xm-review

XM Review 2023

  • 8.8

XM review summary

XM is a global forex and CFD broker regulated by Australia’s ASIC, CySEC of Cyprus, and Belizean authority IFSC. XM has low stock CFD and withdrawal fees. Account opening is user-friendly and fast. You can use many educational tools, such as webinars and a demo account. On the other hand, XM has a limited product portfolio as it offers mainly CFDs and forex trading. Its forex and stock index CFD fees are average, and there is no investor protection for clients onboarded outside the EU. BrokerChooser gave XM a 4.4/5 rating based on analyzing 500+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.

XM is a regulated broker, it is overseen by top-tier financial regulators in multiple countries . XM is also covered by investor protection in selected jurisdictions. We at BrokerChooser always test brokers with real money, including the withdrawal process.

Screenshot_1

XM is available in Pakistan

74.89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

XM pros and cons

Pros Cons
Low stock CFD and withdrawal fees Limited product portfolio
Easy and fast account opening Average forex and stock index CFD fees
Great educational tools No investor protection for non-EU clients

XM main highlights

🗺️ Country of regulationCyprus, Australia, Belize, United Arab Emirates
💰 Trading fees classLow
💰 Inactivity fee chargedYes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount$0
💰 Minimum deposit$5
🕖 Time to open an account1 day
💳 Deposit with bank cardAvailable
👛 Depositing with electronic walletAvailable
💱 Number of base currencies supported10
🎮 Demo account provided
Yes

74.89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

🛍️ Products offeredForex, CFD, Real stocks for clients under Belize (IFSC)

To read much more details about the broker’s services and features, expand on the sections below.

Our overall TD Ameritrade Review rating
  • 8.8

  • Fees
    8.6
  • Account opening
    10
  • Deposit and withdrawal
    10
  • WebTrading platform
    5.6
  • Mobile trading platform
    7.6
  • Desktop trading platform
    6.8
  • Markets and products
    5
  • Research
    8.8
  • Customer service
    10
  • Education
    9
XM review

Fees

XM has low trading fees for CFDs and charges no withdrawal fee. On the other hand, forex and stock index fees are only average, and there is a fee for inactivity.

Pros Cons
No withdrawal fee Inactivity fee
Low stock CFD fees Average FX fees
XM fees snapshot
AssetsFee levelFee terms
S&P 500 CFDLowThe fees are built into the spread, 0.4 points is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
Europe 50 CFDAverageThe fees are built into the spread, 2.5 points is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
EURUSDAverageWith Standard, Micro, and Ultra-Low accounts the fees are built into the spread. 1.7 pips is the Standard account’s average spread cost during peak trading hours. With XM Zero accounts, there is a $3.5 commission per lot per trade and a small spread cost.
Inactivity feeLow$15 one-off maintenance fee after one year of inactivity, followed by $5 per month fee if the account remains inactive

How we ranked fees

We ranked XM’s fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let’s go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of XM for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading the most important fees are spreads, commissions and financing rates.

We also compared XM’s fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, FxPro and Admirals (Admiral Markets). This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of XM alternatives.

To have a clear overview of XM, let’s start with the trading fees.

XM trading fees

XM trading fees are average. XM has many account types, which all differ in pricing. The Standard, Micro, and Ultra Low accounts charge higher spreads but there is no commission. The XM Zero account charges lower spreads, but there is a commission. The following calculations were made using the Standard account.

We know it’s hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compared brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We chose popular instruments within each asset class:

  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50
  • Stock CFDs: Apple and Vodafone
  • Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP

A typical trade means buying a leveraged position, holding it for one week and then selling. For volume, we chose a $2,000 position for stock index and stock CFDs, and $20,000 for forex transactions. The leverage we used was:

  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs
  • 5:1 for stock CFDs
  • 30:1 for forex

These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers. Let’s see the verdict for XM fees.

CFD fees

XM has low stock CFD, while average stock index CFD fees.

XM CFD fees for a $2,000 long position held for one week
XM FxPro Admirals (Admiral Markets)
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.5 $1.1 $1.4
Europe 50 index CFD fee $3.1 $1.2 $1.4
Apple CFD fee $6.7 $9.4 $5.3
Vodafone CFD fee $2.3 $14.7 $14.2

Forex fees

XM’s forex fees are average compared to its competitors.

