Between 54-87% of retail CFD accounts lose money. Based on 69 brokers who display this data.

BrokerDNA

The BROKERDNA score tells you, overall, how reputable, suitable, and affordable a broker is compared to other brokers.

This score is algorithmically-generated based on 31 factors. Neither our team, nor the brokers featured on our site, are able to change this without changing their service offering. Learn more here.

FXCM
9.2 /10

The BROKERDNA score tells you, overall, how reputable, suitable, and affordable a broker is compared to other brokers.

This score is algorithmically-generated based on 31 factors. Neither our team, nor the brokers featured on our site, are able to change this without changing their service offering. Learn more here.

VISIT FXCM
IC Markets
9.1 /10

The BROKERDNA score tells you, overall, how reputable, suitable, and affordable a broker is compared to other brokers.

This score is algorithmically-generated based on 31 factors. Neither our team, nor the brokers featured on our site, are able to change this without changing their service offering. Learn more here.

VISIT IC MARKETS
Pepperstone
9.3 /10

The BROKERDNA score tells you, overall, how reputable, suitable, and affordable a broker is compared to other brokers.

This score is algorithmically-generated based on 31 factors. Neither our team, nor the brokers featured on our site, are able to change this without changing their service offering. Learn more here.

VISIT PEPPERSTONE
About

FXCM is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and NFA. FXCM have provided Forex trading services since 1999.

IC Markets is regulated by ASIC. IC Markets have provided Forex trading services since 2007.

Pepperstone is regulated by ASIC. Pepperstone have provided Forex trading services since 2010.

Why choose them?
  • Yes Over 19 years in business
  • Yes Segregates clients funds
  • Yes Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority
  • Yes Over 11 years in business
  • Yes Segregates clients funds
  • Yes Regulated by ASIC
  • Yes Over 8 years in business
  • Yes Segregates clients funds
  • Yes Regulated by ASIC
Headquarters NY, USA Sydney, Australia Melbourne, Australia

TRADING SERVICES OFFERED

Spot Forex Yes Yes Yes
Forex (CFD) Yes Yes Yes
CFD Yes Yes Yes
Spread Betting Yes No No
Social Trading Yes Yes Yes
MARKETS & INSTRUMENTS
Forex (currency pairs) 39 60 61
Commodities Offered 0 19 12
Stocks Offered 0 120 60
Bitcoin No Yes Yes
Majors Yes Yes Yes
Indices Yes Yes Yes
US Stocks No Yes Yes
Penny stocks No No No
Energies Yes Yes Yes
Metals Yes Yes Yes
Agriculturals Yes Yes Yes
FTSE Yes Yes No
Dow Jones No No No
Dax Yes Yes Yes
Nikkei Yes Yes No
ETFs No No No
IPO No No No
See all instruments

79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

See all instruments

Losses can exceed deposits

See all instruments

78% of Pepperstone Limited’s retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

PLATFORM & FEATURES

See the platforms and features offered by each broker

Screenshot image image image
MT4 Yes Yes Yes
MT5 No Yes Yes
MT4 Mac No No Yes
WebTrader Yes Yes Yes
Mirror Trader No Yes No
ZuluTrade Yes Yes Yes
Sirix No No No
cTrader No Yes Yes
PAMM No No No
Custom Platforms No No No

APPS

iOS image Yes Yes Yes
Android image Yes Yes Yes
Windows image Yes No No
Available Languages

English, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, French, Portuguese, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Urdu

English, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Afrikans, Danish, Dutch, and German

English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Arabic

See platform & features

79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

See platform & features

Losses can exceed deposits

See platform & features

78% of Pepperstone Limited’s retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

ACCOUNT INFORMATION

From micro accounts to ECN accounts, compare the accounts offered by FXCM and IC Markets

Demo account Yes Yes Yes
Mini account Yes Yes Yes
Micro account No No No
Standard account Yes Yes Yes
ECN Account No Yes No
Islamic account Yes Yes Yes
Zero spread account No Yes No
VIP account No No No
Fixed spreads No No No
Variable spreads Yes Yes Yes
See account options

