FXCM is a world leading trading provider. Particularly for more experienced traders, FXCM has an outstanding offer with competitive spreads and good customer support. We highly recommend FXCM.
- About FXCM
- Opening an Account
- How Long Does the Account Creation Process Take?
- What’s the Minimum Deposit?
- Identity and Verification
- Can FXCM Be Trusted?
- Research and Assistance
- Demo Accounts
- Desktop Experience
- Mobile Experience
- Investment Options
- Commissions and Fees
- Deposits & Withdrawals
- Customer Support
FXCM is a forex and CFD trading platform that caters to a wide variety of traders.
Launched in 1999, the company has good standing in the trading world, and despite a narrow selection of markets, it’s proved itself to be a reputable, trustworthy platform.
In this FXCM review, I’m going to be giving you an in-depth look at what the site offers, and I’ll kick things off with a look at who FXCM are exactly.
FXCM review was last updated in May 2020. Author – Jonathan Mann.
FXCM – also known formally as Forex Capital Markets – is a popular online trading platform that allows users to trade forex.
The site was first founded back in 1999, and they were one of the early pioneers in the electronic trading platform market.
Back then, they were known as Shallish Capital Markets – just a year later, however, they rebranded as FXCM.
2003 was a major milestone for the company, as they started offering their services to traders outside of the United States – this was realized with the launch of their London office.
Despite not being one of the biggest trading platforms, FXCM has millions of registered users and facilitates millions of trades every single day.
They have experienced some legal issues (they were banned from operating in the United States, for example), but today they’re in good standing and have a decent reputation in the online trading world.back to menu ↑
Opening an Account
When I was putting this review together, I wanted to see how easy (or hard) it was to actually open an account at FXCM.
In all honesty, I was surprised at how easy it was – the process is incredibly hassle-free and is pretty similar to most other leading online trading platforms.
To begin with, you’ll need to choose which of the four trading accounts you’d like to open.
I’ll go into more detail about these accounts later in this review.
Once you’ve selected your trading account you’ll then need to put in your personal information – this includes the usual details: name, address, email, phone number and date of birth.
You will also need to sign a number of waivers – as all online trading platforms are required to display the risks of trading Forex and CFDs, you’ll need to accept lengthy terms and conditions.
For example, one of these requires you to understand that around 69% of consumer trading accounts end up losing money; accepting this liability is a prerequisite of opening an account at FXCM.back to menu ↑
How Long Does the Account Creation Process Take?
Creating (and being accepted) for an account at FXCM takes less than a day – usually.
The quickest part is actually registering your account – once you’ve confirmed your email address and/or phone number you’ll be able to log into your account right away.
However, identity verification measures do need to be carried out, and while this is usually completed in under 24 hours, busy periods (and bank holidays, for example) can see this timeframe increased.back to menu ↑
What’s the Minimum Deposit?
FXCM don’t implement a minimum amount for you to open an account with them.
The actual minimum you’ll be able to fund your account with will vary depending on which country you’re residing in and which payment method you choose to use, but you can deposit as little as £10 into your account.
This makes FXCM a highly desirable option for those new to trading and wanting to try everything out without risking substantial amounts of money.back to menu ↑
Identity and Verification
In accordance with various anti money laundering laws and regulations, FXCM are required to perform identification checks on all their new customers.
They do use the electoral roll to automatically verify accounts – but from my experience you’ll almost always need to provide additional bits of information.
This will include proof of name and proof of address, with acceptable documents including driving licenses, passports, mobile phone bills, utility bills and tax returns.back to menu ↑
Can FXCM Be Trusted?
The vast majority of professional traders categorize FXCM as being extremely trustworthy.
While they have encountered problems in the past (they were fined in the USA), they are now regulated in some of the strictest jurisdictions on the planet.
Their tier-1 regulators include the Australian Securities & Investment Commission, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.
This means they’re held to an incredibly high level of account – and it’s very unlikely anything below the belt will be going on behind the scenes.
All funds are ring fenced, ensuring that your personal funds are safe in the case of insolvency.
In fact, FXCM publishes a detailed breakdown of how they ring fence customer funds on their website – it’s worth a read if you’re worried about things like this.
Another factor that bodes well for FXCM is that it’s a publicly traded company.
While this doesn’t automatically guarantee a safe and trustworthy experience, it does mean the company is held to an incredibly high degree of accountability.
All their financials are publicly audited, making sure nefarious behaviour isn’t going on.
FXCM are very open about their pricing structure – and you’ll be able to view information about all prices and fees directly from their website (these can be viewed even before you open an account).
