Forex and CFD traders seeking a wide range of trade-automation tools will find FXCM offers an extensive suite of platforms and trading solutions. FXCM also caters well to beginners with commission-free mini accounts.

By Steven Hatzakis / April 4th, 2017 / Updated: January 30th, 2018

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  • Less forex pairs and different pricing provided in mini accounts compared to standard accounts
  • Marketscope charting is complex for beginners, and opens in a separate window

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Since 1999, FXCM (NASDAQ: 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 New York, FXCM has grown to have multiple international offices and is licensed in several major regulatory hubs globally.

FXCM provides traders multiple platforms and tools for algorithmic trading, in addition to its App Store, which provides access to software created by third-party developers. FXCM also offers comprehensive options for traders to connect through its public API.

The brand also has multiple entities in other major jurisdictions, including entities regulated in the UK, Australia, and indirect affiliated offices in Canada, South Africa, and Japan. FXCM caters to both beginners and advanced algorithmic traders, and provides news and research content as part of the global offerings available under the FXCM brand.

Commissions & Fees

FXCM offers competitive commission rates. Standard account holders are charged $8.00 per standard round turn (100,000 units) when trading on major pairs, and $12 per standard round turn on all other pairs, in addition to the prevailing spreads traders pay on each trade.

FXCM ranks near the top compared to other brokers’ overall commission and fees, and shines the most in its Active Trader account pricing from among its other pricing models for Standard and Mini Accounts.

For clients that deposit at least $25,000 or more, FXCM offers an Active Trader account, which offers traders even lower commission rates. For example, Active Trader accounts are charged $1.8 per standard lot on a EUR/USD pair, and gain access to premium research.

This makes FXCM one of the most competitive in terms of all-in costs for active traders compared to the company’s closest competitors, such as Gain Capital (, FxPro, IG, and SaxoBank.

View All FeesFXCMForex.comIGPepperstoneFxPro
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.8000.7000.3630.8601.200
All-in Cost GBP/USD - Active1.0001.3001.0921.1901.600
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.0001.3000.7501.1601.200
Average Spread GBP/USD - Standard1.2001.7001.2801.4901.800
Commissions & Fees 4 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars
Overall 4 Stars 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 3.5 Stars 4 Stars

Spreads for Active Trader and Standard accounts at FXCM are as low as 0.5 pips on pairs such as the EUR/USD and USD/JPY, using time-weighted average tradable prices from April through June 2016.

Meanwhile, Mini Account holders are not charged any commission per trade, but pay a wider spread and can access only 21 currency pairs compared to the 39 pairs Standard and Active Trader accounts can access.

FXCM ranks near the top compared to other brokers’ overall commission and fees, and shines the most in its Active Trader account pricing from among its other pricing models for Standard and Mini Accounts.

Customer Service

Accessing live chat to get real-time online support at FXCM is easy. During our initial chat inquiry, an FXCM support representative was professional and knowledgeable, and easily answered most of our questions.

In addition, calling FXCM’s main customer service line was generally positive as the representatives we spoke with on multiple occasions were able to accommodate our requests.

In specific instances, another department had to get involved to help resolve an inquiry, as certain inquiries at FXCM must be handled via email in order for a task to be created by the relevant department (unless there is a live account already), as a support representative explained to me.

We did notice FXCM’s various departments, including the firm’s Retail, Active Trader Group, and Institutional divisions, are segmented, and this segmentation was reflected during our calls when unique questions we posed needed to be handled by a different department.

Another caveat with customer service is that Mini Account holders at FXCM are not given the same access to a dedicated services team the way Active Trader account holders do, although Mini Account holders can still call in for phone support or send an email. This is similar to the way Saxo Bank offers greater support to its premium clients than to clients with balances less than $100,000; they cannot access premium features such as live chat within the platform, for example.

Overall, traders will find general and basic support easy to access at FXCM, while other traders with unique or technical questions may initially find it challenging to navigate across departments at FXCM, although this becomes easier after contact is made or by sending an email.


FXCM Market Insights is an area on the company’s website that hosts a number of educational articles, while the company’s DailyFX website focuses more on daily research and related market content.

FXCM Market Insights

We expect FXCM’s research to take on a new form as the transition of DailyFX to IG is completed, as FXCM’s DailyFX division was sold to the IG group at the end of September 2016 and certain assets of DailyFX are set to be migrated to IG.

As part of the deal with IG, which was closed at the end of October (around the time of this review), FXCM will continue to advertise on the DailyFX site for an annual fee to IG, and will take US and Canadian clients on board. This means clients outside the US and Canada looking to access DailyFX services will likely have to trade with IG – or see IG ads on the DailyFX site.

Whether FXCM’s research tools will be kept the same or rebuilt for international clients, we expect their research offering to remain consistent, even if housed under a different brand such as FXCM’s Market Insights division.

FXCM has done a great job in offering educational information in its research to beginners as well as advanced traders across multiple channels, including webinars and invitations sent to users from within the Trading Station platform.

Overall, FXCM provides good research content relating to technical analysis and fundamental news for forex traders.

Platforms & Tools

FXCM’s main trading platform, Trading Station, does very well at catering to the entire spectrum of clients’ needs, whether beginner or advanced algorithmic traders, and the range of features packed into this desktop software is impressive.

FXCM desktop platform

FXCM offers a choice of several trading platforms, including its Trading Station, MetaTrader4 (MT4), and NinjaTrader, which are accessible via desktop, the web, and mobile versions of the platforms.

The available tools within the platform contain advanced fields that can be customized for automated trading, technical analysis, or custom indicators that can be imported.

