Author: Eduardo Montero
In this article we are going to expose the result of our exhaustive analysis on the compilation of opinions that we have made of one of the best brokers that you can find nowadays: IC Markets.
This Australian broker, founded in 2007, has had a huge growth in the last few years, becoming a benchmark in the industry. It has several strict regulations that make it a very safe and reliable broker, especially if we add that its execution type is ECN, so it does not enter into conflict of interest with its clients.
Due to its trading conditions, and the fame it has acquired, IC Markets has become a very prestigious global broker, especially due to the many regulations it has. This is mainly evidenced by the satisfaction of its customers, who give it a rating of 4.9 (excellent) out of more than 21,000 reviews on portals such as Truspilot, 90% of which are 5 stars.
Below, let’s take a look at everything we have been able to find out about IC Markets, from its features to customer reviews.
Key features of IC Markets broker
There are many outstanding features that we have been able to find on IC Markets, and we want to share them with you:
- It is a robust broker where you can trade over 2,000 financial instruments across Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and many more.
- It allows trading on all variants of the well-known MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms, both for PCs and smartphones, as well as its WebTrader, but also offers cTrader as an alternative trading terminal.
- It has several account types with conditions that are particularly suited to the MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms, with which it seeks to meet the demands of its more and less experienced clients.
- The spreads at IC Markets are really low especially for the Forex market, taking as a reference the EUR/USD pair, which averages around 0.1 pips.
- You can use the popular PayPal payment method to make deposits and withdrawals to or from the broker, but other classic methods such as Visa, MasterCard, Skrill or Neteller are also available.
- It allows you to create a Demo account mirroring the live accounts (Raw Spread and Standard) on the MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms, with a starting balance that can vary from $200 to $500,000. It should be noted that the Demo account may expire after 30 days of inactivity on it.
- IC Markets offers unique opportunities for investors and strategy providers with Spotware’s cTrader Copy trading platform. Designed for easy and transparent copy trading.
- It has virtual private server (VPS) with which we can execute automated strategies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with excellent connectivity, availability and execution speed.
- It offers its clients a wide range of educational materials that include, among other things, video tutorials, webinars, podcasts and educational articles with general trading knowledge.
IC Markets Broker Reviews
IC Markets is one of the highest rated brokers on Trustpilot, with over 21,000 reviews and a score of 4.9 out of 5.
This means that the majority of reviews are positive, to be more precise, around 19,500 of the 21,000 are excellent ratings.
The vast majority of them are related to customer service, where they rate it as excellent, fast and efficient.
But we were also able to find some that talk about the very low spreads offered on Raw Spreads accounts, and the absence of commissions on deposits and withdrawals.
On the other hand, the platforms are also the subject of comments, of course, positive too, as most of them are grateful to be able to choose between 3 of the most used platforms worldwide, such as Meta Trader 4, Meta Trader 5 and cTrader.
However, although they have been few, we have found negative comments especially about withdrawals, where it is argued that sometimes, they are processed too slowly, in more than 2 or 3 days.
Other problems are that sometimes there are problems verifying the trading account, with the data and documents sent.
Overall, the positive reviews are truly overwhelming before the few negative opinions, which in one way or another are generated by specific situations of some users that may not define the overall service of IC Markets.
You can compare these reviews of the IC Markets broker with those we have collected from other online brokers by checking for example these other articles we have published on our website: eToro Reviews (the leader in social trading), XTB Reviews (a versatile broker with great growth worldwide), Pepperstone Reviews or FP Markets Reviews (also two brokers of Australian origin like IC Markets and with similar characteristics) or XM Reviews (another of the best known and experienced brokers with a good service), among others.
Main Advantages and Disadvantages
Every company, whether financial or not, has strengths and weaknesses that could be improved. With IC Markets, it is no different, although to be honest, the number of notable disadvantages is 4 times less than the advantages that this broker has, at least in our opinion and looking at the comments and experiences of its clients.
- Classic trading platforms: Having the MT4 and MT5 platforms in their versions for PC and smartphones is undoubtedly a great advantage, as it helps us to minimise the learning curve when interacting with platforms already known and used in most brokers today.
- Very tight spreads: In the case of IC Markets these commissions usually compete with the lowest in the world, sometimes reaching values of 0 pips.
- Adjustable leverage (quite high for non-European clients): Perhaps not an advantage in itself, but I have decided to include it because having the option to adjust the leverage from very low 1:1 values up to values of 500:1 (for non-European clients), will always be a plus in any trading account as all traders do not have the same skills or risk management when it comes to adjusting their trades.
