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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

Coinbase

Coinbase Review
Trader's rating 2.8
Editor's rating 4.1

Our Experience

 

When testing the direct purchasing service, provided by Coinbase, we were relatively satisfied. After entering our debit card details it was saved as a payment method. We must notе that our card was 3D-secured, which appears to be a mandatory condition. Having your card stored in the website, as opposed to having to enter the details a second time (which is the case with some websites, dealing with external payment providers) is a huge benefit.

 

Here is a preview of the order screen:

The commission charged was slightly lower than the maximum of 4%, and we had full price transparency. When compared to the 8%, charged by Bitstamp (for direct card purchases), this is obviously preferable. The rate at which we bought Bitcoin was around €14 off the current market price, at GDAX. This is quite reasonable considering the fact we are talking about a volatile asset, trading around  €6,500 at the time of purchase. We tried comparing it with the rate provided by other exchanges, but the price differences (especially since we are talking about EUR trading) were much wider.

 

Trading Accounts

 

 

Account type Initial weekly limit Leverage Fees
Standard €325 None Up to 4%

 

Coinbase is one of the leading US companies in the world of crypto currencies. It operates two separate brands. One of them is Coinbase, a more retail consumer oriented platform for buying Bitcoin with fiat currencies, much like Bitstamp. On the other hand, GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) is a more advanced crypto currency trading platform. This review will be focused on Coinbase.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

Coinbase operates out of the US, with many subsidiaries around the world. It was the third company to be awarded the New York BitLicense. The story behind this license is quite controversial. In short, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) wanted to make the Big Apple a “Bitcoin trading hub”, much how it is one of the major centers of traditional finance. The idea, dating from 2015 wasn’t met with much enthusiasm by the leading companies, as many of them preferred to avoid application. Among the dozen who did, Coinbase obtained the license in January of 2017. The entire process is apparently so time (and effort) consuming, a lot of other major players opted out of it, which makes the license borderline useless. 

 

When it comes to crypto exchanges, hacking is an important topic. That being said there haven’t been any major hacks at Coinbase, although numerous individual cases have been reported. Some involve the hackers going past the two-factor authentication barrier, which one would believe to be very secure.

 

As we mentioned above, Coinbase is the retail-oriented brand of the company. As such it accepts fiat currencies and allows an instant purchase of several coins (more on the list, later). The vast majority of user complaints against Coinbase involve the size of the commission fees which the company charges. They vary by region and payment method, but go as high as 4%.

 

In 2018, Coinbase acquired an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allows it to provide payment services in the UK and issue e-money. Abiding by the FCA requirements, Coinbase will be keeping clients in segregated funds and will observe operational standards on par with the other regulated financial institutions.

 

Additionally, Coinbase is backed by a lot of investors, including major players in “traditional finance”. This is another factor which fans of the decentralized aspect of crypto currencies do not enjoy. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only a few coins are available at Coinbase, but they are the majors – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Don’t forget this is an entry-level service, which is aimed at people who are not that familiar with the world of crypto currencies. If you would like to buy less known coins (or altcoins), you could do that at another exchange, after transferring your newly acquired BTC/ETH/LTC there.

 

Weekly Limits

After verifying your e-mail, telephone, ID and credit card, at Coinbase, you can beginning purchasing coins. Our initial limit was €325 per week (via Credit Card). This may vary for you, based on your location (US clients will surely get a USD level). This level can be increased after you reach the maximum and some time has passed. This is done as a security measure and one should not feel frustrated about it.

 

Leverage

Coinbase does not offer margin trading. This is the more accepted practice, when dealing with crypto currencies. The forex brokers who offer Bitcoin trading, on the other hand mostly provide CFDs on it and margin trading is allowed. For a full comparison of trading crypto currencies on an exchange and with a forex broker read this post

 

Fees

The commission structure at Coinbase is one of its criticisms. If you decide to deposit via Credit Card, for instance, you can buy your chosen coin directly. While this may appear to be convenient, it comes at a price – for most countries the commission fee on such a purchase can go as high as 4%. 

 

Alternatively, you can fund your account with fiat currencies, which you can then use to trade. In that case the fees are set at 1.5%, which is pretty high. However if trading is what you are looking for, the company’s other brand – GDAX (as well as many others) are alternatives.

 


Trading platform

 

Coinbase does not provide a platform, as much as it offers an interface similar to an online banking application. Here is an overview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a basic chart in the top section, allowing you to switch between the three supported instruments and multiple timeframes. On the bottom you have a column with all of your wallets with the company as well as a transaction history column. Overall, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. That being the case, we must reiterate, this is only the “real-money payments” brand of the company, while a more dedicated platform is also available at GDAX.

 

Methods of payment

 

When it comes to the methods of payment available at Coinbase, they include Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card and PayPal (only for US clients). While we discussed the transaction fees above, it’s worth pointing out that no additional fees are charged for crypto currency transfers to other exchanges or wallets.

 

Conclusion

 

Coinbase is one of the major players in the crypto currency space. The company is focused on allowing people who are not familiar with Bitcoin and allows them an easy way of acquiring crypto currencies. While there isn’t any trading platform to speak of, the company has another brand (GDAX) which provides exactly that. We feel it would be much better for Coinbase to honestly state their trading fees are higher, but you can use your account at their other platform, in a big banner upon account cration. Here are Coinbase’s pros and cons: 

 

Pros

Cons

New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
No major hacks yet High trading fees
Accepts Bank Transfers and Credit Cards  
Easy to use interface  
Ability to transfer crpyto to wallet  

 

Forex
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