- Tickmill was founded in the Seychelles in 2014 and has key affiliates in the UK and Cyprus.
- The broker is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in Cyprus by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), in Malaysia by the Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA) and in South Africa by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).
- Through its Cyprus-registered affiliate Tickmill Europe, European Economic Area (EEA) traders are protected by the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) with a maximum coverage of €20,000.
- Tickmill UK clients are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000.
- The broker claims to have an average execution time of 0.2 seconds.
- The broker claims to have executed over 115 million trades during its operating existence.
- Tickmill proudly declares that it handles over $142 billion in monthly average trade volumes, drawn from 150,000 unique clients operating 350,000 registered accounts.
- The broker Website is available in 14 languages.
- Tickmill offers three account types that are suitable for entry-level traders and elite traders.
- Tickmill offers market access covering five asset classes.
- Tickmill customers can trade in Contracts for Difference (CFD) in classes such as FOREX, stock indices, metals and bonds.
- Tickmill offers mostly competitive spreads and commissions across its account types.
- Tickmill customers can access high-quality research and education materials.
- Accounts can be funded in four base currencies.
- The broker operates a zero-fee policy for deposits and withdrawals and will refund traders if they incur third-party fees.
Year of Establishment
Market Opening Hours
Tickmill was founded in 2014. It has strong ties to the tiny African island nation of the Seychelles, where the group was incorporated and has since expanded. The broker has set up affiliate offices that are regulated in the UK, Cyprus, Malaysia, and South Africa.
The company boasts some impressive numbers. All told, it has over 150,000 clients from 200 countries. The broker claims to have facilitated the opening of some 350,000 registered accounts, amounting to a monthly trading volume of $142 billion. The broker also reports having about 200 staff globally. While there is no way to verify these figures for this review, traders can take comfort that, at face value, this is a highly thriving broker.
Despite the broker’s desire to offer its clients pioneering trading technology, “Powered by innovative and advanced features to cater for our clients’ evolving needs,” it has a thin technological offering. Also, Tickmill is primarily a FOREX broker, and its market access beyond FOREX is decidedly poor, leading us to question what its value proposition is.
Who Is Tickmill Good For?
This is a key question. The broker is regulated by tier-one regulators in the UK and Cyprus, but beyond that the strength of regulation in other markets is tier-two. This also means that beyond the investor protection from the FSCS and the ICF, traders are not covered.
The broker only uses a basic version of MetaTrader4 (MT4) and no other platform, so its claims of being at the technological forefront of trading ring hollow. The broker’s product offering, besides FOREX, is limited, and its customer service desk is not as readily available as other brokers.
On the plus side, its initial account deposits are low, even if its entry-level spreads are not overly attractive. High-volume traders get access to better spreads, but they could get that from another broker with a more well-rounded business proposition. It leaves us wondering what type of trader would choose this broker.
On the balance of all the facts, only entry-level traders would value this broker. These traders would appreciate a low opening balance and the basic trading platform. Also, while building their experience levels, they would not yet be able to seriously question the rate structure. Here are some other factors to consider before engaging with this broker:
Low opening deposit.
Access to a demo account.
Hedging and scalping are allowed.
Many promotional offers.
Relatively competitive spreads.
Good educational tools.
Zero fee policy on deposits and withdrawals.
Small product basket.
Spreads are not always competitive.
No cryptocurrency trading.
No services offered to US, Japanese or Canadian traders.
Is Tickmill Safe?
Indicators of operating safety for this broker are mixed. Tickmill UK and Tickmill Europe are regulated by the FCA and the CySEC, respectively. Traders who enlist with these registered entities can rest easy because they are covered by tier-one regulatory bodies. They know the broker must operate stringently, and their investments are protected by the FSCS and the ICF, respectively.
The other regulations come from emerging markets in the Seychelles, Malaysia, and South Africa. There are no investor protections, and as these are not tier-one bodies. Traders will be right to be cautious. The broker does not take out additional protections, such as third-party investor fund insurance.
