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Forex.com

Forex.com Review
Trader's rating 2.9
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size  Maximum leverage* Average Spreads
Standard $50  0.01 1:200  1.8 pips 
AciveTrader/Premium  $20 000/$10 000   0.01 1:200 1.3 pips **/1.5 pips
*Leverage in the US is limited to 1:50.
** Spreads can be as low as 0.7, based on the clients’ trading
volume.

 

FOREX.COM currently offers two account types: Standard, and Active Trader.  The ActiveTrader account was launched in November, 2016 in Canada and US and soon it will also be rolled out to the rest of the markets where the broker operates. 

 

An alternative to the ActiveTrader, Premium account (currently available in UK, Australia, etc.) is available with $10 000 and offers spreads averaged 1.5 pips. It also offers 2% interest on your account balance, up to $50,000.

 

The Active Trader account is accessible only via the broker’s proprietary FOREXTrader platform and will not be offered to traders using the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or any Managed Accounts and accounts referred by an introducing broker (IB).

 

In addition, FOREX.COM offers swap-free accounts to investors of Islamic belief.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with FOREX.COM, one has to invest just $50, which is a low minimum initial deposit. In comparison, FXCM also demands $50 from its clients as a start.

 

Spreads & Commission

One of the main advantages of major broker FOREX.COM is that it offers commission-free trading. Of course, this means that the company gets remuneration for its services by a mark-up. That is why FOREX.COM’ variable spreads are not among the tightest in the industry – average ones amount to 1.8 pips on EUR/USD pair. Nonetheless, you get access to a selection of trading platforms with fast execution (average execution speed is 0.05 seconds), and most importantly, your funds are safe.

 

In addition, ActiveTrader account holders may benefit from an average 15% reduction on our standard spreads. Spreads on this account type can be as low as 0.7 pips on EUR/USD, plus, their holders get personalized support, priority service and no account fees on the FOREXTrader Platform.

 

In comparison, FXCM offers variable spreads, averaged 1.5 pips on commission-free accounts. For further information, you may check out and compare real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here

 

Maximum leverage

The maximum leverage levels offered by FOREX.COM is up to 1:200, which is considered average. Of course, the maximum leverage provided to US clients is 1:50.

 

If you need higher leverage ratios, many FX brokers provide such. FXCM offers leverage up to 1:400 and you may also check out a list of brokerages providing leverage up to 1:500 or higher here. You should keep in mind, however, that higher leverage involves greater risk of losses.

 

The Company. Security of funds

 

Set up in 1999, Gain Capital now has a global reach. Being one of the largest brokers in the US, it is therefore in direct competition with FXCM for the domination of the US market. It is It offers trading in currency pairs, index & commodities CFDs, precious metals, as well as exchange-traded futures and options (US clients).

 

First of all, GAIN Capital Group, LLC is a registered futures commission merchant and retail foreign exchange dealer with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and is also a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).

 

Brokers that are registered with the NFA are obliged to comply with a stringent set of rules. US regulation is one of the strictest, which is a good thing in terms of investor protection, however some of the rules imposed are considered too restrictive.

 

For instance, NFA-registered brokers are required to maintain a net capital of at least $20 million to guarantee customers’ positions, which is the highest minimum capital requirement worldwide.

 

Besides, hedging is not allowed and leverage is limited to 1:50, while European brokers are free to provide leverages up to 1:1000 or even higher than that.

 

The parent company, GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:GCAP), is a New Jersey-based forex and CFD broker. As a global publicly traded company, regulated in 7 jurisdictions, Gain Capital meets high standards of corporate governance, financial reporting and disclosure. Generally speaking, if you choose to invest in forex.com, you may trade without worries about your funds’ safety.

 

Company

Country

Regulation

GAIN Capital Group, LLC

US

NFA, CFTC

Forex.com UK Limited

UK

FCA

GAIN Capital FOREX.com Australia Pty Limited 

Australia

ASIC

Forex.com Canada Limited

Canada

ILLROC

GAIN Capital Group (Hong Kong) Limited 

Hong Kong

SFC

GAIN Capital Japan Ltd. 

Japan

FFAJ

 

Trading platforms

 

Forex.com offers its clients two basic trading platforms: its in-house FOREXTrader & and the popular MetaTrader 4. In addition, the brokerage also supports Tradable and its special ECN platform, GTX.

