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This is a discussion on FXCM Discussion within the Forex Brokers forums, part of the Commercial category; Hi Jason. Yesterday I received an email from FXCM advising that they will introduce price decimalization on index CFD's. Could ...

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Old Jan 22, 2016, 1:19pm   #856
Joined Jan 2006
Hi Jason.

Yesterday I received an email from FXCM advising that they will introduce price decimalization on index CFD's.

Could you shed some more light on this development? I am interested to know who actually asked for this to be introduced. Do you think it will benefit retail traders, or will it actually disadvantage them since it could allow low-latency traders to exploit the decimalization (as seems to have happened with the introduction of 4 decimal point pricing on US equities some time ago)?

Will this mean that orders on CFD's can be entered to 2 decimal points? I am curious to know how SPX500 could be going to 2 decimal points. My understanding was that the underlying futures contract on the CME has specific tick increments.

Would you be ok to comment on whether FXCM is selling its retail order flow to any high-frequency trading firms, in the way that many other US brokers have done in recent years (assuming that Michael Lewis has stated the situation correctly in his recent "Flash Boys" publication)?

I do apologise for being direct with my questioning in this post - if you feel it's too direct, please do PM and I am happy to rephrase and/or tone it down a notch. In any case, I very much value your existence on the forum here
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Old Jan 26, 2016, 11:20am   #857
 
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Hi Jason

Why are your deal tickets showing no price in bold.

Was like it on Monday also.

Only seems to be on index markets.

Thanks
Oscar
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Old Jan 27, 2016, 11:03pm   #858
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by options-george View Post
Hi Jason.

Yesterday I received an email from FXCM advising that they will introduce price decimalization on index CFD's.

Could you shed some more light on this development?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar Reed View Post
Hi Jason

Why are your deal tickets showing no price in bold.

Was like it on Monday also.

Only seems to be on index markets.

Thanks
Oscar
Hi George and Oscar,

Over the next few weeks we will be decimalizing these instruments:
  • US30
  • SPX500
  • NAS100
  • UK100
  • FRA40
  • GER30
  • HKG33
  • AUS200
  • EUSTX50
  • USOil
  • UKOil
  • NGAS

That means the CFD prices will be quoted to two decimal places. The pip value itself will remain the same.

Decimalised pricing on CFDs allows you to trade with:
  • Increased precision in stop orders
  • Increased transparency as the pricing will more accurately reflect the underlying market

Quote:
Originally Posted by options-george View Post
Do you think it will benefit retail traders, or will it actually disadvantage them since it could allow low-latency traders to exploit the decimalization (as seems to have happened with the introduction of 4 decimal point pricing on US equities some time ago)?
CFD decimalization will benefit FXCM clients as shown in this example:

Suppose the DAX price is 9713.48 and you are long GER30 with a stop at 9713.00. Previously, with no decimalization, you would have been stopped out of your trade, because the price would have rounded down to 9713. With decimalised quotes, however, you can still be in this trade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by options-george View Post
Will this mean that orders on CFD's can be entered to 2 decimal points? I am curious to know how SPX500 could be going to 2 decimal points. My understanding was that the underlying futures contract on the CME has specific tick increments.
Index futures contracts as their name implies have you speculating on the future price of an underlying index. By contrast, FXCM Enhanced Index CFDs allow you to speculate on the spot rate instead, and the S&P 500 is quoted to two decimal places: http://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-500

Quote:
Originally Posted by options-george View Post
Would you be ok to comment on whether FXCM is selling its retail order flow to any high-frequency trading firms, in the way that many other US brokers have done in recent years (assuming that Michael Lewis has stated the situation correctly in his recent "Flash Boys" publication)?
The problems you describe with equities don't exist with FXCM. That's because unlike the HFT firms trading stocks, the liquidity providers on our No Dealing Desk (NDD) forex execution are only allowed to act as market makers in competition with each other, not our clients.

Our liquidity providers can post bids and offers indicating where our clients can sell and buy respectively, but cannot act as customers themselves to hit bids and offers ahead of our own clients. This setup allows FXCM clients to benefit from price competition instead of suffer from it.

That said, it's important to note that while FXCM offers NDD execution for forex, we act as a market maker for CFDs. However, similar principles of price competition apply, since we source quotes from different liquidity providers to offset our own risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by options-george View Post
I do apologise for being direct with my questioning in this post - if you feel it's too direct, please do PM and I am happy to rephrase and/or tone it down a notch. In any case, I very much value your existence on the forum here
It's my pleasure to answer any questions for you that I can about FXCM. If you ever have questions beyond my expertise (they exist ) then I will still do my best to direct you to the appropriate resource.
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Old Jan 29, 2016, 7:52am   #859
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Hi Jason,
many thanks for your detailed reply - that's very appreciated.

