If you’re looking for an STP forex broker with a reputation for tight spreads, then ThinkMarkets is a great option. ThinkMarkets offers 38 currency pairs for forex trading, choice of MetaTrader 4, 5 and ThinkTrader trading platforms and leverage of 500:1 (ASIC, FSCA) and 30:1 (FCA).
Our ThinkMarkets review (formerly called ThinkForex) found the forex and CFD broker has several impressive features:
Established back in 2010, ThinkMarkets is an award-winning broker with headquarters in London and Melbourne. ThinkMarkets are a multi-regulated broker with a customer support team available 24 hours throughout the trading week that are contactable by phone, live chat, or email for clients worldwide. With a choice of three trading platforms, including their own award-winning proprietary trading platform, ThinkTrader, ThinkMarkets is a great option for both beginners and experienced traders.
In 2020, ThinkMarkets won ‘Best Value Broker in Asia’ at the 2020 Global Forex Awards. A testament to the excellent spreads/costs, trading tools and customer service the broker offers.
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
When trading Forex and CFDs with ThinkMarkets, customers can choose from a Standard Account type or a ThinkZero, ECN-style account. Spreads and commission fees vary between the two account types. Standard account holders trade wider spreads yet pay no commission fees, while ThinkZero account holders gain access to tighter spreads while incurring flat-rate commission fees.
When trading under a Standard Account type, traders face no commission fees besides the spread. Although spreads are wider than a ThinkZero trading account, Standard Accounts are an excellent option for beginner traders wanting to avoid complex commission fee calculations. New traders may find it appealing that a Standard spread only account type requires no initial minimum deposit to trade.
As a ThinkZero account holder, traders gain access to ultra-tight, ECN-style spreads while paying flat-rate commission fees. As a Straight-Through-Processing (STP), no dealing desk (NDD) broker, ThinkMarkets connects customers to top-tier liquidity providers, allowing retail investor accounts to trade forex with institutional grade spreads. Unlike the broker’s standard account with no minimum deposit needed, ThinkZero account holders need to deposit at least $500 or £500 to trade.
As ThinkZero spreads are tighter than standard, commission-free spreads, customers pay a flat rate commission fee for each side of the trade.
Commissions with ThinkMarkets are:
Forex traders following Sharia law can sign up to ThinkMarkets Islamic Account. Islamic trading accounts do not pay and receive swap rates derived from interest rates and instead pay a flat rate fee for open positions. In place of swaps (also called overnight fees or rolling fees), ThinkMarkets charges a flat rate weekly administrative fee for positions held 7 days or longer. Islamic account holders trading major forex pairs incur $5 financing fees, while a $10 fee is charged when trading minor forex pair.
If you are registered with ThinkMarkets in the UK or Europe, then you may be eligible for a Professional. This account is for professional traders only. If you qualify for a Professional account, then you gain the following benefits:
Although professional traders gain access to significantly higher leverage, professional traders will lose the following benefits retails traders have:
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ThinkMarkets offers competitive spreads for both its Standard Account and ThinkZero Account types. Standard account spreads are wider, as there are no commission costs. ThinkZero spreads on the other hand, have ECN pricing and can be as low as 0.0 pips.
Spreads on standard accounts that charge no commission fees are competitive when trading forex with ThinkMarkets. Forex spreads can be as tight as 0.4 pips, while average spreads are 1.2 pips. When trading metals, pricing starts from 25 cents and CFDs 0.4 points.
The ECN-like account type provides an institutional trading environment with ultra-tight spreads and low commission fees. As spreads are tight and commissions are low, the ThinkZero account is suitable for day trading, scalping and for traders using Expert Advisors. While forex spreads can be as low as 0.0 pips during times of market volatility, average spreads are 0.1 pips for many major currency pairs.
While there is no difference between account types regarding CFD trading, ThinkZero account holders gain access to discounted pricing on metals, being 8 cents
No dealing desk (NDD) straight-through-processing ensures ThinkMarkets traders gain access to ultra-tight spreads in a range of asset classes. As ThinkMarkets send orders directly to external liquidity providers, with no dealing desk execution, there is no conflict of interest between ThinkMarkets and the broker’s liquidity sources. Seen as a hybrid of market makers and ECN brokers, customers trading with STP brokers experience less slippage than pure market maker brokers.
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Depending on the ThinkMarkets subsidiary you are trading with and the financial instrument you are trading, different leverage limits will be available. This is because each ThinkMarkets subsidiary is overseen by a different regulatory body.
When trading forex with the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and FSCA (Financial Services Conduct Authority, South Africa) then you can trade with leverage of 500:1.
