ForexTime (FXTM) offers a choice of 6 account types including 3 standard accounts including one micro-lot account and 3 ECN accounts. This FXTM Standard vs ECN account looks at each account type and compares their spreads to other brokers.
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$/€/£ 100 (Standard)$/€/£ 10 (Cent)
ForexTime (FXTM) is a CFD and forex broker that has been operating since 2011. FXTM offers two main types of trading accounts for forex and CFD products, the Standard account and the ECN Accounts. This FXTM review outlines the differences between the two accounts to help you decide which account is best for you.
This article will cover:
The two primary types of trading accounts that FXTM offers are standard accounts and ECN accounts. The main difference between these accounts is that the standard account uses instant execution and has lower minimum deposits while the ECN accounts have tighter spreads but higher minimum deposits.
The FXTM Standard accounts are market maker style account since the quote comes from the broker. The main features of using one of FXTM’s standard accounts are:
Choosing the Standard, Cent, or Stock accounts means the broker quotes and executes your order using the most recently available spread. As prices in the market are always changing, the listed spreads may not match the current available price, when this happens you get slippage. In this event, FXTM will provide a requote with the market price set by the liquidity providers for which you must explicitly agree to accept before they will complete your order.
Requotes will usually not be in the trader’s favour so instant execution is for traders that want to ensure they buy or sell at the quoted spread. Traders that value fast execution speed will prefer ECN accounts that use market execution.
FXTM Standard accounts have lower minimum deposits when compared to ECN accounts. If you are a beginner trader and wish to start with a low amount of capital until you are comfortable with the risks of forex trading then these accounts can be an option. Eventually, you are likely to want to switch to an ECN account as the spreads are tighter, meaning you pay less to trade.
FXTMs standard account is a market maker style account, this means you will pay no commissions when you trade since your orders are executed using a dealing desk.
As you pay no commissions, you will find the spreads are wider than most ECN style accounts. This is because FXTM includes its cost as part of the spread.
Other features to be aware of when using the standard account include:
We looked at the average spreads of other brokers that offer commission-free trading accounts.
Compared to these brokers, FXTM fares very poorly. Some brokers advertise average spreads under 1.0 pips, making them is far cheaper than the minimum 1.3 pips FXTM advertises.
Each 1.0 pip you trade costs $10, so you are paying $13 for each lot you trade with FXTM. Choosing a broker with spreads of 0.8 pips ($8) could save you $5.00 for each lot you trade.
As you can see in the comparison (which is updated each month), FXTM avg spreads are actually a fair bit higher than 1.3 pips.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
Compare Standard Spread Accounts >>
Our spread comparison suggests you can get cheaper and better value standard account spreads with other brokers. Unfortunately, FXTM doesn’t provide their average spreads for all currency pairs, so it is hard to give a direct comparison to other brokers.
There are really only a few reasons you may wish to consider FXTM over most of these brokers. These include:
View FXTM Review >>Visit FXTM >>
The Cent account is very similar to the Standard account. Like the Standard account, it utilizes simple, no commission, market-making brokerage style trading with instant execution.
The main difference is the low minimum deposit of $10. With such a low deposit, trading with micro-lots (lots of 0.01 or units of 1000) is a realistic prospect as you will need less of your own capital to open your position. While you can trade with micro-lots with other FXTM accounts, it may not be practical with the higher minimum deposit these accounts require.
Best Micro-Currency Brokers >>
This account is a good option for retail investors new to trading such as those who have dipped their toes into the forex market through demo accounts but aren’t quite ready to commit too much capital to a normal standard account.
To highlight the emphasis on this account being for new traders is that all figures are displayed in cents. So a $10 deposit is 1000 cents which introduces a kind of psychological aspect of trading forex as higher numbers may encourage new traders to be more conservative.
Other features to note with the account include:
The ability to trade real cash with micro-lots may have some appeal over a demo account with virtual cash for some traders. There are two main issues with the FXTM cent account
With spreads starting from 1.5 pips, the highest of the six accounts, there is not really any compelling reason to choose this account unless you wish to trade with the absolute minimum
FXTM advertise CFDs for over 120 US shares and over 40 European shares, which isn’t a massively large selection when you consider how many stocks are listed in the US and Europe, or when you compare to some other CFD brokers.
As with the other standard accounts, the commission isn’t charged, and stock CFD spreads are from 0.1.
FXTM offers some index and commodity CFDs but doesn’t offer any other kind of CFDs which some other providers do. For example, CFDs on cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. (Note that in the UK, the FCA has banned the trading of crypto-asset derivatives due to amateur retail traders being exposed to such high risk). The CFDs that FXTM provides seem quite restricted.