They also take customer security and safety very seriously and use state-of-the-art encryption technology to keep your personal/sensitive information safe.
When making deposits and withdrawals, additional anti-fraud technology is used too.back to menu ↑
Research and Assistance
I don’t think it’s unfair to point out that FXCM doesn’t offer the best research facilities in the world – but they’re perfectly sufficient for the vast majority of traders.
Like many leading online trading platforms, FXCM offers premium content from Trading Central.
Their news headlines come directly from Investing.com, and they also have a powerful market screener tool – and a pattern-recognition scanner – which has been built alongside Grid Sight Technologies LTD.
It is made available to all users as an indicator.
There’s also a substantial amount of educational content that FXCM’s in-house team is responsible for.
For example, they regularly host webinars showcasing different ways of investing in the Forex market, and occasionally they do “beginner” sessions showing new users how to use the trading platform and navigate the site.
Beginner traders can also take advantage of FXCM’s “Quant News” section which offers more webinars, video training sessions and blog posts discussing the ins and outs of trading – I had a look through and was fairly impressed with how comprehensive and detailed they are.back to menu ↑
I was able to create and set up a demo account at FXCM in a matter of minutes – and doing so gives you a fully-functional forex and CFD trading account with £50,000 (or currency equivalent) in practice money to trade with.
The demo account gives you full access to all markets – completely risk free – and this also includes live buy and sell prices.
To be honest, setting up a demo account is much the same as setting up a real account – the only difference is that you don’t need to worry about uploading proof of ID/address, and your account will be open instantly.
There’s no verification required.back to menu ↑
I don’t think it’s unfair to say that FXCM’s user interface isn’t the easiest to navigate – and for new users especially they may find it somewhat clumsy to begin with.
However, I should note that there are plenty of options to customize your user experience, and this is something that the more adept traders will find beneficial.
There are four different trading platforms you can take advantage of while using FXCM – and I’ll go into some detail about these below.
TradeStation Platform: TradeStation is FXCM’s proprietary forex and CFD trading platform that’s designed for the more advanced traders.
It offers a substantial range of analytical tools for chart traders, and comes with advanced functionality, too.
Metatrader4 Platform: Metatrader4 is pretty similar to TradeStation – although it offers slightly less customizable options.
It is also found at many other major forex sites, including FOREX.com.
Ninjatrader: Ninjatrader is a third-party trading platform that gives you access to an award-winning platform with very low trading commissions.
Zulutrade: Zulutrade is designed for social Forex trading – it allows you to copy successful traders’ signals and apply them to your own trades.
All four trading platforms are available to both new and existing users.
I’d recommend familiarizing yourself with how they all work before diving in, as it can be costly to jump in without knowing how a certain platform works.back to menu ↑
Once I’m happy that a trading platform offers a safe and regulated experience to its users, one of the first things I look at is the mobile functionality.
Like many of the other leading trading platforms, FXCM offers a decent mobile offering and they have an app that’s available on both iOS and Android devices.
They also allow you to access your account and make trades through a mobile-optimized website.
Their mobile app is free to download, easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate – it doesn’t look quite as modern as some of the other leading trading platform mobile apps, but it does a fairly decent job – and forex traders especially will find that all the main bases are covered.
The mobile app allows for algorithmic trading – and there’s also a number of advanced features including comprehensive trade tickets, advanced order types and it also gives you the ability to one-cancel-other orders – also known as OCO.
When it comes to mobile charting, you’ll find just under 60 indicators available – this is in combination with multiple drawing tools too.
Because of this, general charting facilities within FXCM’s app are straightforward and simple.
You can also draw precise trend lines – you’ll see a handy magnifying glass that offers an auto zoom feature, helping to drag the trend-line directly into position.
The mobile app also features a mobile watch list – although I think it’s fair to say that it’s not immediately apparent.
However, while it’s not too visible, any instruments on your account that display will automatically sync across all of your devices, including desktop computer/laptops and your mobile devices.
If you don’t want to download a mobile app – or simply prefer to access the trading platform from your mobile’s internet browser – then you’ll be pleased to know that FXCM’s website is also fully mobile-optimized.
I It is a bit clunky and I’ve experienced better-looking mobile-optimized websites with other major trading platforms, but again, it does the job.
A full range of tools are available, making your trading experience relatively straightforward.back to menu ↑
The product selection at FXCM is fairly decent, and you’ll find yourself able to trade forex and CFDs.
If you choose to trade cryptos, these will be done through CFDs.
When comparing the number of products available, FXCM does offer less than other leading trading platforms – but if you’re looking for forex trading, you won’t be left disappointed.
