IFCM Group Editor’s Verdict

The IFCM Group, which has been in operation since 2006, consists of several operating subsidiaries. They include three brokerage divisions and one FinTech company, which developed the proprietary trading platform available at IFC Markets. Over 185,000 traders from 80 countries enjoy a selection of more than 600 liquid assets in a competitively priced trading environment. Through the unique Portfolio Quoting Method, traders can create synthetic assets, generating a wide array of trading opportunities. I reviewed this broker to evaluate the competitiveness of its trading environment. Should you manage a portfolio at IFC Markets?

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Overall
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Fees
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Deposit and withdrawal
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Asset selection
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Ease of account opening
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Regulation and security
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Pros
  • Excellent regulatory track record and secure trading environment

  • Outstanding asset selection and patented PQM asset generation technology

  • Extremely competitive commission-free trading cost structure

  • Valuable research and educational section, low minimum deposit, and high leverage

Cons
  • No direct support for social trading

Overview

IFC Markets - A leader in synthetic assets with more than 30,000 instruments

HeadquartersCyprus
RegulatedCySEC, FSC Mauritius, BVI, LFSA
Year Established2006
Execution TypeECN/STP
Minimum Deposit$1
Trading Platforms(s)MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Proprietary platform
Signals
US Persons Accepted?
Islamic Account
Segregated Account
Managed Accounts
Support HoursM-F, 0700 - 1900
Customer Supportemail-support chat-support
Demo Account

I like the proprietary trading platform at IFC Markets, as it fully supports algorithmic trading and its Portfolio Quoting Method, combining for a market-leading trading environment.

IFC Markets - first look:

  • Excellent choice of trading platforms, led by its proprietary NetTradeX trading platform, followed by MT4 and MT5
  • Competitive commission-free cost structure for major currency pairs
  • MT4 traders must accept higher trading costs
  • Services by Autochartist, including the MT4/MT5 plugin
  • Low minimum deposit requirement and high leverage plus bonuses
  • Quality research and education
  • Fast order execution, ideal for scalpers and high-frequency traders
  • Third-party insurance for superior client protection

IFC Markets Main Features

Retail Loss Rate
Undisclosed
Regulation
Yes 
Minimum Raw Spreads
Not applicable
Minimum Standard Spreads
0.4 pips
Minimum Commission for Forex
Commission-free
Commission for CFDs/DMA
0.10% or $0.02 for US equities
Commission Rebates
No
Minimum Deposit
$1
Demo Account
Yes
Managed Account
Yes
Islamic Account
Yes
Inactivity Fee
No
Deposit Fee
Yes + Third-party
Withdrawal Fee
Yes + Third-party
Funding Methods
10

Regulation and Security

Trading with a regulated broker will limit the potential for fraud and malpractice. I always recommend traders to check for regulation and verify it with the regulator by checking the provided license with their database. IFC Markets presents clients with three regulated entities.

Country of the Regulator
Name of the Regulator
Regulatory License Number
The British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission
SIBA/L/14/1073
Malaysia (The Federal Territory of Labuan)
Labuan Financial Services Authority
MB / 20/0049
Cyprus
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
147/11

 

Reasons I prefer the British Virgin Islands subsidiary:

  • Higher leverage
  • Negative balance protection
  • Segregation of client deposits from corporate funds
  • Flexible trading conditions
  • Third-party insurance by AIG Europe

What could be better?

  • Transparency concerning its core management team

Noteworthy:

  • The Cyprus subsidiary offers an investor compensation fund up to 90% or €20,000 of deposits but under less flexible trading conditions
  • CALDOW LIMITED and IG Consulting s.r.o. are the two payment processors for IFC Markets, the former incorporated in the Republic of Cyprus and the latter in the Czech Republic
  • IFC Markets has 15+ years of experience and remains fully compliant with its regulators, where it enjoys a clean track record

IFC Markets Regulators

 

Fees

Commissions/SpreadsBoth
Withdrawal options
  • :
  • Deposit options
  • :
  • I rank trading costs among the most defining aspects when evaluating a Forex broker, as they directly impact profitability.