79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

See account options

Losses can exceed deposits

See account options

78% of Pepperstone Limited’s retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

TRADING CONDITIONS

Scalping Yes Yes Yes
Hedging Yes Yes Yes
Expert advisors (EAs) Yes Yes Yes
Virtual private server Yes Yes Yes
Direct market access No Yes Yes
STP broker Yes Yes Yes
Market maker Yes No Yes
Min trade Varies 0.01 Lot 0.01 Lot
Max trade Varies None None
Min deposit $1 $200 $200

RISK MANAGEMENT

Stop losses Yes Yes Yes
Limit orders Yes Yes Yes
One-click trading Yes Yes Yes
Trailing stops Yes Yes Yes
Price alerts Yes Yes Yes
Signal trading Yes Yes Yes

FUNDING METHODS

Credit card Yes Yes Yes
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Standard account Yes Yes Yes
Paypal No Yes Yes
Neteller No Yes Yes
Skrill No Yes Yes
Payment processing time 1 business day Varies Varies
Withdrawal processing time 1-2 business days Varies Varies
See all funding options

79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

See all funding options

Losses can exceed deposits

See all funding options

78% of Pepperstone Limited’s retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

DETAILED INFO

Excluded countries AF, GN, SL, BW, IR, SY, MM, IQ, TG, KH, LS, YE, CI , LR, ZW, CU, LY, TZ, CG, ML, BO, LR, NE, AO, GM, NG, AG, GH, KR, KG, GN, SN, NA AF, GN, SL, BW, IR, SY, MM, IQ, TG, KH, LS, YE, CI , LR, ZW, CU, LY, TZ, CG, ML, BO, LR, NE, AO, GM, NG, AG, GH, KR, KG, GN, SN, NA KR, IR, IQ, SY, JP, US
Contact email Send Email Send Email Send Email
Phone number +44 02073984050 +44 800 014 8775 61 3 9020 0155
Live Chat Yes Yes Yes
Website https://www.fxcm.com/ http://www.icmarkets.com/ https://pepperstone.com/
Spreads:
EUR/USD (Average: 0.7 pips) 1.4 pips + $8.00 1.0 pips + $4.00 0.13 pips + $5.00
GBP/USD (Average: 1.1 pips) 1.2 pips + $8.00 1.0 pips + $4.00 0.49 pips + $5.00
USD/JPY (Average: 1.1 pips) 1.6 pips + $8.00 1.0 pips + $4.00 0.25 pips + $5.00
AUD/USD (Average: 0.8 pips) 0.8 pips + $8.00 1.0 pips + $4.00 0.27 pips + $5.00
USD/CHF (Average: 2.3 pips) 1.9 pips + $8.00 1.0 pips + $4.00 0.64 pips + $5.00
USD/CAD (Average: 2.9 pips) 2.2 pips + $8.00 1.0 pips + $4.00 0.47 pips + $5.00
NZD/USD (Average: 3.6 pips) 2.1 pips + $8.00 1.0 pips + $4.00 1.1 pips + $5.00
EUR/GBP (Average: 2.4 pips) 2.4 pips + $8.00 1.0 pips + $4.00 1.0 pips + $5.00
View all spreads

79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

View all spreads

Losses can exceed deposits

View all spreads

78% of Pepperstone Limited’s retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

FEES

Inactivity Fee No No No
Commission 0.08% per share charge per side Yes Yes
Deposit Fee No Varies No
Withdrawal Fee Varies No No
View All Fees

79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

View All Fees

Losses can exceed deposits

View All Fees

78% of Pepperstone Limited’s retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs

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Last update

All information collected from https://www.fxcm.com/. Last updated on 01/12/2019.

All information collected from http://www.icmarkets.com/. Last updated on 01/12/2019.

All information collected from https://pepperstone.com/. Last updated on 01/12/2019.

Company

Since 1999, FXCM (AKA FXCM) have become one of the most popular forex brokers, with over 220,000 active accounts. In 2014 alone, their retail trading volume exceeded $4 trillion. If you are looking for a reputable broker with low spreads, FXCM are a great option.

