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IC Markets has its headquarters in Sydney as an Australian company. Andrew Budzinski founded this trading platform in 2007, having founded another broker earlier (FP Markets).
Although it is less popular than other online brokers, such as Etoro, DEGIRO, or XTB, some traders prefer it due to its low commissions and platform flexibility (e.g. MetaTrader and cTrader).
Similarly, as with any broker, you will want to examine your options and determine if this is the right choice for you or if there are better alternatives. You may find my IC Markets review helpful in deciding whether IC Markets suits you.
IC Markets Review Overview
With IC Markets, you can trade CFDs on stocks, currencies, commodities, crypto, bonds, indices, and other derivatives. Since this broker does not have a trading platform of its own, traders will need to use cTrader, MetaTrader 4 or 5.
Kindly note that the only asset classes available for investment are CFDs (Contracts for Difference). It is not possible to trade stocks or other underlying assets. Despite the higher risk involved, this makes IC Markets an attractive choice for traders.
Different governmental and international agencies regulate the Australian broker, such as CySEC in Cyprus, ASIC in Australia, and the FSA in the United Kingdom. Since it is not a publicly traded company, it does not undergo as many inspections as other listed brokers (e.g. NAGA, XTB).
IC markets: Pros & Cons
These are some pros of IC Markets:
MetaTrader 5 and IC Markets
Many countries within and outside the European Union can access IC Markets, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, LatAm and many more.
Opening a demo account with IC Markets is a simple process.
As a trading platform, IC Markets is regulated by several important regulators (such as the Australian, European, British, etc.).
In addition to MetaTrader 4 and 5, cTrader can also be used as an external platform.
Depending on your trading type, you can choose from three types of accounts (with varying commissions).
Trading options include social trading (through Zulu Trade) and algorithmic trading (using programming to streamline your investment process).
Opening an account, depositing, or withdrawing funds are all free. You won’t be charged for inactivity, either.
It is possible to open an account in a variety of currencies. Among them are USD, EUR, AUD, JPY, and GBP.
Drawbacks of IC Markets:
IC Markets’ security options are limited
MetaTrader 4, and 5 (and even cTrader’s) interface are quite outdated. The IC Markets interface might confuse you if you’re used to modern brokers.
The only thing you can trade is CFDs. IC Markets is not your best choice if you invest in tangible assets such as stocks or ETFs.
Support is friendly, but they don’t always give thorough answers.
Despite offering a wide range of instruments, such as CFDs, to invest in, they are not as diverse as other brokerages. (e.g., only [sc name="ic-markets-cfd-indicies"][/sc] indexes and a dozen or so commodities).
While you can trade equity CFDs, only stocks listed on ASX, Nasdaq, and NYSE are available. While you can trade equity CFDs, there is not a wide range of stocks available, only those listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), the Nasdaq and the NYSE.
IC Markets does not support two-step authentication (e.g. with a mobile code), which would provide an extra layer of security when logging in. The fact that they send your password and username via email seems strange too. Ideally, you should be able to decide both for yourself.
IC Markets doesn’t provide any financial information about the assets you’re investing in (e.g. income statements, financial ratios for equity CFDs).
Is IC Markets right for you?
Since you can only invest in CFDs, this Australian-based derivatives broker is better suited to traders than long-term investors. There’s also a learning curve, so it’s better suited to experienced traders.
Country and regulation UK, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, etc.
It is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as well as CySEC in Cyprus (for European clients #362/18), the Bahamas Securities Commission and Financial Services Authority.
Clients from various countries, such as the UK, Australia, USA, Germany, France, and more, are accepted. IC Markets keeps its assets separate from client funds.
A minimum deposit of $200 is required. You can add funds to your IC Markets account via bank transfers, Visa, and MasterCard. Additional electronic payment methods include Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, Klarna, and Rapid Transfer. It may depend on the country in which you live (e.g. in the EU) and whether or not you have access to more or fewer options for depositing funds). No fees are charged for any of these methods.