    What does IFC Markets offer?

    • Commission-free Forex trading with minimum spreads of 0.4 pips on five major currency pairs, making it one of the cheapest cost structures for the AUD/USD, the EUR/USD, the USD/CAD, the USD/CHF, and the USD/JPY
    • Only MT5 and NetTradeX traders get access to floating spreads, while IFC Markets restricts MT4 traders to its more expensive fixed spreads model, where trading costs are 200% higher
    • Commissions for equity CFDs are competitive, ranging from 0.10% to 0.25%, $0.02, and C$0.03 per share, depending on the market

    Which pricing environment should Forex traders select?

    I recommend the following:

    • The NetTradeX Standard-Floating account offers traders the lowest trading costs and the best trading platform
    • MT5 offers an alternative unless traders require the MT4 infrastructure

    What could be better at IFC Markets?

    • A volume-based rebate program for high-frequency traders

    The minimum trading costs for the EUR/USD in the commission-free IFC Markets NetTradeX Standard-Floating account:

    Minimum Spread
    Commission per Round Lot
    Cost per 1 Standard Lot
    0.4 pips
    $0.00
    $4.00

     

    The minimum trading costs for the EUR/USD in the commission-free IFC Markets MT4 Standard-Fixed account:

    Minimum Spread
    Commission per Round Lot
    Cost per 1 Standard Lot
    1.8 pips
    $0.00
    $18.00

    Noteworthy:

    • Scalpers and high-frequency traders using the five most liquidity currency pairs get one of the cheapest commission-free cost structures industry-wide
    • Forex traders can achieve competitive trading costs, depending on their portfolio structure

    Here is a screenshot of IFC Markets minimum Forex spreads

    IFC Markets Forex Spreads

    One of the most ignored trading costs is swap rates on leveraged overnight positions. Depending on the trading strategy, it may become the most significant fee per trade. I always recommend that traders check them before evaluating the total trading costs.

    Noteworthy:

    • IFC Markets a positive swap on qualifying short positions, meaning traders can get paid money to hold trades overnight

    MT4/MT5 traders can access swap rates from their platform by following these steps:

    1. Right-click on the desired symbol in the Market Watch window and select Specification.

    2. Scroll down until you see Swap Long and Swap Short.

    Below is a list of trading cost examples for buying and selling the EUR/USD, holding the trade for one night and seven nights, in the commission-free IFC Markets NetTradeX Standard-Floating and the IFC Markets MT4 Standard-Fixed account.

    Taking a 1 standard lot EUR/USD buy/sell position at the minimum spread in the commission-free IFC Markets NetTradeX Standard-Floating account and holding it for one night will cost the following:

    Minimum Spread
    Commission per Round Lot
    Swap Long
    Swap Short

    Total Trading Costs

    0.4 pips
    $0.00
    -$5.10
    X
    $9.10
    0.4 pips
    $0.00
    X
    -$0.70
    $4.70

    Taking a 1 standard lot EUR/USD buy/sell position at the minimum spread in the commission-free IFC Markets NetTradeX Standard-Floating account and holding it for seven nights will cost the following:

    Minimum Spread
    Commission per Round Lot
    Swap Long
    Swap Short

    Total Trading Costs

    0.4 pips
    $0.00
    -$35.70
    X
    $39.70
    0.4 pips
    $0.00
    X
    -$4.90
    $8.90

    Taking a 1 standard lot EUR/USD buy/sell position at the minimum spread in the commission-free IFC Markets MT4 Standard-Fixed account and holding it for one night will cost the following:

    Minimum Spread
    Commission per Round Lot
    Swap Long
    Swap Short

    Total Trading Costs

    1.8 pips
    $0.00
    -$5.10
    X
    $23.10
    1.8 pips
    $0.00
    X
    -$0.70
    $18.70

