ThinkMarkets (formerly ThinkForex) was established in New Zealand in 2010, and in 2012 relocated its headquarters to Australia as it obtained regulation from the Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) under TF Global Markets Pty. In 2015, ThinkMarkets set up an office in London and became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom (UK) under TF Global Markets Limited.
The company also has a Bermuda-domiciled entity, Think Capital Limited, available to clients in eligible locations, as part of its global offering.
In May 2017, ThinkMarkets acquired Trade Interceptor, – a popular third-party mobile trading application, that is now fully integrated into Think Markets platform offering as replacing its the predecessor, the ThinkTrader platform, which was decommissioned.
Also Iin 2017, ThinkMarkets significantly expanded its range of tradeable symbols, adding 126 single-share CFDs and nine cryptocurrency CFDs, bringing the total offered to 187, include 9 cryptocurrencies CFDs, and added a hundred and twenty six single-share CFDs.
Commissions & Fees
ThinkMarkets offers three account types. The Standard account is commission free (spreads only) and requires a minimum deposit of $250, while the commission-based Pro account requires a minimum funding of $2,000 and has a commission of three units per side or six units per round turn (RT), which is the equivalent of 0.6 pips RT per standard.
Lastly, ThinkMarkets’ VIP account requires $25,000 to trade, and the commission rate is negotiable on a client-by-client basis, making it an option for active traders or those with cost-sensitive strategies.
ThinkMarkets advertises its lowest spreads, but because it did not provide an average or typical spread value, we couldn’t make an even comparison with other brokers. Using data from a third-party website, MyfxBook, spreads on the EUR/USD averaged 1.0 pips over a 48-hour period from June 6 to June 8, 2017 for the Pro account. With a 1 pip spread, the all-in cost would equate to 1.6 pips after factoring in the 0.6 pip RT commission, which is added to prevailing spreads.
We would like to see ThinkMarkets publish its own average spread data, ideally monthly, to help provide a clearer picture on how its forex spreads average out over the entire calendar month, as its FX pricing otherwise appears competitive.
ThinkMarkets does, however, publish average spreads for specific instruments, such as CFD indices. For example, we observed a 1.3 pip average spread on the DAX in MT4, whereas, spreads on Trade Interceptor are fixed at 1 pip.
For our 2018 Forex Review, 129 customer service phone tests were conducted over three months. The data collected is institutional grade. On average, three questions were asked for each test. To score each test, the tests were divided into three separate groups and scores were given for the time taken to connect with each support representative and the ability of each representative to professionally (and thoroughly) answer each question. A Net Promoter Score was also given for the overall experience.
- Average Connection Time: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 7.66 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 6.2 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.5 / 10
- Ranking: 8th (43 brokers)
ThinkMarkets combines various research content and tools from both in-house and external sources on its website as well as within its trading platforms. The company’s team of analysts produces multiple daily blog articles covering technical and fundamental news analysis across forex and CFD markets. Its economic calendar is powered by FXStreet.
News headlines provided by FX Wire Pro stream within the Trade Interceptor platform for clients who have at least $2,000 equivalent in their account balance. In addition, ThinkMarkets integrates AutoChartist which is a popular pattern-recognition software for researching trading opportunities.
Further research tools include an add-on for MT4 known as MT4 Super, developed by FX Blue LLP, which provides a suite of indicators and trading tools traders can use to enhance the default MT4 platform setup.
Pros aside, adding a heatmap and stock screeners would further boost ThinkMarkets’ research offering as the company broadens its product range.
Overall, ThinkMarkets provides a diverse research offering, but lacks the depth to compete with industry leaders in the category. ThinkMarkets finished 27th out of 43 brokers in our 2018 Review.
Platforms & Tools
ThinkMarkets offers two platforms: its own recently launched Trade Interceptor platform, and MT4, the popular third-party platform developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp. To learn more about MT4, read our MetaTrader guide.
For this review, I focused on using the Trade Interceptor platform, ThinkMarket’s recently acquired technology, which comes available for Windows and MacOS as desktop software.
Running Trade Interceptor on MAC OS, the platform has a simple layout with a fair number of components packed under the hood. The platform resembles a typical setup where the three main modules are the charting, open positions, and instrument list panel.
