Regulation and Security
XM has a relatively high and strong level of regulation. It is owned by Trading Point of Financial Instruments UK Ltd, a U.K. company, but XM is formally based in Cyprus and Australia, two popular and well-known jurisdictions which are known to be friendly to the operation of Forex / CFD brokerages. Clients resident outside Australia can open accounts located and regulated in Cyprus while Australian residents will have their accounts located in Australia.
XM is formally regulated in Cyprus and Australia. In Cyprus, Trading Point Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd is licensed by the Cypriot Regulator CySEC under license number 120/10. In Australia, Trading Point of Financial Instruments Pty Ltd has been issued an Australian Financial Services License by ASIC (number 443670). In addition to these regulatory licenses, XM has secured registrations for outwards passporting with the regulators of the following countries:
- United Kingdom – Financial Conduct Authority
- Germany – BaFIN
- Spain – CNMV
- Hungary – MNB
- Italy – CONSOB
- France – ACP
- Finland – FIN
- Poland – KNF
- Netherlands – AFM
- Sweden – FI
XM’s regulation in Cyprus provides its clients there with a degree of investor protection, as CySEC maintains an Investor Compensation Fund which is empowered to award depositors who lose their accounts due to failure of a regulated firm an amount up to €20,000.
XM has been in operation as a brokerage since 2009, giving it a relatively long track record. Typically, it can be said that the longer a broker has been in business, the more reputable the broker should be held to be. This means that XM can be said to have a substantial track record and an established reputation of safety as a brand which it will wish to protect.
Like all Forex / CFD brokerages regulated in member states of the European Union like Cyprus, clients of XM enjoy negative balance protection, regardless of whether they have deposited in Australia or Cyprus. This means that it is impossible for any client to lose more than the amount they have deposited with XM. The “tail risk” of an extremely large and sudden market movement, amplified by any leverage used, is borne fully by XM under this European Union regulation.Back to Top
The question of fees charged by a brokerage should always be paramount in the mind of anyone searching for the right Forex / CFD broker. In considering the question, all costs of doing business must be considered carefully. We can break the entirety of fees and costs into two separate sub-categories: fees which are incurred through opening and closing trades, such as spreads, commissions, and overnight financing; and incidental fees, such as charges imposed by the brokerage due to account inactivity, or transaction fees applied to deposits or withdrawals. The trading fee element is going to be most important by far so this should be examined first.
Looking at trading fees first, we begin with spreads and commissions, which should be lumped together as an all-in “round trip” cost covering the opening and closing of a trade. As XM offer a few different account types which charge slightly different fees, we will judge the trading fees of its most common account type, the Standard Account.
The average round trip cost of trading the benchmark EUR/USD Forex currency pair is 1.7 pips. However, this falls to only 0.8 pips in the XM Zero account, which is an ECN account.
The average round trip costs of trading individual stocks, soft commodities, and equity indices are average for the industry.
Finally, data on the average round trip cost of trading the precious metals Gold and Silver shows that it is never below 30 cents for Gold and 3 cents for Silver.
It can be said that these levels of spreads and commissions are competitive for depositors of relatively low amounts. The minimum deposit required to open a Standard Account is only $5, so for traders depositing only a few hundred dollars or less, these fees will certainly be competitive. However, traders with considerably larger sums to deposit such as a few thousand dollars would be able to find more competitive alternative brokerage options within the industry, unless they wish to open an XM Zero account which has extremely competitive fees.
The next thing to consider as part of the fee structure is overnight financing, which is usually a net charge applied to every trade daily which is open at 5pm New York time, although it can sometimes be a payment. These fees are, at least theoretically, based upon tom/next fees applied in the intrabank market, but retail brokerages tend to offer relatively unfavorable rates which can make swing or position trading expensive, especially when buying into currencies with very low or negative interest rates. XM are open and transparent about their overnight financing rates, which is a good sign. XM state that their rates are based upon the bank market’s tom/next rates plus the XM mark-up. Comparing the rates offered at the time of review to the industry average, their overnight financing rates are relatively competitive, meaning that XM may be a good choice for traders who wish to hold positions open for periods longer than a day or two.
We end this section on fees by looking at incidental transaction fees, occurring through non-trading processes.
XM charges an account inactivity fee of $5 per month after 90 days. XM charges no additional fees on deposits or withdrawals except where an amount of less than $200 is moved by wire transfer. Overall, this is not a bad deal, unless you are making a very low deposit and will want to make no trades at all for a period which may be longer than one month.