    Taking a 1 standard lot EUR/USD buy/sell position at the minimum spread in the commission-free IFC Markets MT4 Standard-Fixed account and holding it for seven nights will cost the following:

    Minimum Spread
    Commission per Round Lot
    Swap Long
    Swap Short

    Total Trading Costs

    1.8 pips
    $0.00
    -$35.70
    X
    $53.70
    1.8 pips
    $0.00
    X
    -$4.90
    $22.90

    My additional comments concerning trading costs at IFC Markets:

    • IFC Markets lists no inactivity fee
    • The client agreement lists no currency conversion costs

     

    What Can I Trade

    Asset selection at IFC Markets is well-balanced, with over 500 liquid assets across six categories, further enhanced via the Portfolio Quoting Method, allowing unlimited asset creation. Over 400 equity CFDs from seven global exchanges allow extensive cross-asset diversification, accounting for the bulk of assets, excluding synthetics.

    Traders who seek a diversified approach or cross-asset exposure have plenty of choice. IFC Markets also offers continuous index and commodity CFDs, while 30,000+ synthetic assets are also available.

    What could be better?

    • IFC Markets only offers two cryptocurrencies for trading
    • The equity selection could have a broader focus beyond trending large-cap names

    Asset List and Leverage Overview

    Commodities
    Metals:
    Indices
    Stocks
    CFDs
    Oil
    Gold
    ETFs

     

    IFC Markets Leverage

    IFC Markets offers retail traders at the British Virgin Islands subsidiary maximum Forex leverage of 1:400, ideal for committed traders, increasing trading flexibility and profit potential. 

    Other things to note about IFC Markets leverage:

    • IFC Markets offers four-tier leverage, lowering the total based on the account balance (most brokers reduce it based on trading volume), assisting proper risk management
    • Various assets have lower maximum leverage, which IFC Markets lists on its website
    • Negative balance protection exists, ensuring traders can never lose more than their deposit
    • The Cyprus unit limits maximum leverage to 1:30 as the maximum allowed under local regulation.

    IFC Markets Trading Hours (GMT Server Time)

    Asset Class
    From
    To
    Cryptocurrencies
    Monday 00:00
    Sunday 22:00
    Forex
    Monday 00:00
    Friday 22:00
    Commodities
    Monday 00:00
    Friday 22:00
    European CFDs
    Monday 09:00
    Friday 17:30
    US CFDs
    Monday 15:30
    Friday 22:00

     

    Noteworthy:

    • Equity markets open and close each trading and are not operational continuously like Forex and cryptocurrencies
    • FXCM does not offer 24/7 cryptocurrency trading, limiting Saturday and Sunday to three one-to-two-hour sessions

    I recommend the following step for MT4/MT5 traders to access trading hours:

    1. Right-click on the desired symbol in the Market Watch window and select Specification.

    2. Scroll down until you see Sessions.

    Account Types

    Traders at IFC Markets have three distinct choices, with options for each, plus a demo account.

    Traders must decide between the following:

    • NetTradeX versus MT4 versus MT5 account
    • Fixed or floating spreads

    My observations concerning the IFC Markets account types:

    • The NetTradeX and MT5 options come as standard and beginner choices with fixed or floating spreads
    • MT4 is only available as the more expensive fixed spread account
    • The minimum deposit for all micro accounts is just $1, but an above average $1,000 for all standard ones
    • The account base currencies are USD, EUR, and JPY
    • IFC Markets offers swap-free Islamic accounts with 14-days-time limited positions
    • Micro and beginner versions are limited to an equity value of $5,000
    • Maximum leverage globally is 1:200 in standard accounts and 1:400 in all other account types
    • An account balance above $50,000 automatically results in an upgrade to VIP status with preferred trading terms, including free VPS hosting
    • Corporate accounts are also available

    My recommendation:

    • Traders should opt for the IFC Markets NetTradeX Standard-Floating account, where the best trading conditions are available

    IFC Markets Account Types

    IFC Markets Demo Account

    IFC Markets offers unlimited demo accounts. I find them ideal for testing and bug fixing EAs or trying new trading strategies. However, no demo account can fully replicate live trading conditions, as it omits trading psychology. Therefore, demo accounts are great for testing and fixing but are not a full simulation of trading with real money.

