FXCM Brokerage Review
Choosing FXCM Brokerage for 20 Years of Serving Small & Big Traders
FXCM is a large brokerage which serves both retail and institutional clients worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 in New York. The company is currently based in London and is authorised to provide services to clients in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, and several European countries. FXCM provides access to the forex market and provides access to other markets through both CFD instruments and spread betting. These instruments allow traders to take both long and short positions on the price movements of different assets without having to own the underlying asset.
The company completed an IPO at the end of 2010 where it raised $210 million. The company faced some regulatory issues in the United States shortly after accounts of slippage malpractice were noted by the CFTC. The company has since delisted from being a public company and is now majority-owned by Leucadia investment which is the merchant banking arm of Jefferies Financial Group. It has stopped providing services in the United States and now mainly focuses on clients in Europe and Asia. The size and scale of Jefferies Financial Group has enabled FXCM to expand its services and ensure the highest quality tools and markets are available to its traders. FXCM also has branches which provide markets and services to institutions including hedge funds, banks in emerging markets, and other brokers. The company is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) as well as other regulators.
FXCM Trading Markets and Products
FXCM provides its users with access to a wide variety of markets. Among these are forex baskets and stock baskets which track groups of fiat currencies and groups of stocks respectively. For example, the US Dollar index enables traders to speculate on the performance of the US Dollar against an equal-weighted basket of Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, and the Aussie Dollar. A popular stock basket is the FAANG which exposes traders to the performance of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. FXCM also offers access to the increasingly popular cryptocurrencies market class.
Cryptocurrencies are another market offered and are widely known for their volatile price movements which can result in losses for traders with poor risk management. However, more advanced traders can be effective at capitalizing on these significant price movements. FXCM traders have access to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ripple. The spreads offered for Bitcoin are among the lowest in the industry. High levels of leverage are also available to FXCM traders. Accounts with less than $20,000 in equity can use margin of 400:1 in forex and a margin of 200:1 for the other CFD instruments. Accounts with more than $20,000 can use margin of 200:1 in forex and 100:1 in the other CFDs. One significant downside to the FXCM service is the lack of equity markets. The vast majority of major brokerages allow users to speculate on the prices of shares. However, the only way FXCM users can explose themselves to stocks is through purchasing stock baskets.
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FXCM offers several different account types based on the needs of the customer. FXCM Pro and FXCM Prime accounts are designed for institutions. For retail traders, FXCM offers both a standard account and an account for more high-volume traders. The Active Trader account for high volume traders benefits from reduced spread charges. These accounts also avail of premium customer support. FXCM provides customer support to all clients five days a week for 24 hours. Customer support offices are located worldwide and cater to a variety of different languages. Users also have the option to set up a demo account to trial the trading platforms before setting up a real account.
FXCM Trading Platform and Features
FXCM also offers a variety of different trading platforms. Their proprietary trading software, Trading Station, is supported on desktop clients, mobile, and on the web. This software provides a powerful suite of analytical tools to assist traders in gauging market conditions. The software also has more advanced capabilities such as uploading chart layouts to the cloud and automating trading strategies.
Another option traders can use is the widely adopted MetaTrader 4 platform. The MetaTrader 4 platform is an option provided by the majority of the leading online brokers today. It has stood the test of time as traders have successfully used this software for many years. MetaTrader 4 also has a powerful set of analytical tools which includes charting analysis and the ability to automate strategies. MetaTrader 4 also has several tools suitable to more advanced traders. Users can host their strategies in a virtual private server and traders will also have several advanced order types at their disposal.
The ZuluTrade platform provides an entirely different angle to trading for FXCM users. This platform is based on peer-to-peer trading. The peer-to-peer platform allows users to subscribe to signals determined by other traders. Once a signal is generated, all traders who are subscribed will have trades automatically executed provided that they have sufficient funding for the trade.
For developers, there are several options to build strategies with API’s provided by FXCM. FXCM further provides a python package and historical market data for developers to assist in their development.
FXCM What are the FXCM fees?
The fees which FXCM earn are incorporated into the spread of the markets offered. Users with Active Trader accounts can access significant discounts on the spread charges. Users can view the average spread for a standard account on the FXCM website. However, the average spread can vary significantly from what traders will experience in the market.
What else does FXCM do?
FXCM has an educational section called Insights to help traders understand important market concepts. This section can be useful for traders looking to increase the tools and information at their disposal. Traders can find information regarding economic concepts, trading tools, and a glossary for terms.
Why Trade with FXCM?
FXCM is a brokerage which has been providing services to clients large and small for approximately 20 years. They have a wide variety of tools and platforms that traders can use when analysing the markets. Through partnerships with numerous liquidity providers, FXCM aims to provide the lowest spreads possible. The spread for Bitcoin is among the lowest in the industry. There are some downsides to the service such as a lack of equity markets available to trade. But overall, FXCM is a strong brokerage choice especially for the larger trader who will make use of the discounted spreads and advanced trading tools. Beginning traders can also consider FXCM as a viable choice with a host of tools and educational resources available to guide them on their trading journey.
- A diverse set of trading platforms with peer-to-peer trading options and tools for advanced traders and developers
- Specialized basket products are available which allow traders to speculate on the performance of groups of fiat currencies and groups of stocks
- Five different instruments tracking the price of cryptocurrencies available
- The company previously faced regulatory issues over slippage malpractice
- Average spreads are displayed on the website which can deviate significantly from the actual spreads traders will experience
- No equity markets offered
Expert advisors (EAs)
Virtual private server
Direct market access
Major Stock markets (US UK Germany)
Hong Kong stocks
Listed on Stock Exchange
Zero spread account