Could you clarify further as to the handling of CFD products in which FXCM acts as the market-maker?

Would it be possibly for you to draw a picture of how FXCM, the client (e.g. me!) and the liquidity providers fit together? What exactly happens when I put an order into the market? And how does this situation differ from when I trade the fx instruments?

Many thanks in advance
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Old Feb 2, 2016, 6:38pm   #860
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rogers View Post
It's my pleasure, George

On the No Dealing Desk (NDD) forex execution model, FXCM offsets each client order one-for-one with the best prices from competing liquidity providers.

FXCM believes the NDD model is the most fair and transparent to provide to traders which is why we have offered NDD forex execution since 2006. That was when we were first able to convince forex liquidity providers to offset individual client orders as small as one mini lot. In 2012, we extended our NDD forex execution to include micro lot orders.

In contrast to the NDD forex execution we provide to traders on all standard FXCM accounts, we are the market maker for CFD products. That means we act as the buyer when you sell and the seller when you buy a CFD. This requires the dealing desk to manage the risk on the other side of your orders.

One way they can do this is by offsetting internally. That means offsetting your buy orders with sell orders placed by other traders, and offsetting your sell orders with buy orders placed by others. If there are more buy orders than sell orders, or vice versa, then the dealing desk can offset the difference externally with our liquidity providers.

While we haven't yet been able to set up an NDD arrangement with CFD liquidity providers for the order sizes our clients demand (we offer micro lot CFD trading and a $50 account minimum, it is something we hope to offer in the future, and CFD decimalization can be an important step in that direction.
You never answered my question in this thread thoroughly.

http://www.trade2win.com/boards/gene...ml#post2698054
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Old Feb 2, 2016, 6:41pm   #861
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by options-george View Post
Hi Jason,
many thanks for your detailed reply - that's very appreciated.

Could you clarify further as to the handling of CFD products in which FXCM acts as the market-maker?

Would it be possibly for you to draw a picture of how FXCM, the client (e.g. me!) and the liquidity providers fit together? What exactly happens when I put an order into the market? And how does this situation differ from when I trade the fx instruments?

Many thanks in advance
It's my pleasure, George

On the No Dealing Desk (NDD) forex execution model, FXCM offsets each client order one-for-one with the best prices from competing liquidity providers.

FXCM believes the NDD model is the most fair and transparent to provide to traders which is why we have offered NDD forex execution since 2006. That was when we were first able to convince forex liquidity providers to offset individual client orders as small as one mini lot. In 2012, we extended our NDD forex execution to include micro lot orders.

In contrast to the NDD forex execution we provide to traders on all standard FXCM accounts, we are the market maker for CFD products. That means we act as the buyer when you sell and the seller when you buy a CFD. This requires the dealing desk to manage the risk on the other side of your orders.

One way they can do this is by offsetting internally. That means offsetting your buy orders with sell orders placed by other traders, and offsetting your sell orders with buy orders placed by others. If there are more buy orders than sell orders, or vice versa, then the dealing desk can offset the difference externally with our liquidity providers.

While we haven't yet been able to set up an NDD arrangement with CFD liquidity providers for the order sizes our clients demand (we offer micro lot CFD trading and a $50 account minimum, it is something we hope to offer in the future, and CFD decimalization can be an important step in that direction.
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Old Feb 2, 2016, 7:33pm   #862
 
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FXCM Releases Detailed Execution Study

Jason Rogers started this thread Hi Everyone,

We recently completed a study that examined the quality of execution for FXCM client orders versus the three largest FX trading venues globally, venues widely considered to represent the benchmark for reliable FX pricing, and I wanted to share these results with you.

The data show FXCM retail client order prices to be better than the Futures Market and Interbank Market prices for FX*.

One of our most important business goals is to provide superior execution. We have made it our mission each year to pioneer ever increasing levels of quality pricing and execution services, the bedrock of your trading experience. We believe in so doing, you, our traders, can be confident and trust in us as your broker.

Below are highlights from the full whitepaper that you can download^.


Compared to the Futures Market:

FXCM was equal to or better* than the quoted futures price 90.83% of the time compared to the spot equivalent quoted futures price on the CME.

  • Better than the futures price: 86.47%
  • Equal to the futures price: 4.36%
  • Worse than the futures price: 9.17%

Thus leading to a potential savings of $36,350,525 for FXCM LLC clients^. Our FXCM LLC represents less than 25% of our entire client base. Extrapolated out to our global audience would be potential savings greater than $145M^.


