FXCM
FXCM
Rating: 80%
Min Deposit
$ 50
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FXCM Broker - Innovative Products and Robust Execution

Founded in 1999, FXCM forex is one of the leading online brokers offering trading facilities in foreign exchange, CFD, spread betting, and a wide range of financial services. The company's prime brokerage services offered to large and mid-sized investors and funds are one of a kind in the industry, while retail brokers, small hedge funds, and banks from emerging markets can gain access to FXCM's wholesale execution and liquidity.

For beginners, the firm offers educational courses on the FX markets in addition to providing superior resources, a wide array of trading tools, and proprietary data.

FXCM provides clients with a broad array of trading parameters, access from desktops and mobile devices, and one-click order placements.

  • Low forex fees
  • TradingView live trading integration
  • No withdrawal fees
  • Availability of spread betting for UK traders
  • 20 + years of experience
  • Many indicators and solid technical research tools

Evaluation of FXCM

Our exhaustive FXCM broker review comprises a detailed analysis of the FX and CFD broker pertaining to investor protection, account opening, tradable products, spreads, fees and commissions, deposit/withdrawal options, privacy, security and data protection, trading platforms, trading features, bonuses and any type of FXCM promotion, customer support, awards, accolades, and future plans.

The goal of our review is to provide investors with an unbiased assessment of all the key parameters of FXCM, including client confidentiality and protection of funds.

Review summary

Our comprehensive FXCM review is based on several key parameters that clients broadly pursue in a forex broker. While the focus of our analysis is to ensure traders get a fair idea of what to expect if they set up a trading account with FXCM, the review does not ascertain or guarantee the performance of the broker at large.

Licenses
Licenses

FXCM operates in multiple countries and is subject to jurisdictional regulations in each country of operation. Our review lists all the licenses held by FXCM under various agencies.

Platforms
Platforms

The brokerage offers a wide range of desktop and mobile trading platforms for all categories of traders. We tested the proprietary web and desktop application and reviewed the other platforms.

Privacy and Protection
Privacy and Protection

Investor protection and privacy are key areas of concern for traders in light of the massive global forex frauds across brokerages. Our review emphasises the privacy and capital protection policies of FXCM and the steps taken by the brokerage to protect investors.

Spreads/Fees
Spreads/Fees

Trading costs and fees are the elements that can differentiate between traders making profits or losses. We analyse this in detail in our spread, commissions, and fees section.

Mobile
Mobile

FXCM provides the Trading Station Mobile app, enabling you to trade from your smartphone or tablet anytime, anywhere. This mobile platform is accessible on both iOS and Android applications. Notable advantages include its support for multiple languages and order placement features, closely mirroring the functionalities of the web version.

Customer Care
Customer Care

Customer support is a key front-office requirement for any forex brokerage. Discover the various help desk options presented by FXCM in our customer support section.

FXCM Broker Regulation – Licensed by Multiple Regulators

FXCM Markets is not subject to regulatory oversight and is not intended for use by residents in some developed economies like the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia.

However, the other entities of FXCM are regulated by agencies in the jurisdictions of operation.

Following are those entities and the corresponding regulators:

  • FXCM UK Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), registration number 217689
  • FXCM AU Regulated by ASIC license number 309763
  • FXCM South Africa Regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority
  • FXCM EU Regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under license number 392/20

Regulated brokers come under the stringent supervision of regulatory authorities and are mandated to maintain sufficient capital and net tangible assets to demonstrate their financial stability. To obtain a license from the FCA, financial services providers are expected to maintain net tangible assets to the tune of €730,000, while brokers governed by ASIC are required to hold at least $1 million as part of the regulatory mandate.

FXCM
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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Wide Range of Tradable Assets and Products

This FXCM forex broker review provides traders with information about a robust platform covering multiple markets like forex, indices, commodities, and shares—all from a single account. The tradable assets include close to thirty-nine forex pairs, fourteen index CFDs tracking all the major underlying global stock indices, around ten key commodities, euro-bund index futures, and shares including Tesla Motors Inc, Amazon.com, Apple, Google, and 200 more share CFDs. In addition, traders looking to reduce volatility risk can speculate on an array of forex and stock baskets, an innovative offering from FXCM.

Let's take a peek at the forex and stock baskets, the unique product offerings from FXCM that have already garnered massive investor interest.

