These guys are Direct Market Access (DMA) and we recommend them
Overall Ranking: 4.24 stars out of 5
Ease Of Use: 4.6 stars out of 5
Costs: 3.5 stars out of 5
Educational Resources & Customer Support: 4.2 stars out of 5
Research & Analysis Tools 4.7 stars out of 5
Range Of Product Offerings: 4.2 stars out of 5
Summary: An insanely well-designed platform that is especially novice-friendly, allowing you to trade pretty much everything but CFDs and Cryptocurrency.
Recommended For: Anyone, but the platform is especially attractive to novice investors, provided you’re not interested in trading Cryptocurrency or CFDs.
Are you looking for a safe, well-respected online broker to invest with? Are you interested in an Australian-based company and looking to invest in either CFDs, or Forex, or both? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you’re going to like what you read about First Prudential Markets.
They’re not a very old company, having just been established in 2005, but they’ve quickly made a name for themselves in the CFD and Forex community and are incredibly well-regarded, being regulated both the Australian ASIC and the Cypriot CYSEC, which means that you can invest with confidence!
Having said that, as you will see, this is a fairly self-selecting broker. Their product range is limited to Forex and CFDs, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re going to love them!
In the sections that follow, we’ll tell you everything First Prudential has to offer so you can make an informed decision!
Ease Of Use (4.6 stars out of 5)
Before we talk about ease of use, the very first thing we should draw your attention to is the fact that First Prudential offers DMA, or Direct Market Access. That’s huge, and there are a significant number of investors who would seriously consider opening an account with them for that reason alone.
Right off the bat, one of the things you’ll love about First Prudential is the fact that there’s no minimum deposit required for opening a Forex account, though be aware that if you’re interested in investing in stock CFDs, you will have to come up with $1000 to open the account. (Note: There are actually three account tiers here: No minimum for Forex only, $100 minimum for the Metatrader platform, and the $1000 minimum applies to account holders utilizing the IRESS platform).
While that’s obviously not as good as a no minimum deposit account, a thousand bucks is fairly light the standards of some other brokers we’ve seen, and we certainly wouldn’t call that a deal-breaker.
The act of getting your account funded and ready to use is fast, convenient, and 100% digital, so you won’t have any problems on that front.
Both platforms are highly similar to each other, and both are based on MetaTrader 4, which, if you’ve used some other broker in the past, you’re probably already familiar with. It’s not quite an industry standard, but it might as well be since so many online brokers are based around the technology.
As with most brokers these days, the company offers both a desktop-based and an app-based trading experience (available for both iOS and Android devices) and the two platforms offer similar aesthetics and functionality.
There are pros and cons associated with using a MetaTrader-based platform. The biggest pro is that if you’ve done any investing at all, then you’re probably already at least passingly familiar with the platform, in which case, using the First Prudential system will be like slipping into an old, familiar pair of slippers.
The downside is that it’s been a while since MetaTrader had a significant update, so the design is a bit dated. It is a highly customizable system, however, and once your account is set up, you will be able to put all the tools you rely on the most at your fingertips where you can access them quickly and easily.
Costs (3.5 stars out of 5)
First Prudential’s cost structure is quite good, especially for Forex traders. If your primary interest is Forex, this section would be rated as 4.8 stars, out of five, with some of the lowest Forex fees in the industry.
Unfortunately, their CFD fees are on the high side, so if that’s your primary interest, you’ll probably be able to find a better deal elsewhere, but if you dabble in both, then this offers a good blend that’s overall, below the industry average.
To give you an idea, here are some examples of the company’s CFD fees:
- The S&P 500 Index fee is excellent, being just $0.80 on a $2000 long position held for a week. That compares favorable to SM’s $2.40 and XTB’s $2.00 for the same position.
- Similarly, the Europe 50 Index fee (same position as described above) would only be $1.90 on this platform, versus $2.40 on XM, and $2.20 on XTB
- But….this is the gotcha: If you were investing in an Apple CFD, your costs would be a whopping $32 here, versus just $3.40 on XM and $17.90 on XTB – so the fees for individual company stock CFDs are very high, but if you’re investing in indexes, you’re in good shape here.
