IC Markets Review
Richard Montana | August 2, 2022
IC Markets is the world’s largest true ECN trading broker offering a huge range of trading instruments across multiple markets on the most popular trading platforms. They give you access to trade with low spreads from just 0.0 pips and deep liquidity from a large mix of liquidity providers that ensures you can get rapid trade execution speeds at the best possible prices at all times.
The broker is regulated in multiple jurisdictions and provides commission free accounts, plenty of free account funding options, excellent customer support and a vast range of educational resources to help with your daily trading activities.
If you are looking for a reliable broker with a solid reputation and plan on trading frequently with industry leading conditions, then they have everything that you would need to get started. I have had multiple trading accounts with them over the years and always considered them to one of the best forex brokers that I have used.
Pros & Cons
- Selection of powerful trading platforms that you can choose from to use on multiple devices
- Great selection of trading instruments across different markets
- Free deposit and withdrawal options for quick and easy account funding
- Low fees and tight spreads help to keep trading costs down
- Institutional grade liquidity means fast execution speeds at some of the best prices
- True ECN model delivers a superior trading environment
- Range of trading tools for assisting with your market analysis
- Educational resources such as guides and videos which can help you if you are new to trading
- They dont put any restrictions on your trading strategies - hedging, scalping and automated trading are allowed
- Social trading platforms where you can copy signals from other traders
- FIX API connection via cTrader can be a good solution for institutional clients
- No inactivity fees or hidden costs
- Excellent 24/7 customer support, including live chat who are always quick to respond
- They cannot accept clients from some countries
- No Autochartist or Trading Central
- Minimum $200 deposit is not the lowest
IC Markets is an Australian trading broker founded in 2007 with its headquarters based in Sydney and has since gone on to be one of the world’s largest trading brokers. They are a multi-regulated true ECN broker providing trading solutions to both retail and institutional clients across the globe.
IC Markets gives you worldwide access to trade thousands (over 2,000) of trading instruments across multiple markets on the most popular trading platforms, MetaTrader 4/5 and cTrader. Trading instruments include Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds & CFDs.
IC Markets are well known for low latency connectivity and superior liquidity. This means that online traders have access to deep liquidity pools for superior pricing that was only previously available to banks and high net worth individuals. Their ECN model uses the latest innovative technology, delivering low spreads and high liquidity for fast trade execution.
I like the fact that they have been around so long and are one of the most established brokers out there. It gives me the confidence that my funds will be safe and that they must be doing something right to be serving so many clients for so long. I have seen many brokers come and go over the years, but IC Markets have just continued to grow during this time, constantly expanding their products and services to keep up to date with the latest market trends and technologies.
IC Markets have some of the best hand-picked liquidity providers (LPs). New LPs are being added on a regular basis to ensure trading conditions continue to be amongst the best available to traders. When a broker has lots of liquidity providers, they can pool them together. When you place a trade, they will dip into the liquidity pool and find the best available prices for you at any time. This means that you can get the best quotes and execution speeds around the clock from a range of sources, rather than relying solely on the brokers in house liquidity. Generally speaking, the more liquidity a broker has, the better the trading conditions tend to be.
ECN technology allows IC Markets to aggregate all of its LPs to build an order book which can sort and rank prices in real time to provide the best prices to its clients. This creates competition amongst LPs to provide lower prices and to meet the modern-day trader demands of tight spreads, deep liquidity pools, price transparency and anonymous execution, low slippage and low latency.
Therefore, if you are using automated trading systems or scalping, IC Markets can be a great choice. I have used them to run forex expert advisors (EAs) in the past on their MT4 platform on both demo and real accounts. I found them to be amongst the best brokers I have ever used and still hold a few accounts with them today. When it comes to trading robots, I would personally choose between this broker and Pepperstone, who also have tight spreads and quick execution speeds.
The true ECN connectivity allows traders of all levels to trade on institutional grade liquidity from a diverse range of large LPs such as investment banks, hedge funds and dark pools venues. There are over 50 different LPs with no dealing desk intervention so traders have direct access to raw spreads and execution speeds with no price manipulation, re-quotes or hidden fees. This makes them one of best brokers of choice for high volume traders, day traders and scalpers.
IC Markets has an average execution speed of under 35ms with a low latency fibre optic cross-connect to LPs. The order matching engine located in the New York Equinix NY4 data centre processes hundreds of thousands of trades for clients every day with billions in trading volume processed daily by IC Markets. According to Finance Magnates, IC Markets is the largest forex broker in the world by forex volume (excluding Japan).
