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FP Markets

FP Markets Review
Trader's rating 4.6
Editor's rating 4.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size  Maximum leverage Typical Spreads
Standard  $100  0.01  1:500 1.45 pips 
ECN Raw $1000  0.01  1:500  0.45 pips + AUD $3.5 / lot (per side)

 

FP MARKETS offers its clients a choice of two live account types: Standard commission-free one, and RAw account which provides tighter spreads, but also involving a commission.


Micro lots are available for trade on both account types and, of course, the broker also provides free Demo accounts, which are always appreciated by inexperienced traders.


The Company. Security of Funds


FP MARKETS (FPM) is a CFD and forex provider specializing in Direct Market Access (DMA) trading, that has over 10 years of experience.


The company behind the FP MARKETS brand is First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd., which holds an Australian Financial Services License and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).


ASIC requires licensed companies to meet certain requirements and to comply with various rules. Clients’ money is to be kept in segregated trust accounts. As for the minimum capital requirement, forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to prove their good financial standing. In comparison, UK’s FCA requires forex brokers to possess at least 730 000 EUR and Cyprus’ CySEC – 1 000 000 EUR.


Unlike many EU-based brokers, however, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme. FCA-regulated brokerages, for example, fall under Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects consumers up to £50,000 per person per company.


Despite the regulation and the requirements set to Australian brokers, one should be aware of the risks of trading Margin FX and CFDs. Returns and gains are not guaranteed. ASIC, the Australian Government nor any other person guarantees any funds in your account.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit
Traders are required to deposit $100 in order to open an account with FP MARKETS, which is an average initial amount.


Average Spreads & Commissions

FP MARKETS offers variable spreads, the typical ones on its commission-free account amounting to 1.45, and the ones on the ECN Raw accounts averaging to 0.45 pips on EUR/USD. Considering that commission of $3 per standard lot per side applies on the Raw account, trading costs of such account holders amount to a little over 1 pip, which is a competitive pricing.


For further information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.


Maximum Leverage
Clients of FP MARKETS use leverage ratios up to 1:500 and such maximum leverage level is considered high. Some jurisdictions cap leverage to levels significantly lower than this (i.e. 1:50 in the US), because higher leverage involves higher risk of heavy losses in excess of initial investments.


Trading Platforms


FP MARKETS offers its customers several trading platforms: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5, and its in-house IRESSTrader, specialized in CFDs trading.


MT4 is the most widely used forex platform, available to FPM’s clients as PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android versions. MT4 provides all the tools and resources a trader needs: a number of technical indicators, advanced charting package, extensive back-testing environment and a wide range of Expert Advisers (EAs). By using EAs traders may sit back, while the software does all the work, as Expert Advisers allow full automatization of trades.


If you are running EAs, it is vital that your platform is Internet connected 24 hours a day. The best solution in this case is VPS and FP Markets has partnered with TradersColo and BeeksFX VPS, to provide a customized low latency solution for their clients. The VPS seamlessly connects traders to the Equinix NY4 grid using cutting edge technology and providing excellent execution.


What is more, there are Multi Account Manager MAM/PAMM options on MT4. MetaFX has developed a stand-alone console to assist Multi Account manages in trading. The MAM/PAMM offered are customizable and user friendly.

 

As MT4 will soon be phased out, the broker launched trading in the latest version of MetaQuotes software - MetaTrader 5. It has most of the great features of MT4 (such as the great charting, and EAs), as well as some new ones. Most importantly, the MT5 offer traders the opportunity to trade an extended number of instruments from a variety of asset classes. 


As regards FP Markets’ proprietary platform IRESSTrader, it provides its clients with access to DMA CFDs with industry leading execution, a wide ranges of order types, stop-loss, live news feeds, international data, complete market depth and charting facilities.


IRESSTrader is a web based platform you can access from any PC or even a mobile device.


Methods of Payment


FP MARKETS offers its clients a variety of deposit/withdrawal methods: via credit/debit card, bank wire, BPAY, AstroPay, Neteller, Skrill, China UnionPay.


Depending on the depositing method, clients may use the following currencies: AUD, USD, SGD, CHF, GBP, CAD, HKD, JPY, EUR, and NZD.


