There’s a lot of forex brokers in Australia, a few are white label forex brokers and others are core forex brokers. The two newest fx brokers to hit the foreign exchange scene in Australia are IC Markets and Vantage fx as I am always interested in trying new forex brokers I thought that I would check out both of these firms to find out what all of the fuss was about.
Before I share my analysis with you I thought that I would let you know that both brokers use the Metatrader 4 platform and have quite tights prices, however IC Markets is a real ECN forex broker and Vantage FX is a market maker broker. Being a market maker broker isn’t a problem so long as the broker doesn’t play games with the prices when you start making money, however unfortunately this is a huge problem with most market maker brokers.
After trading using the Vantage Fx live trading platform for 2 months I found that their prices were reasonable and stayed somewhat tight during news announcements. One thing that did annoy me was that when I attempted to trade any quantity larger than two standard lots their execution speed would drop significantly, it was as if my order was being sent to a dealing desk to be manually filled. When trading sizes of less than one standard lot I didn’t have any problems whatsoever though I am positive that if I commenced to make money my execution speeds would have been slowed down no matter what. The Vantage fx trading platform is Metatrader 4 so this is a really a huge advantage for the company as I am able to utilize my expert advisers without any issues. Their server appears to be fairly reliable and didn’t disconnect me all the time which was on the list of huge issues that I’ve had with a number of the other Metatrader 4 forex brokers in Australia in the past.
I discovered the service at Vantage fx to be pretty average, they were able to assist me with a good number of things, however they do rely on their clients being familiar with Metatrader 4 and don’t help a lot with the initial platform setup, this could be an issue for new forex traders who are not familiar using the Metatrader 4 platform. I tried to get in touch with them after-hours on several occasions and seemed to get through to the exact same drowsy and ill-tempered guy each time, he wasn’t very helpful at all. After hours support is certainly not this fx brokers expertise.
IC Markets also use the Metatrader 4 platform which is of course a huge plus for them also, one of several attractive aspects of this broker is that they’re a true ECN broker which is unlike nearly all other Australian brokers. After 2 months trialling this broker, every time I traded I continued to be amazed at the spreads they were showing me. I had always heard that ECN forex brokers were able to show better spreads than their market marker colleagues, however I did not realize that the spread differences could possibly be that substantial, I was often able to deal on Zero spreads on IC Markets Metatrader.
I had found several forum posts stating that the execution speeds of a few ECN fx brokers can be slower as deals must be confirmed within the ECN market place before they are executed. Over my two months of trading with IC Markets I did not notice any latency problems at all, my deal execution speed was in fact quicker with IC Markets than with Vantage FX.
On the list of main advantages of ECN brokers is that large trades can be placed without any delays or rejections. I confirmed that this was possible with IC Markets. I experimented with trades as much as 7 standards lots in size without latency or slippage problems, I would have tried putting on bigger trades but I was restricted by my trading account balance.
I spoke to IC Markets a number of times just to see how good their support was and I discovered that they were very helpful, they guided me through the Metatrader platform and were able to assist with a few fx trading queries that I had, this was a real surprise to me. I tried contacting them after hours expecting their support to decline however this wasn’t the case the person I spoke to understood the Metatrader platform well.
If I was to suggest one of these broker platforms to members of my forex trading group there is no doubt that it would be IC Markets, Vantage FX however remains a very good broker, however they would not be good for active fx traders or those using expert advisers. IC Markets is a good all round broker their prices are extremely low which is good for scalpers, there are no order size limitations, they offer the Metatrader platform and their service is quite outstanding and definitely the best that I’ve experienced out of all the Metatrader 4 forex brokers in Australia. I personally now deal with IC Markets myself.