IC Markets allows withdrawals using the same methods as deposits without incurring fees. However, if you withdraw funds via bank transfer, you may be charged a fee for transferring from their bank to yours. Withdrawals usually take 3-5 days to process, but they can take as long as ten days.
Demo accounts can be created for MetaTrader and cTrader, which are flexible and easy to use.
Products & trading
IC Markets offers only CFDs for trading derivatives. If you want to trade stocks, check out eToro or DEGIRO.
ETFs & Funds
No ETFs or investment funds can be traded, only CFDs.
Currency trading is limited to CFDs.
IC Markets’ flagship product is CFDs. CFDs are available (about 2200) regarding the following instruments: Forex (≈ 60), commodities (≈ 20), indices (≈ 25), ≈ 10 bonds, ≈ 20 cryptocurrencies and nearly 2,000 company stocks in US and Australian markets. There could be a greater variety of assets available.
Rather than purchasing cryptocurrency directly, it is possible to trade CFDs on cryptocurrency pairs.
This Australian broker specialises only in CFDs and does not offer other trading instruments.
Types of orders
IC Markets offers a wide variety of order types, including limit and market orders. Stop loss and take profit features are also available.
With the help of ZuluTrade, IC Markets allows you to engage in social investing (i.e. copying the investments of other investors). A small investment script can be generated to guide you with your trading using IC Markets’ platform, which allows you to use algorithmic trading – be aware that this is not an easy task.
The leverage of your trade can be reduced depending on the platform you are using (for example, cTrader).
IC Markets charges a spread between its bid and ask price when you trade its CFDs; it has a lower price if you buy and a higher price if you sell – smart business model. As a result, the company does not charge fixed fees; these vary depending on the period and the investment product. Different account types come with additional fees and spreads at IC Markets.
IC Markets charges a commission for each open trade at the end of the day. The same goes for all derivatives brokers when you trade with leverage. Fees will be displayed before you trade.
No worries, IC Markets won’t charge you if you don’t use the account.
Withdrawals are free of charge. Depending on your account location, you may have to pay third-party fees when funds are transferred from an Australian account to your account located elsewhere. When you make a transaction in a currency other than your own, IC Markets will charge you a commission. Exchange rates can be tricky.
Although the brokerage lacks its own trading platform, MetaTrader or cTrader can be used on your computer to trade. As mentioned, these platforms are somewhat complex; they are used by well-experienced traders, but also appear somewhat dated. There is a version that can be accessed from any web browser. Either the browser version or the desktop application can be used. As well as cTrader, Metatrader 4 and 5 have smartphone applications that can be used for trading.
The charting system (both with cTrader and MetaTrader) is comprehensive, and you can perform a wide variety of calculations and analyses. Initially, I found the charts difficult to read. Getting used to it will take some time.
It may be challenging for you to find detailed information about the instruments you are trading. DEGIRO, or eToro offer more research options.
Market Buzz contains news and updates about the financial world. A really cool thing about it is that you can filter the information based on your interests and what’s being discussed most often. A calendar of economic events, as well as relevant market dates, is provided.
Education and guides
I don’t think their tutorials and guides are very detailed, they need to put more effort there.
Notifications on some platforms have limitations, and they should be improved.
It’s relatively fast to get support via email, phone, and live chat, but they don’t always answer my questions completely.
Trading CFDs is the sole focus of IC Markets. It’s a good choice for those who don’t need a wide variety of instruments, have trading experience, and want a low-cost trading platform. Plus, it’s a clunky system with an outdated interface.
Markets and assets available on IC Markets
In comparison to other brokers, IC Markets doesn’t offer as many financial instruments. Only CFDs are available for investment (2200 different).
Let me tell you more about the CFDs you can trade here.
60 CFDs on currency pairs.
+2100 CFDs on company shares.
20 CFDs on commodities.
CFDs on indices.
20 CFDs on currency pairs and crypto.
9 debt bond CFDs.
4 futures CFDs.
