FXCM Review – A Popular Household Name In The Forex Market
FXCM is a global leader in Forex trading that has a significant presence in all the major financial centers around the world. FXCM has its main offices in London, New York, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Athens, Tokyo, Sydney, and Hong Kong, while the company has also set up its affiliate offices in Canada, Israel, Chile, South Africa, and Dubai. FXCM is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has the distinction of being a part of the top 500 fastest growing American companies for three years on the trot. FXCM has an enormous market capitalization and is one of the largest businesses in the world that has built up its revenue solely from Forex trading and allied brokerage services.
FXCM is a company that has solidified its presence in the global financial markets by offering a no-nonsense FX brokerage service. Unlike other established FX brokers that only cater to large investors or institutional traders, FXCM accepts clients irrespective of their initial investment capital and trading background. This FXCM review aims to track the broker’s journey in the industry since its inception in 1999, and how the company has fared in light of the current competition that consistently threatens to oust the company from its top echelon.
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How Can Traders Take Advantage Of FXCM Regulation & Its Global Presence?
FXCM began its online operations in 2001 and ever since, the broker has been enjoying continued success in the financial markets. FXCM is regulated by a long list of regulatory agencies, which include:
- CFTC & NFA in the United States of America
- IIROC in Canada
- FCA in the United Kingdom
- BaFin in Germany
- ASIC in Australia
- ACP in France
- CONSOB in Italy
- SFC in Hong Kong
- FSB in South Africa
Every subsidiary branch office located in different parts of the world is run as an independent entity. The parent company, FXCM Inc., has no operational input into how individual member companies operate, which provides a high degree of freedom and flexibility to customize FX trading services according to a particular region and its local regulation. Operational independence not only helps FXCM to customize their service offerings but also helps the companies to mitigate risk and protect their clients from the adverse effects of any risky global events.
Multiple FXCM regulation should naturally guarantee a safe and secure trading environment, but the company has been in the news for bad reasons due to their trading policies and alleged price manipulation. In separate incidents during the period spanning from 2006 to 2010, the FXCM was found to be guilty of holding on to positive slippage, which attracted massive fines from both the CFTC as well as the FCA after being found in breach of regulatory guidelines. The significant lawsuits and subsequent penalties in 2011 not only caused a PR nightmare for the broker but also resulted in the company awarding money to their clients as directed by the regulatory agencies.
However, the company has pulled its act together and has returned to its real roots by performing a total revamp of their services. The company was listed on the NYSE in 2010, and ever since, they have been one of the fastest growing Forex brokers in the market.
What Are The Different FXCM Trading Conditions?
FXCM offers three different types of accounts according to the investment capital. Traders can start trading using a little investment capital of just $50, which qualifies for a Mini account. The Mini account is a dealing desk account, and has its limitations; however, traders do get to enjoy a maximum FXCM leverage of 1:400. On the contrary, US traders are only offered a maximum leverage of 1:50 due to the CFTC rules, and hedging has been prohibited the US. The FXCM spreads for the Mini account is the highest of all accounts, and starts from 1.8 pips. The spreads for this account is certainly high when compared to other FX brokers.
The standard account, which is an ECN account, is the better option regarding trading conditions but is available only for a minimum of $2000 initial deposit. The leverage is also reduced to 1:100, but the relatively lower leverage helps in reducing risks for accounts with a larger equity. It is possible to open an ECN account for a far lesser amount and higher leverage from other brokers and it is a mystery as to why FXCM has stuck to their marketing strategy of reserving high-end ECN accounts only for large deposit account holders. The FXCM spreads are once again higher at 1 pip standard, and also include a commission per trade. The resulting higher cost ‘s hard to justify, but it seems that it is indeed a price to pay for opening an account with an established broker.
There is a VIP account that is known as the Active Trader account, which offers even better trading conditions than the Standard account but is only available for a minimum deposit of $25,000. The trading conditions are mostly similar to the Standard account but include other benefits such as lower commissions, lower spreads, free VPS access, dedicated account manager, and other similar features. Some brokers start offering a dedicated account manager for a small capital that can be as low as $500; therefore, FXCM should consider lowering their account standards if they are to take the fight up to their competition.
Talk Us Through The FXCM Platforms, Payments, & Bonus Options
FXCM offers multiple trading platforms that are hugely popular among traders. FXCM platform duties are split up between the MetaTrader 4 terminal, the NinjaTrader, and the proprietary TradingStation platform. The TradingStation platform is a great tool that offers advanced charting functionalities and a great interface that is highly suited to the complex world of FX trading. FXCM Mobile platforms are available for smartphones and tablets, which are redesigned versions of the TradingStation and MT4 terminals. Mobile traders will also find the TradingStation mobile app to be far superior to the MT4 mobile app, as FXCM has spent an enormous amount of resources into developing their branded TradingStation software. The company also offers social trading platforms such as Mirror Trader and ZuluTrade, which can help traders to avoid the risks of FX trading by investing in other successful traders’ portfolios.
FXCM clients can make deposits and withdrawals using bank transfers, credit cards, checks, or PayPal, but there isn’t any FXCM bonus. FXCM rarely offers any promotions; instead, they offer contests that offer prize money. Traders choose FXCM for their relatively safe and secure trading environment, and if their recent performance is any indication, it is safe to assume that the broker is indeed headed for market dominance.