Key to Markets Review
Richard Montana | August 2, 2022
Key to Markets is an ECN brokerage that allows you to trade a very good selection of financial instruments on the user-friendly MT4 platforms. If you are a professional client, you can also take advantage of the powerful FIX API trading solutions that they offer. I like that you can claim a free VPS although I found them to be lacking in terms of additional trading tools and educational materials when compared to some other brokers. However, there should be more than enough available if you simply want easy access to place trades in a regulated environment.
Pros & Cons
- User-friendly MetaTrader 4 platforms
- Commission free trading
- FIX API connectivity
- Free VPS for qualifying traders
- Managed accounts
- Myfxbook AutoTrade
- Variety of deposit and withdrawal options
- Free demo accounts
- Supports charitable causes
- Cannot accept clients from some countries
- Does not currently support cryptocurrencies
- Limited trading tools
- Limited educational materials
Established in 2010, Key to Markets is an independent online ECN broker offering traders across the world spreads from zero pips and reasonable commission fees. You can choose from a generous selection of 200+ tradeable instruments in different asset classes including Forex, Commodities, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds & CFDs.
Key to Markets offer a complete and innovative trading experience that is available to institutional, corporate and individual retail clients. They have a team of market experts on hand that provide the same dedicated customer support to all clients, regardless of your experience or investment size. I like that they are so focused on delivering the upmost transparency for clients.
Operating as an ECN broker, Key to Markets have no dealing desk. This means that you can trade with tight raw spreads and good execution speeds along with competitive commissions. An Electronic Communication Network (ECN) is built on a centralised software in order to connect brokers, traders and liquidity providers without any intervention of middlemen. This technology has helped to improve the quality, reliability and transparency of trading broker services.
Key to Markets have partnered with Forex Nations CIC who are an ethical introducing broker that are legally committed to donating a portion (at least 65%) of company profits to underserved entrepreneurs around the world through a Microcredit System. I believe that this is highly commendable charitable work which helps to show me that Key to Markets are a broker with good moral values who I can trust.
Key to Markets are a regulated broker with offices in Auckland (New Zealand), London (United Kingdom) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates). I like that the broker is regulated in various countries as it means that they must comply with rules and implement safety measures to protect our funds.
Key to Markets NZ Ltd is owned by Key to Markets Limited which is part of a European group that has partners globally in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Key to Markets Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom with registration number 527809.
The MiFID passport enables them to carry on business in all the European countries subject to MiFID regulations.
Key to Markets DMCC is a company registered in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) under number DMCC95681 and regulated by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) with trading license number DMCC-344359.
Key to Markets hold client funds in segregated accounts with custodian banks that have high credit ratings. This means they are held separate from the company funds and thus cannot be used for any other purposes such as business running costs.
Whilst traders from most countries are welcome, Key to Markets do not offer any services to residents of New Zealand, USA, Iran, North Korea and certain other countries where restrictions may apply. If you are located in any of these countries, you can take a look at our broker reviews for alternative options.
Key to Markets give you a choice of two types of trading platforms, the ever popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform and a FIX API solution. I think MT4 should do the job for most day traders. I have used the platform for many years and find it easy to use for market analysis and managing trades. The FIX API setup will probably only be used if you are a professional trader that needs institutional level market access.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Trading Platform
Key to Markets offer the power of ECN trading through the highly popular MT4 trading terminal. MT4 is well known for its user-friendly interface and quick learning curve. It is used by traders of all experience levels from all over the world. It is simple enough for beginners yet has enough advanced tools integrated to satisfy the more experienced traders.
MT4 contains a vast array of built in features that you can use for efficient trading and chart analysis.
- Real time quotes for all instruments within the market watch window
- 9 chart timeframes
- Multiple order types
- Wide range of built in technical indicators and graphical objects for analysing charts
- Chart templates
- Alert notifications via email, SMS and within the platform
- Automated trading with expert advisors (EAs)
- MetaEditor for coding custom indicators and expert advisors (EAs) in the MQL programming language
- Strategy tester for back testing EAs over historical data
In addition to the standard built in features that you can find with all MT4 brokers, Key to Markets have some additional benefits including:
- ECN price feed with transparent prices
- Instant deposit and fast withdrawal methods with no hidden fees
- Spreads from just 0 pips
- Leverage of up to 1:500
- Good execution speeds of 5 milliseconds or less
- They have no dealing desk and no requotes
- No restrictions on trading systems or scalping
- PAMM/MAM option for money managers
MT4 is available on desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet). The web version runs directly in your web browser without needing to install any additional software. The MT4 app allows you to access your account and trade from anywhere at any time, provided you have an internet connection. The trading app is available for download on both Android and iOS devices from the relevant app stores. I am a huge fan of trading apps simply because I like the convenience of checking the markets when I feel like it. On the other hand, I do also use the desktop platform as it is required for running automated strategies.
The FIX API is an electronic communications protocol that was developed for the real-time exchange of trade-related information. It is commonly used by professional traders and allows you to avoid the use of intermediation software. It provides direct access to the market with your own programs.
