FXCM - one of the largest Forex brokers in the world, started its activities in 1999. The company is regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) and executed within strict financial standards, including the requirement set out sufficient capital. FXCM provides its clients its own trading platform - FX Trading Station - which allows customers to conduct transactions on the interbank financial markets in No Dealing Desk mode, selecting quotes from leading banks.
|Platform||MT4, NinjaTrader, Mirror Trader & ZuluTrade|
|Minimum account size||$2,000|
|Minimum lot size||0.01|
|Tradable assets||50+ currency pairs|
|Spread on EUR/USD||0.2 pips|
|Payment methods||Credit/Debit Card, Bank Wire & ACH|
|Accepts US traders||Yes|
|Regulated||NFA (US), FCA (UK), ACP (France) & ASIC (Australia)|
|Support||Email, Phone, Fax & Live Chat|
Established in 1999, this New York-based organization has the highest number of traders in FX trading industry and a vast majority of traders relied on for years.
Again according to the statistics and also FXCM website, this company possesses a huge global user-base, a great number of financial assets, and a high degree of liquidity. In 2008, this company exceeded $300 million in revenues. Today FXCM employs over 550 from around the world. Currently they have several other locations as Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Sydney. Also, FXCM has numerous offices within the United States.
This firm provides trading assistance and other related services to institutional and retail clients. Although they give their clients advice, this has no regards to one’s needs, financial situation, or trading objectives. Hence, their service is not as suitable for beginners as it is for investors who have preliminary foreign exchange trading experience, especially those who know how to manage risk wisely. Since FXCM (and also no other brokers) cannot guarantee their clients profits, it recommends that its traders seek guidance from independent financial advisors. This is what all brokers claim on their website, because they don’t want to be accused in case the clients lose money.
FXCM is a No Dealing Desk (NDD) broker that routes your orders to several interbanks and financial institutions also known as liquidity providers. This is what they have clearly stated on their website. However, I could not see who their liquidity providers are.
FXCM website looks self-intuitive and easy to use website to me. Of course nowadays all brokers try to have such websites. Broker’s website is the main gateway that new clients enter from. So they try to design it in the way that even those who’ve never traded before will find it highly approachable. Even if you’re unsure about trading or are just curious to learn more about the Forex market, the broker’s website have to be too easy to navigate and use. Do you agree?
By navigating FXCM website, you will find that this Forex brokerage firm offers a host of many services to assist its clients along ample resources to educate them as well. If you’re serious about currency trading, you can open an account, deposit money, and begin once you’ve been approved.
No need to say again that nowadays all brokers try to offer too many different services to attract more clients. Forex brokering becomes more and more competitive every day, and so brokers have to offer something new every day to stand out of the crowd. And this is what FXCM is also doing. However, I believe something that attract serious traders and makes them stay with the company for a longer time, is the safety of the positions and orders, fast and easy funding and withdrawal, and such basic services that a broker has to offer. I don’t know if FXCM is also good in this or not.
Along the top main menu of their site (as circled) are the following selections:
- Home – This is their main page.
- Advantages – On this page you will find various sections of information that describes FXCM and resources available to educate clients.
- Forex Basics – If you need to learn about the basic concepts of Forex, there are some links here to teach you the various aspects of trading. Towards the bottom are organized sections of info that give step-by-step advice on how to trade with a practice account.
- Products – Here you can choose what currency pair you want to trade and what platform you want to trade it on (Trading Station, MetaTrader 4, Mirror Trader, etc). In the center is a box that gives advice on buying and selling currencies online as well as a box recommending a good currency to trade now.
- Services – FXCM offers some services to cater to your personal or business needs. They offer Active Trader, Daily FX PLUS, Programming, Institutional, FXCM Apps, and Account Service Level.
- Resources – If it’s educational resources that you need, this is the best page to look at. There are several boxes as Education, which provides access to live webinars and trading guides;
- Support – FXCM’s 24/7 support.
