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CMC Markets Review

Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis | October 27th, 2020

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.

CMC Markets is a globally trusted broker that delivers a terrific offering for traders thanks to excellent pricing, nearly 10,000 tradeable instruments, and the Next Generation trading platform, which comes packed with quality research, innovative trading tools, and powerful charting.

Top Takeaways for 2020

Here are our top findings on CMC Markets:

  • Founded in 1989, CMC Markets is publicly traded and regulated in four tier-1 jurisdictions alongside two tier-2 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs.
  • CMC Markets is a leader for low cost trading, offering trading costs for forex that are measurably lower than the industry average.
  • The CMC Markets Next Generation platform comes with a massive selection of nearly 10,000 tradeable instruments. It delivers a terrific user experience, advanced tools, comprehensive market research, and an excellent mobile app. In comparison, its MetaTrader 4 (MT4) offering is limited to just 62 symbols.

Overall Summary

FeatureCMC Markets
Overall 5 Stars
Trust Score99
Offering of Investments 5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 5 Stars
Platform & Tools 5 Stars
Research 5 Stars
Mobile Trading 4.5 Stars
Customer Service 4 Stars
Education 4 Stars

Is CMC Markets Safe?

help 99
Trust Score

CMC Markets is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. CMC Markets is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by four tier-1 regulators (high trust), two tier-2 regulator (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). CMC Markets is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.

Regulations Comparison

FeatureCMC Markets
Year Founded1989
Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes
Bank No
Tier-1 Licenses4
Tier-2 Licenses2
Tier-3 Licenses0
Trust Score99

Offering of Investments

Rank: 3rd (of 30)

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to CMC Markets clients.

FeatureCMC Markets
Forex: Spot Trading Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)158
CFDs - Total Offered9852
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Commissions & Fees

If trading costs matter to you, CMC Markets has you covered. In 2020, CMC Markets finished Best in Class in this category, thanks to its low spread offering, which is available to all its customer segments and account types.

Average spreads: CMC Markets offers competitive pricing that is better than the industry average, with typical spreads of 0.74 pips on the EUR/USD, according to CMC Markets price data for August 2020.

Forex rebates: CMC Markets offers active traders liquidity rebates starting at $5 per million when you surpass at least $25 million in notional trading volumes per month, to as much as $10 per million for those that trade over $300 million monthly. This program in the UK is available only to Professional Clients. Using the average spread data of 0.74 pips on the EUR/USD for August 2020, the all-in cost on the highest tier would be 0.64 pips and is comparable to similar programs offered by IG (0.59 pips) and Saxo Bank (0.6 pips).

Alpha rebates for shares trading: The CMC Markets Alpha offering provides free access to various services such as premium reports, market data, and Trading Central, and consists of three tiers. The base tier, Classic, requires 11 trades per month. The second tier, Active Investor, requires 11-30 trades per month, or five trades with at least $500 in commission spend. Last, the highest level, Premium Trader, is available if you place more than 30 transactions per month. Each tier comes with a base charge of AUD 9.90 per trade in addition to respective discounts ranging from 0.1 bps to as little as 0.075 bps for larger trade sizes.

Guaranteed Stop-Loss Order (GSLO): Like many of its peers, CMC Markets offers GSLOs. These orders guarantee the stop-loss order price will be honored, and there is a premium for using GSLOs, which is displayed in the trade ticket window. Most brokers charge for GSLOs. If not triggered, CMC Markets refunds this cost automatically.

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Fees Comparison

FeatureCMC Markets
Minimum Initial Deposit$0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.74 (August 2020)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.64 (August 2020)
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes

Platforms & Tools

The CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform is fast, reliable, and comes packed with tools and features, making it a market leader that will impress even the pickiest of traders. In 2020, Next Generation won our award as the best Web Based Platform.

Platform usability: During my testing I was extremely impressed with the Next Generation platform’s design, which focuses on speed and usability. For example, the layout wizard lets you choose between floating or fixed windows, in addition to pre-defined layouts or custom setup. As another example, module linking is supported with five levels color-coded, which helps save time when clicking a watch list symbol and seeing the corresponding chart update to that instrument.

Charting: When it comes to charts, the Next Generation experience is quite rich. There are 80 technical indicators and studies, 40 drawing tools, and 60 candlestick patterns (73 including 13 chart patterns) that are easily attachable.

One feature that stands out from the charting experience is the Breakout and Emerging Patterns tools, which are categorized and ranked by their signal strength probability. These chart patterns auto-adjust when the chart time-scale is changed, enabling traders to scan from a one-minute chart to a monthly chart and see any respective patterns identified.

