AxiTrader are one of the leading Australian Forex brokers. IG Markets are one of the oldest Forex brokers in the world that has a large presence in Australia. In February 2019, we decided to compare and review each broker to help you understand what each broker offers.
Limited Risk Account Guaranteed Stops Stops and Limits Balance Snapshots Price Alerts and Push Notifications Risk Education Lower Leverage Levels
Other CFDs (eg Crypto)
1.Bullion, Metals, Commodities 2. Gold and Silver 3. Oil 4. Indices 5. Bitcoin
Shares Indices Hard Commodities Soft Commodities Cryptocurrencies Bonds Other Markets: AUD Denominated Currencies, ETF, IPO, Sectors, Interest Rates
1) Live Chat is available (24/5) 2) Telephone Support (24/5) 3) Email
24/7 Customer Support (Saturday 1pm to Saturday 9am) Phone Email Live Chat IG Community Forum FAQ Help and Support
No Joining Bonus offered
Refer a Friend Receive Credit Towards Future Trading
1. Debit and Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, JCB) 2. Neteller 3. Skrill/Moneybookers 4. Global Collect 5. BPAY 6. China Union Pay (only for Chinese residents) 7. Bank Transfer 8. Broker to Broker Transfer
1. Beginner traders as it has realistic demo account 2. Discretionary traders needing low deposits 3. Traders needing award winning customer support
1. Risk Averse and Impulsive Traders 2. Traders Wanting Choice From Multiple Platforms 3. Traders Who Require an All-In-One Broker
Spreads + Commissions
ECN Trading Account
Guaranteed No Minimum Balance
No Fees On Deposits + Withdrawals
ECN Trading Account
Guaranteed No Minimum Balance
No Fees On Deposits + Withdrawals
Spreads and Fees
AxiTrader was founded in Sydney, Australia in 2007. The online broker is an Electronic Data Network (ECN) broker which means they connect you directly with liquidity pools with no dealing desk (NDD). Prices are therefore set by the market and AxiTrader will not have any influence on the spreads. It is for this reason there is a commission charge of $7 round trip per lot.
AxiTrader Pro Account
The AxiTrader pro account has a number of key features to note:
ECN Style Spreads
Expert Advisers – Use of third party tools for automatic trading
Positive Price Improvement – if prices change during execution, AxiTrader will give you the better price
Low Swap Rates – AxiTrader offer the lowest rates if you hold your position overnight in the industry
Spreads as low as 0.0
Roundtrip commission of USD$7
No minimum deposits
Fast execution speeds with low latency – Servers are near key exchanges in New York to maximise speed execution and reduce risk of slippage during execution.
Free VPS service – if you need to be online at all hours (such as if you use expert advisors), VPS is available and free of charge as long as you meet minimum trade volumes
Authorised and Regulated by Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) – Australian Financial Services Licences Number 318232
It is worth noting that AxiTrader charge commission in USD. Most other brokers charge in AUD. This extra expense can add up over time if you regularly trade.
Note: AxiTrader offer two types of accounts. These accounts are MT4 Standard and MT4 Pro. MT4 Pro account spreads are narrower and costs are cheaper than MT4 Standard account even when one factors in the commission. It is for this reason our review will focus only on MT4 Pro.
IG Markets Plus/Trader Account (Standard Account)
Founded in 1974, IG is one of the oldest trading companies in the world. The forex broker offers two broad types of accounts. These are Retail and Professional. Our review is focused on the Retail account given that you need at least $2.5 million in assets and to have been an active trader for last 4 consecutive quarters to be eligible for a Professional Account.
In the retail account you can choose between two types of account setups. These setups are the ‘Limited Risk’ account and ‘Plus/Trader’ account which is their standard account. Both accounts are essentially the same but with the ‘Limited Risk”account you must purchase a ‘Guaranteed Stop Order’ in order to take a position and you cannot use other types of stops to manage your risk.
When you sign up for a Retail account then your account may set to ‘limited risk’ by default. This is not an issue as you can change to ‘Plus/Trader’ account at any time. ‘Limited risk’ accounts are best for if you are starting out in forex trading and need time to get familiar currency trading. ‘Guaranteed stop loss orders’ however are an expense so you will want to move to standard account as soon as you are confident enough to do so.
The IG accounts have a number of features worth noting.
Over The Counter Trading (OTC) / Sponsored Access Trading
‘Expert Advisors‘ (Automated Trading) available (not available on L2 Dealer)
ASIC Regulated and holder of Australian Financial Services Licence Number 220440.
