London Capital Group (LCG) Forex Review 2018

By John A. Jagerson  | January 30, 2018

LCG, or London Capital Group, is a multi-asset global online trading platform that focuses on foreign exchange (FX) trading, but also gives its users access to commodities, cryptocurrencies, bonds, global shares, and derivatives.

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Overall Rating

3.8/
5.0
Products & Fees
4.4
Trust
3.3
Special Features
3.0
Desktop Experience
4.5
Mobile Experience
4.2
Customer Support
3.8
Research & Insights
4.3
Education
3.0

London Capital Group (LCG) Forex Fast Facts

London Capital Group (LCG) was founded in 1996 and is based in the United Kingdom. The firm is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We found them to be a competitive trading firm, providing multiple trading platforms and the choice between standard or Electronic Communications Network (ECN) accounts, enabling clients to trade directly with market makers. LCG provides access to a broad selection of financial instruments across nine different asset classes including Forex, cryptocurrencies, indices, commodities, bonds and individual shares. They offer competitively low spreads and no commissions. LCG also provides account holders with the benefit of negative balance protection (so traders will never lose more than the amount they have on deposit).

pros

  • Breadth of Trading Products
    Access thousands of different trading instruments
  • Low Cost
    LCG offers some of the lowest spreads and commissions in the industry
  • Negative Balance Protection
    LCG guarantees your account balance will never drop below zero

cons

  • No Volume Discounts
    Whatever your trading volume, you pay the same spread
  • No Virtual Private Server (VPS)
    Traders don't have access to a free virtual private server
  • No Emergency Stop Loss
    There is no way to automatically liquidate your positions once your account balance reaches a predetermined threshold
1996
Founded
7000+
Markets
(More than 3,500 shares CFDs to choose from)
$1 Billion
Deposits
($1+ Billion in deposits & $20+ Trillion executed volume)

Products & Fees

4.4

London Capital Group (LCG) provides access to a broad selection of financial instruments across nine different asset classes including Forex, cryptocurrencies, indices, commodities, bonds, and individual shares. They offer competitively low spreads. LCG unfortunately does not offer trading discounts for traders with larger account balances or for those who transact larger volumes during the month. LCG does not charge commissions on its trades. Instead, all costs are contained in the spread. There are no charges for standard withdrawals or terminating an account but LCG leaves open the option to charge an inactivity fee. So long as traders have enough in their account to meet their margin requirements, there is no minimum deposit amount to open an account.

  • EUR/USD
    1.0 pips
  • GBP/USD
    1.0 pips
  • USD/JPY
    1.0 pips
  • S&P 500 CFD
    $0.40
  • Japan 225
    7 yen
  • Oil CFD
    $0.03
  • US Stocks
    $0.04 over market spread

Trust

3.3

London Capital Group (LCG) provides clients with a guarantee they will never lose more than they have in their accounts via its negative balance protection. LCG also takes steps to ensure client funds are not co-mingled with corporate funds, in accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) client money rules. This ensures that client assets are protected in the unlikely event that LCG becomes insolvent by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks. Clients also have additional asset protection through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, up to GBP 50,000. LCG does not provide the additional protection of two-factor authentication for client accounts.

GBP 50,000
Default Insurance (LCG)
If LCG defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to GBP 50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
GBP 85,000
Default Insurance (Failed Bank)
If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, any shortfall of funds of up to GBP 85,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

What you need to know

LCG is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), member number 182110, and holds client deposits in accordance with the FCA's client money rules. We would have liked to see additional account protections and more flexible account security settings in our review.

Special Features

3.0
Special Features

LCG special features were mostly made available through a proprietary trading platform and MT4. The custom platform (LCG Trader) provides an updated look and feel, one-click trading and full integration across desktop and mobile platforms which should serve newer traders well. However, many advanced traders are likely to use LCG's MetaTrader 4 platform which provides more flexible trading technology through "Expert Advisors". This arrangement works well for investors familiar with the MetaTrader platform or for those who are looking for a platform with less flexibility but better charts and indicators. We should note that Trading Central's technical reports are also available through LCG, which is a nice addition for traders looking for new technical ideas and strategies.

