Axi is a leading AISC and FCA regulated ECN Forex broker that specialises in MetaTrader 4 trading platform and offers over 80 currency pairs. IG Markets are one of the oldest brokers with a choice of 5 trading platforms 16,000+ leverage instruments. In April 2021 we compared the 2 brokers.
View our review of Axi, IG review, or the head-to-head comparison below.
Axi was founded in Sydney, Australia in 2007. The online broker is an Electronic Data Network (ECN) broker, which means they connect you directly with liquidity pools with no dealing desk (NDD). Prices are therefore set by the market, and Axi will not have any influence on the spreads. It is for this reason there is a commission charge of $7 round trip per lot.
The Axi pro account has a number of key features to note:
It is worth noting that Axi charge commission in USD. Most other brokers charge in AUD. This extra expense can add up over time if you regularly trade.
Note: Axi offers two types of accounts. These accounts are MT4 Standard and MT4 Pro. MT4 Pro account spreads are narrower and costs are cheaper than MT4 Standard account even when one factors in the commission. It is, for this reason, our review will focus only on MT4 Pro.
Founded in 1974, IG is one of the oldest trading companies in the world. The forex broker offers two broad types of accounts. These are Retail and Professional. Our review is focused on the Retail account given that you need at least $2.5 million in assets and to have been an active trader for the last 4 consecutive quarters to be eligible for a Professional Account.
If you are trading leveraged (CFD) instruments, IG has two types of trading account for retail traders. These setups:
Both accounts are the same, but with the ‘Limited Risk” account you must purchase a ‘Guaranteed Stop Order’ in order to take a position and you cannot use other types of stops to manage your risk.
The IG accounts have a number of features worth noting.
Over The Counter, trading is when trading does not occur through formal trading exchange market. Instead, traders buy and sell forex currency pairs through a network that connects banks, brokers and dealers.
With Direct Market Access (DMA) investors place their positions directly into the order books of the trading exchange. This means their orders do not need to go through their broker at any stage of the trade. In this way, it could be thought of as similar to an electronic communication broker (ECN).
It is important to note that DMA spreads are generally cheaper than IG Markets ‘over the counters’ spreads (which use a market maker). This does not mean it is always cheaper, especially as there are commission charges to consider. Also, once you place an order, the order cannot change or be reversed.
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Axi only offers one platform while IG Markets offer 6 platforms or 3 truly different platforms.
Axi is a MetaTrader 4 (MT4) specialist. MetaTrader 4 by MetaQuotes allows investors access to all the CFDs Axi offer across multiple devices including iOS and Android tablets and mobile devices, browsers (with WebTrader) and PCs. Key features of MetaTrader 4 include the ability to effectively and efficiently analyse markets, develop and plan trading strategies and execute and organise your trades.
There are several reasons to choose MetaTrader 4. these include:
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular trading platform for forex brokers to offer to clients. This makes it the most used platform by traders. One of the major benefits of MetaTrader 4 being available with many brokers is that investors can easily change from one broker to another broker without having to learn how to trade on a new platform.
MT4 needs to be a powerful software platform. It is the world’s most used trading platform, which means its servers need to be able to handle hundreds of thousands of trades at a time, across hundreds of different financial instruments. Trading with MT4 platform is there very fast, accurate and precise.
MT4 has a suite of technical analysis tools including in-depths charts, graphical tools and algorithms to identify data points so investors can access competitive spreads in real-time. The MT4 platform feature also includes automatic price and trade alerts, daily and monthly market reports and customisable data analysis that can be accessed at the click of a button for easy access to just about any information investors might need.
MT4 has some 30 technical indicators integrated into the system and over 2000 custom indicators. A further 700 indicators are available behind a paywall. This makes MT4 ideal for both beginners and advanced traders, as the trade information can be as simple or advanced as you would like. These indicators can be shown with multiple charts, all which can run simultaneously.
MT4 allows you to integrate expert advisors into the MT4 platform through the use of MQL4 language. Trading automation means you can trade 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
MT4 is known to be extremely user friendly and customisable. The interface can be changed to meet your preferences and tastes. This means you can change the colours, texts and bar sizes on graphs.
