FXCM Review

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Launched in 1999, FXCM is an industry-leading Forex and CFDs broker, servicing more than 130,000 trading accounts across the globe. FXCM provides live trading in currencies, indices, commodities and treasury. Traders benefit from free live trading signals, STP Forex execution with competitive spreads, and leverage up to 1:400. Moreover, FXCM gives access to 4 unique software platforms, with a broad range of tradeable assets, from desktop and mobile devices. FXCM provides free ‘on-site’ seminars in Johannesburg and Pretoria, as well as the opportunity to meet dedicated FXCM account representatives in person.

FXCM South Africa Pty Ltd, is authorized to provide financial services within South Africa, were its business practices are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom (registration number 217689). The office in South Africa is at 114, West Street, 6th Floor, Katherine and West Building, Sandton 2196, Johannesburg. FXCM Group is headquartered in the UK at 20, Gresham Street, 4th Floor, London EC2V 7JE. FXCM is also licensed and regulated in Germany, Italy, France and Australia.

FXCM Demo Account

A free Practice account is available on the ‘Trading Station’ platform for risk-free Forex and CFD on desktop and mobile devices. Traders are allocated $5,000 of virtual funds and a free Forex trading guide. Notably, the practice account is available 24/5 and provides live buy and sell prices in a simulated market environment. Alternatively, traders can open an MT4 platform demo account for risk-free Forex trading. The MT4 features Expert Advisors (EA) for automated trading strategies and free mobile apps with EAs, scripts and indicators. To set up one or both demo accounts, customers need only provide their name, phone number and email address. Notably, traders can opt out at any time without any obligation to FXCM.

Retail traders can choose from three types of trading account, reflecting their experience in Forex trading. Namely the Mini, Standard and Active Trader accounts, all with a 1K minimum lot size. Importantly, FXCM provides customers with updated info about the amount of margin left in the account so they can trade accordingly. It also allows them to make trades conveniently over the telephone using FXCM dealers. All account holders enjoy access to customer support 24/7, and the entire range of educational resources available on the FXCM website. Two types of demo/practice trading accounts are available for risk free trading on the proprietary ‘Trading Station’ platform and the popular MT4 Forex platform.

Traders at FXCM are liable for any negative balance in their trading accounts, unless they are protected by the negative balance policy set out in the terms of business. Under the stringent policy, up to $50,000 of negative balance may be waived by FXCM. Importantly, to avoid becoming indebted to FXCM, traders are encouraged to use ‘Stop-loss’ orders to limit the down-size risk rather than waiting for FXCM to make a margin call.

A minimum initial deposit of $50 is required to open a Mini trading account, ideal for beginners. The Mini account gives access to 21 currency pairs and 18 instruments, across commodities and indices. Traders are offered leverage up to 1:200 for CFDs and Forex trading, on the flagship FXCM Trading Station or the MT4 platform. Notably, orders placed in the Mini account are executed by the dealing desk and are free of commission. Trading costs are incorporated into the spreads shown for each financial instrument on the trading platform (EUR/USD from 1.3 pips). Traders with Mini accounts are restricted from specific trading practices including, scalping, trading with Expert Advisors (EAs), API and News trading.

A minimum initial deposit of $10,000 is required to open a Standard account with market depth, leverage up to 1:100 and no trading restrictions. Traders have access to 39 currency pairs, as well as 18 indices and commodities with ‘no dealing desk’ Forex execution. The spreads are low with EUR/USD from 0.3 pip, and commission at $30 per million on major currency pairs, and $80 per million on minors. There are no commissions charged on indices and commodities, where costs are built into the spreads.

$25,000 initial deposit is needed to open an Active Trader account for access to 39 currency pairs plus 18 commodities and indices. Leverage is available up to 1:100 and the account has market depth and no trading restrictions. FXCM provides Forex execution using straight through processing (STP), without a dealing desk. Notably, with an Active Trader account, traders pay reduced trading commissions on currency pairs; $15 per million on majors and $54 on minors. Trading costs on indices and commodities are included in the spreads and thereby free of commission. Importantly, traders with Active Trader accounts can request custom trading solutions to suit their personal preferences.