In assessing the broker’s Website, it does not address investor fund safety beyond mentioning its licensing and regulation. Comparatively, other brokers have gone to greater lengths to list the additional protections they have started to protect trader funds. This lack of information alone does not condemn Tickmill to being an unsafe broker. It simply means that as a broker with only a few years of trading under its belt, traders ought to perform their due diligence before enlisting.
Trading Account Information
Bank transfer - credit card - Electronic Banks
Demo Account Duration
Offering of Investments
The company concentrates on FOREX and has a strong slate of currency pairs to show for it. Beyond that, the broker offers market access in another four asset classes. The broker does not offer cryptocurrencies at this stage:
- FOREX: Traders can access 60+ currency pairs. The broker claims an average execution speed of 15s. It also claims that all trading strategies are allowed on all its instruments.
- Stock Indices and Oil: Traders can access 14+ indices at an average execution speed of 15s.
- Precious Metals: Traders can trade gold and silver crosses.
- Bonds: Traders can only access German bonds.
Keen-eyed traders will notice that this product basket, except for FOREX, is severely limited. There are many other similar-sized brokers that offer more tradable instruments.
Advantages of Trading
Available FOREX Pairs
60+ Currency Pairs
Starting from 0.5 pips
Proprietary Platform -Web platform- MT4-MT5
Tickmill offers three account types:
Classic: This entry-level account allows access to all the broker’s market instruments. Variable spreads start from 1.6 pips, which is high even for a commission-free account. The minimum deposit is $100.
Pro: This account is targeted at experienced traders. Spreads start from zero pips. The applicable commission is $2 per standard lot traded. This fee structure is not out of the ordinary for Straight Through Processing (STP) brokers. There is no commission charged on stock indices, oil, and bonds. The minimum deposit is $100.
VIP: This account is designed for high-volume traders. Commissions are reduced to $1 per standard lot traded. CFDs on stock indices, oil and bonds do not attract commission. Spreads start from zero pips. The minimum deposit is $50,000.
An Islamic trading option is available with all accounts. The broker proudly shows its execution speed of 0.1 seconds, which is normal for an STP broker not hindered by a dealing desk. Traders can choose one of four wallet currencies: the USD, the EUR, the GBP and the PLN.
Tickmill also offers a FOREX and CFD demo account. Traders can test their strategies on their MT4 interface without the risk of losses.
Deals and Promotions
The broker advertised four promotional offers at the time of writing this review. While visiting the company Website, we noticed the broker was promoting its IB contest aggressively, such that the marketing banner was inserted onto every page of the Website, which was distracting. The full range of promotions were:
- $30 Welcome Bonus: Traders who merely set up and login to their accounts will receive a $30 bonus.
- Trader of the Month: The top-performing trader for each month earns a $1,000 prize. With the broker claiming to have over 150,000 unique customers, the odds of winning this are slim.
- Tickmill’s Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) Machine: Traders can win up to $500 by predicting the price of an instrument during each NFP week.
- IB Contest: This annual contest rewards traders who refer new traders from other geographical regions to the broker.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Tickmill accepts deposits through several methods. These include:
- Credit/Debit card.
- Bank wire transfer.
The company has a zero-fee policy that sees it refund traders up to $100 for fees incurred from third parties when depositing or withdrawing from their account. The minimum deposit amount is $100, and the minimum withdrawal amount is $25. Processing times can be instant for Web-enabled deposits, and up to seven days for some bank transfers. Withdrawals must be done through the same carrier as deposits.
The broker’s customer service desk is not as available as other brokers. The live chat logo on the Website's "Contact Us" page does not take you to a live chat agent, but defaults to a contact form, which is disappointing. Customer support times are typically listed as Monday to Friday from 08:00 hours to 17:00 hours. Traders will notice that this time window falls short of the 24/5 or 24/6 options offered by other brokers. During the contact window, traders can call one of the company’s support lines. There is no sign whether the support is multilingual.