Features of MetaTrader 4 include:
Not only does MT4 come with a wealth of built-in tool but even more tools can be added with Axi’s ‘NexGen’. Traders can add terminal windows, alerts, economic calendars, trading news and signals and more.
IG Markets also offer MT4 with the same features as IG Markets however it does not offer an add-on feature like ‘Nex Gen’. Instead, IG offers several other platforms.
Below is a summary of their features:
It is important to understand when to choose which platform. For example, not all platforms allow DMA trading. ProRealTime costs $40 a month if you don’t meet minimum monthly trade requirements. Some platforms limit the types of stops and orders you can do.
There is no doubt IG Markets by offering lots of platforms have tried to tailor for all traders’ needs. IG Markets for example offer ‘Guarantee Stop Loss Orders’ which is not available with Axi. It is worth noting that while offering a wide range of platforms can be an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage. This is because having too many choices makes it hard to know which is the right platform for you. In this sense, we like that Axi only offer one platform.
The leverage available varies depending where you sign up with the broker from different countries have different regulators.
Leverage with regulators like FCA, ASIC and MAS are restrictive because many retail traders don’t understand how complex instruments like CFDs work and as a result lose money when trading. Restricting leverage help ensure retail traders can don’t go into high debt.
Leverage – Axi
Axi is regulated in two major financial authorities – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in Australia.
Both jurisdictions prohibit high leverage levels due to the risk involved, and retail traders are restricted to leverage up:
Leverage – IG Markets
IG is regulated by various regulators around the world, all of which enforce different leverage limits.
IG offer the highest leverage in the US and Dubai, which when used correctly can lead to greater profits for your trade. Given forex currencies tend to make only minor adjustments most of the time, it can be hard to achieve significant earnings without purchasing power that high leverage can achieve.
It is this for reason leverage can be a very valuable tool to use when trading. Just remember to use leverage responsibly, as it can also amplify your losses if price movement does not go in the direction you hope for.
We are not suggesting low leverage allowance is bad. Low leverage does force conservative and by extension responsible trading.
IG Markets is a leader when it comes to risk management tools and offer more choices when we compare with Axi. The table below shows what each broker offers:
As we can see Axi and IG offer the same basic stops or order types (i.e. stop loss order, trailing stop) however IG offer a couple of other features:
IG Markets offer superior Risk Management tools than Axi. If you are new to trading or a risk averse trader, then IG Markets might be the broker for you. Axi however still offer the standard basic risk management tools one would expect to be available when trading. It’s just that it is not backed by a guarantee. If you know what you are doing when trading, standard risk management tools will be sufficient.
IG Markets offer one of the largest and most diverse Contracts For Difference portfolios in the online broker industry. With over 15,0000 markets on offer for trade, chances are IG Markets allow you to trade in your desired derivative.
Axi doesn’t offer to trade of Shares, interest rates, Option, Sectors, AUD denominated markets, ETF and IPOs.
Axi doesn’t seek to be an all in one broker service but to specialise in forex. However, they do give you access to other derivatives such as commodities, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Indices.
Important note: Both Axi and IG Markets are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom. Due to recent changes to FCA forex and CFD trading rules, UK traders are no longer able to trade cryptos. UK brokers are not allowed to give retail traders access to cryptocurrency markets.
If you want to trade with a wide range of CFDs or derivatives, then we recommend IG Markets. The range of derivates on offer is hard to beat. If you only want to trade in forex, then we recommend Axi as this is their speciality.
Axi provides 24/5 customer service. This service is available by live chat, toll-free number, email and via call back request. One interesting feature of Axi’s customer support is that phone support is available nationally within a range of countries in the local language.
In addition to direct customer support, other services are available. This includes an excellent library of educational tools with separate sections devoted to covering the basics of forex trading and CFD trading.
Axi also has an e-book which covers the market types, exit strategies, stop losses and position sizing and guidelines on how to improve your trading strategies.
Online video education courses are available in 24 different languages which cover the forex trading basics such as currency pairs, leverage, spreads. Analysis Techniques when using charts and technical analysis tools and trading psychology such as greed and risk management.
The education library also contains a section it calls “the Ultimate Guide to MetaTrader 4 Forex Trading Signals. This section helps you understand the thousands of trading strategies that are available when forex trading.
