Vantage FX vs IC Markets

A broker comparison between Vantage FX and IC Markets will require taking a deeper look at two well-established brokerages with excellent trading environments, where technology fulfills a critical role. Vantage FX operates out of the Cayman Islands. This brokerage has catered to clients since 2009, offering raw spreads for a commission of just $6 per round lot. IC Markets, domiciled in Australia since 2007, established itself as a primary broker for automated trading solutions and also features a raw spread account where the commission is slightly higher, at $7. Both Forex brokers provide traders with a maximum leverage of 1:500, and client accounts remain fully segregated with banks in Australia. While the pricing environment at Vantage FX is more competitive, the research and education at IC Markets are superior.

This broker comparison will focus on the following four aspects plus an ultimate verdict:

Feature Vantage FX (visit site) IC Markets (visit site)
Headquarter: Cayman Islands Australia
Regulation:
CIMA ASIC, FSA, CySEC
Type of Broker:
ECN/STP ECN/STP
U.S. Clients Allowed:
Minimum Deposit:
$200 $200
Maximum Leverage:
1:500 1:500
Commissions / Spreads:
Spreads, Commission Spreads, Commission
Account 1:
Standard STP Standard
Account 2:
Raw ECN Raw Spread
Account 3:
Pro
Demo Account:
Islamic Account:
Segregated Account:
Managed Accounts:
Institutional Accounts:
Website Languages:
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • 12+
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • 16+
Support Hours:
24/5 24/7
E-mail Support:
SMS Support:
Chat:
Broker Offers:

Features and Platforms

Vantage FX

For a minimum deposit of $500, this broker creates a competitive trading environment with its Raw ECN account, which offers a maximum leverage of 1:500. Complementing this offer is the MT4 SmartTrader upgrade for the MT4 trading platform. The attractive range of products and services makes Vantage FX a top choice for account management firms, enabled through MAM/PAMM accounts. Market leader ZuluTrade, as well as Myfxbook Autotrade, support social trading at Vantage FX, a retail trend that did not go unnoticed by this broker.

Research and education are offered but represent an area ripe for improvement. This under-developed area is countered by cutting-edge technology that powers the trading environment and free VPS hosting which is ideal for automated trading solutions. A minimum deposit of $1,000 is required to receive all features free of charge. Vantage FX deploys the oneZero MT4 bridge, connecting the broker's dark pool to the clients' MT4 platform, enabled by Xeon E7 processors. Overall, Vantage FX maintains an excellent environment for all traders to manage portfolios with a competitive edge.

Traders will find one of the most superior and technologically advanced trading environments at Vantage FX.

Vantage FX Advanced tech

IC Markets

Automated trading accounts for roughly 60% of all processed orders at this Forex brokerage. IC Markets is a favorite among high-frequency and algorithmic traders. Over 500,000 trades are executed daily, with an average execution time of 40 milliseconds. It improves the MT4 trading platform with 20 custom plug-ins found in the Advanced Trading Tools suite, providing manual traders with a superior trading environment. cTrader presents a genuine alternative where cAlgo allows the development of new solutions. Advancing self-sufficient trading are three VPS providers.

Portfolio managers enjoy excellent trading conditions at IC Markets, while social traders are catered to through partnerships with ZuluTrade and Myfxbook Autotrade. Manual traders have access to numerous research notes published daily. IC Markets maintains a comprehensive educational center for new traders which is impressive and surprising since they seem to cater to more advanced traders. A prime choice for retail traders through high-frequency operations to asset management firms, the entire spectrum benefits from the trustworthy at IC Markets.

IC Markets carved out a prominent standing in today’s ultra-competitive brokerage industry due to outstanding services provided to all strategies.