Commissions and Fees
Tickmill’s fee structure is relatively standard. The broker is to be commended for applying a zero-fee policy to deposits and withdrawals. The broker Website does not mention an inactivity fee in the normal sense, but the broker closes accounts after 90 days of no activity and if the account balance is $10 or less.
As is standard in the FOREX industry, the broker charges triple swap fees for overnight positions. These fees apply to FOREX and metals on a Wednesday night, and for all other instruments on a Friday night. Detailed swap rates can be found on the broker’s rate card.
Low commissions of $1 per standard lot are available on the VIP Account. Other accounts face a commission of $2 per standard lot. Spreads on the Classic Account under this Market Maker broker operate at 1.6 pips, which is high. However, spreads can be as low as zero pips on the VIP Account.
The maximum leverage available is 1:500, but this varies depending on the asset and the location of the account. Traders in the EEA and the UK can only enjoy leverage up to 1:30. However, the broker can offer traders in other regions different leverage per instrument. For example, leverage of stock indices, bonds, and oil is at 1:100. Leverage on metals and FOREX can go up to 1:500.
Despite the broker’s claims to want to create a progressive, tech-enabled trading environment, it only gives its clients access to the most basic bespoke version of MT4. The platform itself is well-known and trusted for good reason, but when compared to the reality that many other brokers have at least MT4, MT5, plus their own proprietary platforms to cater for different preferences, this must be considered a failure.
Traders will get an easy-to-navigate platform that is hugely popular for good reason. Clients receive Expert Advisor (EA) help, excellent charting tools, and over 50 indicators to help them make better decisions. The historical data center allows traders to analyze their previous activity to learn the lessons of history.
The Web-based version of MT4 does not require a software download. It is a reliable and intuitive interface that has served the trading world well for a long time. Traders have one-click functionality to access customizable charts over nine timeframes, real-time quotes, and over 30 indicators.
The mobile version is equally reliable. Traders can use their Android or Apple devices to trade on the go. They will have access to most of the desktop and Web features. They can analyze markets, price trades, and even trade directly from charts. In much the same way as the desktop and Webtrader versions, clients can fund their accounts and withdraw profits easily.
Research and Development
Tickmill has a strong research and market analysis section. This is one of the few genuine points in this broker’s favor. The company has commissioned a regular blog that features the insights from 11 subject experts. The commentary educates and informs traders on fundamental and technical matters related to trading.
Examples of useful material could be a macroeconomic view of market-shaping events and how traders can legislate for them. The sections are curated around Market Insights, Fundamental Analysis, Technical Analysis and in-depth articles.
The blog is detailed and insightful. It is updated by multiple information blasts that are refreshed throughout the day. Traders can access extensive written content, videos and graphical storytelling. The material is supplemented by third-party information aggregator Autochartist, which scans the markets in search of patterns that could lead to potentially lucrative trading moves for traders.
Tickmill’s educational offering is just as detailed. The jewel in the crown of this section is an internally produced ebook that traders can download and study. The broker has put a lot of effort into this 46-page ebook, which carries extensive foundational information on trading.
Beginners will benefit the most from this resource, as it deals with topics such as Forex Trading Basics, How Forex Trading Works, and a primer on the Major Currency Pairs. Other key topics include Trading Strategies and FOREX Analysis.
Meanwhile, the broker’s Webinars provide a much-needed visual boost to break up the monotony of all the text-based material. Traders can access Webinars in six languages (English, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Russian and German). For traders who need to learn at their own pace, all Webinars are archived. The broker used to host global seminars, but these have been affected by the pandemic.
The educational material is not simply aimed at first timers. There is a wealth of information for advanced traders, such as Chart Theories and Standard Elliot Wave Models. The broker is intent on keeping its customer base informed and educated with quality material.