The forex baskets broadly comprise:

  • The Dollar Index (USDOLLAR) Tracks the value of the US dollar against a basket of the world's most liquid currencies comprising the euro, pound sterling, Australian dollar, and the Japanese yen.
  • The Yen Index (JPYBASKET) Measures the worth of the Japanese yen against a basket of the world's top currencies such as the US dollar, euro, pound sterling, Australian dollar, and Canadian dollar.
  • The Emerging Markets Index (EMBASKET) Reflects the change in the value of the US dollar against emerging market benchmarks like the Chinese renminbi, Turkish lira, Mexican peso, and the South African rand.

The stock baskets, on the other hand, are a bundle of 5 individual stocks from the same sector with equal exposure in dollar terms with gains/losses measured by taking into account the collective performance of individual stocks. FXCM broker currently offers fifteen stock baskets comprising FAANG stocks, selected listed companies from the biotech, cannabis, and gaming sectors, while the other 2 baskets cater to the Chinese e-commerce and tech industries, respectively.

Pros

  • The underlying for FXCM's index and commodities CFDs are the respective stock indices and the commodities futures contracts trading on the major global exchanges.
  • Entry/exit costs included in the spread.
  • Stock prices are adjusted for dividends 1 day before the ex-dividend date.
  • Margins for individual baskets are approximately 20% for all stock baskets and are updated daily.
  • Available for trading only when the underlying exchange is open.

Cons

  • Investors holding overnight positions in stock baskets are charged financing or rollover costs.
  • If prices of any of the listed companies in the basket fail to update even for a minute, the entire basket becomes temporarily unavailable for trading, a risk for traders already invested in the basket.
FXCM
FXCM has provided trading services to its clients for over 20 years. Offers educational courses on FX trading and trading tools, proprietary data, and premium resources.
FXCM Forex – The Future of Trading Is Here

Spread, Commissions and Trading Fees on FXCM

The average spread for the major FX pairs comprising EUR/USD, JPY/USD, AUD/USD, and GBP/USD varies between 0.7-0.9 pips during peak hours, while it is slightly higher at 0.7-1.5 pips during non-peak hours. The total cost per trade comes to about $0.5-$1, slightly more than FXCM's estimates. The brokerage has compiled the quarterly execution stats of forex and CFD trading on its platforms during peak/non-peak hours, where it highlights the slippage percentage of all trades implemented. Likewise, while FXCM has highlighted positive slippage on the stop, limit, and market orders, the slippage in real-time markets was found to be in the 1.0-1.8 pips range.

Based on FXCM forex trading data analysis for Q2 2019, the average spread made available to clients is segregated individually for CFD and FX pairs during peak and non-peak hours. The report also produces the average total cost to traders and an indicative percentage when the spread was <= 0.1 pip. However, on testing the platforms, we found a variation in FXCM's analysis and our experience indicated a slightly wider spread and a small increase in the average total cost in comparison with FXCM's stats.

The broker's historical chart, shown below, outlines the difference in the displayed and effective spread, thereby arriving at the trading cost to clients, an interesting thought for retail traders to consider.

Regarding commissions and fees, FXCM has both commissions as well as non-commission-based pricing. In commission-based pricing, the brokerage charges a fee in the denomination in which the account is set up every time a trade is opened and closed. In non-commission-based pricing, the cost to clients is the difference in the bid/ask spread.

FXCM also charges a fee if a client's account is inactive for twelve months in a row. The charges are the lower of fifty units of the currency in which the account is denominated or the balance in the account. For accounts set up in Japanese yen, the charges are ¥5,000.

Account Types and Registration Process

There are 5 FXCM account types, 2 of which cater to individual traders, while the joint, corporate and Islamic accounts sum up the remaining three.

  • Individual accounts (Standard) – This is the preferred account type for individuals who aren't looking to trade large volumes but don't want to be impeded by trading restrictions, either. It is suitable for most traders and has a minimum deposit of $50.
  • Individual accounts (Active trader) – If you're a high-volume trader, this account would suit you the best since it ensures tighter spreads and dedicated customer support. However, you're expected to generate monthly volumes of around $10 million.
  • Corporate/business accounts – These are suitable for businesses or organizations that want to trade with FXCM. Corporate accounts have some benefits over individual accounts, such as dedicated account managers, customized solutions, and flexible funding options. However, corporate accounts also have some costs and requirements, such as a one-time account-processing fee of CCY300.00 (waived with an initial deposit of CCY50,000.00 or more), additional documents and verification procedures, and higher minimum deposit and balance thresholds. To open a corporate account, you must submit an online application and provide the necessary documents and information.
  • Professional accounts – These are designed for elective professional traders who possess the experience, knowledge, and expertise to make their own investment decisions and properly assess the risk they incur. Professional accounts have some advantages over retail accounts, such as higher leverage, lower margin requirements, and access to exclusive products and services.

