FXCM Broker Review
Commissions & Fees
FXCM, or Foreign Capital Markets, is a well-known forex broker based in the UK. FXCM’s variety of tools has the trade world buzzing. Read on to find out all the important details you need to know about FXCM and what this broker can do for your trading.
FXCM, also known as Foreign Capital Markets, is a UK-based forex broker. Established in 1999, they are one of the most well-known brokers in the forex industry and were instrumental in the adoption of internet-based forex trading.
The broker is owned by the parent company, Jefferies Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This, along with the broker’s long history in the sector, provides a credibility that is sought after by many new and experienced traders alike.
For account opening, FXCM presents a few options in terms of real money accounts. You can open a standard trading account as either an individual or joint account. There is also the possibility of a corporate or active trader’s account if you meet the qualification criteria.
FXCM has a minimum deposit for first-time individual or joint account holders of $50. This also applies as the minimum for any future deposit made via card. There is no minimum deposit for wire transfers.
In the case of a corporate account, the minimum required deposit is $10,000.
Availability and Ease of Opening
Accounts are offered to residents in many countries around the globe. Notable exceptions include both the United States, Japan, and South Korea. This is in addition to Brazil, Turkey, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea.
In terms of account opening procedures, for a demo account, simply entering some basic personal information as well as your email address and contact telephone number is enough to get started instantly. In the case of a real-money account, the same process applies, including a KYC questionnaire, which you must complete. Following this, you will be prompted to digitally submit ID and address verification documents. With these documents approved, you will be free to deposit and trade.
The broker offers trading in a wide range of markets with a particular focus on the forex market, as would be expected. FXCM offers a total of 39 currency pairs comprising both major and minor pairings, and CFDs trading in 11 Indices, 7 Commodities, and 2 cryptocurrency markets.
FXCM Commissions and Fees
As with many brokers, when it comes to trading fees, these are built into the spread offered by the broker. Conveniently, this means you do not have to worry about calculating commission and other trading fees. Whilst the spread is variable depending on the trading products and conditions, the average spread on major currency pairs appears to fall at around 2.0 pips on average.
With an active trader account, this spread is significantly reduced to around 1.0 pips or less on most major currency pairs.
FXCM does charge an inactivity fee. This is levied at $50 per year after one year of inactivity. There are also a few other non-trading fees as follows:
- A 25USD withdrawal fee for withdrawals made in the UK or US in USD currency, although EUR, GBP, and JPY withdrawals are all free of charge within their respective countries.
- Financing or Overnight rates on the platform are 3.1%
- A currency conversion fee of 1.5% applies on amounts up to $10,000.
FXCM Platforms and Tools
FXCM offers a range of platforms to suit the varied needs of all traders. These platforms include the well-known and highly respected Metatrader 4. MT4 and their desktop platform provide the same high level of service, professional range of charting, and analytical tools to FXCM that they have done industry-wide since 2005. With a user-friendly and intuitive style, combined with almost 2,000 free custom indicators, this gives FXCM traders a good core option as a trading platform.
The proprietary trading platform of the broker themselves is Trading Station, available as a desktop, web-based, or mobile platform.
The desktop platform is available in a total of 16 different languages and appears highly customizable. Although rudimentary in its visual appearance, the platform is streamlined to perform the most important functions of trading expediently.
The platform features a total of 5 windows, which contain all of the information you require for trading. This includes a complete listing of the available markets on the left side for easy selection. Clicking here will add that market to the main central hub window for closer viewing and trading. There is also a news feed window on the right side featuring all of the day’s developments, and the lower area follows your open positions. This is all customizable, and there are many options available in the form of technical indicators that can be applied, although this process is rather cumbersome.
The order window offers both simple and advanced options, such as one order triggering or canceling another.
The platform is heavy on information, and although not visually appealing, still performs key tasks very well. With the current layout and user-interface, however, it would certainly appear that the desktop version of the platform may be best suited to more experienced traders.
Web Trading Platform
The web-trading platform certainly offers a more visually appealing proposition and is also available in multiple languages. Here from the default outset, you can access a range of pairings that are further searchable through a convenient search function, and a charting window allows you to apply indicators as the positions trade. From the same position, you can access your economic calendar and a stream of the latest news headlines.
From the left side taskbar, you can add additional widgets such as different market charts to your main central window. The order window also offers a variety of basic and advanced order types.
Again, the FXCM web-trading platform could be characterized as busy and with a somewhat steep learning curve. This is conveniently provided for, though, thanks to the presence of an education link directly in the left side taskbar of the web platform.
Mobile Trading Platform
The proprietary Trading Station platform also comes with a mobile option for trading on the go. This is available through both Android and iOS app stores. With the mobile platform, it is quite easy to navigate the same basic functions of the web trading platform. This includes the ability to set alerts and search for different currency pairings, as well as viewing all of your other positions, charts, and executing trades in both directions.
Again the web-based platform may be considered quite basic when compared with some others in the industry; however, when considering trade performance and execution, it is still an efficient application.
What Makes FXCM Stand Out?
The foremost differentiator between FXCM and a raft of other brokers is experience. Being one of the industry pioneers and surviving in this crowded and competitive industry for almost two decades, makes this broker an immediate stand out.
Beyond experience, they have honed their focus on certain products, with less currency pairs than some other brokers. Far from being a negative point, this has allowed them to offer highly competitive spreads and focus on providing the best possible service to traders. The offering of such a variety of third-party trading platforms, giving a vast choice to users, is also a testament to FXCM and their positive approach to traders.
Having been such a long-standing pillar of the industry, it is clear FXCM knows how to care for its customers. This is evident in the widely positive feedback their customer support services have received.
Although they are not available around the clock, local support services are offered in 44 countries by toll-free telephone. This service is added to by the provision of a live chat support service on the broker’s website and a very responsive email system.
The broker is regulated and fully compliant with both the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia. These represent two of the strictest financial regulatory bodies in the world and bode extremely well for the trust levels of the company.
Furthermore, the fact that the parent company of FXCM is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with revenues running into billions of dollars is a further testament to the solidity and transparency of FXCM.
As one of the original names in the online forex trading industry, FXCM has set standards for almost two decades. It carries on that legacy to the present day, adapting with the years to offer an all-encompassing brokerage and some of the highest levels of professionalism in the industry.
They have backed this up with a range of trading platforms to suit each and every trader, and an extensive educational offering to assist traders on every step of their trading journey from beginner through to professional.
- Wide range of trading platforms to choose from.
- Competitive spreads and fees throughout.
- The platform is heavy on research tools, live news feeds, and educational resources, helping traders stay well informed.
- Trading Station platform interface is very basic and could be difficult for new traders to interpret.
- The range of products, whilst enough, is considerably less than some other brokers.