Using the FIX API, advanced developers and quant traders can use their own proprietary algorithms and black boxes to easily connect to the Key to Markets server and use the FIX (Financial Information Exchange) price data feeds. This provides a direct connection to institutional liquidity providers with lower latency and improved fill rates.
In order to gain access to the Key to Markets FIX API, you must have a minimum €5,000 deposit and trade a minimum of 500 lots round turn each month. There is a €500 fee if the conditions are not met. €500 is retained at the beginning of the period. I personally feel that the fee is quite high. However, if you are looking to use an API, then you will probably be trading enough volume to get it for free and the price shouldn’t be an issue. If you are set on API trading, then I would suggest taking a look at Global Prime as an alternative option.
Key to Markets have a few extra tools for running your trading platforms remotely and following other traders. They do not however provide any additional analytical tools so you will have to make do with those offered by MetaTrader. I think this should be more than enough for the average trader. If you do want to get access to as many trading tools as possible, then have a look at Markets.com as they have an excellent selection.
I think it is great that Key to Markets give you the opportunity to utilise the Myfxbook AutoTrade system. This system allows traders to link their MT4 trading account to the various trading systems available in Myfxbook. You will find that there are thousands to choose from, all with different strategies and results. You can create portfolios based on the strategies of other traders without needing to pay any performance or management fees.
No additional software is required as it runs on its own servers. Myfxbook hand picks the systems and only allows live verified signal providers. This is good because it helps to filter the good signals from the bad. Real historical data and statistics are available to help you choose a strategy suitable to your own style. Personally, I prefer to trade my own strategies as I like to maintain full control over my positions and money management.
Trades are mirrored fully automated and systems can be added or removed at any time without restrictions. It is possible to try AutoTrade on demo at first to see if it something that you deem suitable to your requirements. I would certainly only experiment with trading signals on a demo account at first. This will help to give you an idea of what to expect before making any financial commitment.
It should be strongly emphasised that historical performance is by no means any guarantee of future results.
Free VPS (Virtual Private Server) Service
A VPS can be used to run your trading platforms 24/7 without needing your computer switched on. This can be useful if you want to run expert advisors (EAs) around the clock without any hassle. I have a VPS that I pay around $30 per month for which I find invaluable. I can remotely run multiple MT4 platforms and access them as and when I need to.
The VPS is offered by Key to Markets in partnership with Commercial Network Services (CNS), a leading VPS provider. The MT4 servers are ON NET with CNS in the New York 4 data center and thus can provide you with reliable execution and low latency.
Key to Markets will credit up to $35 of the monthly CNS VPS fee to the accounts of eligible traders. In order to qualify, you need to trade at least 50 lots per round turn each month. I think this may be a slightly unrealistic trading volume for many day traders.
You can get access to a free VPS from other brokers, including Blueberry Markets.
A Percentage Allocation Management Module (PAMM), enables traders to pool their funds together and invest into accounts that are managed by another trader. These accounts display statistics of performance which can be analysed to see if they are suitable. I found it very easy to understand and would not have any issues investing in any of the accounts if I felt that they met my long-term goals.
The Key to Markets PAMM system is located on a dedicated web-based platform where investors and money managers can access their account using any device and without needing to install the MT4 trading platform. It must be strongly noted that past performance of PAMM accounts is absolutely zero guarantee of future performance.
I am disappointed that there are currently no educational materials offered at this time but that may change in the future. I think it is important that a broker provides some education to help you, especially if you are a beginner. That being said, it could be that they are catering towards a more professional clientele, as emphasised by the FIX API solution. If you are new to trading, Admirals have lots of free educational resources to help you learn more about the markets.
Key to Markets have a decent selection of 200+ trading instruments across multiple asset classes including Forex, Commodities, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Bonds & CFDs.
I found the variety of instruments to be reasonable but limited when compared with industry leaders. To put things into perspective for you, IG have over 17,000 global markets you can trade whilst TMGM have over 15,000 instruments to choose from. I also didn’t find any cryptos to trade but Vantage have a good selection for you to choose from.
They offer CFDs on indices, shares and commodities. A CFD (Contract for Difference) is an agreement between two parties to exchange the difference between the opening and closing price of a CFD contract whose value is tied to an underlying asset. CFDs are financial instruments that provide the opportunity to trade leveraged products without needing to own the underlying asset.
Key to Markets offer access to trade forex which is the world’s most liquid market in terms of trading volume with daily transaction volume totalling over $5 trillion. I like that they have a good selection of over 100+ major, minor and exotic forex currency pairs. If you are looking for a forex broker, then I think you will find more than enough choice.
Index CFDs Trading
You will find a wide range of CFDs on indices with no dealing desk execution and low latency trading conditions, similar to that of which they offer on the forex market. You can buy or sell some of the world’s major equity indices without commission. Indices trading includes the AUS200, DE30, EU50, FRA40, GER30, ITA40, JP225, SPA35, UK100, US30, US500 & USTEC.
