Summary Of IC Markets
IC Markets is the best forex broker for experienced traders based on their:
- Tight Spreads
- Fast Trading Execution Speeds
- 500:1 Leverage
- Low Initial Deposit Requirements
- The MT4, MT5 and cTrader Platform
- Promotional Offers
- Reputation and ASIC Regulation
- Excellent Customer Service including Live Chat
IC Markets Spreads And Fees
There are two main trading accounts that offer the most popular forex trading platform – MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
1) Standard Account
An IC Markets standard account has no commissions but large spreads. These standard accounts are positioned for beginner forex traders looking to easily calculate their foreign exchange brokerage costs.
Minimum and average spreads offered by IC Markets in January 2020 are:
- EUR USD = 1.0 pip min, 1.1 pip average
- AUD USD = 1.0 pip min, 1.2 pip average
- GBP USD = 1.0 pip min, 1.4 pip average
- EUR AUD = 1.0 pip min, 1.5 pip average
2) RAW Spreads Account
IC Markets offers an Electronic Communication Network (ECN) like environment where expert traders can trade directly with top-tier liquidity providers. Using a Financial Information Exchange Protocol, the Raw spreads ECN-style account matches and executes currency orders with over 50 liquidity providers. Spreads are therefore set by the market and commissions are charged allowing IC Markets to make brokerage fees. Commissions are $3.50 per lot with the Raw Spreads account offering the following spreads in 2020:
- EUR USD = 0.0 pip min, 0.1 pip average
- AUD USD = 0.0 pip min, 0.2 pip average
- GBP USD = 0.0 pip min, 0.4 pip average
- EUR AUD = 0.0 pip min, 0.5 pip average
3) cTrader ECN Trading Account
This account is almost identical to the Raw Spreads trading account but the account is offered on the cTrader platform. Equinix servers based in London are ideal for cTrader currency trading. The cTrader platform ECN-like account takes sizes from 1 micro lot to 250 lots spreading trades across over 50 different liquidity providers.
Key advantages of the cTrader platform are:
- Automated trading using C# Programming Language
- $3.0 commissions per lot
- Enhanced charting
The average spread is similar to the Raw Spread Account.
There is also an Islamic account for those who require a swap-free environment. All accounts have a minimum deposit of $200 AUD.
Summary Of The IC Markets Review Of Spreads And Commissions
When it comes to the lowest spreads and commissions in Australia, most forex traders will make an IC Markets vs Pepperstone vs AxiTrader vs IG Markets comparison. The truth is, the ECN-style trading accounts offered have near-identical spreads, fees and infrastructure. Experienced traders looking for a low-cost trader will be happy with either fx broker. No commission accounts such as easyMarkets have wider spreads but offer extra risk management features making them a worthwhile consideration for beginner traders, due to the high risk of losing money when trading forex and CFDs.
How IC Markets Technology Gives Traders The Edge
Execution Speeds That Average 40ms
IC Markets leverages the best technology to maximise clients execution speeds. This includes a dedicated fibre optic cable to interconnect Australia traders to liquidity providers. Latency is also reduced by having the fastest servers located near the main trading centres. Owned by Equinix these servers are close to the exchanges latency has been recorded as low as 1 millisecond.
The two Equinix servers are located in:
- New York (NY4) for MetaTrader forex trading account holder.
- London (NY5) for cTrader forex trading account holders.
Enhanced Trading Tools
IC Markets has partnered with technology providers to achieve enhanced trading tools including:
- Depth of Market.
- Inbuilt spread monitoring.
- Ladder trading.
- Automated close of trades.
Below shows a list of just some of the advanced trading tools offered by IC Markets as enhancements to the forex trading platforms offered.
Automation Through Expert Advisors
Combining fast execution speeds with the MetaTrader Forex trading platform allows for advanced automation. This is achieved through expert advisors where trading applications can be made or purchased. These expert advisors applications require low latency environments which are where IC Markets excel in. Below shows an example expert advisors marketplace where different 2020 applications can be created.
Summary Of The IC Markets Review Of Technology
Experienced traders who are familiar with slippage caused by slow forex brokers understand the need for the best infrastructure available. IC Markets have utilised premium technology providers to maximise execution speeds and advanced features to navigate currency markets. This is why the fx broker was awarded the best forex broker in this category.
What Is The Maximum Leverage Available?
IC Markets are the best forex broker when it comes to leverage. As shown on several forex broker comparison tables, the leverage of 500:1 is only offered by a handful of forex brokers. This leverage gives flexibility in a range of trading conditions, yet it should be noted high leverage can magnify the high risk of losing funds.
Only experienced traders should use the full allocation of 500:1 leverage due to the high risk involved. It may lead to significant gains if the currency pairing is predicted correctly, it can also lead to significant losses. Also, as brokers like IC Markets don’t use trading desks, they don’t offer guaranteed stops. This means that losses may exceed even the amount deposited in extreme volatility so high leverage should be avoided for beginners. For guaranteed stops have a look at our IC Markets vs Plus500 broker review.
An example of how the leverage of 500:1 works in simple terms is for every dollar you deposit you can trade up to $500 on forex markets. So a $250 deposit can lead to $125k being traded. With such high leverage, any relatively small movement in the market can lead to large losses or gains, hence the high risk of losing money. For example, a 0.1% change in currency pairing in the prior example would lead to a $125 gain or loss (which is 50% of the deposit). While leverage is critical for any Australian forex trader the best forex broker level should match your experience level and factor into this IC Markets broker review.
