FXCM is a mid-sized broker founded in 1999.
FXCM is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa (FSCA), and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
FXCM has won, among many more awards, the “Best FOREX Trading Platform—Global” at the Global FOREX Awards 2020.
FXCM’s strong slate of liquidity partners helps drive its prices down.
FXCM provides good access to financial markets, with Contract for Differences (CFD) in five asset classes.
With 39 FOREX pairs, 13 index CFDs, nine commodity CFDs and five cryptocurrency CFDs, FXCM customers have a wide range of investment options from which to choose.
FXCM offers spread betting in its UK home market, which can have tax advantages for clients in that country.
FXCM uses the well-known third-party trading platform MetaTrader4 (MT4) to supplement its proprietary Trading Station platform for desktop and Web trading.
FXCM claims to have an average trade execution speed of 0.032 seconds.
FXCM offers traders a strong range of four different account types.
FXCM supplies quality 24/5 customer support.
FXCM offers competitive levels of spreads and commissions across its account types.
FXCM prides itself on trade execution transparency and markets the mechanics of its speed as a differentiator.
Traders can access a strong knowledge base of quality research and education tools on FXCM’s trading platforms. FXCM’s in-house teams produce its educational material, and it supplements this with market news and analysis from Trading Central.
FXCM is a global broker with a long history. Founded in 1999, the company has undergone some important changes in that time. From operating in the US in its early days, it is now a UK-headquartered company. In 2015, it was acquired by the Leucadia Investments Group, which is part of the Jefferies Financial Group, a Fortune 1000 company.
FXCM is a well-capitalized firm that is on a continual drive to grow into international markets through its global affiliates. Having been in business for so long, it has won a respectable number of awards, such as “Best FOREX Trading Platform—Global” at the Global FOREX Awards 2020.
The company has opened over 130,000 customer accounts since its inception, placing it in the category of a medium-sized broker. FXCM looks to differentiate itself from its competitors by touting its strongly positive slippage statistics, fast execution speeds and superior pricing.
The UK division of FXCM is regulated by the FCA while its affiliates in Australia and South Africa are regulated by the ASIC and the FSCA, respectively. As part of its post-Brexit pivot, the company registered FXCM EU in 2019 and successfully applied for CySEC regulation in 2020.
FXCM offers a wide range of CFD investments for retail and professional clients. It also offers spread betting for its UK customers. FXCM trades in five asset classes:
Users can trade on FXCM’s proprietary platform, known as Trading Station, on desktop, Web and mobile. The company also offers users the option to trade with the well-known MT4. Clients can also use emerging third-party platforms NinjaTrader and ZuluTrade. Traders who are looking to push the boundaries of the trading experience can access several specialty platforms, such as StrategyQuant, SeerTrading and NeuroShell Trader, among others.
FXCM has a good educational offering aimed at beginner and intermediate traders. The broker does not slack with its video content and has commissioned an extensive choice of purpose-made video tutorials for its clients. Its Market Insights section features excellent written content that is refreshed regularly by an in-house knowledge team.
Who Is FXCM Good For?
Like many brokers, FXCM’s range of services is broad enough to accommodate any type of trader across the experience spectrum. However, the broker goes out of its way to sweeten the deal for high-volume traders.
Clients that trade enormous volumes qualify for the low-spread Active Trader Account. Trades of $1 million normally attract a $30 commission, but traders who are big enough to trade more than $150 million qualify for a 17% reduction of that fee. FXCM allows traders whose volume surpasses $500 million per month to request special pricing.
Another type of trader who could find a good niche with FXCM is the sophisticated algorithmic trader. By offering no fewer than seven third-party platforms with a focus on machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven algorithmic trading, FXCM is aligning itself with the next generation of traders. Here are the pros and cons of using this broker:
Is FXCM Safe?
FXCM is an adequately regulated broker with a 20-year history. It can be considered safe, as its regulators, such as the FCA, the CySEC, the ASIC and the FSCA of South Africa, govern its operating practices for the benefit of the trader. Being a subsidiary of a Fortune 1000 company in the form of the Jefferies Financial Group should also comfort traders.
For the sake of balance, investors should know that the FCA fined FXCM UK £4 million in 2014 for allowing its US affiliate, FXCM Group, to withhold profits worth £6 million from FXCM UK’s clients. Authorities in the US were also investigating another member of the FXCM Group for similar crimes.
FXCM UK eventually settled its dues, paving the way for its then parent company to become defunct, and for the Jefferies Financial Group to take over. All FXCM Group affiliates have followed all regulations since then.
Trading Account Information
Offering of Investments
FXCM offers a comparatively small range of investments when pitted against the biggest brokers in the industry. It specializes in five asset classes: FOREX, shares, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. Its asset selection includes 39 currency pairs, 13 index CFDs, and nine commodity CFDs. Traders can also invest in five cryptocurrency CFDs and one cryptocurrency basket. Moreover, UK clients can take advantage of FXCM’s spread-betting services.
