How did I first hear about LMFX?
I heard of LMFX through a long-term fellow trader, who mentioned they used LMFX around 2 years ago, and was with them for around a year, so I thought I would check them out. Firstly, I checked social media as I feel this is one of the most engaging and up to date forms of opinion you can get when it comes to trader’s experience with brokers. I witnessed a 50-50 of positivity and negativity from past and current clients of LMFX.
What was my first impression of them as a broker?
First impressions really came from an acquaintance of mine, who was a moderately content ex client of the broker, as well as scouting out posts on social media (Facebook, Twitter and forex Forums). I did see some scattered posts on such sites with IB affiliate links, which unfortunately does make me question the legitimacy of the comment or review attached.
How easy is it to navigate the broker website?
On first peruse of the website, I felt the overall layout and navigation was relatively easy yet somewhat a little outdated. But nonetheless, the tabs are clearly labelled and direct you accordingly, however one thing I did notice that was missing was an FAQ page which I find very off putting as this means that I would potentially need to speak with their customer support to find some of the answers to my initial questions before signing up- highly frustrating. On the whole, though, the website itself is very user-friendly and straightforward.
Do they offer a good variety of tradeable assets?
The tradable assets are all displayed on the website under ‘Products.’ They offer 48 currency pairs, 9 Indices, 5 commodities, 7 metals and oils and 15 shares. I feel this is a well-rounded variety of instruments to offer however one thing is lacking- LMFX do not offer Cryptocurrencies, which could indicate the broker are a little behind the times when it comes to their offerings in the fast-changing trading industry. On their website, they also show the ‘typical spread’ for each pair, which can be perceived as a good indication but also a little deceptive as this is a merely a typical spread, so who knows what the actual spreads are until you actually start trading live with them?
How competitive are their spreads?
I spoke with an agent on live chat and specifically enquired if they offer 0 spreads, and was advised that because they are an ECN broker, they do not offer 0 spreads, but spreads starting from 0.2 (EUR/USD). However, just as I thought these guys were indeed a true ECN broker, I came across a subtle mention on the website of ‘fixed spreads’ which means you must open an account type namely ‘Fixed Account’. The fact this broker offers fixed as well as variable spreads immediately indicates to me that they are sourcing their profits with potentially eyebrow-raising methods; how can you be a true ECN broker/no dealing desk broker if you offer fixed spreads? This means the broker are not putting ALL client orders through a liquidity provider, as not all accounts are full STP ECN accounts, the ‘Fixed Account’ being the ultimate bean-spiller for this assumption.
What is their commission charge?
For the answer to this question, I was not fully clear from the information available on the different account types section on the webpage so I asked via Live Chat. I was advised they charge commission on only one out of their 3 types of account offered. The ‘Zero’ account, namely due to the fact spreads START from 0, do have a trade commission charge of $4 per lot per trade, whilst the ‘Premium’ and ‘Fixed’ accounts both do not have a trade commission charge.
A shady side of the broker started to emerge when I asked about the total trade commission charge via live chat, because as far as the website tells you, only one account (‘Zero’) which carries a trade commission charge of $4 per lot, per trade, however, I was advised by the agent that the total is actually $8, meaning it is $4 to OPEN the trade, and a further $4 to CLOSE the trade. The fact the TOTAL charge is not mentioned on the website as rather devious and this is also a very clever ploy to encourage clients to keep trades open, as they would not want to incur a closing fee without making a decent profit in order to fund the total cost for opening and closing the trade. I feel this really emphasizes the broker’s heavily vetted interest in making money from client losses.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the account with the most attractive spreads (starting from 0- ‘Zero’ account) has the lowest leverage, meaning the broker is covering risk for the clients making large profits. However, in this scenario they are making money via the commission charge, half of it not even being mentioned on the website, so really, you would potentially only find this out when you begin actually trading. The other two accounts, attractive in the sense they offer much higher leverage, yet spreads ‘starting from 0’ is a potential indication that this broker is making money via ways in which raises eyebrows.
What is the maximum leverage they offer?
The maximum leverage offered depends on the account type you opt for. The ‘Premium’ account offers a maximum leverage of 1:1000, the ‘Fixed’ account offers a maximum of 1:400 and the ‘Zero’ account offers the lowest leverage of the three, being 1:250. I feel that these are more than generous and amicable for the average trader. There is a small catch though; the higher the leverage you go for, the less open trades you can open at one time, and visa versa
Can I trade anonymously?
Yes, you can trade anonymously (without submitting ID and address verification to have a verified account), however, you would be restricted to which deposit methods are available to you. Important to note that you would not be able to withdraw your profits unless you then verify your account. If you choose to trade anonymously, you would only be able to use the following deposit methods: Instacoin, Skrill, Neteller and wire transfer.
What do I need to open a verified account?
If you wish to have access to all deposit and withdrawal methods available, you would need to submit the standard requirements to trade, which are a document form proof of address (dated within 6 months) and a document proof of Identification.
How long does it take to open a live account?
I was advised it would take up to a maximum of 2 business days however I registered for my live account late on a Friday, and did not get my account approval email until midday Monday, due to the fact they operate 24/5.
Are desktop/mobile/web trader versions all available?
Yes, I feel LMFX have been very progressive in the sense they have extended their offerings in platform to ensure all clients would be able to have a dynamic choice to trade from. LMFX offer not only MT4 and WebTrader, but they also offer iPhone, iPad and Android Trader. Further information on each platform can be located on the website under the tab ‘Platforms.’
