Regulator: CFTC, CIMA, FCA, FSA, IIRO, NFA
Platform: FOREXTrader & MT4 for PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad and Android
Payment Method: Debit Card, Wire Transfer, ACH and Checks
- Trusted Global Market Leader
- Online FX & CFD Trading
- 180+ Global Markets, 84 FX pairs, 65 shares, 17 popular indices and more
- Forex, Indices, Commodities, Equities & Bitcoin
- Available to US traders.
At first glance, that would indeed seem to be the case… The brokerage has many things going: its URL, the fact that it accepts traders from the US (and that it is indeed one of the top options for online Forex trading for US-based traders), and its regulatory profile, which is indeed quite outstanding.
Still, the factor that would perhaps weigh in the heaviest in support of that claim, the reputation, is somewhat amiss. In fact, there is quite a bit of negative feedback going around out there, as well as scores of complaints from users. Some of these complaints accuse the broker of nothing less than being a market maker and trading against its own clients in a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict of interest.
The corporate entity behind the Forex.com brand is GAIN Capital Group LLC, based at 135 US Hwy 202/206 Bedminster NJ 07921, USA.
The brokerage is registered with the CFTC and it is also a member of the National Futures Association (its registration number is 0339826). As such, it is obvious that Forex.com’s US activities are performed according to local law and with the blessing of financial authorities.
As far as regulation goes though, that is just the tip of the Forex.com iceberg. The operator is registered with and regulated by several other regulatory bodies world-over.
It is licensed in Canada by the FSA, in Australia by ASIC, as well as in HK by the SFC.
Why should you choose Forex.com as your top Forex broker though?
The brokerage offers quite a few advantages over its peers, the most important of which is obviously the already-discussed focus on US traders.
Above and beyond that though, pricing and execution is another attractive feature touted by the operator. The execution is said to be extremely fast and slippage-free at all times, as every aspect of the trading process is fully automated. On limit orders, price improvement is indeed possible, with the system automatically taking advantage of favorable moves, on behalf of the trader.
Full accountability is maintained for every single trade placed through the system.
The real time market analysis provided by the broker is also a major asset, especially for beginners who are unable to perform such analysis on their own.
The trading platform selection offered by the broker is rather impressive and attractive too.
Forex.com Trading Products
The markets supported by Forex.com are numerous, although it seems that the US version of the brokerage is a little less impressive in this regard.
Some 200+ global markets can be traded, with more than 80 Forex pairs included in that fold. More than 90 shares are also tradable, not to mention an impressive selection of crypto/fiat currency pairs.
In regards to FX pairs, the brokerage offers generous leverage and no commissions are charged. The costs of trading are reflected in the spreads though, which are variable and can be rather steep. Even on extremely popular pairs, such as the EUR/USD, the spread can be as high as 1.1 pips.
As far as indices are concerned, the spreads start from 1 point, but they can indeed be quite ludicrous on some of the available assets.
For shares, a commission is charged, which is 0.1% on UK shares and 0.15% on US shares. Margin starts from 4-5%.
The commodities section covers quite a wide range of assets. From crude oil to sugar and cotton, everything is featured here, though the spreads vary wildly, so it is always worth keeping an eye on that. For instance, for corn, the typical spread is 1 pip, while for cotton, it is set to 35 pips.
The cryptocurrencies offer covers Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum as well as Ripple, and it features scores of crypto/fiat pairs, such as BTC/USD, BTC/EUR, BTC/AUD and BTC/GBP.
It is important to remember that as a Forex.com trader, you will not be able to purchase any cryptos through the site. The trading product on offer here is a derivative called CFD, which allows you to trade the price variations of the above said cryptos, but not the actual currencies.
In this regard, Forex.com have apparently decided to keep things as simple as possible.
The brokerage only features two account types: a Standard one and a Premium one.
The Standard one is obviously the more accessible: the minimum required deposit for this account is just $500. To be able to access the full range of tradable assets though, traders are required to deposit at least $3,000 – which should not really be a problem for someone serious about trading.
The Premium account ups the stakes by quite a bit: the minimum required deposit for this account is $25,000. That pretty much puts the deal out of the reach of non-professional traders.
In addition to these two account types, there’s a Demo account available too, which expires relatively quickly though.
Forex.com features no fewer than 3 trading platforms: an Advanced Platform, a Web Trader and a couple of mobile trading apps for Android and iOS.
The Advanced platform is a very fine trading environment indeed. It is aimed at serious traders, but beginners/recreational traders can use it as well. It offers more than 80 built-in technical indicators, as well as fully customizable dashboards, not to mention trading preferences.
The platform also comes equipped with hundreds of templates one can use to create trading strategies.
The Web Trader is almost as advanced as the above described Advanced platform. It features more than 70 technical indicators and some 50 drawing tools traders can use to make heads and tails of various chart/candlestick patterns. Market analysis is also part of the this package, as is a selection of integrated trading tools.
The mobile trading apps may not be visually as appealing as the above discussed two desktop platforms, but they are powerful in their own right too. They support multiple order types and access to the full range of tradable assets allowed by one’s account type.
Market news are delivered in real time through these platforms too and real time alerts are provided as well.
Accounts can be funded through Credit- and Debit Cards and through Bank Wire. With Credit Cards, the maximum amount per deposit is GBP 20,000. Through Bank Transfer, there are no such limitations.
The Forex.com support staff can be reached 5 days a week, 24 hours a day, through a variety of channels. These channels include Phone, Live Chat, as well as email and Fax. Response times are good and the support staff is knowledgeable and eager to help.
The Forex.com site also features a download center and an exhaustive FAQ section, where most of the frequent problems are effectively addressed.
Everything considered, Forex.com has some serious pros and cons. No one can deny that it is an extremely well regulated global brand, and that its trading platforms/tradable asset selection are more than decent. The company behind the online brokerage is a well established, listed one, with a solid financial background. The trading conditions are decent as well.
It just cannot be ignored though that Forex.com is a market maker. What that means unfortunately is that it trades against its own clients, and such a conflict of interest cannot really be tolerated, even if it entails no abuse whatsoever.
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