Compared to the Interbank Market:

FXCM was equal to or better* than the Interbank price 95.31% of the time.

  • Better than the interbank price: 92.19%
  • Equal to the interbank price: 3.12%
  • Worse than the interbank price: 4.69%

Thus leading to a potential savings of $55,121,988 for FXCM LLC clients^. Our FXCM LLC represents less than 25% of our entire client base. Extrapolated out to our global audience would be potential savings greater than $220M^.


Why is FXCM’s Pricing Better for Retail Clients?

FXCM liquidity providers are only allowed to be price makers for our retail clients and not price takers. Only our retail clients can take a price which protects the market maker from potentially being run over by larger or faster predatory market takers, making them more comfortable and giving them the ability to make a market based on quality of price and liquidity rather than speed, leading to a better trading environment. Thus, FXCM is able to offer lower pricing^ and a better trading environment for its retail clients*.


Click here for a detailed presentation of the study along with FAQs

Our service includes products that are traded on margin and carry a risk of losses in excess of your deposited funds. The products may not be suitable for all investors. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.


_______________________________________

* The study does not in away way attempt to represent that FXCM maintains a particular capacity or performance level. Past results are not indicative of future performance.

^ The figures in this study are provided for information purposes only, and are not intended for trading purposes or advice. FXCM is not liable for any information errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein.


Material Assumptions

FXCM’s Retail Clients are defined as individual, joint, and corporate accounts trading on our retail price stream.

The comparison to each of the Futures and Interbank data is made at the time that the FXCM client order is executed. Normal market slippage and slippage due to rejections by liquidity providers are already included by the time the FXCM client order is executed. However, there is an assumption that there is no slippage on the Futures or Interbank market data.

In order to maintain consistency, Futures Market data and Interbank data used the same acceptable ranges in market trades. The summary of findings is based on the assumption that the maximum acceptable difference between the FXCM price and the Interbank/Futures market price is 5 pips in either direction.

Fees that a participant would pay on the Futures or Interbank market, such as CME Exchange Fees, NFA Fees, FCM Fees, Clearing Fees, and other commissions, were excluded from the study. Similarly, FXCM Commissions are excluded from the study.
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File Type: pdf Frequently Asked Questions.pdf (460.8 KB, 229 views)
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Old Mar 2, 2016, 3:00am   #863
 
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FXCM Reports Spread Data for 2015

Jason Rogers started this thread
EUR/USD Spread Averaged 0.3 during Peak Trading Hours in 2015
EUR/USD Spread .1 or less 8.32% in 2015


Today we reported our worldwide average spread data on several of the top currency pairs.

The data were compiled using the average spread for standard accounts during peak market trading hours as well as non-peak trading hours. We also looked at the percentage of time spreads were .1 pip or less, at any time of the day.

Below are the data for EUR/USD, and you can see the info for other pairs in the full report.


75% of EUR/USD orders and volume in 2015 across all FXCM entities were traded during Peak Trading Hours
(1am EST — 1pm EST from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, excluding weekends)


Average Spread During Peak Trading Hours: 0.3 pips (rounded up from 0.292)
  • Total round trip cost = 0.3 spread + $0.04 + $0.04 commission = $0.11 all in cost per 1K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.3 spread + $0.40 + $0.40 commission = $1.10 all in cost per 10K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.3 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $11.00 all in cost per 100K lot


Average Spread during Non-Peak Trading Hours: 0.6 pips (rounded up from 0.553)
  • Total round trip cost = 0.6 spread + $0.04 + $0.04 commission = $0.14 all in cost per 1K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.6 spread + $0.40 + $0.40 commission = $1.40 all in cost per 10K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.6 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $14.00 all in cost per 100K lot


Percent of time .1 or less 2015: 8.32%
  • Total round trip cost = 0.1 spread + $0.04 + $0.04 commission = $0.09 all in cost per 1K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.1 spread + $0.40 + $0.40 commission = $0.90 all in cost per 10K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.1 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $9.00 all in cost per 100K lot



Commissions shown in trade cost calculations represent accounts with a base currency of USD and are for most standard account holders. However, FXCM does offer discounted commissions at various levels for high-volume traders trading over $50 million in notional volume monthly or with account balances of over $25K.
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Old Mar 2, 2016, 6:02am   #864
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rogers View Post

75% of EUR/USD orders and volume in 2015 across all FXCM entities were traded during Peak Trading Hours
(1am EST — 1pm EST from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, excluding weekends)