- Wide variety of payment methods: Having a variety of methods to deposit and withdraw money to our account is undoubtedly a fundamental element when choosing a broker. IC Markets has 15 payment methods among which you can definitely find one that suits your needs.
- Limited demo account: It is not a big limitation in itself, but you should keep in mind that if you stop using the demo account for a period longer than 30 days it will be deactivated.
IC Markets broker features
In this section we want to expand that information a little more so that you don’t miss any detail if you are one of the most demanding.
Markets that can be accessed with the broker
The number of assets offered by IC Markets is undoubtedly quite high, offering approximately 2000 financial assets, of which most of them (over 1800) are shares of companies. If we compare this number with that of other brokers such as IQ Option, which only offers just over 250, we can conclude that definitely more than 2000 is almost 10 times more.
Below we would like to show you the details of each type of market at IC Markets.
- Allows you to trade over 61 currency pairs (major, minor and exotic).
- Minimum spread from 0.0 pips.
- You can trade more than 1800 stocks and ETFs including (ASX, NASDAQ, NYSE)
- These types of financial assets are only available for MT5 accounts
- Allows trading of more than 22 types of commodities grouped into (Energy, Agriculture and Metals).
- Minimum spreads are less than 0.1 pips.
- Allows trading of 23 types of cryptocurrencies.
- The average spread for Bitcoin is around $42, although the platform’s minimum spread is around $8.
- Allows 23 indices to be traded
- The tightest spreads are around 0.5 pips.
- These assets can be traded on the MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms.
- 9 bonds can be traded
- These assets can be traded commission free.
- Spreads usually average values below 0.1 pip.
- Allows trading 4 global futures (ICE Dollar Index Futures, CBOE VIX Index Futures, Brent Crude Oil Futures, WTI Crude Oil Futures).
- These assets as well as bonds are commission-free.
- They can be traded only on Meta Trader 4/5 platforms.
Account types available at IC Markets
IC Markets, in order to ensure that it covers the full range of potential clients (traders in this case), offers its users a choice of account types, more specifically:
- Demo Account
- Standard Account
- Raw Spread Account (Meta Trader, cTrader)
- Islamic Accounts
Below we will look at the details of each.
This type of demo account can simulate the same trading conditions as the live accounts offered by the broker.
We can open a free demo account with IC Markets in a few minutes from their website. In addition in the case of this broker (something important that many do not offer in their demo accounts) we can adjust various parameters such as leverage, account deposit, the type of platform, even what type of account we want to imitate, either (Raw Spread or Standard) to achieve the greatest similarity with our possible real account and with our personal preferences. The balance on this type of account can be selected from $200 to $500,000. In the case of leverage we can choose values from 1:1 to 500:1.
An important element to take into account is that we can enjoy this account indefinitely as long as we do not spend 30 days or more inactive in it, in which case the broker will close the account and we will have to create another one in case we need it.
The IC Markets standard MetaTrader account offers incredibly fast execution speeds, combined with spreads as low as 1 pip. IC Markets servers are located in one of the world’s most reliable data centres, Equinix NY4 in New York. With connections to over 50 different banks and liquidity providers, you will have a superior trading experience 24 hours a day, every day.
The standard account is the only commission-free account although it is worth noting that the spreads are slightly higher on this type of account to counteract this. You can start trading with a minimum deposit of $200.
This type of account can only be used on the MT4 and MT5 platforms, but not on the cTrader platform. The leverage on this type of account varies according to the type of financial asset we trade, and can reach up to 500:1 in the currency pairs of the Forex market (this leverage level may vary depending on the country of the trader and the corresponding regulation).
It allows trading micro lots (0.01 lot) on 61 currency pairs with a Stop Out level set at 50%. This type of account can be converted into an Islamic account on request.
Standard accounts can be opened with 1 of the 10 base currencies offered by the platform (USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, GBP, SGD, NZD, JPY, CHF, HKD, CAD).
These accounts are designed for discretionary traders, mainly due to their particular characteristics.
Raw Spread Account
According to the broker’s own statistics, this is the most popular account among its clients. With liquidity from over 50 different banks and dark pool liquidity sources, the IC Markets Raw Spread account was created with day traders, scalpers and expert advisors (automated trading) in mind.
Although the commissions per lot traded of $3.5 are slightly higher than the cTrader Raw Spread account, it is worth noting that the use of the powerful and well known MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms, support its popularity, as well as offering (arguably) the most competitive spreads in the world with average minimums for the EUR/USD benchmark of just 0.1 pips.
The initial deposit for this type of account is similar to the other accounts. With a minimum amount of $200 we can start trading.
