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IC Markets

IC Markets Review
Trader's rating 4
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type/Platform Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage  Typical Spread Swap-free
(MT4) Standard  $200 0.01  1:500 1.1 pips on EUR/USD Yes
(MT4) True ECN $200 0.01  1:500 0.1 pips on EUR/USD + $3.5 per standard lot per side Yes
cTrader ECN $1000 0.01  1:500 0.1 pips on EUR/USD + commission of $3.00 per standard lot per side No

 

IC Markets offers its clients a choice of three live account types, available on two different platforms. The Standard account is a commission-free one, and True ECN one provides tighter spreads, but a commission of $7 round turn applies.


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


What is more, IC Markets provides swap-free service to investors of Islamic belief, who are able to open Sharia-compliant accounts.


The Company. Security of Funds


Incorporated in Sydney, Australia in 2007, IC MARKETS is a NDD broker providing trading in more than 80 instruments, including a number of currency pairs, various CFDs on indices, commodities and futures, as well as precious metals. It also offers trading in some of the most popular cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Dash and Bitcoin Cash.


The company behind the IC MARKETS brand is International Capital 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 comply with various rules and to meet certain requirements. Clients’ money is to be kept in segregated trust accounts, separated from the companies’ operating funds. As for the minimum capital requirement, forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to prove their good financial standing and to operate legitimately.


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


We would also like to point out that unlike many EU-based brokers, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme. 

 

In 2008, IC Markets got a license from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (‘CySEC’) and can now offer its services thoroughout the European Union and the EEA.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit
Traders are required to deposit $200 in order to open an account with IC Markets, which is an average initial amount. In comparison, Plus500 requires $100 and XM (holding, among others, also an ASIC license) demands just $5 from its clients as a start.


Average Spreads & Commissions

IC Markets offers variable spreads, the typical ones on its commission-free account amounting to 1.1, which is average. Spreads on the ECN accounts, on the other hand, are as low as 0.1 pips on EUR/USD on average, involving a commission of $6/$7 per standard lot round turn on the cTrader and MT4 respectively. So, trading costs of such account holders amount to just 07 – 0.8 pips, commission included, which is really attractive, especially considering that one can open such ECN MT4 account for just 200 bucks.


In comparison, XM also offers variable spreads starting from 0.0 pips on EUR/USD and applies commission of $5 on its Zero account, while spreads on its commission-free accounts start from 1.0 pips.


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


Maximum Leverage

Clients of IC Markets use leverage ratios up to 1:500 and such maximum leverage rate is considered high. Some jurisdictions cap leverage to significantly lower levels (i.e. 1:25 in Japan), because higher leverage involves higher risk of losses in excess of initial investments.


Most brokers usually offer leverage of up to 1:200 or 1:400, for instance global broker FXCM, also holding an ASIC license, provides leverage up to 1:400, and Plus500 – up to 1:200. Nevertheless, many brokers provide leverage ratios equal to or exceeding 1:500.


Trading Platforms


While most brokers provide just the MT4 and/or their in-house platform, IC Markets offers its customers a choice of three popular platforms: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader. 


MT4 is the most widely used forex platform, available to the broker’s clients as Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android versions, as well as a Web Trader version. MT4 provides all the tools and resources a trader needs: a number of technical indicators, advanced charting package, wide range of Expert Advisers (EAs) and extensive back-testing environment. EAs are especially popular among experienced users, as they allow full automatization of trades, so traders may sit back, while the software does all the work.


If you are running EAs, it is vital that your platform is connected to our servers 24 hours a day. The best solution in this case is VPS and IC Markets has partnered with Commercial Network Services, NYCServers 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, this broker provides Multi Account Manager MAM/PAMM options on MT4.

 

IC markets launched the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform in May, 2017. The MT5 sees a growing level of use recently, as MetaQuotes company tries to strengthen its presence on the market and ouphase its still more popular predecessor, the MT4.

 

In addition, IC Markets offers access to cTrader platform, which is custom-made for use in ECN environment. The IC Markets cTrader suite includes a PC, web and mobile versions, as well as automated trading software cAlgo.

Traders who are fond of automated trading are offered three more options with this broker: ZuluTrade, Myfxbook’s AutoTrade and Signal Trader's unique mirroring technology.


Institutional and high-volume traders (with minimum volume of $500 million per month) are also offered FIX API option to access market leading liquidity at affordable prices. The FIX Inside API can integrate the proprietary electronic and algorithmic client server, browser based, and mobile trading systems.


Methods of Payment


IC MARKETS offers its clients a variety of deposit/withdrawal methods: via credit/debit card, bank wire, BPAY, Neteller, Skrill, Webmoney, China UnionPay, FasaPay, PayPal and Qiwi.


What is more, this broker offers 10 flexible funding options in 10 different base currencies: AUD, USD, SGD, CHF, GBP, CAD, HKD, JPY, EUR, and NZD.


Conclusion


IC MARKETS is a reliable NDD Australian broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in a wide range of products on two platforms. To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to IC MARKETS:

 

Pros  Cons
Low ECN spreads  No bonuses & rebates
Wide range of trading platforms & auto trading solutions  
ASIC-regulated   
High leverage levels available  

 

Country: Australia

Regulation: ASIC Australian Financial Services Licence Number 335692. 

easyMarkets

easyMarkets Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 3

Trading Accounts

  

Account type   Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Spreads
Standard $100 0.05 1:400 3 pips*
VIP $5000 0.1 1:400 1 pip

 

*Those Standard account holders who deposit $250 or more, get VIP spreads.