 

The fully-customizable FOREXTrader is equipped with advanced trading features, professional charting tools and integrated research and analysis. It comes in as web, PC varsions and full array of mobile apps (including iOS and Android devices). FOREXTrader PRO’s professional-grade trading tools include real-time charting, pattern recognition software by Autochartist, and custom-built automated trading software, called Strategy Center.

 

Among the FOREXTrader’s features is the Strategy Center with automated buy and sell signals, which allows traders to access 15 user customizable pre-defined trading strategies as well as build their own via the Strategy Wizard. The Strategy Center includes the ability to back test strategies against historical data and then activate them to generate buy and sell signals in real time.

 

Forex.com's inhouse FOREXTrader platform. Click to enlarge.

 

The comprehensive research and analysis includes round-the-clock updates from our expert in-house research team, real-time concise headlines from Reuters News, and professional technical analysis from industry-leading Trading Central.

 

With this platform, users are able to choose between instant and market execution (through the Execution Mode drop-down). Unfortunately, FOREXTrader does not allow hedging, as open positions are closed in compliance with the (First in First Out) FIFO accounting rule, applicable in the US.

 

Some of the new functionalities of the platform after a recent update include powerful charts with integrated one-click trading, smart trade ticket with advanced risk management option, pre-defined and customizable layouts, and more.

 

The most common forex trading platform - MetaTrader4 - is also supported by Forex.com. It offers competitive pricing on over 45 currencies, superior market execution and EA optimized environment. Furthermore, Forex.com’s MT4 is equipped with some unique trader tools & resources, such as live commentary from the company’s Global Research Team, real time technical analysis from Trading Central and actionable ideas from Autochartist. According to us, MT4, offered by forex.com has one significant disadvantage - it does Not offer a 3rd party bridge.

 

GAIN Capital’s GTX is an independent and innovative ECN designed for institutions and professional traders. It offers robust algorithmic trading capabilities that enable clients to develop and implement a wide range of trading strategies using GTX’s Java or FIX-based APIs.

 

Payment methods

 

Clients of Forex.com may use bank wire transfer, as well as debit/credit cards as payment methods.

US clients may also make deposits and withdrawals via Check and eCheck (U.S. bank accounts only), while EU clients can use Sofortbanking (online funds transfer available in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Belgium only).

 

Conclusion

 

Although its spreads are not among the tightest on the forex market, we highly recommend Forex.com, for it has earned its reputation of a reliable broker with strong regulation and transparent policy. It offers reasonable conditions for trading in forex, CFDs and stocks on a wide range of platforms. Here are, in a nutshell, the advantages and disadvantages with regards to Forex.com, the retail forex brand of Gain Capital:

 

Pros       Cons
Well-regulated & reputable broker Mediocre spreads
Commission-free trading  
Choice of trading platforms, MT4 available  
Fast execution speed  

                                                                                  

Company Name: FOREX.com

Website Address: www.forex.com

Headquarters: Bedminster One, 135 US Highway 202/206, Suite 11, Bedminster, NJ 07921.

Country: United States

Regulated by: NFA (USA), CFTC (USA), FCA (UK), FSA (Japan), ASIC (Australia), IIROC (Canada)

 

Languages: English, Chinese Traditional and Simplified, Arabic, Russian, German, and Japanese 

Phone: +1 908-731-0750

Fax: +1-908-731-0701

E-mail: [email protected]

Free Phone: Toll Free: 877-367-3946 (US & Canada)

Year of company's foundation: 1999 

Year of company's forex division foundation: 1999

Client base: Individuals (IBs, Money Managers, White Label partners, please visit www.gaincapital.com).

Services: Forex and Metals (UK and AU only). Trading 24 hours a day from Sunday 5pm ET – Friday 5:00pm ET. Commission Free trading (bid/ask spreads apply). Web-based trading platform requires no download or installation. No debit balance guarantee. Free access to charting, news and research. 24 hour customer support via phone, email and chat during trading hours. Mobile trading available. 24 Hour trading.

Languages: English, Chinese simplified and traditional, Arabic, Russian, Japanese

bitFlyer

bitFlyer Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1: 15 Max 0.15% for BTC

 

BitFlyer is one of the most popular cyptocurrency exchanges in the Far East. It is also among the world leaders, in terms of volume.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
bitFlyer, Inc. Japan JFSA, NY BitLicense

 

BitFlyer is based in Japan. The local regulators have made some changes in the way they treat cryptocurrencies in the past. Currently, they are treated as assets, upon which capital gains (profiting from the price movement) is taxed. BitFlyer was one of the first companies to received the JFSA (Japanese Financial Services Agency) license, along with the major competitors from QUOINEX

 

Update: BitFlyer also received has the regulatory approval of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in November 2017. The company is set to start offering Bitcoin trading vs the USD, while adding altcoins in the future. We will update this review, when the service is fully implemented.