ForeTime uses an electronic communication network (ECN) and straight-through processing (STP) to automatically connects you with liquidity providers when you trade.
Since an ECN/STP connects forex traders directly with big banks, hedge funds, and other liquidity providers, there is no dealing desk involved in the process. It is this element that distinguishes ECN accounts from standard accounts used by market-maker brokers.
Choosing an ECN trading account means the order execution will be market execution. This means you will always buy and sell at the spread pricing set by the liquidity providers, not by the broker, and will not receive requotes even if slippage occurs.
If you are a retail trader and looking for the lowest spreads FXTM has to offer then this is the account to choose. For a deposit of $500, this account gives you spreads as low as 0.0 pips when using MT4 trading platforms and the same or slightly higher when using MT5.
Commissions are as low as $4 round-turn (charged when you open your position) however this is slightly misleading as this assuming your equity is USD$1,000,000 – $4,999,999 with a trading volume of over 250 million. This amount is well above what most retailers will use when trading a single position.
FXTM uses floating commissions which means the larger amount you trade, the lower your commission will be.
We compared FXTM’s spreads with other brokers that offer an ECN style account. FXTM’s spreads start from 0.1 pips which compares favourably with other brokers. We assume this is for the EUR/USD currency pair.
Compare ECN Accounts >>
The main issue comes down to commission. $4.00 per lot round-turn is one of the best commission rates you can find with any broker. The catch is that to get this commission you need an account with lots of equity and to be trading in high volumes. Otherwise, you will end up paying more commission than what other brokers charge.
Most brokers charge around $7.00 round turn for each standard lot you trade, so unless you hold a lot of equity and plan to trade high volumes, the ECN account can be a costly choice. While we don’t know what spreads FXTM offers, some competing forex brokers offer spreads from 0.09 pips for the EUR/USD pair so using this account Zero is not likely to fare well against other brokers unless you get the best lowest commission costs.
Unless your trading account has a large amount of equity and you are trading in sufficiently high volumes, we think FXTM’s commission costs make the broker expensive. It’s likely easier to select a broker with standard commission costs and tight spreads for most retail traders.
FXTM’s ECN zero account is essentially the same as their standard ECN account except with no commissions. However, you pay a premium in the spread, for which FXTM advertises they start from 1.5 pips. We looked at the individual spreads and found them to be higher.
Compare ECN Spreads >>
1 pip = $10 so this means you will pay $15 to open your position for the lowest possible spread of 1.5 pips and $30 round turn.
This makes the ECN Zero account more expensive than the ECN account. The ECN account has floating spreads so the cost difference will depend on the commission you end up paying. While the spreads are lower; 0.1 pips = $1 ($2 round turn), the commissions ranges from $4 to $20. Meaning you could be paying between $6 ($2 + $4) or $22 ($2 + $20).
We don’t believe there is much value in using the ECN Zero account, the spreads are quite high, higher than even FXTMs standard spreads. If you get good value with the commissions of the FXTM ECN account then you could consider that account, otherwise, you are better to look at other forex brokers.
The pro account is recommended by FXTM for serious (semi-professional) retail investors, institutional traders, and hedge fund managers. To show ensure only serious traders use this account, a large minimum deposit of $25,000 will be required.
The FXTM Pro account offers a lot of flexibility for trading with no limitations on trading strategies such as scalping or hedging, no commissions, and the tightest spreads starting from 0 pips.
While this account has FXTM best spreads, With a minimum deposit of $25,000, is not a retail investor account. This account is best for serious professional investors and businesses.
FXTM gives you a choice of Metatrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platform for most FXTM trading accounts. The exception is the Standard cent account and stock CFD account which only allows MT4 and the ECN stocks account which only allows MT5.
MetaTrader 4 is a safe choice as it is the world’s most popular trading platform for traders and brokers. The popularity of this platform means you can be confident the platform offers all the essential features you will need for successful trading
MetaTrader 5 is an upgrade on MT4, it offers all the features MT4 offers and more. However, it is interesting to note that while MT5 is capable of offering a wider range of markets for trading than MT4, FXTM actually allows trading with more products when using MT4 than MT5.
Regardless of which version of MetaTrader you use, it is a versatile option as you can use the platform with Windows, Mac, mobile apps such as Android and iOS, and any browser through WebTrader.
All accounts are available in EUR, USD, and GBP and have no maximum deposit. When your position drops below the 80% maintenance margin you will receive a margin call to deposit enough cash into the position to bring your equity back up to the maintenance margin. If you do not do so, there is an automatic stop out at 50% where FXTM will automatically liquidate your position. There are several methods of depositing into your FXTM account being:
Many brokers offer demo accounts for beginners to learn how to use the platforms that they use and to learn how the broker operates. FXTM’s demo account provides traders with virtual money so you can simulate the trades you intend to make with real cash to see what the outcome would be.