Over The Counter trading is when trading does not occur through formal trading exchange market. Instead traders buy and sell forex currency pairs through a network that connects banks, brokers and dealers.
Must use L2 Dealer or IOS Phone/Android or IOS Tablet
Faster Trade Execution
Hedging and Scalping
With Direct Market Access (DMA) investors place their positions directly into the order books of the trading exchange. This means their orders do not need to go through their broker at any stage of the trade. In this way it could be thought of as similar to an electronic communication broker (ECN).
It is important to note that DMA spreads are generally cheaper than IG Markets ‘over the counters’ spreads (which use a Market Maker). This however does not mean it is always cheaper, especially as there are commission chargers to consider. Also once you place an order, the order cannot change or be reversed.
AVG Spreads (11/02/2019)
CMC Markets (Oct 2018)
AxiTrader (Aug 2017)
The AxiTrader Pro and IG Markets DMA accounts offer good spreads. It is important to understand however that IG Standard account may be cheaper in some cases because it is commission free. As you can see there is a large difference in spread sizes but generally speaking if the spread is less than 0.5 pips then you might be better to consider IG standard accounts.
Spreads and Fees conclusion – AxiTrader vs IG Markets
When it comes to the spreads the AxiTrader Pro and IG Markets DMA accounts offer the cheapest spreads however it may be that the standard account is cheaper when commission is taken into account. You will need weigh up the pros and cons of each type of account when it comes to spreads and fees.
Caution should be applied if choosing a IG Markets account as not all features are available on each account type. For example automatic trading is not available with DMA trading.
It is quite interesting to compare the platforms on offer by AxiTrader and IG Markets. This is because AxiTrader only offer one platform while IG Markets offer 6 platforms or 3 truly different platforms.
AxiTrader only offer one platform and this platform is MetaTrader 4 (MT4). MetaTrader 4 by MetaQuotes allows investors access to all the derivatives AxiTrader offer across multiple devices including IOS/Android tablets and phones, browsers and PCs. Key features of MetaTrader 4 include the ability to effectively and efficiently analyse markets, develop and plan trading strategies and execute and organise your trades.
There are several Reasons to choose MetaTrader 4. these include:
Worlds Most Used Trading Platform
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular trading platform for currency exchange brokers to offer to clients. This in turn makes it the most used platform by traders. One of the major benefits of MetaTrader 4 being available with many brokers is that investors can easily change from one broker to another broker without having to learn how to trade on a new platform.
MT4 needs to be a powerful software platform. It is the world most used trading platform which means it servers need to be able to handle hundreds of thousands of trades at any one time across hundreds of different financial instruments. Trading with MT4 platform is there very fast, accurate and precise.
MT4 has a suite of technical analysis tools including in-depths charts, graphs and algorithms so investors can access competitive spreads in real time. The MT4 platform feature also includes automatic price and trade alerts, daily and monthly market reports and customisable date analysis that can be accessed at click of button for easy access to just about any information investors might need.
MT4 has some 30 technical indicators integrated into the system and over 2000 custom indicators. A further 700 indicators are available behind a paywall. This makes MT4 ideal for both beginners and advanced traders as the trade information can be as simple or advanced as you would like. These indicators can be shown with multiple charts all which can run simultaneously.
MT4 allows you to integrate expert advisors into the MT4 platform through use of MQL4 language. Trading automation means you can trade 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
MT4 is known to be extremely user friendly and customisable. The interface can be changed to meet your preferances and tastes. This means you can change the colours, texts and bar sizes on graphs.
AxiTrader ‘Nex Gen’ add on Feature.
Not only does MT4 come with a wealth of built in tool but even more tools can be added with AxiTrader’s ‘NexGen’. Traders can add terminal windows, alerts, economic calendars, trading news and signals and more.
IG Markets Platform
IG Markets also offer MT4 with the same features as IG Markets however it does not offer an add on feature like ‘Nex Gen’. Instead IG offer several other platforms.
Below is a summary of their features:
IG Markets Specialised Platforms
IG Markets Core Platforms
It is important to understand when to choose which platform. For example not all platforms allow DMA trading. ProRealTime has a $40 a month fee if you dont meet minimum monthly trade requirements. Some platforms limit the types of stops and orders you can do.
Platform Conclusion – AxiTrader vs IG Markets
There is no doubt IG Markets by offering lots of platforms have tried to tailor for all traders needs. IG Markets for example offer ‘Guarantee Stop Loss Orders’ which is not available with AxiTrader. It is worth noting however, that while offering a wide range of platforms can be an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage. This is because having too many choices makes it hard to know which is the right platform for you. In this sense, we like that AxiTrader only offer one platform.
