IC Markets is a forex and CFD online trading platform that was founded in 2007. IC Markets is an online broker is regulated by the FSA (Seychelles Financial Supervisory Authority), CYSEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) and AFSL (Australian Financial Services Licence).
IC Markets forex trading fees are low. Account opening, depositing and withdrawals are free, easy and fast.
IC Markets currently doesn’t provide negative balance protection. The product portfolio offered includes: FX, stock CFDs, cryptocurrencies, bonds CFDs, commodities and indices.
This online trading platform offers CFD products covering a decent range of financial assets including forex pairs, stocks, indexes, and commodities, and it is considered a safe broker as it is regulated by top-tier financial agencies around the world including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
The following is a list of the subsidiaries that this company uses to operate in the various markets it offers its brokerage services to:
- Australia: International Capital Markets Pty Ltd
- Seychelles: Raw Trading Ltd
- Cyprus: IKBK Holdings Ltd / IC Markets (EU) Ltd
Why should you read this review?
There's a large number of CFD trading platforms out there that you probably don't have the time to screen out and review individually.
You probably want to concentrate your efforts in what you do best, which is trading, and that is the main reason why you should give this review a look, as we summarize the most important details you need to know about this broker and the way they work. Here at Public Finance International, we take pride in researching and reviewing various trading platforms and presenting you with a detailed guide.
This guide will simplify the task of comparing between the different brokers available for your country of residence and we will cover most – if not all – of the important variables you should look out for including the number of CFD products available, the trading platform's interface and features, the quality of IC Markets' customer service, and the cost of trading with this broker.
This is a more detailed list of all the elements will we be addressing in this review:
- Main advantages of trading them.
- How safe it is to trade.
- Opening an account.
- Depositing and withdrawing money with IC Markets.
- Financial products offered – CFDs, forex.
- User experience and features of IC Markets trading platform.
- Third-party platforms supported (MetaTrader 4, etc).
- Trading fees charged by IC Markets.
- Research tools available.
- Educational materials available (demo account, tutorials, eBooks, etc).
- IC Markets customer service review.
What's the best about IC Markets?
IC Markets is generally seen as a good choice for forex traders who rely on algorithms and other advanced techniques to conduct their trades due to the advanced features offered by this broker.
The fact that they offer potential 0 pip trades is a great advantage for high-frequency traders and day-traders while the availability of third-party platforms such as Meta Trader 4, Meta Trader 5, and cTrader also makes this broker a nice alternative for more experienced traders.
Finally, even though the portfolio of CFDs offered is a bit limited compared to its competitors, it should suffice the scope of most traders, especially for forex pairs, indexes, and cryptocurrencies.
IC Markets Trading Platform
This company is an online trading platform. This broker offers hundreds of Contracts for Difference (CFD) to customers in Australia, Europe, and Asia, among other locations. IC Markets provide a robust platform that supports advanced trading tools such as MetaTrader 4, Meta Trader 5, and cTrader, via web, desktop, and mobile interfaces based on MT4.
This broker's main appeal is that it offers 0 pip spreads for certain CFDs, while commission fees and non-trading fees are on the low end of the industry as well. Additionally, IC Markets also offers fast order execution, relying on a low-latency fiber optics infrastructure with an average execution speed of under 40ms.
While this broker specializes in forex CFDs, this broker also offers CFDs that cover a selection of stocks, stock indexes, bonds, and commodities, making it an interesting choice for experienced traders seeking to take advantage of its robust trading systems while also having a wide range of financial assets to trade with.
Currently they don't offer a proprietary trading platform. Instead, this broker provides Meta Trader as the default platform, which is a third-party platform.
This is a significant downside for amateur traders who may not be accustomed to using advanced trading interfaces and definitely a competitive disadvantage compared to other forex brokers.
The most popular version of Meta Trader used by traders is MT4, even though MT5 and cTrader are also supported.
MT4 comes in more 34 different languages and provides significant possibilities in terms of customization and reporting, even though it has various downsides as well.
Here's a more detailed overview of the platform's features.
The web-version of IC Markets trading platform is a bit rough around the edges and lacks a modern design and the intuitiveness commonly seen in today's top-notch trading interfaces. However, the interface can be customized to a high degree.