It is difficult to pinpoint what this broker does better than its peers. It is regulated by tier-one regulators in its UK and Cyprus affiliates. Traders in these locations can rest easy that their funds are safe. Beyond that, the regulation is not as robust.
The broker does not offer market-low fees. Granted, high-volume traders do benefit from tight spreads, but this is the case with most brokers. Tickmill’s trading platforms are behind the curve, and there is no evidence that the broker wants to address this any time soon.
Its customer service desk does not operate the hours premium brokers operate. Its market access is weak and does not hold up well under scrutiny. Besides offering no cryptocurrencies, the broker only offers a paltry two metals to trade, and it deals with only German bonds. While it has excellent research and educational material, can this alone make up for the shortage of compelling reasons to trade with this broker?
The broker’s best points might be its bonuses and promotions, its zero-fee policy, and its research and educational material. However, these can be considered a low-hanging fruit for an ambitious broker. Seasoned traders will look for consistently good investor protection, razor sharp rates, and innovative platform usability. This broker provides none of these.
Tickmill is a broker that has some work to do to convince most traders of its value proposition. It offers a good amount of regulation in key markets, yet it still has obvious shortfalls, such as the lack of voluntary excess protections.
Its market access is weak, and it relies too heavily on its FOREX product range. The broker does not have any platform strength as it only offers the basic version of MT4. Tickmill relies heavily on bonuses and promotions to drive interest, in the same way as it relies heavily on internal referrals to gain new clients.
The broker makes grand claims about its trading volumes, and while this can never be verified in a review like ours, there are question marks about how a broker with no obvious strengths and several weaknesses can report having customers from over 200 countries and $142 billion in monthly trades.
Its research and educational products are strong, but this is the barest minimum the broker could have done to convince unsure traders. Potential clients should assess this broker’s overall product offering with a great deal of care.
Tickmill in Brief
Tickmill is a middle-of-the-road broker with roots in emerging countries. It has a decent fee structure and good research and educational materials. On the other hand, the broker’s platforms are weak, its customer service desk is not well-resourced, and it offers sub-standard market access.
The team at Arincen collected over 120 pieces of data covering in excess of 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
1. Companies’ Websites.
2. Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
3. A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise.
We have identified 12 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets etc.
Afterward, we validated the data by:
1. Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
2. Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and past experience.
The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including taking into account different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems, e.g., Apple, Samsung etc.
To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%.
Where is this broker regulated?
Tickmill’s affiliates are regulated by the UK’s FCA and the CySEC of Cyprus. It also enjoys additional regulations in emerging markets such as the Seychelles, Malaysia and South Africa.
In what other ways does this broker protect me?
Due to the broker’s licensing by the FCA and the CySEC, it offers default investor protection through the FSCS and the ICF, respectively. However, this broker does not take out additional protections such as third-party investor fund insurance.
Which countries does this broker serve?
The broker serves clients from 200 countries. However, services are not offered to US, Japanese or Canadian traders.
Does this broker offer Cryptocurrency trading?
No. The broker does not offer cryptocurrency trading.
Does this broker provide any extra offerings?
Yes. The broker advertised three promotional offers at the time of this writing. These promotions were: a $30 Welcome Bonus, a Trader of the Month prize, and Tickmill’s Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) Machine, where traders could win up to $500 by predicting the price of an instrument during each NFP week. Naturally, traders should be aware that promotions can be discontinued at any time.
How do I fund my account?
Tickmill accepts deposits and withdrawals through several methods. These include: Credit/debit card, Skrill, Neteller, Sticpay, bank wire transfer, Fasapay, Unionpay, NganLuong, QIWI and WebMoney.
Which trading platforms does this broker offer?
The broker gives its clients access to a simple bespoke version of MT4.
How can I access customer service?
Customer support times are typically listed as Monday to Friday from 08:00 hours to 17:00 hours. During the contact window, traders can call one of the company’s support lines listed on its Website.