FXCM Review 2019

4.3 4 stars · Dec 2018
Compare to best alternative broker
FXCM logo

FXCM or Forex Capital Market is a London-based forex broker offering some CFDs too. FXCM was established in 1999 and has two main shareholders: Jefferies Financial Group and Global Brokerage. Both parent companies are listed on stock exchanges.

FXCM is considered safe as it is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the UK FCA and the Australian ASIC.

FXCM is a forex and CFD broker. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex traders looking for great technical research tools.

Pros
  • Low trading fees and financing rates
  • Good technical research tools
  • Fast and straightforward account opening
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Bad mobile platform
  • Bad desktop trading platform

As a plus

FXCM has low trading fees and financing rates. It has great technical research tools. e.g. there are many technical indicators. Lastly, the account opening process is straightforward, easy, and fast.

On the flip side

FXCM's primarily offers only forex, some CFDs, and cryptos. The mobile and desktop trading platforms are not user-friendly and lack useful features, like the two-step authentication.

Compare to other brokers

FXCM review
Fees 4 stars

FXCM offers low trading fees and average non-trading fees.

Pros
  • Low financing rate
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Low trading fees
Cons
  • Inactivity fee

FXCM Fees - a snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee - -
EURUSD fee Low 1.3 pips spread cost
US tech fund fee - -
Inactivity fee High $50 per year after one year of inactivity

To get things rolling, let's go over some broker fee lingo. You need to keep an eye on trading fees, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

We compare FXCM fees with its peers, Pepperstone and Oanda.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

FXCM trading fees are low. The trading fees are built into spreads.

The fee structure is transparent. E.g. there is a transparent formula how the financing rates are calculated.

It is super hard to compare trading fees for forex brokers. What we did at Brokerchooser? Instead of quoting long fee tables, we compare brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for two currency pairs.  

  • EURUSD, a popular currency pair
  • EURGBP, another popular currency pair

The typical trade means that you buy for $20,000 using 30:1 leverage, and sell it after a week.

This super catch-all benchmark includes spreads and financing costs for all brokers.

Making this calculation, it is clear that FXCM has one of the lowest fees at EURUSD, but less competitive at EURGBP trading.

Forex trading fees
  FXCM Pepperstone Oanda
EURUSD benchmark fee $13.8 $17.6 $19.4
EURGBP benchmark fee $16.4 $14.1 $14.7

Financing rates

FXCM's financing rates are low. At EURUSD, it is much lower, while at EURGBP is almost the same as at Pepperstone and Oanda.

Financing rates
  FXCM Pepperstone Oanda
EURUSD financing rate 3.1% 4.2% 4.5%
EURGBP financing rate 3.1% 3.0% 3.0%

Compare broker fees

Non-trading fees

FXCM's non-trading fees are average. There is an inactivity fee, but the withdrawal fee is free of charge for the credit/debit cards.

Non-trading fees
  FXCM Pepperstone Oanda
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $20 $35

FXCM withdrawal fees depend on the currency, the type of transfer and the origin of your account. Using credit and debit cards is free of charge, while bank transfer has costs. 

FXCM withdrawal fees
Currency - type of bank transfer Domestic International
USD $25 inside UK or US $40 outside UK or US
JPY Free inside Japan JPY 3,000 outside Japan
CAD CAD 25 inside Canada CAD 40 outside Canada
EUR - SEPA Free Free
EUR - non SEPA €15 for UK, France, Germany, Italy €30 outside UK, France, Germany, Italy
GBP - BACS Free Free
GBP - non BACS £15 inside UK £30 outside UK
AUD - non EFT AUD 15 inside Australia AUD 30 outside Australia
NZD NZD 15 inside New Zealand NZD 30 outside New Zealand
CHF CHF 15 inside Switzerland CHF 30 outside Switzerland

FXCM's currency conversion fee depends on the amount you transfer.