IC Markets is a global CFD broker, operating offices in a variety of jurisdictions to suit your needs. You can choose which entity that you would like to open a trading account with when you signup.
The main difference between the broker entities is who they are regulated by and the products that you have access to. Your choice will depend on what matters most to you, whether that is leverage, regulation or available instruments. Certain regulators impose restrictions on what brokers can offer, so you need to weigh up the importance of regulation against the freedom to trade as you wish.
I personally like to have as many options available to me as possible when it comes to trading. Therefore, my accounts are with the international branch of IC Markets as there are less restrictions there. However, I am also confident my funds are safe because the broker is regulated in multiple jurisdictions and has been operating for many years.
IC Markets is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Seychelles Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), the Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
This strict regulation can give you the peace of mind that you are using a reliable and transparent broker that can be trusted. Actually, IC Markets are one of the most regulated brokers out there, along with the likes of AvaTrade.
IC Markets accepts clients from all over the world, excluding the USA, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, Iran and some countries from the OFAC list. US CTFC regulation prevents US clients from trading with brokers outside the US. If you are based in one of the aforementioned countries, you can look for an alternative broker using our broker comparison tool.
IC Markets offer the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader platforms. These are the 3 most popular and user-friendly trading platforms available today. The True ECN trading model is incorporated into all of the platforms at no extra cost for all levels of traders. Regardless of your investment size, you can get access to the best possible trading conditions that they have.
I personally prefer the MetaTrader platforms simply because MT4 was the first platform that I become accustomed to. Most trading brokers provide the MT4 or MT5 platforms so it means that I am not restricted when on the look out to try another broker. cTrader on the other hand has some extra capabilities but is not as widely used in comparison.
Trading on the go is possible via the brokers mobile trading apps. This is useful for those who need to access their account and manage their positions whilst on the go from anywhere in the world where they have an internet connection. If I am lounging around or travelling, it is good to be able to open my trading app and have a look at what is happening in the markets without needing to fire up the laptop.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
MT4 is one of the most popular online trading platforms that is used by millions of traders around the globe. It is free to use and can be downloaded as a desktop platform or run directly in your web browser without the need to download or install any additional software. It is also available as a mobile investing app for Android or iOS devices and can be download for free from the relevant app stores.
MT4 is widely regarded to be a powerful trading platform with a vast array of built in tools for analysing charts to find potential trading opportunities across a wide range of markets. It is intuitive and user-friendly enough for new traders whilst having enough advanced capabilities to suit the more experienced traders.
It has grown from a trading platform to a global community where trader’s demands are met by technology provider’s innovations. IC Markets has partnerships with many of these technology providers and is proud to offer you the next generation MetaTrader 4 platform, designed to take your trading to the next level.
IC Markets clients can experience their ultra-fast execution speeds and flexible trading conditions on the award-winning MetaTrader 4 platform. Both IC Markets Standard and Raw Spread accounts are available on the MetaTrader 4 trading platform.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Features
- Market leading spreads & low commissions
- Flexible funding & withdrawal options
- Flexible leverage
- Fully customisable user interface & charts
- Multiple trading tools for analysing markets
- Real time price quotes in market watch window
- Automated trading with expert advisors (EAs)
- Strategy tester for back testing EAs
- MQL4 programming language for coding custom indicators, scripts & EAs
- Online community where you can copy trading signals & download additional tools
- Price alert notification via email, SMS & platform pop ups
- Desktop, web & mobile compatibility
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
MetaTrader 5 is the all-in-one platform for trading forex, stocks, indices, bonds, cryptocurrencies and commodities. IC Markets Raw Pricing help to make it one of the most powerful trading platforms for active traders. I believe that MT4 would be sufficient for those who only want to trade forex, but if you are looking for a stock trading platform, then you would probably prefer MT5.
The MT5 platform is an updated and improved version of MT4 which still remains the industry standard for many traders around the world. MetaTrader 5 implements advanced charting technology coupled with sophisticated order management tools that can help you to monitor and control your positions quickly and efficiently. It is a powerful platform packed with an array of useful features aimed at improving your trading experience. MT5 is freely available on both of the IC Markets account types: Raw Pricing and Standard.
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) Features
- Raw Pricing Connectivity
- Ultra-Fast Order Execution
- No Restrictions on Trading
- Level II Pricing – Market Depth
- Spreads from 0.0 Pips
- Automated Trading (EAs)
- Built-in Technical & Fundamental Indicators
- Desktop, web & mobile compatibility
The cTrader platform is designed for high speed execution when trading the global markets online. It has a unique design that implements an elegant user interface whilst its range of advanced features make it a favourite for discretionary Forex traders.