If you are with ThinkMarkets FCA (Financial Conduct Authority, UK) your leverage can be a maximum 30:1 for major currencies and 20:1 for minor and exotic currencies.
When trading CFDs, the maximum leverage a trader can use depends also on the asset class the CFD product is derived from. For instance, trading strategies involving indices can be leveraged up to 200:1, metals 400:1, energy 200:1, gas 25:1, shares 5:1 and outside the UK cryptocurrency (including Bitcoin) 5:1 when trading with ThinkMarkets ASIC and FSCA regulated subsidiaries.
On the other hand, ThinkMarkets FCA and ESMA regulated brokers face stricter regulation in regards to leverage, with lower leverage caps enforced by European and UK financial authorities:
While leverage is useful for traders to maximise gains, trading CFDs and forex is a high-risk investment activity and you should apply leverage with caution. Full contract specifications can be found on the broker’s website.
ThinkMarkets customers have a choice of three trading platforms. These are the broker’s proprietary trading platform, ThinkTrader, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5). ThinkTrader is restricted to a desktop platform or trading apps, while MT4 and MT5 are offered as a mobile app on both iOS and Android devices, a web trader platform accessible from any browser or desktop trading platform compatible with Windows or Mac computers.
As a MetaTrader 4 trader, ThinkMarkets customers gain access to advanced charting tools and automated trading features that can be used to develop complex trading strategies. The easy-to-use interface suits all levels of experience, hence its reputation as one of the best trading platforms available to retail investor accounts.
Advanced charting tools
Although MT4 retains a strong following, MetaTrader 5 offers improvements from its predecessor including more charting tools, greater market access and improved backtesting features.
Another advantage of using MT5 over MT4 includes the trading platforms for customer support. With MT4’s customer service being phased out, less help is available for those with trading platform issues or queries.
The broker offers a proprietary trading software platform for Mac and Windows computers and iOS and Android devices. The mobile trading app is well-reviewed and offers a user-friendly trading environment, a wide range of technical analysis tools and risk management features.
If you are looking to get your skin in the trading game but don’t know much about forex or other CFD product, then social trading can be a solution. With this type of trading, you can copy the trades of other successful traders.
ThinkMarkets offers ZuluTrade, a copy trading tool that you can integrate with MT4. With this platform, you pick and follow a trader in the ZuluTrade community and then set your strategy filters such as lot size and risk management. Once done, ZuluTrade will automatically copy the trades of who you follow.
Customers of ThinkMarkets can choose between generous amounts of CFD instruments spread across 8 asset classes. CFD trading can be done on over 1,500 financial instruments including forex currency pairs, cryptocurrencies (outside UK), indices and futures to metals, commodities and shares & ETFs.
The list of available CFD products can be traded across ThinkMarkets’ suite of powerful trading platforms (MT4, MT5 and proprietary platform ThinkTrader). However, the FX broker offers a more diverse list of tradable shares CFDs on its MT5 and ThinkTrader as compared to the MetaTrader 4.
ThinkMarkets offers a reduced number of 40 currency pairs and world’s 5 biggest cryptocurrencies. The FX offerings include all the:
Additionally, traders can speculate on the price movement of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash without the need for an external wallet or a crypto exchange. While no additional trading cost is charged by ThinkMarkets, except the spread, crypto trading is only available during the weekdays.
Important Note: In 2020, the UK’s regulatory body (the FCA) banned retail traders from trading cryptocurrency CFDs. Those wanting to trade crypto will need to sign up to ThinkMarkets subsidiaries outside of the UK, such as the Aust ASIC regulated branch.
ThinkMarkets’ indices offerings give you access to the major world stock market indices from 5 continents. ThinkMarkets indices include 15 global indices like ASX 200, S&P 500 or Nikkei 225; the US dollar currency index and 6 additional AUD-denominated indices (GER30aud, UK100aud, JPN225aud, NAS100aud, SPX500aud and US30aud)
At ThinkMarkets, you can also gain access to 13 futures contracts that cover several underlying instruments like commodities, stock indices or VIX volatility.
ThinkMarkets offers you the opportunity to diversify your trading portfolio and trade on a range of 7 metal pairs and 3 energies. Additionally, to the standard Gold spot contract, ThinkMarkets expanded on its tradable product list by including 2 mini contracts (XAU/USD Mini and XAG/USD Mini) which allow you to trade in smaller position sizes. They also offer prices on 3 energy contracts (US Crude Oil, Brent Crude Oil and Natural Gas).
The broker also provides access to more than 1,500 CFD shares and 50 ETFs to speculate on. You can start trading on the world’s biggest companies with margin starting from 5% and the ability to go both long and short without actually owning the underlying physical stock.
