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IC Markets Review

Published by Usman Ahmed, MBA (Researcher)

Reviewed by Bowen Khong, ACCA

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.

IC Markets is one of the most popular forex brokers that offers trading services across seven classes of assets, including forex and CFDs. The company is known for providing favorable trading conditions with low spreads and faster trade executions. With advanced trading tools and superior technology, IC Markets is a competitive broker available in the forex market. Today, I’ll go through various aspects of the broker in detail. So let’s get started right away. 

Overview 

Founded in 2007, IC Markets is a low-cost forex broker dealing in a wide range of tradable financial instruments across European and Asian regions. The company has its head office in Seychelles. The information on the physical location of the company is as under:

Company number: 8419879-2

License number: SD018

Office Location: IC Markets Global, Eden Plaza, Office 209, Eden Island, Mahe, Seychelles

According to information available on Wikipedia, the company announced negative balance protection after the Swiss Franc crash incident happened in 2015. However, as per the company’s official website, clients’ funds are not protected against negative balance. As of 2020, the company continues to endeavour success with a team of 260 professionals worldwide under the leadership of Andrew Budzinski (CEO-IC Markets).

ProsCons
Extensive Products Portfolio
Low FX fee
Competitive spreads
Quick account opening process
Strong Regulatory Framework
Islamic accounts
No funds protection for Non-EU clients
Average Customer Support
Does not accept US clients
Limited research tools

Who IC Markets is for? 

With a focus on the most liquid financial instruments and low latency, IC Markets can be a perfect choice for scalpers and high volume traders. The broker also offers a copy trading solution to help newbies in pro-active trading. Competitive spreads offered by the broker provide an edge to all types of traders looking for low-cost trading opportunities. Flexible account types, multiple trading platforms, and round the clock customer support can appeal to both retail and institutional investors to sign up with the broker. Not to mention, the broker’s virtually funded demo accounts play a vital role in building up the confidence level of traders who are new to the forex industry.  

Sign up bonus: At present, the broker does not offer any bonus on sign ups. 

Is IC Markets Safe? 

Trust Score: 59 (read more)

IC Markets holds multiple licenses from top regulators worldwide, including ASIC, FSA, and CySEC. The company also adheres to strict guidelines of anti-money laundering agencies. In compliance with the regulatory requirements, the broker keeps clients’ money in segregated bank accounts, preferably with tier-1 banks of Australia. Regulations also require the broker to have sufficient capital funds available for ensuring higher liquidity levels.

IC Markets however does not offer any funds insurance program that means clients might be in trouble in case the company goes in liquidation. Although the company employs advanced web encryption security protocols, still it cautions traders to exercise extreme care concerning password storage. The multiple regulations and advanced security protocols provide reasonable assurance that your funds are safe with IC Markets. 

Year founded:2009
Publicly traded: No
Licenses: CySEC, ASIC, FSA
Backlist: Nil

Offering of Investments 

IC Markets offers a wide range of tradable instruments. Clients can trade a total of 242 financial derivatives across multiple classes of assets. The broker provides access to 120 stocks, 60 forex currency pairs, 19 commodities, 23 indices,  06 bonds, 04 futures, and 10 Crypto assets. The range of offerings may vary depending upon your jurisdictional area. Therefore, if you are looking for a particular tradeable asset, I would suggest confirming its availability directly from the broker before opening an account with it.

Forex: Spot TradingYes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)60
Social Trading / Copy-TradingYes
CFDs instrumentsForex, Metals, Stocks, Energies, Indices, Commodities (240+)

Commissions & Fees 

Keeping in view the needs of scalpers, day traders, and institutional investors,  IC Markets offers the most competitive pricing structure. According to the information available on the company’s official website, the broker offers the industry’s lowest average spreads on EURUSD, starting from 0.1 pips. The broker also claims to have a minimum commission policy in place that does not exceed $3.50 per standard lots. 

At present, IC Markets offers three types of accounts, including Standard, Raw Spread, and cTrader. Clients can sign up for either of the account types with an initial deposit of $200 only. Leverage size in all account types remains same i.e. up to 1:500. 

The cTrader and Raw spread accounts come with a commission of $6.0 and $7.0 respectively and a starting spread of 0.0 pips applies. With an average spread size of 0.1 pips on EURUSD, the all-in cost doesn’t exceed 0.7 pips, making it very competitive when compared with the industry average.

Traders holding standard accounts do not have to pay any commission on their trades. However, minimum spread in Standard Account starts from 1.0 pips that is higher than the rest of account types at IC Markets.  