However, professional accounts also have some disadvantages, such as less regulatory protection, no negative balance protection, and no compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. To qualify for a professional account, you must meet at least 2 of the following criteria:

  • Trading experience with traded leveraged derivatives in significant sizes for at least 4 quarters
  • Financial instrument portfolio exceeding EUR 500,000
  • Previous experience in the financial sector in a professional position requiring knowledge of derivatives trading

If you think you are eligible for a professional account, you can apply online or contact FXCM's customer support for more information.

  • Islamic accounts – Since these are interest-free accounts, FXCM does not charge interest to clients when positions are rolled over. Instead, FXCM forex broker adds the roll-over fees as a mark-up to the spread/commission. The minimum required deposit is $50.

Account Registration Steps

The FXCM account login is a simple three-step process that can be completed online.

Step 1

Fill out your personal information.

FXCM signup procedure step 1
Step 2

Complete additional details related to your employment, trading experience, financial status, etc.

FXCM signup procedure step 2
Step 3

Confirm the terms of the agreement and submit.

On completion of the online registration, you will be directed to a FXCM forex account information page, where you can submit your identification and proof of residence. The page also gives you access to FXCM's secure payment gateway to deposit funds.

FXCM signup procedure step 3
FXCM
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

The FXCM forex trading platform offers quite a few deposit/withdrawal options through its client portal MyFXCM.com. The following table provides a snapshot of the various funding methods, the approximate processing time, minimum deposit, and fees.

FXCM does not charge inward deposits, but there is a withdrawal fee on bank wire transfers. The brokerage also charges a one-time account opening processing fee of CCY100 for corporate, trust, and partnership accounts, which are waived if the initial deposit >=CCY10,000.

Deposit Methods

Deposit method Approx processing time Minimum deposit
Debit/Credit card Up to 2 hours 50 CCY (units of the base currency)
Bank wire (SWIFT, CHAPS, BACS, SEPA) 3-5 business days No minimum
CreditPay 1-3 days No minimum
Skrill 1-3day 50 CCY (units of the base currency)
Klarna 1 business day EUR 50
NETELLER 1 business day 50 CCY (units of the base currency)

Withdrawal Methods

Withdrawal method Approx processing time Withdrawal fee
Debit/Credit card It will depend on the card issuer FREE
Bank wire 3-5 business days Domestic: $25
International: $40
SEPA-EUR denominated accounts Domestic: 1-3 business days
International: 3-6 business days
FREE
BACS- GBP denominated accounts Domestic: 1-3 business days
International: 3-6 business days
FREE

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Privacy, Data, and Capital Protection at FXCM

Since FXCM comes under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing regulations and laws, it is obligated to collect information and verify the identity of its clients through the Know Your Client, or KYC, information. The broker also maintains records of all transactions carried out on client accounts, including liquidation. According to the brokerage, the collected personal details could be shared with third-party countries, used for direct marketing purposes, and passed on to the firm's affiliates for business purposes.

This FXCM forex review also points out that the broker holds clients' personal information electronically on secured servers with encrypted transmission links. The other security features include firewalls, authentication systems, physical security measures, and restricted access to employees, contractors, and agents.

As a client of FXCM, your capital is guaranteed to the extent of £50,000 if the broker is insolvent. This amount of investor protection is substantially lower when compared to the £85,000 protection offered on your savings account under FSCS and an upper limit of €100,000 paid as compensation to individual savers in Europe. However, on the brighter side, FXCM's investor protection fund is among the best in the industry when matched with some of the other leading FX brokers.

FXCM Trading Platforms

FXCM has 4 trading platforms, including its proprietary Trading Station. In addition, the forex brokerage has an app store for its MT4 platform that includes a combination of free as well as paid add-ons.

