IC Markets Broker Review
- Commissions & Fees
- Investment Offerings
- Trading Platforms
- Customer Service
- Education and Research
If you are in the trading industry, you make have heard of the forex broker IC Markets. With a wide range of trading products and features, IC Markets has climbed the ladder in the forex broker industry. Is IC Markets the right broker for you? Read our review to learn more.
About IC Markets
Founded in 2007, IC Markets is an Australian based and ASIC regulated broker. Throughout their tenure in the industry over the previous decade, they have continually grown and evolved into a major player in the industry. This is particularly true since their 2009 ASIC registration which put them among some of the major brokers in the industry.
The broker has an extensive range of offerings across a wide number of markets. As with all of our forex broker reviews, we will endeavor to deliver the most insightful and thorough run down of these features to make your job of choosing a broker somewhat easier.
IC Markets offers three types of account to the majority of its traders. Specifically, these are the cTrader account which allows for ECN trading through the medium of this trading platform; the True ECN Account which utilizes metatrader; and the Standard Account which also uses Metatrader.
The minimum deposit on all accounts is $200. This is considerably higher than many other brokers such as Avatrade who require half of this amount.
Availability and Ease of Opening
IC Markets accounts are available to traders in most parts of the world. The only current exceptions to this is residents of the United States, Canada, Israel, and Iran.
Opening an IC Markets demo account is extremely easy and the process can be completed within just a few minutes. This entails entering your basic personal information and choosing your account type. From here, you can utilize any of the trading platforms to experience trading on the platform with your virtual balance.
Opening an IC Markets live account is a similarly hassle free process. The only difference from the previous registration process is that you should also submit your proof of ID and residence documents. These can be electronically submitted and approved, greatly expediting the process.
IC Markets offers an extensive range of trading products to choose from. These include more than 60 forex currency pairs comprised of major, minor, and exotic pairings. Additionally, users can trade CFDs in commodities, indices, bonds, futures, over 100 stocks, and 10 major cryptocurrencies.
The range products and markets offered for trading through IC Markets broker is impressive. This is true even among major brokers, many of which do not offer a comparable number of cryptocurrency trading markets.
IC Markets Commissions and Fees
The broker offers a variety of options when it comes to commissions and spreads. Trading through the standard account option is commission free, although with slightly higher spreads starting from 1.0 pips. Both ECN account options offer trading from a 0 pips spread, although a commission is implemented on trading with these accounts.
cTrader ECN commission is $3 per trade of 100,000 currency units, and metatrader ECN account commission is $3.50 per trade of the same amount.
Overall, the average spread when trading with IC Markets ranges between 0.70 – 1.1 pips on the EUR/USD market. This is representative of a competitive rate when compared with other brokers of a similar stature.
The broker does not charge any fees for deposits or most withdrawals by traders. The only transactions which will incur fees are international bank wire withdrawals. Here the company passes on a fee of $20AUD to its traders.
IC Markets also does not charge any fee on inactive accounts. Swap fees will be charged at a variable rate depending upon the markets. More information on overnight fees and interest can be viewed direct from the broker here. Islamic account options are available for those who require them upon request.
IC Markets Platforms and Tools
IC Markets avails of both cTrader, MT4, and MT5 in their varying forms. This gives traders a strong selection of well-known and respected trading platforms from which to choose.
IC Markets offers its three available trading platforms for desktop use. The merits of MT4 have been well documented. These include its ease of use thanks to a core design layout. This layout which is highly customizable, is easily controlled from the side toolbars which can also display a Market Watch charting the current pricing of the most popular markets.
The central console of the trading platform on both MT4 and MT5 is dominated by charting displays. Again, these are highly customizable in size and display format. Metatrader offers some of the most extensive options when it comes to charting analytics. These include a huge number of indicators and technical tools. Furthermore, the Expert Advisors function which assists in implementing automated trading strategies is heralded throughout the sector.
Ordering processes are also very concise and offering all of the detailed or basic options required by any trader in order to take up a potentially successful position.
