I decided to trial both fx brokers with three ea's adopting grid style, martin gale and tICk scalping techniques. Two of the expert advisors used in my testing are commercially obtainable and the other was one of my custom built expert advisors.
Obviously for me to conduct this evaluation effectively I had to install both fx brokers platforms on a virtual private server and setup my robots on each of them. I chose to utilize a vps from commercial network servICes as they've got one some of the most dependable servers in the world. I ran both fx brokers platforms simultaneously for 1 month with all the robots operating, this permitted me to collect suffICient information for me conduct some concrete analysis.
I focused my analysis of Hotforex and IC Markets on 3 critICal elements. The elements that I chose to analyse were spreads, slippage trade latency as these are the most important aspects whICh can have an effect on an expert advisors profitability.
I chose to just monitor the forex pairs on the majors as most expert advisors just trade the majors anyway. So as to evaluate the prICes quoted by both forex brokers I set up a robot whICh tracks and stores this information. The findings from my spread checking were somewhat definite and showed that the spreads at Hotforex in the majors were signifICantly worse than those on IC Markets true ECN. Infact in a number of circumstances IC Markets spreads were 3 pips less. For expert advisor trading tight spreads are important and can have a major impact on your bottom line.
So as to properly track slippage I installed a tracking robot on both the Hotforex and IC Markets Metatrader 4 installations. As my expert advisors employed extremely different strategies slippage also varied considerably. Obviously most slippage was experienced using the tICk scalping expert advisor. It was also interesting to see that the tICk scalper did not trade well utilising the Hotforex platform whatsoever, this was mainly caused by Hotforex freezing their spreads around announcements making them non-tradeable. Hotforex is really not a good broker to use if your intent is to engage in any type of tICk scalping strategy, it's much better suited to ea's utilizing martingale type trading strategies. IC Markets on the other hand is quite well suited to any sort of tICk scalping strategy and is my recommended broker for tICk scalping.
Order speed is another critICal aspect to look at as this will have a major effect on your trade fills. If there is a extended delay between when your expert advisor triggers the trade and when it is excecuted you may not get filled at your desired prICe. Each of the expert advisors that I utilised in my trial tracked trade latency on each deal. Hotforex had an average speed of around 500 milli seconds, even though this doesn't sound like a great deal it was considerably slower than the latency at IC Markets that was around 150 milli seconds. If you are taking a long-term approach to your trading, latency is not such a big issue however, if you're aiming to scalp for pips it is crucial to get a high speed connection.
In conclusion I have got to say that both forex brokers are excellent however, if you are trying to find a fx broker to utilize any sort of tICk scalping strategy with, IC Markets must be your primary choICe. The other huge benefit of dealing with IC Markets is that they're regulated in Australia by ASIC.