FXCM is transparent about its efforts to drive the price of spreads down by disclosing its liquidity partners. The broker collaborates with as many as a dozen premier liquidity providers who compete in real time to supply the best buy-and-sell prices. FXCM goes to some length to explain the process and the benefits to would-be clients.
Advantages of Trading
FXCM offers several accounts that range from basic to complex. It aims to cater for the entry-level client while supplying a high-performing account for seasoned traders, too. Depending on the asset being traded, and where the account is domiciled, margins and leverage can change. FXCM regularly updates its margin requirements on its Website in the interests of transparency and reliability. These are the accounts on offer:
The Standard Account: It is aimed at retail customers who require a high-functioning account for daily use. This account, with an easy-to-follow buy and sell layout, features commissions that are priced at the lower-end of the market for the entry level trader who aspires to become serious.
The Active Trader Account: This account is designed for high-volume traders on the lookout for lower commissions. For this account, spreads are drastically reduced. Traders executing over $1 million in trade will have to pay a $30 commission, which is reduced to $25 as soon as they pass $150 million. Users of this account have access to comprehensive market research information and powerful customer support.
The Professional Trader Account: This account is targeted at institutional clients moving substantial trade volumes. Professional traders are hand-picked by FXCM. Traders must pass strict volume and revenue criteria to qualify for this account.
Demo Trading Account: The live Demo Account offers new traders $55,000 of dummy capital. Apart from the US dollar, the account supports trading in other popular currencies like the EUR and the GBP. Traders can immerse themselves in daily trading using the trading platform of their choice.
FXCM makes it easy to open accounts. Traders complete an online application and must undergo a three-step application process. Traders can see financial regulation in practice as the questions they answer are Know Your Customer (KYC) questions mandated by regulators. As is normal for a financial institution, FXCM will require photographic identification and proof of residence from applicants.
Deposits and Withdrawals
FXCM provides traders with the following methods to make deposits or withdrawals on their accounts:
Bank wire transfers.
The name of the payment processor must match the account name. Bank wire transfers take one to two days, with international banks often taking longer. Internet transfer service providers, such as Skrill and Neteller funds, take one day to reflect in your account.
Traders should know that while FXCM does not charge a fee for deposits, third-party fees might apply. Debit and credit card deposits are linked to the transaction limits on those cards.
Withdrawals are easy. Clients must access their MyFXCM dashboard and click “Withdraw Funds.” Withdrawals are free, but as with deposits, third-party bank charges may apply.
FXCM offers expert customer service support on a 24/5 basis. It does, however, encourage traders to consult the help section on its Website before they reach out to the customer service department. Traders can seek help via live chat, phone, email and SMS. FXCM customer service agents work between 5pm EST on Sunday to 5pm EST Friday.
When contacting the live-chat service, traders will need to verify their names and email addresses as a means of security. The live desk is well-staffed, and traders normally do not face any significant waiting times. FXCM takes customer service seriously, and its service consultants are well-trained and knowledgeable.
Commissions and Fees
Trading costs with FXCM differ depending on the instrument being traded and the account type that it is being used. Spread betting, CFD and FOREX trading accounts offer commission-free trading with only spreads and swaps payable.
Like most brokers, FXCM earns the bulk of its revenues from mark-ups on spreads. A popular FOREX pair like the EUR/USD is listed with an average spread of 1.4 pips for the standard trader. FXCM heavily motivates high volumes, and users of the Active Trader Account can get significantly reduced spreads, as much as 0.3 pips lower on the EUR/USD.
FXCM charges an inactivity fee of $50 on accounts that have been dormant for 12 months. The cost of Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is $30 for traders using the service. The broker keeps an updated rate card so that traders can stay informed about what they must pay.
Platforms and Tools
Traders have access to four trading platforms, with each one offering something slightly different. FXCM’s proprietary platform, known as Trading Station, is underrated, but provides a high-quality gateway to enjoyable trading. Developed and iterated over FXCM’s many years in the market, the platform features a quality charting package, advanced automated trading, insightful indicators, and constantly updated market data. The rest of the platforms are the feature-rich MT4, Ninjatrader and ZuluTrade. Here is more information on each of them:
Trading Station, Desktop
Execute multiple order types at the same time.
View real-time pricing.
Trade directly from charts.
Automate trading strategies.
Trading Station Web
Access live FXCM newsfeed.
Store your user preferences on the FXCM cloud.
Get customized trading analytics.
View charts on multiple screens.
Advanced trading intelligence and indicators.
Customizable options for any level of trader.
Rapid order execution.
Attractive low spreads.
Visualize opportunities with charting.
Optimized order execution.
Testable point-and-click automated strategies.
Spreads stay low by avoiding unnecessary mark-ups.
Social auto-trading platform.
Follow and analyze other traders for $30/month.
Pay a performance fee only if you have successful trades.
Profit-sharing model, only pay fees if you make returns.
Further, FXCM offers the following specialty, third-party platforms that can easily integrate with FXCM's rapid execution:
These platforms are part of a new breed of platforms that share an emphasis on advanced algorithmic trading, machine learning, AI, advanced charting, and next-level analytics. The type of trader typically interested in these platforms is someone who cannot find the level of high-powered intelligent analytics available in the mainstream. They are seeking the next edge through technical or analytical means before everyone else gets there.