I think something very important is missing on the educational stuff FXCM and also all the other brokers offer. I have never seen they warn new clients and novice traders that if they have not demo traded enough and have not become a consistently profitable trader who has been able to repeat his success for several consecutive months at least, then there is no point to open a live account. It is stupid to open a live account while you have not mastered your trading system and have not built your discipline and confidence yet. This is what no broker clarifies for novice traders and new clients.
What FXCM Offers
Opening an account on this site is fast and easy, enabling a client to begin trading right away. Traders have to go onto their site and on the top horizontal menu and choose Open An Account. Next, they have to complete their three preliminary steps as presented on the resulting page. First, you will need to fill out their online application, which takes about 10 minutes to fill out and requires one to three business days to process. Once it is approved, you will be sent an email which you must respond to in order to complete the signup phase. You will also be given a username and password. This process is almost the same with the other brokers. They try to make it as simple as possible to sign up.
To open a standard online account, a minimal deposit of $100 is required. Before you can start trading, you must deposit a minimum of $2,000 USD, EUR, or GBP into your account.
As you’ve established a live (real) account, FXCM includes the usage of $225 worth of free software apps as Breakout2, Automatic Trendiness Indicators, and 24-Hour Trend Location. FXCM also offers an App Store with popular programs as Forex News as well as additional indicators, self-intuitive trading tools, and more. Charting tools and data for analysis which can be added to popular platforms are available on independent websites or as plug-ins to the platforms themselves.
If you’re not comfortable with trading using your own money, you can open a demo account. Simply sign up for a free trading account and you’ll have 30 days to use it. This will enable you to become better acquainted with FXCM and the Trading Station software. Meanwhile, you can experiment with various trading strategies without risking your own capital. Because it costs you nothing, it is a practical way to get to know the system. Read this: Good Forex Brokers Must Offer Free Unlimited Demo Accounts
FXCM Trading Features
FXCM’s trading service has a flexible leveraging amounts, including a maximum trading leverage of 100/1. Although clients are free to use whatever leveraging amount they choose, most stick with preset values since these values are set according to the default margin settings.
Trailing stop loss is also allowed. Of course this is one of the features that most trading platforms support by default.
As far as I know, traders are happy with the spread FXCM offers. FXCM claims that it provides this with the use of fractional pip pricing. They offer a 2 pips spread for EUR/USD and 3 pips for GBP/USD. However, I think nowadays it is possible to offer much lower spread for these pairs. I hope FXCM doesn’t apply any markup to the spreads they provide.
No Dealing Desk
FXCM has clearly stated on its website that they offer a No Dealing Desk (NDD) system.
What Is NDD?
NDD execution system was designed to provide a more efficient and precise method of pricing and execution than models typically employed by other Forex dealing desk brokers. Due to its success, NDD prices are more market-driven and competitive. Likewise, execution of the NDD is transparent and fair.
The NDD has several other benefits as:
- Private order execution, meaning price providers aren’t able to view your entry orders, stops, or limits.
- No intervention from dealers and no re-quotes.
- Raw spreads that are available by liquidity providers.
- Eliminated conflict of trading interest among traders and brokers.
- Restriction-free use of strategies, whether it be trading the news, EA only, or scalping.
- Potential price improvements for any types of orders.
This service (NDD) enables brokers to stream the best available bid and best ask prices from liquidity providers onto its platform. Hence, the prices you see are from broker’s liquidity providers such as financial institutions, worldwide banks, and other market making services. Thus, you can be sure that the prices you see are reliable since they are established by a deep and diverse pool of liquidity providers rather than just a single provider.
Because these prices are well refined, they do not reflect on the general foreign exchange trading market. Due to great competition, the NDD model ensures customers receive the most ultimate market-driven and fairest prices possible. As advantageous prices promote better order flow from providers, poor prices reduce order flow. Thus, this efficient system prevents a bad liquidity provider from adversely affecting prices offered to you. This is the most ultimate source for obtaining the most accurate bid and ask prices from their liquidity providers.
So, if FXCM really offers NDD system, traders should be able to use any kind of EA, scalp whenever they want, and they should experience fast and easy execution.
