FXCM is an established and regulated online broker with a range of powerful and flexible trading platforms. However, trading instruments are limited compared to other brokerages whilst the spreads are not the tightest.
FXCM Review, Pros & Cons
- Strict regulation
- Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
- Multiple choices of sophisticated platforms
- Social trading via ZuluTrade & MT4
- Advanced Charting provided by TradingView
- Daily analysis by Trading Central
- Clients from USA, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, etc are not allowed to register
- Limited tradable assets
- Not the tightest spreads
In this detailed FXCM review, our online broker research team have covered some of the most important aspects for you to consider when choosing the best broker for your online trading needs.
Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) is a leading online brokerage that offers forex, CFDs and spread betting services over the internet. The broker was founded in 1999 with a mission to provide access to the financial markets via innovative tools and superior trading conditions.
FXCM is a global trading broker with offices in London, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Athens, Paris, Sydney, Berlin and Milan. The brand also has affiliate offices in Toronto and Tel Aviv, Israel.
FXCM obtains its pricing from premium liquidity providers which includes global banks and financial institutions. Some of them are Barclays Bank Plc, Citibank N.A, Deutsche Bank AG, Jefferies Financial Services, etc. FXCM’s price engine examines the price feed from the liquidity providers and selects the best price. This price is displayed on the trading platforms for clients to see.
The broker operates a No Dealing Desk (NDD) brokerage model. FXCM states that the advanced trading technology implemented is responsible for providing execution speeds of 31 milliseconds.
FXCM has been recognised with excellence awards multiple times. The awards are in several areas which include platform, customer support, analysis, etc. Some of the awards are: ‘Best Forex Trading automation’ which was won at the 2015 UK Forex Awards and ‘Best Forex Broker of the year’ won at the 2013 UK Forex Awards.
FXCM South Africa (PTY) LTD is an authorised Financial Services Provider and is regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) under FSP No 46534.
FXCM Australia Pty. Limited is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The Australian Financial Services License Number is 309763.
Forex Capital Markets Limited is authorised and regulated with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom. The Registration Number is 217689.
FXCM has implemented a Secured Socket Layer (SSL) on all its websites and platforms. The SSL encryption protects data transmission between the clients’ workstations and FXCM’s servers so that hackers are kept out of the loop. This is very important because identity thieves and internet fraudsters might attempt to steal important user info such as credit card details, verification documents and users’ accounts.
All client deposits are held in segregated bank accounts. These accounts are kept with top rated banks in Europe, Australia and other FXCM country of operations. For example, in Australia, client funds are held in Citibank, Australia; which is an established international bank.
For the European clients, their funds are further protected by the insurance provided by the ‘Financial Services Compensation Scheme’ (FSCS). If in the future FXCM goes bankrupt, the FSCS can pay compensations to eligible clients. The FSCS compensation is capped at £85,000.
FXCM does not provide services to residents of USA, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, Iran and some other countries. Some FXCM broker features and products mentioned within this FXCM review may not be available to traders from specific countries due to legal restrictions.
This is FXCM’s proprietary platform for trading forex and CFDs. The platform is robust, intuitive and replete with trader essential tools. It is available as follows:
- Trading Station Web 2.0: This platform was built on HTML5, so it runs on web browsers across all operating systems. It is optimised for viewing on all screens. The platform is accessible from the FXCM website.
- Trade Station Mobile: This is the mobile version of the platform.
- Trade Station Desktop: This is the major platform that can be downloaded and installed on a windows computer.
Here are some of the features of the Trading Station platform
- Chart customisations over multiple timeframes.
- Analysis with the use of several indicators.
- Trading from the Charts.
- Price alerts to monitor favourite instruments.
- Supports strategy automations.
- Trading analytics direct on the platform
- News and economic calendar are embedded in the platform.
FXCM Trading Station Mobile
This is the mobile version of the proprietary Trading Station platform. It is developed for Android and iOS devices. The apps can be downloaded from the Google Play store or Apple store. It has all the powerful trading tools for efficient trading and market analysis. Here are some of its features:
- Account management functions such as registration of new live and demo accounts, funds deposits, etc.
- Live quotes and live charts on all available instruments.