With the Raw Spread account you can enjoy leverage of up to 500:1 with a Stop Out level of 50% and negative balance protection to avoid ending up in debt with the broker in case of a losing trade.
Raw Spread Account (cTrader)
This type of gird as the name suggests will only be available for the cTrader platform. Although it does not have a large number of trading conditions different from the other accounts other than the fact of using cTrader, we can detail some elements that are particular to this one, such as the maximum number of orders that we can maintain, in which case it reaches 2000.
Another of the distinctive aspects of this account are the commissions charged per lot traded, which in this case will be 6 dollars in total (round trip), or 3 USD on each side. In the case of spreads they can go to 0 absolute in certain market conditions.
As with the other accounts, the minimum deposit is $200, with a maximum leverage of 500:1 on currency pairs, and we can trade micro lots (0.01 lots). Its central server is located in London unlike the other accounts whose servers are located in New York.
This account can be converted to Islamic and like the others allows one click trading with a predefined stop out of 50%.
Although it is not an account per se, clients may request that their Standard or Raw Spread account be converted to Islamic in order to suit their beliefs. These accounts maintain the same general conditions as non-Islamic accounts with the exception of overnight trifas, in which case they do not pay or earn swaps or interest on any transactions for currencies, metals and CFDs, excluding exotic currency pairs, where a small overnight finance charge applies.
Overall we have located few reviews of IC Markets trading accounts but find their offering to be quite versatile for traders of all levels of experience.
IC Markets trading platforms
IC Markets did not want to take a risk with its own trading platform, this broker has opted for the most popular and widely used trading terminals in the world:
- Meta Trader 4
- Meta Trader 5
They are platforms that have a long history of evolution, and an indisputable robustness, in addition to integrating professional tools, expert advisors market, among other things.
Meta Trader 4
IC Markets offers its clients the opportunity to trade on the award-winning Meta Trader 4 platform. It is undoubtedly the world’s most popular trading platform for forex traders due to its ease of use, feature-rich environment and automated trading capabilities.
A platform that has grown from a simple trading terminal, to a global community where the trader’s demands are met with the technology provider’s innovations. IC Markets has partnerships with many of these technology providers and is proud to offer you the next generation Meta Trader 4 platform, designed to take your trading to the next level.
Meta Trader 5
The new platform is an updated and improved version of its predecessor, which has long been the industry standard for investors around the world. IC Markets is also proud to offer the Meta Trader 5 platform to all its clients, a next generation terminal, which offers everything you need to trade the markets successfully.
MetaTrader 5’s advanced charting technology, coupled with sophisticated order management tools, will help you monitor and control your positions quickly and efficiently. It is a powerful platform packed with new features designed to enhance your trading experience. It is available in both IC Markets account types: Raw Spread and Standard.
The cTrader platform combines the speed of a trading platform with the multi-bank pricing of the IC Markets Live environment, providing clients with the ultimate trading solution. It uses proven technology that supports and will take your trading to the next level.
The IC Markets cTrader platform gives you access to deep liquidity across 64 currency pairs, plus 16 major equity indices. Active traders from around the world greatly appreciate trading in the IC Markets environment, which combined with cTrader’s superior functionality and streaming prices from multiple global banks, offers you the ultimate trading solution.
Each of the aforementioned platforms has corresponding versions available for Android and iOS mobile devices.
Meta Trader WebTrader offers the ultra-fast order execution capabilities of MetaTrader with the ease and convenience of a web-based application.
As a web-based trading platform, it is very easy to use, and allows you to execute trades in a real trading environment from anywhere in the world.
This web terminal, like the web version of MetaTrader, offers ultra-fast order execution capabilities.
cTrader Web has the same market-leading spreads, Level II pricing and one-click trading as the desktop version of cTrader, along with features such as a customised trader control panel to allow you to monitor your positions at a glance, and others.
Analysis and training tools
IC Markets is one of the brokers with the most tools and educational materials that we know of. A point it definitely has in its favour, and we have seen this evidenced in the ratings and ratings of its users on platforms such as Trust Pilot and others.
Let’s see what are these technical and educational tools offered by IC Markets.
Video tutorials: It has a series of video tutorials on how to use the platforms available at IC Markets, whether Meta Trader or cTrader. These videos are mainly oriented towards novice users, but they certainly work as an excellent support for all clients.
Web TV: We can find excellent market analysis in short video format. In this section we will be able to find a complete coverage of the most relevant news revolving around world stocks, currencies and commodities. We can say that it works ideally as a support to the fundamental analysis of traders who base their strategies on this type of analysis.