The cTrader platform implements innovative technology that combines the speed of a high performing trading platform with the deep liquidity of IC Markets, providing clients with the ultimate trading solution. If you are scalping, day trading or holding positions for a long period of time, the platform is more than capable of handling all types of trading strategies that you can throw at it.
Just be aware that if you do opt for cTrader, it is not offered by many online brokers. Therefore, if you decide to switch providers down the line and want to continue using cTrader, your options will be limited. On the other hand, MetaTrader is a much more widely used platform. That being said, cTrader is still an exceptional platform that is well regarded by retail and institutional traders alike. You can also get both the MetaTrader and cTrader platforms through RoboForex.
The IC Markets cTrader platform gives you access to a deep liquidity pool in over 64+ forex currency pairs along with 16+ major equity indices. Active traders worldwide appreciate trading with the superior functionality of cTrader and streaming prices collated from multiple global banks.
- Real-time forex and CFD quotes
- Market leading spreads and low commissions
- Extremely Low Spreads
- Ultra-Fast Order Execution
- No Restrictions on Trading – Scalping Allowed
- Level II pricing with full market depth
- Smart Stop Out
- Servers in the LD5 IBX Equinix Data Center
- Micro lot trading – Minimum lot size of 0.01 with no maximum
- Flexible funding and withdrawing options
- Multiple order types
- Detachable charts
- Expanded symbol display
- Real-time reports
- One-click trading
- Desktop, web & mobile devices
IC Markets provide traders with a range of useful trading tools and trading apps that can assist with detailed market analysis and help to enhance the overall trading experience. These tools include economic calendars, alerts, technical indicators, market data, VPS and more.
However, they don’t have the popular market analysis software Autochartist or Trading Central. You can check out GO Markets if you want access to these particular tools to help you find trading opportunities across thousands of assets.
You will find that the platforms already have plenty of trading tools built-in which I feel will be enough if you are just a casual trader. However, if you have more complex trading strategies and programming skills, you can install and build customised indicators, scripts and robots. The sky is the limit really, with an endless amount of possibilities for developing your own trading strategies based on a combination of indicators.
Don’t worry if that seems overwhelming, you can also simply fire up a chart and place/manage trades without any complications. I enjoy experimenting with trading tools and trying out new strategies myself. Sometimes I can go through hundreds of tools before finding one that is useful, but this trial and error can improve my trading in the long run.
MT4 Advanced Trading Tools
IC Markets MT4 traders have access to 20 exclusive institutional quality trading tools to assist with their trading. These include Depth of Market (DoM), spread monitoring, trade risk calculator, ladder trading, custom order templates and more. These are built into the MetaTrader 4 platform for an improved trading experience, compared to other brokers who just provide the platform without any additional tools. I think this helps IC Markets to stand apart from the competition.
- Alarm Manager: This is a personal trading assistant which can notify the trader or even their followers on social media.
- Correlation Matrix: This gives you market info on different time scales and can help you to make more informed decisions.
- Correlation Trader: This lets you compare correlation between two symbols, and trade emerging differences.
- Trade Terminal: This is a feature-rich trade execution and analysis tool which offers precision trading, ordering template & more.
- Market Manager: This give you full control over symbol watch-lists and all of your order activity from one small and convenient window.
- Mini Terminal: This displays the same deal ticket as the Trade Terminal in the context of a specific trading chart.
- Sentiment Trader: This shows the market sentiment based on real open positions: the number of traders who are currently long or short.
- Session Map: This tools gives you a quick market overview through the world’s key markets and their time zones.
- Excel RTD: This handy app lets you enter up to 5 account numbers, and then automatically displays a dashboard of equity and balance etc.
- Stealth Orders: This is another useful app that lets you hide pending orders from other market participants with more functionalities.
- Tick Chart Trader: This displays a variety of tick charts, including traditional line charts, timed tick charts, and tick bars/candles.
Virtual Private Server
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) can run your trading platform in the cloud. It allows traders to run automated trading strategies 24 hours a day 7 days a week with the fastest possible connectivity to the IC Markets trading servers.
This is useful for those of you who do not have the best internet connection and those who wish to run automated systems that need to be on around the clock without needing your home computer switched on.
If you plan on using a trading robot, combining the IC Markets excellent trading conditions with their free VPS, is the best solution in my opinion.