  • $0 - $9,999, a 1,5% conversion fee is applied
  • $10,000 - $49,999, a 1% conversion fee is applied
  • $50,000 - $99,999, a 0,5% conversion fee is applied
  • $100,000+, a 0,1% conversion fee is applied

FXCM review
Account opening 4 stars

The account opening process at FXCM is hassle-free and straightforward. Furthermore, there is no minimum balance requirement.

Pros
  • Account opening fully digital
  • No minimum account balance
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Account opening takes more days

Can you open an account?

FXCM accepts customers from most countries around the world. There a few exceptions, i.e. the residents of USA, Japan, Brazil, Turkey, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria or North Korea.

Minimum deposit

FXCM does not have a minimum deposit requirement. 

Account Types

FXCM offers four account types:

  • Individual, Standard
  • Individual, Active Trader
  • Joint
  • Corporate

If you plan to trade at a high-volume, FXCM's Active Trader account would be the best for you. It ensures better spreads and customer support compared to the standard accounts. E.g. the EURUSD spread is 0.2 at Active Trader account, while 1.3 at the standard account.

How to open your account

The account opening is fully digital and straightforward. 

You have to go through the following steps:

  1. Choose which platform, account type, and base currency you wish to use
  2. Add personal information and do a KYC questionnaire. KYC means "Know Your Customer" which is a standard and regulated process for identifying clients.
  3. Upload documents to verify your identity and residency. You can upload a copy of your ID/passport for verifying your identity, and a bank statement/utility bill for verifying your residency. 

FXCM review - Account opening

Visit broker

FXCM review
Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

There is more options both for deposit and withdrawal. Also, the deposit is free of charge. On the flip side, the withdrawal can be long.

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • Free deposit
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Lengthy funding and withdrawal - over 3 days
  • Withdrawal fee at bank transfer can be high

Account base currencies

You can open your account in major currencies, like USD, EUR, GBP, and CHF. You can also add additional accounts, with different base currencies. For additional accounts, some minor currencies, like NZD, and CAD are available as well.

Why does this matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged. 

Deposit fees and options

FXCM deposit is free of charge.

As other forex and CFD broker, there are a lot of options at FXCM:

  • Bank transfer
  • Credit/Debit card
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • UnionPay
  FXCM Pepperstone Oanda
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

The bank transfer can take from 1 to 5 business days. If you use the credit/debit cards or the electronic wallets, the money is credited to your account immediately.

You can only deposit money from sources which are on your name.

FXCM review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Withdrawal fees and options

FXCM withdrawal fees are free for credit/debit cards but can be high for bank transfer. Fees for bank transfer depending on the currency and the origin of your account.

For withdrawal, you can use bank transfer and credit/debit cards, but cannot use electronic wallets. It is mid-range as Pepperstone offers more, while Oanda offers less options than FXCM. 

  FXCM Pepperstone Oanda
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes No
Electronic wallets No Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $20 $35
Withdrawal Time 3 days 2 days 3 days

The bank transfer can take 1 to 5 business days, and the bank account has to be on your name.

At credit/debit cards, you can withdraw money only to the same credit/debit cards you used for depositing. FXCM warns if a problem occurs, the withdrawal can even take to 30 days.

We tested the withdrawal by bank transfer. It took 3 business days.

More funding and withdrawal info

FXCM review
Web trading platform 3 stars

FXCM's trading platform is extremely customizable. It also has a lot of order types. On the flip side, there is no two-step login and setting alerts is a pain.

Pros
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • Clear fee report
  • Available in more languages
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Setting alerts is not a piece of cake

FXCM Platforms to Choose From
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 2 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop 3 / 5 stars Yes

With FXCM you can trade on 4 platforms: Trading Station, Metatrader4, Ninjatrader, and Zulutrader. We tested only Trading Station as this is FXCM's own platform, while the other platforms are third-parties. 

