A Review of Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)
In our last lesson we finished up our module on factors to consider when choosing a forex broker, with a look at some of the important factors to consider when evaluating a firm's customer service. In today's lesson we begin the last module of our free forex trading course, with a review of the firm which I feel is the leader in the retail forex market, FXCM.
Before I get started with this review, there are two things that viewers should be aware of if they are not already.
1. As I state fairly often in the community discussions over at InformedTrades.com, before leaving to start InformedTrades and focus on my own trading, I worked for FXCM for 7 years. With this in mind some will obviously say that my opinion is biased by this fact, and there is no question that this is the firm that I am the most familiar with.
2. As InformedTrades community member and Airelon pointed out recently in his blog
, like with most things, there is unfortunately no one brokerage firm that is going to fit 100% of everyone's needs. It is for this reason that I am wrapping up the forex course not only with a review of my preferred broker, but also with a 5 video series on factors to consider so that you don't have to rely on my choice, but can be informed enough to evaluate and choose a broker based on your own research.
Now that we have that out of the way, the primary reason why I have chosen to recommend FXCM, is that in my opinion they are the firm that has the highest quality offering, when taking into account the points I have outlined in my last series of videos. For this video I will quickly go over each of those points, and then in the videos that follow, we will delve a little deeper into some of the ones that I think are the most important.
As I pointed out in my first video on important factors to consider when choosing a forex broker, regulation and stability are the most important factors in my opinion for the retail forex trader to consider. As you can see for yourself on the financial data for FCM's page we also covered in that video, as of this lesson FXCM is one of the best capitalized FCM's in the United States, with over $70 Million in liquid assets and over $55 Million in excess net capital.
In addition to being registered and regulated in the United States, FXCM also has offices and is registered in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada. This means not one but 4 regulatory agencies oversee the firm, and also that traders are able to open regulated accounts in most of the major countries where forex is traded.
As for transaction costs, FXCM offers commission free trading like most brokers, and spreads and execution which from my experience are very competitive, especially in volatile market conditions where execution quality tends to drop substantially with many other brokers.
The firm offers a variety of different platforms, including their flagship FXCM Trading Station, as well as professional and web based trading platforms. The two things that traders often want which are not currently offered as of this lesson, are mobile trading and the Metatrader Platform, which they are currently working on integrating.While FXCM is highly competitive in the above categories, my two favorite things about them are the value added services and high quality of customer service that they offer. FXCM has a huge research team which puts out multiple pieces a day on the market which you can find at Dailyfx.com. For live accounts they also give free access to the premium section of Dailyfx, called Dailyfxplus which offers real time news, trading signals, trade recommendations, and charts with real time technical levels posted throughout the day.
From a customer service standpoint they are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and traders can reach their customer service desk via phone, email, chat, and forums. For traders who do not speak English, they also have support in a variety of different languages including Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, Arabic, and Portuguese.
That's our lesson for today, in our next lesson I will give a walkthough of FXCM's premium service for live clients Dailyfxplus so I hope to see you then.
As always if there are any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below, and good luck with your trading!
FXCM's Active Trader Platform
FXCM also offers a platform designed for short term traders who desire the ability to see Level II Type Market Depth, which shows how much liquidity is available at a given price. The Active Trader Group also provides lower spreads for high-volume traders. The combined transaction costs (spreads + commissions) should be substantially lower than typical FXCM Standard Accounts. Minimum requirements to join are a $25,000 deposit or 10M per month in notional volume. Click here for my review of FXCM's Active Trader platform