As you trade, you are likely to encounter dealing desk brokers who will trade against you and profit as you lose and vice-versa. Because they do, they definitely will manipulate your orders by placing restrictions on your stops and limits or re-quote your orders. However, FXCM claims that it will never assume a position in the market and thus, never will work against their clients, and all customers’ orders are automatically filled through the NDD price feed. This is what FXCM users have to admit.
You can use the below platforms if you open a live account with FXCM:
- Trading Station
- MetaTrader 4 (MT4).
- Mirror Trader
FXCM offers an application known as Trading Station, which is compatible to popular web platforms and mobile networks. This program enables investors to make foreign exchange trades online. Its users are furnished with easy-to-understand market information along with an ultimate degree of execution. The prices FXCM feeds into this application are continuously updated tick by tick, even during the slightest market moves. Likewise, these prices represent the actual amounts at which traders can buy or sell currency pairs.
Trading Station is FXCM’s most used platform in conducting its foreign trading transactions. As one of the largest trading applications used today, it has cutting edge technology and enables traders to trade straight from the charts. Because it can be customized easily and provides one-click trading, streaming quotes, and extensive reporting, it is a very practical trade tool that can be used by all levels of traders, even beginners. It can be installed on Windows computers or Macs. You must have a live or demo account with FXCM before downloading it.
Manuals for this platform can be obtained in several different formats. Also, one can find them on walk-through videos which convey an overview of its basic features. Additionally, you can learn about Trading Station through the assistance of a service representative over the phone or via online chat.
FXCM offers 24/7 customer support, even on weekends when the market is closed. Multilingual staff are available to offer support to users in more than 20 foreign languages. Support can be reached by international toll-free calls, email, and chat. Those with gold accounts (over $25,000) can obtain VIP support.
This review might look too positive to you and you might think that we are promoting FXCM somehow, but as it was explained at the beginning of this article, we are not affiliated with any brokerage companies including FXCM. Also we have never had any account with this company. What we explained above is merely the result of our research and also what we have heard about this broker from other traders, as well as what FXCM has explained on its website.
The platform design is very clean and organized. I never experienced any difficulties in using the interface because it’s easy to locate the menus and the commands on the screen. Even the process of placing the trades are well simplified so even new users are sure to have no problems in getting used to the platform. Such simplicity deserves a Design score of 4/5.
The minimum deposit at FXCM is $2,000 which I find to be quite high if compared to the other brokers in the market today. I find it trivial as to why they necessitate such high initial deposits when other brokers allow much lower requirements and for this I am giving them a Minimum Deposit score of2/5.
Minimum Lot Size
The ability to trade using a low lot size gives me the opportunity to effectively control the risks. With FXCM I can use a minimum lot size of 0.01 and for this they deserve a Minimum Trade Score of 5/5.
FXCMhas over 50 currency pairs available on their platforms and this includes the exotic ones like the USD/ZAR, USD/SGD, USD/HKD, USD/TRY, EUR/TRY and SGD/JPY pairs. Such diversity of choices warrants a Tradable assets score of 4/5.
They offer tight forex spreads with no markups and this means that the chances of making good profits are increase. The spread of 0.2 pips on the EUR/USD currency pair is a lot better than what other brokers can offer and for this I am giving this broker a Payouts score of 9/10.
According to their website, the standard processing time around 2 days which is way faster than other brokers. During my actual tests, my withdrawals were indeed processed in 2 days and I was able to get my money back in less than a week. This is solid evidence that they can be trusted because they do fulfill their promise in returning the money of their clients and this is the reason why I am giving them a Withdrawal Time score of 10/10.
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
Funding a FXCM account can be done using credit and debit cards, bank wire, paper cheque, ACH and UnionPay. All of these payment methods are very basic and don’t require any complicated steps in transferring funds.This warrants FXCM a Deposit and Withdrawal Methods score of 4/5.
I tried contacting them over the phone but their lines are always busy so I used the live chat feature thinking that I can get a better chance of getting in touch with their support team but it’s actually much worse as I have to wait for more than an hour just to get an agent online.
The busy lines and the 1 hour waiting time on the live chat are totally unacceptable which is why I am giving them a score of 3/15 for Support.