FOREX.com, founded in 2001 as part of GAIN Capital Holdings, is an established global online broker that caters to individuals seeking to trade the retail FX and CFD markets. GAIN Capital Holdings, a conglomerate that includes City Index, an online CFD and spread betting provider, and Daniels Trading, a futures advisory trading firm, was acquired by StoneX Group Inc. in February 2020.
StoneX Group Inc., a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: SNEX), advertises that it connects “clients to the global markets across asset classes through institutional-grade platforms, end-to-end clearing and execution, and high-touch expertise.”
Globally, FOREX.com offers an extensive range of offerings, from CFDs, to spread betting to futures, across several different asset classes, though not all are available in every region that it services. Aside from forex, where it derives its name, FOREX.com also offers commodities, indices, individual stocks, bonds, ETFs, gold & silver (unleveraged in US), cryptocurrencies, and futures to provide trading opportunities for all types of traders. FOREX.com (U.K.) also offers client account protection, such as ESMA-mandated negative balance protection and guaranteed stop loss orders.
FOREX.com offers U.S. clients leveraged access to over 80 currency pairs with competitive spreads across different account types. A well-organized and navigable website with fully disclosed services and fees, multiple user interfaces, education and research tools that are on par with industry standards, and regulatory oversight place FOREX.com in the upper echelon of online brokers.
FOREX.com stakes its claim as the #1 FX broker in the U.S. and that claim is validated by the latest (June 30, 2020) CFTC Retail Forex Obligation report which “represents the total amount of funds at an FCM, RFED, or FCMRFD that would be obtained by combining all money, securities and property deposited by a retail forex customer into a retail forex account or accounts, adjusted for the realized and unrealized net profit or loss.”
- FOREX.com is the #1 FX broker in the U.S in terms of customer funds.
- FOREX.com is a good fit for high-volume traders.
- FOREX.com is registered with the CFTC (U.S.), NFA (U.S.), FCA (U.K.), IIROC, ASIC, MAS, FSA, and CIMA .
Who FOREX.com Is For
FOREX.com is for all types of traders seeking exposure to a wide array of products and asset classes but is a good fit for the high-volume trader. Product offerings vary by region but the broker emphasizes fast and reliable execution, a variety of platforms, and account security. In the U.S., it is geared towards clients who want to trade the foreign exchange markets.
- Wide range of product offerings
- TradingView charts built into web platform
- Regulated by FCA (U.K.) & CFTC, NFA (U.S.)
- Offers protection for U.K./E.U. client accounts
- Rebates for high-volume traders
- No account protection for U.S. clients
- No guaranteed stop losses for U.S. clients
- Subpar website maintenance
Costs 3.4 FOREX.com started out primarily as a market maker, but has since morphed into an ECN that generates revenue either through customer trades that "cross" the bid/ask spread, or as commissions, which are on par with the industry. Pricing is transparent and easily found on FOREX.com. The spreads vary depending on the type of account the client chooses. For example, the minimum EUR/USD spread for U.S. clients on a "standard" account is 1 pip while "commission" and "STP Pro" accounts will show spreads of 0.2 and 0.1, respectively. However, the latter two have commissions of $50 and $60 per million added to the displayed spread. Regions outside the U.S. also offer Direct Market Access (DMA) accounts for larger account sizes (25,000+). The DMA account offers no markup on spreads, but a commission is charged. Standard account and commission account traders may also benefit from the Active Trader Program. The program is open to anyone who opens an account with at least $10,000 or who trades $25 million of volume in a month. The program is not open to DMA account holders, as that account already has volume-based fee reductions. FOREX.com requires that the minimum initial deposit "is at least 100 of your selected base currency," though they recommend a deposit of 2,500 so that the client has "more flexibility and better risk management" in their trading. As is the norm in the FX industry, clients may be charged swap fees on positions they hold overnight, which can be subject to currency conversion charges if they trade in a currency other than the account's base currency. In terms of other fees, accounts with no trading activity for more than 12 months are subject to a $15/month inactivity fee. The website does not list additional fees for deposits or withdrawals. Trade Experience 3.5 FOREX.com's trading platforms accommodate the active day trading professional as well as the occasional longer-term trader. Clients can choose between the downloadable advanced trading platform or MetaTrader 4 (MT4) for a desktop experience, the web trader for a browser-based trading experience, or choose the FOREX.com or MT4 mobile app for trading on portable smart devices. Within the platforms, traders can access charts, economic calendars, news, positions, and trade/order history, and access trade signals and research reports, as well