Oanda v. FXCM

Ok, I know all of the Oanda lovers couldn’t wait for this thread. From what I’ve read on this forum, Oanda is the ultimate, absolute best broker ever! In fact, I was already to join the bandwagon until I saw this scary post at fxfisherman.com


Now, everyone makes mistakes. But this is a bit much don’t you think? And, the question remains, how can this “manual” error happen when it’s a no dealing desk automated setup?

I wanted to switch from FXCM to Oanda for 3 reasons:

  1. Lower spreads (well sort of, see above)
  2. Ability to use metatrader with Oanda feed (haven’t figured out how to do this, but I hear it can be done)
  3. Their bill of trader rights

So there it is…let the fireworks begin.

I’ll have to disagree. Do not make something a doctrine because you ‘think’ its the best. I would appreciate it if you would note that ‘Its your own personal opinion’ due to a lot of people making silly things ‘facts’ such as… ‘eeevooolluuuttiionn…’. RIGHT.



Please read the entire post before commenting. I never stated anything was best.

yep thats the reason i didnt go with them. variable spreads is just asking for trouble

I have been with FXCM for about 6 months now and I have to say that I am very satisfied. There customer service is outstanding and they will help you at the drop of a dime. They have very reasonable spreads that only go up a few pips in a volatile market, and in the rare occasion that they make a mistake with something, they will credit your account for the money you had invested. e.g. There trading platform was down on a Sunday night, and anyone who lost money could get that money put back in there account.

Yesterday I found Oanda, and I was impressed from the moment I got on the website. The live chart they offer directly on the trading platform, lower spreads, and you don’t have to switch from a mini account to a standard if you are a newbie. You can enter $1 or $1,000 per pip, it does not matter.

However, with all of that factored in, I looked at the past 7 days for their spreads and just for EUR/USD you could get it at a 1.2 spread two times last week. From there it ranged from 3 to 15 for the spread, and it did hit 15 three times! I am torn, because I love everything that Oanda has to offer, but I don’t think I can handle a 15 pip spread when I could get a steady 3 or 4 pip spread at the highest through FXCM.

I would love to here from anyone that has used Oanda, and tell me what you think.

Shame on you
Publishing misleading information
As you claim,
1.we only can get spread 1.2pip per week
Truth is:We can get that spread whole weekday except at news time.

2.past 7 days for their spreads and just for EUR/USD you could get it at a 1.2
spread two times last week. From there it ranged from 3 to 15 for
the spread, and it did hit 15 three times! I am
torn, because I love everything that Oanda has to offer, but I don’t think I
can handle a 15 pip spread when I could get a steady 3 or 4 pip spread at
the highest through FXCM.
Truth is:Oanda maintain 1.2pips on E/U all the time whole weekday except
at news time.you all can check it at here EUR/USD Spread
or you can see the picture below.


slba34g is probably an FXCM shill.

here’s some more info re/ FXCM. check this out. these guys are so arrogant and sure of their scam they are starting to trip up.

on dailyfx.com i posted a series of questions to the 2 FXCM currency strategists re. ECN (Electronic Communications Network) vs. MM (market maker), also re. FXCM’s NDD (no-dealing-desk) platform vs. ECN vs. their other product, PropFx (which they tout as an ECN during the Q&A session–it doesn’t say so on their website). go to this page and scroll to the bottom or search for ‘triantus’ and you’ll get all my questions:


and you can find FXCM’s sr. currency strategist’s recorded answers here–search for the user name ‘dailyfx analyst’ and there you’ll find the link to the recorded Q&A (my questions get answered towards the end of the recording, after 23 mins or so after the start):


now, pay particular attention to his delivery and how he phrases things and shirks some questions. that will tell you all you need to know right there.

and if that were not enough, note that he recommends the professional platform, PropFx, for scalping and explicitly says the new NDD platform is best suited, of all things, for position trading!! if you can believe it. thus implying the new NDD platform they just released isn’t suited for scalping even though their own website explicitly states: ‘scalp the market w/ no restrictions on order placement.’ (source: FXCM Advantage | More Banks | Tighter Spreads | Size and Financial Strength)

considering that most NDD users will be novices and probably underfunded, guess what will happen if such users try position trading. they can’t possibly win, but in the end only lose their shirts. interesting then that they reinforce the idea that NDD users should be looking at using the NDD platform for position trading and not scalping. mmhhh i wonder why. :rolleyes:

for those who still have no clue, i’d recommend you read drforex’s book, which is advertised on this site. (go to Forex | Forex Trading | Currency Trading | GoForex and search for ‘What’s Hot’).

i’m just finishing it and can say this: great for beginners; puts all this fx circus in the right perspective and explains why the MMs don’t have your best interest in mind and will prefer to see you lose your shirt rather than win.

finally, the best spreads available anywhere are w/ ECNs: efxgroup, hotspotfx, dukascopy.

trade wisely

p.s. : for whatever reason the last 2 links instead of appearing as URLs get changed to the respective website title page info. just click on them & you’ll get there.