Trading Central
Technical Analysis Reports
(Trading ideas and annotated charts are available)
"Expert Advisors"
Automate Your Trading
Backtest
Put Your Trading Strategies To The Test

What you need to know

Most of LCG's special features are integrated into the firm's trading platforms. Therefore, LCG clients are going to have to decide which platform they prefer, LCG Trader or MetaTrader 4. LCG Trader is a great entry-level platform with better charts by default, however, MT4 is more flexible. The special features we usually look for like backtesting, and automated trading are available, but there weren't many other supplemental tools for traders seeking something unique. Trading Central's technical reports and a good economic calendar are also available features.

Desktop Experience

4.5
Desktop Experience

LCG earned high marks in the Desktop Experience category. LCG Trader is a streamlined trading platform that is stable and easy to access from any browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer). LCG Trader has a simple, easy to use interface where traders can set up watch lists, analyze charts and place and monitor trades. The technical analysis charts can be expanded to full screen and come with more than 70 technical indicators that you can apply over many different timeframes, from tick charts to weekly charts. LCG also offers a MetaTrader 4 option for traders looking for a familiar platform.

Pros

LCG Trader is simple and easy to use. Traders can choose from thousands of financial instruments, analyze their selection on nicely rendered charts and place trades in just a few clicks -- all within the same window. Traders can also set price-based alerts on instruments they are following and LCG Trader will notify them via email or SMS text once the price objective has been reached.

Cons

LCG Trader is a closed system. Advanced traders who prefer to incorporate other analytical and automation tools in their trading process will be disappointed to see they cannot integrate those tools directly with LCG Trader.

Mobile Experience

4.2
Mobile Experience

The LCG Trader mobile app was one of the best applications we have reviewed. The connection between the app and the web-version on the desktop was instantaneous. Alerts were easy to setup and very flexible, which is a critical feature for working with a mobile app away from your desk. The charts were good, and it was easy to modify or add indicators. Navigation between order entry, account management, and research tools were very simple and straight-forward.

Pros

As with the web version of LCG Trader, the mobile app was very fast, easy to use and had a standard menu and charting layout. Any changes or trades made on the mobile app were instantaneously translated to the web version. The charts could be used in full-screen mode and then revert back to a smaller version very quickly. We see no reason why a trader wouldn't be able to manage their account through the mobile app nearly as easily as you can from the web version.

Cons

Security wasn't customizable which is a concern considering that the mobile app can provide access to your entire account. There was no fingerprint scanning either. We would have loved to have seen some of LCG's research and videos in the application, but analysis was limited to the streaming news feed. We would also note that the streaming news feed didn't seem to contain anything besides technical reports, which may disqualify it from really being considered "news".

Customer Support

3.8

Telephone, chat, and email support are available from Sunday's market open to Friday's market close (24/5). We found hold times via chat and phone to be much shorter than average. The representatives we talked to were quick to respond and very courteous. Live chat could also be launched from within the LCG Trader platform, which was very convenient.

What you need to know

Overall, LCG's customer support was responsive and knowledgeable. Having access to chat in the custom trading platform is very convenient. When using LCG's website (while logged in as a demo account) the chat box was frequently popping up, unsolicited, to "check in" and make sure we didn't have any questions. While that was a bit annoying this won't happen with live accounts. There are no branch offices to visit and it was unclear whether their headquarters in London is set up to provide service in person, if you happen to be in the area.

Research & Insights

4.3

LCG's analysis and insights are higher quality than average in the industry. Daily videos are a great way to connect traders to the market and supplement educational resources that were relatively weak on their own. The analysis "team" consists of two individuals, but we felt the content was high quality and actionable. The charts and trading platform were regular features in LCG's commentary, which is a significant improvement over the greenscreen/teleprompter style we see so frequently in the industry. Trading Central's written technical reports are well-known and are also available from LCG along with the typical economic calendar and market-wrap articles.