XM forex benchmark fees of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
XM FxPro Admirals (Admiral Markets)
EURUSD benchmark fee $17.5 $8.5 $8.9
GBPUSD benchmark fee $12.2 $6.7 $6.6
AUDUSD benchmark fee $14.5 $11.3 $8.1
EURCHF benchmark fee $6.3 $7.4 $5.8
EURGBP benchmark fee $15.5 $9.8 $10.0

Real stock fees

Clients onboarded under IFSC can also trade real stocks using the Shares Account. The commissions are volume-tiered with a minimum fee.

XM stock commission
Stock marketCommissionMinimum commission
USA$0.04 per share$1
UK0.10%$9
Germany0.10%$5

Non-trading fees

XM has average non-trading fees. There is no account fee and XM charges no withdrawal fee in most cases, though bank withdrawals below $200 carry a $15 fee.

There is a $15 one-off maintenance fee after 1 year of inactivity, and this is followed by a $5 monthly fee if the account remains inactive.

XM non-trading fees
XM FxPro Admirals (Admiral Markets)
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes Yes Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0
XM review

Account opening

XM account opening is hassle-free and straightforward. You may be able to start using your account already on the same day.

Pros Cons
Fast None
Fully digital
Low minimum deposit

74.89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

XM accepts customers from all over the world. There are a few exceptions though; among others, you can’t open an account from the USA, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand or Israel.

What is the minimum deposit at XM?

The required XM minimum deposit is $5 for two XM Account types (Micro, Standard), which is very low, and $100 for the XM Zero account.

Account types

XM offers many account types, which differ in pricing, base currencies, minimum deposit and contract size.

XM account types
 MicroStandardXM ZeroShares Account
Client countryEEA
Australia
Other countries
EEA
Australia
Other countries
EAANon-EEA and non-Australian clients
PricingNo commission, but higher spreadNo commission, but higher spreadThere is a commission, but the spread is very lowMarket spread and commission
Base currenciesUSD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF,‎
AUD, HUF, PLN, SGD, ZAR
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF,‎
AUD, HUF, PLN, SGD, ZAR
USD, EUR, JPYUSD
Minimum deposit$5$5$100$10,000
Contract size1 Lot = 1,0001 Lot = 100,0001 Lot = 100,0001 share

Islamic or swap-free accounts are also available. With Islamic accounts, a flat commission is charged if you hold your leveraged position overnight instead of the percentage-based financing rates.

XM doesn’t offer corporate accounts. If you sign up for a non-European entity, you will not be eligible for European client protection measures.

How to open your account

XM account opening is fully digital, fast and straightforward. You can fill out the online application form in 20 minutes. Our account was verified on the same day.

You can select many languages other than English:

XM account open languages
ArabicBengaliChineseCzechDutch
FilipinoFrenchGermanGreekHungarian
IndonesianItalianKoreanMalayPolish
PortugueseRussianSpanishSwedishThai
Vietnamese    

To open an account at XM, you have to go through these steps:

  1. Fill in your name, country of residence, email address and telephone number.
  2. Select the trading platform (MT4 or MT5) and account type.
  3. Add your personal information, such as your date of birth and address.
  4. Select the base currency and the size of the leverage.
  5. Provide your financial information and answer questions about your financial knowledge.
  6. Verify your identity and residency. You can upload a copy of your national ID, passport or driver’s license to verify your identity, while utility bills and bank statements are accepted as proof of residency.

ActivTrades review – Account opening

Our best alternatives to XM are:

The highest ranking competitors are:

  1. FxPro full review
  2. Admirals (Admiral Markets) full review
  3. FP Markets full review
  4. Markets.com full review
XM review

Deposit and withdrawal

XM’s deposit and withdrawal processes are fast and inexpensive, and offer you several options.

Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available None
Several account base currencies
Free wire withdrawal above $200

Account base currencies

At XM, you can choose from 9 base currencies. The available base currencies are:

XM base currencies
EURUSDGBPCHF
JPYAUDSGDPLN
HUFZAR  
Base currencies at XM vs similar brokers
XM FxPro Admirals (Admiral Markets)
Number of base currencies 10 8 11

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don’t have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. These usually offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates, as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Deposit fees and options

XM charges no deposit fees. You can use bank transfers and credit/debit cards for depositing funds. Clients onboarded under IFSC can also deposit using the SticPay electronic wallet.

XM deposit options
XM FxPro Admirals (Admiral Markets)
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

XM review – Deposit and withdrawal – Deposit

XM withdrawal fees and options

XM charges no withdrawal fees. The only exception is bank (wire) transfers below $200, which incur a $15 fee.

XM withdrawal fees and options
XM FxPro Admirals (Admiral Markets)
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

For credit/debit cards and electronic wallets (Skrill, Neteller), the withdrawal amount cannot exceed the amount you deposited using the same instrument. This means that you can only withdraw your trading profits via bank transfer.

How long does it take to withdraw money from XM? We tested debit card withdrawal and it took 2 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts that are in your name.

How do you withdraw money from XM?

  • Log in to your account
  • Go to ‘Withdraw Funds’
  • Select the withdrawal method
  • Enter the withdrawal amount
XM review

Web trading platform

XM’s web trading platform is provided by MetaTrader. It is highly customizable and has a clear fee report. On the other hand, the platform lacks price alerts and the design is outdated.

Pros Cons
Clear fee report No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) No price alerts
Order confirmation Poor design
XM platforms to choose from
Trading platformScoreAvailable
Web
2.8
stars
Yes
Mobile
3.8
stars
Yes
Desktop
3.4
stars
Yes

XM does not have its own trading platform; instead, it uses third-party platforms: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. These platforms are very similar to each other in functionality and design. One major difference is that you can’t trade stock CFDs on MetaTrader 4, only on MetaTrader 5.

We tested the MetaTrader 4 platform as it is more widely used.

MetaTrader 4 is available in an exceptionally large number of languages.

XM web trading platform languages
ArabicBulgarianChineseCroatianCzechDanish
DutchEnglishEstonianFinnishFrenchGerman
GreekHebrewHindiHungarianIndonesianItalian
JapaneseKoreanLatvianLithuanianMalayMongolian
PersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbian
SlovakSlovenianSpanishSwedishTajikThai
Traditional ChineseTurkishUkrainianUzbekVietnamese 

Look and feel

The XM web trading platform has great customizability. It is easy to change the size and the position of the tabs.

However, the platform feels outdated and some features are hard to find. For example, it took us a while to figure out how to add an asset to the watchlist.

XM review – Web trading platform

Login and security

XM requires two-step authentication for the account login on the website where you can deposit and withdraw. The trading platform itself, however, doesn’t have two-step authentication.

Search functions

The search functions are OK. You can find assets grouped into various categories. However, we missed the usual search function where you can type in the name of an asset manually.

XM review – Web trading platform – Search

Placing orders

You can use all the basic order types. However, you won’t find more sophisticated order types such as ‘one-cancels-the-other’. The following order types are available:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Trailing Stop

Trailing Stop is available only in the MT4 desktop platform

To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good ’til canceled (GTC)
  • Good ’til time (GTT)

XM review – Web trading platform – Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You cannot set alerts and notifications on the XM web trading platform. This feature is available only on the desktop trading platform.

Portfolio and fee reports

XM has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can easily see your profit-loss balance and the commissions you paid. These reports can be found under the ‘History’ tab. We couldn’t find a way to download them.

74.89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

XM review

Mobile trading platform

XM has a great mobile trading platform, offered by MetaTrader 4. It is a well-designed and user-friendly platform with a good search function. However, Touch/Face ID login is not supported.

Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function No Touch/Face ID login
Price alerts

XM offers MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 mobile trading platforms. Similarly to the web trading platform, we tested the MetaTrader 4 platform on Android.

Once you have downloaded the MT4 mobile trading platform, you should access the relevant XM server.

Just like on the web trading platform, you can choose from many languages on the mobile trading platform as well. Changing the language is a bit tricky on Android devices, as you can do it only if you switch the default language of your mobile.