You can choose from a good selection of languages: Arabic, Chinese, Japan, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish.

Look and feel

FXCM released a new, HTML-based website in 2018. It looks nicer than the previous one but still lags behind other trading platform's design.

It is extremely customizable, even if you compare with competitor brokers' platform. The whole page consists of widgets, you can select their size and position.

FXCM review - Web trading platform

Login and Security

The login process is a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be useful here.

Search Functions

The search panel is really basic. It can be found on the "Subscription list" which is very counter-intuitive and took us some time to find it. 

As a plus, the products are categorized, e.g. major or minor forex. 

FXCM review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing Orders

You can use many order types, including some sophisticated ones.

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop trailing
  • One-cancel-other (OCO)

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

There are also many order terms you can use.

  • Good-till-date (GTD)
  • Good-till-cancel (GTC)
  • Immediate or cancel (IOC)
  • Fill or kill (FOK)

FXCM review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and Notifications

You can set up price alerts in form of e-mails or SMS. You can find instructions about setup alerts, but it is not a piece of cake.

Portfolio and Fee reports

There are clear and downloadable portfolio and fee reports on the "Reports" tab on the platform and at MyFXCM.

Visit web platform page

FXCM review
Mobile trading platform 2 stars

The FXCM mobile platform lags behind the web-based. It is not user-friendly and lacks many important functions, like two-step login.

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Order confirmation available
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Bad search function
  • Not user-friendly

FXCM has four web trading platforms, and all of them have mobile platforms as well. We tested FXCM's own mobile trading platform, the Trading Station.

It is available both for IoS and Android. We tested it on Android.

You can choose from nine languages: English, Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Turkish, Greek. 

Look and Feel

The app feels out of date, a bit ugly.

FXCM review - Mobile trading platform

Login and Security

The login process is a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be useful.

Search Functions

Search function for the products can only be found under the 'Settings' menu. This is very counter-intuitive and took us some time to find it. Once you know where it is, it works as a basic bare-bones search field, no predictive input, or other additional features. 

FXCM review - Mobile trading platform - Search

Placing Orders

On mobile, you can set the same notifications that you can set on the web trading platform.

FXCM review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and Notifications

There are no alerts or notifications available for FXCM's mobile trading platform.

Portfolio and Fee reports

A fee report can be downloaded from within the app.

Visit mobile platform page

FXCM review
Desktop trading platform 3 stars

FXCM's desktop platform lags behind the web-trading platform. It is not user-friendly.

Pros
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • Available in more languages
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Not user-friendly
  • Setting alerts is not a piece of cake

We tested FXCM's own Trading Station platform.

You can select from more languages: English, Chinese,  Russian, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Arabic, Korean, Italian, Turkish, Hebrew, Greek, Portuguese, Polish, Hungarian.

Look and feel

Just like at the web trading platform, the desktop platform has a good customizability. You can compile and save your own layout.

However, the platform has an outdated design and it is not user-friendly at all. It was also annoying that many functions, like the research, are not integrated with the platform. FXCM review - Desktop trading platform

Login and Security

The login process is a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be useful.

Search Functions

Just like at the web trading platform, the search panel is basic. You can search by typing the preferred product and there is also a product list with categories, like major currency pairs. 

Placing Orders

You will find more order types on the desktop trading platform than the web platform

The following order types are available only on desktop:

  • OTO (One-Triggers-the Other)
  • OTOCO (One-Triggers-One-Cancels-the-Other)
  • If-Then
  • If-Then OCO (One-Cancel-the-Other)

FXCM review - Desktop trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and Notifications

It is the same as at the web trading platform.

Portfolio and Fee reports

You can see clearly your account's performance and costs on the "Reports" panel or on the MyFXCM panel. We didn't like that when you go to the MyFXCM panel you will be directed to FXCM's website where you have to log in again.

Visit desktop platform page

FXCM review
Markets and products 1 stars

At FXCM you will have access only to some forex, some CFDs, and Bitcoin.