Lastly, the Axi website also provides a page devoted to forex technical analysis which contains commentary, articles and observations following analysis for forex events and movements.
It is also worth noting that Axi provides a free demo account to test or practice trading in a risk-free environment with real-time spreads and speeds. This account is available for a 30-day trial and includes $50,000 of virtual funds. If you wish for an extension, you can contact Axi to request an extension.
IG Markets provides 24 hours phone and email support from Saturday 1 pm to Saturday 9 am. Live chat support is only available 24/5 Monday to Friday.
One customer support feature that is unique is that the IG support team will answer your questions via twitter using the handle @IGClientHelp.
IG Markets also have a ‘help and support’ section, which has answers to FAQ. The range of information is not as extensive as we would have liked to have soon. IG also have an online forum where traders and IG staff can participate in the discussion about all things IG Markets and forex.
When it comes to education, IG Markets have the IG Academy. The academy includes 8 online courses consisting of videos, interactive exercises and quizzes to help you learn all you need to know about trading. The courses are graded for beginner, intermediate and advanced level so you’re likely to find a course that suits your needs. Topics covered include “How does trading work”, “Planning and risk management” and “Order, execution and leverage”. One thing to note is that the course covers all CFDs in general, as opposed to forex specifically.
The IG Academy also has a live webinar series where experts will share their knowledge and give you opportunities to ask questions.
Lastly, IG Markets offer a demo account. While this account doesn’t have a 30 days limit, it is more restrictive when we compare with the Axi demo account. Only $20,000 in virtual funds is available, and trades are not at risk of slippage or out of hours price movements. Axi, by comparison, uses real market trading so is more realistic.
Both brokers offer comprehensive customer service. We would be happy with either broker, but we can’t overstate how important it is to have a broker that gives you demo access to their accounts with substantial funds with real trading conditions. For this reason, we recommend Axi.
Axi doesn’t offer a bonus offer. While many brokers do offer a joining bonus and its true a bonus offer might seem enticing, caution should be applied. A good broker should already offer low spreads and function with low margins, so should not need to have a bonus offer. It reflects their integrity.
IG Markets have a refer a friend bonus offer. With this offer, you will receive 1 credit for each friend who opens an account. To claim the credit, the friend must make at least 5 CFD trades within 6 months of joining that meet IG Markets bonus terms and conditions.
1 credit is worth USD$100, 3 credits are worth USD$400 and 5 credits is worth $1000.
Each friend that signs up will also receive USD$100.
While IG Markets bonus is tempting, your friend will need to add their own money when trading to claim their end of the bonus. To open a position, your account balance will likely need to exceed $100. You might also need to consider if your friend has experience trading as a bonus will only benefit if the friend will commit to trading.
Axi allows the following methods for deposits – none have charges, transfers are done instantly and are permitted in any currency.
Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, JCB), Debit Cards, Neteller, Skrill/Moneybookers, BPay and Bankwire.
Local to International Bank Transfer is available free with Global Collect but will take 3 to 5 days to complete.
BPay has instant transfer and no fees, but can only be completed with AUD.
WeChat, China Union Pay is also free. These features have 24 hours a day instant transfer but can only be done with Chinese RMB.
Lastly, Bank Wire is available. In the past, the cost was $25 for international bank transfer but this is now free. Transfers will take 1-3 days to complete. Currencies available include CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, HKD, NZD, SGD and USD.
When it comes to withdrawals when using an eWallet. Funds will be returned to Neteller accounts, but other eWallets will return fund to your bank account.
There are no fees for withdrawals back to cards, and these will take 3-5 days. Bank Transfers can take up to 5 days.
Funding Options are more limited and incur more fees when we compare with Axi’s.
Debit and Credit Cards have an instant transfer. Credit Cards can incur up to 1% fee for AUD transactions and 1.5% for other currencies.
PayPal is also available for the following currencies – AUD, USD, GBP. EUR and incur a 1% charge.
Lastly, BPAY can be used. This is free but can take up to 2 business days for a deposit to complete.
Unless you have a needed to use PayPal which Axi does not offer. Axi offers more options than IG Markets, usually with no charges for both domestic and international trading. So Axi is likely to be the better option.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.