds an ownership interest in FXCM. On December 11th, 2017, Global Brokerage filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York court. FXCM Group is not involved with the bankruptcy filing, and the restructuring of GLBR will not affect its clients as per regulatory filings.

Final Thoughts

Rank: 9th (of 28)

FXCM is a great choice for active forex traders thanks to competitive spreads, as well as traders seeking to use automated trading strategies. All of FXCM’s platforms offer traders the ability to run algorithmic trading and access advanced charting tools.

That said, the removal of the mini account option and its reduction of total CFDs available from 313 to just 18 does restrict FXCM’s product range offering as a multi-asset broker.

For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 81 variables. 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.


Steven Hatzakis

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.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 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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