Average Spread During Peak Trading Hours: 0.3 pips (rounded up from 0.292)
  • Total round trip cost = 0.3 spread + $0.04 + $0.04 commission = $0.11 all in cost per 1K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.3 spread + $0.40 + $0.40 commission = $1.10 all in cost per 10K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.3 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $11.00 all in cost per 100K lot


Average Spread during Non-Peak Trading Hours: 0.6 pips (rounded up from 0.553)
  • Total round trip cost = 0.6 spread + $0.04 + $0.04 commission = $0.14 all in cost per 1K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.6 spread + $0.40 + $0.40 commission = $1.40 all in cost per 10K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.6 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $14.00 all in cost per 100K lot


Percent of time .1 or less 2015: 8.32%
  • Total round trip cost = 0.1 spread + $0.04 + $0.04 commission = $0.09 all in cost per 1K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.1 spread + $0.40 + $0.40 commission = $0.90 all in cost per 10K lot
  • Total round trip cost = 0.1 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $9.00 all in cost per 100K lot



Commissions shown in trade cost calculations represent accounts with a base currency of USD and are for most standard account holders. However, FXCM does offer discounted commissions at various levels for high-volume traders trading over $50 million in notional volume monthly or with account balances of over $25K.
That is quite interesting. I am currently being charged a 0.2 basis point commission. 0.00002 * trade value. $2.00 per 100K.
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Old Mar 2, 2016, 6:33pm   #865
 
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Originally Posted by hhiusa View Post
That is quite interesting. I am currently being charged a 0.2 basis point commission. 0.00002 * trade value. $2.00 per 100K.
Hello Hhiusa,

Your forum profile mentions GBP and JPY are two of your favorite currencies to trade. Mine too!

It's worth noting that if you trade GBP/JPY and your broker charges you a 0.2 basis point commission, then that does not equate to $2.00 per 100k. In fact, it's closer to $2.81 per 100k at the current GBP/USD exchange rate of 1.4050, and the commission they charge you will be even higher if the GBP/USD exchange rate ever rises from these historically low levels. Also, if they charge you a minimum commission of $2, then you'll actually pay more with them if you ever want to place a trade smaller than 50k which can be useful for scaling in and out of positions.

With FXCM, there is no minimum commission per trade. You can trade as little as 1k GBP/JPY and your commission would be only 4 cents compared to $2 with your current broker. Furthermore, you can trade GBP/JPY with the same commission per 100k as you can trade USD/JPY, and not have to worry about changing exchange rates affecting your commissions.

Without a doubt, the more you trade the bigger impact commissions will have on your trading. That's why our Active Trader program offers discounted commission tiers so you can trade GBP/JPY for $3.00 per 100k, $2.50 per 100k, or even $1.80 per 100k (36% cheaper than your current broker) if your trading volume qualifies you.

In addition, you can get access to FXCM's 24/7 live customer support, a dedicated Active Trader relationship manager and a host of premium services available to you at this account level. If that interests you, I would be happy to put you in touch with one of my colleagues in our Active Trader department.
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Old Mar 2, 2016, 7:08pm   #866
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rogers View Post
Hello Hhiusa,

Your forum profile mentions GBP and JPY are two of your favorite currencies to trade. Mine too!

It's worth noting that if you trade GBP/JPY and your broker charges you a 0.2 basis point commission, then that does not equate to $2.00 per 100k. In fact, it's closer to $2.81 per 100k at the current GBP/USD exchange rate of 1.4050, and the commission they charge you will be even higher if the GBP/USD exchange rate ever rises from these historically low levels. Also, if they charge you a minimum commission of $2, then you'll actually pay more with them if you ever want to place a trade smaller than 50k which can be useful for scaling in and out of positions.

With FXCM, there is no minimum commission per trade. You can trade as little as 1k GBP/JPY and your commission would be only 4 cents compared to $2 with your current broker. Furthermore, you can trade GBP/JPY with the same commission per 100k as you can trade USD/JPY, and not have to worry about changing exchange rates affecting your commissions.

Without a doubt, the more you trade the bigger impact commissions will have on your trading. That's why our Active Trader program offers discounted commission tiers so you can trade GBP/JPY for $3.00 per 100k, $2.50 per 100k, or even $1.80 per 100k (36% cheaper than your current broker) if your trading volume qualifies you.

In addition, you can get access to FXCM's 24/7 live customer support, a dedicated Active Trader relationship manager and a host of premium services available to you at this account level. If that interests you, I would be happy to put you in touch with one of my colleagues in our Active Trader department.
I should have said that it is $2.00 or 0.2 basis points. I have not been charged more than $2.00 before. I will have to check my statements.

How are you giving the same spreads to customers trading 1K as opposed to those trading 100K?