Start trading today on a wide range of companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and so much more.
Traders can use live chat, phone or email to get in touch with a ThinkMarkets customer support team. Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.
ThinkMarkets offer a solid suite of educational resources designed for beginner, intermediate and experienced traders. Education tools include:
Resources aimed towards beginner traders offer a soft introduction to forex trading, with how-to guides and glossaries available. Intermediate trading tutorials cover more complex topics such as chart patterns and order types. Lastly, the advanced tutorial guide addresses complex technical and fundamental analysis.
To help customers develop trading strategies and manage the high risk of forex and CFD trading, ThinkMarkets provides the following research tools:
ThinkMarkets do not charge customers any fees when making deposits and withdrawals from their trading accounts. Below is a list of deposit and withdrawal methods available with ThinkMarkets. Unfortunately, Paypal is not an option. It is also worth noting that payment methods are not available in certain countries.
To trade with ThinkMarkets, there is no minimum deposit requirement to open an account however clients will need to make a deposit of £/$500 to trade. When establishing a trading account, customers can choose from one of five base currencies: USD, CHF, EUR, AUD and GBP.
ThinkMarkets are regulated by multiple top-tier financial authorities around the world. In the United Kingdom, the broker is overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and required to segregate client funds, provide negative balance protection, and enforce close out margins.
ThinkMarkets Australian brokerage services are located in Melbourne and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). As an ASIC regulated broker, Think Markets Au has to ensure clients’ funds are held in segregated accounts, yet investor balance protection or closeout margins are not a legal requirement.
In addition to FCA and ASIC oversight, ThinkMarkets subsidiaries operating in South Africa and Bermuda and regulated by The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA).
To manage the high risk of forex and CFD trading, customers can place stop loss and trailing stop orders, but order types are limited. While ThinkMarkets do not offer premium orders such as Guaranteed Stop-Loss Orders (GSLOs), the broker provides significant investor protection to all traders, regardless of jurisdiction.
Although the broker’s UK subsidiary is required by law to provide up to £85,000 in investor insurance under The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the broker offers much more extensive investor protection to all clients, regardless of location or jurisdiction. If ThinkMarkets folds, all ThinkMarkets customers will have insurance up to $/£100,000,000.
To meet ESMA requirements, FCA has some regulation which online brokers in the UK must follow. While ThinkMarkets offers the same Standard account and ThinkZero account with the same basic trading conditions to all clients, leverage and risk management varies.
As professional traders have a greater understanding of leveraged trading and access to greater capital, trading conditions set by the regulator are more relaxed for traders who qualify.
To qualify for a professional account, traders will need the following pass 2 of the following 3 criteria:
The following leverage is available for Professional traders.
Professional traders will lose negative balance protection and automotive close you when trading account equity falls below 50%.
Spread Betting is an alternative form of derivatives trading to CFDs. Popular in the UK because of its capital gains saving, spread betting allows you to speculate on price movements in a range of markets. Spread betting differs from CFD trading as traders do not own contracts of the underlying assets.
ThinkTrader allows spread betting with all its instruments except for cryptocurrency. Spreads for EURUSD starts from 0.8 pip, and leverage is the same as for CFDs.
With different account types, a wide range of markets and 3 top trading platforms, ThinkMarkets caters to all levels of trading experience from beginner traders to experienced investors. Those scalping, day trading or developing automated trading strategies are better suited to a ThinkZero account type that offers ECN-style trading and pricing. Beginner traders may benefit from the simplicity of ThinkMarkets standard account, where there are no additional commission fees.
Features that make ThinkMarkets one of the best brokers around include:
To get the fastest trading execution speeds and reduce the chance of slippage, ThinkMarkets uses the largest trading ecosystem available, being Equinix trading servers. As every millisecond counts to get the bid and ask price you want, ThinkMarkets has two Equinix data centres located in London and Hong Kong.
Equinix’s LD5 centre is located 11 miles from the centre of London and is where over 1000 exchanges, companies and liquidity providers operate. This data centre has an uptime record of 99.99% and offers some of the fastest available execution speed.
This data centre is close to the financial hub of Asia. Over 455 companies are based in the Hong Kong hub.
ThinkMarkets offers a solid suite of CFDs for trade. These include
See out leverage section to see how much leverage is available for each CFD.
ThinkMarkets is overseen by top-tier regulatory bodies such as the FCA in the UK, and ASIC in Australia. With tier-1 oversight, ThinkMarkets is considered a safe broker with strong investor protection policies. To compare ThinkMarkets to other ASIC regulated brokers click here, and FCA brokers here.
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.