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FXCM

FXCM Review
Trader's rating 3.9
Editor's rating 4.7

Trading Accounts

 

FXCM UK

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads  
           
Standard $300 1000 1:30 1.5 pips + commission $4 (£3 in the UK)*   
 AciveTrader  $25 000 0.01 1:30 0.4 pips + commission $1.8 – $4 (£1.8 – £3 in the UK) *  

 

*Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 base units (per side).

 

 

FXCM Australia

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Spreads
Standard $50 1000 1:400 1.5 pips + commission $4 (£3 in the UK)*
AciveTrader  $25 000 0.01 1:400 0.4 pips + commission $1.8 – $4 (£1.8 – £3 in the UK) **

*Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 base units (per side). 

 

FXCM offers two account types: Standard and Active Trader. For those unwilling to expose themselves to the greater risk related to trading in large volumes, micro lots are available on all account types.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with FXCM Australia, one has to invest just $50, which is a low minimum initial deposit. FXCM UK requires minimum deposit of $300, in line with the industry average. 

 

Spreads & Commission

FXCM offers competitive variable spreads, averaged 1.5 pips on EURUSD on commission-free accounts.

Active Trader account holders may benefit from tighter spreads and commission discounts, provided that they satisfy certain trading volume requirements. For further information, you may check out and compare real-time spreads of 10 leading brokers here

 

Maximum leverage

 

FXCM UK offers the highest possible under ESMA regulations spread levels to all of its clients:

30:1 leverage restriction for major currency pairs

20:1 for non-major currency pairs, gold and major indices

10:1 for commodities other than gold and non-major equity indices

5:1 for individual equities and other reference values

 

The maximum leverage offered by ASIC-regulated FXCM Australia is quite higer:

400:1 leverage for Forex trading

200:1 leverage for CFD trading

 

The Company. Security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
FXCM LTD UK FCA
FXCM Australia Pty. Limited Australia ASIC
FXCM South Africa (PTY) Ltd (IB) South Africa FSCA


This broker takes regulation, financial transparency and investor protection very seriously. In order to maintain transparency of operations, the company provides regular press releases where anyone can see the broker's monthly execution data. Besides, the companies within the FXCM group are regulated by some of the most respected regulatory bodies in the world: FCA in UK and ASIC in Australia.

 

Both FCA and ASIC regulated brokers are under strict supervision and are very well controlled. To acquire a license from the UK financial watchdog, financial services providers need to maintain net tangible assests amounting to at least EUR 730 000. Australian brokers, on the other hand, must hold at  least AUD 1 000 000 to prove  their financial stability.


Besides, under the UK regulations, investors’ funds are kept in segregated bank accounts separated from the company’s operating funds and, in case of default, sums of up to GBP 50,000 are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
 

 

Trading platforms

 

This broker offers a selection of robust trading platforms to its clients, including the most popular MetaTrader 4, its award-winning Trading Station, and NinjaTrader. In addition, Copy trading is available through the advanced web platform ZuluTrade.

 

FXCM’s In-house award-winning platform Trading Station is available as desktop, web, and mobile versions.  Apart from its sleek design and intuitive interface, Trading Station comes equipped with Marketscope – a powerful charting package. Here are some of its key features:

 

-         -  Place and manage trades from the charts;

-          - Pre-loaded Indicators: over 30 popular indicators like MA, MACD, Bollinger Bands and RSI;

-          - Custom Indicators: over 600 custom indicators available;

 

FXCM’s Trading Station. Click to enlarge.

 

As trading robots are extremely popular among forex investors, Trading Station offers automated strategies that take the human element out of trading and what is more, you don’t need to stare at the PC screen all the time. You may easily determine key areas where your trading strategies can be improved, and gain confidence in your robots prior to applying them by using the platform’s strategy optimizer conducts excessive backtesting.

 

There are also some exclusive tools with Trading Station, like the unique order type, Good Till Date, which lets you execute at specific times; and the broker’s exclusive Real Volume indicators, which opens FXCM’s trading book of traders around the world.

 

NinjaTrader is another platform supported by FXCM. It has simplified interface and offers all of the functionalities that you can make use of if you trade on Metatrader 4 or the desktop version of Trading Station, and even more. You can also benefit from fast execution, trading from charts, creating your own trading strategies, superior back-testing options, custom indicators and alerts.

 

Those traders who stick to the good old MetaTrader 4 (MT4) will not be disappointed with FXCM, as the broker fully supports this powerful multiasset software. The platform comes equipped with an outstanding charting package, numerous built-in technical indicators, Fibonacci retracements, trend lines, support and resistance levels, and so on – pretty much everything a trader needs. Those who are handy with code may create their own automated strategies (EAs) and custom indicators in the MQL programming language.

 

Payment methods

 

Clients of FXCM may make deposits and withdrawals from and to their accounts via debit/credit card, bank wire transfer, check, and ACH (Automated Clearing House).