- 3 chart types on 13 timeframes.
- Complete order management featuring risk management settings, multiple order types and order history.
- Research articles and economic calendar is live on the app.
- Customisable with alerts.
- Account reports can be generated in pdf or html formats.
- User guide of 11 chapters.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
This is the most widely used trading platform. It has thousands of tools and apps already developed that add extra functionality to the platform. FXCM does not restrict traders on the use of the MT4. It is available as a windows desktop downloadable application and also as mobile app for iOS and Android devices.
Here are some of the features of the MT4 trading platform.
- Interactive charts and built in indicators useful for technical analysis.
- Assets quotes in real time
- Supports the automation of strategies using Expert Advisors (EAs).
- Access to the MetaTrader market where traders can purchase over 1,700 EAs and over 2,000 technical indicators.
- The platform is available in over 35 languages.
- News and alerts are available.
- Social trading available right from the MT4 platform
- Free VPS for high volume traders.
This is a sophisticated trading platform for trading forex and CFDs. The latest version is NinjaTrader 8.0 and its features include complex analytics, charting and trade automation.
The platform is not free of charge and it has no mobile apps. Here are some of the features of the NinjaTrader:
- Every window is customisable and detachable. Arrange your own layout and colours.
- Advanced trade management including pending order and risk management tools.
- Complex charting capabilities including over 15 chart styles.
- Supports the display of multiple instruments and timeframes on a single chart.
- About 100 inbuilt indicators and numerous drawing tools.
- Supports trade automation using point-and-click strategy for traders without programming knowledge.
- Supports the development of custom apps using C# programming language.
- Identify trade opportunities using the inbuilt Market Analyser.
- Configure advanced alerts and stay on top of the latest market movements.
FXCM offers Application Interfaces (APIs) to traders who want to automate their strategies using APIs. All the APIs support the Trading Station Desktop application. They also support account management and multiple order types.
The APIs are as follows:
- REST API: It is web based and works on any operating system. It works on demo or live account.
- JAVA: It runs on Windows, MAC or Linux OS. It is built on the Java programming language and it is free.
- FIX: This is available to traders with an account balance of $5,000 and above. It runs on Windows, MAC or Linux. With socket communication, it supports any programming language.
- FOREXCONNECT: It is free to use on either demo or live accounts. It runs on Windows, Linux or Mac OS. It supports Java, C, C++, C#, VB and VBA programming languages. FOREXCONNECT uses proprietary protocol and has a mobile application.
On request, FXCM gives its clients access to trade on any of these specialty platforms:
- Sierra Chart
- NeuroShell Trader
FXCM Trading Tools
MT4 Virtual Private Server (VPS)
This is available to all clients who choose to trade on the MT4. A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is essential to traders who adopt complex trading systems and Expert Advisors (EAs) that require constant connections without needing the trading platform running on their own machine. The free VPS is provided to high volume traders who have traded up to 500K per month in the last 3 months. Otherwise, the subscription fee is $30 per month. FXCM has partnered with two renowned VPS providers to bring this service to its clients. The VPS providers are ‘Beeksfx.com’ and ‘Fxcolo.com’.
This is available to UK Clients. ZuluTrade is a leading social trading platform in the world today. Interested clients are linked to ZuluTrade platform where they can choose from several signal providers and automatically copy their trades.
Live Forex Charts
These are provided on the FXCM website and display advanced charts of several trading instruments in real time. There are 10 chart types and over 12 timeframes. The charts have over 80 technical indicators. The charting package is courtesy of TradingView; a renowned investment research firm that provides charting and analytical services.
The global market news is updated several times a day. It gives the latest news and happenings in the economic activities of different nations. The news covers forex and other financial markets.
The FXCM economic calendar lists the global economic events that affect the prices of trading instruments. You can search for events and compare analysts’ consensus with previous records. The calendar also gives trade ideas.
This is a set of tools designed to assist traders. It comprises of daily trading signals, technical analyzer and trading analytics.
- The daily signals are generated and updated in real time round the clock within the trading hours.
- The technical analyzer uses indicators and charts to identify trading opportunities.
- Trading analytics identifies trading mistakes and optimises your trading for better results.