I apologize for being incorrect in my previous posting. I was going off memory when I said that EUR/USD hit a 15 spread 3 times and it was only two times.

Like I said in my previous post, I just started trading about 6 months ago with FXCM and tried a few other companies but there were things that kept on bringing me back to FXCM.

That being said, that does not mean that they are the best company to trade with. So far I am very impressed with Oanda and I am honestly thinking about switching. Before I make that move to Oanda I would like to hear of any experiences people have had with them, or if they are a reputable company.

Thanks for your input!

I thought about switching to Oanda as well which is why I started this thread. I hoped to get some constructive pros and cons. I opened an Oanda demo account but went back to FXCM. No offense to Oanda, I just like the FXCM platform better. Also, that comment by an OANDA user at the link I provided made me think twice. Also, just my opinion here, but I think FXCM’s plug-in charting package is the best free charting software I’ve seen. I tried metatrader and hated it. Unless you’re a professional programmer, it didn’t make much sense. There are other services that will alert you by mobile phone if you want it. Finally, I don’t know about Oanda’s service, but I can say FXCM’s service is excellent. I just click the chat button and every time I’ve gotten an instant response.

Also, the previous poster may have a point about scalping. But I don’t scalp the market. If I were scalping, I’d find the lowest spread dealer I could find. This is not FXCM. I’ve found them to be frank and honest in my dealings with them.

Let’s face it, one broker does not fit all trading styles.

tat is really alot of slippage 15 pips :o

Oanda spread just hit 15 a few minutes ago. Stopped me out of a position because I had just moved up my SL to lock in profits right before the 15pip spread. :mad:


let’s get real. if you want the best spreads and the best EXECUTION, then go w/ an ECN (dukascopy, hotspotfx, efx group are the few i heard of).

ECN spreads are better b/c their profit model is different from MMs (market makers). 1 way the MMs make $ is through the spread and by manipulating that spread (to their advantage of course). not to mention running your stops.

and if you hear a/b sth like no-dealing-desk (NDD), while it sounds great, unfortunately the spread is still controlled carefully by the MM. meaning: the MM can make whatever price they want… and you still trade w/i the MM’s market where the MM becomes the counterpart in your trade. the MM then aggregates all customer orders and puts them out on the interbank market under the MM’s name.

so basically, if your broker doesn’t offer you 100% total transparency and true STP (straight-through-processing), you are basically betting/hoping they will be honest w/ you and not take advantage of all the knowledge they have a/b your positions. do you really think MMs are so ethical that they will not be tempted?

yeah, right.

You know what’s really funny? Triantus is a new member on several forums and he has been posting the exact same message on all of them…and he only posted that one time on the DailyFX Forum…I think you are clearly working for a competitor and trying to slander certain firms…and promote others, they should ban you from the forums

I am an amateur trader and I have not used FXCM yet, but so far I have been with Oanda for six months and don’t have any major complaints. I don’t trade the news so I don’t really care about the varying spreads, but I do wish they you could leverage up to 100 or 200 to 1 like most brokers.

Oanda has slickest, most well presented, logical and easy to understand platform out there. Aside from the spreads at news time, they have the best spreads HANDS DOWN. No minimum accounts sizes are nice too. For the newbie/amateur trader, it is the logical choice.

Oanda deals in nearly every currency pair out there while FXCM and the others are mainly limited to the six majors. Trade interest on the EUR/TRY is unbelievable at an astounding 11.275% interest rate differential, yet only Oanda offers this pair. Buying $2000 worth of margin (at 50:1) will net you over $34.40 a day in trade interest while the vaunted AUD/JPY pair will only get you $14.27 for the same amount of money!

Although many of the reviews are questionable, you can get a decent idea of what brokers are like from the site below. FXCM was essentially rated THE WORST MAJOR BROKER OUT THERE with 1 out 5 stars while Oanda was rated 2 stars.

Forex Broker Reviews

If Triantus is working for a competitor at least he is telling the truth. 100% is true, and I would be spreading the word also. The days of getting ripped of by brokers who manipulate prices is coming to an end. Only the uninformed with be left behind. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions before your money is sucked dry by the broker. I suppose I must work for a competitor also?

Some reading to get you started:
Identifying Dealing Desk Brokers

There are three simple ways to identify a dealing desk.