The search function is one of those characteristics that lacks modernity, as the platform offers a drop-down list rather than an intuitive search box.
Additionally, no alerts or notifications can be set on the web version and the two-step login feature is not available either.
The desktop version of Meta Trader 4 is fairly similar to the web version, which means that it lacks in design and user-friendliness.
However, a few features are different, including the fact that you can set alerts and notifications sent via mobile push or e-mail.
Mobile Trading App
The mobile trading platform of IC Markets is also supported by Meta Trader 4, but it is significantly better looking than the web version.
The app is available for both Android and iOS devices and comes in many languages as well.
The mobile app is very user-friendly and has a more modern look than the other versions, while it lacks extra security features such as the two-step login option. Additionally, no face ID or fingerprint ID are available.
Search functions in the mobile trading app are much more intuitive and alerts and notifications can be set but only through the desktop version, which is a bit inconvenient.
IC Markets' trading platform only allows for three different trade order types:
- Market order – this order is executed at the current market price of the security.
- Limit order – a limit order sets a maximum price at which you are willing to buy the securities or a minimum price at which you are willing to sell the securities. The order will only be executed at the limit price or better.
- Stop-loss order – a stop order limits losses in case the market price falls below or goes above the stop price. The order will become a market order once that price is reached.
Is IC Markets Safe?
IC Markets is considered a safe broker to trade CFDs with, as the company and its subsidiaries are regulated by one top-tier jurisdiction – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) – and other regulators including the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC) and the Seychelles Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA).
Also, this online broker has been in business since 2007, which gives this broker a sufficient track record to qualify as a safe alternative for traders.
(AU) – Professional Indemnity Insurance with Lloyd’s of London.
(SC) – Professional Indemnity Insurance with H Savy Insurance Co Ltd in Seychelles
Segregation of funds
Clients money is held separately to company funds at AA rated Australian banks.
On the downside, they don't provide negative balance protection.
How to Open an Account?
Opening an account is very easy and it only takes a few minutes.
The registration process can be done online and their services are available in most countries except those that have been sanctioned by the OFAC.
Additionally, clients from the United States, Canada, and Israel can't trade with this broker.
The minimum deposit required to open an account with IC Markets is $200, which is on the low end compared to other advanced forex brokers, while the fees and features available for each trader vary depending on the type of account selected.
IC Markets does not charge a deposit fee for any of its funding methods.
Traders can deposit money via credit or debit cards, electronic wallets, or bank transfer.
Bank transfers can take a few days to be cleared while payments made via credit or debit card are credited instantly.
Deposits can only be made from accounts and cards that are in your name.
There are three types of accounts traders can choose from:
- Raw Spread Account – cTrader: this account offers trading fees starting at 0 pips and it is recommended for day traders and scalpers.
- Raw Spread Account – Meta Trader: this account offers trading fees starting at 0 pips as well and it is the preferred choice for EAs and scalpers.
- Standard Account – Meta Trader: the standard account offer trading fees starting at 1 pip and it is suitable for discretionary traders.
Each account is entitled to a leverage ratio of 500:1 and raw spread accounts generate a commission of $3 (cTrader) and $3.5 (Meta Trader) per lot, while the standard account does not generate commission fees.
Finally, all the accounts are allowed to trade with all of the products offered by IC Markets and micro lot trading is permitted for the three accounts as well.
There are 10 base currencies available for each of the accounts offered by IC Markets including EUR, USD, GBP, AUD, CHF, JPY, NZD, SGD, CAD, and HKD.
This is an advantage compared to other forex brokers as it allows traders to save money on conversion fees.
Range of Markets
In summary, there are 232 tradable CFD instruments offered by this broker including:
- 60 Forex pairs.
- 120+ Individual stocks.
- 23 Indicies.
- 6 Bonds.
- 4 Global Futures
- 19 Commodities.
- 10 Cryptocurrencies.
The cryptocurrencies offered by this broker include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Ripple, EOS, Emercoin, NameCoin, and PeerCoin.
As for commodities, traders have access to a limited selection of precious metals, soft commodities, and energy commodities including WTI Crude Oil, Brent, and Natural Gas.