On the Forex Side, here are three quick examples to give you an idea of the fees you’ll be looking at:
- The AUD/USD benchmark fee is $11.50 here, versus $13.90 on XM and $10.00 on XTB
- The GPB/USD benchmark fee is $12.40 here, versus $13.80 on XM and $11.10 on XTB
- And the EUR/USD benchmark fee is $13.90 here versus $17.10 on XM and $15.00 on XTB
These are lower than average overall, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value.
In addition to that, there are no account maintenance or inactivity fees to worry about, and there’s no fee for deposits or withdraws, making First Prudential’s offering attractive indeed.
Educational Resources & Customer Support (4.2 stars out of 5)
FP Markets has something pretty close to world-class when it comes to their educational resources. We love that you can open a demo account to try your hand at investing before you risk real money, and you’ll find a broad range of platform tutorial videos in the event that you’re not already familiar with MetaTrader-based systems.
You’ll also find a number of trading courses designed for investors of all experience levels, a handy trading glossary and a superb selection of ebooks. About the only thing not on offer here are webinars, which is unfortunate. They’re not absolutely essential, but everybody has a different way of learning, and if you’re more at home with a webinar format, then those will be sorely missing indeed.
Where customer service is concerned, you’ll have access to knowledgeable and genuinely helpful experts via telephone, email or live chat, and of course, the company maintains a comprehensive FAQ that will probably be able to answer most general questions without engaging a live person.
Our only gripe on the customer service front is the fact that you don’t have access to a live person 24/7. If you’re trading in the wee hours of the morning and run into trouble, there will be a delay. Even so, we have no major complaints where customer service is concerned, and we don’t think many people will either!
Research & Analysis Tools (4.7 stars out of 5)
FP Markets has extended the functionality of MetaTrader just about as far as it can go on the research front. You’ll find a broad range of research tools at your disposal, from trading ideas, to a robust set of charting tools with more than 30 different technical indicators, and loads of fundamental data, all presented in a user-friendly format.
Of course, it’s MetaTrader, and as we said earlier, it’s been a while since the system has seen a major update, which means that the layout is a bit dated. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.
On the one hand, MT4 is very much a known quantity, so you’ll have no problem finding everything you want and need if you’re already basically familiar with the system. On the other, it’s not a perfectly designed system, so you may find yourself chaffing a bit at the dated design.
The biggest shortcoming on that front is the newsfeed. It’s a little too terse for our tastes, usually compressed to a sentence or two, with no visual elements at all. If you like your news old school, you won’t have any real issues with it, but if you’re looking for visual aids and a sleek presentation, the news feed will leave you wanting.
Range Of Product Offerings (4.2 stars out of 5)
We’ll be honest, we had to grade FP Markets on a curve in this section because you won’t find a ton of investment options here. As we said at the start, they’re a specialized brokerage firm, handling Forex and CFDs. If you’re interested in those two investment categories, you’ll find a lot here to love. If you’re looking for a broader range of investment options, you’re going to be underwhelmed what you find here, which is why this is such a self-selecting platform.
For the right investor, it’s just about perfect, but it won’t be for everyone, and you should know that going in, before you even think about opening an account.
Pros And Cons
Self-selecting. That’s a phrase we keep coming back to when talking about FP Markets and we feel it’s apt.
If you’re specifically looking for a user-friendly platform that’s well-respected and has an easy to understand fee structure, you’re going to love FP Markets.
If you’re more of a dabbler, interested in playing in a wide range of markets and investing in all sorts of product classes, you won’t find enough here to keep your interest for very long. Just understand that their decision to specialize in two things is a feature, not a bug.
For the right kind of investor, FP Markets will feel like heaven. Although they really only offer two investment classes, if you’re interested in Forex and CFDs, then FP Markets belongs on your short list of brokers to consider. We recommend them.