  1. Fixed spreads. (If they’re fixed, someone controls pricing which invites brokr induced silppage and reorders whether its the broker or a liquidity provider.)

  2. Promotes commission free trading. (Total misrepresentation.)

  3. Single quote per currency pair. (Provides a broker an extraordinary measure of control.)

It’ s important it be understood that non-dealing desk trading is a relatively new phenomenon. There are only a small handful of brokers that even begin to measure up and even then I’m not convinced all those talking the game are really offering it.

Explanations from a NDD broker PART 1

For Everyone, PART 1

There are many keys to understanding the Forex markets, and there are many parallels between the Forex markets today and the stock market back in 1995 and 1996 when ECN technology like ISLD and ARCA were coming about. The non-deal-desk system is the really the beginning step of the process of making the Forex markets a truly �transparent� market with �best pricing� available electronically straight to the customer. In order for there to ultimately be a true market for Forex (such as exists for stocks and futures); companies will need to take several steps to move away from the traditional (and rigged) deal desk systems. I�d like to discuss many of those steps now.

I do want to say up front that I work for a non-deal-desk platform (EFX GROUP / MBTF). I don�t want there to be any confusion about that. If someone thinks that any of my points are biased because I work for a NDD platform and not a traditional deal desk platform, I�d be happy to discuss it with them here or in private, and I will respond to any comments/questions.

These are the things that I think separate a true NDD platform, such as ours, from other platforms, and then I have some comments about the Forex market and the average Forex trader beyond that.

  1. Direct access to the biggest piece of the market possible. This is really the key to it all. A deal desk is basically a trader trading against a professional on a desk who can decide when and when not to sell to them. An NDD platform, before everything else, has no one working for the platform whose job and income are based on making money against the clients of the firm. When we execute a trade, it is executed purely electronically, without bias, without human intervention, and at the best price that our system could find at the time. I think this little fact is something that people overlook. We are paid on the commission on the trade, just like in the stock, futures, and options markets. Our incentive is therefore to get the best price possible to keep the customers happy. Deal desk platforms operate in an entirely different manner. They only make money when the clients lose money. Playing with a deal desk is like gambling in Vegas. It always favors the house because of the spread. They control if and when you get executed. We have interest in the spreads being tight and the executions being the best that they can be. In fact, the better that we do for our clients, the better that we do overall.

  2. Execution should be no different whether you are closing or opening a trade. Many of the traditional deal desk platforms separate positions as �open� versus �closing,� which is what leads to something like �hedging.� The reason that they do this is because they believe that the average Forex client loses 6.7% per month in Forex (NOTE: that is the average based on their system, which means some people make and some people lose). Therefore, when someone is closing a position, they usually just accept the other side. When someone is entering a position, they might not. Why should this be the case? Why should someone who is long the EURUSD and selling it get a better fill than someone who is shorting the EURUSD at the same moment? They shouldn�t. I�ll talk about hedging in a moment.

  3. A related point here is therefore anonymity. The system should not care where the trade is coming from. It should not care whether that person is starting a new position or closing an existing one in the same direction. Try opening an account with a deal desk platform and trading for six months. If you are making money, then open a second account under a different name. Try to buy in both accounts at the same time. The new account will get filled, while the account that is making money might get slipped or requoted at the same moment. Why is this the case? Because the platforms (all of them) profile their clients, trade against them, and make sure that the clients who are making money start to get worse fills. Remember that if you were the guy on the desk and you took the opposite side of every trade, you would want to slow down the people that were making money too because they are making money against you by default. A true NDD platform shouldn�t care who the trade is coming from when it executes. I can tell you right now that when it comes to the EFX GROUP / MBTF system, a sell order to close a long position and a short order that are put in simultaneously on the EURUSD will be filled at the prevailing market price together, period.

  4. No requoting. Deal desks mark certain accounts as �A list� clients. This means that the clients are good traders that are showing signs of being successful. �B list� clients are the rest of the client base. �B list� clients are set to auto-execute against the platform because they lose on average. �A list� clients are not. In fact, “A list” clients in a fast market are often shown pop-up windows that say �The price is no longer here, would you prefer to pay this price.� NDD platforms never requote. Either the order is marketable, or it isn�t.

  5. A non-dealing desk system lets you know everything that they are making off of you. Would I rather trade on a deal desk, where I spend 3 pips to buy the EURUSD, and then later, 3 pips to sell the EURUSD, or would I rather trade on a system that lets me get executed by the true market, which includes customers and banks, with the narrowest spreads possible, and get charged a fee. The answer is the latter.

