IronFX was founded in 2010 and is based in Cyprus. They are licensed in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and in Cyprus by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commissions. They're also licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. They gained rapid exposure as a sponsor of yacht racing and football teams (FC Barcelona). We found them to be a very competitive trading firm built primarily on the MetaTrader 4 platform. IronFX provides access to a broad selection of financial markets including Forex, CFDs and commodities, through a variety of account types from micro accounts to non-dealing desk accounts. Clients can choose to pay either commissions or spreads on their trades. IronFX also provides account holders with rarely seen benefits like slippage protection and negative balance protection (so traders will never lose more than the amount they have on deposit).
IronFX provides access to a broad selection of financial markets, including forex, CFDs and commodities, via a variety of account types from micro accounts to non-dealing desk accounts. IronFX charges slightly higher than average commissions for smaller account sizes but offers trading discounts for investors with larger account balances via its Premium and VIP accounts. There is a spread and minimum commission for single stocks but no maximum commission. This can get expensive if you trade a large number of single stocks. There are no charges for standard withdrawals or terminating an account. IronFX charges an inactivity fee of 4% of the account balance.
IronFX provides clients with a guarantee they will never lose more than they have in their accounts. This dealer also takes steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds. This ensures that client assets are protected in the unlikely event that IronFX becomes insolvent by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks. As a member of the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) IronFX also provides additional insurance against the loss of client funds in the case of default by the company. IronFX does not provide the additional protection of two-factor authentication for client accounts.
IronFX - under 8Safe UK Limited - is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and follows the strict regulatory requirements, known as the client money and client assets rules (found in the Client Assets Sourcebook - CASS) outlined by the FCA.
IronFX gives traders the flexibility to bypass the dealing desk altogether and trade directly with the market makers via their electronic communications network (ECN) accounts. Traders can also automate their trading instructions via the ECN. While IronFX offers its own HTML5-based trading platform (Webtrader 4), many traders may prefer to use IronFX's MetaTrader 4 offerings. This arrangement works well for investors familiar with the MetaTrader platform. If we found any drawbacks to this, it's that the functionality of MT4 has become a bit dated. Compared to newer offerings developed by other firms we found the charts didn't stack up. But, the ability to autotrade, backtest and install Expert Advisors (EA) may compensate for other shortcomings in the MT4 platform.
IronFX is primarily dependent on the MetaTrader platform for most of its special features, but we didn't find that to be necessarily a bad thing. The MetaTrader platform is familiar and stable and provides an impressive number of Expert Advisors, customized technical indicators and other trading tools.
Although IronFX earned top marks in the Desktop Experience category, we didn't find anything new or notable in the experience. Perhaps more importantly, we didn't find anything missing in the platform either. Their Webtrader 4 browser-based (HTML5) trading platform is stable and customizable. The browser-based platform ensures clients can have access to their account from any computer with an internet connection. Most of the bells and whistles are found in the MetaTrader 4 desktop platform, provided by the company. Clients can choose among the MT4 Standard, the MT4 Advanced and the MT4 MultiTerminal versions of the platform. Each version offers pros and cons, depending on trading style and needs.
One of the most popular aspects of the MT4 platform is the ability to add auto-trading and custom indicators through plugins called "expert advisors" or EAs. The process of adding an EA won't be easy for a novice, but some sample EAs are included by default for testing and demonstration purposes. MT4 also allows investors to trade directly from charts and save layouts and chart profiles.
MT4 has been around for some time now and it's beginning to look a bit dated, especially compared to some of the newer, cleaner interfaces we've seen on competitive platforms. Audible alerts can be annoying and are difficult to customize. Some common functions, like scrolling or zooming on a chart, are clunky and will be frustrating for traders familiar with other more modern charting applications. Creating or modifying EAs is difficult and the programming language is unique and challenging for traders to learn.
As with their desktop platform, IronFX also utilizes the MT4 platform for its mobile offering. The MT4 mobile trading platform crams an impressive amount of functionality into a small screen. We found the mobile applications to offer similar functionality to the desktop application. Traders can access trading instruments, complex order types, watchlists, and account analytics all from their mobile device. The mobile platform also includes charts with price overlays, indicators, and flexible display styles. Other features include news feeds and educational articles.
The mobile app had familiar menus that were easy to navigate. Demo traders should also have no problem immediately logging in and giving the app a try. The order entry form was a little crowded and difficult to navigate on our phone screens, but not completely impractical if a trader needs to be able to modify, enter, or exit orders while away from the desktop.
While the MT4 mobile platform was easy to use and familiar, we didn't find any added value from the dealer. For example, we would have liked to have seen some of IronFX's custom technical analysis reports available within the application. Also of concern: we didn't find additional options for security, like fingerprint access or remote logout.
IronFX customer support provides easy access to a network of agents to assist clients. Customer support is available via phone, email or live chat. The chat response time was less than 20 seconds for prospective clients and the responses were clear and helpful. The company also maintains an FAQ database covering topics from account opening and funding to trading and platform questions. This should help traders looking for quick answers. IronFX does not provide in-person support.
Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. In our experience, response times via each of these customer service channels was prompt, knowledgeable and courteous. The FAQ section covers a wide variety of topics, but it does not have a search engine. Traders looking for answers will have to browse through the various questions or use the browser search function to find answers.
IronFX scored high in our research category for its comprehensive research offerings. The platform includes real-time news feeds, calendars, and advanced data analytics. We liked that the company also provides a stand-alone IronFX Research app that traders can download to their mobile devices. The company also provides insight into what other IronFX clients are trading in their own accounts, in the aggregate. This provides a helpful "sentiment" reading on any potential trade idea.
IronFX provides a wide range of analytics, research, and tools. We especially liked the IronFX Research application. The ability to scan news and research when not in front of a computer (like on a daily commute) is a nice perk. The economic calendar was easy to use, integrated into the trading platform, and included expectations, actual results, currencies affected, and historical data. This information makes the calendars more useful than just a few dates and numbers. Research from IronFX's analyst team was timely and informative.
While we liked the IronFX analyst team, there weren't very many analysts. The main problem with this is it can lead to a lack of diversity of opinions. When trying to figure out what might happen next in the financial markets, traders are relying on a small group with limited coverage.
IronFX's education via its IronFX Academy is well organized and comprehensive - covering topics from Forex and CFDs to trading psychology and the MT4 platform. The ongoing webinars and commentary incorporate the MT4 trading platform, which will help investors become more proficient with its use. IronFX also has representatives at many international expos and conferences to provide in-person education to those who can make the trip.
The trading courses cover Forex, stock and CFD trading. There are also courses on technical analysis, trading psychology, trading signals, etc. that are applicable to all traders, regardless of the financial market they are trading. We especially liked the ability to track your progress through the courses. It's sometimes difficult to remember what you've already completed and where to go next so the course tracking feature should be useful.