From within the instrument list panel, traders can toggle between multiple modules, from news headlines to trade signals to the platform’s economic calendar.
The usability of the platform is evident, as placing and managing trades was straightforward. Charting is also a clean experience, which comes packed with 90 indicators and nearly a dozen drawing tools.
While Trade Interceptor’s desktop software may be light compared to other competitors, the platform has a good balance of features, making it neither overly complex, nor too simple. All in all, I found it to be a positive user experience.
Thanks to Trade Interceptor, ThinkMarkets provides a trading experience that exceeds the traditional MetaTrader-only offering. All variables considered, the broker performed well in the category of Platforms & Tools and finished 14th.
For mobile trading, ThinkMarkets offers Trade Interceptor and MetaTrader4 (MT4). For this review, I focused on the Trade Interceptor mobile app, which comes available for Android and iOS devices.
Running the app on a Samsung Galaxy S8+ Android device, I found the app packs a good range of features, even though some of them are nestled away in the “more” section, including the economic calendar and trend risk scanner.
Looking at the charting package, there are 11 chart types to choose from with 97 indicators and 57 drawing tools.
Looking at the charting package, there are 11 chart types to choose from with 97 indicators and 57 drawing tools. The experience matches that of the desktop version of the platform, which is uncommon and a benefit for traders.
The Trade Interceptor app may appear simple on the surface; however, it provides advanced features and settings that can be fined tuned. For example, charts can be adjusted to view four at once, which is certainly not usually available in a mobile experience.
Drawbacks in the experience include the lack of a modern feel and the inability for watch lists to sync with the desktop version of the platform, preventing a seamless transition from mobile to desktop (and vice-versa).
Overall, after spending some time in the Trade Interceptor app, I was left impressed. Coupled with its MT4 and Trade Interceptor offering, ThinkMarkets finished 8th for Mobile Trading out of 43 brokers.
ThinkMarkets provides market execution as its main attraction as an agency broker. Because of this, positive/negative slippage can occur, as trades are not re-quoted. In the UK, ThinkMarkets has a dealer license which is limited as a match-principal (agency-only execution), and in Australia and Bermuda the brand follows a similar method, although it may take risks as a dealer/market maker when needed (as a contingency).
Liquidation calls (margin call /stop out) trigger when the account value is equal to half of the used margin, which means the free margin is permitted to go negative up to a value equal to half of the used margin amount – before all trades are closed. This is more flexible than brokers that may trigger a margin call sooner, such as when the available margin reaches zero (i.e., when the account value equals 100% of the used margin).
ThinkMarkets uses a tiered structure for capping leverage based on account balance thresholds ranging from 0.25% margin for <$50K accounts up to 2% margin investors with over $1 million in their account balance. The firm also permits orders to be filled for up to $50 million (500 standard lots) at its best offered market rates.
In 2017, ThinkMarkets followed the industry trend and began offering cryptocurrency CFDs, launching nine pairs against the US Dollar including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, NEO, Dash, Ethereum, and Ripple.
It’s worth noting that ThinkMarket’s cryptocurrency CFD contracts expire each week, limiting their appeal to long-term investors. Also, initially its crypto offering was more aggressive, including up to 32:1 leverage on some pairs, but thanks to the extreme market volatility at the end of 2017, the broker revised its offering. New regulations in 2018 also require reduced leverage.
Compared to last year, ThinkMarkets made a major pivot by acquiring Trade Interceptor and making it the successor of its now decommissioned Think Trader platform. The broker also brought back a large number of CFDs to its platform, including launching cryptocurrency CFDs, which helps it cater to a broader segment of traders.
The Standard account would not be my choice as there is no free VPS, no AutoChartist, and no account manager provided. For traders who want MT4 and can deposit at least $2,000, the Pro account has more competitive pricing and access to the above features Standard Account holders miss.
Meanwhile, active traders or those with more cost-sensitive strategies can opt for the VIP account – which requires $25,000 – where trading costs can drop even further.
Overall, ThinkMarkets provides several account options alongside reputable regulatory jurisdictions through Australia and the UK, providing traders a variety of choices. ThinkMarkets finished 11th out of 43 brokers in our 2018 Review.
For our 2018 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 43 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 140 variables. Learn more.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses."Learn more.View all ThinkMarkets Fees & Features
Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Over the past 18 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
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