XM mobile trading platform languages
Arabic Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Czech English
French German Greek Hindi Indonesian
Italian Japanese Korean Polish Portuguese
Portuguese (Brazil) Russian Spanish Thai Turkish
Ukrainian Vietnamese      

Look and feel

XM has a great mobile trading platform, we really liked its design and user-friendliness. It is easy to find all the features it provides.

XM review – Mobile trading platform

Login and security

XM requires only one-step login for the platform, but provides two-step account login to access deposit and withdrawal functions. A two-step login procedure for the trading platform would be safer.

You can’t use fingerprint or Face ID authentication. Offering this feature would be more convenient.

Search functions

The search functions are good. You can search by typing the name of the product or by navigating the category folders.

XM review – Mobile trading platform – Search

Placing orders

You can use the same order types and order time limits as on the web trading platform. 

XM review – Mobile trading platform – Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications for your mobile, although only through the desktop trading platform. It would be much easier if you could set these notifications on the mobile trading platform as well.

74.89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

XM review

Desktop trading platform

In design and functionality, XM’s MetaTrader 4 desktop platform is almost the same as the web trading platform. One major difference is that you can set price alerts on the desktop trading platform.

Pros Cons
Clear fee report No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) Outdated design
Price alerts Search function could be better

For desktop trading too, you can use the MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms; we tested MetaTrader 4.

It has the same design, is available in the same languages, offers the same order types, has the same search functions, and offers the same portfolio and fee reports as the web trading platform.

The desktop trading platform doesn’t have two-step authentication; however, XM provides a two-step account login procedure on the website where you can deposit and withdraw funds.

The major difference is that you can set alerts and notifications on the desktop trading platform in the form of mobile push and email notifications. To set these, you have to add your email address and mobile MetaQuotes ID (you can find it in the MT4 app’s settings). You can add them if you go to ‘Tools’ and then ‘Options’.

XM review – Desktop trading platform

74.89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

XM review

Markets and products

CFDs and forex are available for all clients, but real stocks only for clients under the IFSC-regulated entity. Popular asset classes, like real ETFs, bonds or options are missing.

XM is a CFD and forex broker with a great number of currency pairs available for trading. However, the CFD selection is lower compared to some XM alternatives.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74.89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ActivTrades product selection
ActivTrades Admirals (Admiral Markets) FxPro
Currency pairs (#) 49 47 70
Stock index CFDs (#) 27 43 29
Stock CFDs (#) 660 3,252 1,700
ETF CFDs (#) 500 372
Commodity CFDs (#) 22 28 25
Bond CFDs (#) 7 2
Futures CFDs (#)
Cryptos (#) 16 42 30

You can change leverage levels, which is great. Changing the leverage is a useful feature when you want to lower the risk of your trade. Be careful with forex and CFD trading, as the preset leverage levels are high.

ActivTrades offers access to 10 stock CFD markets. This is an average selection compared to its competitors.

ActivTrades review

Research

ActivTrades’s selection of research tools is average, but they are user-friendly. Charting and other technical tools, like APIs, are great. However, there are no trading ideas or fundamental data.

Pros Cons
Good interactive chart No trading ideas
User-friendly No fundamental data available
Good set of analytical tools No/poor quality news flow

Research tools are available on the website and on the trading platform. We’ve tested the research tools only on ActivTrades’s own platform.

Trading ideas

ActivTrades does not provide trading ideas. There are some short market analysis articles and videos on the website. These are commentaries rather than deep insights into certain developments. They don’t include clear trade ideas or recommendations.

Fundamental data

ActivTrades does not offer fundamental data.

Charting

ActivTrades has good charting tools, including a wide selection of 103 technical indicators.

ActivTrades review – Research – Charting

News feed

There is an economic calendar on the website, under the ‘Markets’ tab. The calendar helps clients monitor the most important events all over the world. You can filter the news by countries, even types, and impact. On the downside, there’s no historical data to these events. You cannot look up, for example, historical US inflation data. 

Other research tools you may enjoy

There are other technical tools, like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which help implement an automated trading strategy. APIs allow traders to directly connect their screening software with their broker account to place orders. 

