One of my preferred pastimes is fx trading, it’s because of this I made a decision to write a review regarding my forex provider IC Markets. As IC Markets is the biggest forex broker in Australia it is not difficult to locate loads of reviews on the web about them, however rather than believing what is written in forums on the web I made a decision to conduct my very own evaluation of this broker.
I must point out that I’ve had accounts with almost all of the brokers in Australia over the past six years or so I’ve witnessed all of the tricks in the book that forex brokers make use of so as to make a buck or two out of their customers. Fortunately, as I have experienced the very best and worst of all of the forex brokers in Australia I would like to think that I am in a fairly good position to evaluate IC Markets also.
Before I start this appraisal I should mention that IC Markets was founded in 2007 by the brains that were responsible for bringing margin foreign exchange into Australia back in 2003. Their head office is in the Sydney CBD taking up 2 floors of quite a prestigious office address. Forex is just one of several financial products that they provide they also have internet share trading and Contracts for Difference.
As I have had an account with IC Markets for almost 2 years now trading almost day-after-day, writing a review was pretty easy. My evaluation was based on several criteria which you will find talked about allot throughout the forums, these criteria are spreads, slippage and deal speed. It only makes sense to focus my appraisal on the major forex pairs as IC Markets has in excess of 50 currency pairs on their Metatrader 4 forex trading platform.
Just about all forex traders including myself asses brokers first and foremost by looking at the spreads that they display. Spreads are naturally substantially more important if you are scalping and day trading, however for those forex traders who hold open long positions, spreads are not something that you ought to be worried about. Never the less IC Markets does in fact have the lowest spreads out of all the forex brokers in Australia, their EUR/USD spreads average 0.1 pips which from what I have seen is also the very best spread in the world for this currency pair.
Slippage is also an important aspect to consider if you plan on scalping the market or using high frequency expert advisors. Unfortunately slippage appears to be much more prevalent with ECN fx brokers, however frequently this is countered by positive slippage. Slippage at IC Markets does exist though it is negligible and to their credit they also pass on positive slippage in their clients favour. If you’re dealing with a True ECN forex provider you need to think about this however do not be discouraged as it works both ways, this is especially true when trading with with IC Markets.
The most important point to consider is order latency, having trades reach the market quickly and receiving deal confirmations rapidly is critical, it’s for this reason I only trade with fx brokers who have their trade servers in the NY4 data facility in New York. I observe the trade speeds at IC Markets every day and the typical execution time is 130 milli seconds, the quickest speed that I have experienced is 40 milli seconds.