 

The company has been around since 2014 and has not had any hacking issues yet. The most important thing to note, from a western trader’s point of view is that trading is done (mostly) against the Japanese YEN (JPY), unlike most exchanges where you can trade cryptocurrencies against one another, the US Dollar and occasionally the Euro. You may need an account with a forex broker, such as FXTM, just to hedge your currency risk.

 

The user reviews on BitFlyer (written in English) are mostly positive. This is a good sign, as the company maintains multilingual support. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

As mentioned above trading at BitFlyer is done against the Japanese Yen. This applies for the plethora of Bitcoin instruments, which include Spot BTC trading, Margin BTC trading, and BTC Futures (not to be confused with Bitcoin Cash Futures). Furthermore Etereum is available for trading, against Bitcoin.

 

Minimum initial deposit

BitFlyer does not give any guidelines about a minimum deposit level. Forex brokers, on the other hand usually announce their minimum entry barriers. For instance, you can open an account with XM, with only $5.

 

Leverage

BitFlyer offers a maximum leverage ratio of 1:15. However, in order to be allowed to trade on margin, one must go through a tougher verification process. This type of ratio may sound very small to someone who is used to forex trading, as lots of brokers provide 1:500 or even higher levels. 

 

Do keep in mind cryptocurrencies often move far more wildly than fiat currencies. While a major pair will rarel move more than 1.5 – 2% percent per day, the Bitcoin often has gains or losses exceeding 10%. This explains the lower leverage offering by BitFlyer, which by the way is one of the highest offers provided by crypto-exchanges. For a full comparison of trading Bitcoin with a forex broker and on an exchange click here.

 

Fees

Fees at BitFlyer vary slightly for the different services, which they provide. They offer directly exchanging JPY to BTC, the fees for which go as high as 0.15% for the lowest volume traders. As a comparisson, Bitfinex charges this type of fee only for the market "makers", while takers pay a slightly higher one. The maximum fee for ETH/BTC is 0.20%. Here is the full information, as provided by the company (click to zoom-in):

 

 

Lightning FX stands for the margin trading of BTC/JPY. Futures on the other hand are similar to exchange traded futures. However the liquidity in them appears to be far lower, which is to be expected. We would not recommend them to inexperienced traders.

 

 

Trading platform

 

BitFlyer provides two trading platforms. They are both web based, which is not unusual for cryptocurrency exchanges. One of them is the so called Bitcoin Easy Exchange, which serves, to facilitate direct JPY to BTC transfers. It is what people, who want to get their funds converted to Bitcoin, before transferring them would use. Albeit simple, it does the job. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

 

The company also offers the BitFlyer Lightning platform. It feels much more like a forex trading platform, as it is designed with the trader in mind. This is the platform where the 1:15 leverage ratio is provided. Here is what platform looks like (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a chart on the left, with lots pre-loaded indicators. The order book looks pretty solid (in the middle) and the tape is locate on the right. Several more fields are located below these, similarly to the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) terminal. Charting appears to be decent, with several technical indicators in place. Furthermore the charts can be set to full-screen mode.

 

There are multiple themes available, if you do not like the black and orange feel. One thing we must mention are the maddening sounds, which are turned on by default. Every time a transaction is made, more importantly, every time there is a movement of a bid/ask in the order book, play a sound. Luckily, these can be turned off quite easily.

 

Methods of payment

 

BitFlyer accepts Bank Transfers, Credit Cards issued in Japan and Bitcoin transfers. Although the company has a clear focus on its internal market, a foreigner can still use their services, albeit not with his credit card. Users of online payment systems, such as Skrill are also left out.

 

Conclusion

 

BitFlyer is the number one cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. It also rates pretty highly among the global volume charts. The most specific thing is that trading is done against the Japanese Yen (JPY). There are multiple platforms and services available, including margin trading. Despite being focused on its domestic market, the company appears to be reaching out to the rest of the world and with commission levels so low, customers will come. Here is a summary BitFlyer’s pros and cons:

 

Pros Cons
No major hacks yet Trading against JPY
Accepts Bank Transfer and Japanese Credit Card Does not accept Credit Card, from countries other than Japan
Competitive commissions No altcoins available (ex. ETH)
Relatively nice trading platform  
Allows margin trading and futures  

 

Forex
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