    My recommendation:

    • MT4/MT5 offer flexible nominal account sizes on the demo accounts, and traders should select one similar to what they plan to eventually deposit into a live trading account

    Trading Platforms

    While the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms are available as the most basic version plus the Autochartist plugin, it's apparent that IFC Markets prefers its traders to use the proprietary NetTradeX. The implemented account structure essentially discourages the use of the MT family.

    With more than 25,000 available plugins and EAs, traders can transform MT4 into a cutting-edge trading solution, but traders must purchase them, as the free ones hardly function as advertised.

    What could be better?

    • IFC Markets only provides the Autochartist plugins, leaving traders with the core MT4/MT5 versions
    • VPS hosting appears available only for VIP clients with a minimum account balance of $50,000

    My observations:

    • Traders with MT4 EAs must use the desktop client
    • Traders who wish to experience the full benefits at IFC Markets should trade with the proprietary NetTradeX trading platform
    • The design is like MT4/MT5 with a more modern user interface, and it allows trading of synthetic assets
    • NetTradeX also features multi-monitor layout support, smaller transaction sizes, and OCO order types
    • Automated trading is available at all three trading platforms, but each one with its own coding language
    • MT4, the primary option for automated trading solutions, lacks floating spread accounts, and while they are allowed in the successor, the MT5, it does not support backward compatibility
    • MT4 remains the market leader for automated trading solutions, but at IFC Markets, traders get mark-ups in the fixed spread account starting from 1.8 pips or $18 per 1 standard lot, with an average above $30
    • IFC Markets additionally has the MT4 MTM option for retail account management, and MT4/MT5 both have a built-in copy trading platform with free and paid-for trading signals.
    • New traders without existing trading solutions that would require the MT4 infrastructure or those traders with little desire to access the extensive MT4 library may find the NetTradeX platform a suitable option

    Overview of Trading Platforms

    Platform Languages
      • English
      • Thai
      • Malay
      • Portuguese
      • Russian
      • Chinese
      • Japanese
      • German
      • Turkish
      • French
      • Arabic
      • Spanish
      • Other
  • OS Compatibility
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • Mobile
      • Web
      • iPhone
      • iPad
  • Charting Package
    Scalping
    Hedging
    Mobile Alerts
    E-mail Alerts
    Guaranteed Limit Orders
    Guaranteed Execution
    One-click Execution
    OCO Orders
    Interest on Margin
    Web-based Trading
    Mobile Trading
    MT4
    MT5
    cTrader
    Proprietary Platform
    Guaranteed Stop Loss

    Unique Features

    The most extraordinary feature at this broker is the Portfolio Quoting Method. It allows traders to create unique synthetic assets, including equity versus equity quotations, for which IFC Markets received a patent in the US. The creation of personalized trading instruments is an emerging trend. By 2025, this feature will likely become a core service at many brokers. The inclusion of the Portfolio Quoting Method provides IFC Markets with a distinct competitive advantage and is appealing to committed traders and portfolio managers alike.

    IFC Markets provides continuous index and commodity CFDs trading. They provide clients 24/5 access to assets, eliminating price gaps between contracts amid ongoing pricing based on the nearest liquid contract. Additional standouts are the deep liquidity and ECN execution, available without commissions.

    IFC Patented Portfolio Quoting Method

    Research and Education

    In-house research consists of brief written analytics and video content. The overall quality and presentation are acceptable and will offer manual traders new ideas to consider. IFC Markets recently added two sections, Trading Ideas, and Technical Summary, featuring short-format trading signals.

    The educational section is excellent, presented via comprehensive written content and a wide range of videos. It offers a tremendous benefit at IFC Markets, and new traders should take full advantage of it.

