IC Markets, Axitrader Or Pepperstone Who Is Best For Forex?

Last week I was asked by people in my trading club which Australian fx broker I thought was the best. I thought that rather than sharing my views I should perform some analysis of three well-liked Australian forex brokers Axitrader, Pepperstone and IC Markets and share my results on the internet. So that’s how writing this review started.

 My forex trading club consists of over 300 traders that utilize a number of unique fx trading styles and techniques. I knew that it was going to be hard to please everybody as a result I decided to really hone in on the main points which every one of the members of our forex trading club think are important factors to take a look at when choosing the right forex company. The main aspects I used to evaluate all three fx brokers were slippage, spreads and execution speeds.

 As usual I had my crack squad of Metatrader 4 developers open trading accounts with all 3 forex brokers and plug each of their fx trading platforms into our monitoring environment which employs a variety of expert advisors to check the brokers slippage, spreads and execution latency. After some tinkering about my developers had every one of the 3 brokers plugged in, we first commenced by installing an aggressively trading expert advisor that we regularly run to test broker slippage, this EA is also able to monitor deal latency. We used a different expert advisor to monitor spreads.

 I commenced by examining slippage across all 3 fx broker trading accounts, the reason for beginning with the slippage examination first is simply because it’s almost certainly the single most important point which distinguishes an average fx broker from an excellent one. Of course the only real way to check slippage was to run my scalping EA on all three foreign exchange broker platforms and evaluate the results, as a result this is what I did.

 Before sharing my discoveries with you I should make it clear that slippage is extremely dependent on dealing latency and broker liquidity. More often than not brokers which have better quality and deeper liquidity will have less slippage than those who depend on just a couple of bottom tier liquidity providers. Now that you realize what leads to slippage let’s have a look at our results across the tests conducted on my forex trading accounts at Axitrader, Pepperstone and IC Markets.

 Not surprisingly the worst slippage experienced throughout our trials was on our Pepperstone EDGE account where slippage was as much as 12 pips, after one week of scalping we were rather shocked by this unnecessary slippage. 12 pips slippage is just too much for just about any trader to tolerate and will wipe out your profit margin before you even start. Axitrader was not as awful as Pepperstone, the slippage we encountered was as high as 5 pips, 5 pips is acceptable for most forex traders. IC Markets had the smallest amount of slippage out of the three fx brokers tested, the highest slippage we encountered was 0.6 pips. This really is substantially lower than the slippage experienced at Axitrader and Pepperstone. If you’re a day trader or scalper IC Markets is by far the best pick out of these 3 fx brokers.  

 We used the same EA that we used to test slippage to check trade speed. Trade latency can change substantially amongst forex brokers as it is highly dependent on trade server location in addition to the fill confirmation time of the broker’s liquidity providers. Lets now look are the trade speed findings we achieved from testing Axitrader, Pepperstone and IC Markets side by side. We clocked the trade latency at Pepperstone to be on average 489 milli seconds, this is acceptable latency for a forex broker. Axitrader latency was clocked at an average of 475 milli seconds, not much different to Pepperstone. We calculated IC Markets trade latency to be 245 milli seconds on average this was twice as fast as the other two fx providers. We placed the ultra low latency experienced at IC Markets down to better server hardware and better liquidity providers which {are able to} provide quicker trade confirmations. Obviously when it comes to trade latency IC Markets is the best out of these three fx brokers.

 The last part of our review involved keeping track of the average spreads across all 3 forex brokers, we decided to focus solely on EUR/USD purely due to the fact that this is the most commonly traded currency pair in the world. Again we used an expert advisor to monitor the typical spreads of this pair across our fx broker accounts at Axitrader, Pepperstone and IC Markets.

 Monitoring spreads is far simpler than checking slippage and latency, however just like these 2 elements spreads are very dependent on the quality of the liquidity providers that the forex provider is utilizing. Our findings reveal that Pepperstone has the most terrible EUR/USD spread out of all 3 brokers with an average spread of 0.6 pips. Axitrader shows a slightly better EUR/USD spread of 0.5 pips. It was no surprise IC Markets ECN had the smallest average EUR/USD spread of all the three fx brokers at 0.1 pips. Once more IC Markets really is the best forex broker if you are looking to sclap or day trade for one or two pips.

 After finishing our testing we shared the outcomes with our fx trading group who put all 3 fx brokers to the test separately. I thought that having a larger sample size would be significantly better and permit fx trader to make a well informed decision as to which forex broker fits their trading style. General consensus amongst the trading group was that IC Markets was unquestionably the better broker across all three categories this is also in line with many of the online reviews that I have read. It was pleasing that the group’s results were consistent with the findings that I achieved in my testing. Obviously you must always perform your own personal testing prior to selecting a broker as your discoveries may differ to mine, remember all 3 of these fx brokers are good brokers in general, however you may find that IC Markets True ECN will definitely offer you an edge in your trading.  

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