Moving to cTrader, Spotware ensure it offers much of the same detail and capability for traders. This includes in the automated trading department where both cAlgo and cBots can be utilized. The addition of EA Labs to the platform also provides traders with greater flexibility in customizing their automated trading strategies with IC Markets.
Both platforms function extremely well, with years of industry experience behind them. In-terms of visuals and ease of use, cTrader probably emerges in front for the less experienced trader, though many can also benefit from the scaled back visuals and raw performance of Metatrader platforms.
Mobile Trading Platform
Both platforms are also available on web and mobile. The mobile platform version of MT4 provides much of the same impressive charting capability and an app which is both easy to navigate, concise, and can manage all of your broker accounts in the same individual application.
cTrader is also impressive in mobile format, offering many professional insights and trading capability on the move through its application which is both user-friendly and possesses a visually appealing interface, both backed by professional grade functionality in terms of ordering and charting.
Education and Research
IC Markets offers solid education and research opportunities. Beginning with research, traders have access to a range of features. These include trading news and market analysis provided in association with Trading Central. The broker also utilizes the MQL5 economic calendar, and has recently integrated EA Labs to make it more flexible for traders to implement automated trading strategies through Metatrader. They also provide their own blog which is regularly updated with market views and analysis for traders.
Moving to education, they provide a substantial number of options to traders in this regard, all of which are centered around the IC Markets site. These include step by step trading guides and introductions for novice traders, on to more advanced video lessons, blogs, and strategy guide. Their offering is well in line with other industry competitors.
IC Markets Differentiators
IC Markets sets itself apart in a number of ways from other competitors in the industry. One of the primary ways in which it does so is through the offering of both Metatrader and cTrader platforms. This is relatively rare within the sector, besides OctaFX. This provides traders with multiple options depending on the platform they prefer.
Spreads and commissions as well as the number of markets offered by the broker are also highly competitive. This is surely part of the reason why the company has made such positive progress within its years in the sector.
IC Markets makes extensive customer support options available to all traders. These include local telephone support in Australia, Thailand, U.K., and China. This support is operated Sunday through Friday from 10am – 10pm GMT.
Email and web-based live chat support are also offered and available to both customers and potential customers with questions related to the broker.
All of the service channels were answered promptly and with useful, relevant information when tested.
IC Markets Trustworthiness
This is a major factor for any broker, and one which IC Markets satisfies well. They have been active in the industry for over a decade, and whilst this is not enough to ensure complete trust, they have always acted in compliance and without any major issues in that time.
The stand out point to be noted on trust is the fact that in 2009, two-years after they were initially launched, IC Markets decided to become regulated by ASIC. This is one of the most well-respected regulatory bodies in the global financial world, and a willingness to be overseen in this manner highlights the positive direction of the company.
Overall, IC Markets is a well-established broker in the industry, having been operational for more than a decade. They clearly recognize the needs and desires of their traders along every step of the journey. This applies in their provision of trading platforms, spreads, and willingness to be regulated.
Many of these elements within IC Markets should have a positive impact on the mindset of traders, knowing that they are foremost in the thoughts of the company. This is also the attitude which will serve to ensure IC Markets remains a force within the forex sector for some years to come.
- IC Markets offers some of the most competitive spreads in the industry, both on their commission-free and ECN account types.
- The wide ranging catalogue of trading products, particularly in cryptocurrency, is something which will appeal to traders of all levels who wish to be presented with more options than are typically available elsewhere.
- ASIC is one of the most respected regulatory bodies in this industry. This should promote a sense of trust among users.
- Offering both cTrader and Metatrader platforms allows traders more freedom to decide, and ultimately may be more suitable to experienced traders who are accustomed to using one of these trading platforms.
- A minimum deposit of $200 can be considered relatively high. This may act to prevent some novice traders from getting involved.
- Some traders may like to see a proprietary platform options added to the existing cTrader and Metatrader choices.