Webinars: At IC Markets, a series of webinars are organised to cater to all its clients. These webinars cover a variety of topics for both beginner and intermediate level traders. Importantly, the webinars are delivered in multiple languages by experts in each subject area. Watching the experts operate the opening of the markets live and free of charge is without a doubt an excellent training tool to become aware of why a professional trader does what he or she does.
Podcast: You can find a series of podcasts with excellent commentary from professionals who share their knowledge with IC Markets clients. These podcasts are oriented to topics related to the psychology of trading, something that many traders overlook and which are undoubtedly the elements that we must master, one could say, even more than our strategy.
Blog: It has an excellent blog where we can find all the educational content on market analysis organised in one place. This blog is an educational tool to be taken into account mainly by clients who are new to the world of trading, even those who have more experience as it addresses a wide range of topics in different formats.
Forex Calculator: It is a tool that we can find on the official site of IC Market and with which we can quickly and easily calculate the pip size of a possible operation by entering the pair, but you can also calculate the ideal size of the operation according to the risk assumed. We can save time if we know in advance the costs we would incur to open a trade with values similar to those previously analysed in the calculator.
Economic Calendar: The Economic Calendar is something that I see in every broker that I analyse and it is for the simple reason that, taking into account the main market news before making an investment is undoubtedly to give sanity to our investments. We can find the news organised by time and country and for each one, a series of data and statistics that reinforce our perspective on the related markets.
Advanced MT4 Trading Tools: As part of improving the overall trading experience for users, IC Markets has introduced 20 exclusive trading tools that were previously unavailable in MetaTrader 4. With the help of these advanced trading tools, the world’s best trading platform is now even better, giving its traders a certain competitive edge over other traders who do not have that possibility.
Main commissions of IC Markets Broker
IC Markets’ operating fees
Almost any financial intermediary bases their fees on commissions and fees they charge for their brokerage services, commonly referred to as operating fees or commissions.
The most popular of these are:
Let us see what are the details concerning these commissions at IC Markets.
As you may already know, spreads are the difference between the bid price and the ask price of a financial instrument, in the same way that a brokerage house works, where it offers you the lower price when you want to sell, and the higher price when you want to buy.
We can say that the spreads are something remarkable in the broker IC Markets as it has one of the lowest commissions in terms of bid/ask spreads in the market.
Raw Spread accounts, both cTrader and MetaTrader, average values as low as 0.1 pips, which is significantly low. Standard account clients can also enjoy relatively low spreads, averaging up to 0.6 pips in the most liquid market (Forex).
Below are more details from the IC Markets website. Please note that these are examples only and may change at any time so we recommend that you check the current commissions on the broker’s official website:
A swap or rollover in Forex is defined as the overnight interest added or deducted for holding an open position overnight. Swap rates are determined by the overnight interest rate differential between the two currencies involved in the pair and whether the position is long or short.
They can be positive or negative, i.e. they can be discounted or credited to your balance sheet if applicable, being discounted when the interest rate is negative, and credited when the interest rate is positive.
IC Markets does not provide much information regarding swap rates, only showing some of the rollover rates for their main Forex assets.
To see the information for each of the instruments that have a swap rate associated with them, you will need to open the platform that has that asset and the asset details will show these details.
From the moment you register with a broker, you are already exposed to charges or fees, even without even opening, maintaining or closing positions. These commissions, commonly known as Non-Operating Fees or Commissions, can affect you to a greater or lesser extent depending on the characteristics of the broker you are using.
Let’s take a look at how these types of fees can affect you if you use IC Markets’ services.
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
IC Markets does not charge any additional fees for deposits and withdrawals. However, you should be aware that you may be charged brokerage fees on payments to and from some international banking institutions.
IC Markets accepts no responsibility for such bank charges.
IC Markets does not charge this type of fee which is usually triggered after a certain period of inactivity with the broker, so we can rest assured on this issue.
Is IC Markets secure?
Security is a critical point when it comes to financial services, as it is our money that is in the hands of these companies (brokers in this case), even though we are the ones who will be handling it virtually.
Because of this, different regulatory bodies have emerged to ensure the safety of investors, protecting them from any scam or bankruptcy of any of these brokers.
Let’s take a look at what regulations IC Markets is under and how their clients’ funds are protected.
IC Markets is heavily regulated by several entities:
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), in operation since 2007.
With these 4 entities regulating IC Markets, I don’t think you can ask for much more, as they are among the most rigorous and prestigious in the world.