  6. ECN vs. STP vs. Deal Desk. It needs to be made clear that there are really more than two types of platforms. A deal desk is a fixed spread platform where the desk makes their money in the spread trading against all of their customers. This rigs the market against the retail trader because they aren�t seeing true market quotes. The platform can move their quote wherever they need if they want to fill the client. STP (Straight Through Processing) platforms execute directly from the retail client to the banks. The more banks and liquidity in the system, the better the fills for the customer. ECN (Electronic Communications Network) platforms let customer orders interact with other customer orders. Non-deal-desk (NDD) platforms are either the second or third type of platform. EFX GROUP / MBTF are both. We have over a dozen banks in our network which customers execute against directly (STP), but we now also allow customers to hit other customers (ECN) inside of the standard pip increments of the banks. We do not shave anything against customer executions.

Please see PART II

(Continued from PART 1)

Having said all of that, I�d like to make a few additional points about the Forex markets, execution, and our platform. In reality, the retail Forex world is made up largely of unsophisticated traders who have not traded anything before. You can usually recognize these people because they are looking to trade at higher margin levels and expect executions that the market cannot provide.

The Forex markets are more highly leveraged than the futures market. We offer 100 to 1 leverage. Professionals rarely use 20 to 1 leverage. Retail traders with no experience are constantly looking for higher leverage, up to 400 to 1, which shows their lack of experience. Few of these traders last long in the Forex markets.

In addition, there are many people who think that they are �entitled� to fills because they want to buy at certain prices. This happens most commonly on �news spikes� due to economic data. People try to place market orders on the news and then are surprised if their fills arrive within a split second, but 30 or 40 or 50 pips away from where the market was before the news. Few of these people actually understand what they are trading.

Let�s consider a few points.

In exchange rate terms, $0.01 of movement between the Euro and USD is 100 pips. That means that if news comes out and the EURUSD moves 30 pips in a second, that�s $0.003. In other words, it is not measurable in real terms. However, a trader trading at 100 to 1 margin may expect that they should be filled at a price that existed before the news hit.

When I ask traders if they would be willing to sell the EURUSD at the price it was trading at before news hit that caused a 30 pip spike, they say no. But they expect that banks will make those prices available. In other words, they aren�t willing to accept the consequences of a �market.� Trading on economic news in the Forex world is the most dangerous type of trading that one can do. Having said that, let�s consider what the various platforms offer to protect the trader.

Traditional deal desk platforms offer very little in this regard. The trader is either buying or selling or doing nothing. Orders are largely market and stop (market) orders. However, STP and ECN platforms (which are both NDD platforms, and EFX handles BOTH of these types of orders) execute any marketable orders instantaneously. That means if you are a buyer at the market and there is a seller at a price and no one has bought from him/her ahead of you, you are filled at that price. It is a true market. There is nothing that says that you deserved to get filled 20 pips back because that would have made you money.

The Forex market has come a long way in the last two years. Traders should look for platforms that offer the following:

  1. Fraud protection in the form of Fidelity bonds.

  2. Segregation of client money.

  3. True executions.

  4. Lots of liquidity.

  5. A good variety of order types, which professional traders should use to control their risk. No one should EVER place a market order when they can limit themselves to fills 5 or 10 pips above the market.

On a true STP/ECN Forex platform, no trader that understands executions should ever have issues with getting extremely bad fills (slippage). Everything should be in-line.

I have spent a lot of time watching thousands of people trade the Forex markets. Forex is a very exciting market with massive liquidity. With platforms like EFX GROUP / MBTF, which offer true STP and ECN technology, it should be a true �trader�s market,� as long as that doesn�t suggest to traders that they are entitled to fills that don�t exist in fast markets or that reckless use of market orders should always be rewarded.

When the exchange rate between the Euro and the US Dollar moves $0.01 in a day, that�s 100 pips. This is a microscopic move that is only remotely tradable because of the leverage used in the Forex markets.

I think a lot of people have expectations that go well beyond reason when it comes to the Forex markets.

To summarize.

I think that things are moving closer to a centralized market place with good regulation about the limits to which a seller or buyer can price themselves away from the market but still fill a retail client.

I think within a year or two, platforms like EFX GROUP / MBTF will have completely altered the landscape of Forex just like ISLD and ARCA did in the US stock market back in 1995-7. In the meantime, stick to the platform that safeguards your money, gives you the most options, and provides you with direct, unhindered access to the liquidity that is out there. Make sure that your funds are secure from fraud and protected from co-mingling with your platform. Make sure that your funds are held on-shore, not off-shore.

With all of that, it�s just about your trading skills.

Justin LeBlang
EFX Group