FXCM also offers a social trading service. This is provided via a third-party service called Zulutrade.
However, you don’t need to register a full account at Zulutrade – instead, you just need your FXCM account number and you’ll then be able to “link” your accounts.
The minimum trade amounts at FXCM are low – and this is in line with the vast majority of trading platforms I’ve reviewed recently.
It appears as though trading platforms are keen to sign-up new investors and traders, and removing the (previously seen) high-cost barrier to entry has allowed more investors than ever to get in on the forex game.
As with all reputable trading platforms, FXCM lists a full breakdown of their minimum and maximum trade limits on their website, although what you’re actually trading will dictate the specific limits associated with individual assets.
One of my major gripes with FXCM is that it’s not possible to change the leverage levels of their products.
I find this to usually be an incredibly useful tool – especially if you’re looking to minimize the risk of each trade.
Unfortunately, the preset leverage levels with forex and CFDs in general are high, so I’d highly recommend you keep a close eye when making trades and ensure that you’re not putting more at risk than you’re comfortable with.back to menu ↑
Commissions and Fees
I was happy to find that FXCM charges some of the lowest trading fees in the industry.
They also charge relatively average (but not bad) non-trading fees.
I also want to make it very clear that FXCM does not charge any account, deposit or withdrawal fees. If your account experiences an inactivity period you’ll also be pleased to learn that FXCM charges a low inactivity fee. This is $50 – but it’s only charged when your account has been dormant for one calendar year.back to menu ↑
Deposits & Withdrawals
When I was putting this FXCM review together I wanted to take a close look at what payment methods were made available.
Unfortunately, I was left slightly underwhelmed – there are only two ways of funding your account, and this is by using either debit and credit cards or by making a direct bank transfer.
However, there are no fees to make deposits – this improves the situation somewhat.
When it comes to withdrawals, I’ve got some bad news I’m afraid.
While there are no costs to make a withdrawal (and the minimum withdrawal amount is low) they’re processed slowly; it’s typical for them to take up to three working days to process.
Then, depending on which payment method you’ve opted to use, it may be another few days before the funds are made available in your account.
I also want to point out about currencies here.
When you create an account at FXCM you’ll be given the choice to choose one of three currencies: USD, EUR and GBP.
I find this to be relatively low when compared against most other trading platforms, many of whom offer as many as 10.
It’s important that you choose your currency wisely.
Because when you’re making trades using the same currency as the one you choose for your account initially, you will not pay any conversion fees.back to menu ↑
FXCM offers three different ways for you to contact their customer support team – live chat, email and phone support.
I’m going to look at each of these in detail below.
Please be aware that I found their customer support facility isn’t open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which could leave those trading at unusual times of the day and night without any help for a problem.
Live Chat: Live chat is my personal recommendation if you need to get in touch with the customer support team about minor issues.
You’ll be able to speak to an operator in your language in just a couple of minutes, and this ensures you get the help and support you need without needing to wait around.
Their mobile support isn’t the best though, so live chat should really be used from your desktop computer/laptop where available.
Email Support: Email support is offered to all customers – regardless of account age or trading volume – and compared to many of the world’s other leading trading platforms their response time is fantastic.
I found that they tend to respond to emails within around 4 hours. Over the weekend, however, this timeframe can increase to 8-12 hours.
Phone Support: Phone support is perhaps FXCM’s best customer support offering – and it’s available free of charge to customers in a total of 42 countries.
When I called, I was connected to an operator almost instantly.
They offer a dedicated toll-free phone number for each of the 42 countries, and while English is their most commonly spoken language, they offer a number of other language options too.
Aside from the fact that FXCM’s customer support isn’t available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I’m relatively impressed with it on the whole. They’re responsive, helpful and friendly.back to menu ↑
I think FXCM is geared more towards more experienced/active traders – so if you’re already trading and are looking for a high-quality, reputable platform to try out, I’d highly recommend you give them a go.
If you’re a complete beginner I wouldn’t write them off either – just be aware that all the different trading platforms can be a little confusing at first.
I also highly recommend FXCM for those wanting to take advantage of automated trading strategies.
All the different platforms at FXCM do offer you the ability to run algorithmic trading and all the advanced tools (including charting and plotting) make for a comprehensive experience.
- Low spreads
- Great for professionals
- Diversity of trading tools
- Diversity of forex and CFD instruments
- Reliable forex broker
- Fast account opening
- Good support
- Offer for inexperienced traders could be better
- MT5 platform is missing
Details: FXCM Review
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