The online broker XM is long-established and reliable. It has a solid reputation within the trading community.
The firm has a global client base. As a result, the exact entity you trade through and the regulatory framework you are protected by will be determined by where you live.
Understanding the breakdown is important because you always need to get to know your broker. The XM platform is a high-quality operation; it’s just worth noting that the exact offering might differ depending on where you reside.
The platform is very user-friendly. The trading platforms on offer (MT4 and MT5) are powerful, robust and firm favourites in the trading community. There is a focus on trade execution quality, research and educational support.
Setting up an account is straightforward and there are multiple payment processing options when it comes to funding.
The minimum opening balance requirement is low, only $5. That is, of course, not a large enough amount with which to trade effectively. It does though highlight how XM supports traders. The established wisdom is that you should start trading at a small size, so XM deserves some credit for facilitating that.
The XM Micro Account which is expressly set up to allow for small-scale trading, remains a stand-out feature of the XM service.
There’s a lot to like and hardly anything to dislike. In fact, as XM ticks so many boxes, it’s worth visiting the site to set up a Demo account. Spending some time trying out risk-free trading is an excellent way to test your strategies in the markets. You’d also get a better understanding of a broker which is right up there in the broker rankings.
XM Group is a collection of regulated online brokers. Financial Instruments Ltd was founded in 2009 and is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC 120/10).
Financial Instruments Pty Ltd was founded in 2015 and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. (ASIC 443670) and XM Global Limited, which is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission with license number IFSC / 60/354 / TS / 19.
The XM family also includes XM Global, a brand owned and operated by XM Global Limited, an authoritative body established in 2017. It is licensed and regulated by the Belize International Financial Services Committee.
It’s essential to check the detail of the T&Cs to be100% sure which entity you will be registered with; however, a rough breakdown is that:
- EU clients – will trade with Financial Instruments Ltd which was founded in 2009 and is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Australian clients – will trade with Financial Instruments Pty Ltd, which was founded in 2015 and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
- Rest of World clients – will trade with XM Global Limited, which is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize.
CySEC and ASIC are regarded as Tier-1 regulators. IFSC falls into Tier-2 but is considered one of the more robust authorities in that group.
The trading services provided by XM are top-grade, regardless of which entity you are registered with.
Spreads and Leverage
One of the big draws of XM is its tight trading spreads. There are three account types, Micro, Standard and XM Zero. The XM Zero option is a new addition and features ultra-thin spreads, even as low as zero pips.
The Micro and Standard accounts are more ‘entry-level’ in terms of functionality but still have very competitive pricing.
Experienced traders will share that trading isn’t just about spreads; quality of execution also needs to be considered. The XM Zero account also comes with features such as VPS trading infrastructure and a ‘no re-quotes’ guarantee.
In line with standard industry practice, leverage is capped at a level set by the regulator. In the EU, for example, the limit is 1:30. Clients outside of Europe might find they can apply even higher leverage than that.
XM Group offers its clients several types of accounts. Micro Trading Account – the minimum deposit is only $5. Standard trading account – the minimum deposit is only $5. XM zero – the minimum deposit is only $100. Islamic and free Demo accounts are provided.
Platforms & Tools
Opening an account at XM will take no more than five minutes. Registration is online and the protocols followed are typical for a regulated broker and include uploading ID to provide proof of residence.
XM supports markets in more than 1,000 financial instruments which can be traded on the ever-popular MT4 and MT5 platforms. XM is particularly good at ensuring that clients can find a platform type which suits them. That is best reflected in the fact that there is a market-leading number of 16 platforms from which to choose.
Easy access to a variety of platforms gives traders the flexibility to trade from anywhere and at any time. MetaTrader MT4 also supports an unlimited number of demo and real accounts, and Expert Advisors (EAs) for those looking to incorporate the ideas of others in their trading.
Asset groups covered include Forex, Stocks, CFDs, Commodities CFDs, Equity Indices CFDs, Precious Metals CFDs and Energies CFDs.
One area where XM stands out is in terms of quality of trade execution. There are no re-quotes or rejections of trading orders, no hidden fees or commissions, and 99.35% of orders are executed in less than one second.
Commissions & Fees
Clients can benefit from tight spreads as low as 0 pip on the major currency pairs.
There are three account types, with pricing schedules across all of them being very competitive.
- MICRO account (1 micro lot = 1,000 units of the base currency)
- STANDARD account (1 standard lot is 100,000 units of the base currency)
- XM ZERO account (1 standard lot is 100,000 units of the base currency).
Base currency options include USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, AUD, HUF, PLN, RUB, SGD and ZAR. That is a healthy number of base currency options that helps keep down the frictional costs associated with converting from one currency to another.
There are generally tight spreads on over 60 currency pairs and a spread as low as 1 for Micro and Standard account types and as low as 0 for an XM Zero account.
XM also provides fractional pip pricing so that clients can trade with tighter spreads and benefit from the most accurate quoting possible.
The process of making deposits and withdrawals is fast and easy. Multiple payment options are supported including, VISA, VISA Electron, MasterCard, Switch, Solo), bank transfer, Neteller, Moneybookers and Skrill.
The recently introduced local bank transfer option enables investors to fund their accounts through their local banks (in 58 countries worldwide) and in their local currencies. There are no hidden fees, or commissions for funds transfers and XM covers all transfer fees.
Account funding is 100% automatic and is processed 24/7, while same-day withdrawals are guaranteed.
A wide range of educational material is freely available. It covers the basics of ‘how things work’ and moves on to more advanced presentations on trading strategies and advanced analysis.
There are podcasts, free weekly interactive webinars, as well as all the research developed and shared by MetaTrader on their MQL5 platform.
The research is designed to help you trade. The multilingual economic calendar, along with forex news and market analysis reports provided by XM’s in-house experts, enables you to follow market changes and to adapt trading decisions accordingly.
Multilingual Personal Account Managers are available to holders of both demo and live accounts. They can be contacted via live chat, telephone or email in over 14 languages. The coverage is also impressive, with professional support available 24-hours a day from Monday to Friday.
Additional extras include Phone Trading. Being able to contact a dealing desk can be a deal-breaker should your IT systems go down. There are also Personal Account Managers to help guide you through the markets.
XM will appeal to both beginner and seasoned traders. Low-cost trading never goes out of fashion but XM is much more than a no-frills operation. Registration is available in 17 languages and the fact that trading can be started with a minimum deposit of $5 is a positive feature. Beginners especially are encouraged to start small and to stay that way until their trading results justify scaling up on positions.
XM has been around long enough to be considered established. It still has the feel of a next-generation broker providing clients with a range of progressive and innovative features.
The firm continues to receive recognition in terms of positive client feedback and industry awards. It’s easy to see why.Please be advised that certain products and/or multiplier levels may not be available for traders from EEA countries due to legal restrictions.
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