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 addition to providing the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, ThinkMarkets launched ThinkTrader – its own proprietary trading platform. The broker offers 49 instruments, including 35 currency pairs for forex trading.
ThinkTrader’s launch coincided with the firm’s rebranding from ThinkForex to ThinkMarkets in July 2016, as the company aims to shift towards providing a broader range of multi-asset offerings. In May 2017, ThinkMarkets acquired Trade Interceptor – a popular third-party mobile trading application.
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.
|View All Fees||ThinkMarkets||Admiral Markets||Pepperstone||AxiTrader|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||N/A||1.200||0.860||1.140|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||N/A||1.200||1.160||1.240|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||33||55||59||53|
|CFDs - Total Offered||154||106||26||41|
|Commissions & Fees|
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 the broker publish its own average spread data, ideally monthly, to help provide a clearer picture on how spreads average out over the entire calendar month, as its pricing otherwise appears competitive. It is also important to note that the ThinkTrader platform is useable only with the Standard account, whereas MT4 can be used across all three account types (see platform section below for more details).
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.
ThinkMarkets provides a good range of resources for traders to access research from multiple channels, with more than one channel across key categories.
Premium research content from Reuters News, together with headlines provided by FX Wire Pro, streams within the platform for clients who have at least $2,000 equivalent in their account balance. In addition, ThinkMarkets integrates AutoChartist, a popular pattern-recognition software for researching trading opportunities, into the ThinkTrader platform. AutoChartist is also available as a plugin for MT4.
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.
ThinkMarkets provides a good range of resources for traders to access research from multiple channels, with more than one channel across key categories. Adding a heatmap, additional sentiment tools, and stock screeners would further boost ThinkMarkets’ research offering as the company broadens its product range.
Platforms & Tools
ThinkMarkets offers two platforms: its own recently launched ThinkTrader 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 ThinkTrader, the broker’s own proprietary trading platform, which is available on the web and desktop for Windows and MacOS.
Starting with the desktop version of ThinkTrader, the platform’s components fit into a well-organized layout and have some attractive features that include the watch lists section and charting module, both of which come with a shortcut and dedicated tab. The charts come packed with 90 indicators and nearly a dozen drawing tools and are generally easy to use.
Overall, the desktop platform has a good foundation, despite a few bugs such as the rates failing to show on the dashboard, even as the balance information is updating in real time. Glitch aside, the watch list tab segments multiple watch lists and lets users create a screener-style layout where several lists can be viewed at once, which is a nice feature.
Moving to the web-based version of ThinkTrader, the software resembles the desktop version and is built using the latest web standards based on HTML5. The web version has a good foundation for a relatively new platform, with further room to improve, as the experience is not as seamless as that of its desktop counterpart.
Pros aside, the watch list is nearly hidden by default in the web version and doesn’t sync with the desktop version. Furthermore, the charts are not as robust, despite packing the same number of indicators. For example, you cannot compress chart prices vertically by scrolling. Bottom line, I do not recommend the web version; the desktop version of ThinkTrader is the clear winner between the two.
Aside from the MT4 mobile app (see our MetaTrader Guide for more), ThinkMarkets offers its ThinkTrader mobile app for both Android and iOS devices, and we reviewed the Android app as part of this research.
Upon logging into the mobile app, I found the design and navigation user-friendly. Placing trades and managing orders alongside open positions was a cinch, and the trade-ticket had a touch beyond the minimum industry standard order types (market, limit, stop), with the inclusion of an OCO (One-cancels-Other) pending order type.
With over 60 indicators packed into the chart settings, ThinkTrader mobile has an app that sports some impressive features.
Moving onto the charts, I was pleased to see AutoChartist integrated, as this feature is usually only found on desktop or web versions. With over 60 indicators packed into the chart settings, ThinkTrader mobile has an app that sports some impressive features.
The mobile app also features an economic calendar in the tools section, and besides some configuration settings such as one-click and default order sizes, trading the app is otherwise light.
Generally, the app has a good foundation and we would like to see a watch list included that would sync with the watch list found on the desktop version to help unify the ThinkTrader experience.
More demanding traders may opt for the MT4 mobile app, which is more refined and has lower trading costs (spreads) compared to ThinkTrader mobile.
Around the time of our review, ThinkMarkets had disabled trading in a total of 120 instruments (89 forex pairs and 31 CFDs) out of the 169 instruments that show on the platform, leaving 49 tradable instruments (35 forex pairs and 14 CFDs).
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.
While ThinkMarkets shifts towards multi-asset trading following the name change of its brand from ThinkForex to ThinkMarkets, the firm still has a way to go, with only 49 instruments available and after many pairs it offered were discontinued.
Nonetheless, for the 35 forex pairs and 14 CFDs that can be traded, ThinkMarkets provides several account options alongside reputable regulatory jurisdictions through Australia and the UK.
Overall, the Standard account would not be my choice as there is no free VPS, no AutoChartist, and no account manager provided. Furthermore, since the ThinkTrader platform can be used only with the Standard account, I would prefer MT4 and choose from the other account types instead.
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.
For our 2017 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 20 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 255 variables. Learn more.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, 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 currency pair. 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.