FXCM is a forex broker with some CFDs. To learn more on CFDs read our CFD trading tips.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

FXCM has a limited product portfolio which lags behind the competitors, like Pepperstone or Oanda. You can trade with only forex, stock index CFDs, commodity CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. Within cryptos, only Bitcoin is available. 

Products and markets
  FXCM Pepperstone Oanda
Forex - number of currency pairs 41 80 55
Stock index CFDs 12 14 16
Commodity CFDs 7 14 32
Cryptocurrencies 1 5 -

Based on the customer support answers, you cannot change the default leverage level of the products. It is the same at Pepperstone, while at Oanda you can change the levels. We think you should be in control of this.

Compare product portfolios

FXCM review
Research 5 stars

FXCM provides great technical analysis tools, e.g. good charting and market screener. You will also find news, newsletters and economic calendar. However, there is no fundamental data and some tools are not free.

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Good set of analytical tools
Cons
  • No fundamental data available

Most FXCM research tools are on its website not on the trading platform. This makes it a bit complicated.

The research tools are available in the same languages as the web-trading platform have.

Recommendations

You can find recommendations through FXCM's Trading Signals and Trading Analyzer pages. These recommendations are based on technical analysis. 

FXCM review - Research trading platform - Recommendations

Fundamental data

There is no fundamental data at FXCM, mostly because it concentrates on FX.

Charting

FXCM does a great job in charting. The charts are easily editable and there are more than 50 technical indicators. 

FXCM review - Research - Charting

There is also a Market Scanner feature. It shows whether you should buy or sell based on technical indicators, like RSI or MACD. However, only for a few products you can use it.

You can add more technical tools. Some of them are available for free, but for the majority, you have to pay. You can check these tools at "FXCM forex trading app" page.

News feed

You can read news, newsletter, and use an economic calendar. 

The news is available through the 'Global Market News' page. We liked that you can view the popular searches and or search according to categories, like currency pairs or popular searches.

There are also daily newsletters, called Before the Bell. The newsletters include 5-6 trading ideas which are based on technical chart analysis. 

The economic calendar has a nice design, but we lacked the filter function. You cannot filter for countries which would be really useful.

FXCM review - Research - Economic calendar

Other research tools you will enjoy

FXCM does a great job in algorithmic trading. FXCM provides four APIs for free, but you can also buy many other. The free APIs: REST API, FIX API, Java API, and a ForexConnect API.

More research info

FXCM review
Customer service 5 stars

FXCM customer support is good. You can reach them in many ways and you will get fast and relevant answers. It does not operate on the weekends.

Pros
  • Live chat available
  • Fast support
  • Available in local languages
Cons
  • No 24/7

You can contact FXCM via:

  • live chat
  • phone
  • email

In 44 countries, toll-free phone support is provided. Each location has local language representatives. For the comprehensive list, click here. This is great.

FXCM has a great customer support. At the live chat and the telephone support, an agent was connected within a few seconds and gave relevant answers. E.g. they revealed all relevant fees, including the financing rates.

At the email, we got answers within a day, and the answers were relevant as well.

The only thing we miss is the 24/7 availability. 

FXCM review - Customer Service

Contact customer service

FXCM review
Education 5 stars

FXCM does a great job in offering educational content. A wide range of educational tool is available at FXCM. E.g. demo account, educational videos, or webinars.

Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
  • Demo account
Cons
None

You can use the following tools for education:

  • Demo account
  • Educational videos
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • Webinars
  • Texts and booklets

FXCM provides a demo account, however, it is restricted to some locations. FXCM also sends free educational material to your e-mail when opening a demo account which is a nice touch. 

Furthermore, we enjoyed the quality of the videos, they were well produced, factual, and concise. 

Their video library is very extensive, people can find videos in many categories, such as charts, order types, trading station mobile, etc.

