- Online Brokers
- Forex Trading
Founded in 1999, FXCM has grown to become one of the world’s most established forex and CFD brokers available online. Headquartered in London, this broker (also known as Forex Capital Markets) operates from multiple global locations including Australia and Germany. In 2010, FXCM acquired the ODL Group in an undisclosed deal - making it briefly one of the largest brokers in the world.
At present, the firm serve over 175,000 retail and institutional customers around the world - offering their state of the art trading software which includes a diverse range of algorithmic specific tools. They also offer competitive spreads on over 35 currency pairs including majors like the EUR/USD.
While their offering seems skewed to more advanced traders, there is in fact plenty of options to break in any aspiring online trader. In our FXCM review, we’ll take a look at the types of accounts on offer, the software tools available and answer a simple question: should you trade here?
Spreads and Fees
FXCM offer two basic account types - each one appealing to different kinds of traders. For beginners, the basic account is the ideal starting point; not only can you benefit from tight spreads but you can also take advantage of a decent starting leverage. Majors currency pairs like the EUR/USD are as low as 1.3 pips - and the leverage available to new accounts is 1:50. The leverage can be increased to 1:200 depending on your accounts equity level.
For the deepest discounts and a more premium service, experienced traders may want to consider the active trader account. Trade high volume and you can save around 60% of your total trading costs. Active traders also get access to the most competitive spreads available - a major like EUR/USD for example can be as low as 0.2 - making this account extremely cost efficient. Keep in mind that to get access to this account type, you will need to trade in excess of 150M lots per month. There is also a commision attached to each 1M lots traded.
Whether you are new to forex trading or an experienced veteran, FXCM offer platforms and tools to cater to all experience levels. Their award winning Trading Station is just one option to explore. Available via any PC or laptop with an internet connection, this software requires no prior downloads. The platform does use Flash which will need to be enabled in your web browser before you proceed to use the platform.
This software is packed full of features - giving you the freedom to create your perfect trading experience. This is thanks to a modern and intuitive interface, which can be customised to your preference with watch lists, news feeds and real time trading alerts.
One area where the Trading Station platform really excels in is the charting package; thanks to Marketscope - you can refine your trading skills with data rich charts that feature a generous range of technical indicators. Like most premium charting packages, you can trade directly from the charts - meaning you can open or close a position in mere seconds. Within these charts, you can also take advantage of other useful tools like real volume indicators and market sentiment. For more advanced traders, there’s also the option to employ automated strategies and further optimise them via backtesting.
Another advanced option to explore is the MetaTrader 4 platform developed by MetaQuotes Software. This will give you access to a whole range of features including access to free expert advisors and the ability to code new ones, free MT4 VPS hosting and that all important pin precision execution.
The FXCM mobile app combines functionality and a stunning user interface for an all around solid mobile trading experience. Available on both the Apple app store and the Google Play Store - you can take advantage of a deluxe charting package, streamed market news and a built in economic calendar. With multiple ways to execute orders, this is the perfect tool for the trader on the move.
If you would prefer to stick to MT4, then there’s also a mobile app available for Android and Apple devices. With advanced technical analysis features including 30 technical indicators, free market news and push notifications to take advantage of trading opportunities, this app is a worthy alternative to the Trading Station.
This broker excel in the free research department, offering traders of all levels a deluxe suite of tools to take advantage of any opportunity thanks to their FXCM Market Insights mini site. Not only will you find trading ideas and a range of help guides, there’s even a range of trading tips. There’s plenty of more resources on the main website too.
First of all, there’s an economic calendar, giving you a chance to see upcoming events that may impact the market. There’s also a regularly updated market news section sourced from FXCM themselves, giving you access to even more insight and ideas. The Market Scanner tool is handy for any trader looking to quickly scan the forex market based on specific indicators.
Getting funds into your FXCM forex account is a relatively simple task; use a credit/debit card, bank wire, Skrill or Union Pay to make your deposit. Typically, your money will be credited within one business day. With regards to withdrawals, you can transfer back to your account via credit/debit card, bank wire, SEPA or BACS. Withdrawals to bank accounts will take around one to two business days from domestic banks but longer from international banks.
With multiple awards for their support, you can expect high quality customer service at all times. If you need help, there’s a generous support section covering almost every area of the website including payments and fees. If however you fail to find relevant information, then there’s also instant help available via live chat.
FXCM are a deceptive kind of broker; at first they seem primarily geared towards advanced traders. And that is true - there’s plenty here to enhance you’re trading opportunities if you consider yourself an expert. But even if you’re justing starting out - the combination of support, resources and beginner friendly tools makes FXCM a great option.