London Capital Group (LCG) was founded in 1996 and is based in the United Kingdom where it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Investopedia’s review found LCG to be a competitive trading firm that provides multiple trading platforms and a choice between standard or electronic communications network (ECN) accounts. ECNs enable clients to trade directly with market makers, which can lower the cost of the spread in liquid markets.
LCG provides access to a broad selection of CFDs and spread betting instruments across several different asset classes including forex, indexes, cryptocurrencies, commodities, bonds, and individual stocks. 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).
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LCG’s desktop trading application is better than average. 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 and easy-to-use interface where traders can set up watchlists, 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 time frames, from tick charts to weekly charts. LCG also offers a MetaTrader 4 (MT4) option for traders looking for a familiar platform.
LCG Trader includes access to thousands of financial instruments, that can be traded from the chart or through the new order window. Traders can also set price-based alerts on instruments they are following, and LCG Trader will notify them via email or text message once the price objective has been reached. Unfortunately, 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.
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 are easy to set up and very flexible, which is a critical feature for working with a mobile app away from your desk. The charts are good, and it was easy to modify or add indicators. Navigation between order entry, account management, and research tools was very simple and straight-forward.
As with the web version of LCG Trader, the mobile app was fast, easy to use, and had a standard menu and charting layout. Any changes or trades made on the mobile app are instantaneously translated to the web version. The charts could be used in full-screen mode and then revert to a smaller version very quickly. We see no reason why a trader can’t manage an account through the mobile app nearly as easily as you can from the web version.
Security isn’t customizable, which is a concern considering the mobile app can provide access to your entire account. There was no fingerprint scanning. 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."
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 LCG’s educational resources, which are relatively weak on their own. The analysis "team" consists of one individual, but we felt the content was high quality and actionable. The charts and trading platform are regular features in LCG's commentary, which is a significant improvement over the greenscreen/teleprompter style you 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.
A regularly scheduled webinar program is also offered by LCG that allows for a deeper dive into the events of the week or educational topics. These are well-done and informative. Investors can attend live or review prior recordings in an archive.
LCG's educational offerings are 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 is high, but the material was presented in a greenscreen/teleprompter format without a lot of actual market application. On the positive side, the how-to videos for using the LCG Trader platform are very good.
LCG didn't deviate from the industry norm of providing basic education on the forex and CFD markets. There wasn't much content for more advanced traders looking to improve their skills in the education section itself. The daily analyst videos and webinars, however, go a long way towards filling this gap and they do provide educational material on every asset class they provide
LCG’s special features are 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 MT4 platform or for those who are looking for a platform with less flexibility but better charts and indicators. Trading Central's technical reports are also available through LCG, which is a nice addition for traders looking for new technical ideas and strategies.
Most of LCG's special features are integrated into the firm's trading platforms, so LCG clients must decide which platform they prefer, LCG Trader or MT4. LCG Trader is a great entry-level platform with better charts by default, but MT4 is more flexible. Backtesting and automated trading are available within MT4, but there aren’t many other supplemental tools for traders seeking something unique.
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, but they do 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. As long as traders have enough in their account to meet their margin requirements, there is no minimum deposit amount to open an account.
Commissions and Fees
Most of the trading costs at LCG are charged through the spread. However, using guaranteed stop losses will require a premium that is charged to your account. The spreads on most markets are competitive with the industry, but not the lowest. Traders using the ECN may be able to find lower spreads, but that will depend on market conditions.
Telephone, chat and email support are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. U.K. time (24/5). Hold times via chat and phone are much shorter than average, and the representatives were quick to respond and very courteous. Live chat could also be launched from within the LCG Trader platform, which was very convenient.
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." While that was 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.
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. Guaranteed stop losses can be used on some instruments depending on market conditions, but they are subject to an additional cost as long as they are kept open.
LCG also takes steps to ensure client funds are not co-mingled with corporate funds, in accordance with the U.K. 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 £50,000. LCG does not provide the additional protection of two-factor authentication for client accounts.
What You Need to Know
Traders looking for a very broad spectrum of markets (including cryptocurrencies and options,) will find a lot to like at LCG. Although the spreads aren’t the lowest, they are competitive and LCG has excellent trading technology. For traders who place a high value on quality service, manually enter and manage their trades, and prefer an easy to use platform, LCG is a dealer to consider. Investors who are looking for vanilla options will also likely give LCG a look. If you need the ability to execute algorithmic trading via a virtual private server, LCG won’t be a good fit.
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