With IC Markets, you cannot invest in non-CFD assets, so if you were hoping to invest in mutual funds, real shares, or ETFs, that wouldn’t be possible. Sadly, there are no ETF CFDs either, which is shocking.
IC Markets allows trading on Australian, New York, Amsterdam, German, London, Paris, and Madrid stock exchanges and a couple of other minor markets.
As you can see, this excludes important markets such as the Japanese, Canadian, several European markets, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Undoubtedly, alternatives with a broader range of assets, and derivatives are available.
How do I open an account with IC Markets?
For your convenience, I’ve compiled a summary of what you need to do to open an account with IC Markets Spain.
To open an account and start trading with IC Markets, follow these steps:
Fill in your personal information: name, surname, email, and phone number.
Enter your postal address and choose your account type.
Select the platform, and currency you’ll trade on (MetaTrader 4, 5, or cTrader).
You have to fill out a questionnaire about financial and derivatives trading.
To log in to your IC Markets account, check your email for the login credentials (username and password) – crazy they are sending this information around by email.
Please fill in your economic and financial information.
Upload a copy of your ID card or passport and an invoice verifying your current address to prove your identity.
A confirmation email will be sent to you by IC Markets once your identity has been verified.
Types of accounts with IC Markets
It offers several types of accounts for users, the main difference being commissions and spreads. I will discuss them in a little more detail below.
IC Markets account types
These accounts are Raw Spread (with cTrader and MetaTrader) and Standard (exclusively with MetaTrader) ).
There are lower spreads (pips) with Raw Spread accounts, but investors will pay a fee of between 3.00 USD and 3.50 USD per lot they trade.
In total, the Raw Spread (MetaTrader) account charges 3.50 USD per lot opened and closed.
The Raw Spread (cTrade) account, in this case, the fee is 3.0 USD per lot when opening and closing a trade (total of 6.0 USD).
However, if you open a Standard account, you will not be charged a commission for traded lots, but you will be charged significantly higher spreads.
How secure is IC Markets?
Security concerns are increasingly important to me as a user, and I’m sure they are for you as well, there are far too many phishing scams out there. That’s why I’m about to tell you what options IC Markets provides for securing your account – spoiler alert, not too many.
The security options at IC Markets aren’t great
The truth is, IC Markets doesn’t offer much in terms of security options for your account. Based on my extensive IC Markets review of their system, I found no extra security options.
As I could not believe there was no additional security option, I contacted their customer support team, who confirmed that the only “security” measure is the use of a “strong password”. It’s a bit lame, to be honest.
As with most banks, other brokers, such as DEGIRO, allow users to enable two-step authentication, which entails entering a code before logging in. Additionally, IC Markets does not provide you with an anti-phishing code unique to your account, which only you know – having such would allow you to be sure that the communications you receive are authentic and not phishing attempts.
IC Markets Reviews: The Final Word
It seems like IC Markets is a platform geared towards experienced traders, or at least those who are okay with learning how to use it a bit; powerful but not intuitive.
Serious investors will benefit significantly from using external trading platforms such as MetaTrader and cTrader, as well as advanced trading methods (such as social trading or algorithmic trading).
The fact that various account types are available with different fee models and competitive spreads is also a nice feature.
However, the platform isn’t intuitive. Its design is old school. It is also important to note that you may only trade derivatives. As a final note, it is possible to trade several common assets (via CFDs), yet they do not offer the most extensive range in the industry (e.g. no CFDs on European equities).
Let me know if my analysis and review of IC Markets helped you make a more informed decision. If you still have questions, leave a comment, and I will do my best to answer them.
IC Markets Review Updates:
03 Jul. 2023 – Security features.
29 Mar. 2023 – Added information about its markets and assets
26 Jan. 2023 – Initial IC Markets Review and Opinions
Soy Josep Garcia, diplomado por la Universidad de Barcelona en Ciencias Empresariales y licenciado en Marketing y Administración y Dirección de Empresas por la Universidad Oberta de Catalunya. Me apasiona el mundo de las finanzas y el emprendimiento, si tienes alguna pregunta sobre este artículo deja un comentario.