A quick check of the key features of the trading platforms offered by FXCM:

FXCM MT4 platform

Trading Station

Trading Station is available as a desktop, web, and mobile trading application. The web platform, developed in HTML5, has a customizable workspace featuring watchlist, charts, news, economic data, and trade information. FXCM has also included a few ready-to-use workspace layouts depending on user priorities, so you don't need to spend time creating a separate workspace for yourself.

Pros

  • Can pre-define trading parameters.
  • Multiple language options.
  • One-click order placement from the watchlist.
  • Ability to place dynamic/ fixed trailing stops.

Cons

  • Noticed a drag in the speed of order placement at times.
  • The news wasn't updating, although it could be due to a temporary glitch.

The desktop application is far superior to the web version and is built for the more serious trader. In addition to the main workspace, it is equipped with a separate workstation called Marketscope, explicitly for chartists.

Pros

  • Pre-loaded with hundreds of popular and custom-built indicators.
  • Powerful charting features.
  • Ready to implement automated trading tools and API for third-party software.
  • Combination of price and time-based order types.
  • Setting SMS and email alerts.
  • The platform's exclusive real volume indicators open up the trading book of other traders.

Cons

  • Not very user-friendly.
  • Feels cramped with an outdated design and bulky with two workspaces operating side by side.
  • Setting alerts is another tough ask.

MetaTrader 4

The MT4 platform is very similar to what most of the other FX brokers offer. The platform has features like SL/TP, multiple lot types, partial closure of open positions, scalping strategies, and expert advisors. Clients can trade FX and CFDs with no restrictions and have the option to host the platform on a third-party virtual private server (VPS) for a monthly fee.

NinjaTrader

If you opt for the NinjaTrader, FXCM offers liquidity through its global network of banks, financial institutions, brokers, and other market makers. You also have access to the platform's state-of-the-art strategy builder software, including C# for programmers and the point-and-click method for non-programmers.

ZuluTrade

This peer-to-peer automated trading platform allows you to subscribe to signals of other traders based on individual trading needs. Here, you can test the signals on your demo account and subscribe to the signal provider that works best for you. To help manage trading risk, the platform has built-in risk management features that help you choose the maximum volumes for each signal provider. Also, ZuluTrade's Call-o-meter calculates your invested capital with the signals opted for and gauges the likelihood of your account falling below zero or possibly receiving a margin call.

FXCM Mobile Capability

  • Android
  • iOS

One of the platforms that FXCM offers is the Trading Station Mobile app, which allows you to trade any time, anywhere, with your smartphone or tablet. The app lets you access the forex market, place and manage trades, analyze live charts, customize your experience, and more. It is designed from the ground up to function beautifully on mobile devices and has a simple, intuitive interface. The app also integrates with other FXCM products and services.

The mobile platform is available for both iOS and Android applications. The key positives are the multiple language and order placement features, which resemble the web version to a large extent. The negatives include the absence of a two-step login process and alerts/notifications, search functions don't work very well, and confusing appearance.

FXCM mobile app FXCM’s mobile trading platform

Trading Features That You Can Find at FXCM

FXCM has a wide range of trading applications, although they are catalogued differently and can vary to a large extent depending on the platform you use.

For instance, if you're using the web-based Trading Station, the trading features are limited compared to the desktop version of TS and the other platforms offered by FXCM. At the same time, the desktop platforms have a large number of features like price alerts, custom indicators, price overlays, automated trading, robust charting etc. A number of these features could be missing in the mobile applications.

Furthermore, the desktop versions support a larger number of indicators and strategies, market scanners, customised apps, automated trading, and a wide range of APIs for several third-party applications, which are mostly unavailable on the web platform.

Traders using the FXCM platforms can hedge positions in the same product or identical asset classes. But the brokerage does not reduce margins on hedged trades, which is a definite negative.

FXCM also offers scalping on some of its platforms, and while the strategy is useful when the leverage is high, clients setting up accounts with FXCM UK could find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.

Execution and Leverage

FXCM's study of its retail execution in comparison with the other global FX trading benchmarks shows that the quotes offered by the broker are equal to or better than the quoted futures prices more than 81% of the time compared to the spot equivalent quoted futures prices on the CME. According to the firm, the outcome led to potential savings of over $42 million for its clients. Likewise, the interbank market price quoted by the broker was equal to or better than the spot equivalent quoted on an interbank market price around 95% of the time, resulting in savings of around $115 million for FXCM's clients.