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FXCM Trading Platform Types and Assets

Traders can choose from four trading platforms at FXCM each providing Forex market access with unique functionality and fast trade execution. The global Forex markets are open for trading 24/5. At FXCM, tradeable assets include FX currency pairs, commodities, indices and treasury (German Bunds).

The MT4 at FXCM has enhanced features making it faster to trade across global markets. The multi-lingual Forex platform has built-in support and tight risk management, with micro lot trading. Traders can set stop-loss and take-profit orders, as well as partially closing trading positions. Moreover, the MT4 has advanced charting tools and technical indicators, as well as Expert Advisors (EAs). These automated trading tools can execute part, or all, of an automated trading strategy.

The award-winning Trading Station is a robust, user-friendly trading platform unique to FXCM, and available for desktop, web and mobile access. Traders using the Trading Station enjoy the convenience of intuitive functionality with real time prices, multiple order types and dozens of pre-loaded indicators. Impressively, the Trading Station features exclusive tools, such as the ‘good till date’ order type, for executing trades at specific times as well as powerful charts and real volume indicators. Traders can have free VPS access and integrate EAs for automated trading into the platform, as part of the Standard and Active Trader accounts (Not for Mini accounts).

The Zulu Trade is an automated trading engine, facilitating peer to peer, copy trading without human intervention. It’s especially designed for traders who don’t want to create their own trading strategies, or simply prefer to take the emotion out of trading. Customers can set up a free demo Zulu Trade account, linking it to a live FXCM trading account, to practice peer-to-peer trading. Or they can start ‘live’ Zulu Trading with a real money account immediately. With Zulu Trade, clients choose one or more signals providers, from hundreds of independent traders located around the world. Subsequently, they receive trading signals, as soon as their chosen trader places new trades. Upon receiving the trading signals, the Zulu Trade engine automatically copies those trades into the subscribers FXCM live trading account. The subscription paid to signals providers is 0.5 pips per lot traded (using their signals). Zulu Trade features sophisticated sorting methods to assist traders in selecting their signals providers, as well as risk-management tools. Sorting methods include positive reviews and rankings, as well as consistent monthly profits. Importantly, Zulu Trade subscribers must ensure that they have sufficient usable margin in their FXCM trading accounts. Without available funds, the Zulu Trade platform can’t carry out automated trading.

Traders who opt for the Ninja Trader platform, receive competitive pricing and high-quality trade execution from market makers, such as banks and prime brokers, that work together with FXCM. On the Ninja platform, traders without any experience of programming languages can use the Strategy Wizard to construct their own automated strategies. Moreover, the Ninja Trader includes the ‘Market Analyser’, showing current trading opportunities and market conditions, as well as a market replay feature.

FXCM offers a broad selection of Algorithmic APIs for automating Forex and CFD trading strategies. The full range of award-winning tools and trading services are shown on the FXCM website under ‘Algo Trading’.


FXCM customer service can be reached by live chat on the platform interface and over the free South Africa phone number + 27 10590 6301. Alternatively, they can send an email to the address given on the contact page. A phone number for the trading desk is provided, for live account holders requiring technical assistance, or who wish to place trades over the phone. We found the Help page accessible from the dashboard at FXCM, very useful, with the top 10 FAQs providing answers to the most common questions asked about trading with FXCM.

Traders can deposit funds, free of FXCM admin fees, directly in the live trading account by clicking on MyFXCM (fees may be applied by the external payment service providers). A list of country specific deposit methods is shown to clients, usually including Bank Wire transfer, Credit/Debit cards, Skrill, BPay and Union Pay. A helpful video taking customers through the deposit and withdrawal process, step-by-step, is available in the FXCM video library. Withdrawal requests are submitted online through the MyFXCM portal. The withdrawal methods are limited to bank wire transfer and Credit/Debit cards. Notably, there are no admin fees charged for withdrawals to credit/debit cards. However, withdrawals by Bank Wire are charged a $40 fee on each transaction. We did not receive any complaint about FXCM scam.