You can trade a good selection of commodity CFDs, including metals, energies and softs. All of the CFDs are “Rolling spot”, which never expire. The commodities follow the same rules that they apply to forex currency pairs with the only exception being that the margin required to open a position is fixed to 1%. Commodities available to trade include Gold and Silver, Platinum, Palladium, Copper, Crude Oil (WTI, Brent) and Natural Gas, Cocoa, Coffee, Sugar & Orange Juice.
I was satisfied to see that they provide access to share trading on four different exchanges. The margin requirements vary within the range between 5% and 25% depending on the individual instruments, the full specifications can be accessed through their MT4 platform. All of the CFDs on US, German, French & Spanish shares have the same trading hours which are Monday through to Friday from 16:30 – 23:00 (GMT+2). Companies include those that you would expect such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Ferrari, Goldman Sachs, IBM, McDonald’s, Netflix, TESLA & Twitter.
Key to Markets offer flexible trading accounts suitable to different client needs. There are two main accounts that you can choose from when you start trading, the Standard & Pro. Demo accounts are available if you want to test the different platforms and conditions before opening a real account.
Both accounts provide access to the true ECN execution model through the MT4 platform with variable spreads direct from an interbank liquidity pool. I found the trading conditions to be comparable with XM Group.
The main differences between the two accounts are that one charges a commission with raw spreads whilst the offer has zero commissions but instead has a spread mark up to cover costs. The account type that you go for is likely to depend on your trading strategy. If you are placing trades throughout the day, you will probably want to look at the account with the lowest spreads. If you are holding positions for a long time, then it shouldn’t really matter which account type you opt for.
I found that opening a live account at Key to Markets is a simple process. There is a short online registration form for you to complete. After that you will need to verify your email and complete the KYC (Know Your Customer) checks. This will require uploading a form of identification such as a passport or drivers license and proof of address such as a utility bill (no more than 3 months old). Once your documents have been verified by the accounts team you will be able to fund your trading account and begin trading.
MetaTrader 4 Pro
The Pro account has a raw market spread and competitive commission of €6 or $8 charged per round lot. The minimum balance required to open this account type is $100 whilst leverage of up to 1:500 is available and the minimum position size is 0.01 lots. This account is likely to be more suited to thos of you whose trading strategy requires a tighter spread such as scalpers.
MetaTrader 4 Standard
The Standard account has an increased spread but charges no commissions. The minimum balance required to open this account type is $100 whilst leverage of up to 1:500 is available and the minimum position size is 0.01 lots. This account is likely to be more suited to those of you whose trading strategy does not rely on tight spreads such as swing traders.
I think it is important to open a demo account at first just so that you can get a feel for what to expect from a broker and see if it is for you before making an investment. I always like to test a broker on demo to see if they have suitable conditions for my various trading strategies. You can open as many free demo accounts as you need and choose the virtual account balance that they come preloaded with.
Key to Markets offer email and telephone support 5 days a week during normal office hours. Support is multilingual and available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian & Russian. Unfortunately, they do not offer live online chat support at this time. This is quite inconvenient for me, as I would always look to speak to customer support over live chat before sending an email or making a phone call. There are plenty of other brokers who have live chat support, including AvaTrade.
You will find there is a good variety of convenient deposit and withdrawal methods. This includes bank wire, credit card and online payment systems such as Neteller and Skrill. Please note that some methods may only be available to specific countries and not all are available for both deposit and withdrawal.
Using one of the fast withdrawal methods available, your funds will be credited into your Skrill or Neteller account in less than 48 working hours. In the majority of cases, they aim to process your withdrawal request within minutes.
I like that we can make deposits using digital wallets. Sometimes I need funds in my trading account as soon as possible to try and take advantage of some market news. In this instance, I would not want to be waiting around days for a bank transfer to clear and miss the opportunity.
Some fees may be charged when using certain payment methods. Withdrawal requests are processed within the same day or next if outside working hours. The withdrawal time can vary depending on the payment provider and method. Bank transfers may take a few business days to clear whilst some methods can be instant.
Some payment systems may have transaction limits, restrictions, and requirements which are indicated on their respective websites. You may need to verify your account to remove limits on particular methods in some countries. Key to Markets strictly do not accept third-party payments. All funds deposited into your trading account must be under the same name as your trading account.
Accounts can be opened in USD, EUR, CHF. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
I believe that Key to Markets are a solid ECN broker with a good range of trading products and services. I like that they have regulation in place to help give me the peace of mind that my funds are safe and that they will operate in an honest manner.
They give you access to trade a decent selection of trading instruments on the user-friendly MT4 trading platforms along with a FIX API solution. In addition to this, they give you the option of a free VPS if you trade enough volume.
You can also get trading signals from Myfxbook sent directly to your account and invest in PAMM accounts. There is the option to trade with tighter spreads and pay a competitive commission or to trade commission free but with a marked-up spread.
However, I believe that they could improve in some areas. I would like to see them add some extra trading tools and educational materials which I found to be distinctly lacking.