FXCM Review

  • Minimum Deposit: $50
  • Products: Forex, Shares, Indices, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies

    Losses can exceed deposits

    Disclaimer: FXCM products are traded on leverage which means they carry a high level of risk and you could lose more than your deposits. These products are not suitable for all investors. Please ensure you fully understand the risks and carefully consider your financial situation and trading experience before trading. Seek independent advice if necessary.

    Since 1999, FXCM, also known as Forex Capital Markets, has been a pioneer in developing online forex offerings for retail traders. With its headquarters in London, FXCM has grown to have multiple international offices and is licensed in several major regulatory hubs globally. FXCM EU LTD (“FXCM EU”) is a Cyprus Investment Firm (“CIF”) registered with the Cyprus Department of Registrar of Companies (HE 405643) and authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (“CySEC”).

    With its exit from the U.S. market in 2017, FXCM no longer accepts U.S. clients. Today, FXCM operates as a subsidiary of Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE: JEF), formerly known as Leucadia. Jefferies holds over $51 billion in total assets as of its latest annual report for 2022, and employs 5,381 people globally. Read more on Wikipedia.

    Pros

    • Fast and straightforward account opening
    • Good technical research tools
    • High-quality educational content
    Cons

    • FXCM offers a limited selection of CFDs, and its offering of exchange-traded securities was recently discontinued.
    • Effective spreads (with commissions factored in) for forex and CFD trading are slightly higher than the industry average.
    • Although a wide variety of third-party platforms are supported for algorithmic trading, MetaTrader 5 (MT5) is not available at FXCM.

      Is FXCM safe?

      FXCM is considered highly trusted, with an overall Trust Score of 4.7 out of 5. FXCM Markets LLC (“FXCM Markets”) is incorporated in St Vincent and the Grenadines with company registration No. 1776 LLC 2022 and is an operating subsidiary within the FXCM group of companies (collectively, the “FXCM Group” or “FXCM”). FXCM Markets is not required to hold any financial services license or authorization in St Vincent and the Grenadines to offer its products and services.

      Offering of investments

      The range of products available to you will depend on which global entity under the FXCM Group houses your trading account. In addition to a growing selection of over 3835 CFDs that includes fractional shares and 41 forex pairs, FXCM offers exchange-traded securities across 43 exchanges in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to FXCM clients.

      Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available at FXCM through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker’s U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents.

      Commissions and fees

      Standard account spreads: FXCM’s avarage spread is 0.9 pips in EUR/USD which is compareable to the industry average.

      Active trader discounts: FXCM’s Active Trader Rebate Program (not available in the U.K. or EU) has five tiers. Depending on the tier, traders can receive a rebate ranging from $5 per million traded (Tier One) to as much as $25 per million traded (Tier Five). It’s good.

      Active Trader requirements: The requirements for each tier may vary depending on which FXCM Group entity you use. In the U.K., for example, a $25,000 account balance with at least $50 million (or 500 lots) of monthly volume will see the commission per side drop to $3 ($6 round-turn). This brings the effective spread to 0.8 pips, based on an average core price of 0.2 pips (using Q2 2021 data for the EUR/USD). Above $150 million in monthly volume, commissions drop slightly to $5 per round turn, which would bring the effective spread to 0.7 pips in the above example. Deeper discounts are available if you trade over $500 million per month at FXCM.

      Execution methods via order type: FXCM offers “At Market” orders, which have the potential for slippage, and “Market Range” orders, which are less likely to experience slippage but can be rejected if the requested price or price range is no longer available. Likewise, limit orders are more likely to experience positive slippage.

      Mobile trading apps

      Thanks to its combined offering of both Trading Station and MetaTrader 4 (MT4), FXCM delivers a reliable, feature-rich mobile experience for forex traders.

      Apps overview: FXCM doesn’t offer the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform, but the broker makes up for that shortcoming with its wide support for third-party algorithmic trading platforms.

      Ease of use: Though the Trading Station mobile app may appear to lack an official watchlist function, it’s worth noting that traders can select instruments for display, and that these instruments will sync across devices and platforms. Also, the app includes a comprehensive trade ticket, which offers advanced order types such as one-cancels-other (OCO) orders.

      Charting: With nearly 60 indicators and multiple drawing tools, charting in the FXCM mobile app is a pleasure. Trendlines can be drawn with precision thanks to a magnifying glass feature that auto-zooms while dragging the trendline into position.

      Market research

      FXCM provides a respectable variety of market research from a combination of in-house content and third-party materials. Overall, FXCM’s research is a touch above the industry average and will satisfy most forex traders, though it’s not as rich or diverse as what’s offered by the best brokers in this category.

      Research overview: FXCM’s research tools include premium content from Trading Central, news headlines from Investing.com and FxStreet, and a market screener tool on FXCM’s website. There is also premium content available from eFX Data, which I found to be a source for high-quality market analysis. Finally, FXCM Plus provides signals and trading ideas powered by Trading Central, alongside Autochartist which is available as an indicator from the FXCM app store.

      Market news and analysis: FXCM produces a Daily Snapshot video series on its YouTube channel that features market coverage from its in-house analysts. There is also the recently launched FXCM Market Talk podcast, and daily articles as part of its Market News section. I found the Insights section rich, yet more focused on educational content than up-to-the-minute market developments.

      If you reside in the EU: Some of FXCM’s research services and content are not available to EU residents, such as its Insights in-house research (e.g., trading signals, live online classroom, SMS trade alerts, video library, and trade volatility tool).

      Education

      FXCM’s in-house education is above average, and primarily takes the form of articles, videos, and content produced for its YouTube Channel.

      Learning center: FXCM’s diverse range of written content includes two comprehensive guides, as well as a vast library of articles (nearly 200 in total) that cover topics like trading tips and strategies, charting, and indicators. It also provides a selection of articles broken down by experience level, with options for beginner, intermediate, and advanced traders.

      Room for improvement: FXCM’s video library has dozens of videos, and has been updated to include embedded content from its YouTube channel. That said, I’d like to see FXCM expand its educational video content beyond platform tutorials and archived webinars.

      Finally, some of FXCM’s educational content is only available if your balance exceeds certain minimum thresholds. While minimum balance requirements could incentivize some traders to utilize the educational resources, I think it’s better to make the content free for all clients. Motivation can instead be inspired by creating interactive courses that feature quizzes and incorporate progress tracking. It’s worth mentioning that your trading account balance must meet a threshold to access certain educational content.

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