Our conclusion on fees: XM’s fees are competitive for traders making deposits under $1,000 across all account types, while the ECN-style XM Zero account is competitive at any deposit level.Back to Top
What Can I Trade
After regulation, safety, and the fee structure, the next most important element to consider when choosing a Forex / CFD brokerage is what is offered for trading on the broker’s menu. Some traders will be seeking exposure only to one asset class, such as Forex, or CFDs on individual stocks and shares, while others will be looking for diversification.
XM offer the following instruments for trading:
Forex – more than 55 currency pairs and crosses, including exotic currencies, as listed below.
Stocks – an extremely wide selection of individual stocks are offered for trading, with more than 1,200 different equities currently listed by XM. This is a very impressive, wide range of choice offered as an access to global equities. Stocks are offered from seventeen different national equity markets, including of course the major markets such as the U.S.A., the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, and Australia, but also Russia. Otherwise, the geographical markets are entirely European. Traders interested in trading individual major market stocks should give XM serious consideration as a broker of choice.
Commodities - a decent selection of 8 soft commodities are offered, which is more than most brokerages run to. They are listed below.
Five energies, including natural gas, are available to trade.
The final element of XM’s commodities offering are precious metals, namely, gold and silver. More exotic precious metals such as platinum and palladium are not available.
Equity Indices – 18 major equity indices are on the menu, which is a decently wide-ranging selection for choice. The full list of equity indices is set out below.
Our conclusion regarding XM’s offering of tradable assets is favorable, with a wide range of asset classes offered that should satisfy most traders. The offering is especially impressive concerning global equities, with an unusually large amount (over 1,200) on the menu at the time this review was published. We expect there is a sufficiently wide range here for those traders who are not particularly interested in individual stocks and shares, but who want to be reasonably diversified across major markets.Back to Top
A choice of four different account types is offered.
The Micro account and the Standard account are very similar, with both requiring a minimum deposit of only $5, which is an extremely low and very competitive minimum requirement. The only substantial difference between the two is the default sizing of the standardized lot offered in each, but this is just labelling, and a lower maximum trade size on the Micro account which is still high enough to make it hardly worth mentioning. Both account types may be based in an unusually wide range of base currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, AUD, HUF, PLN, and RUB.
The XM Ultra Low account offers somewhat lower average spreads and requires a minimum deposit of only $50. It is available in a slightly narrower range of base currencies, i.e. all the aforementioned currencies except for the JPY and RUB. The only other difference here of note is the lack of any trading bonuses offered to these account holders.
The three account types previously described are all market-maker type accounts offering an extremely high maximum leverage of 888 to 1, where XM makes a price for the client, and makes its money by the variable spread applied. However, an alternative, ECN-style account if offered as a fourth option: the XM Zero account, which offers low variable spreads plus a commission on the benchmark EUR/USD currency pair of only 0.0035%. This equates to an average EUR/USD total spread plus commission cost of trading of only 0.8 pips, which is very competitive in the industry against any minimum deposit requirement, and the minimum deposit required here by XM is only $10!
There are a few important differences between the XM Zero account and the other XM account types:
- Maximum leverage is 500 to 1 instead of 888 to 1
- Only Forex, gold, and silver may be traded
- The account’s base currency must be in USD, EUR, or JPY
- Only the MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 trading platforms may be used
All account types allow hedging, scalping, and automated trading via Expert Advisers.
We think that the range of account types offered are realistic, easy to use and understand, and good value. Too often in the retail Forex / CFD industry, account type classifications are made unnecessarily complex for marketing purposes. It is admirable that XM seem to have refrained from doing this and are instead looking simply to give their clients what they want and need.Back to Top
XM offers all its trader clients a choice between the use of the two most popular retail Forex / CFD trading platforms globally. Clients with any account type may choose to use either MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5. Both platforms are well-known, intuitive, and easy to understand, and have been around for many years. Both platforms are also very popular with the retail trading community. Some traders may wish for a deeper choice of platform that is given here, yet a big majority of traders who find themselves considering becoming customers of XM will find the choice on offer adequate.
XM offers a range of MT4 and MT5 platforms for both Windows and Mac Operating Systems which gives traders unrestricted access to all platforms.
In addition, a range of MT4 and MT5 Mobile applications for both Apple and Android Operating Systems seamlessly allow access to an account with full account functionality from a smartphone or tablet.
XM pioneered the offering of an MT4 platform with trading execution quality in mind. It offers the following benefits: Over 100 Instruments including Forex, CFDs and Futures, 1 login access to 8 platforms, spreads as low as 1 pip, full EA (Expert Advisor) functionality, 1 click trading, technical analysis tools with 50 indicators and charting tools and 3 different chart types.
Trades can trade with the MT4 platform on their Mac as well as on mobile devices such as Androids and iPhones, iPads and tablets.