Do they have a minimum/maximum deposit requirement?
Yes, the minimum initial and ongoing deposit requirements depend upon the account you open. The ‘Premium’ account requires an initial deposit of $50 and the minimum reload deposit is $25. The ‘Fixed’ account must be initially deposited with $250 and reloaded with a minimum of $50. Lastly, the ‘Zero’ account must be initially deposited with $100, and the reload deposit must also be more than $50.
Do they offer a bonus scheme?
Yes, they offer two bonus types. The ‘Phoenix Recovery’ and the ’Deposit Match’. The description on the website was not entirely clear so I asked via live chat for more information on them. First thing to note, the ‘Zero’ account is not entitled to use either bonuses, but the ‘Premium’ and the ‘Fixed’ accounts can make use of both. The Phoenix bonus entitles you to 15% of your deposit on top of your new one, while the Match bonus is a 100% bonus of what you deposit, so if you put in $200, you will be given a further $200.
It is important to read the terms and conditions before agreeing to the deposit bonus offer, as you must for example, deposit a minimum of $100 to be able to use the ‘match’ bonus and the terms by which you can withdraw your profit are not necessarily easy to complete, as per this quote on the terms and conditions PDF: ‘’ You have to trade the volume of 100 lots (only closed deals are taken into account)’’
Offering the bonuses is merely a ploy to encourage traders to keep continuing to deposit, and essentially you are praised if you make losses on your trades, because should you replenish your account you can then be given a further 15% back from your deposit, on top of your deposit
What deposit and withdrawal methods are available?
LMFX offer a variety of deposit methods: wire transfer, debit/credit card, Skrill, Neteller, Fasapay and Vload. The withdrawal methods are all the same except you cannot withdraw via Vload. I was disappointed to see they do not offer Bitcoin or any crypto, for that matter, as a method. This again highlighted the fact this broker is a bit ‘imperial’ compared to other brokers modernising their offerings in line with the fast-changing digital era.
What countries’ residents are restricted from trading with this broker?
I could not find this information to hand on the website itself so I asked an agent on live chat who advised me that those restricted from trading with LMFX would be residents from the Republic of Macedonia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Belgium.
Do they sell additional products/services/managed accounts?
Again, I could not find this information set out on the webpage but I asked via live chat and was told they do NOT offer signals, managed accounts or EAs, however they do allow use of EAs on their platforms. I feel that although this still means the client is confined to the trading conditions of the account, they are not further pressured by adding an additional cost such as the purchasing of signals.
If assistance is required, how can you get in touch?
You have a choice to either telephone call, email or speak to an agent via live chat. LMFX operate on a 24/5 basis, which is disappointing as I personally feel more assured if I can contact my broker at any time should I have a trade issue etc (open positions over the weekends, for example).
What is the quality of customer service?
In my experience with using the customer support team, I feel they are fairly efficient at responding to your queries, but there were a few instances on live chat whereby I would have to repeat myself as some questions would be dismissed so I would need to ask again. I also feel they like to send you links to their website as an answer, but the ironic part is that I would have initiated the live chat conversation as a result of the information provided being unclear, which I found to be the case for many of my questions.
Do they offer an IB affiliate programme?
Yes, you can ‘partner’ with LMFX, but this information is not freely available on their website home page. The only link it gives you is to fill out the form to sign up right away. This struck me as odd and not very inviting because it is a quick snag to get people affiliated before knowing the details and benefits in full. Once again, I spoke with an agent via Live chat and learnt that an affiliate can earn $6 per lot traded per client. The commission earnt can either be traded or withdrawn, as you wish. I was also advised to read a PDF they sent over live chat (which did not seem to be directly extracted from the website itself) which again, was odd, because it seems that many answers are only available on request- hidden until asked.
What is my overall opinion of LMFX?
Firstly, I would like to say they are not the most particularly straight forward Broker to use. By this I mean they are not entirely transparent with what they offer, and there are a lot of elements of their conditions that cause confusion. An example would be the account types offered- I feel the fact the ones with the most benefits also come with restrictions, and the ones with least restrictions have other ‘catches’ like higher deposit requirements, so it is highly confusing and unclear as to which account is actually the most suitable and amicable for the average trader.
The fact this broker offers deposit bonus schemes really made me think they have a strong interest in profiting from client losses. I feel that these elements have been put in place cleverly to really lure clients in and maintain them. However, on the flip side, a positive about LMFX is that they do offer a small variety of forex trading education material on their website, which Is not so common to find in brokers, and provides some reassurance and confidence for new traders before opening a live account.
One thing that really bugged me is that due to the fact they do not have an FAQ page (why?) one must make use of the customer service, but it being 24/5 is a bit disappointing however while as a service it is satisfactory, I do feel agents lack knowledge at times as they will commonly answer a question with a link to a pdf document rather than just provide the direct answer, as you can see in my screenshots within this review. This was both frustrating and time consuming when it would have been much easier to simply have an FAQ page on the website.
Overall, I would not dismiss this broker entirely as they do offer a fair variety of instruments to trade, they do offer forex education material, and 1:1000 leverage, if you seek that. However, I would advise people to be wary before signing up, and read all terms and conditions of the account you choose to ensure you fully understand what you are being offered. I say this because there feels to be a great deal of attractive and luring benefits to trading with them, but hidden within those, are traps and ploys to ensure clients consistently keep depositing over and over.