This is a marketplace where platform tools can be bought or acquired for free. The store contains over 50 MT4 apps, over 50 Trading station apps, over 10 NinjaTrader apps and over 10 standalone apps. The apps are mainly automated strategies, indicators and add-ons.
This tool scans the markets and gives 5 different types of signals. It can scan forex and CFDs using the client’s choice of indicators and timeframes.
Daily Technical Levels
This is a free daily newsletter powered by Trading Central; a certified research firm that provides technical analysis and daily market commentaries on several instruments. The newsletter is known as “Before the Bell” and it is sent via email. It contains daily analyses on major assets and chart analysis.
Clients are given free access to webinars every weekday. This seminar is facilitated by FXCM’s expert analysts. There are also recorded videos from past seminars.
There are several trading articles that are meant to teach new traders. These articles introduce them to forex trading starting with terminologies, basic concepts, indicators and trading strategies. Also, there are articles explaining the roles of G20, OPEC and IMF.
A glossary of over 45 relevant trading terms is available on the website. Forex trading ‘A to Z course’ is available to account holders upon request. The video library contains videos on platform use, forex introduction, order types and mobile platform tutorials.
FXCM offers approximately 66 trading instruments on its platforms. They are 39 currency pairs, 5 cryptocurrencies, 13 indices and 9 commodities. This is a limited range of instruments compared to many other online brokers.
FXCM Accounts & Fees
FXCM charge its trading fees from the spread irrespective of the type of account. The spread is variable and it depends on market liquidity and volatility. The typical spread for the EURUSD starts from 0.7 pips for the UK website and 1.3 pips for others. The maximum leverage for European clients is 1:30 while other clients are offered 1:400. The following account types are available:
- Trust Account.
Free and unlimited demo accounts are available to test the different trading platforms and conditions before opening a real account.
As broker fees can vary and change, there may be additional fees that are not listed in this FXCM review. It is imperative to ensure that you check and understand all of the latest information on the official FXCM website before opening a brokerage account.
The customer support is provided in various languages. The support team is available 24/5. They can be reached on over 40 phone numbers listed on the website for different countries. They can also be contacted via email and instant web chat. On social media, they are on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
FXCM Deposit & Withdrawal
FXCM does not charge deposit fees. The minimum deposit is $50. In compliance with the Anti Money Laundering (AML) procedures, FXCM does not accept cash deposits. The broker also rejects cheques and funds transferred from exchange houses. Funds from third parties are also rejected.
- Debit/Credit Card: The cards accepted are MasterCard, Visa and Discover. This is the fastest way to fund credit accounts as deposits are instant. China UnionPay cards are also accepted.
- Bank Wire Transfer (SWIFT, CHAPS, BACS, BPAY, SEPA): These methods are used to transfer funds between FXCM’s banks and a client’s bank. The process takes 1-2 business days for local transfers but can take 3-5 working days for international transfers.
- E-Wallets: The accepted e-wallets are Skrill and Neteller. The limit is $20,000 within a month. The funds are processed within a day.
Accounts can be opened in USD, GBP, EUR, CHF, JPY, NZD, CAD, AUD. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
FXCM Account Opening
FXCM states that it takes 3 easy steps to register for a live account. Visit the FXCM website and click on ‘Open Account’ located on the top right hand corner of any page. The form below displays.
Select your country and trading platform, then, click ‘Begin Application’. If you are in the wrong FXCM website, the website will direct you to the right website for your country. If you are from an ineligible country, you will also be told. But, if everything is correct, the registration form displays. On completion, account login credentials are issued and a welcome message is displayed.
FXCM is an experienced broker with multiple regulations. The broker has invested in advanced technological solutions to help provide clients with good trading conditions.
The award-winning proprietary Trading Station is replete with essential tools that are beneficial to all levels and types of traders. FXCM also support the ever popular MT4 platform. The addition of the sophisticated NinjaTrader and other APIs makes FXCM a broker with multiple alternatives depending on individual trader requirements.
FXCM has secured partnerships with reputable experts to bring premium services to its clients. This includes partnerships with TradingView, Trading Central & VPS providers.
However, the number of tradable assets available is very limited when compared to other brokers who offer thousands of assets.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70.96% 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.