IC Markets Review

IC Markets, founded in 2007, has established itself as a leading agency broker catering to scalpers and high-frequency algorithmic traders. With servers in New York and London, IC Markets offers low-latency execution and a wide range of trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), and cTrader. The broker boasts a monthly trading volume surpassing $1 trillion, indicative of its popularity among traders.

Safety and Regulation

Ensuring the safety of your funds is crucial when choosing a broker. IC Markets is regulated in Australia, Cyprus, the Bahamas, and Seychelles, with the degree of safety varying depending on the entity that holds your funds. For example, in Australia, IC Markets maintains indemnity insurance and holds client funds in a Client Moneys Trust Account. In Cyprus, eligible retail clients may be protected by the Investors Compensation Fund in the event of bankruptcy. It is important to consider the regulatory licenses and the capitalization of a broker to minimize counterparty risk.

Pros and Cons of IC Markets

Before delving into the specifics, let's take a look at the pros and cons of IC Markets:

Pros:

  • Regulatory status in two Tier-1 jurisdictions and two Tier-4 jurisdictions.
  • Competitive pricing with low average spreads.
  • Range of social copy-trading platforms and plugins.
  • Recognition as the top-ranked MetaTrader broker in the 2023 Annual Awards.
  • Expanding range of markets, offering over 3,500 symbols.
  • Suitable for algorithmic traders with low-cost, scalable execution.
  • Improved and educational content.

Cons:

  • Scope of market research and quality of educational content trails behind top brokers.
  • Lack of a proprietary trading app.

Offering of Investments

IC Markets provides a diverse range of 3,583 tradeable instruments across its entities in Australia, Cyprus, and Seychelles. Let's explore the investment products available at IC Markets:

Forex Trading (Spot or CFDs): IC Markets offers forex trading through spot and CFDs, with a total of 61 forex pairs available for trading.

Cryptocurrency (CFDs): While cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, trading the underlying asset is not offered. It is important to note that crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents.

U.S. (Non CFD): IC Markets does not offer trading of U.S. as non CFDs.

International Stock Trading (Non CFD): Similar to U.S. stocks, IC Markets does not provide international stock trading as non CFDs.

Social Trading / Copy Trading: IC Markets offers social copy trading platforms such as Myfxbook and ZuluTrade, allowing traders to follow and copy the trades of successful traders.

Cryptocurrency (Physical): IC Markets does not facilitate the physical purchase of cryptocurrencies.

Commissions and Fees

When considering a broker, it is vital to assess the associated costs. IC Markets offers competitive pricing, particularly for its commission-based accounts. Let's explore the commission structure and account :

Account Types: IC Markets provides three account options: the commission-free Standard account, and the commission-based Raw Spread and cTrader Raw Spread accounts.

cTrader . MetaTrader Accounts: The cTrader Raw Spread and IC Markets (MT4 or MT5) Raw Spread accounts have a similar commission structure, with a slight difference in pricing based on the chosen platform.

Effective Spreads: IC Markets boasts low average spreads, with the all-in cost varying depending on the chosen account. For example, the cTrader account has an average spread of 0.02 pips on EUR/USD, with an additional commission equivalent of 0.6 pips. The Raw Spread account, on the other hand, features an average spread of 0.62 pips on EUR/USD and does not charge a commission.

Active Traders: IC Markets offers discounts to traders who trade over 100 standard lots per month.

Agency and Dealer Execution: IC Markets provides execution on an agency basis, minimizing requotes and instant execution. However, it is important to note that IC Markets acts as a dealer and counterparty to your trades.

Mobile Trading Apps

Mobile trading apps have become an essential aspect of trading, offering convenience and flexibility. IC Markets provides mobile apps for MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), and cTrader. Let's take a closer look at their mobile trading apps:

: The mobile functionality and charting on MetaTrader and cTrader are comparable, with the choice of platform depending on whether you trade manually or utilize automated trading systems.

Algorithmic Trading: Automated trading is not possible on the mobile versions of cTrader and MetaTrader. However, these apps are useful for managing existing positions and manually opening new trades. Copy trading is available on mobile through supported third-party platforms such as ZuluTrade and Myfxbook.

