FXCM is one of the largest FOREX brokers in the world. They have clients in nearly 200 countries, execute millions of trades every month, and have over $600 million in customer funds. If you are searching for an established, financially string FOREX broker, FXCM is worth a look.
Online Forex Broker Rating:
Year Founded: 1999
Locations: New York City, NY
Average Spread: Variable – 1 pip and up
Minimum Account Size: Mini-Account: $25.00
Standard Account: $2,000.00
Leverage: Up to 100:1
Accepts U.S. Citizens: Yes
Regulated By: CFTC, NFA, and several countries.
Dealing Desk: No
FXCM was founded in 1999 and has grown into one of the largest FOREX brokers in the world. The company’s main location is in New York City and is regulated in the United States, England, Dubai, Hong Kong, France, and Australia. FXCM has a vast global client base, high trading volume, strong financial backing and has won numerous awards from the investment community. FXCM made an unprecedented release of their balance sheet in 2010 and has asked for other FOREX brokers to do the same. FXCM was named on Inc magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing private firms in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Since its start, the company has added over 600 new employees in all areas of operations.
FXCM’s trading platform is called FX Trading Station, and needs to be downloaded to your computer. It is user friendly and can be customized to fit your needs. This platform is easy to use as all information needed to trade is arranged logically and fits on one screen. A toolbar can also be downloaded to your browser which allows you instant access to market news, currency rates, and other important information. Charting tools and other data can be added to the FX Trading Station platform with plug-ins. This trading platform is good for novice and experienced trades alike.
FXCM is a no dealing desk broker, which means that they fill your orders from the best price available. Without a dealing desk, there is no conflict of interest between you and the broker. FXCM works with up to ten of the largest banks for pricing information which contributes to competitive pricing and low bids. For traders who desire some variety, FXCM has over 45 currency pairs available to trade. The spreads are variable and can be as low as 1 pip. Average spreads tend to be between 2 and 4 pips. A sample of a few of the typical spreads are: EUR/USD 1 to 2.3, USD/JPY 1 to 2.4, GBP/USD 1 to 3, USD/CAD 1 to 3.7. These are extremely competitive spreads and offer traders a good opportunity to make money with their trading. FXCM offers flexible leverage with the maximum leverage being approximately 100:1. Though traders are able to set their own leverage amounts, the majority of traders utilize the default amounts which are based on various default margin settings. FXCM recommends that traders use lower leverages to minimize their risk. However, the amount of leverage used is up to each individual trader. One way that traders are protected at FXCM is that there is no risk of a debt balance; your maximum loss is limited by the amount of money in your account.
FXCM offers several different account types for you to choose from including a standard account, an active trader account, and a micro account. To open a standard account, a minimum of $2,000 is required. For the micro account, one can be opened with as little as $25.00. With the standard account you receive twenty-four hour customer support; with the micro account customer service is limited to e-mail and forums. The active trading account requires a minimum of $25,000 and provides up to ten levels of market depth and is ideal for scalping and short term trading. You can also set up an account in the name of a corporation, trust, IRA, or other entity. For those who want to check out their system, a free $50,000 demo account can be opened. With this demo account, you can trade from charts, get live streaming prices, and have access to around the clock customer support.
FXCM offers educational tools for novice and experienced traders. They have developed several training courses that cater to the beginner and the expert. A visitor to their website is able to view free instructional videos to learn more about trading in the FOREX market. On the website you can sign up for the FX Power Course which provides traders with a lesson per day for eight days. In this course, you can learn to read charts, time the market, identify trends, and more. In addition, you will have unlimited access to the alumni forum where you can discuss FOREX trading with thousands of other traders.
FXCM has live customer support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can contact them through the live support, instant messaging, phone, or e-mail. Their online chat is very quick and responsive and one of the representatives can usually answer most questions. From reading the online forums, it seems that most traders are happy with customer support. As with any FOREX broker you often find some negative reviews, but overall the satisfaction level with FXCM customer support seems to be reasonably positive.
Safety of all accounts and transactions is important to FXCM. To ensure that every transaction and client account is kept confidential and secure, FXCM uses authentication protocols, top-of-the-line encryption procedures, and the best firewall protection. The broker uses back up systems to protect your open trades, stop orders, and accounts in case of any system failure. For UK clients accounts are segregated; in the event that FXCM ever files for bankruptcy, individual client accounts could not be used to pay off other creditors.
FXCM is registered and regulated in several different jurisdictions around the world and adheres closely to all rules and regulations. In the US they are regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and National Futures Association Member (NFA). In the United Kingdom they are registered with the Financial Services Association (FSA). They are also registered and regulated by the proper authorities in Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, France, and Italy. FXCM meets the minimum capital requirements of the CFTC. With more than ten years of FOREX experience, strong financial backing, and an international presence, FXCM is a secure and reliable choice for all types of FOREX traders.