as market analysis from FOREX.com analysts. There aren't many drawbacks to the platforms. There are a sufficient amount of indicators and drawing tools to satisfy the avid technical analyst, and the platforms are functional enough to make rapid-fire trades, if needed. The charting package is provided by TradingView and is, by far, the most impressive aspect of the web-based platform. Placing trades on the web trader or the downloadable advanced trading platform is intuitive. Clients can trade directly from charts by right-clicking and selecting the "trade" option or by clicking on the "buy" and "sell" buttons along the top of the chart. This brings up an order window where the entry, stop loss, and profit target are set. One-click trading can be enabled for rapid trade execution. FOREX.com's platform has four basic order types with the option of attaching "take profit" and/or "stop loss" orders to them. Additionally, the trader can choose to make the stop loss a trailing stop loss order. The one difference between the web-based and downloadable offering is that guaranteed stop loss orders are only available on the latter and, furthermore, only for U.K./E.U. clients. Market - The simplest order where a trader signals that their trade request should be executed at the prevailing market rate. Limit - A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point below or above the prevailing market rate depending on whether it's a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order. Stop - A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point above or below the prevailing market rate depending on whether it's a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order. OCO - A pair of pending orders (one an entry stop and the other an entry limit) where the execution of one automatically cancels the other. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order. A FOREX.com account can also be integrated with NinjaTrader, a popular third-party trading platform. VPS is available for MT4 accounts. Clients can use FOREX.com's API to connect in for their own strategies. MT4 and MT5 connectivity allows the use of automated strategies using MetaTrader algorithms. Forex.com Web Platform Forex.com Web Platform. The mobile app is functional, providing traders with access to all their account information. Traders can add or withdraw funds, view trade history, create watchlists, access news, and view charts from the mobile app. It is also easy to navigate and set up. The charting feature is one of the drawbacks of the mobile app. There are a limited number of common indicators available, such as RSI, MACD, and moving averages, but drawing functions and more advanced technical tools are missing. Full order functionality is available, including conditional orders and the ability to easily place stop losses and profit targets at the time of a trade. Functional demo accounts are provided for free, giving potential clients time to assess the pricing structure before committing real capital. The one criticism of the broker's demo accounts is that they expire in 30 days and FOREX.com doesn't give the prospective client the option of extending or applying for a new one under the same credentials. The implication seems to be that you've had enough time to test our platform, so either open a funded "live" account or go elsewhere. Range of Offerings 3.5 Globally, FOREX.com provides access to a broad selection of financial instruments across a wide range of different asset classes, including: 80+ currency pairs 4,500+ popular stocks Commodities Indices Bonds ETFs Sectors Cryptocurrencies Gold & Silver Futures & Futures Options - U.S. (FuturesOnline) In the U.S., its product line caters solely to spot forex trading, unleveraged gold & silver, and futures through its affiliate, FuturesOnline. Customer Service 4.6 The broker's website lists multiple ways that clients can contact FOREX.com, including online chat and live phone support, from 10 a.m. ET on Sunday to 5 p.m. ET on Friday. FAQs and website client support were satisfactory, but repeated attempts to contact via "live chat" proved to be unsuccessful. Social media support is not available, although they do have social media accounts where they post market analysis and company information. Phone support is the quickest way to have questions answered by a real person. There is a small menu to choose from at the start of the call. Wait times will vary based on call volume, but during a normal day you can expect to wait several minutes before being connected with a representative. Email support is available for more in-depth questions but expect to wait one to three business days for a response. Education 3.9 FOREX.com's educational offerings are on par with the industry standard and are well organized. Clients can access content according to their experience level, or thematically. All content, with the exception of "technical analysis" topics that are available on the platform, can only be accessed through the website. Client experience is divided into three categories—beginner, intermediate, and advanced, while themes range from the industry norm of providing market basics, such as fundamental and technical analysis, risk management, and trading strategies, to platform tutorials. A comprehensive glossary is also available.