Having a VPS in place helps to ensure that you can run your EAs in a secure environment without the need for any additional computer hardware, backup internet, or power supply. IC Markets recommends VPS providers co-located inside Equinix data centres with direct cross connects to their trading servers in Equinix NY4.
If you open an account with IC Markets and your trading volume exceeds 15 lots (round turn) per month, they will provide you with the option to get a free low latency virtual private server (VPS) from one of the following providers:
- Forex VPS
- Beeks FX VPS
A VPS can be used to run your trading platforms around the clock which make them a popular choice for traders who are running robots that are constantly monitoring the charts. Considering a decent VPS starts around $30 per month, this may not be a great saving but is still something that I would quite happily take advantage of to run my automated systems.
ZuluTrade is a social trading platform where followers can copy the trading signals of other traders. You can use ZuluTrade to copy trades directly into your IC Markets trading account. You can filter trading signal providers according to your own risk preferences. Signals can be added or removed to your trading portfolio at any time.
I am not the biggest fan of copy trading. This is because I like to know exactly why a position was taken in the market. For me, part of the trading experience and enjoyment comes from analysing the markets and following the news to spot potential trades. There is also a sense of achievement that comes from getting on the right side of a trade. I don’t really want to put my hard-earned money into the trading strategies of others when I can learn for myself. If you are spending time looking for third-party trading signals, you could be wasting value time spent educating yourself and practising your own strategies.
This works in a similar way to ZuluTrade. You hook your IC Markets accounts up to the popular social trading website Myfxbook and can then choose different strategies to copy trading signals from. Just remember, there is no saying how good or bad a signal will perform as nobody can predict the future.
I have used Myfxbook for years now. Whilst I think it is a good tool for analysing my own manual and automated trading systems, I wouldn’t rely on it for trading signals. There are just too many poor strategies out there that use dangerous money management and have been provided by people looking to make a quick gain from others. No doubt, there may be some gems if you dig around but I would much rather master my own trading strategies. Aside from signals, Myfxbook does have some great free tools for market analysis, especially the sentiment outlook and price action tool.
MAM / PAMM
The IC Markets Multi Account Manager allows you to manage clients’ money with flexible allocation methods and real-time reporting of performance and commissions. The MAM software communicates all allocation settings directly with the IC Markets MetaTrader 4 server. This means a money manager only has to worry about trading through the MetaTrader 4 Master Account, all other processes are handled seamlessly by the MAM software.
The software is ideal for traders or money managers utilising Expert Advisors (EAs) and enhances the functionality of the MetaTrader 4 platform by allowing multiple accounts to be managed from 1 simple interface. Block orders can be executed with 1 click from the Master Account with pre-set allocation methods. Thousands of accounts can be traded with 1 click and with virtually no additional latency. The allocation methods allow the software to act as a MAM, PAMM, or LAMM with several variations of each.
- Proportional by Balance Allocation
- Proportional by Equity Allocation
- MAM manager to adjust trading parameter in real time
- Unlimited trading accounts and deposit amount
- Trades – Full, Mini & Micro Lot accounts for best allocation advantage
- Allocations to accounts at as little as 0.01 lots (1000 units)
- All normal order types accepted: Market, Stop, Limit
- All unique order types accepted: Trailing Stop, Close by and Close all
- Manage multiple master accounts having different strategies
- Allows Expert Advisor (EA) trading of managed accounts from client side
- Each Sub Account has an output to screen report
- Market watch window within MAM
- Live order management monitoring within MAM including P&L
- STP on master account for bulk order execution, with instant allocation to sub accounts
- Monitor commissions and performance in real time
- Manage Monthly, Quarterly and Annual client reports through the MetaTrader Manager
Money Manager Features
- Ability to add and/or remove funds without affecting trading activity
- Professional reporting analytics displayed to you and your clients
- Solutions for EA managers and manual managers
For those of you who need managed accounts, Eightcap are another option that I think are worth consideration.
IC Markets have a vast selection of educational materials including basic and advanced trading guides and video tutorials. This can help you if you are a beginner and want to learn some of the most important aspects about online trading including how it works, technical and fundamental analysis, market influences, trading platforms and more.
I found the trading guides and videos offered really useful and believe that they would significantly help a beginner prepare for trading online. You can also open a free demo account to implement what you have learned in a risk-free trading environment.
IC Markets have a generous amount of free trading guides on their website. These are aimed towards new traders who are looking to learn more about trading online. The articles cover a range of topics including the different markets you can trade, market analysis, trading psychology and much more. Nothing beats hands on experience in my view.