IC Markets Raw Spreads

Feature Vantage FX IC Markets
Type of Platform: MT4, MT5, ZuluTrade, Myfxbook Autotrade MT4, MT5, cTrader, ZuluTrade, Myfxbook Autotrade
Platform Languages:
  • English
  • English
OS Compatibility:
  • Windows
  • Mobile
  • Web
  • Windows
  • Mobile
  • Web
Trading Signals:
Charting Package:
Market Analysis:
Chart Trading:
Automated Trading:
Scalping:
Hedging:
Mobile Alerts:
Trailing Stops:
Guaranteed Stop Loss:
One-click Execution:
Interest on Margin:
Web-based Trading:
Mobile Trading:

Available Markets

While the asset selection in quantity is higher at Vantage FX, where 293 assets are listed, the quality of 128 assets at IC Markets is outstanding. Pure Forex traders have access to just 41 currency pairs at the former, where the latter provides 60. The commodity selection is excellent at both, but Vantage FX does not feature cryptocurrencies. Traders seeking more comprehensive access to equity CFDs will determine IC Markets a lesser option, as Vantage FX maintains a superior selection. Most retail traders will find the overall asset selection suitable with both brokers. Professional account managers may find the quantity at Vantage FX an advantage, while automated traders will favor the liquidity of assets at IC Markets.

Feature Vantage FX IC Markets
ETFs:
CFDs:
Commodities:
Metals:
Stocks:
Oil:
Gold:
Binary Options:
Indices:
Cryptocurrencies:

Typical Spreads and Fees

Both brokers feature raw spread accounts, where the spread is as low as 0.0 pips. Vantage FX charges a fee of $6 per round lot, while IC Markets clocks in at $7. Commission-free accounts are equally available. The minimum spreads at Vantage FX and IC Markets are listed as 1.4 pips, and 1.0 pips respectively. In case the hedge counterparty charges IC Markets a fee, short-sellers will be levied the additional costs. Swap rates on leveraged overnight positions exist, and both brokers are transparent about all involved trading costs.

Corporate actions like dividends and mergers, which impact equity and index CFDs, are passed on to traders. Third-party withdrawal costs may apply, depending on the chosen payment processor. Traders who prefer raw spreads will find a slightly more competitive overall offer at Vantage FX. Traditional ones can enjoy a more cost-effective trading environment at IC Markets. Either broker presents an extremely well-designed cost structure, providing traders an advantage as compared to most other brokers.

Vantage FX offers traders a particularly attractive pricing environment in the Raw ECN account.

Vantage FX market conditions

IC Markets maintains a near-equally competitive one in its Raw Spread account, but a superior one for commission-free accounts.

IC Marketss Pricing

Security and Trust

Vantage International Group LTD, the owner of Vantage FX, is authorized and regulated by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), Securities Investment Business Law (SIBL) number 1383491. All client funds remain segregated at the National Australia Bank (NAB). Regular audits and professional indemnity insurance covering its authorized representatives are in place, but no investor compensation fund is present. It would be great if Vantage FX would have taken out an insurance policy covering deposits in case of financial problems at the brokerage. This brokerage offers an acceptable level of regulation and security but remains far behind other well-established brokers.

IC Markets operates under the regulatory framework of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA). A significantly less favorable trading environment is maintained under the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) authorization. Professional Indemnity Insurance with Lloyd’s of London and H Savy Insurance in Seychelles is also present. Client deposits are segregated at National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation. Membership with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and two independent auditors further bolster the security measures at IC Markets. The overall regulatory and safety environment at IC Markets is far more sophisticated as compared to Vantage FX.

The overall regulatory at Vantage FX is acceptable, but inferior to the one maintained at IC Markets.

Vantage FX regulators

Traders enjoy the protection of three regulators, while IC Markets employs two independent auditors.

IC Markets regulators

Vantage FX vs IC Markets - Verdict

Traders will find an excellent trading environment at Vantage FX and IC Markets alike, as both remain at the top of today’s brokerage industry. Cross-asset diversification is superior at Vantage FX, but IC Markets offers broader coverage of the Forex market. Where the former provides a slightly more cost-effective pricing structure, the latter maintains better research and educational divisions. Vantage FX is ideal for traders and portfolio managers who seek a low-cost trading environment and broader asset selection. IC Markets is better suited for pure Forex traders, automated trading solutions, and clients who prefer auxiliary trading services from their broker. Either choice delivers an outstanding trading environment from an upgraded MT4 trading platform with a maximum leverage of 1:500, indemnity insurance, and segregated accounts maintained with top banks in Australia.

It's a tough call as to which broker would win this stand-off, but if we had to pick, a slight edge would be given to Vantage FX due to lower fees and wider asset diversification which will be welcome by most traders.