IC Markets is an online forex trading service provider who are regulated by the ASIC. To open an account with IC Markets, minimum deposits start from $200.
With IC Markets you can trade Forex, indices, commodities and CFDs. If you like to trade on the go, IC Markets have iPhone, iPad and Android apps so you can trade from anywhere on your phone.
IC Markets offer MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 4 iPhone, MetaTrader 4 Android, MetaTrader 4 Apple Mac, cTrader, cTrader Web, cTrader Mobile, cTrader cAlgo, cMirror, MetaTrader 5, MAM/PAMM, Myfxbook Autotrade, FIX API, Trading Servers, ZuluTrade, Signal Trader, Web Trader platforms to make your trades and support 91 different languages.
They also offer traders a micro account for traders who want to start with smaller accounts. The spreads offered by IC Markets for the most popular instruments are: 1 EUR/USD, 1 FTSE 100, 42 GOLD,1 GBP/USD, 1 DOW/JONES, 0.04 Crude Oil, see all the spreads here.

For more information about trading with IC Markets, we have put together an indepth IC Markets review with all the pros and cons about this broker.

Pepperstone provide a trading platform for retail and institutional investors looking for a broker that provides fast execution, reliable technology, award winning customer service all at superior competitive pricing.

Pepperstone was founded in 2010 to provide a solution to traders frustrated by slow trade execution, excessive spread and poor customer service from other online brokers. Pepperstone are a perfect choice for traders with spreads start from as low as 0 pips and combined with their use of leading technology platforms including MetaTrader 4 and cTrader.

For more information about trading with Pepperstone, we have put together an indepth Pepperstone review with all the pros and cons about this broker.

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FXCM or IC Markets?

Low spreads or ECN execution?

If you’re a trader looking for a broker with low spreads on popular instruments like EUR/USD, FXCM is likely a better option. However, if you want a broker with ECN execution, IC Markets may be more appropriate.

Which broker is more reliable?

You can determine a broker’s reliability & trustworthiness by looking at eight factors:

  • Who are they regulated by?
  • How long have they been around for?
  • Do they hold your money in a separate bank account?
  • Do they use reputable “tier-1” banks like Barclays, Goldman Sachs or HSBC?
  • Have they been fined or penalised in the last five years?
  • The popularity of their service/website
  • Are they publicly listed?
  • Where are they located?

Based on these eight factors, we consider FXCM to be the more reliable broker. We’ve broken down why below:

Who are they regulated by?

FXCM is regulated by Financial Conduct Authority, while IC Markets is regulated by ASIC.

As the Financial Conduct Authority are one of the most stringent regulators in the world, FXCM will have very strict guidelines to follow to ensure they protect their retail trader clients.

Pepperstone are also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

How long have they been around for?

If a broker has been around for a long period of time, they’re likely to be more reliable (in comparison, most scam brokers only exist for several years before they disappear).

This also suggests that a broker has good risk management processes that have prevented them being caught out by major financial events, as was the case with Alpari UK going bust when they were there was a policy reversal of capping the Swiss Franc against the Euro.

FXCM has been around for 20 years, while IC Markets have been around for 12 years. Our third alternative broker, Pepperstone, have been around for 9 years.

Do they hold your money in a separate bank account?

You wouldn’t want your broker paying their staff out of the same bank account account that you’re depositing your trading funds into, would you?

Fortunately, all regulated brokers must use segregated bank accounts to hold client money. This is one of the reasons why we only feature regulated brokers here on BrokerNotes.

All three brokers above will hold your money in a separate bank account.

Do they use reputable “tier-1” banks like Barclays, Goldman Sachs or HSBC?

Most tier-1 banks like Barclays and HSBC have been around for over 100 years and manage trillions of dollars of assets, proving that they have stood the test of time.

Both FXCM and IC Markets use tier one banks, but we are not sure of which bank specifically.

Have they been fined or penalised in the last five years?