Conclusion


FP MARKETS is a reliable Australian STP broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in variety of assets, including Bitcoin (with leverage 1:10). These can be traded on three trading platforms with NDD execution (no conflict of interest). To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to FP MARKETS:

 

Pros  Cons
Low cost of trading, NDD execution No significant doisadvantages
ASIC-regulated  
Many platforms available (MT4, MT5, as well as a proprietary one)  
High leverage levels  

 

Headquarters: FP Markets Pty, Ltd Level 5, Exchange House, 10 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Country: Australia

Regulated by: ASIC

GDAX

GDAX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:3 0% Up to 0.25%

 

GDAX, which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange, is a company owned by Coinbase. While some of you may know Coinbase for the ability to purchase Bitcoin directly by Credit Card, GDAX is the other part of the company – the exchange aimed at traders. Trading fees at GDAX are much lower and margin trading is available.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

As mentioned above GDAX is actually a part of San Francisco – based Coinbase. The company holds the New York BitLicnese, which is by its nature an interesting piece of legislation. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) attempted to make the city a major Bitcoin trading center, the same way it hosts the world’s largest stock exchange. One may argue the idea backfired, as a lot of the key players backed-out of the 2015 proposal. This is due to the burdensome and slow regulatory procedure. As of the summer of 2017 only three companies have received the license and Coinbase is one of them.

 

When it comes to hacking, a major attack has not struck GDAX or Coinbase. That being the case, there was a “flash crash” in Ethereum prices, which raises suspicion. The coin was trading at around $317, when it suddenly spiked to an alleged value of 10 cents and quickly retraced. The company proceeded to halt trading and later claimed this was merely a “fat finger” - single large trader accidentally placed a market sell order, which triggered a chain of stop-loss orders to be executed. Here is а live video, shot by a trader, who has connected a MetaTrader4 platform to his GDAX account (the interesting thing happens around 2:50):

 

 

The public’s concerns, of course, come from the fact GDAX offers margin trading. The company could have manipulated the price, in order to wipe-out traders who were long. All of this is purely speculation.

 

 

Other than this case, the user reviews for GDAX generally match the ones for Coinbase. One of the major concerns of the fans of decentralization in the cryptoverse, is the fact a lot of the investors behind the project are well-established in the traditional financial sector.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only three crypto currencies are available at GDAX, namelyBitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Trading is done against USD and EUR, with BTC/GBP also being available, alongside the crypto-crosses ETH/BTC and LTC/BTC.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum initial deposit at GDAX, which is not that unusual in the crypto currency sphere. On the other hand, most forex brokers have such a level and disclose it on their websites. For instance the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG (who also offer some coins as CFDs) proudly announce they do not have a minimum – you can open an account for as low as you want.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is available on GDAX, with a maximum leverage ratio of 1:3. While this may sound like nothing in comparison to the 1:500, which a lot of forex brokers offer, keep in mind such high levels only apply for fiat currencies, which rarely have price movements bigger than 1-2% per day. 

 

When it comes to crypto, the aforementioned broker IG offers 1:13 in leverage (a 7.5% margin requirement). For a full comparison between crypto-exchanges and forex brokers, who offer Bitcoin trading, read this article.

 

Fees

The costs of trading at GDAX are a lot lower than the ones available at Coinbase. When trading on the exchange, market “makers” (the people who place passive orders and wait for other traders to trigger them) do not pay a fee. Market “takers” (i.e. the “aggressive” traders who directly buy/sell with a market order) pay fees starting from 0.25% and going down for the bigger traders. Both of these levels (especially the free of charge passive trading) are very competitive.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by GDAX, which is web-based, is a lot better than the one offered at Coinbase. That being said, we find the charting lacking when compared to the charts provided by TradigView (which other exchanges have integrated, as well as MetaTrader4, of course. Only a couple of predetermined moving averages are available, in terms of technical indicators. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located at the left and the more bizarre design decision to place the “ask” column on top of the “bids” is made. While this may seem strange to experienced traders it does provide a nice graphical representation for beginners. The tape is located to the left, with the middle ground being taken by the chart (which is nothing special) and the open positions tab. 

 

Methods of payment

 

While Coinbase is obviously the main source of clients (and funds) for GDAX, money can also be sent directly to the exchange. This is a massive convenience tool, as accounts can be funded, without the need of paying the hefty Coinbase fees. That being said, Credit/Debit Card deposits can only be made via Coinbase, while GDAX accepts Bank transfers.

 

Conclusion

 

GDAX is a part of Coinbase and more specifically the part of the company, which is targeting more active traders. The fee structure is very competitive, especially with the free market “maker” trades. The selection of trading assets is not great, but the trading platform feels relatively nice (although charting is nothing special). Here is a summary of GDAX: 

 

Pros Cons
New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
Competitive trading fees Suspicion regarding the ETH spike
No major hacks yet  
Accepts Bank Transfers  
Relatively nice trading platform  

 

Forex
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