Charting Videos
Daily videos featuring a chart analyst discussing the live market.
News Feeds
Streaming updates on major market events and announcements.
Trading Central Technical Reports
Written technical analysis reports, which are both actionable and easy to understand.
Economic Calendar
Comprehensive economic calendar with impact ratings and explanations of each event.
Market Reports
Daily market-wrap style reports on the economic and technical events of the day.
Weekly Market Analysis Webinars
Hosted live, these webinars offer a unique look at the markets and time for Q&A.

Pros

The standard economic calendars and news feeds are available from LCG along with better-than-average custom analysis and market commentary. We believe traders will appreciate the high-quality market update videos and webinars that include actionable analysis of the price charts. The daily market update articles were good, but a little brief. The addition of Trading Central's technical reports will be interesting to traders looking for new opportunities each day.

Cons

While we liked the "screenshot"-style videos and webinars, some of the daily news updates were more formal and driven by a teleprompter. We would rather see more commentary and in-depth analysis than a recitation of the major headlines of the day. We also wished there had been some fundamental charting of the economic data in the calendar.

Education

3.0

Unfortunately, LCG's educational offerings were typical of the basic-level videos and articles offered elsewhere in the industry. New investors will find some helpful background information but relying on LCG's education to become proficient in the markets is unlikely. The production quality of the education videos was high, but the material was presented in a greenscreen/teleprompter format without a lot of actual application in the markets. This educational format is good for creating a conceptual understanding of investing topics, but applying that knowledge in the market will be tough. On the positive side we thought the how-to videos for using the LCG Trader platform were very good and comprehensive.

Educational Videos
Master Basic Concepts of Investing in Forex and CFDs
(Nicely produced videos were basic, but easy to find and probably good for beginners)
Webinars
Watch Live Market Commentary
Platform Tutorials
Navigate the LCG Trader Platform
(Nicely produced how-to videos on how to use the trading platforms)

What you need to know

LCG didn't deviate from the industry norm of providing basic level education on the Forex and CFD markets. Unfortunately, there wasn't much content for more advanced traders looking to improve their skills. The educational videos were nicely produced but the format didn't take advantage of using live charts and trading examples very much. The education on the trading platform was much better than average and included instruction on the mobile app as well, which we believe to be a real benefit.

Bottom Line

LCG had competitive spreads, excellent trading technology, responsive customer service, and good research and analysis. There were some weaknesses in our "Special Features" category, but they will likely be more of an issue for algorithmic traders or professional investors looking for advanced technology and account management. The broker offers a very broad spectrum of trading markets and we doubt investors will find very much missing. We were pleased to see even vanilla options were available on several Forex pairs. Daily charting videos and weekly webinars will go a long way towards filling in some of the typical gaps in the educational content, which should be a big benefit for new traders. Overall, we think LCG's services and products were above average for individual, discretionary traders.

John A. Jagerson
Reviewed by John A. Jagerson

  • • 15+ years experience in stocks, options, Forex, bonds and portfolio analysis
  • • Co-founder of Learning Markets, LLC, a leading creator of financial content, analysis, education and tools
  • • Author of four books on investing and portfolio strategies published by McGraw Hill

Experience

John has worked in the capital markets and private equity for most of his career—including investing, writing, education and money management. John has a B.S. in Business Administration from Utah Valley University and completed the PLD at Harvard Business School. John is the coauthor of three books published by McGraw Hill on investing and portfolio management. As a co-founder of Learning Markets, LLC, John has developed financial education used by thousands of brokerage clients to become better investors. His firm also develops professional-grade stock screening and analytical tools for individual investors.

Education

John earned his bachelor's degree in accounting and business management at Utah Valley University.

Professional Designations

John is a Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Chartered Market Technician (CMT).

Quote from John

"Individual investors have goals and objectives beyond wealth accumulation. Investing is only one tool they use to achieve truly great things in their life. I am passionate about helping investors because their success means more than just a larger account balance."

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