There are free live webinars, pre-recorded videos, and pdf booklets available for free to anyone. They covered a lot of topics from trading basics, to platform tips and tricks. 

FXCM review - Education

Visit education page

FXCM review
Safety

FXCM is regulated by top-tiers regulators, like the UK FCA. 

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • Negative balance protection available
  • £50,000 FSCS protection for European clients
Cons
None

FXCM is a UK broker established in 1999 serving clients from all over the globe. Is FXCM safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes south and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

Within FXCM Group there are two major entities. This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity. 

FXCM legal entities
Client country Investor protection amount Regulator Legal Entity
Europe £50,000 FCA FXCM Limited
Outside Europe No protection ASIC FXCM Australia Pty. Limited

Negative balance protection is provided. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you will be protected.

Background

The background of the broker matters as a strong parent company reduces the chance the company goes bust. FXCM has two major owners, the Jefferies Group and the Global Brokerage.

Jefferies Group is a strong parent company as it has an investment banking background and it is listed on the New York and the London Stock Exchange. The banking background indicates higher security as the bank can give additional funds in case of insolvency. The strict regulation for banks also results in higher safety for you. The stock exchange listing increases the transparency and so reduces the chance the company commits fraud.

FXCM's financial information is quite hard to get for an average person, it is not on their website.

FXCM was founded in 1999. The company's almost 20 years history proved that FXCM can operate after a serious economic distress. It also a sign for you that FXCM is a secure broker.

Having a parent which is listed, being regulated by top tier regulator, like the FCA, are all great signs for FXCM's safety. 

Filter the brokers by investor protection

FXCM review
Bottom line

FXCM has low trading fees and financing rates. Their technical research tools are high quality and well organized. It also offers a fast and straightforward account opening.

However, FXCM has a only offers forex, some CFDs, and cryptos. Their mobile and desktop trading platforms need an update. They are outdated and not user-friendly.

Feel free to try FXCM. There is no minimum deposit, and inactivity fee only kicks in after a year.

Visit broker

FXCM logo

FXCM or Forex Capital Market is a London-based forex broker offering some CFDs too. FXCM was established in 1999 and has two main shareholders: Jefferies Financial Group and Global Brokerage. Both parent companies are listed on stock exchanges.

FXCM is considered safe as it is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the UK FCA and the Australian ASIC.

FXCM is a forex and CFD broker. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex traders looking for great technical research tools.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 4 stars

Pros
  • Low trading fees and financing rates
  • Good technical research tools
  • Fast and straightforward account opening
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Bad mobile platform
  • Bad desktop trading platform

Fees 4 stars

Pros
  • Low financing rate
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Low trading fees
Cons
  • Inactivity fee

Account opening 4 stars

Pros
  • Account opening fully digital
  • No minimum account balance
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Account opening takes more days

Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • Free deposit
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Lengthy funding and withdrawal - over 3 days
  • Withdrawal fee at bank transfer can be high

Web trading platform 3 stars

Pros
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • Clear fee report
  • Available in more languages
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Setting alerts is not a piece of cake

Mobile trading platform 2 stars

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Order confirmation available
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Bad search function
  • Not user-friendly

Desktop trading platform 3 stars

Pros
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • Available in more languages
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Not user-friendly
  • Setting alerts is not a piece of cake

Markets and products 1 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Forex
  • CFD
  • Crypto

Research 5 stars

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Good set of analytical tools
Cons
  • No fundamental data available

Customer service 5 stars

Pros
  • Live chat available
  • Fast support
  • Available in local languages
Cons
  • No 24/7

Education 5 stars

Pros
  • Educational videos
  • Easy to understand
  • Demo account
Cons
None

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • Negative balance protection available
  • £50,000 FSCS protection for European clients
Cons
None

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

METHODOLOGY

Everything you find on Brokerchooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

Follow Brokerchooser on Twitter

Share

Comments