Forex.com started as a market maker and evolved into an electronic communication network (ECN). ECNs allow brokerages and investors in different geographical areas to trade without third parties.
In time, the company grew to offer a wide range of assets, including currency pairs, CFDs, commodities, stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Unfortunately, U.S. customers can only trade foreign exchange (forex) assets and CFDs related to them.
Forex.com is the largest forex brokerage in the United States by trading volume according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data. The company has earned its position at the top by offering a wide range of trading tools matched with a competitive fee structure.
U.S. customers have access to three account types with Forex.com. A fourth is available for international customers, which we’ll touch on later. There are no account maintenance fees to worry about with any of the accounts, but a $15 monthly inactivity fee applies if you don’t make any trades in a 12-month period.
The standard account is the most basic Forex.com account available. You don’t pay account fees or trading commissions. Forex.com earns its fees on these accounts in spreads, which vary depending on the currency pair you trade and the trading volume on that pair.
For example, spreads on the EUR/USD, the currency pair of the Euro and the U.S. dollar, start at just one pip (the smallest change possible in a currency pair’s price).
- Trade Currency Pairs and CFDs. You can choose from more than 80 different currency pairs. CFDs are also available.
- Practice With a Demo Account. Test your strategies before risking your hard-earned money with a demo account. The demo account simulates a live forex trading environment to show you how your strategy works in real-time.
- Trading Central Research Tools. All Forex.com members have access to third-party research tools from Trading Central. You can access Reuters news feeds as well as proprietary news feeds, technical analysis reports, and analyst views of the market.
- Choose From Several Trading Platforms. Forex.com offers a proprietary web-based trading platform and mobile app to match — and it’s impressive. But you can also connect your account to several popular platforms like MetaTrader 4 and NinjaTrader to stick with something you’re already familiar with.
- Quality Customer Support. Live customer support is available from 10am Sunday through 5pm Friday EST. The support team is knowledgeable and has a genuine interest in helping their customers. More detailed questions may require escalations to other departments, in which case response times are between one and three business days.
The Commission account is almost exactly the same as the Standard account. You have access to currency pairs and CFDs, the demo account, and all the other tools. The only difference is how you pay for the services.
As a standard member, your fees are baked into your spreads. As a Commission member, you pay much lower spreads, but you also pay commissions with each trade. Commission spreads are as low as 0.2 pips, and you pay $5 per 100,000 currency units you trade.
Finally, the STP Pro account is designed for the most active trader. As an STP Pro member, you pay the lowest possible spreads and between $30 and $80 per million currency units you trade depending on your trading volume. There’s also a 100,000 unit minimum trade size.
Some of the most attractive benefits of the STP Pro account are:
- Liquidity Access. Access liquidity from global banks and other top-tier liquidity providers to reduce your overall spreads.
- No Forex.com Spread. You don’t pay any spread to Forex.com. However, liquidity providers do charge minimal spreads.
- Priority Service. You become a priority member with STP Pro. That means your orders are routed as quickly as possible and you’re treated as a VIP by the customer service team.
Key Features of Forex.com
Forex.com became the top dog in the forex market by offering a wide range of user-friendly features. Of course, those listed above are compelling, but they’re not the only perks of membership. Some of the most useful features of the platform include:
Advanced Charting Features & Technical Indicators
Charting features are some of the most important, whether you’re just getting started on your forex trading journey or you’re an expert. Technical analysis is paramount in your success, and the quality of the charts you use plays a meaningful role in your analysis capabilities.
Forex.com gives you access to a wide array of real-time charting tools, both proprietary and from third-party providers. You can even connect your account to popular advanced trading platforms to bring your analysis capabilities to the next level.
Multiple Advanced Trading Platforms Give You More Control
The Forex.com platform is available as a web trading platform and a mobile app for Android and iOS devices — and they stand well on their own. However, you have four other options if you’ve grown accustomed to or are interested in the functionality of other advanced platforms.
Forex.com seamlessly connects with:
- MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. MetaTrader is one of the most popular trading platforms among the most active forex traders. The platform is well-known in the investing community for advanced charting features and social capabilities like copy trading.
- NinjaTrader. NinjaTrader is another popular forex trading platform. When you use the NinjaTrader platform with your Forex.com account, you can attach orders to various indicators to automate the trading process.
- TradingView. TradingView is an easy-to-use trading platform with a more modern feel. The platform features more news integrations than most others, making it a perfect fit if you’re a fundamental trader.
Test Your Trading Strategies With a Demo Account
Trading forex is a fast-paced, high-risk process. Successful forex traders earn their skills through years of experience and countless mistakes.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trading before testing your strategy. Forex.com offers a demo account that’s preloaded with virtual money. The account gives you the opportunity to test your strategies before you use them in your live trading account.
The virtual environment mirrors the real-life trading environment, meaning if you’re successful in your demo account, you’ll likely experience more of the same in your live account. Conversely, if you don’t earn meaningful profits in your demo account, adjust your strategy until you have a winner.
