The best forex brokers make forex trading easier and strong customer service, educational resources, lower brokerage costs and the best trading platform offers by the leading ECN brokers including IC Markets, Pepperstone, CMC Markets, AvaTrade, Swissquote, FXCM, Forex.com Plus500 and OANDA.
The December 2018 forex broker review below focused on the best trading account to navigate forex markets. Spreads, commissions, fx platforms and customer support including live chat were part of forex trading comparison.
With a maximum leverage level of 500:1, IC Markets offers the equal highest leverage to other top forex brokers such as Pepperstone and CMC Markets.
An example of what 500:1 means is that for every dollar that you trade you can trade an equivalent of $500. This means that for a $100 trade you could trade $50,000 worth of currency so a currency movement of 0.1% would lead to a $50 profit (which in this case would be a 50% profit). Leverage magnifies gains but also the risk profile of trading so it’s best to request the right level for you.
It should be noted that 500:1 is considered globally very high. This is why OANDA only offers 50:1 and IG offers a maximum level of 200:1. Due to the risks involved with forex trading, IC Markets or Pepperstone can lower a traders leverage. In fact, those new to forex trading are often started at a lower ratio be at a level that reflect risks involved.
IC Markets Offers Some Low ECN Forex Broker Spreads
There are three forex accounts offered by IC Markets. The standard forex account for more beginner/intermediate brokers has no commission on traders and spreads starting from 1.0 pips.
The other two forex accounts are ECN forex trading accounts. These forex accounts have no dealing desk which means forex traders trade direct with currency markets. In the case of IC Markets, the currency market includes 50+ banks and dark liquidity pools to secure the best prices. With no dealing desk extra spreads are market based (not fx broker based).
Based on no dealing desk or trade interventions from the forex broker, experienced traders prefer the True ECN or cTrader forex account with lower spreads and modest commission rates.
The table below highlights the average and minimum spreads of the true ECN account taken from the IC Markets website on the 28/10/2018.
There are 60 currency pairs offered on all forex accounts with quotes from 50+ banks and dark liquidity sources. As noted above, spreads differ by currency pairs with the eur usd in most circumstances having the lowest spread. This is because the eur usd is the most popular traded currency pair reducing the different between the ask and sell price.
IC Markets stream prices on 60 different currency pairs and 4 metals on all of three trading platforms. With quotes from over 50 different banks and dark pool liquidity sources IC Markets offers some of the best pricing in the industry, this combined with unrivalled execution speeds makes IC Markets the favoured destination for day traders, scalpers and those using expert advisors (EAs).
The low spreads and commissions offered by IC Markets make it one of the leaders when it comes to price in the sector.
IC Markets Offers The Two Most Popular Forex Platforms
The two forex trading platforms are offered for Australian forex traders:
1) MetaTrader 4
The most popular forex platform worldwide due to a user friendly interface, advanced graphing tools and the ability to execute advanced trading strategies.
The preferred forex trading platform by many Australian experienced traders as it not only can have ‘inverse spreads’ with IC Markets but it allows for scraping and automation.
IC Markets allows Australian forex traders to get the most from these forex platforms due to the best hardware and infrastructure setup which is ‘first in its class’. This includes having forex trading platform servers setup near wall street (NY4) for MetaTrader users and in London (LD5) for cTrader users. Having infrastructure so close to the main trading hubs combined financial institution partnerships ensures fast trading with deep liquidity tools.
Additionally, fibre optic connections exist between Australia and these overseas locations to minimise the time to process forex platform claims despite the high distance information needs to travel.
IC Markets offers outstanding customer service for Australian forex traders. The team who provide customer support have strong currency trading experience and are involve in fx trading themselves (something quite unique within the currency trading industry). Customer support is 24 hours during weekdays when currency markets are open. Their customer service team excels for experienced traders who have increased requirements on their fx brokers.
IC Markets also offers the live chat customer service channel through live chat inc. Most pages within the IC Markets website has a live chat pop-up , there is a direct live chat listing on Google and the option is also accessible though their fx trading platforms. Live Chat is operational 24/5 and is ideal to answer short concise questions relating to forex accounts. More complex live chat conversations may lead to e-mail of phone call support.
There is also an excellent education section for those new to currency trading to those looking for more advanced strategies or the latest currency market news. Another feature is a set of video tutorials that are useful when getting used to a new platform.
With IC Markets having no trading desk, experience traders deal directly directly with the currency markets. Education and customer service is tailored towards this type of fx trading with a focus on training conditions that have minimal broker intervention.