You can use either the MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 trading platform with the demo account and choose the type of trading account you wish to test.
Maximum leverage will differ depending on if you are trading from the UK or Europe or outside this region. Traders outside the UK or Europe will find their leverage is tiered which means the larger your trade, the less low your maximum ratio can be.
If you choose the Standard account or stocks CFD account then your leverage will be fixed, all other accounts are floating
For traders in the UK and Europe, margin requirements are the same for all types of accounts except for stock CFD accounts which have fixed leverage of 1:5 for US shares and 1:3 for European shares.
Different financial instruments have different requirements in the UK and Europe (as regulated by the FCA and CysEC) and are as follows:
Leverage for other products include
Since there is no limit set by the regulator that the broker can offer, leverage is significantly higher than in the UK and Europe. Instead of set leverage for each financial instrument, you trade, FXTM uses scaled leverage which means the bigger your position, the lower the leverage you can use.
The screen below shows the available leverage, you can use for forex major pairs.
The FXTM brand encompasses Forextime Limited (Cyprus), Forextime UK Limited (the UK), and Exinity Limited (Mauritius). The FXTM subsidiary you sign with will depend on your country of residence. If you are in the UK for example you will open an account with Forextime UK Limited. If you are outside the UK or Europe you will join Exinity Limited. The FXTM subsidiary you sign with will also determine the regulation you get.
ForexTime is regulated in the following jurisdictions by the following financial authorities:
While the FCA, CySEC, and FSP are tier 1 or tier 2 regulators, the FSC is a tier 3 regulator which means the level of regulation (compared to other major regulators) is much lower. If you are trading from outside the UK or Europe, you will be trading with a broker using FSC. It is important to understand risks when trading with a broker using an offshore regulator.
FXTM is not regulated by other countries such as New Zealand by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), in Australia by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), or Canada by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC).
FXTM does not accept applicants whose country of residence is the USA, Canada, Mauritius, Japan, Suriname, Haiti, Suriname, Puerto Rico, the Democratic Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Brazil and the Occupied Area of Cyprus.
Forextime offers a range of free educational resources to FXTM traders such as daily market analysis which covers general market conditions, the economic calendar, trading conditions, and podcasts covering market updates.
Webinars are offered which bring together industry experts and beginner FXTM traders. In these webinars, tutorials are given on strategy. They also give beginner traders the opportunity to ask industry professionals and questions they may have. The eBooks that FXTM provides are also free. Unlike the webinars which seem to be targeted more towards beginners, the eBooks have content for beginner, intermediate and expert traders. Webinars aren’t always scheduled at a time that suits your time zone, so eBooks are a good self-learning alternative.
The educational videos that FXTM offer is well presented. They are presented in a series-like way where you start with the basics, move into fundamental and technical analysis, and progress from there. The trading strategy is talked about more towards the end of the series of educational videos.
FXTM offer a range of trading tools that help retail traders with their strategies such as:
FXTM has a strong focus on ensuring clients receive the support they need. For this reason, FXTM offers a range of options for those that need support. These include:
The messenger applications you can choose from are one of their most interesting features.
We have never seen a broker offer such as range of social tools to engage with customer support. FXTM customer service is also multi-lingual however FXTM doesn’t specify the available languages.
The only downside with customer support is that it is not 24/7. Traders in the UK receive customer support Mon-Fri 6:00 to 18:00 and traders outside the UK and Europe receive support Mon-Fri 24 hours (GMT+3).
Our review looked at each of the trading accounts FXTM offers. Overall, we believe you can get better value with other brokers for most of the accounts.
We feel the big weakness with FXTM is the lack of transparency with their spreads, it would be good if we could compare them with other brokers who do advertise their spreads. That said, FXTM does state how many pips the spreads for each account start from and these are higher than other brokers, which suggests they will be more pricey than their competitors.
If you are looking for Standard spreads, then we suggest you only consider the FXTM Standard account if you want instant execution and leverage of up to 1:2000 (if you are outside the UK/Europe).
If you are looking for ECN style spreads then FXTM ECN account can be a good deal as spreads can be as low as $4.00 round turn which is very good. This however comes with a major catch and that is that you need to have equity of over $500,000 in your account and be trading volumes of 150 or 250 million. Without meeting these condition, you are better to select a broker with tight spreads and commission cost that don’t rely on the amount of equity or volume you trade.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.