Clients are allowed to trade micro-lots (0.01 pips) in all account types. For Muslim traders, swap-free Islamic accounts are also available at IC Markets. The broker does not charge an inactivity fee on dormant accounts. Also, there are no charges applicable on smaller withdrawals. 

Minimum Initial Deposit$200 
Average Spread EUR/USD – Standard0.8 Pips
All-in Cost EUR/USD – Active0.7 pips
Minimum withdrawal Not Specified

Platforms & Tools 

IC Markets offers a full suite of both cTrader and MetaTrader platforms to facilitate both newcomers as well as advanced-level traders. Clients have the choice to select the trading platform that suits their needs. Both trading platforms are compatible across all electronic devices, including personal PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. 

With a combination of speed and deep liquidity, IC Markets cTrader platform brings clients’ trading experience to the next level. Traders can access real-time quotes of all financial instruments in both MT4 and cTrader. The platform supports multiple order types with one touch trading. Features such as real-time reports, detachable charts, and expanded symbol display enable clients to customize the trading panel for a better trading experience. The platform allows clients to trade directly against the market with no interventions from dealing desks. Low latency, high leverage, and advanced risk management tools provide traders enough resources to stay profitable.

On the other hand, the state-of-the-art MT4/MT5 trading platforms come with superior charting technology and advanced order management tools. Clients can also install plugins from the Trading Central and AutoChartists for enhanced trading exposure. MetaTrader5 has more than 38 technical indicators, 44 analytical objects, and multiple drawing tools. All these features can help clients to undergo a detailed technical and fundamental analysis of underlying assets. 

Traders can also access copy trading services offered through third-party social trading platforms such as ZuluTrade and MyfxBook. 

Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Yes
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)Yes
Charting – Indicators / Studies (Total)38
Charting – Drawing Tools (Total)20+
Charting – Trade From ChartYes
Order Type – Trailing StopYes

Research  

Research section of the IC Markets seems a little bit less populated at first glance. However, it does offer some useful resources, including a market analysis blog, forex calculator, economic calendar, and forex glossary. Under the market analysis head, the broker features daily technical and fundamental analysis along with a news feed on current industry trends. 

The forex calculator helps traders to estimate expected profits and associated risk exposure on underlying positions. The economic calendar keeps traders updated about the upcoming important economic events and their possible impact on clients’ trading outcomes. 

The glossary section works as a forex dictionary that allows traders to get familiarized with different forex terminologies, abbreviations, and jargon. I believe the broker could have added a few more resources, such as live news feeds as well as some video content, making the research section more appealing. 

Education  

IC Markets’ education section has more content available as compared to its research head. The broker offers both written and visual educational resources under this section. IC Markets has classified the available content into four categories, including Trading knowledge, Video tutorials, Web TV, and educational guides. 

The company calls its educational section “the information hub for traders”. Clients can access a wide range of educational materials, including articles and video tutorials that cover some key topics on forex trading. The content is sufficient to satisfy the needs of novice traders. However, the broker seems to be missing some advanced-level content for professional traders. 

Mobile Trading 

IC Markets offers a collection of MT4 and custom-developed cTrader trading platforms that are supported across all Android and iOS-based devices. On-the-go traders can install the compatible version of MetaTrader or cTrader platforms from the respective App store on their mobile phones and tablets. The mobile-based trading app allows clients to access all main features that are present in desktop trading platforms. However, traders might face a little limitation concerning the viewability of charts due to a small mobile screen. Also, some complex order types might not be available through the mobile trading app. 

Mobile devices Android &  Apple 
FeaturesWatchlist, charting tools, price alerts

Final Thoughts 

After an in-depth review of the broker, I am having a mixed opinion concerning the overall rating of IC Markets. The broker’s multiple regulations, diverse product portfolio, and a wide range of trading platforms provoke me to cast my vote in favor of the broker. On the other hand, the unavailability of clients fund protection instigates me to caution traders about the potential risks associated with the broker. In conclusion, I would suggest exploring the broker with smaller investments and increase your exposure gradually if you like the trading environment at IC Markets.   

Usman Ahmed, MBA (Researcher)
Usman Ahmed, MBA (Researcher)
Usman Ahmed is a currency trader and financial market analyst with more than 7 years of active trading experience. Besides holding a Masters degree in Business Administration, he has worked for some of the most renewed companies in the forex industry including FXCM, IQOption, MetaQuotes, Alpari, FXStreet, DailyFX and several others. Usman possesses strong technical analytical skills and is famous for his very own, informative and entertaining, writing style. He believes in naked chart trading analysis that is commonly known as price action trading. He follows global financial news and macro-economic events very closely.
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