FXCM’s Trading Station platform was developed with help from Gehtsoft USA LLC, which also helps power Fxcodebase – a library in which third-party indictors can be found for the Trading Station platform.   

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

FXCM Trading Station desktop Track Ticket Windows

This ability to float the panel windows can help when traders have multiple monitors. You should take a few minutes to set up the platform to best address your needs and save the layout for future use and to avoid panels overlapping or if using multiple monitors.

The ‘watch list’ function within the Trading Station platform was difficult to use. Although it supports the ability for lists to be imported, during our review, this feature was not intuitive and had a glitch or technical bug that prevented it from working.

A support representative suggested that the instruments subscribed to under the symbols tab be removed in order to reset this function. However, those symbols cannot be removed while positions are open in the related symbols. We’d like to see this bug fixed as the watch list function is an important tool for quickly accessing specific forex pairs or CFDs, and tracking their prices at a glance.

On the other hand, technical analysis enthusiasts will find MarketScope has a premium feel without the price tag that accompanies paid charting subscriptions, which adds value to the Trading Station’s offering.

The Marketscope 2.0 charting feature within the platform, which seems like an entire additional platform on its own, opens when launched from within the main platform, creating the sense of two platforms running simultaneously.

FXCM Trading Station Marketscope 2.0 charting Windows

This advanced charting program is packed with tons of features, yet may be too complex for novice traders or those who do not have additional monitors to move the trading screens. MarketScope opens in a brand-new platform terminal window, separate from the main Trading Station terminal.

On the other hand, technical analysis enthusiasts will find MarketScope has a premium feel without the price tag that accompanies paid charting subscriptions, which adds value to the Trading Station’s offering.

FXCM’s Trading Station platform is also available as a web-based platform, and as a mobile app for Android and iOS. Beyond the most important features, the web version of the Trading Station platform looks and feels just like the desktop version, yet doesn’t contain as many advanced features as the desktop version does.

FXCM Trading Station web

Trading Station Web operates seamlessly. With an easy-to-navigate interface and customizable layout, it was easy to switch between placing orders and managing positions or to customize the layout to do it all from one screen without switching tabs. The upper menu panels make it easy to quickly access relevant sections, including Trading and Charts.

FXCM’s MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform is available as a desktop-based software for Windows or it can be used in conjunction with the platform developers’ native mobile app for Android or iOS. MT4 has been developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation and is one of the most popular third-party forex trading platforms.

The number of tools available in MT4 are native within the platform – and MT4 is a popular choice for traders interested in strategy automation and creating custom scripts and analysis tools from scratch using MQL syntax (programming language).

FXCM provides a dedicated support team known as “Experts Advisors” within MT4 to assist traders with technical issues related to their automated trading strategies.

FXCM’s NinjaTrader platform, developed by NinjaTrader Group LLC, is available as a desktop-based software for Windows, with a 64-bit version also available.

The NinjaTrader platform 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.

NinjaTrader doesn’t come pre-loaded with trading strategies but users can either make their own or use third-party developed NinjaScripts, similar to the way in which the MT4 platform operates.

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.

FXCM also offers the MirrorTrader platform, which provides traders with the historical results of pre-screened strategies. Clients can subscribe to and ‘mirror’ these strategies in their trading account each time a new trade signal is generated from the related trading systems available.

FXCM MirrorTrader web

Mobile Trading

FXCM’s mobile app excels in packing lots of features into a sleek and intuitive design. The advanced features are nested deep within the interface, while the common and most important functionality is front and center once you login.

FXCM Trading Station mobile quote screen Android

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.

The charts within the Trading Station mobile app also impressed us as the drawing features and use of technical indicators were very fluid and the design helped to create a natural and seamless user experience.

FXCM Trading Station mobile quote screen Android

We expect FXCM to rank highly in its mobile app, compared to OANDA, SaxoBank, FxPro, GAIN Capital, and other peers, when comparing mobile features such as charting, ease of use, and the overall number of features in the app.

Other Notes

FXCM provides a monthly trading contest to live account holders, who compete for a $10,000 prize pool. The company also offers a trading analytics tool that shows traders how to understand their trading history by visualizing mistakes as well as highlighting positive traits, helping them to learn more from their past trades (in the hope of improving future trading).

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.

Pop-up dialogues appear within the Trading Station platform to give users a chance to join upcoming and live webinar FXCM hosts. This is a nice feature for first-time users, who can learn about markets during the webinars.

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

Beginners and highly experienced traders have access to lots of resources at FXCM, including educational content, news and research channels, and advanced trading tools and platforms. They can also access trading-related support for automated trading.

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, along with access to advanced charting tools.

The company’s tiered commission pricing provides active traders and standard account holders with tighter spreads and access to a larger number of currency pairs through FXCM’s no-dealing-desk (NDD) execution.

Mini account holders – those traders initially depositing smaller amounts, such as beginners or those on tight trading budgets, can only trade nearly half of the available currency pairs (21 pairs versus 39 for Standard Accounts). They also pay a larger spread on FXCM’s dealing desk, even though they are not charged any commission per trade.

IG, OANDA, FxPro, and GAIN Capital ( may be suitable alternative choices for beginners and/or traders seeking to trade a Mini Account. Meanwhile, active traders may find SaxoBank, IG, and FxPro, close competition for FXCM in terms of pricing discounts for larger trading volumes, as well as different execution types and tiered margin levels.

Overall, FXCM’s size as a company, its years of operation, and its regulatory status in major financial centers, combine to make its offerings broad enough to cater to nearly every type of trader, with minimum deposits required to start an account ranging from barely $100 to Active Trader accounts requiring a deposit of $25,000.


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.

View all FXCM Fees & Features
Steven Hatzakis

Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for 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.

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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 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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