The stock indexes covered by this broker's CFDs include the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the FTSE 100, and the Australian S&P 200.
Finally, the selection of forex pairs offered by IC Markets includes the most popular pairs such as the EUR/USD, GBPY/USD, and USD/JPY, along with certain exotic pairs such as the GBP/TRY and the CHF/SGD.
One upside is that you can modify the degree of leverage you take when placing individual trades. This is not an alternative provided by many forex brokers.
IC Markets charges both commission fees and trading fees depending on the account chosen by the trader.
Raw spread accounts charge a commission fee, even though the spreads are lower, while the standard account doesn't charge commission fees but the spreads are higher.
Overall, IC Markets trading fees are on the low end of the industry, even though its financing fees are reportedly on the high end.
The commission fee for cTrader raw spread accounts are $3 per each $100,000, while the commission fees for Meta Trader raw spread accounts are $3.5 per lot per side.
As a reference, the spread charged for EURUSD is between 0 and 1 pip for raw spread accounts and 1.1 for standard accounts.
As for commodities, WTI crude oil futures pay an average spread of 0.050 while the average spread of coffee futures is 0.900.
For cryptocurrencies, the average spread is 10 for the BTCUSD pair and 4.5 for the ETHUSD pair.
Finally, for stock indexes, the S&P 500 index pays an average spread of 0.600 while the European STOXX50 index pays an average spread of 1.850 pips.
A list of the spreads charged for each CFD is available on IC Markets website.
Finally, this broker does not charge inactivity fees.
IC Markets offer the research tools available within the Meta Trader 4 and 5 platforms. They also have a section where analysis is posted, called the WebTV.
The tools available include trading ideas based on technical indicators and a news feed featuring top-notch news outlets.
Additionally, the MT4 and MT5 platforms feature a set of 31 technical indicators.
A demo account is available for traders who may want to test the trading platform before depositing money and there are also platform tutorial videos available for those starting out with Meta Trader or cTrader.
Additionally, IC Markets also provides educational videos and articles to learn more about trading, and they also host webinars periodically.
IC Markets offers 24/7 phone support, live chat, and e-mail support.
Phone support has been qualified as very good by most traders, as you can connect with a customer service representative quickly.
However, the live chat feature seems to be inactive most of the time and the average wait time is too long.
Finally, e-mail support is also decent, with most e-mails answered within 24 hours.
Traders can withdraw money without incurring an extra fee as long as the funding method is a credit card, debit card, e-wallet, or an Australian bank account.
Meanwhile, bank transfers made to international banks generate an AUD$ 20 fee.
Bank transfers are typically received within 2 business days.
- IC Markets is an Australian online broker with more than 13 years in business.
- This broker serves more than 100,000 clients worldwide and processes around 500,000 trades a day.
- They regulated by a top-tier jurisdiction (ASIC) and two other financial regulators.
- IC Markets offers a wide range of CFD products covering various financial assets including forex pairs, stocks, stock indexes, commodities, futures, and cryptocurrencies.
- There are three types of accounts traders can choose from with this broker.
- The raw spread accounts offer 0 pip trades, while commission fees apply.
- No commission fees are charged for standard accounts but spreads are higher.
- The minimum deposit required to open an account is $200.
- No deposit fees are charged by this broker.
- The leverage ratio offered for all the accounts is 500:1.
- There are 10 base currencies available for traders accounts.
- The portfolio of CFDs available covers more than 230 different financial instruments.
- IC Markets does not have a proprietary trading platform.
- This broker supports MT4, MT5, and cTrader third-party platforms.
- Meta Trader 4 offers a web-version, desktop, and mobile app trading platform.
- IC Markets offers three types of trade orders: market, limit, and stop-loss.
- Trading fees are on the low end of the industry.
- Commission fees apply to raw spread accounts.
- Research tools include a top-notch news feed, a trading ideas hub, and charting tools.
- Educational tools include platform tutorial videos, blogs, and other trading-related educational materials.
- Customer service includes phone, live chat, and e-mail support.
- Withdrawals are free except for international bank transfers, which generate a commission of AUD$ 20.