FXCM Review: An all-inclusive Guide

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Forex Capital Markets, popularly known as FXCM, is a forex and CFDs trading, spread betting broker based in the UK. It was founded in 1999. As one of the oldest brokers, FXCM has been in the forex and CFD trading industry for more than two decades. FXCM is owned by Leucadia Investments, one of the Jefferies Financial Group’s merchant banking arms, and has a strong background in investment banking and is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Overview of FXCM

FXCM is a well-known forex trading, spread betting, CFD trading, and similar services providing online brokers. The FXCM official website claims to provide access to some of the most liquid markets across the globe. The site also claims that it offers some of the most novel and innovative trading tools and online trading courses for an intuitive trading experience.

During our research for this review, we performed a detailed study of the FXCM online broker. We have listed FXCM’s features, benefits, and drawbacks to provide information for both new and experienced traders. But before proceeding with the review, readers should know that trading CFDs involves high risk. We recommend them to consult financial experts or financial services for expert advice on Forex and CFDs trading,

Key Features

  • Mobile trading
  • One-click trade order execution
  • Real-time market charts
  • Educational courses on forex and CFDs trading
  • Offers small hedge funds and also high and medium frequency funds
  • FXCM prime for prime brokerage services
  • Access to trading station FXCM’s proprietary trading platform
  • Supports third-party trading platforms

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Types of Trading Accounts 

During our research for this review, we came across the following types of trading FXCM accounts:

  • Demo account
  • Real account

The real account is further divided into;

  • Standard Trading Account
  • Active Trader 

Demo account

As the name suggests, it is a trading simulator that enables traders to backtest their trading strategy. It is also a very useful tool for practicing trading. Users can log in to their demo accounts using their registered email address and password. Once the registration is complete, they receive $20,000 virtual money for trading. 

The demo account is ideal for analyzing price movements of the currency pairs or CFDs. It also executes trades in real-time to understand how best the strategy works before trading for real. It is ideal for new traders. 

FXCM offers an economic calendar, and using the demo feature; one can test the difference in the expected value and the actual value to develop strategies for real trades. Experienced traders and professionals can also use this demo feature for trying different trading strategies. 

Trading Forex and CFDs is often a risky endeavor where user accounts lose money. To analyze the risk involved and to minimize it, we recommend users first try the demo account rather than starting with real-time trading. 

Real Account

The real account consists of the standard account and the active trader account. Typically, a standard account enables users to trade 24/7 with free access to the broker’s official website. To activate this account, users must make a minimum deposit of $2,000. 

An active trader account requires users to make a minimum deposit of $25,000. This account is better suited for trading professionals. As a complex trading account, it has all the features FXCM has to offer. Another unique feature of the active trader account is that users get expert advice from some of the top forex trading analysts. Apart from this, the broker offers an active trader account with dedicated customer support, API trading, and Trading Station for free. 

So, what are the requirements for opening an FXCM account? For the exception of the restricted countries mentioned in this review article, users from other countries must confirm their nationality and fill-up the easy application form with details like name, phone number, email address, etc. Once the application is processed and approved, the new user will receive a username and password to access the MyFXCM portal, where they can deposit funds to start trading CFDs and Forex. 

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FXCM Review: Salient features

Trading Instruments

From cryptocurrency CFDs to exchange-traded securities to Forex trading, the broker enables these trades to be connected to over 43 exchanges across the Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. Based on the global exchange allotted to the trader, the trading instruments may vary with additional offerings apart from the ones stated above. 

During our analysis for this review, the official website claimed to support over 39 Forex pairs and feature Forex spot trading. There is also the option of copy trading or social trading. At FXCM, a total of 82 CFDs are offered along with cryptocurrencies. Readers are advised to note that the broker supports the trading of cryptocurrency as CFDs rather than actuals. 

Trading Platforms

The broker offers some of the most reliable trading platforms, including its proprietary Trading Station. These trading platforms have some of the most sophisticated tools to help both beginners and professionals.

MetaTrader 4 or MT4, NinjaTrader 8, TradingView, ZuluTrade, among others, are some of the trading platforms. Users interested keen on algorithmic trading can use Trading Station, MetaTrader4, NinjaTrader 8, and TradingView, while copy or social trading users can use ZuluTrader and Trader Workstation. FXCM also features IBKR for trading stocks. However, as per our findings for this review, the Active Trader account can access all the platforms while the standard accounts are limited to using only specific platforms. 

