FXCM review: Trade forex, CFDs and commodities
Trade 39 currency pairs with zero commissions and spreads from 1.0 pips.
If you're wanting a curated forex and CFD trading platform to suit your style, FXCM is worth looking at. With two different accounts designed for active or casual traders and 11 platforms to choose from, FXCM users can buy and sell 39 currency pairs, with average spreads as low as 1.0 for AUD/USD transactions.
|Type of broker||Online|
|Available markets||39 currency pairs, commodities, indices|
|Minimum Spreads for Major Currencies||1|
|Commission||AU$3.00 per 100k traded|
|Minimum opening balance||$50 for the Mini account|
|Minimum Trade Size||1 lot|
|Leverage||1:1 - 30:1|
FXCM launched in 1999 and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. As part of the broader FXCM Group, it offers forex, CFDs, cryptocurrencies and commodities trading to more than 220,000 clients around the world.
When you sign up, you can choose between two account types, depending on your trading experience, or a demo account for practice. The standard account has zero commissions and requires a low minimum of $50 to begin trading, but it has slightly higher spreads. Meanwhile the Active account requires a $25,000 minimum deposit and $3 commission per lot but has spreads as low as 0.2 pips. Here are the features of each account type:
|Minimum opening balance||$50||$25,000|
|Spreads||From 1.0 pips||From 0.2 pips|
|Commission per lot||$0||$3|
|Leverage||1:1 - 30:1||1:1 - 30:1|
|Minimum trade size||0.01||0.01|
How many currency pairs are available to trade?
You can trade up to 39 currency pairs on either the standard or active accounts.
- Major currency pairs: EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, USD/CHF, CAD/JPY CHF/JPY EUR/AUD EUR/CAD EUR/CHF EUR/GBP
If you're new to forex trading, you can sign up for a practice account with $50,000 virtual funds and a free forex trading guide. Click on "Practice Account" on the top of any page. You can access your account via the platforms or the mobile app to trade 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.
What trading platforms are available?
You can test each platform with a free practice account.
- Trading Station. This is FXCM's proprietary platform allowing you to trade on your desktop, online and through a mobile application.
- MetaTrader 4. This is one of the most popular trading platforms in the world. Buy and sell foreign exchange and CFD with one-click trading. MT4 allows for smooth integration with No Desk Dealing execution.
- NinjaTrader. This platform is suited to active traders and offers advanced features for trading foreign exchange, commodities and stocks. This option is not available to Mini account holders.
- Specialty platforms. FXCM also offers a range of specialty platforms designed for specific trading needs.
Snapshot of FXCM platform
|Spread fee - AUD/USD||$0.03 per $1,000|
|Education and resources||Yes|
|Does it offer fixed spreads?||No|
|Leverage||1:1 - 30:1 on the standard account|
|Is it MetaTrader supported?||Yes|
|Minimum deposit required||$50 for the standard account|
|Compatible devices||Apple devices|
|Payment methods||Credit card, debit card, BPay, wire transfers|
|Promotional bonus||Lower commission for active traders|
|24-hour trading||Yes (five days a week)|
|Demo account available?||Yes|
FXCM highlight features
- MetaTrader supported. FXCM provides access to global forex markets through four trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 (the most popular trading platform in the world), MetaTrader 5, Trading Station and NinjaTrader. A mobile app is also available to allow you to trade on the go.
- Dealing Desk or No Dealing Desk. FXCM pioneered the No Dealing Desk forex execution model (available on Standard and Active Trader accounts), which provides anonymous execution and increased transparency. However, traditional Dealing Desk execution is also available on Mini accounts.
- Compatible devices. With apps available for download from Google Play and the Apple App Store, FXCM allows you to trade on Android and iOS devices.
- Three accounts. FXCM offers three types of accounts: Mini, Standard and Active Trader accounts. These accounts have different minimum deposits, different spreads and access to different currency pairs. FXCM offers an online wizard to help you choose the account that meets your requirements.
- Spread fee. Spreads vary depending on whether you choose a Mini, Standard or Active Trader account. The minimum average AUD/USD spread with FXCM is 1.9 for a Mini account, 0.5 for a Standard account and 0.5 for an Active Trader account.
- Leverage. FXCM offers leverage of up to 1:1 - 30:1.
- Minimum deposit. You can open a Mini account with FXCM for just $50, and you can start trading right away.
- Regulated in Australia. FXCM Australia is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
- Payment methods available. FXCM accepts Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit cards as well as BPAY, electronic funds transfer and bank wire deposits.
What support is available with FXCM?
FXCM operates an extensive online help section through its website where you can find the answers to trading queries and data. This is backed by a dedicated education section with webinars, video tutorials and a range of trading guides. You can also sign up for FXCM University, a free online course offering trading tips and knowledge.
If you need help, 24/7 customer support is available via phone, email and live chat.
What are the pros and cons of using the provider?
- Free trading tools and education. Besides access to trading platforms, FXCM also provides a number of free trading tools and educational videos and webinars.
- Practice account. If you're new to trading or would like to try one of the platforms, you can sign up for a practice account with $50,000. Once you're ready to start actually trading, you can sign up for a live account.
- MetaTrader 4 supported. You can use MetaTrader 4 in conjunction with FXCM's other programmes and platforms.
- Risk. There is a great deal of risk involved in trading, especially if you're new to it and you're making trades with maximum leverage.
- Client support not 24 hours. If you have queries or you need help with trades, you have to wait until the customer support and trading desk lines are open.
- Mini clients limited. Mini account holders can only trade in 21 out of the 39 available currency pairs, and only have access to three out of the four trading platforms.
How do I sign up?
You can sign up for a live account online and start trading within one or two business days.
You will be asked to supply identification with your address on it. Either upload scanned versions through the website or send them via fax. Once your account is set up, you can start funding your account.