Is stock trading free at FXCM?
I've thoroughly tested FXCM services with our analyst team by opening a real-money account and these are my most important findings:
- Stock trading is not available at FXCM
- Commission-free stock trading is increasingly common among stock brokers
- Commission-free stock brokers often charge users via a wider buy/sell spread
If you're looking for a great broker for stock trading, check out our list of the best stock brokers for 2023.
At BrokerChooser, we only publish objective analyses based on live testing. Every recommendation is unbiased and based on first-hand experience: we open a live account anonymously at each broker, deposit real money and test every important feature.
How does commission-free stock trading work?
If you invest often or in many different stocks at a time, your trading costs can quickly get out of hand. So how do you prevent that from happening? It's easy: choose a broker that offers commission-free stock trading. Yes, a lot of US brokers and some European brokers now let you trade stocks (or ETFs) at no cost.
You may ask, how do brokers make a profit if they offer zero-commission trading? One thing they can do is charge fees for trading other assets, such as bonds or options; or charge for various services such as currency conversion or withdrawals.
Brokers who offer commission-free trading can also profit from payment for order flow. What is payment for order flow? Brokers may receive a small payment for sending your buy/sell orders to so-called market makers - large trading entities that help execute stock trades and provide liquidity. See that small gap between the buy/sell prices of a stock? Commission-free brokers may pocket a tiny share of that difference - and may do so at your expense.
Commission-free trading apps are great, but can come with some fine print. At some brokers, US stocks are commission free but international stocks are not. Also, watch out for hidden charges such as conversion fees (for trading an asset in a currency other than yours). As a rule, a broker that charges a very small stock commission but otherwise offers a wide product selection and excellent services may be just as good for you as a zero-commission broker.
To read more about possible expenses you may face as a long-term investor, check out our summary of the most common brokerage fees.
Check out this short video for a behind-the-scenes peek into how our experts personally test and evaluate brokers.