Although we have not verified the authenticity of the claims, if one goes by the broker's word, it presents a very good picture of FXCM's quality of execution and its high correlation to the underlying benchmarks.

Regulatory agencies have laid out stringent leverage parameters to be followed by licensed forex and CFD brokers. While the FXCM forex leverage in the UK is the maximum permitted under ESMA, FXCM Australia has not offered clients the maximum leverage allowed under ASIC regulations.

Leverage offered by FXCM UK:

  • Major currency pairs – 30:1
  • Other currency pairs, major indices and gold – 20:1
  • Commodities besides gold and other equity indices – 10:1
  • Individual equities and other reference values – 5:1

Customer Support Channels

FXCM's 24/5 customer support is available via phone and livenm chat. Clients can also get in touch with the brokerage via email and use the call-and-trade option in the event of a contingency. Based on our chat and telephonic interaction with FXCM's support staff, we think they provide a good service.

We have underlined some of the key customer support channels along with a link to FXCM's toll-free international numbers.

Live Chat
Open 24/5
Phone
+44 (0)207398 4050

FXCM is available in the following languages:

Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
English
French
Greek
Hungarian
Italian
Malay
Mandarin Chinese
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Slovak
Spanish
Swedish
Thai
Vietnamese

Visit “FOREX BROKERS ACADEMY” for more information.

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Winner of Numerous Awards and Recognitions

FXCM broker is a leader when it comes to retail and institutional clients and is accredited with many awards for its online platform, technical tools, research, brokerage, and trade-related services.

Following are some of the accolades received by FXCM:

  • Best broker research team, by Forex Best Awards in 2011
  • Winner of the Investment Trends Largest Forex Provider award in 2012
  • Best forex broker of the year, presented by UK Forex Awards in 2013
  • Best forex trading automation, acknowledged by UK Forex Awards in 2015
  • Best technical tools, by BrokerChooser in 2019
  • Social Champion Award, TradingView Broker Awards in 2020
  • Best Customer Service, Ultimate Fintech Awards 2021
  • Broker Of The Year, Ultimate Fintech Awards 2022
  • Best Overall Uk Broker, FX Empire 2023

FAQ

What Is the Leverage Offered by FXCM in FX and CFDs?

By default, FXCM offers leverage of 400:1 on FX and 200:1 on CFDs. This applies to international accounts. For EU, UK, and AU clients, the leverage is 30:1.

How Does FXCM Categorize the Trade Size?

The smallest size available on FXCM is 1,000 units of a currency pair:
1k or 1,000 units = 1 micro lot
10k or 10,000 units = 1 mini lot
100k or 100,000 units = 1 standard lot

Does FXCM Provide the Option of Holding PAMM Accounts?

Yes, FXCM offers PAMM accounts, but they are only accessible to Introducing Brokers (IB) and Referring Brokers (RB).

Does FXCM Pay 5% Interest on Your Account?

No, FXCM does not follow the practice of paying 5% interest on your account.

Am I Charged a Dormancy Fee If My FXCM Account Is Inactive?

Yes, FXCM charges a dormancy fee if your account is inactive for twelve months in a row. The fee is the lower of fifty units of the currency in which your account is denominated or the balance in your account. Accounts denominated in Japanese yen will be charged ¥5,000.

Final Thoughts

A pioneer in online retail FX trading, the market-making model of FXCM forex in the early 2000s won over customers, and the firm expanded rapidly across the globe. The swift growth led to worldwide recognition, with the FX broker receiving numerous awards for its growth and excellence in technological advances, research, and online platforms.

FXCM has a strong comeback with quite a few innovative investment products, a host of trading platforms, a comprehensive investor education program, tight spreads, robust client security, an investor protection fund, speedy execution, and competitive margins.

On the other hand, the brokerage also has some areas for improvement. For instance, the website could benefit from removing some unnecessary material and making it easier to find and understand the essential information that investors need, such as account types and margins. Moreover, the website could be more user-friendly by reducing the number of links and simplifying the navigation. Finally, the compensation disclosure, which explains the possible mark-up in the spread and rollovers, could be clearer and more transparent.

To conclude this FXCM review, this is a respectable brokerage for professionals and institutions due to the robust platforms and the large variety of APIs it supports. Since its ban on US operations in 2017, though, transparency issues continue to plague the broker. However, after a thorough analysis, FXCM appears to have more pros than cons.