Protecting your funds
As I mentioned earlier, IC Markets is regulated by ASIC, one of the most reliable financial regulators in the world, second only to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
The FCA maintains a business-friendly regulatory environment, and all AFSL holders must meet strict capital requirements, implement internal risk management protocols and ensure adequate staff training.
But IC Markets does not stop there and extends its security approach through external audits, professional indemnity insurance and membership of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), which is an Australian-approved external dispute resolution body responsible for disputes between clients and financial service providers that maintain membership.
To date IC Markets remains fully compliant with ASIC and has an unblemished track record.
Furthermore, in accordance with regulatory stipulations, IC Markets executes KYC protocols and adheres to the anti-money laundering best practices outlined in the Australian Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Act 2006.
Therefore, all its clients must comply with mandatory account verification, which includes the submission of a copy of the trader’s identity document and proof of residency.
Customer deposits are kept separate from corporate funds at all times, and are therefore not available to the company should it need them.
IC Markets’ custodian banks are National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac), two of Australia’s largest and most reputable banks.
On top of this, there is negative balance protection at IC Markets, which ensures that traders can never lose more money than their balance. Traders can find out more about this on the company’s website, in the legal documents or simply by contacting customer service.
IC Markets EU, regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), serves traders in the European Economic Area (EEA), but from a less competitive trading environment. All international clients will have their portfolios managed by Raw Trading Ltd, the Seychelles entity licensed by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Overall, we can safely say that IC Markets is one of the safest brokers operating today.
What user profile is this broker suitable for?
In order to know if a broker is suitable for a certain profile of trader, it is important to analyse some key aspects that will determine the final answer.
For example, the types of accounts, available platforms, trading conditions, among other things.
In the case of IC Markets, as mentioned above, it is concerned to cover all types of traders, and this is evidenced in several of its features and conditions.
For example, its standard account is designed for more discretionary traders who are not as active in the markets, as the commissions are higher, while the raw spread accounts are more suited to more active traders such as scalpers, or daytraders, as the spreads are significantly lower.
If we focus on the platforms offered, we can see that they are terminals that have a long track record and that most traders are familiar with, even beginners, so they are perfectly suited to beginners, especially as in addition to their popular track record, there is a wealth of tutorials and information about them.
But on the other hand, we believe that it can also suit more experienced traders, and even professionals, as the tools and functionalities it offers allow trading at the highest level with almost no restrictions.
In short, we believe that IC Markets is suitable for both beginners and experienced, active traders, as well as those who are not so active.
How to open an account with the broker?
Creating an account with IC Markets takes only a few minutes, as it is a very simple process. When we register with the broker we will have to complete a series of forms in which we must enter our personal details and configure some details of the type of account we are going to choose.
The first thing to do, of course, is to go to the broker’s official website:
Then go to the “Open an account”button.
The first form you will have to fill in with your country of residence, first name, last name, followed by an email address where the broker can contact you, as well as your telephone number.
Once completed, we will be asked to select whether we are going to start an individual, cooperative or joint account, our date of birth, the address of our residence.
The third form is where we will have to configure the account settings. It is important to pay attention to this point, as this is where we will be able to choose which platform we are going to use, either Meta Trader or cTrader, the type of account, which can be Standard or Raw Spread and finally we will have to select which will be the base currency of our account, that is, in which type of currency we want to deposit and withdraw money.
Once we have completed the above forms the broker will ask us to complete a survey to find out the level of experience we have in the world of financial markets. You will also be asked to enter a security phrase to verify that it is really you in case you lose your account login details, and finally, confirmation that you have read and understood the broker’s terms and conditions and that you agree with them.
In this way we have already created an account with the broker IC Market, but only that, because to deposit and start trading the broker will ask us to verify our account in order to strengthen the security of both the broker and our account.
Final assessment of IC Markets and the opinions we have gathered
With over 2000 instruments available for trading, 3 different account types, access to industry leading platforms and undisputed security, IC Markets ranks among the best brokers of its kind.
Considering the amount and variety of assets and the good trading conditions offered by this broker, especially for trading on the Forex market, traders who prefer this market will not find many broker options at the level of IC Markets.
But it does not mean that it is a good broker for them, the characteristics of this broker allow it to offer an excellent service to traders from other markets and of any level of experience.
Remember that you have the possibility to open a demo account with IC Markets and try first-hand its services, trading platforms, commissions,… This way you will be able to draw your own conclusions beyond these opinions and everything discussed in this article.
We are very happy to help others, so if this article has helped you, it will be a pleasure for us. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on social networks.
Thank you very much for your attention.
This post is also available in Spanish: ic markets opiniones