 

Conclusion

 

One of the biggest FX brokerages worldwide, FXCM is an excellent choice: a reliable and well-regulated broker, offering excellent trading conditions on a wide range of trading platforms. Here are, in a nutshell, the advantages and disadvantages with regard to this broker:

 

 

Pros Cons
Group of companies with multiple regulations Stocks, options, and futures are not available for trade
Tight spreads   
Low initial deposit  
A selection of trading platforms offered  
Advanced copy trading options   
Price improvement (e.g. positive slippage) is available  
   

             

 

Website: www.fxcm.com 

Headquarters:

55 Water St. FL 50, New York, NY 10041

Country: United States

Regulated by:
USA: CFTC, NFA # 0308179

US: CFTC and NFA (NFA Member# 0308179) 

UK: FCA (Firm registration #217689)

Australia: ASIC (AFSL #309763)

Hong Kong: SFC (SFC CE #AIM232)

Italy: CONSOB (#76)

Germany: BaFin (#122556)

France: Registered with the ACP, as the branch of Forex Capital Markets Ltd.

GDAX

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

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:3 0% Up to 0.25%

 

GDAX, which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange, is a company owned by Coinbase. While some of you may know Coinbase for the ability to purchase Bitcoin directly by Credit Card, GDAX is the other part of the company – the exchange aimed at traders. Trading fees at GDAX are much lower and margin trading is available.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

As mentioned above GDAX is actually a part of San Francisco – based Coinbase. The company holds the New York BitLicnese, which is by its nature an interesting piece of legislation. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) attempted to make the city a major Bitcoin trading center, the same way it hosts the world’s largest stock exchange. One may argue the idea backfired, as a lot of the key players backed-out of the 2015 proposal. This is due to the burdensome and slow regulatory procedure. As of the summer of 2017 only three companies have received the license and Coinbase is one of them.

 

When it comes to hacking, a major attack has not struck GDAX or Coinbase. That being the case, there was a “flash crash” in Ethereum prices, which raises suspicion. The coin was trading at around $317, when it suddenly spiked to an alleged value of 10 cents and quickly retraced. The company proceeded to halt trading and later claimed this was merely a “fat finger” - single large trader accidentally placed a market sell order, which triggered a chain of stop-loss orders to be executed. Here is а live video, shot by a trader, who has connected a MetaTrader4 platform to his GDAX account (the interesting thing happens around 2:50):

 

 

The public’s concerns, of course, come from the fact GDAX offers margin trading. The company could have manipulated the price, in order to wipe-out traders who were long. All of this is purely speculation.

 

 

Other than this case, the user reviews for GDAX generally match the ones for Coinbase. One of the major concerns of the fans of decentralization in the cryptoverse, is the fact a lot of the investors behind the project are well-established in the traditional financial sector.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only three crypto currencies are available at GDAX, namelyBitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Trading is done against USD and EUR, with BTC/GBP also being available, alongside the crypto-crosses ETH/BTC and LTC/BTC.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum initial deposit at GDAX, which is not that unusual in the crypto currency sphere. On the other hand, most forex brokers have such a level and disclose it on their websites. For instance the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG (who also offer some coins as CFDs) proudly announce they do not have a minimum – you can open an account for as low as you want.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is available on GDAX, with a maximum leverage ratio of 1:3. While this may sound like nothing in comparison to the 1:500, which a lot of forex brokers offer, keep in mind such high levels only apply for fiat currencies, which rarely have price movements bigger than 1-2% per day. 

 

When it comes to crypto, the aforementioned broker IG offers 1:13 in leverage (a 7.5% margin requirement). For a full comparison between crypto-exchanges and forex brokers, who offer Bitcoin trading, read this article.

 

Fees

The costs of trading at GDAX are a lot lower than the ones available at Coinbase. When trading on the exchange, market “makers” (the people who place passive orders and wait for other traders to trigger them) do not pay a fee. Market “takers” (i.e. the “aggressive” traders who directly buy/sell with a market order) pay fees starting from 0.25% and going down for the bigger traders. Both of these levels (especially the free of charge passive trading) are very competitive.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by GDAX, which is web-based, is a lot better than the one offered at Coinbase. That being said, we find the charting lacking when compared to the charts provided by TradigView (which other exchanges have integrated, as well as MetaTrader4, of course. Only a couple of predetermined moving averages are available, in terms of technical indicators. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located at the left and the more bizarre design decision to place the “ask” column on top of the “bids” is made. While this may seem strange to experienced traders it does provide a nice graphical representation for beginners. The tape is located to the left, with the middle ground being taken by the chart (which is nothing special) and the open positions tab. 

 

Methods of payment

 

While Coinbase is obviously the main source of clients (and funds) for GDAX, money can also be sent directly to the exchange. This is a massive convenience tool, as accounts can be funded, without the need of paying the hefty Coinbase fees. That being said, Credit/Debit Card deposits can only be made via Coinbase, while GDAX accepts Bank transfers.

 

Conclusion

 

GDAX is a part of Coinbase and more specifically the part of the company, which is targeting more active traders. The fee structure is very competitive, especially with the free market “maker” trades. The selection of trading assets is not great, but the trading platform feels relatively nice (although charting is nothing special). Here is a summary of GDAX: 

 

Pros Cons
New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
Competitive trading fees Suspicion regarding the ETH spike
No major hacks yet  
Accepts Bank Transfers  
Relatively nice trading platform  

 

Forex
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