FXOpen Forex Broker Review and Experience
FXOpen is a forex broker that offers great trading conditions, good customer support, lots of deposit and withdrawal options, and is regulated. I began trading with FXOpen in 2011. With that in mind, I wanted to share my experience with FXOpen–one of the best forex brokers I have used to date (and I have used a lot!)
In this article, I will review why I like the broker, where they fall a little short, the tools they offer, and the simplest ways I have found to make deposits and withdrawals.
Unfortunately, FXOpen is not available to US residents.
FXOpen Trading Conditions Review
Spreads and Commissions
Trading conditions are of paramount importance, especially if you day trade. FXOpen offers ECN accounts with very competitive spreads. An ECN account interacts directly with market liquidity, instead of being passed through an intermediary who marks up the spread. Spreads typically range from 0.1 to 0.4 pips on the EURUSD during the New York and London sessions. In exchange for the small spread, traders pay a small commission on each trade.
FXOpen’s spread isn’t the smallest I have seen, but it is definitely competitive. They do have the lowest commissions though, which means the overall cost of the trade is one of the lowest I have seen. Some brokers have lower spreads but much higher commission. FXOpen charges commissions as low as $1.50 per $100,000 traded for active traders. The typical trader is charged about $2.50 per $100,000 traded.
The tight spreads and low commissions mean scalpers and day traders are welcome, and not having to pay the spread (discussed below) provides favorable conditions for these types of traders. Swing traders and longer-term investors also benefit from the lower fees and spreads. Although, if not making a ton of trades the cost/trade isn’t as big a concern.
Another thing I really like is that it is a true ECN broker, meaning your sell orders can be filled on the offer and your buy orders can be filled at the bid (if using limit orders). This means you can make the spread, instead of paying it. Many brokers only fill your sell orders if the bid price reaches your sell order price, for example. By being able to sell at the offer, without the bid having to move to that level, the price doesn’t have to move quite as far, thus increasing the chance of your orders being hit.
A true ECN account means you get to interact with other traders directly, at whatever price you set. It is not limited or controlled by the broker. You can even put an order in the middle of the spread, and decrease the spread yourself, if you want.
Rollover rates, or swaps, are how much you get credited or debited for positions you hold overnight, depending on the interest rates in those currencies. On the Myfxbook swap comparison tool, FXOpen falls in the middle of the pack. They offer a lot better rates than some, but not quite as good as others. Since I do hold a lot of highest interest currencies for my longer-term trades (receiving interest payments each day), I would prefer if they offered a bit higher rates.
That said, I also want my broker to make money. They offer great spreads and low commissions, so I am happy with that. They need to make money somewhere. They are running a business, and it needs to be run profitably. If a broker is to too cheap on everything I start to question whether they can keep the lights on…and if they can’t, deposited capital is at risk.
No Re-Quotes and Rare Slippage
I have also have not had a problem with slippage. Slippage (getting a price different than you expect) can occur, but is rare. I do not trade for a couple minutes before or after major news releases, which also helps reduce slippage.
There are no re-quotes with FXOpen either. A requote is when you try to trade at one price, but the broker gives you a little pop up that says “That price is no longer available, would you like to trade at X.XXXXX level?). Usually, the re-quoted price is worse than the original price you wanted, and it wastes time which could hurt your trade timing. Don’t trade with brokers that requote or that give you constant slippage.
Types of Accounts
I recommend everyone use an ECN account, even casual or longer-term traders. It’s the most cost-effective account type. That said, FXOpen does offer STP accounts, which offer a slightly higher spread but no commissions.
Cryptocurrency accounts are also offered, where you can deposit, withdraw, and trade in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
I use the MetaTrader4 platform offered by FXOpen. MT4 is okay. It isn’t a great platform, but using a plugin provided by FXOpen (discussed below) makes it very easy to use and functional for all styles of trading.
They also offer a Web Trader platform that you can log in to on online (no download or installation required), as well as a mobile trading app.
FXOpen Level II Plugin
Figure 1. FXOpen Plugin on EURUSD Chart.
The screenshot was taken on a Thursday evening when London and US markets are closed…the spread is still decent.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say I want to buy. I can either place an order at a specific price at the bottom of plugin, or I can just click the Buy button to transact at that price. My order is sent, along with stop loss and target orders which are placed the indicated number of pips away from the entry. All three orders are sent out at once, which is very handy when day trading. I can easily change the stop loss and target (in pips) as conditions change by altering the numbers in the SL and TP boxes before each trade.
I can also change the position size I am trading. In the example I have it set to 5 standard lots, but you can set it to anything you want. A mini lot is 0.1, and a micro lot is 0.01. You can then adjust your position size incrementally by micro lots to really fine-tune your position, such as taking a position size of 0.23 or 8.92 lots. Very customizable.
On the screenshot above, it is set to show the other bids and offers below and above the current ones. This is called a Level II. I find this section of the plugin distracting, and it isn’t helpful for my style of trading. Within the settings, you can choose to hide this if you want, or you can leave it up if it helps you. Within the settings, you’ll also find some other options you can adjust on the plugin.
