IC Markets Vs Interactive Brokers

Category: Broker Guides | Author: Trading Brokers | Date: July 19, 2023

The process of choosing the right broker for trading is of paramount importance, as it holds significant implications for traders’ overall experience and financial outcomes. In this realm, two prominent brokers, IC Markets and Interactive Brokers, have garnered substantial attention. IC Markets has established itself as a reputable broker, renowned for its extensive range of tradable instruments and sophisticated trading platforms. Similarly, Interactive Brokers has gained recognition for its global presence and diverse portfolio of financial products. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive analysis and comparison of IC Markets and Interactive Brokers, considering their respective features, advantages, and disadvantages. By meticulously examining the strengths and weaknesses of each broker, this article aims to empower traders with the necessary insights to make well-informed decisions when selecting the most suitable broker tailored to their individual trading requirements.

IC Markets Overview

IC Markets

IC Markets

IC Markets is a highly regarded online forex and CFD brokerage that has been serving traders since 2007. As the largest single online forex and CFD brokerage globally, it has solidified its position in the industry. The platform is regulated by reputable authorities including ASIC in Australia and the FCA in the UK, ensuring adherence to stringent regulatory standards. Notably, IC Markets has gained recognition for offering some of the lowest spreads in the industry, providing traders with competitive pricing and cost advantages. This is great for scalping strategies and expert advisors. With a comprehensive range of trading instruments encompassing forex, CFDs on indices, commodities, futures, cryptocurrencies, and stocks, IC Markets caters to diverse trading needs. The platform offers three distinct account types, allowing traders to choose the most suitable option based on their preferences and strategies. Additionally, IC Markets prioritizes trader education, providing valuable resources such as webinars, trading guides, and video tutorials to enhance traders’ knowledge and skills. Coupled with responsive customer support accessible via email, phone, and live chat, IC Markets stands out as a reliable and comprehensive broker choice for traders in the forex and CFD markets.

Pros and Cons of IC Markets

Pros:

  • IC Markets has low trading fees, with spreads from 0.0 pips
  • IC Markets offers social trading features, such as ZuluTrade, Myfxbook, and cTrader Copy, which allow you to follow and copy other traders.
  • IC Markets supports algorithmic trading, with various tools and resources for developing and testing your own trading strategies.

Cons:

  • Limited asset selection compared to some other brokers
  • IC Markets does not offer its own proprietary trading platform, but relies on third-party platforms that may have outdated interfaces or limited functionality
IC Markets Logo

IC Markets is the world’s largest true ECN trading broker offering over 2,000 trading instruments across multiple markets on the most popular trading platforms. They are a multi-regulated broker with deep liquidity pools that can provide you with rapid trade execution speeds, low spreads, low commission fees, various funding options and 24/7 support.

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Interactive Brokers Overview

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers, founded in 1978, is a well-established US-based brokerage firm with a solid reputation in the industry. Regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Interactive Brokers operates under strict oversight, instilling confidence in traders. The platform offers a wide range of trading instruments, including stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, ETFs, and CFDs, catering to diverse investment strategies. Traders can choose from various account types, such as Cash, Margin, SIPP, or Portfolio Margin, depending on their specific trading requirements.

With competitive pricing, low commissions, and margin rates, Interactive Brokers offers cost advantages for traders. The direct market access (DMA) feature allows traders to interact directly with the order books of over 100 markets worldwide, enhancing liquidity and price transparency. Research tools such as market scanners, news feeds, and analyst ratings are available, empowering traders with valuable insights.

The platform also provides educational resources, including webinars, courses, and videos, enabling traders to expand their knowledge and skills. With responsive customer support through multiple channels and a user-friendly mobile app for trading on-the-go, Interactive Brokers offers a comprehensive brokerage experience for traders seeking reliability, diverse offerings, and robust support.

Pros and Cons of Interactive Brokers

Pros:

  • Low fees and high interest on cash balances.
  • Wide range of markets and products.
  • Various trading platforms for different needs.
  • Comprehensive and high-quality research tools.
  • Regulated by multiple top-tier authorities

Cons:

  • Complicated and long account opening process.
  • Inactivity fee for low balance or commission accounts.
  • No bonuses or promotions.
  • No bank card or electronic wallet payment methods.
  • No strong educational section.
Interactive Brokers Logo

Interactive Brokers provide leading online trading solutions for traders, investors and advisors, with direct global access to stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds.

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Comparison Between IC Markets and Interactive Brokers

When it comes to selecting between IC Markets and Interactive Brokers, it’s important to consider several key factors that can impact your trading experience and outcomes. These factors include

Regulation and Trustworthiness

Both brokers are regulated by reputable authorities in multiple jurisdictions. IC Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), and the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles (FSA). Interactive Brokers is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and several other regulators around the world. Both brokers offer investor protection schemes for their clients, depending on their country of residence.

