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Overall

Traders seeking a wide range of trade-automation tools will find FXCM offers an extensive suite of platforms and forex trading solutions. While its range of tradeable markets is narrow, FXCM caters well to high-volume traders and those focused on the most popular FX pairs and CFDs.

By Steven Hatzakis / February 18th, 2019 / Updated: February 19th, 2019

help 80
Trust Score
Dislikes
  • Discontinued offering CFDs trading on single shares
  • Narrow range of tradeable markets
  • Mini account discontinued
  • No longer accepts US clients after losing US regulatory license

Review Sections:

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Since 1999, FXCM has become an iconic name in retail foreign exchange markets as 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.

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.

As a Leucadia company (NYSE:LUK), the FXCM Group has multiple entities in other major jurisdictions, including entities regulated in the UK, Australia, South Africa and indirect affiliated offices in Canada, and Japan.

FXCM provides traders multiple platforms and tools for algorithmic trading, in addition to its App Store with hundreds of apps, which provides traders access to software created by third-party developers. FXCM also offers comprehensive options for traders to connect through its public API. Furthermore, FXCM caters to algorithmic traders and provides news and research as part of the global offerings available under the FXCM brand.

Trust Score

Trading with a forex broker traders can trust is crucial to success. Unfortunately, forex fraud and scams are common in the industry.

Here at ForexBrokers.com, we maintain the largest independent regulatory database available on the web. Using 28 different variables, we have created a proprietary 1-100 score (the higher the better) of overall trustworthiness, which we call the Trust Score. Here is our trust summary of FXCM.

FXCM
Trust Score80
Year Founded1999
Publicly-Traded Company (Listed) Yes
Regulated in Major Hub Yes
Regulated in Emerging Hub Yes
Authorised in the European Union Yes
CFTC Registered (USA) No
FCA Regulated (UK) Yes
IIROC Authorised (Canada) Yes
FINMA Authorised (Switzerland) No
ASIC Authorised (Australia) Yes
SFC Authorised (Hong Kong) No
MAS Authorised (Singapore) No
FSA Authorised (Japan) No
FMA Authorised (New Zealand) No
CySEC Authorised (Cyprus) No

Offering of Investments

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

FXCM
Minimum Initial Deposit$0.00
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)39
CFDs - Total Offered24
Exchange Traded Securities: US No
Exchange Traded Securities: International No
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Commissions & Fees

FXCM offers competitive commission rates for its Standard account and Active Trader account holders.

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.

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.

Overall, FXCM offers competitive spreads in terms of all-in costs for active traders compared to its close competitors such as Gain Capital (forex.com), Dukascopy, FxPro, IG, and SaxoBank.

Active Trader accounts are available for clients that deposit at least $25,000, which come with a lower commission rate 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 0.80 pip.

Overall, FXCM offers competitive spreads in terms of all-in costs for active traders compared to its close competitors such as Gain Capital (forex.com), Dukascopy, FxPro, IG, and SaxoBank.

FXCM
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.30
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.80
Active Trader or Premium/VIP Yes

Customer Service

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

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.

FXCM market screener
FXCM market screener

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. The broker has also published guides about cryptocurrencies, and in October 2018 formally launched bitcoin as a cryptocurrency CFD with a monthly expiry. The broker also offers signals from its FXCM PLUS trading signal subscription service.

FXCM market data signals research
FXCM market data signals research

Following the sale of its DailyFX arm to IG, FXCM has rebuilt a diverse variety of research content and tools relating to technical analysis and fundamental news for forex traders. In 2018 FXCM launched Quant News, featuring webinars, videos, and news articles for algorithmic traders. And closely related to research, FXCM finished in third place for Education in our 2019 review.

FXCM education
FXCM education

Following the sale of its DailyFX arm to IG, FXCM has rebuilt a diverse variety of research content and tools relating to technical analysis and fundamental news for forex traders. In 2018 FXCM launched Quant News, featuring webinars, videos, and news articles for algorithmic traders. And closely related to research, FXCM finished in third place for Education in our 2019 review.

FXCM
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
AutoChartist No
Trading Central (Recognia) Yes
Delkos Research No
Acuity Trading No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes
Client Webinars Yes
Client Webinars (Archived) Yes
Videos - Beginner Trading Videos Yes
Economic Calendar Yes
Calendar Includes Forecasts Yes
Economic News Sentiment Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Yes

Platforms & Tools

FXCM offers a growing range of trading platforms, including its Trading Station platform and third-party platforms such as MetaTrader4 (MT4) and NinjaTrader, which are accessible via desktop, the web, and mobile. To read more about MT4, read our MetaTrader guide to MetaTrader. For this review, I focused on FXCM’s Trading Station.

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. For seasoned traders, advanced fields can be further customized for automated trading, technical analysis, or to import custom indicators.

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. For seasoned traders, advanced fields can be further customized for automated trading, technical analysis, or to import custom indicators.

Trading Station is a desktop and web-based platform that was developed with help from Gehtsoft USA LLC, the company that also helps power the Fxcodebase library, where third-party indictors can be found that are compatible with the Trading Station platform.