Overall the plugin makes trading with MT4 much more efficient. It especially makes day trading easier, because when making quick trades it is nice to have the stop loss and target orders sent out at the same time as the trade.
I also swing trade, and this plugin allows me to quickly go through my charts and place multiple orders in different pairs with varying position sizes, stop losses, and targets.
FXOpen Types of Accounts
With an FXOpen ECN account, the spread is usually 0.1 to 0.4 pips on the EURUSD. And there is a small commission on each trade: $1.50 to $2.5 per standard lot, $0.15 to$0.25 per mini lot, and $0.015 to $0.025 per micro lot.
Opening an account requires at least $100. I would recommend depositing more than the minimum.
An STP account on the other hand usually has about a 1 pip spread on the EURUSD, and there is NO commission. Minimum account opening size is $10. If you are serious about trading, deposit more than the minimum.
Scalping is allowed on ECN and STP accounts as there is no broker intervention.
If you are a money manager or investor, FXOpen also offers a PAMM account structure. As an investor you can invest in a PAMM account and someone else manages your money, except the manager never has access to your account information. Instead, the broker simply mirrors the money manager’s trades in your account. Money managers can easily set up a PAMM account. All performance stats are tracked and made public, essentially creating a hedge fund type structure where money managers can attract investors and accept a performance fee (if profitable). All information about performance metrics is publicly available, so investors can easily see which money manager suits their personal goals and risk tolerance.
PAMM accounts can be opened with as little as USD$1000.
For a full list of the features available on each account, check out FXOpen Types of Trading Accounts and Conditions.
FXOpen Deposit and Withdrawal Options
If you make a consistent trading income, it’s nice to have multiple ways to both deposit and withdraw money. Deposits are quick, taking less than a couple days, and in many cases can be instant based on the method chosen. Withdrawals typically take 24 to 48 hours.
There are too many to list here, but the deposit and withdrawal options include wire transfers, credit cards, and many online payment services such as Skrill, Payza, and Neteller. See a full list here: FXOpen Deposit and Withdrawal options.
To wire yourself money, another withdrawal option, costs $45 US plus any additional fees your bank charges for receiving the wire (check with your bank because fees and policies vary). Wire costs are annoying when you first start trading, but I just view them a cost of doing business. It would be nicer without the withdrawal fees, but with most of the brokers I have used withdrawals kick up some sort of fee (except bank brokerages, because then you can just transfer into your chequing account…but their trading fees are usually higher.)
So, for small withdrawals, one of the electronic wallets is quick, easy, and cheaper option. For large amounts, a wire transfer is better, because the fee is capped. For example, on the e-wallets you will pay about $299 (most charge around 2.9% to 3.9%) on a $10,000 withdrawal, whereas with a wire you will only pay about $45 to $90 (depending on what your bank charges to receive it). Yet, if you are only withdrawing $1000 or $2000, it’s cheaper to use the electronic wallet.
Credit cards are another option, but they are going to ding you between 2% and 3% on your deposit and your withdrawal. Also, there are some additional guidelines for credit cards. You can only withdraw to a credit card if you used a credit card or wire for your deposit. If you deposit by credit card, you need to wait at least 30 days before being able to withdraw via another method…but you can withdraw to the same credit card at any time.
Another withdrawal option is a pre-paid debit or credit card. You can order a branded FXOpen card and then keep reusing it. Withdrawals are charged 0.25%. That sounds a lot cheaper, but only if you use the money on the card for purchases/spending. As you may know from your own credit card, if you try to pull cash off your card (a cash advance) they will typically charge you a few percent anyway, in which case a wire or Payza is cheaper.
FXOpen Regulation and Customer Support
FXOpen Ltd. is registered in England and Wales under company number 07273392 and is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under FCA firm reference number 579202.
FXOpen Markets Limited is registered in Nevis under the company No. C 42235.
FXOpen does not provide services for United States residents.
Customer service is prompt and courteous, and there are multiple ways to contact the broker with your queries, including phone, email, online chat or via an extensive forum. I haven’t had a lot of need to contact customer support over the last 7 years, and I guess that is the best thing of all. On the couple occasions I have had to contact them I was dealt with in a quick and concise fashion.
FXOpen Review Final Word
I really like this forex broker; my experience since 2011 has been great. If you are outside the US this is a forex broker to consider. The trading costs and conditions are some of the best I have found. Combine that with being regulated, good customer support, and easy deposits and withdrawals. Rollover rates aren’t the best, but they are competitive enough for me given all the other benefits.
That said, I always encourage you to do your own research digging, and don’t simply take my word for it. Every person’s situation is unique and therefore make sure you are comfortable with any broker before making a deposit.
This should not be considered personal investment advice.
By Cory Mitchell, CMT
To learn more about how to day trade forex, including basics to get you started, strategies, and a plan to get you practicing and successful, check out my Forex Strategies Guide for Day and Swing Traders 2.0 eBook.
Some of the links to FXOpen in this article are referral links. Meaning VantagePointTrading gets paid a small fee if people sign up via links. That said, all information provided within the article is deemed to be true and accurate at the time of writing, and is the personal opinion of the writer.