What Forex Platforms Does IC Markets Offer?
IC Markets offers the top 3 forex trading platforms when it comes to popularity with enhancements available. These include advanced trading tools, API trading, VPN and trading servers. It’s these features combined that made our IC Markets review award the fx broker the top score.
1) MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the most popular and awarded forex trading platform worldwide. Its popularity can be attributed to the ease of use. While not the most attractive interface, it is feature-rich and allows fast execution speeds. It also offers Expert Advisors (EAs) which allows for automated trading. There is an online marketplace where automated systems can be traded.
MT4 excels in mobile trading with compatibility with iOS and Android devices. There is also a MetaTrader for Apple Mac application which provides the full functionality of MT4 for Apple users. The Apple Mac application requires Mac OS X 10.x and above.
There is also the MetaTrader webtrader which allows trading on-the-go for those that don’t want to download a desktop or mobile application.
2) MetaTrader 5
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) is similar to MT4 with some enhancements for those looking to trade more than currency. This can include trading CFDs like Bitcoin, or buying and selling shares. Features include advanced charting and order management tools. Below compares MetaTrader 5 to Meta Trader 4.
|MetaTrader 4||MetaTrader 5|
|Supported Markets||Forex||Forex / Futures /|
Options / Stocks / Bonds
|Strategy Tester||Single Thread||Multi-threaded|
+ Real ticks
|Depth of Market||No||Yes|
|Order Fill Policy||Fill or Kill||Fill or Kill|
Immediate or Cancel
|Partial Order Filling Policies||No||Yes|
|Pending Order Types||4||6|
The third forex platform option is cTrader which is the preferred option of many advanced traders due to its institutional-like trading environment. IC Markets has a cTrader account specifically designed for this platform. It allows fast execution speeds across financial services. Spreads start at zero through their ECN-like broker account option.
Key advantages include multi-bank liquidity across 16 equity indices and 64 currency pairs including AUD, NZD, USD, GBP and EUR. Like for the MT4 platform, it offers Android and iOS applications compatible with a range of devices, as well as a web-based platform.
IC Markets Review Of Promotional Offers
Unfortunately, in 2020 IC Markets does not offer a promotional bonus for Australian forex traders. We’ve often seen Forex companies phase promos in and out and will update the data here in our IC Markets review and also in our comparison tables as soon as we notice any incentives the company might offer.
IC Markets was founded in Australia in 2007 by expert traders who were hell-bent on creating a trading experience for retail traders. The platform they wanted to design was to be just as professional and state of the art as the systems used by banks and financial institutions. In our detailed IC Markets review below, we highlight what makes the locally regulated company, trading as International Capital Markets Pty. Ltd. so popular.
Our IC Markets review found the company was Australia’s best forex broker based on their market-leading leverage and trading speed. They also have low, ECN-like spreads and fees, as well as being regulated by ASIC in Australia. Our team found that key information is very easy to find on their site and we received no unpleasant surprises when we analysed the company closely. The company has offices onshore in Sydney, Australia and all the services they offer are what traders should expect from today’s modern forex brokers. They have also recently invested in building out their forex education and training platforms to aid trader development. They also boast expert trading tools, a fantastic demo account and no dealing desk.
Other Elements Of The IC Markets Review
IC Markets Offers cTrader and MetaTrader Demo Accounts
Those new to currency trading or to either cTrader, MT4 or the MT5 forex platform may require a demo account to experience forex trading without using real money. This is ideal to also simulate trading conditions both current and historic. Our IC Markets review found that all account types and products were offered in the demo account format providing a number of benefits.
The demo account is 100% risk-free with no requirement to make a deposit with IC Markets.
Trading with a demo account mirrors the live markets and allows individuals to familiarise the forex trading platform. Trades can learn how to determine the size of trades, learn how to make and close positions and use advanced features such as stop-loss and take profit. Different strategies can be tested and automated bots can also be simulated to see how they would perform in the real market
The IC Markets review also found them to be the best forex broker when it came to customer service for demo account holders, with live chat support. Some other foreign exchange brokers only offered support to live account holders.
Simulate A Training Journal
As a demo account is a learning tool, traders can keep a journal to understand the weaknesses and mistakes they are making prior to moving to a live account. Individuals should start with a deposit and leverage that will align with their plans on the live account.
It should be noted that another key strength of the IC Markets demo account is the account doesn’t expire. This can be critical as traders often go back to demo accounts to test elements over time, with many brokers having time limits on demo accounts of 30-90 days.
Easy Transition To Live Trading
Once a forex trader is ready to transition to a live account IC Markets allows a deposit of just $200. Leverage can also be limited by request to limit exposure to the market and reduce the high risk of losing money.
IC Markets Regulation
IC Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). They hold the AFSL licence number 335692. Australian traders should only consider ASIC forex brokers for peace of mind.
IC Markets are also regulated by other international regulators such as the Financial Services Authority in Seychelles (FSA) and The Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC).
You can see further information on myfxbook.
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
There are a number of payment methods including using a credit card, Neteller, wire transfer, PayPal, bPay, WebMoney, debit cards as well as bank transfer. The withdrawal methods need to match the deposit. For example, funds can only be deposited back to the debit card initially used.
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