Features: IC Markets' mobile apps for both iOS and Android offer essential features such as charting, watchlists, Forex calendar, and basic mobile alerts. However, it is noting that other brokers, such as Saxo Bank and CMC Markets, provide proprietary trading apps that offer additional features and functionalities.

Other Trading Platforms

IC Markets caters to algorithmic traders by offering a range of trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), and cTrader. Let's explore these platforms and their features:

Platforms Overview: IC Markets provides the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp. Additionally, the broker offers the cTrader platform developed by Spotware Systems. These platforms support algorithmic trading and provide access to various tools and plugins to enhance the trading experience.

Charting: Both MetaTrader and cTrader offer advanced charting capabilities, with default indicators and additional indicators available from third-party providers. IC Markets offers the web-based and desktop versions of the cTrader platform.

MetaTrader Tools: IC Markets provides access to the Advanced Trading Tools package, developed by FX Blue LLP. Additionally, the broker offers installable third-party plugins from Trading Central and AutoChartist to further enhance the MetaTrader experience.

Algorithmic Trading: IC Markets supports algorithmic trading on MetaTrader and offers trading applications such as cAlgo for automated trading and cTrader Copy for social copy trading. The broker's low-cost execution methods and support for Virtual Private Servers (VPS) make it popular among algorithmic traders.

VPS Services: IC Markets offers free third-party Virtual Private Servers (VPS) services for traders who complete at least 15 standard lots, providing an optimal environment for hosting client algorithms.

Social Copy Trading: In addition to cTrader Copy and the native Signals market from MetaTrader, IC Markets offers social copy trading platforms such as Myfxbook and ZuluTrade. The recently launched IC Social mobile app, powered by Pelican Exchange, further expands the range of social copy trading options.

Market Research

Access to comprehensive market research is essential for traders to make informed decisions. While IC Markets has made improvements in its research offerings, it still falls behind top brokers in this category. Let's delve into the research resources provided by IC Markets:

Research Overview: IC Markets publishes daily articles on its blog, covering technical and fundamental analysis. The quality of the research content is average, but it does not match the depth and richness provided by industry leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank.

Market News and Analysis: IC Markets delivers in-house technical and fundamental analysis through its blog, providing daily updates in its market analysis section. The broker also offers videos from Trading Central and short clips recapping market events in its Web TV section. Additionally, live trading sessions are posted on the IC Markets YouTube channel.

Education

A broker's educational resources are vital, especially for beginner traders. IC Markets offers a range of educational materials, including articles, videos, podcasts, and webinars. However, the content is not organized by experience level, and there is no progression tracking or quizzes. Let's explore IC Markets' educational offerings:

Learning Center: IC Markets organizes its educational content into six series, covering topics such as Forex Trading 101 and Trading Plan 101. The quality of the articles is slightly above average. The broker also offers a podcast series called “IC Your Trade” and maintains a YouTube channel hosting archived webinars.

Room for Improvement: IC Markets could enhance its educational offerings by developing courses with progression tracking and quizzes. Additionally, filtering content by experience level would provide a more tailored learning experience.

IC Markets Review Final Thoughts

In summary, IC Markets is a reputable broker that caters primarily to algorithmic traders and offers a wide range of trading platforms, competitive pricing, and low-cost execution. The broker's commitment to social copy trading and its expanding range of markets make it appealing to retail forex and CFD traders. However, it is important to note that IC Markets may not be the choice for traders seeking extensive market research or comprehensive educational resources. Whether you are an algorithmic trader or a manual trader with a spread-sensitive strategy, IC Markets offers a robust trading environment with a focus on efficiency and scalability.

Additional Information

  • IC Markets is considered a trusted broker, with an overall Trust Score of 84 out of 99.
  • The minimum deposit required to open an account with IC Markets is $200.
  • IC Markets provides various funding methods, including bank transfers, credit cards, PayPal, and Skrill.
  • The broker offers discounts to active traders who trade over 100 standard lots per month.
  • IC Markets allows traders to withdraw funds through multiple options, including bank wire, PayPal, and Skrill.
  • The account types offered by IC Markets include Standard and Raw Spread accounts, each with its own commission structure.
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