Quick History of FBS
FBS Markets Inc. was established in 2009 with its headquarters based out of Belize – as well as its initial regulatory license for training in security services coming through the Belize International Financial Services Commission.
Since then, FBS has grown to become one of the most popular and widely taken advantage of Forex brokers on the market right now – offering a 100% complete Meta-Trader brokerage from top to bottom while providing access to a decent amount of investment instruments for newbie and veteran client alike.
As of early 2019 FBS is not a publicly traded organization but remains privately held, which means there isn’t a tremendous amount of transparency as far as their accounting or corporate structure is concerned. This wouldn’t be the case if they were a publicly traded operation and had to be completely transparent, but the regulatory license in an emerging financial hub around the world certainly lends a lot of credibility to this operation.
Also as of early 2019 FBS has yet to be granted approval for authorization to operate in the European Union. This is definitely something that the organization has discussed internally and is something that they are angling for, but this coveted regulatory “stamp of approval” has yet to move forward.
All things considered, FBS remains a trustworthy operation that you can rely on to help you with your Forex trading if you are interested in moving forward with a platform based out of Belize.
The amount of different investment instruments available from FBS remains a little bit limited, which is a little bit surprising considering the fact that this company has been around for just about 10 years now.
A lot of newer companies in the Forex world offer quite a bit more than 37 currency pairs to be traded on the Forex landscape, and most companies – even those that have only just establish themselves a year or so ago – offer more than 11 CFD investment instruments as well.
You’re certainly going to find these investment opportunities to be quite a bit more limited compared to some of the other brokerages that you could choose to move forward with. FBS has committed to adding new cryptocurrency and Forex CFD options in the future, but until they actually add to the investment instruments they provide you may or may not find the options you are hunting for here.
Speaking of cryptocurrency, FBS does not currently make cryptocurrency available to be traded as actual cryptocurrency. Crypto can be traded as CFD right now, which may or may not be another hurdle that you will have to weigh clearing or not.
Commission and Fee Structure
The commission and fee structure available from FBS is about as simple and as straightforward as it gets.
This organization offers six different account levels, and four of these account levels are 100% commission free trading accounts that you can take advantage of. The same four accounts have either fixed or variable spreads that you will be able to pick and choose from, while the other remaining two accounts have small commissions and fees that can range from six dollars to $20 and up – but they have absolutely zero spreads whatsoever.
This approach to really streamlining the commission and fee structure on a Forex brokerage is somewhat unique in this landscape. A lot of other companies only ever offer zero commission and fee accounts for those that trade in high-volume or those that put forward major minimum initial deposits, whereas FBS isn’t shy at all about offering these kinds of accounts across almost all of their levels.
Premium and VIP trading discounts can be taken advantage of to reduce some of the higher commissions and fees you might have to pay, and they are certainly worth looking into if you are going to be that kind of Forex investor.
Research Library and Tools
The research resources available from FBS are pretty middle-of-the-road, not at all a differentiating factor the way that some of the resource libraries from other Forex brokerages are.
You aren’t going to find any daily market commentary, no weekly webinars, no information directly from Auto Chartist or Trading Central, and there are only a handful of other third-party premium partnerships that FBS has made as far as research is concerned worth looking into.
The strength of this resource library is really built on top of the social trading and copy trading opportunities you will be able to take advantage of when you go in this direction. You won’t however find social sentiment information on FBS the way you might with the other research libraries, another real swing and miss kind of approach from this organization.
The economic calendar from FBS is probably its second strongest research asset and even that is pretty bare-bones and pretty basic.
Customer service and support is available directly through the trading tools available online, with many clients quite happy with the overall responsiveness of this platform.
You may or may not experience the same kind of positive customer service experience depending on when or how you try to take advantage of support – but all in all the general feel is pretty positive.
It would have been nice to see more in-depth phone support, a self-support knowledge base, or a couple of other customer support lines that could be taken advantage of. But because the Meta-Trader platform is so simple and straightforward to use – and that’s what the entire FBS platform has been built on top of – you’re probably not going to need to contact support all that often.
Ease of Use
As we have made mention of a number of times throughout this quick guide, FBS is a 100% Meta-Trader only broker that offers both the MT4 and the MT5 platforms to take advantage of.
These platforms are fully fleshed out and widely regarded as the industry standard, tools that are simple and straightforward to use but have all kinds of power features “under the hood” or more experienced and savvy investors to take advantage of.
You aren’t going to find any real surprises with these Meta-Trader platforms, and if you’ve ever used a different Forex broker in the past you find that the FBS Meta-Trader set up is almost identical to any other platform running “vanilla” MT4 or MT5.
Virtual trading tools are easy to take advantage of, social and copy trading tools are tightly integrated, and the charting and research tools available from Meta-Trader are always going to be effortlessly at your disposal.
It is a good idea to take advantage of the web browser or mobile application Meta-Trader solutions if you have the opportunity to do so, and it’s certainly a better idea to use those tools compared to the desktop version of this downloadable software.
The desktop version is solid and stable on its own but it takes advantage of outdated Silverlight plug-ins from Microsoft that may bring about a whole host of security issues that you shouldn’t ever have to worry about.
The browser tools and the mobile applications do not suffer from these limitations. It’s in your best interest to move forward with those options.
- Meta-Trader is far and away the most popular trading platform for Forex today and the entire FBS system has been built on top of these tools
- You’ll find a wide variety of deposit and withdraw methods to get money into and out of your Forex trading account effortlessly
- The mobile applications for this system are straightforward, simple, and easy to use
- There are really only a handful of different investment instruments available to pick and choose from
- Your opportunity to profit on trades can be a little bit limited in the event of market gap issues
- You will not be able to take advantage of arbitrage (like scalping) with the FBS set up
FBS remains a popular Forex broker for those that are looking for something based out of Belize as well as international investors that love everything that a Belize based regulatory body brings to the table, but your odds of finding something that might suit your needs a little bit better elsewhere are pretty decent.
FBS has only a limited amount of instruments to pick and choose from as well as a lack of regulatory licenses from major financial jurisdictions around the world. The fact that this almost 10-year-old company still hasn’t been greenlighted for approval from the European Union is something to be at least a little bit wary about.
It’s not that you cannot trust FBS. You can’t run a Forex broker for almost a decade consistently without a rock solid reputation and real trustworthiness as a foundation.
It’s just that there are competitors that offer more instruments and regulatory licenses in major jurisdictions (as well as approval from the European Union) that are inevitably going to look a little bit more attractive than this one.
All in all, if this has specific features you are interested in taking advantage of you usually find yourself content with all that FBS has to offer. But there are likely a few Forex competitors out there doing things a bit better.
David is a financial expert who graduated from the University of Fordham (Master in Finance) in 2001. He has 10+ years of experience in private equity and wealth management. With strong expertise in senior-level financial planning, personal financial analysis, and mortgages, David knows his way around personal finance. Before working at CCR he used to be a financial analyst at McKinsey.
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