If a broker has been penalised by a regulator in the past five years, it may mean that they were caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing - which may be of concern to you as an end client.

We’re not aware of any penalties or fines imposed by regulators on FXCM or IC Markets in the past five years.

How popular is their service/website?

While not always the case, the number of traders a broker has can be a good metric for understanding how reputable a brokers is.

Are they publicly listed?

Companies that are publicly listed on a stock exchange tend to be considered more reputable as they will be required to disclose their financials, and aspects of their operations, to the public.

FXCM is a publicly listed company, while on the other hand IC Markets is still a privately owned company.

Where are they located?

Most reputable brokers tend to be headquartered in a major capital city or a financial hub such as Cyprus.

FXCM are based in NY, USA, while IC Markets are based in Sydney, Australia .

Do they offer the features you need?

Assuming the brokers you’re choosing between are reputable, the next point to consider is whether they offer all of the features you require to trade.

This can be broken down into three categories:

  • Services & instruments
  • Platforms & account types
  • Trading features, risk management tools & funding methods

Services and Instruments

If you’re looking to trade currency pairs, both FXCM and IC Markets offer forex trading. IC Markets have a slightly larger variety of currency pairs with 60 pairs, compared to 39 offered by FXCM. Also, if you’re looking to trade cryptocurrencies, IC Markets offers a handful of cryptocurrency CFDs to trade, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.

If you’re looking to trade commodities like gold, silver or oil, FXCM may be a better fit as IC Markets does not offer commodity trading.

FXCM and IC Markets both offer social trading, which is a modern approach to trading that allows you to follow like-minded traders, copy their trading activity, and engage in discussion around trading strategies.

Platforms & Account Types

If you trade forex, there’s a good chance you might want a broker that offers the popular MT4 trading platform. If that’s the case, both FXCM and IC Markets offer this. IC Markets also offer the new & improved MT5 platform. Our alternative broker, Pepperstone, also offers MT4 and MT5.

In addition to the platform, you’ll also want to ensure that the broker you choose offers the account type best suited to your needs.

For Muslim traders, FXCM offers an Islamic account, which doesn’t accrue interest or incur/receive rollover swap points, as this is prohibited in Shariah law. You can learn more & compare Islamic trading accounts head-to-head here.

Trading features, risk management tools & funding methods

If you have a certain trading style (e.g. scalping, hedging, or using EAs), you’ll want to double check that the broker you choose allows this, as not all of them do.

FXCM does allow scalping and hedging. While IC Markets also allows scalping and hedging. You can trade with EAs (expert advisors) on both FXCM and IC Markets.

In terms of risk management tools, neither FXCM or IC Markets offers negative balance protection. Negative balance protection prevents you owing your broker more than you’ve deposited.

FXCM also offer stop losses, limit orders, and price alerts to help you automate aspects of your trading strategy.

FXCM accept Payoneer while IC Markets accept Paypal.

Are they affordable for what you need?

Comparing the fee structures of different brokers can be a minefield at times. The important thing to consider is what the spreads & fees are on the specific instruments and account type that you will be using.

For trading EUR/USD, FXCM charges 0.30 points, while IC Markets charges 0.00 points. Therefore, IC Markets is the more affordable for this instrument. If you want to compare their spreads across more instruments, You can jump back up to our comparison of their currency pair & indice spreads above.

Another consideration is whether or not your broker charges inactivity, deposit/withdrawal fees, or commissions on trades. If you’re a frequent trader, inactivity fees are unlikely to be an issue.

The Verdict: FXCM or IC Markets?

There’s no such thing as a perfect broker, but some are going to be a better fit for you than others.

Objectively, FXCM is more reliable based on our criteria above. FXCM has a wider range of instruments to trade. IC Markets offer lower spreads on popular forex instruments like EUR/USD and are used by more traders.

Both brokers offer demo accounts, allowing you to test their platforms to see which is suitable for you. You can test drive their demos using the links below:

Finally, if you’re really not sure you can always use our free tool (takes 15 seconds) that will help you find a suitable broker based on your precise requirements here.