    My takeaways:

    • The MT4/MT5 Autochartist plugin delivers them from within the trading platforms
    • IFC Markets publishes technical and fundamental analysis in a quality and professional format throughout each trading session across eleven categories
    • Traders who wish to follow the free trading ideas receive all the necessary trade information, often supported by a chart
    • The IFC Markets blog features a collection of market commentary, trading signals, and educational content
    • IFC Markets maintains a research section rivaling the best brokers in the industry
    • New traders get the most value from 18 short YouTube videos and six eBooks

    My recommendations:

    • MT4/MT5 have thousands of EAs, and traders may research them to determine if they suit their trading style
    • Traders can also access free research available online and seek educational material to supplement the quality material available at IFC Markets

    Customer Support

    Support HoursM-F, 0700 - 1900
    Customer Supportemail-support chat-support
    Website Languages
      • English
      • Thai
      • Malay
      • Portuguese
      • Russian
      • Chinese
      • Japanese
      • German
      • Turkish
      • French
      • Arabic
      • Spanish
      • Other
  • English support is available Monday through Friday between 0700 and 1900, while its multi-lingual support team has varying hours listed on the IFC Markets website.

    IFC Markets Customer Support

    Since IFC Markets explains its products and services well and ensures flawless operations, I doubt traders will require customer support.

    My observations and recommendations:

    • The FAQ section answers several questions, and traders should read them before contacting a support representative
    • The most convenient contact method is either live chat or supported messengers
    • IFC Markets also provides a callback feature and lists several phone numbers
    • An English-only trading desk is available, but no dedicated finance department hotline
    • A complaint form is also available

    Bonuses and Promotions

    IFC Markets pays annual interest on free account margin. The rate depends on the monthly trading volume, rewarding active traders with transactions exceeding 10 lots monthly. High-frequency traders may benefit from this passive income offer and offset swap rates on leveraged overnight positions.

    A trading contest is also available, with prizes ranging from a five-ounce gold bar to a $50 trading bonus. Additionally, a refer-a-friend promotion and a 50% deposit bonus from a minimum deposit of $250 exist. Terms and conditions apply, and traders who wish to participate must understand them.

    IFC Markets also maintains one of the highest paying partnership programs industry-wide, ideal passive income generation with favorable terms.

    IFC Markets Annual Interest on Free Margin

    Opening an Account

    Traders open new accounts via a brief four-step online application, the final two consisting of a deposit and trading platform download. As a regulated brokerage, account verification is mandatory. Most traders will satisfy AML/KYC stipulations by sending a copy of their ID and one proof of residency document.

    IFC Markets Account Opening

    Minimum Deposit

    The minimum deposit for the IFC Markets Beginner account it $1, but the Standard alternative requires an above average $1,000.

    Payment Methods

    IFC Markets offers payment methods including bank wires, credit/debit cards, Perfect Money, Boleto, Pasargad Novin, TopChange, Bitwallet, WebMoney, cryptocurrencies, and Unistream. Regional alternatives are available, and specifications exist in the back office.

    Accepted Countries

    IFC Markets caters to most international traders, including residents of the UK, Canada, and South Africa. Resident of the US, Japan, and Russia are not accepted as clients.

    Awards

    IFC Markets has received nine awards since 2020, confirming its commitment to presenting a competitive trading environment. In 2020, IFC Markets received recognition for its leadership focused on its international client base. In 2021, IFC Markets became a leading Forex broker across Asia, one of its core markets, as it continues to evaluate and improve its offer to traders. 

