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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. 

OANDA

OANDA Review
Trader's rating 2.9
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Avg.Spread 
Standard $ $1 - 1:50  1.4 pips on EUR/USD, variable

 

There is only one standard type of trading account at OANDA. On the one hand, this limits clients’ choice; on the other, it means that all account holders are treated equally.


To make things even better, this broker doesn’t require any minimum deposit, nor minimum trade size. However, you need to have at least $1 in your account balance in order to initiate a trade.


The Company


OANDA is one of the pioneer online forex brokers. Established back in 1996, It is now a large group with offices in Toronto, San Francisco, New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney. ALL group companies are duly regulated by the relevant authorities in the US, Singapore, Canada, the UK, Japan and Australia.


OANDA offers Internet-based forex trading and currency information services to both retail and institutional customers. The broker is a market maker, having one of the largest currency databases in the world. Its product portfolio includes forex, index, commodity & bond CFDs, as well as precious metals.


Security of Funds


OANDA Corporation is a registered Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and is a member of the National Futures Association.


Brokers that are registered with the NFA are obliged to comply with an extensive set of rules. Unfortunately, these rules are often limiting from traders' point of view, but there is no way around them. For instance, hedging is not allowed and leverage is limited to 1:50, while European brokers are free to provide leverages up to 1:1000 or even higher than that.


Besides, NFA-registered brokers are required to maintain a net capital of at least $20 million to guarantee customers’ positions, which makes them super safe to invest with. Similar minimum capital requirements apply in most jurisdictions, for instance UK-based brokers are obliged to hold at least 730 000 EUR in order to prove their financial stability, and Australian ones must possess a minimum of $ 1 million in order to operate legitimately.


All OANDA Subsidiaries, including OANDA Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OANDA (Canada) Corporation ULC (Canada), OANDA Europe Limited (UK), OANDA Japan Inc. (Japan) and OANDA Australia Pty Ltd. (Australia) are duly licensed and regulated by the respective bodies.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit

OANDA has no minimum deposit requirements for opening an account. This makes it attractive for risk averse or inexperienced traders who are not willing to invest a large amount of money.


Most brokers require a certain minimum initial deposit in order to cover the costs related to opening a new account. For instance, Forex.com demands $250 from its clients to start with, and FXCM - $50.


Average spreads & Commissions
This broker offers variable spreads, the average ones on EUR/USD amounting to 1.4 pips, which is on the upper end of average. Clients, however, take advantage of commission-free trading, as OANDA doesn’t charge any commission for their trading services, nor any account maintenance fees. Instead, the broker gets its remuneration through the spread.


In comparison, FOREX.com, also a global FSA-regulated broker and market maker, offers average spread of 1.8 pips on EUR/USD and also charges no commission fees. You may look up real-time spread of 15 leading brokers here.


Maximum Leverage
OANDA offers a maximum leverage level of 1:50 on FX products, which is quite low, however, the broker has no choice, since US regulator has set a limitation on leverage ratios. CFTC limits leverage available to retail forex traders in the United States to 1:50 on major currency pairs and 20:1 for all others.


If you need higher leverage, you can pick a broker, who offers leverage ratios of 1:500 and exceeding 1:500 from this list. We advise traders to exercise caution when using higher leverage levels, for such rates may not only multiply their earnings on a small deposit, but also lead to heavy losses in excess of the initial investments made.


Trading Platforms


Oanda provides its clients with a choice of threetrading platforms: its custom-made fxTrade, Protrader Multi-Connect (PTMC) and the popular MetaTrader 4.


fxTrade comes in desktop, web and mobile versions. It has a simple, yet effective interface, and what is more important – superb execution speed. According to OANDA`s website, this platform executes 98% of trades within 0.057 seconds or less, which is super-fast.


Furthermore, fxTrade is equipped with intuitive and powerful charting features, multiple sub-accounts to test different trading strategies and financial news and market analysis from leading news providers.


We presume that fxTrade is aimed mostly at new traders, since it has all the usual functionalities, but more advanced features are missing.

 

Oanda`s proprietary  fxTrade. Click to enlarge.

 

Oanda recently added to its platforrms line up Protrader, developed by PFSOFT. Protrader offers everything regular forex trading platforms do: Advanced charts and technical analysis, indicators, various order types, customization options, and auto trading options. In fact, Protrader has created AlgoStudio - a professional algorithmic strategy development tool. It enables users to test different types of data aggregation: time, ticks, range, Renko, LineBreak, etc.

 

In addition, Oanda offers the powerful MetaTrader 4, which is highly regarded by the online trading community mostly because it allows users to fully automate their trades. By choosing from a wide range of Expert Advisors (EAs), traders may sit back, while the program does all the work. What is more, it offers a number of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and advanced charting package. Here is a list of more forex brokers offering MT4 platform.


In addition, fxTrade bridges directly to MetaTrader 4 using custom-built technology, which we find useful.


Methods of Payment


OANDA offers its clients various methods to deposit/withdraw funds to and from their accounts. They vary, depending on the OANDA division of registration, but the main payment modes are debit/credit card, bank wire, checks, PayPal and UnionPay.


Conclusion


OANDA is a leading global forex broker, offering online trading in a wide range of currency pairs, CFDs and precious metals under attractive conditions. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and disadvantages of this broker:

 

Pros  Cons
Variety of platforms offered  Market maker
Mt4 available Low maximum leverage
No initial deposit required  
No minimum trade size  
No commission and account maintenance fees  
Well-regulated  

 

Find Better Broker 

Headquarters:140 Broadway, 46th Floor, New York, NY 10005 

Country: United States

Regulated by: CFTC, NFA , MAS, FSA, IIROC, DFSA

Branches:
OANDA UK 
OANDA Japan 
OANDA Asia Pacific
OANDA Middle East 

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