XM WebTrader 4
XM WebTrader 4 is accessible for PC’s and Mac’s without downloading. Traders can choose from over 100 Instruments Including Forex, CFD’s and Futures, 1 single login access to 8 Platforms, spreads as low as 1 pip, 1 click trading and built in news functionality.
XM MT4 Multiterminal
The XM MT4 Multiterminal platform is the ideal tool for traders wanting to handle multiple MT4 account from 1 single terminal with ease with 1 Master Login and Password.
It supports up to 128 trading accounts, has multiple order types, three allocation methods and provides management and execution in real time.
By using MetaTrader 5, traders can trade directly with liquidity providers using ECN technology and STP. It offers a range of extra features that analyze the market and help traders trade in any style they want.
In addition to all the features of the MT4 platform, the MT5 platform also offers different order types such as 'Fill or Kill' and 'Immediate or Cancel' as well as technical and fundamental analysis using over 79 analytical tools.Back to Top
The standout features of XM are twofold: first, its strong regulatory regime in two major industry centers (Australia and Cyprus, the latter of which gives passporting into E.U. regulation throughout the Union); secondly, its very extensive offering of individual equities listed in European countries and other major developed nations.
XM’s ECN-style account also has an extremely competitive fee structure at a very low minimum required deposit.
XM is proud of its history and its accomplishments. Its Milestones in our Corporate History chart goes back to 2011 and points to a background of trustworthiness and corporate involvement.
The XM management has visited over 120 cities around the world to connect with their clients and partners in order to interact with them on a face to face basis. They have hosted more than 100 seminars to educate traders, enabling them to make better trading decisions. These activities have helped XM reach the highest levels of client retention of any Forex broker, anywhere.
In fact, XM prides itself on having over 300,000 real accounts opened to date from 196 countries and over 150,000,000 trades executed with zero re-quotes or rejections, ever.
- Broker's Name : XM
- Headquarter : Cyprus
- Regulation : CySEC, FCA, BaFin, ASIC, CONSOB, PSZAF, ACPR, CNMV, AFM
- Type of Broker : Market Maker
- U.S. Clients Allowed :
- Minimum Deposit : $5
- Maximum Leverage : 1:888
- Commissions / Spreads : Low Spreads
- Account 1 : Micro
- Account 2 : Standard
- Demo Account :
- Islamic Account :
- Segregated Account :
- Managed Accounts :
- Institutional Accounts :
- Deposit Options :
- Withdrawal Options :
- ETFs :
- CFDs :
- Commodities :
- Metals :
- Stocks :
- Oil :
- Gold :
- Binary Options :
- Indices :
- Type of Platform : MetaTrader 4, Web-based
- Platform Languages :
- OS Compatibility :
- Trading Signals :
- Charting Package :
- Market Analysis :
- Chart Trading :
- Automated Trading :
- Scalping :
- Hedging :
- Mobile Alerts :
- E-mail Alerts :
- Trailing Stops :
- Guaranteed Stop Loss :
- Guaranteed Limit Orders :
- One-click Execution :
- OCO Orders :
- Interest on Margin :
- Web-based Trading :
- Mobile Trading :
- Website Languages :
- Support Hours : 24/7
- E-mail Support :
- SMS Support :
- Chat :
Pros and Cons
- Competitive fees
- Wide range of assets for trading
- Only MetaTrader platforms offered
- Clients from several countries not accepted
Research and Education
The XM Research & Education offering is impressive. It should be said that a Forex / CFD brokerage can offer an excellent service without providing any education or research offering at all. Brokers primarily exist to execute trades and safeguard deposits efficiently, and these core functions are what customers need and want.
All too often, substandard brokers throw together a hastily assembled collection of low-quality educational material, simply for the sake of trying to put across a good appearance. Happily, in the case of XM, the educational and research offering is there because it is worthwhile.
Research is offered as news and analysis on key markets and relevant geopolitical developments, including technical analysis performed on selected price charts. Forex, commodities, and stocks are covered.
In the XM Learning Center, subsections are divided into Live Education, Educational Videos, Forex Webinars, Platform Tutorials, and Forex Seminars.
The educational rooms are live trading rooms which clients may enter and participate in and see live markets traded in real time. Most of them are open for eight hours continuously on weekdays, which is extremely impressive. Seven educational videos on a range of common Forex trading topics are also present in their relevant subsection.
Account holders can benefit from weekly webinars in 13 different languages including Arabic, Bengali, Indonesian, Polish and others given by 18 expert instructors whose pictures are presented on the site.
The list of video tutorials seems endless and cover topics as basic as how to open a Forex account to how to use a MT4 Droid pad on the Mobile Trader app.
Upcoming XM workshops and seminars are listed as are ones that have already taken place.
In addition, their economic calendar posts any upcoming events taking place in markets throughout the world.