In-house Trading Station Platform 

Trading Station is the proprietary trading platform for trading Forex and CFDs, suitable for traders of every skill level. The platform offers some of the best analytical tools available in the desktop version, web version, and application for Mac, Android, and iOS devices. 

A charting tool named Marketscope 2.0 is a salient feature of the desktop version of Trading Station as a contemporary to MetaTrader. Trading Station is ideal for backtesting trading strategies. 

The Trading Station platform’s web version has a plethora of trading tools and features, including and not limited to; research analysis from Trading Central links to external resources, trading signals, etc. It is based on HTML5 and has useful elements like economic calendar, Education and Research, trading analytics, FXCM Cloud, and Charts. 

During our research for this review, the FXCM web version claimed to be offering over 52 trading indicators and 26 trading tools. Nevertheless, the web version does not have all the features found in the desktop version. Thus, as per our Trading Station review findings, the desktop version is ideal for advanced traders, while Trading Station web 2.0 is easy to use for beginners or new traders. Nevertheless, where web-based trading systems are concerned, the Trading Station web version is the best in the industry. 

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Third-party Trading Platforms

FXCM offers yet another contemporary to MetaTrader, the latest version of NinjaTrader desktop. Many trading tools are found on this platform, like automated trading, market replay, and analyzer tool. NinjaTrader also has more than 150 default indicators. Moreover, users can create trading indicators and strategies from scratch or choose from over 1000 NinjaScripts.

For algorithmic trading, the broker’s app store provides many technical indicators, automated trading robots, and add-ons. Apart from the in-house and third-party regular trading systems, the broker is also compatible with specialty trading platforms for algorithmic trading like AlgoTerminal platform, AgendaTrader, Capitalise platform, MotiveWave, NeuroShell Trader, Sierra Chart, StrategyQuant platform, etc. With the help of the FXCM support team, traders can also develop their very own MT4 Expert Advisors.

FXCM Restricted Countries

FXCM restricted countries are as follows; Afghanistan, American Samoa, Belarus, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Crimea, Cuba, East Timor, Guam, Iran, Korea, Liberia, Libya, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Russian Federation, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands, Western Sahara, and Zimbabwe.

Apart from the above-mentioned, Iceland and Japan are FXCM’s retail clients’ restricted countries. Nevertheless, the FXCM website is easily accessible from anywhere across the world. Users are advised to note that seldom the trading systems and trading instruments offered vary from one country to another. 

Trading Fee

Compared to other Forex and CFDs brokers, the trading fee is quite low. Nevertheless, standard bark charges apply and are determined by the users’ bank.

Non-trading Fees

While the trading fee is comparatively low, the non-trading fee is on the average side. Inactivity fees, withdrawal fees, deposit fees are some of the non-trading fees. Typically, one has to pay $50 as the inactivity fees if the account remained inactive for a year or more. 

Customer Support

One of the reasons for FXCM’s popularity among traders is its customer service team. The trading platform offers 24 hours customer service five days a week, where users can reach them via phone, email, and SMS. There is also a trading desk that provides direct support to active traders 24/5. 

Compared to its contemporaries, the FXCM trading platform is one of the very few regulated brokers with physical offices worldwide. Thus, users can reach them via the means mentioned above or directly visit their nearest office. For general inquiries and account related inquiries, users can send an email to [email protected] and [email protected], respectively. Traders can also reach the support team via live webchat. 

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Mobile Trading

As mentioned earlier in this review, the FXCM trading broker is compatible with various devices, making it easier to trade on smartphones. FXCM offers the Trading Station platform and MetaTrader5 platform along with third-party algorithmic trading systems for mobile trading. The uniquely designed mobile trading tools include app charting with numerous drawing tools and 60 indicators for a hassle-free charting experience on smartphones. FXCM trade app has an auto zoom-in feature for better view making trading hassle-free. FXCM trading mobile app also offers trade ticket for advanced order types not limited to OCO (one-cancels-other orders)