    The nine awards IFC Markets received are:

    • 2020 - AtoZ Markets - Most International Forex Broker
    • 2020 - International Business Magazine - Best Forex Broker Southeast Asia
    • 2021 - World Business - Most Sustainable Multi-Asset CFD Broker SEA
    • 2021 - World Business - Most Reliable Forex Broker SEA
    • 2021 - World Economic Magazine - Best CFD Trading Conditions Southeast Asia
    • 2021 - International Business Magazine - Best International Forex Broker South Korea
    • 2021 - International Business Magazine - Best International Forex Broker Vietnam
    • 2021 - The Global Economics - Most Customer-Centric Forex Broker – Indonesia
    • 2021 - AtoZ Markets - Best CFD Broker in Southeast Asia

    Deposits and Withdrawals

    All financial transactions take place in the secure back office of IFC Markets. I like the mix of well-established methods and modern alternatives, as they allow most traders to transact in a manner that suits them.

    IFC Markets Deposits

    My observations:

    • The minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts, processing times, and fees depend on the payment processor
    • Per the FAQ section, IFC Markets compensates commissions paid by clients on select payment processors
    • Most deposits remain free of charge, but third-party costs may apply
    • Traders can make deposit and withdrawal requests 24/7, but IFC Markets processes them from Monday to Friday 07:00 AM to 07:00 PM (CET)
    • In compliance with AML regulations, the name of the trading account and payment processor must be identical
    • Bank wire withdrawals cost $25 versus $30 for deposits, and credit/debit cards face a 2.00% charge plus $7.50 and additional third-party fees

    My recommendations:

    • Traders should use a reliable payment processor with the lowest fees
    • I also recommend checking the costs from the payment processor to the bank account unless a debit/credit card is available
    • It is ideal to use an option besides the bank or credit/debit card used for day-to-day financial operations

    IFC Markets Withdrawals

    The Bottom Line

    I like the trading environment at IFC Markets, as it supports algorithmic trading on all its trading platforms. It offers traders the ability to create synthetic assets via its patented Portfolio Quoting Method. Traders benefit from high leverage, excellent research, and quality education but face a minimum deposit of $1,000. IFC Markets offers traders a competitively priced environment especially if they are willing to trade on the proprietary NetTradeX platform.

    IFC Markets is a genuine choice for traders seeking to diversify their overall portfolio, while new traders will find this broker offers exceptional educational value. IFC Markets has tremendous, unlocked potential, and this broker could very well disrupt the market to the trader’s advantage over the coming years.

    FAQs

    Is IFC Markets safe?

    expand.png
    IFC Markets is a safe broker with a trustworthy and reliable trading environment. Besides complying with three regulators, it also has a Professional Indemnity Insurance at AIG Europe Limited.

    What is the minimum deposit for IFC Markets?

    expand.png
    The minimum deposit requirement is $1 for micro accounts and $1,000 for Standard ones.

    How do I withdraw money from IFC Markets?

    expand.png
    IFC Markets offers bank wires, credit/debit cards, Perfect Money, Boleto, Pasargad Novin, TopChange, Bitwallet, WebMoney, cryptocurrencies, and Unistream as withdrawal methods.

    Is IFC Markets regulated in South Africa?

    expand.png
    IFC Markets does not have regulatory oversight in South Africa.

    Are cryptocurrencies offered at IFC Markets?

    expand.png
    This broker is venturing into this sector but currently lists only two assets.

    What are the trading fees at IFC Markets?

    expand.png
    Floating spreads are as low as 0.4 pips, commission-free, fixed spreads commence from 1.8 pips, and equity fees start from 0.10% with a minimum of $1 or a currency equivalent.

    Is IFC Markets legit?

    expand.png
    IFC Markets has catered to clients for more than 15 years and complies with three regulators. It is a legit international multi-asset broker with a clean regulatory track record.

    Does IFC Markets offer a demo account?

    expand.png
    All three trading accounts at IFC Markets come with a demo option.

    Is IFC Markets regulated?

    expand.png
    IFC Markets holds licenses from the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI FSC), the Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA), and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

    About the Author

    DailyForex.com Team
    The DailyForex.com team is comprised of analysts and researchers from around the world who watch the market throughout the day to provide you with unique perspectives and helpful analysis that can help improve your Forex trading.