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FXCM is one of the largest (over $100 million in firm capital) and best known forex brokers in the business. Featuring straight-through processing, multiple trading platforms including the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4), FXCMs own downloadable FXCM Trading Station or Active Trader, as well as a Java platform that is compatible with Macs. Each platform has its own advantages, depending on your trading style.

MT4 is preferred by automated system traders and those already familiar with it, while FXCM Trading Station is generally preferred by serious discretionary traders because of some excellent features such as one-click order execution, partial fills and server-side trailing stops (that is, your platform does not have to be running for trailing stops to be valid). Since FXCM uses straight-through processing for all orders, there are no restrictions on trading style: orders can be placed anywhere (even inside the spread), scalping is fair game, and trading is available during news times (although spreads will most likely widen). All in all, FXCM is among the very few forex brokers that can be recommended to anyone. Smaller account holders can now be accommodated by FXCM's sister broker FXCM Micro, although order processing there is not straight through and orders may or may not be offset or held in-house.

FXCM is now publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), making it one of the most transparent and accountable forex brokers in the world.

* The high degree of leverage available in foreign exchange trading can work against you as well as for you. Investors should ensure they are fully aware of the benefits and risks before putting any money on the line.

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