Pepperstone has a similar offering to IC Markets and both broker should be compared fore experienced traders. This is based on spreads, customer service and forex trading platforms offered. For those who are new to currency trading a broker who offers the highest level of customer support and education may be a better option such as easy forex. For all other Australian forex traders IC Markets is an excellent broker to meet their needs and trading strategies. View some of our other forex broker reviews here.
Pepperstone – The leading Australian Raw ECN forex broker offering forex trading platforms MetaTrader and cTrader and winning the best customer service award.
IC Markets – ECN forex broker offering CFD trading with advanced trading tools, markets and cryptocurrency trading.
Plus500 – CFD provider offering more than currency trading from EFTs and stocks with an exclusive trading platform.
FXCM – Low deposit forex broker offering a trading platform exclusive to the forex broker allowing range of market trading.
AxiTrader – ECN online forex broker offering advanced automated trading through MT4 EAs focusing on fast execution and low spreads.
CMC Markets – Broker offering share trading as well as CFD trading on currency markets, commodities and indices.
Easy Markets – A beginner centric forex broker offering risk management tools to manage risk when new to trading currencies.
IG Markets – The largest retail forex broker offering a large range of markets and platforms to suite non-specialised currency traders.
ThinkForex – MT4 forex broker offering currency and metals trading using its own propriety forex platform.
FOREX.com – Global currency broker offering modest leverage, training and customer service in multiple regions.
AvaTrade – CFD broker offering trading through it’s exclusive trading platform offering currency and stock trading with leverage.
Go Markets – One of the few fx brokers that also offers binary options which has significant risks associated with it.
The 'Top 10' Best Forex Brokers List
The details 5 forex brokers showed at the top of page is a condensed version of our top 10 forex brokers that are ASIC regulated. This 'top 10' best forex broker 2018 table can be viewed below.
Forex Trading Platform(s)
Negative Balance Guaranteed Protection
MetaTrader 4 MetaTrader 5 cTrader
No Smart Stop Out Software Exists
Forex Indices + Bond Futures Bitcoin + Futures
IC Markets offers true ECN accounts and advanced trading tools including 'correlation trader', 'trade terminal' and 'sentiment trader'.
1:20 Leverage On Bitcoin With 10.0 Spreads.
MetaTrader 4 MetaTrader 5 cTrader
No Automated Risk Management System
Forex Indices + Precious Metals Bitcoin + Energy
Pepperstone offers ultra low spreads from 0.0. The forex broker was 1st in investment trends for: - Spreads - Commissions - Value For Money
IG Platform MetaTrader 4 L2 Dealer
Forex Share Trading Bitcoin + Ether Indices + Commodities
IG offers share trading (stockbroking) services if you use their main forex trading platform. They also offer other markets including: - IPOs - Sunday Trading - Interest Rates.
EasyMarkets Platform MetaTrader 4
Forex Metals + Commodities Bitcoin + Indices
Easy Markets has fixed spreads and other features including: - Deal Cancellation - Guaranteed Stops - Guaranteed No Slippage
Plus 500 Platform
Forex Indices + EFTs Cypto + Shares
One of the highest rated CFD trading apps on Apple's AppStore and Google Play .
Next Generation Platform
Forex Share Trading Indices + Commodities Treasuries
Like IG, offers stockbroking services as well as leveraged services from currency trading to Indices. Also offers guaranteed stop loss orders at a premium on selected trades to prevent slippage.
Trade Interceptor MetaTrader 4
Forex Indices + Metals Commodities
Unlike 'Trade Interceptor' forex trading platform which includes TrendRisk Scanner allowing: - Market scanning for risk management - Trading opportunity identification
MetaTrader 4 At Pro
No Margin Call Warning
Forex Share Trading Indices + Metals Bonds + Options Treasuries
Extensive learn to trade guides from videos, guides to practical examples. Charting provides features such as: - 80+ technical indicators - Deal Through Charts
Forex Commodities + Indices Binary Options
The forex broker offers the following MT4 additions: - Autochartist - MT4 Genesis These can be free depending on deposit levels.
OANDA Platform MetaTrader 4
Forex Commodity + Bonds Indices + Metals
Fast execution rates with no re-quotes or rejections. Service also includes money transfers for sending currency overseas.
Based on the best 10 Australian forex brokers above, refining the list to determine which forex broker is the best isn’t straightforward. The broker and their platform needs to match the requirements of the currency currency trader. To determine the best forex broker 2018 winners 5 key questions and answers are shown below.
FAQ's About The Best Forex Brokers
What Is the Best Forex Brokers For Beginners?