There are market reviews, a Forex news report and technical analysis that appear daily.
A selection of trading tools are also offered, in addition to free forex signals and forex calculators.
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Most traders will never use their broker’s customer support service beyond the occasional query for clarification of the trading terms offered. Still, its good to know that if you do need the help desk, you will be dealt with promptly and helpfully.
XM’s customer support has a good reputation, partly because it is offered in a wide variety of languages with dedicated native speakers offering support to clients in their own language.
The XM customer support desk is available 24 hours a day, from Monday to Friday – the same time period over which the markets are open. Representatives speak English, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Bahasa Malay, Bahasa Indonesia, Hungarian, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Hindi, Arabic, Korean, Portuguese, Czech, Slovakian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Dutch.
Traders can contact a rep at different departments in several international locations via email of telephone. Live chat is also available.Back to Top
Bonuses and Promotions
XM is regulated in Cyprus and Australia. While bonuses and promotions are permitted by the Australian regulator, the Cypriot regulator must comply with E.U. law and as such the offering of new bonuses and promotions has been banned. However, some “grandfathered” historical bonuses and promotions are still on offer.
A 100% deposit bonus up to $5,000 is still available. However, it should be noted that before any of the bonus funds may be withdrawn, over 500 lots must be traded within the first 30 days from the moment you deposit the first funds into the account. It is very unlikely that a client depositing a normal sum will be able to successfully trade a nominal amount of $50 million within 30 days!
The second offering here is the XM Loyalty Program where traders can earn infinite cash rewards and credit bonuses. Finally, clients may apply for free VPS services which enable the use of EAs, shorter trade execution times, access from any geographic location 24/7 and optic fiber connectivity.
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Opening an Account
The account opening process with XM is relatively quick and painless. You can expect to get your account open and ready on the same day that you begin the account opening process. Clients only need to navigate through a couple of web screens where they submit a few details and choose the type of account they want to sign up for.
It is worth noting that residents of the U.S.A. and a few other extremely regulated jurisdictions are not accepted as new clients by XM.
In addition to providing personal and account details, new clients are required to verify their ID and proof of residency by way of utility bills or bank statements. Proof of ID may be verified by providing an official national identity card, passport, or driver license. Images can be uploaded for verification and response times are very quick.Back to Top
Deposits and Withdrawals
At XM there is no minimum deposit required. However, system restrictions limit the minimum deposit amount to $5 for electronic funding such as Moneybookers, Skrill and Neteller as well as credit cards and bank wire transfers. Moneygrams and Western Union payments are also accepted.
Withdrawals can be made using the same methods. In fact, the deposit and withdrawal options are listed side by side on the website and a trader needs only click on “make a deposit” or “request a withdrawal” in order to make a transaction.
Withdrawals of amounts under $200 are subject to a $15 administration fee. While this is not completely uncommon, it is a little unusual and smaller depositors should consider whether they will be able to plan to sit tight and hope to grow their account to a level where this fee would not apply to any likely amount the client will wish to withdraw.
Where is XM based?
Cyprus and Australia.
How does XM make money?
XM makes its money from spreads and commissions charged on trades, an overnight financing mark-up, and from its clients’ trading losses on its market-maker account types.
How can I deposit into an XM account?
XM allows several methods for depositing and withdrawing funds. Transactions can be made using Moneybookers, Skrill and Neteller as well as credit cards and bank wire transfers. Moneygrams and Western Union payments are also accepted.
IS XM regulated? Are its clients protected by regulatory deposit insurance?
XM is regulated by CySEC and ASIC. CySEC offers an investor protection fund up to €20,000 but eligibility is not automatic even if a depositor’s funds become inaccessible due to no fault of their own.
What is the maximum leverage offered by XM?
The maximum leverage offered is a very high 888 to 1, but if E.U, regulation applies that falls to the legal maximum of 30 to 1.
How do I open an account with XM?
Simply click on the “open account” button on the home page of XM’s website. You will be directed through a very easy to complete digital form.
Does XM offer the MetaTrader trading platform?
Yes, XM offers both the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms.Back to Top
XM deserves a mostly positive review. Fees are competitive for depositors of a few hundred dollars, and the ECN-style XM Zero account option seems to be competitive for Forex traders at any deposit size starting at the $10 minimum! A good, diverse range of assets are offered for trading, including over 1,200 individual stocks and shares. XM’s reputation is towards the higher end of the industry average, with a long track record and good regulatory standing in Australia and Cyprus. The only downside to the regulatory situation is that passporting into the U.K. does not enable depositors access to the FCA’s deposit insurance scheme, which would have been a very attractive feature, as it offers protection approximately 4 times higher, and on better terms, than that offered by the Cypriot regulator CySEC.Back to Top
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