FXCM Review: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Supports CFD and Forex trading along with spread betting across many markets
  • Low spread costs for CFD trading 
  • Leverage of up to 400:1 and up to 200:1 on Forex and indices, commodities, respectively.
  • Supports the trading of many currency pairs and also cryptocurrencies
  • Access to the in-house trading platform along with third-party algorithmic platforms
  • Well-organized research and education tools
  • Reliable customer support

Cons

  • Comparatively charges high commissions for certain instruments

Other Important Features

Payment Methods

FXCM has a variety of payment options for depositing funds. Most of the payment modes like wire transfer, Skrill, Union Pay, involve no additional transaction charges. Users can also deposit funds via Neteller, Klarna, Rapid Transfer, credit or debit card, cheque, etc. The payment options for withdrawal though limited, involve no transactional charges with a few exceptions. Traders can withdraw funds via debit or credit card, Neteller, Skrill, and via bank transfer. Readers are advised to note that standard bank charges apply for withdrawal methods involving bank transfers.

FXCM features a MyFXCM user portal where the traders can deposit and withdraw funds in a few simple steps. All they need to do is log in to their accounts and choose either deposit or transfer option in the account summary section for depositing and withdrawing funds, respectively. When they click the viable option, users are directed to the payment page to select a suitable payment method as per their convenience.

Commissions and Trading Costs

Trading costs differ from one type of user account to another and also vary based on the market where the trade is conducted. Most often, any CFD and Forex trading or spread betting user account is commission-free when trading spreads. However, the broker charges commissions for better spreads

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Research Tools

Traders can find a blend of third-party research materials and FXCM exclusive content. The research tools and materials are ideal for a broad spectrum of skill levels ranging from beginners to professional traders. Some of the research materials are derived from Trading Central, Invetsing.com, FXStreet, and eFXData. On the web version of FXCM, traders can also access the market screener research tool.

FXCM exclusive content includes YouTube videos showcasing analysts highlighting trending markets and signals like the price movement of popular currency pairs. Apart from the regularly updated market news, the broker also features study material for new traders, walking them through the dynamics of trading Forex and CFD, spread betting, etc. 

Education Resources

As per our findings during this review, FXCM offers some of the best video tutorials and written materials for users interested in broadening their trading skills. The materials range from the basics for beginners to advanced topics for professionals and expert traders. The materials feature FXCM’s historical data to provide unique insights for hands-on experience.

Apart from the videos, there are articles categorized based on many topics like the 20 articles highlighting charting and everything it entails or the 17 articles dedicated to trading indicators, and more than 70 articles for new traders. Other than the video tutorials featured on the official site, FXCM offers archived webinars, platform tutorial videos, etc. via its YouTube channel. 

FXCM Plus

FXCM Plus is the live account portal of the FXCM online platform that has tools to maximize gains via technical analysis and trading signals. All live trading accounts can make use of FXCM Plus feature after their successful registration. 

FXCM customer portal provides an analytical report in the account summary section where the users get handpicked trading analytics reports based on their trading practice and preferences. Users can use these reports to perfect their trading skills. 

Now that we have covered most of the FXCM broker platform features, let’s learn the steps involved in opening an account.

FXCM Pro

FXCM Pro is the institutional arm of the FXCM platform that provides liquidity solutions and wholesale Forex and CFD trade execution for hedge funds, market banks, and retail brokers. This association of FXCM with banks, financial institutions is the major reason for the overall reach of FXCM across financial markets globally.

How to Open FXCM Trading Accounts?

The steps involved in opening FXCM demo and real accounts are as follows; 

1. Registration

The FXCM broker has a simple registration process. The users are required to confirm their nationality to test eligibility, after which, they must fill in the simple online application form

2. Account Verification

After the submission of the online form, the FXCM team will verify the user details. And once this is done, the registered users will receive an email sharing their MyFXCM username and password. 

3. Log in to the MyFXCM client portal

Using the username and password shared by the FXCM customer service team, the new users can access their accounts. We recommend the users to reset their password for safety reasons. 

4. Make a deposit

As mentioned in this FXCM review article, there are two types of user accounts; demo and real accounts. New users can use the demo account feature to understand how the trading platform works (demo accounts never lose money while checking the platform). Once they are certain about the trading tools and strategies, they can try real trading. However, for real money trading, users must make an initial deposit, which varies for the type of real accounts, which is standard and active trader accounts. 