Leverage – AxiTrader.
AxiTrader offer leverage of 400:1. This means you will have a purchasing power of $40,000 if you invest $1000.
Leverage – IG Markets
IG Markets don’t use leverage which is a ratio of your how much money will be lent to your for investment purpose. Instead IG Markets use margin which is the same as leverage but your purchasing power is expressed as a %. IG Markets allow margin as low as 0.50% which is 200:1 in leverage terms. Leverage of 200:1 is quite restrictive by online broker industry standards.
Conclusion – AxiTrader vs IG
AxiTrader offer better leverage which when used correctly can lead to greater profits for your trade. Given forex currencies tend to make only minor adjustment most of the time, it can be hard to achieve significant earnings without purchasing power that high leverage can achieve. It is this for reason leverage can be a very valuable tool to use when trading. Just remember to use leverage responsibly as it can also amplify your losses if price movement do not go in the direction you hope for.
We are not suggesting low leverage allowance is bad. Low leverage does force conservative and by extension responsible trading. It just that AxiTrader clients can always reduce their leverage to the same level as IG Markets if they wish to trade with lower leverage. So there is really no advantage offering low leverage. So there is no advantage choosing IG Markets over AxiTrader.
IG Markets is a leader when it comes to risk management tools and offer more choices when we compare with AxiTrader. The table below shows what each broker offers:
Risk Management Feature
Stop Loss Order
Guaranteed Stop Loss Order
Negative/Minimum Balance Protection (Margin Call)
Guaranteed / Minimum Balance Protection
Take Profit / Limit Order
Limited Risk Account
Price Push Notification
Forward Options (Hedging)
As we can see AxiTrader and IG offer the same basic stops or order types (i.e. stop loss order, trailing stop) however IG offer a couple other features:
Guaranteed Stop Loss Order (GSLO) – When you take your position, IG Markets will guarantee to pay you back any losses that exceed you tolerance limit.
Limited Risk Account – IG have a ‘limited risk’ account which means you must buy a guaranteed stop loss order everytime you take a position. The other restriction with this account is you cannot use standard stop or trailing orders and limits.
Balance Snapshot – This is always visible on IG platforms meaning you can respond quickly to changes in the market.
Push Notification – if you are using IG Markets apps you can receive price alerts as push notifications even if you are offline.
Risk Management Education – IG Markets offer a sound library of risk management information.
Risk Management Conclusion – AxiTrader vs IG Markets
IG Markets offer superior Risk Management tools than AxiTrader. If you are new to trading or a risk averse trader then IG Markets might be the broker for you. AxiTrader however still offer the standard basic risk management tools one would expect to be available when trading. Its just that it is not backed by a guarantee. If you know what you are doing when trading, standard risk management tools will be sufficient.
Contracts for Difference
IG Markets offer one of the largest and most diverse Contract For Difference portfolios in the online broker industry. With over 15,0000 markets on offer for trade, chances are IG Markets allow you to trade in your desired derivative.
Shares or stocks: Both domestic and internation. Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)
AxiTrader by comparison don’t offer trade of Shares, interest rates, Option, Sectors, AUD denominated makets, ETF and IPOs. AxiTrader don’t seek to be an all in one broking service but to specialise in forex. however they do give you access to other derivatives such as commodities, Cryptocurrencies and Indices.
If you want to trade with a wide range of CFDs or derivatives then we recommend IG Markets. The range of derivates on offer is hard to beat. If you only want to trade in forex then we recommend AxiTrader as this is their speciality.
AxiTrader standard Customer support features
AxiTrader provide 24/5 customer service. This service is available by live chat, toll free number, email and via call back request. One interesting feature of AxiTrader’s customer support is that phone support is available nationally within a range of countries in the local language.
AxiTrader other customer service feature
In addition to direct customer support, other services are available. This includes an excellent library of education tools with separate sections devoted to covering the basics of forex trading and CFD trading.
AxiTrader also have an e-book which covers the market types, exit strategies, stop losses and position sizing and guidelines on how to improve your trading strategies.
Online video education courses are available in 24 different languages which cover the forex trading basics such as currency pairs, leverage, spreads. Analysis Techniques when using charts and technical analysis tools and trading psychology such as greed and risk management.
The education library also contains a section it calls “the Utimate Guide to MetaTrader 4 Forex Trading Signals. This section helps you understand the thousands of trading strategies that are available when forex trading.