IC Markets have a WebTV that is presented in association with Trading Central and offers unmatched coverage on global equities, currencies and commodities. It includes actionable trade ideas and market commentary in a short video format.
IC Markets host a series of webinars covering a variety of topics within the industry, hosted by experts within the field. I am always open to learning more from those who have the experience and feel these webinars will help provide guidance to traders who need it.
IC Markets have a selection of useful educational videos to help traders who are new to using the trading platforms. These instructional videos will give you an overview as to how to install platforms, analyse the markets and place different order types.
IC Markets offers an impressive range of instruments for you to trade including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds & CFDs. There are plenty of minor, major and exotic currency pairs, along with popular cryptocurrencies, and over 1,500 Stock CFDs in some of the largest companies.
- Forex Market
They have one of the greatest selections of assets to trade that I have seen from any broker. If you like to diversify your portfolio and follow multiple markets at once for ample trading signals, then you will find plenty of action here. Other brokers with a comparably large amount of financial instruments include IG with over 17,000+ and FP Markets with over 10,000 to choose from.
IC Markets offer 2 different account types, the true ECN account and standard account. Minimum deposit starts from $200 which is pretty much the average amount on major brokers.
In general, I find that the spreads are tight and liquidity deep 24/7 with the true ECN account due to the 50+ different liquidity sources. IC Markets offer 1:30 leverage for their European and Australian entities, with leverage of up to 1:500 available for their global entity.
IC Markets allows you to open multiple trading accounts. You can open an additional trading account via your client area. I have opened numerous accounts with them and not had any issues doing do.
The account you opt for will probably depend on what you want to trade and your trading style. If you just want to trade forex, then either MT4 account should do the job. However, if you are scalping or using forex robots and not fussed about commission fees, then you may want to choose the ECN account with raw spreads. On the other hand, stock traders may take a closer look at the cTrader account.
True ECN Account
The true ECN account has the lowest spreads which are variable from as low as 0.0 pips with a small $3.5 commission fee charged per side.
The standard account does not charge a commission fee but instead has a mark-up on the variable spreads which start from 1.0 pips.
You can open free demo accounts if you would like to test the different trading platforms and conditions before opening a real account with them. I would always recommend a demo account to begin with so that you can get used to trading online without the risk. I also like to see what a broker has to offer before making a financial commitment.
IC Markets are a Muslim friendly broker who support Islamic traders with swap-free accounts that comply with Sharia law.
IC Markets offer multilingual support 24/7 via phone, chat and email. They are prompt, efficient and polite when answering support questions from traders of all experience levels. You can choose to call them using a toll-free number from a list of countries throughout the globe. I have always found IC Markets support to be amongst the best from all brokers that I have reached out to. They never fail to get back to me in a quick and helpful manner.
The IC Markets management team come from a financial background with years of combined experience throughout Asia, Europe and North America. This experience means that being traders themselves, they have a strong understanding of what we need.
The brokers mission is to provide the best trading conditions so that clients can focus on their trading with full transparency. The companies core values are built upon integrity, trust, honesty and fairness.
IC Markets accept deposits and withdrawals in a great selection of major currencies. They have a variety of fast and convenient deposit and withdrawal options including digital wallets. I like that I can make deposits and withdrawals with e-wallets as this can allows for faster transfers to and from my trading account. By default, they do not charge any deposit or withdrawal fees but you should check with your payment provider if you will have any fees on their side. I have made many withdrawals and have never been stung by any fees.
Just be aware, there may be third-party fees charged when using certain payment methods. Bank transfers can take a few business days to clear which is not ideal if there is a market trend you need to quickly try to take advantage of. However, the various different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency. This may not matter for small amounts but costs can soon add up if you are making a large transfer.
- Wire Transfer
- Credit/Debit Card
- Digital Wallets
The IC Markets true ECN model means that they provide some of the best possible trading conditions available to all levels of traders worldwide, including low spreads and fast execution. I find this to be especially true when using automated trading systems or scalping. If you are a frequent trader, IC Markets are one of my top picks.
There is a large selection of trading instruments and user-friendly platforms to meet your unique needs. You get free access to a library of educational materials and extremely useful trading tools to help with your market analysis. Whatever your trading strategy and preferences, the broker has everything needed for a seamless trading environment.
In addition to industry leading trading products and services, they have 24/7 support and strict regulation helps to give you the peace of mind that you are using a trusted broker. I have been with them for many years now and will continue to happily use them for my trading needs.