5. Start trading

Once the required minimum deposit is made, users can start trading using the FXCM broker for Forex and CFDs trading and spread betting.

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Is FXCM a Good Broker?

FXCM has been in the commodities and currency trading industry since 1999. FXCM is presently owned by Jefferies Financial Group, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

As a highly regulated broker, it is governed by the FCA or Financial Conduct Authority under license number 217689. FXCM is also regulated by the AMF in France, ASIC in Australia, and the FSCA in South Africa.

FXCM complies with the ESMA regulations, and it is also in adherence to the MiFID requirements (Financial Instruments Directive)

Why was FXCM Banned in the US?

Although it soon became the largest retail Forex broker globally, due to certain regulatory issues, FXCM’s US operations were permanently banned in February 2017. The ban was imposed as part of the settlement with CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission).

In the same year, 2017, Jefferies Financial Group, previously known as Leucadia National Corp, acquired complete ownership of FXCM.

FXCM now holds a license for operations in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, France, and many other European countries. Presently FXCM has many sales offices in over five continents. 

Risk Disclaimer

CFDs are complex instruments and come with leverage, which means there’s a high risk of losses. When trading CFDs, more than 75% of retail accounts lose money. Readers are thus advised to note that the products and services offered at FXCM revolve around leverage trading, which always comes with equal chances of earning profits or losing money. Thus, having sound knowledge of trading CFD and the risks involved is imperative to buy and sell CFDs. In this FXCM review, we have provided complete information on FXCM for educational purposes and must not be treated as investment advice.

Conclusion

As per our findings for this review, FXCM (Forex Capital Markets) has reliable third-party trading platforms. It also offers APIs support backed by complex algorithms and automated trading strategies. 

Trading CFDs involves high risks. Moreover, most often, user accounts lose money due to the risk factors. Nevertheless, FXCM has two main types of accounts; demo account and real account. The demo accounts help users to strategize and test them for better gains. FXCM has a plethora of trading tools, research materials, and education tutorials to make trading hassle-free for both beginners and professional traders. 

Our verdict is that the FSCM is an ideal trading platform for CFDs and Forex, spread betting, and related services for both retail and professional traders. 

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FXCM FAQs

1. Is FXCM a market maker?

FXCM is not a market maker; its operations are based on the no dealing desk trade model, which involves linking all its users’ orders.

2. How does FXCM earn money?

FXCM charges trading fees along with other service charges and commissions from users. It also makes money via negative overnight financing rates.

3. What is FXCM’s minimum lot size?

For currencies, the minimum lot size is 0.01 lots, and for CFDs, it is 1.0 lots.

4. When is a margin call issued at FXCM?

When the equity margin level contracts below 50%, a margin call is issued.

5. What are the trading platforms available at FXCM?

MT4 trading platform, NinjaTrader, and ZuluTrade are some of the other trading platforms offered at FXCM apart from its proprietary Trading Station.

6. What is the maximum leverage offered by FXCM?

The maximum leverage offered by FXCM is 1:30 and 1:400 for retail clients and professional traders, respectively.

7. What is the minimum deposit for FXCM?

The minimum deposit limit at FXCM is $50 or its equivalent currency.

8. How long does it take to withdraw from FXCM?

As per our research for this review, FXCM generally processes the withdrawal requests within 3 to 4 working days. Once the request is processed, it takes a few more days to get credited to the user’s bank account.

9. How long does FXCM take to transfer funds between a user’s accounts?

It usually takes up to 2 to 3 working days for transferring funds between the user’s accounts.

10. Is FXCM a regulated broker?

Apart from its primary regulator, FCA (the Financial Conduct Authority, UK), FXCM is also regulated by AMF in France and the ASIC in Australia.

11. What is the fee for setting up the trading accounts?

Generally, there is no fee involved in setting up various accounts except for corporate clients. Retail users can establish the standard and active trader accounts for free. In contrast, the corporate clients, partnership and superannuation accounts, and trusts must pay a once-off maintenance fee, which differs based on the organization type.

12. What is the maximum deposit limit for a month?

The maximum deposit limit is $20,000 or equivalent for one month, whereas the minimum deposit limit is never less than $25. Nevertheless, different accounts have different minimum deposit requirements for account activation.

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