Low Minimum Deposit
Some forex brokers require minimum deposits of thousands of dollars. The minimum deposit at Forex.com is just 100 of the account’s base currency, such as $100 if you’re in the U.S.
Although the minimum deposit is 100 of your base currency, the company suggests making an initial deposit of at least 2,500 of your base currency. This makes sense because having more money in your portfolio gives you more wiggle room in terms of diversification and risk management.
Save on Fees With the Active Trader Program
The Active Trader Program at Forex.com reduces fees for high-volume traders. You’re automatically enrolled in the program when you start your account with a minimum initial deposit of $10,000 or trade 50 million units of your base currency in any given month.
You can reduce your trading fees by 15% with cash rebates as an active trader. You also earn up to 1% APY on your average daily balance not used in open positions at the close of the day, bank wire fee reimbursements, and one-on-one access to experienced market strategists.
Forex.com Answers to Several Regulators
You should consider regulation any time you work with a broker in a financial market. Regulatory bodies are charged with making sure financial markets and those that work within them operate on fair and equitable terms.
Forex.com works across global markets and comes with regulatory oversight from a long list of global agencies, including the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and National Futures Association (NFA) in the United States, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K., and the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).
The fact that Forex.com is heavily regulated is great news for you. After all, the broker must follow strict guidelines set by the regulatory authorities above, protecting you from any potential fraud.
Advantages of Forex.com
Forex.com is the largest forex broker in the United States and one of the largest in the world. It earned its position by making sure traders have everything they need to be successful. That means there are several perks to membership.
- Low Minimum Deposit. 100 base currency unit minimum deposits are some of the lowest in the industry. This breaks down one of the biggest barriers to entry for beginner traders.
- Connect With Your Preferred Platform. Changing brokers often means changing trading platforms and starting a new learning curve. That’s not the case with Forex.com. The company supports popular trading platforms that you likely already know and love, especially if you’re already a forex trader.
- Choose Your Pricing Model. Most forex brokers don’t give you a way to reduce spreads by paying commissions. Instead, they set the pricing model and you just have to go with what they set. However, you can choose your pricing model with Forex.com.
- Advanced Trading Tools. Forex.com opens the door to a wide range of advanced trading tools, order types, and charting capabilities. You can also expand the list of trading tools by connecting your favorite platform.
- Active Traders Save Big. The Active Trader Program is an appealing offering that can save you up to 15% on Forex.com’s already low trading fees.
- Heavy Regulation. Forex.com is registered with several regulatory bodies, all of which are charged with making sure the company has your best interests in mind when providing you with financial services. This heavy regulatory oversight means you can rest assured your money’s in good hands.
Disadvantages of Forex.com
Forex.com does have a compelling offering, but there are some significant disadvantages. Sadly, most of the drawbacks to the platform only apply to U.S. customers. Here are the downsides to consider:
- Limited Assets for U.S. Customers. Only currency pairs and CFDs are available in the U.S. International members can access stocks, bonds, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and commodities.
- U.S. Educational Resources Aren’t Up to Par With the U.K. Site. I don’t want to take much away from the educational resources available on the U.S. site. The lessons teach you the basics of forex trading, risk management, and platform functionality, but they won’t be a one-stop shop for becoming a proficient trader. The company’s educational resources on its U.K. site are much more comprehensive.
- No Asset Protection for U.S. Customers. Forex.com holds client funds in separate accounts than it does its own funds. This helps provide safeguards for customers in the U.K., European Union, and Canada. If the company falls on hard times, customer funds in those countries are protected. Unfortunately, U.S. customers aren’t afforded the same protection.
- Direct Market Access (DMA) Accounts Not Available to U.S. Customers. Direct Market Access (DMA) accounts offer traders access to the forex market without an intermediary, which potentially reduces overall costs. However, Forex.com only offers its DMA account to traders outside of the U.S.
CMC Markets is one of Forex.com’s largest competitors. Check out the chart below to see how the two compare.
|Fees||Spreads start between 0 and 1 pip. Reduce spreads by signing up for commission accounts. You choose your pricing model.||Spreads start at 0.7 pips and commissions start at 0.1%.|
|Assets Available||Currency pairs and currency CFDs in the U.S. Other assets are available to global customers.||Forex and CFDs on forex, crypto, and stocks.|
|Educational Materials||U.S. materials are adequate but limited.||Some of the best online.|
|Trading Platforms||Proprietary and third-party trading platforms.||Proprietary and third-party trading platforms.|
There’s no question Forex.com provides a positive overall trading experience. But it is off-putting to see that so many of the company’s services aren’t available to U.S. traders. Forex.com is a great fit if you’re interested in trading forex and currency CFDs and you’re OK with limited educational resources and a lack of the asset protection afforded to customers in other countries. However, if you want to trade crypto, stocks, ETFs, or commodities, you’ll need to find a different service.
Nonetheless, if forex is your scene, there’s no questioning the power of the Forex.com trading platform and its ability to connect with others like MetaTrader and TradingView. The company’s charting capabilities and technical indicators provide a more efficient trading experience, while its transparent pricing and account types give you more control over the fees you pay.