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FXCM Review

Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis | October 20th, 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.

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

Top Takeaways for 2019

After spending several hundred hours testing 28 forex brokers over six months for our third annual forex broker review, here are our top findings on FXCM:

  • Founded in 1999, FXCM is a subsidiary of a public company (NYSE: JEF) and is regulated in three tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe (low-risk) broker for trading forex and CFDs.
  • FXCM earned Best in Class (top 7) awards for multiple categories, including Platforms & Tools, Mobile Trading, MetaTrader, Active Trading, and Education. Overall, FOREX.com ranks among the best brokers for MetaTrader and copy trading.
  • Compatible with Ninja Trader, FXCM's App store provides various add-ons, technical indicators, and automated trading robots for algorithmic trading. We were impressed.
  • FXCM offers a very narrow selection of tradeable products. While 39 currency pairs are available for trade, only 32 CFDs are provided with no single-stock CFDs.
  • Customer service at FXCM barely meets the industry standard. The broker finished 14th (out of 23) in our national testing from locations across the United Kingdom.

Overall Summary

FeatureFXCM
Overall 4 Stars
Trust Score90
Offering of Investments 3 Stars
Commissions & Fees 3.5 Stars
Platform & Tools 4.5 Stars
Research 4 Stars
Mobile Trading 4 Stars
Customer Service 3.5 Stars
Education 4 Stars

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.

FeatureFXCM
Year Founded1999
Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes
Bank No
Tier-1 Licenses3
Tier-2 Licenses2
Tier-3 Licenses0
Trust Score90

Offering of Investments

Rank: 21st (of 28)

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to FXCM clients. While FXCM's launch of several tradeable baskets (e.g., JPYBasket, EMBasket, USEquities, and CryptoMajors) was a welcomed addition in 2019, the removal of the mini account option and the reduction of total CFDs from 313 to just 32 restricts FXCM’s product range offering as a multi-asset broker. No single-stock CFDs are offered at FXCM.

FeatureFXCM
Forex: Spot Trading Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)39
CFDs - Total Offered32
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Commissions & Fees

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

Spread data: Using the time-weighted average tradable prices from April 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019, all-in spreads for Standard accounts at FXCM are 1.3 pips on pairs such as the EUR/USD and USD/JPY.

Pricing discounts: Active Trader accounts are available for clients that deposit at least $25,000, which comes with a lower commission rate of $25 per million and access to premium research. For example, Active Trader accounts incur as little as £4 per standard round-turn lot (£2 per side) on the EUR/USD pair. Therefore, the all-in cost after commissions is roughly 0.45 pips (based on average spreads of 0.2 pips using the above referenced period).

Other notes: Standard account holders are only charged the prevailing spreads, whereas Active Trader accounts are charged a commission per trade, in addition to reduced prevailing spreads. Also, dealing desk accounts (e.g., Standard Accounts) are not subject to the FX Commission pricing model at FXCM, and thus may include a markup in the case of an intermediary (introducing broker), as per FXCM UK’s November 2018 rate card.

FeatureFXCM
Minimum Initial Deposit$0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.3 (as of Q2 19)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.7 (as of Q2 19)
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes

Platforms & Tools

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), ZuluTrade, and NinjaTrader, which are accessible via desktop, the web, and mobile.

Trading Station desktop: FXCM’s flagship trading platform, Trading Station, caters well to forex traders of all skill levels. One highlight is the Marketscope 2.0 charting tool within the platform, which is a powerful charting package that runs in parallel to the main platform window.

Trading Station web: 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. Pros aside, our testing did surface a few minor usability issues while trying to resize windows or open a widget into full-screen mode; however, they were hardly a deal-breaker.

Ninja Trader: It’s worth noting that the NinjaTrader platform from FXCM features numerous trading tools, including automated trading capabilities. For example, trading strategies and indicators can be created from scratch using NinjaScripts. While NinjaTrader doesn’t come pre-loaded with trading strategies, users can either make their own or use third-party-developed NinjaScripts, similar to how the MT4 platform operates. The platform also has a market replay and analyzer tool alongside over 150 indicators.

Algorithmic Trading: The FXCM App store provides various add-ons, technical indicators, and automated trading robots. The FXCM App store supports Trading Station, MetaTrader 4, and NinjaTrader platforms, as well as access to third-party products and platforms such as ZuluTrade and 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.

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Research

FXCM provides a wide variety of market research and related resources. Overall, it isn't award-winning, but it will satisfy the majority of forex traders.

Research tools: FXCM’s research tools include 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.

Educational content: It’s worth noting that FXCM has done an excellent job of incorporating educational information into its research, including webinars and its trading university program. For less experienced algorithmic traders, FXCM's Quant News offers webinars, videos, and news articles.

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Mobile Trading

Thanks to the combination of Trading Station and MetaTrader4 (MT4), FXCM delivers a reliable, feature-rich mobile offering for forex traders, including algorithmic trading. Advanced features, such as a comprehensive trade ticket, offer advanced order types, including one-cancels-other (OCO) orders.

Mobile charting: With nearly 60 indicators and multiple drawing tools, charting in the FXCM mobile app is a pleasure. Trend-lines can be drawn with precision thanks to a magnifying glass that auto zooms while dragging the trend-line into position.

Mobile watch list: While the Trading Station mobile app may appear to lack a watch list, it is worth noting that any instruments selected to be shown will, in fact, sync across devices.

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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)

Final Thoughts

FXCM is an excellent 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.

About FXCM

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.

After its exit from the US market in 2017, FXCM no longer accepts US clients. Today, FXCM operates as a subsidiary of Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF), formerly known as Leucadia. Learn more about FXCM at Wikipedia.

FXCM Trading Features

FeatureFXCM
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)51
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)31
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields7
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

FXCM Research Features

FeatureFXCM
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
Weekly Webinars Yes
AutoChartist Yes
Trading Central (Recognia) Yes
Delkos Research No
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes
Economic Calendar Yes

FXCM Mobile App Features

FeatureFXCM
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes
Watch List Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies30
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes
Forex Calendar Yes

2019 Review Methodology

For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 words of research were produced.

While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.

All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors 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.


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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