Most beginner forex traders require a safe environment with strong risk management tools and transparent trading costs. Based on this easyMarkets was recommended with the following risk management tools:
Negative Balance Protection ensuring you can’t lose more than the amount you deposited
Guaranteed stops on all trades ensuring that slippage doesn’t occur even in high volatility markets
DealCancellation allowing a deal to be cancelled within 60 minutes of making the order with no loss
A simple to use forex trading platform for beginner forex traders
Another beginner forex broker tool is their fixed spreads. This means that the brokerage costs are known depending on the currency pairing unlike most other brokers which have variable spreads. Transparency over trading costs along with the risk management tools is why the EasyMarkets is the 2018 best forex broker for beginners.
We also awarded EasyMarkets as the best forex brokers with negative balance protection based on above.
What Is The Best ECN Forex Broker?
As highlighted at the top of this page, IC Markets is has the best ECN forex broker (market maker) based on a combination of:
High Leverage Of 500:1
True ECN spreads from 0.0 pips
The choice of MT4, MT5 or cTrader forex trading platform
Low latency through Equinix Data Center in New York & London
There are also over 10 advanced trading tools from an alarm manager, correlation matrix/trader, trade terminal, market manager, mini terminal to sentiment trader. These tools can help analyse the market and then make trades based on market movements.
Finally, IC has the best ECN forex broker reviews on TrustPilot based on 292 reviews with a score of 9.1/10. This is the best review of any ECN forex broker on this global review website.
What Is The Best Forex Broker For Bitcoin?
This looking to trade forex and cryptocurrency should consider Plus500. Unlike other brokers that only offer Bitcoin, Plus500 also offers trading of cryptocurrencies such as:
Offering more than just Bitcoin is not the only feature of Plus500. They also offer up to 1:30 leverage when trading making them the Australia best forex broker 2018 for leverage. Its these factors that make IC the best forex brokers with bitcoin and other crypto.
What Is The Best MT4 Forex Broker?
Pepperstone is the Australia best MT4 forex broker. It was explained above in the spread section that this MT4 forex broker is a multi-award winner and when it comes to the MetaTrader 4 forex trading platform. One core reason is they offer ‘Smart Trader Tools’ for the MT4 forex platform. Based on a minimum $500 AUD equivalent account balance these tools include correlation trader and matrix, market manager, sentiment trader and session map.
The fx broker also offers no dealing desk which allows experienced traders to trade directly with currency markets.
Which Is The Best Spread Forex Broker?
Based on the awards given out by investment trends Pepperstone was considered the best spread forex broker. This award is based on 13,000 investors and traders in Australia who voted on categories in November 2016. This included the best forex broker 2018 lowest spread category. The picture below shows how they also won several other categories in 2016. It should be noted in 2015 they also won the spread, customer service and satisfaction categories.
How We Compiled The 2018 Best Forex Broker Australia List
The best Australian forex broker comparison table was created on the 05/12/2018 by a panel of individuals who have worked with forex providers for the past four years. A list of suitable criteria including broker offers was created for customers who are looking for the best fx broker for experience traders. The forex account comparisons and the research began to see which brokers conformed to our key best fx broker principles. All brokers offers needed to be available to the majority of experienced forex traders. Other locations were also considered such as New Zealand and South Africa as regulation changes in these districts.
A key credential for all the best Forex brokers 2018 for experienced traders was that they must be certified in Australia due to the important safeguards Australian law provides Aussie traders. IC Markets are fully regulated in Australia and have been since 2007 under Australian company number 123289109.
The team completed this Australian forex brokers comparison with the goal of providing forex traders with the best broker based on value and service. Both the final table and this best Australian forex broker recommendation were made based on the data obtained on the Australia trader’s website (which in some cases were validated by the providers). We focused on the biggest fx brokers with local, Australian certifications to avoid issues that some smaller, lesser known brokers have had historically. Some forex broker reviews like Easy Markets and FP Markets were completed but not found suitable for the comparison table. Such fx brokers and individual broker offers can be viewed on other pages.
In the comparison, to review customer support we reviewed the rankings on third party award sites such as Investment Trends. The regulatory bodies were also assessed and their feedback on fx broker customer support, issue resolution and compliance issues including:
Third party review sites were also reviewed for customer support reviews and other feedback from individual forex traders.
Data Integrity And Feedback
As the above 2018 best forex broker Australia comparison table is compiled manually by our team and with no automation. The data may have some inaccuracies due to either the misinterpretation of data or due to Forex websites having updated their company details since (e.g. fees) of broker offers. As this is the case, the trading forex information provided on this forex broker comparison page and on this website should be used for indicative purposes only.
Once website users click across from this website to some of the FX Australia brokers listed above they should closely review the information provided on their website including any product disclosure statements. This is to validate any information provided on this website and to ensure this product is suitable for them and since broker offers can change without warning.