Lastly the AxiTrader website also provides a page devoted to forex technical analysis which contains commentary, articles and observations following analysis for forex events and movements.
AxiTrader Demo Account
It is also worth noting that AxiTrading provide a free demo account to test or practice trading in a risk free environment with real time spreads and speeds. This account is available for a 30 day trial and includes $50,000 of virtual funds. If you wish for an extension, you can contact AxiTrader to request extension.
Standard features for customer service
IG Markets provide 24 hours phone and email support from Saturday 1pm to Saturday 9am. Live chat support however is only available 24/5 Monday to Friday.
One customer support feature that is unique is that the IG support team will answer you questions via twitter using the handle @IGClientHelp.
Other customer service features
IG Markets also have a help and support section which has answers to FAQ. The range of information however is not as extensive as we would have liked to have soon. IG also have an online forum where traders and IG staff can participate in discussion about all things IG Markets and forex.
When it comes to education, IG Markets have the IG Academy. The academy includes 8 online courses consisting of videos, interactive exercises and quizzes to help you learn all you need to know about trading. The courses are graded for beginner, intermediate and advanced level so your likely to find a course that suits your needs. Topics covered include “How does trading work”, “Planning and risk management” and “Order, execution and leverage”. One thing to note is that the course covers all CFDs in general as opposed to forex specifically.
The IG Academy also has a live webinar series where experts will share there knowledge and give you opportunities to ask questions.
IG Markets Demo Account
Lastly, IG Markets offer a demo account. While this account doesn’t have a 30 days limit, it is more restrictive when we compare with the AxiTrader demo account. Only $20,000 in virtual funds is available and trades are not at risk of slippage or out of hours price movements. AxiTrader by comparison uses real market trading so is more realistic.
Customer Service Conclusion – AxiTrader vs IG Markets
Both brokers offer comprehensive customer service. We would be happy with either broker but we can’t overstate how important it is to have a broker that give you demo access to their accounts with substantial funds with real trading conditions. For this reason we recommend AxiTrader.
AxiTrader don’t offer a bonus offer. While many brokers do offer a joining bonus and its true a bonus offer might seem enticing, caution should be applied. A good broker should already offer low spreads and function with low margins so should not need to have a bonus offer. Its a reflection of their integrity.
IG Markets have a refer a friend bonus offer. With this offer you will receive 1 credit for each friend who opens an account. To claim the credit, the friend must make at least 5 CFD trades within 6 months of joining that meet IG Markets bonus terms and conditions.
1 credit is worth USD$100, 3 credits is worth USD$400 and 5 credits is worth $1000.
Each friend that signs up will also receive USD$100.
Bonus Offer conclusion – AxiTrader vs IG Markets
While IG Markets bonus is tempting, your friend will need to add their own money when trading to claim their end of the bonus. To open a position, your account balance will likely need to exceed $100. You might also need to consider if your friend has experience trading as bonus will only benefit if the friend will commit to trading.
Deposits and Withdrawals
AxiTrader allow the following methods for deposits – none have charges, transfer are done instantly and are permitted in any currency.
Local to International Bank Transfer is available free with Global Collect but will take 3 to 5 days to complete.
BPay has instant transfer and no fees but can only be completed with AUD.
WeChat, China Union Pay are also free. These features have 24 hours a day instant transfer but can only be done with Chinese RMB.
Lastly Bank Wire is available. In the past, the cost was $25 for international bank transfer but this is now free. Transfer will take 1-3 days to complete. Currencies available include CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, HKD, NZD, SGD and USD.
When it comes to withdrawals when using an eWallet. Funds will be returned to Neteller accounts but other eWallets will return fund to your bank account.
There are no fees for withdrawals back to cards and these will take 3-5 days. Bank Transfers can take up to 5 days.
Funding Options are more limits and incur more fees when we compare with AxiTraders.
Debit and Credit Cards have instant transfer. Credit Cards however can incur up to 1% fee for AUD transactions and 1.5% for other currencies.
PayPal is also available for the following currencies – AUD, USD, GBP. EUR and incur a 1% charge.
Lastly BPAY can be used. This is free but can take up to 2 business days for deposit to complete.
Funding Conclusion – AxiTrader vs IG Markets
Unless you have a needed to use PayPal which AxiTrader do not offer. AxiTrader offer more options than IG Markets, usually with no charges for both domestic and international trading. So AxiTrader is likely to be the the better option.
CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.