You can see the number of long/short (buy/sell) positions in the search bar. This is a good sentiment indicator to gauge the market mood.

ActivTrades review – Research – Market Sentiment

ActivTrades review

Customer service

ActivTrades offers several customer service channels. We found the live chat to be fast and relevant, and emails are also answered within a day. We missed however 24/7 availability.

Pros Cons
Phone support No 24/7 support
Live chat
Fast response time

ActivTrades providers several customer service channels. You can contact them via:

  • live chat
  • phone
  • email

ActivTrades has a fast live chat. The relevance of the answers was satisfactory. However, they ask for contact details (email, phone) before answering, which we found a bit annoying.

ActivTrades’s phone support was fast and we got relevant answers. The agent was very helpful, giving detailed answers to our questions and even sending a follow-up email. 

By email we also got quick and relevant answers.

We missed however 24/7 availability, as customer service is only 24/5. 

ActivTrades review – Customer Service

74-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review

Education

ActivTrades has great educational content, including webinars, manuals, a demo account to test your skills, and one-on-one training where you can chat with an expert.

Pros Cons
Demo account None
Trading platform tutorial
Educational videos

ActivTrades provides the following learning tools:

  • Demo account
  • One to one training
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars and seminars
  • Quality educational articles

We think that the demo accounts are the most useful because they allow you to become familiar with the platform and its features without any risks.

ActivTrades provide one to one training, where you can chat with an expert online. This is a personalized education session to help you understand the main features of the trading platform. This is a very special service, as individual coaching is not at all common at other brokers. 

ActivTrades review – Education

74-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review

Safety

ActivTrades is regulated by several financial authorities including the top-tier FCA, but it is not listed on any stock exchange and its financial information is not publicly available.

Pros Cons
Negative balance protection Does not hold a banking license
Regulators include top-tier FCA Not listed on stock exchange
Financial information is not publicly available

Is ActivTrades regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) of Luxembourg, and The Securities Commission of the Bahamas.

Is ActivTrades safe?

To be certain if a brokerage is safe, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

ActivTrades has three entities that are all regulated. The amount of investor protection depends on where you open an account. 

ActivTrades investor protection
Country of clientsProtection amountRegulatorLegal entity
UK£85,000Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)ActivTrades Plc
European countries€100,000 for cash deposits, €20,000 for securitiesCommission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF)ActivTrades Europe SA
Other countriesNo protectionThe Securities Commission of the BahamasActivTrades Corp

ActivTrades provides negative balance protection. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you will be protected.

In addition to the protection that for example UK retail investors get by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), ActivTrades has purchased, at no direct cost to clients, separate insurance protection from Lloyd’s of London. This provides up to £/$/€ 1 million per client additional coverage and applies to all clients, regardless of which entity they are under.

Background

ActivTrades was established in 2001. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Being regulated by the top-tier FCA and being in operation for a long time are all great signs for ActivTrades’s safety.

ActivTrades review

Bottom line

All in all, ActivTrades is a good CFD/forex broker.

ActivTrades has low trading fees. The account opening is excellent and the deposits and withdrawals are free.

On the downside, its product portfolio is limited to just a few products, as it offers mainly CFDs and forex instruments. Research tools are basic, and there are no trading ideas or fundamental data. There is an inactivity fee as well as a charge for currency conversion.

As trading fees are low and your account will be ready quickly, we encourage you to try ActivTrades.

74-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review

FAQ

We recommend ActivTrades for forex and CFD traders looking for low fees and great deposit/withdrawal conditions.

Below you can find links to all aspects of ActivTrades in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our ActivTrades fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the ActivTrades minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your ActivTrades account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the ActivTrades account opening.

How’s their trading app?

Here’s our expert view after checking the ActivTrades trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the ActivTrades customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is ActivTrades legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether ActivTrades is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is ActivTrades good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on ActivTrades?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on ActivTrades guide

I want to trade options, are they available at ActivTrades?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on ActivTrades?

What is the minimum account balance at ActivTrades?

Check out the current account balance requirements at ActivTrades in our What is the minimum account balance at ActivTrades article.

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