FXCM Trading Station desktop Track Ticket Windows

The Trading Station desktop platform allows its various panels to float freely within the main platform window, similar to other trading platforms, including desktop versions from Saxo Bank and FOREX.com, as well as certain web-based platforms, for example those from IG and CMC Markets.

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.

FXCM Trading Station Marketscope 2.0 charting Windows

While this advanced charting program is packed with tons of features, it may be too complex for less experienced traders. That said, technical analysis enthusiasts will find MarketScope has a premium feel without the price tag that accompanies paid charting subscriptions.

FXCM Trading Station Web Layout
FXCM Trading Station Web Layout

Moving to the web version of the platform, FXCM has brought the platform up to speed with industry standards by moving from flash-based to HTML.

The new, upgraded platform runs smoothly and comes with a good array of features, including news, videos, research, market data signals, and links to external resources.

FXCM Trading Station Web
FXCM Trading Station Web

Looking at the functionality of Trading Station’s web version, 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.

FXCM Trading Station Web Charting
FXCM Trading Station Web Charting

I was pleased to see the web version upgrade to HTML and the new features added. However, I did notice a few minor 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.

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. We had a chance to install the NinjaTrader platform on Windows 10 and received a follow-up call/email from a NinjaTrader representative.

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.

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. In 2017, FXCM expanded its range of specialty platforms available on its website with the addition of QuantConnect, MotiveWave, IQBroker, AgendaTrader, NeroShell Trader, and StrategyQuant.

FXCM ZuluTrade platform social copy trading
FXCM ZuluTrade platform social copy trading

Lastly, FXCM also offers ZuluTrade, a social copy-trading platform where users can follow other traders and automatically copy their trades in real-time. Offering ZuluTrade complements FXCM’s social copy trading offering, alongside the native signals available in its MT4 platform offering.

FXCM
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac) No
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Proprietary Yes
MetaTrader4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Currenex No
ZuluTrade Yes
MirrorTrader Yes
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)31
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)51
Watchlists - Total Fields7
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Mobile Trading

FXCM offers Trading Station and MetaTrader4 (MT4) for mobile trading on both Android and iOS devices. To learn more about MT4, read our guide to MetaTrader. For this review, I tested the Trading Station mobile app on my Samsung Galaxy S8+ running Android.

FXCM Trading Station mobile app android rates
FXCM Trading Station mobile app android rates

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.

FXCM Trading Station mobile app android trade ticket oco order

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.

FXCM Trading Station mobile app android charting
FXCM Trading Station mobile app android charting

Aiding the navigation of the mobile app is a row of tabs on the bottom and top of the app. These rows let users slide left or right to see additional tabs from either the top or bottom row. Tapping on any of the tabs in these rows will switch to the related view on the main screen. In addition, swiping left or right on the main screen will also switch between the next adjacent tabs, making it easy to scroll between screens.

One shortcoming of the mobile app was 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.

FXCM Trading Station mobile app android trade ticket oco order
FXCM Trading Station mobile app order ticket

Compared to my 2018 review of FXCM, I did not find a substantial number of changes. That said, the broker still provides a robust mobile experience overall and finished 6th out of 28 forex brokers in our 2019 Review.

FXCM
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally Yes
Charting - Technical Studies/Indicators30
Watch List Syncing Yes
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes

Other Notes

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

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.

There is also 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. FXCM also offers various APIs programmers can access publicly to connect their trading apps or platforms to FXCM.

Final Thoughts

FXCM is a great choice for those seeking to use automated trading strategies as all of its platforms offer traders the ability to run algorithmic trading and access advanced charting tools. FXCM also provides its clients access to several social copy-trading platforms, such as ZuluTrade. I was pleased to see FXCM release open-source code for its REST API on Github, along with the launch of Quant News, and the introduction of bitcoin in 2018 as a CFD with a monthly expiry.

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. Therefore, FXCM shines most in its Active Trader account offering, where low commission rates and average spreads provide competitive pricing for high volume traders that can deposit at least $25k to meet the minimum account requirement. Meanwhile, traders on a tighter budget should utilize the Standard Account offering which features the same spreads with a slightly higher commission rate.

FXCM’s size as a company, years of operation, and regulatory status in major financial centers combine to make its offerings broad enough to cater to nearly every type of trader. That said, its removal of the mini account option, and reduction of total CFDs available from 313 to just 18 restricts its product range offering as a multi-asset broker. Nonetheless, FXCM finished in 9th place overall, from among 28 forex brokers in our 2019 review.

Methodology

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

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. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 19 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

FXCM Competitors

Select one or more of these brokers to compare against FXCM.


Ratings Overall

Summary

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

Commissions & Fees

Commission Notes

FXCM’s commission and fees are comparable to those of its peers, such as forex.com, IG, CMC Markets, Saxo Bank, FxPro, and OANDA, when factoring in the total cost of a trade (spread+commission) on the Active Trader account type.

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.


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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