Since its foundation in 2010 under the name ThinkForex, the trading platform now known as ThinkMarkets has been a leader in the digital trading space. The company expanded from its home base of New Zealand into the Australian market in 2012, positioning it among the top brokers serving Australian traders. As such, it is fully regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission under an Australian Financial Services Licence. Today, the ThinkMarkets trading platform allows traders of all experience levels to open positions on a wide variety of assets and profit from their trades. The following is a ThinkMarkets review intended to help new traders decide if this is the right brokerage for them.
ThinkMarkets Key Strengths
For the purposes of this ThinkMarkets review, a list of the main strengths and advantages of this brokerage has been assembled. The main strengths of ThinkMarkets are:
- Tight spreads
- Selected market news feed
- Strong learning tools for new traders
- 24/6 support in multiple languages
- Leverage ratios up to 400:1
Traders using ThinkMarkets as their brokerage can trade in four asset classes: Forex currency pairs, non-metal commodities, indices and precious metals. As the company’s original name suggests, ThinkMarkets originally specialised in Forex trading. Forex is popular among traders because of its proven ability to produce gains in any market conditions. Since there are always fluctuations between currencies, there will always be potential profits in trading them against one another.
The non-metal commodities that traders can open positions on using ThinkMarkets are oil and natural gas. Though less inclusive than the raw commodities lists on other leading brokerages, these two still offer excellent profit potential. However, a comprehensive ThinkMarkets review should note that the lack of agricultural commodities does limit the choices traders have somewhat.
Next, ThinkMarkets lets its traders access and trade on the value of global indices, including the US30 and UK100. These indices offer good earnings potential and a degree of predictability thanks to their broad base of included stocks. Indices trades on ThinkMarkets are also relatively inexpensive, with spreads as low as 0.25.
Finally, traders can open positions on precious and semi-precious metals, including gold, silver and copper. These commodities are good for trading anytime, but can offer a safe alternative to indices or Forex during times of economic upheaval. When markets become too unpredictable, traditional investors will often put their money into metals, especially gold. This makes trades based on these metals safer options during more volatile periods.
ThinkMarkets Account Types
Like most digital brokerages, ThinkMarkets offers multiple account levels. Since the account type a trader has will have a substantial impact on the features he or she can access, no ThinkMarkets review would truly be complete without an overview of these account levels.
The basic account type, or Standard account, can be opened with as little as $250. This account offers basic trading functionality through either ThinkMarkets’ proprietary Trade Interceptor platform or the well-liked MetaTrader 4. Users can access learning materials, news feeds and will be given access to the standard low spreads. For most newer traders, the Standard account will be the basic starting point.
The next level up is the Pro account, which can be opened with any amount in excess of $2,000. This account offers several upgrades over the Standard account, including a dedicated account manager, access to an automatic technical analysis software called Autochartist and a free virtual private server. Pro level traders also get even tighter spreads than Standard account holders.
Finally, traders can open a VIP account with $25,000 or more. This account gives traders the option of direct interface access to the ThinkMarkets MetaTrader server, as well as the ability to negotiate a higher commission rate per lot. Though it has its advantages, it does not offer as many benefits over the next lowest account as the Pro does to the Standard. For most traders, therefore, the Pro account will be the best balance of accessibility and features.
As mentioned above, ThinkMarkets uses both its own Trade Interceptor platform and MT4, both of which can be used on a variety of computers and mobile devices. Trade Interceptor offers impressive graphic representations with a four-way split capability. This feature allows traders to watch up to four individual assets simultaneously, which is especially convenient for more advanced traders who may have several open positions at any one time.
Also available is MetaTrader 4, which is the industry standard software in digital trading. MT4 helps to make ThinkMarkets very accessible to traders who are migrating from other brokerages, since almost every trading site uses it in one way or another. MT4 is the platform used by both the Pro and VIP account levels.
For the vast majority of traders, the maximum allowable leverage on ThinkMarkets will be 400:1, a respectable level that is fairly standard for digital brokerages. Some accounts, however, will be subject to lower leverage ratios because of their volume and the possibility for loss. Leverage ratios for larger accounts are structured as follows:
- 200:1 for $50,000-$200,000
- 100:1 for $200,000-$1,000,000
- 50:1 for $1,000,000 and above
The core of the ThinkMarkets support process is a comprehensive and highly informative FAQ section that offers most of the information traders will need for common issues. Beyond that, trained support staff may be contacted by phone, live chat or email 24 hours a day, six days a week. Whether you need the answer to a simple question or require step-by-step guidance in navigating the system, the ThinkMarkets team will be able to help.
ThinkMarkets Educational Materials
One of the elements of a brokerage that is most important for beginning traders is the range of educational materials it has available. As such, a thorough ThinkMarkets review is impossible without a look at how the brokerage prepares newer traders. The range of materials available on the ThinkMarkets site range from basic text introductions to video explanations and even full webinars. Lessons are broken up into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, allowing traders to learn based on their existing degrees of experience.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Transactions with ThinkMarkets can be conducted in a variety of ways, including bank transfer, major credit card or transfer through Skrill or Neteller. The minimum limit to withdraw funds from your account is $30 USD. Using Skrill or Neteller, a maximum limit of 10,000 units of currency is placed on a withdrawal. For bank transfer withdrawals, however, there is no maximum limit.
On the whole, ThinkMarkets or formally Think Forex deserves its reputation as one of Australia’s best Forex brokers. Though it could benefit from a somewhat more diverse list of assets or more advanced trading tools, ThinkMarkets delivers an extremely high quality experience on its core services. With reasonably high leverage, excellent learning materials for beginner and intermediate traders and great customer service, ThinkMarkets sets itself above the pack. If you are interested in opening a new Australian trading account, this brokerage should definitely be on your list for consideration.