 

easyMarkets offers its clients two trading accounts to choose from, available on two platforms – the good old MetaTrader 4 and the broker’s proprietary web-based platform. Both account types offer commission-free trading, fixed spreads and leverage up to 1:400. Micro lots are available for trade only to Standard account holders.

 

There are a number of features available solely to VIP account holders, such as Personal Market Analyst, Loyalty Rebates, Express Withdrawals, Free trading signals, Free Breaking news, SMS Alerts, etc.

 

If you don’t need such extras or simply don’t want to invest 5 thousand bucks, you can get VIP spreads on your Standard account by depositing $250.

 

Islamic (swap-free) accounts compliant with the Sharia law are also available to clients who don’t want to earn interest for religious reasons.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Easy Forex Trading Ltd.

Cyprus

CySEC

EasyMarkets PTY Ltd.

Australia

ASIC

 

easyMarkets (previously Easy-Forex) is the trading name of Easy Forex Trading Ltd. – a Cyprus-based brokerage, established back in 2003. It provides its services in over 160 countries worldwide, offering trading in 175 products ranging from currencies, CFDs on indices commodities, metals and Bitcoin, as well as options and forward contracts. 

 

Easy Forex Trading Ltd, doing business as easyMarkets, is licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC, license No 079/07), and its Australian subsidiary - EasyMarkets PTY Ltd. - is authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).


CySEC applies certain rules to license holders, one of them being the requirement such firms to hold a minimum capital in order to conduct their business operations legitimately. The Commission requires Cyprus-based forex brokers to hold at least €730 000. As regulation of financial services providers usually involves such a requirement, Australian brokers are obliged to hold a minimum of $1,000,000 by ASIC.


Furthermore, the Cypriot financial watchdog applies a compensation scheme as additional guarantee to clients’ funds. All CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, the compensation fund of last resort for customers of authorized financial services firms. If the Company becomes insolvent or ceases trading, it is able to pay compensation to its covered clients, amounting to a maximum of 20,000 EUR.


Unlike many other EU-based brokers, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme.

 

Focus on client protection 

 

 

 

 

easyMarkets is a broker that places a special focus on client protection. Apart from offering tight fixed spreads, which do not widen during news releases, easyMarkets is one of the few brokers that provide Negative Balance Protection. This means that you can never lose more funds than you have deposited, even though you are trading on margin.

 

Besides, it allows forex traders to cancel losing trades via its state-of-the-art feature dealCancellation, available on its in-house platform.

 

Trading Conditions

  

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with easyMarkets, one has to deposit at least $100, which is a reasonable and competitive minimum initial deposit.

 

Spreads & Commissions

This broker offers fixed spreads, which allows traders to predetermine their costs. What is more, no commission fees are charged, as the broker generates revenues through the bid-ask spread paid by traders on each transaction.

 

Although fixed spreads generally tend to be wider that variable ones, this is not the case with easyMarkets – their spreads amount to 1 pips on EUR/USD and are accessible with a deposit of $250. In comparison, Exness and Plus500 (also regulated by CySEC) offer fixed spreads amounting to 2 pips for this currency pair.

 

Leverage

The maximum leverage level offered by this broker is 1:400, which is considered comparatively high, as CySEC has recently proposed the default leverage provided by brokers to be 1:50. The reason for such leverage limitations is that higher leverage involves higher risk of heavy losses. Nonetheless, many Cyprus-based brokers offer high leverage levels: XM – up to 1:888, FXTM – up to 1:500.

 

Trading Platforms

 

Clients of easyMarkets may choose from the broker’s proprietary web-based platform and the popular Metatrader 4 (MT4).

 

easyMarkets’ in-house platform offers advanced charts, live market news, technical analysis and sentiment all in one screen, one click trading (from the Market Explorer).

 

What is more, platform users get free Guaranteed stop loss and dealCancellation option, which are indeed two great risk management tools.

 

 

easyMarkets’ in-house web platform. Click to enlarge

 

 

In addition, easyMarkets offers the powerful MT4, allowing traders to fully automate their operations by choosing from a wide range of Expert Advisors (EA) and let the program do all the work. This is one of the reasons this platform to be preferred by most traders. Besides, it offers a number of useful technical indicators, extensive back-testing and advanced charting package, which includes the option to trade straight from the chart. Here is a list of more forex brokers offering MT4 platform.

 

Bonuses & Promotions

By the time of writing this review, there are two promotions offered (effective until March 31, 2016)

-        - First deposit bonus on initial deposit ranging from 30% to 50% (up to $2 000);

-         - Refer-a-friend bonus from $25 to $500 for new clients who deposit at least $250. 

 

Methods of Payment

 

easyMarkets offers a variety of payment methods, including credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Visa electron), bank transfer and e-wallet systems, such as, Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, SoFortüberweisung, American Express, Giropay, Ideal and UnionPay.

 

For withdrawals to credit/debit cards and eWallets there is no minimum withdrawal amount. For withdrawals to bank accounts, a minimum amount of USD 50 is required. All deposits and withdrawals with easyMarkets are commission-free.

 

Conclusion

 

easyMarkets is a well-regulated broker that offers trading in wide range of financial products products worldwide through both its proprietary platforms and the industry’s standard MT4. This is a broker that places a special focus on client protection. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to this broker: 

  

 

Pros

Cons

Well-regulated

No significant disadvantages

Tight fixed spreads, no commission fees

 

Variety of trading platforms offered, MT4 available

 

Negative balance protection, option to cancel losing trades

 

Promotions available

 

 

Headquarters: P.O.Box 53742, Limassol 3317
 

Country: Cyprus

 

Regulated by: CySEC – License Number 079/07

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