$3.00 is more than $2.80. How much would I have to trade to be eligible for the $1.80 per 100K commission?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rogers View Post
Total round trip cost = 0.3 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $11.00 all in cost per 100K lot

Total round trip cost = 0.6 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $14.00 all in cost per 100K lot

Total round trip cost = 0.1 spread + $4.00 + $4.00 commission = $9.00 all in cost per 100K lot
These prices seem expensive. These prices are different than the ones that you just quoted me. What is the difference?
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Old Mar 2, 2016, 10:59pm   #867
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhiusa View Post
I should have said that it is $2.00 or 0.2 basis points. I have not been charged more than $2.00 before. I will have to check my statements.
That's a wise decision. If you've never been charged more than $2.00 commission on a trade with your current broker, it could mean one of two things:
  1. You are trading only USD-based pairs (unlikely since you mentioned that GBP is one of your preferred currencies)
  2. You are trading less than 70k per GBP/JPY trade (since the current GBP/USD exchange rate of 1.4050 equates to a $2.81 commission per 100k)
Either way, you could be paying a higher commission with your current broker than you thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhiusa View Post
How are you giving the same spreads to customers trading 1K as opposed to those trading 100K?
FXCM is the industry leader according to the latest financial data from the CFTC. The "Total Amount of Retail Forex Obligation" column in the table below shows the amount of money traders have on deposit with us compared to other US-regulated brokers.


Click the image to open in full size.


Our dominant position means banks go out of their way to be liquidity providers for our clients. This includes meeting our requirement for their price quotes be available even for 1k (micro lot) trades sizes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhiusa View Post
$3.00 is more than $2.80.
True, but as pointed out above, your commission on GBP trades will be more than $3.00 per 100k if GBP/USD exchange rates return to their historical average above 1.5000. Furthermore, you could already be paying a higher rate than that if you are currently placing trades smaller than 70k.

Commissions are important but there are other factors to consider. What do you get from your current broker for the commissions you pay them? How is their platform and customer support?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhiusa View Post
How much would I have to trade to be eligible for the $1.80 per 100K commission?
500M in notional trading volume per month. If you trade less than that, then you could still qualify for our $3 or $2.50 commission tiers. How much do you trade per month? Which currency pairs? What trade size?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhiusa View Post
These prices seem expensive.
Our pricing is competitive considering we don't have a $10,000 account opening minimum or a $2 minimum commission per trade. You can open a standard FXCM account with as little as $2000 and get access to our No Dealing Desk (NDD) spreads shown above to place trades as small as 1k GBP/JPY paying only 4 cents commission. If you deposit more or trade more, you may qualify for discounted commissions through our Active Trader program.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhiusa View Post
These prices are different than the ones that you just quoted me. What is the difference?
The discounted commissions I quoted you ($3 per 100k, $2.50 per 100k and $1.80 per 100k) are from our Active Trader program which is available to high-volume clients trading over $50 million in notional volume monthly or with account balances of over $25K.

Last edited by Jason Rogers; Mar 3, 2016 at 8:01pm.
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Old Mar 2, 2016, 11:24pm   #868
 
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@Jason Rogers

Before I respond to your other questions, I have an additional question for you. Can I trade all US equities with FXCM? I am not necessarily an active FX trader; however, I use Forex as a means to trade foreign financial instruments.
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Old Mar 4, 2016, 2:06am   #869
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhiusa View Post
@Jason Rogers

Before I respond to your other questions, I have an additional question for you. Can I trade all US equities with FXCM? I am not necessarily an active FX trader; however, I use Forex as a means to trade foreign financial instruments.
@hhiusa

It's my pleasure to answer your questions about FXCM. I appreciate your interest in trading with us.

Please don't feel obligated to post a response to the questions I asked you about your commissions. My goal is simply to point out to you and other readers that when you make an apples-to-apples comparison of what you get for what you pay, taking into account the quality of our trading platforms and the level of service FXCM provides both at the Standard and Active Trader account levels, our commissions are an excellent value. You said you're not necessarily an active FX trader, so that's all the more reason to consider other factors beyond the commission when comparing brokers.

In regards to your question about US equities, FXCM offers trading not only in US share CFDs but also hundreds of top international share CFDs.
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Old Mar 4, 2016, 3:30am   #870
 
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@hhiusa

In regards to your question about US equities, FXCM offers trading not only in US share CFDs but also hundreds of top international share CFDs.


CFDs are illegal in the US. As you can see, I reside in the US. So, you do not offer physical equities? I use Forex to buy foreign currency to trade foreign instruments. My primary trading venue is the U.S..
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