Trading Platforms

IC Markets and Interactive Brokers offer different trading platforms for their users, depending on their preferences and needs. IC Markets provides three major platforms: cTrader, MetaTrader 4, and MetaTrader 5, which are all electronic communication network (ECN) platforms that connect traders directly to liquidity providers. They have various features such as advanced charting and analysis tools, fast order execution, and automated trading capabilities. Interactive Brokers offers several platform options, ranging from simple apps to powerful desktop software. They include IBKR GlobalTrader Mobile, Client Portal, IBKR Mobile, Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR APIs, IBKR EventTrader, and IMPACT. They have features such as low per-share pricing, advanced order types and algos, market scanners, technical analysis tools, options tools, portfolio management tools, social trading features, and more. Both brokers allow users to access their platforms via desktops, web-browsers, and mobile devices.

Pricing and Fees

Both brokers offer competitive pricing and fees for their clients, but they have different fee structures. IC Markets offers two types of accounts: standard and raw spread. The standard account has no commission but higher spreads, while the raw spread account has low spreads but charges a commission of $3.50 per lot. Interactive Brokers offers two types of accounts: IBKR Pro and IBKR Lite. The IBKR Pro account has low per-share pricing, starting from $0.005 per share, but charges a monthly activity fee of $10 if the account balance is below $100,000 or the monthly commissions are less than $10. The IBKR Lite account has no commission for U.S.-based stocks and ETFs, but sells order flow to third parties, which may result in inferior execution quality.

Broker Type

Both IC Markets and Interactive Brokers operate as Electronic Communication Network (ECN) brokers. ECN brokers provide direct market access, allowing traders to interact with liquidity providers and other market participants. This model often results in tighter spreads, faster trade execution, and increased transparency. Traders can benefit from competitive pricing and reduced potential conflicts of interest.

Asset Selection

When comparing asset selection between IC Markets and Interactive Brokers, Interactive Brokers offers a significantly larger range of instruments, with over 8500 options available. This includes a diverse selection of stocks, ETFs, forex, funds, bonds, options, futures, CFDs, cryptocurrencies, warrants, and structured products. In contrast, IC Markets provides around 230 instruments, featuring 61 forex pairs, 19 indices, 19 commodities, 120 stocks, and 10 cryptocurrencies. Unlike IC Markets, Interactive Brokers offers trading in bonds, ETFs, and options. Traders seeking a wider range of asset classes may find Interactive Brokers more suitable, while those focusing on forex and cryptocurrencies might prefer IC Markets.

Withdrawal and Deposit Methods

Both IC Markets and Interactive Brokers offer multiple options for depositing and withdrawing funds. Traders can use bank transfers, credit cards, and sometimes alternative payment methods to fund their accounts and make withdrawals. It’s important to review the fees, processing times, and availability of each method to ensure convenience and efficiency when managing funds.

Leverage

IC Markets offers maximum leverage of up to 500:1, allowing traders to take larger positions with a smaller initial investment. On the other hand, Interactive Brokers offer a maximum leverage of up to 50:1. Traders should carefully consider their risk tolerance, trading strategies, and the associated risks when utilizing leverage.

Social Trading

Both brokers offer social trading features for their clients, but they have different platforms and providers. IC Markets offers social trading through ZuluTrade, Myfxbook, and MQL5 signals, which allow clients to copy trades from other traders or signal providers. Interactive Brokers offers social trading through Covestor, which allows clients to follow portfolios managed by professional investors.

Minimum Deposit

Interactive Brokers stands out with no minimum deposit requirement, making it highly accessible for traders of all levels, including those with limited capital. This flexibility allows traders to start trading with smaller amounts and gradually increase their investments. In contrast, IC Markets requires a minimum deposit of $200. Traders should consider their budget and investment goals when evaluating the minimum deposit requirement of each broker.

Which Should You Choose: IC Markets or Interactive Brokers

When deciding between IC Markets and Interactive Brokers, it’s important to assess your trading preferences and priorities. If you primarily focus on forex and CFD trading, IC Markets offers a specialized platform with competitive pricing and educational resources. However, if you seek a broader range of investment options and advanced trading tools, Interactive Brokers may be the better choice. Their comprehensive asset selection, including stocks, options, and futures, combined with their Trader Workstation platform, provides advanced features and direct market access. Consider your preferred trading instruments, desired features, and pricing structure to determine which broker aligns best with your needs. Both brokers are regulated and reputable, so your decision should be based on which platform offers the most suitable trading experience for your individual requirements.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we have explored key points regarding IC Markets and Interactive Brokers. IC Markets is a renowned forex/CFD broker with competitive pricing and a wide range of trading instruments. On the other hand, Interactive Brokers offers advanced trading tools and a diverse asset selection. The suitability of each broker depends on individual trading preferences and goals. IC Markets may be preferred for cost-effective forex/CFD trading, while Interactive Brokers may appeal to those seeking advanced features and broader investment options. It is crucial to carefully assess personal requirements and priorities to determine the most suitable broker for your trading needs.


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