FXCM versus Plus500

FXCM and Plus500 are both established online Forex brokers that have survived the test of time and proven to provide reliable, respected trading services to online traders worldwide. But just because a broker has been in existence for a long time doesn’t mean it’s the right brokerage for you. This FXCM and Plus500 comparison will give you all the information you need to determine which of these Forex brokers is right for you.

This broker comparison will focus on the following four aspects plus an ultimate verdict:

Feature FXCM (visit site) Plus500 (visit site)
Headquarter: UK Israel
Regulation:
FCA FCA
Type of Broker:
Market Maker Market Maker
U.S. Clients Allowed:
Minimum Deposit:
£50 or a currency equivalent £100
Maximum Leverage:
Between 1:2 and 1:30 EU - 1:30/ASIC - 1:300
Commissions / Spreads:
Spreads Spreads
Account 1:
CFD Trading CFD Trading
Account 2:
Spread Betting
Account 3:
Demo Account:
Islamic Account:
Segregated Account:
Managed Accounts:
Institutional Accounts:
Website Languages:
  • English
  • English
  • 31+
Support Hours:
24/5 24/7
E-mail Support:
SMS Support:
Chat:
Broker Offers:
76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Features and Platforms

FXCM

FXCM offers its traders a sound choice when it comes to trading financial markets with different platforms. Besides the broker’s proprietary trading platform called Trading Station, the most popular retail trading platform MT4 is available, as is the independent NinjaTrader. Social trading is supported via the ZuluTrade platform. All four platforms support automated trading, and clients can either download a desktop version, access a webtrader or download it on their mobile device. Each platform comes with its benefits like NinjaTrader’s replay function, MT4’s 2,000 free plugins and 700 paid ones, or ZuluTrade’s subscription-based model to follows trading strategies.

New traders can take advantage of an educational course or attend webinars. The prime service can be found at FXCM Plus, consisting of trading signals, a trading analyzer, and trading analytics. Ample of written content regarding financial markets and trading is additionally available.

FXCM traders have the choice of four trading platforms, each with their unique advantages.

Plus 500

Plus500 offers its proprietary platform, available as a desktop version, webtrader, or mobile version. Regrettably, no other platform is provided, and automated trading is not supported. The trading platform lacks the flexibility many traders require. This broker was founded from a technological background, but a lack of modernity and popular updates puts this broker far behind in the platform category. Plus500 does not offer research and education. Traders are, therefore, left with a sub-par trading platform featuring over 2,000 assets.

Plus500 only offers its proprietary trading platform, which represents a sub-par choice and lacks plenty of critical features to remain competitive.

Feature FXCM Plus500
Type of Platform : MT4, Trading Station, NinjaTrader, ZuluTrade Proprietary trading platform
Platform Languages:
  • English
  • English
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
  • 27+
OS Compatibility:
  • Windows
  • Mobile
  • Web
  • Windows
  • Mobile
  • Web
Trading Signals:
Charting Package:
Market Analysis:
Chart Trading:
Automated Trading:
Scalping:
Hedging:
Mobile Alerts:
Trailing Stops:
Guaranteed Stop Loss:
One-click Execution:
Interest on Margin:
Web-based Trading:
Mobile Trading:

Available Markets

FXCM offers a limited asset selection, with less than 40 currency pairs available for trading. Five cryptocurrency pairs and a handful of index and commodity CFDs are also available. New traders may feel the overall selection sufficient, but more sophisticated traders will test the limits fairly soon. Plus500 offers over 2,000 CFDs across multiple asset classes, and diversification is better achieved.

Feature FXCM Plus 500
ETFs:
CFDs:
Commodities:
Metals:
Stocks:
Oil:
Gold:
Binary Options:
Indices:
Cryptocurrencies

Typical Spreads and Fees

Spreads at FXCM start as low as 1.3 pips for the EUR/USD currency pair and increase from there for less liquid pairs; Plus500 offers a significantly better spread for the same currency pair at 0.6 pips. Index CFDs are better priced at FXCM, where the S&P500 is listed at 38 pips versus 45 pips at Plus500; commodities additionally come with a tighter spread at FXCM than at Plus500, crude oil has a spread of only 4.0 pips at FXCM while Plus500 asks for a 7.0 spread. Trading costs have a direct impact on the profitability of a portfolio, and FXCM offers traders a better pricing environment if all assets are taken into consideration.

Overnight financing costs apply at both brokerages which is normal, but swap rates are reportedly higher at Plus500 than at FXCM; the exact swap rates can be obtained from inside the trading platform. An inactivity fee is additionally charged £50 at FXCM, and $40 at Plus500. Corporate actions are debited or credited from the trader’s account, depending on the direction of the trade; this applies to index CFDs at FXCM, and index and share CFDs at Plus500. Deposit and withdrawal fees are generally waived by both brokers, but third-party charges apply.

FXCM offers better spreads across all assets classes, except for the Forex market.

Plus500 has good spreads in the Forex market, but higher costs elsewhere.

Security and Trust

FXCM and Plus500 are both regulated by the FCA in the UK, one of the premier regulators in the global financial system. As an FCA regulated broker, traders are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) that reimburses deposits in the event of default; the maximum is capped at £85,000. FXCM is additionally regulated in Australia, France, and South Africa. Plus500 has subsidiaries regulated in Australia, Cyprus, and Singapore. Per FCA requirements, corporate and client funds remain fully segregated.

FXCM has a somewhat complicated history, especially surrounding its actions during the 2015 Swiss National Bank crisis. During twelve years ending in January 2017, FXCM faced 13 CFTC reparations cases, 17 NFA arbitration decisions, and eight other US regulatory actions; in 2014 the FCA additional fined it for similar violations. Since this broker emerged from bankruptcy, it has a clean record and new ownership, and has positioned itself as a reliable broker that is here to stay.

Plus500 has had its regulatory issues and fines. In 2012 the FCA fined this broker for not reporting transactions accurately. For the years 2015, 2016, and 2017 Plus500 reported no net revenue or loss from client profit and losses, but in February 2019 this broker announced a $103 million loss from client trading. While FXCM is leaving its opaque past behind, Plus500 may be in the midst of problems to come.

FXCM vs Plus500 – Verdict

Following our in-depth comparison of FXCM and Plus500, we have no doubts that FXCM emerges as the clear winner. Both brokers carry the same FCA regulation, making them both reliable and safe for trader funds. Though FXCM offers far fewer assets, its choice of platforms and general trading conditions are far superior to those offered by Plus500. FXCM does an excellent job offering four different platforms, and fully supports automated trading in all of them. Plus500 lacks research and education divisions, and traders are left with 2,000 assets, reasonably priced, and a somewhat outdated trading platform which would benefit from some upgrades. One upside for Plus500 is that it is available in dozens of languages, while FXCM is limited in this regard. However, English-speaking traders will not find this to be a problem. Between these two brokers, it is a clear choice between quality over quantity, and FXCM represents the obvious choice.

Read full FXCM Review
Read full Plus500 Review