The FXCM Trading Station mobile platform can offer many of the features that can be found on Trading Station Web or Desktop. It is downloadable on Android and iOS and supplies users the ability to trade multiple asset classes, view real-time market pricing, manipulate different timeframes, and execute orders. In addition, FXCM Trading Station mobile offers traders access to features such as 24/5 trading signals and a trading analytics indicator. Account holders can also download FXCM apps from the FXCM App Store. To offer as much choice as possible, FXCM gives traders who have a strong preference for the mobile version of MT4 the ability to download it and apply it to their FXCM accounts.
Research and Development
FXCM offers high-quality research and market news to traders of all levels. Besides a detailed economic calendar, FXCM serves up a daily newsletter produced in partnership with industry experts at Trading Central.
The Market Scanner is a feature that allows traders to choose several technical indicators that result in usable buy and sell recommendations. FXCM Plus allows traders access to detailed trading signals and thorough technical analysis.
The Market News section is refreshed on the hour with insights on important FOREX pairs. Users have endless choices among the many high-grade research reports covering a variety of asset classes.
FXCM even supplies an in-house Market Specialist. This carefully chosen expert unpicks market sentiment to give traders useful information for their own selections. The quality of the research and analysis on FXCM makes them a standout in the medium-sized broker category. They spare no effort in educating both beginner and advanced traders.
FXCM deploys an in-house team to produce invaluable education resources. Users will find excellent value in the comprehensive articles on such important topics as macroeconomics and trading strategies.
FXCM shows its passion for economic education by investing a lot of time and resources in the production of such a wide range of articles. As a trader of any level, you can access digestible educational guides on topics such as “FOREX trading,” “how to become a better trader” and “traits of successful traders”.
There are also several recorded Webinars that will keep their educational value. Traders can access these Webinars whenever needed, and they can also access the broker’s YouTube page, which additionally includes a rich trove of tutorials and instructional video guides.
FXCM is a dependable and growing broker. It has recovered from significant changes in its history and is now on a continued track of success. The high-quality research and education resources point to a broker that is intent on keeping its clients by investing in their success. It also wants to take its clientele into the future by offering niche trading platforms that will soon become mainstream.
FXCM offers competitive fees, and it is constantly trying to find the operating efficiencies that will make it even more competitive. Its fast execution, positive slippage rates, and robust trading platforms all point to a broker actively working toward an improvement aim.
Traders will also take confidence from the broker’s tier-1 liquidity partners, strong regulation, and well-staffed customer service desk. Although its investment range is limited, the broker does an excellent job on the asset classes on which it has focused. FXCM is, therefore, set to thrive in its chosen markets.
As a future-focused and customer-centric broker, FXCM is an attractive proposition to new and seasoned traders alike. Experienced traders in particular will approve of the heavily motivated high-volume trade pricing, as they will of the suite of specialty platforms.
FXCM is an excellent combination of the old and the new. Its long history and trading record stands alongside its emphasis on emerging platform tools. Traders of all types can find a home with this broker.
FXCM in Brief
FXCM is a medium-sized broker that has kept its competitive pricing and platform advantages as it adds new strings to its bow with improved liquidity and topical research resources. Modern traders will feel at home with the intuitive learning and trading experience on offer.
The team at Arincen collected more than 120 pieces of data covering more than 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
1. Companies’ Websites.
2. Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
3. A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise.
We have identified 12 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets etc.
Afterward we validated the data by:
1. Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
2. Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and past experience.
The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including taking into account different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems, e.g., Apple, Samsung etc.
To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%.
Where is this broker regulated?
FXCM is regulated by three tier-1 (high trust) regulators, namely the UK’s FCA, the ASIC in Australia and the CySEC in Cyprus. It is also regulated by the FSCA in South Africa.
In what other ways does this broker protect me?
This broker offers clients negative balance protection as part of EU guidelines that cut out instances where clients lose more money than they have deposited. Through its regulation with the FCA and the CySEC, the broker also offers additional investor compensation through the FSCS and ICF, respectively.
Which countries does this broker serve?
The broker accepts clients from around the globe. However, traders from the US are not eligible to apply for an FXCM live-trading account.
Does this broker offer Cryptocurrency trading?
Yes. Traders can invest in five cryptocurrency CFDs.
Does this broker provide any extra offerings?
FXCM offers a referral program that could see investors win up to $300 by referring friends or family. There is also a volume-based rebate program for active traders.
How do I fund my account?
FXCM provides traders with the following methods to make deposits or withdrawals on their accounts: bank wire transfers, credit/debit cards, Skrill, Union Pay, Neteller, Klarna and rapid transfer.
Which trading platforms does this broker offer?
Traders have access to four trading platforms. These are: FXCM’s proprietary platform, Trading Station, MT4, Ninjatrader and ZuluTrade.
How can I access customer service?
FXCM offers expert customer service support on a 24/5 basis. It does, however, encourage traders to consult the help section on its Website before they reach out to the customer service department. Traders can seek help via live chat, phone, email and SMS.