Chart Forum: CMC Market's latest innovation is its Chart Forum offering, which is a social-media style forum that allows you to post technical analysis and see the posts of others directly on a chart, including posts from CMC Markets analysts. Once enabled, if you are looking at a EUR/USD chart, for example, and click to view a user's post in the accompanying Chart Forum section, their full analysis (indicators included) loads on your chart. Naturally, you want to be careful with who you take opinions from, but being able to distinguish in-house staff from the public is a nice innovation and I was impressed. The feature reminded me of IG’s Community.

Automated trading: Although advanced order types, such as the Boundary Order, are available to help traders set a deviation parameter (e.g., limit potential slippage), the Next Generation platform doesn't feature the ability to run automated trading strategies. That said, even though pattern recognition and social-trading tools are available, traders looking for automated trading can choose the CMC Markets MT4 platform, although it is limited to a much smaller product range.

MetaTrader: With just 62 instruments available in MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and far less tools and features, I do not recommend MetaTrader over Next Generation.

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FeatureCMC Markets
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)86
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)40
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields9
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Research

CMC Markets ranks Best in Class for research, year-after-year, thanks to its diverse lineup of high quality in-house and third-party market analysis.

Research overview: CMC Markets' research offering is rich with in-house content, including its Insights News, CMC TV, a bi-monthly print magazine, and the Opto market intelligence portal, which features articles and podcasts. There is also third-party content from Reuters and Morningstar.

Written articles: In addition to news headlines from Reuters, CMC Markets' team of analysts produce quality research in written form, available under its News and Analysis section. Both the Insight series and Weekly Outlook provide broad market coverage and can be filtered by asset class. Additional articles can be found on the CMC Markets Opto Trading Intelligence portal.

Video content: CMC TV, the broker's flagship in-house broadcasting offering, produces market analysis videos and is comparable to IG TV. Compared to IG TV, I find the quality of research to be terrific for both; however, CMC Markets produces content less frequently.

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Education

When it comes to education, CMC Markets competes with the best in the industry by offering forex and CFD traders a diverse selection of education in a variety of formats, including written articles, video updates, podcasts, and live webinars.

Written content: Between the forex trading basics and related beginner articles, along with advanced strategy guides and content about cryptocurrency trading, I counted at least 34 articles.

Educational videos and podcasts: CMC Markets hosts a variety of learning videos and podcasts on its YouTube channel, some of which are available on its website and platforms. For example, the Artful Trader Series 3 contains eight recordings, and the Opto Sessions series contains nearly a dozen. Besides platform tutorials, there are an additional 17 videos in CMC Markets learn section also integrated into its Next Generation mobile app.

Webinars: CMC Markets has a good selection of webinars throughout the week from offices in Australia and the UK, led by in-house analysts as well as Trade with Precision, a third-party provider.

Room for improvement: CMC Markets has a strong foundation for its educational content; however, there is room for improvement. For example, by adding quizzes and progress tracking, and centralizing all the materials in one place, CMC Markets offering would better compete with IG or AvaTrade.

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FeatureCMC Markets
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
Weekly Webinars Yes
AutoChartist No
Trading Central (Recognia) Yes
Delkos Research No
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes
Economic Calendar Yes

Mobile Trading

The CMC Markets' mobile app is cleanly designed and comes packed with multiple research tools, powerful charts, pre-defined watch lists for scanning, integrated news and educational content, and much more. Bottom line, CMC Markets delivers a terrific mobile app experience.

Seamless platform experience: The overall look and feel of the CMC Markets mobile app closely resemble the web-based version of the Next Generation platform. No question, ample time was invested in the app's development, especially given the challenge of organizing so much information with such limited screen space.

Charting: Like much of the rest of the app, charting was just as impressive as the web version of the CMC Markets Next Generation platform. Even though just 29 of the 86 technical indicators are available, it is still a strong offering compared to many of CMC Markets' competitors.

The only minor drawback I found was that indicators added in the web do not automatically sync on mobile, which is a featured provided by Saxo Bank and TD Ameritrade. Con aside, watch lists do sync with the web-version, and once you add indicators, the layout can be saved as a preset to apply to other charts on CMC Markets mobile app.

Market research: CMC Market's staff provides research under the Intraday Update, Morning Call, Evening Call, and Price Mover categories, among other themes available in the Next Generation mobile app. Once subscribed to an event in the economic calendar, an alert will notify you when the news release time approaches. There is also CMC TV and the Insights section with headlines from Reuters. Lastly, I was pleased to find educational content integrated into the mobile app, with webinars available alongside 17 videos covering trading strategies.

Other tools: The pre-defined watch lists in the CMC Markets mobile app are great for identifying trade opportunities. Watch lists include popular products, price movers, and currently trending categories.

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FeatureCMC Markets
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes
Watch List Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies29
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes
Forex Calendar Yes

Customer Service

To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2020 Review, 330 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.

Results

  • Average Connection Time: <1 minute
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 7.7 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 8.5 / 10
  • Overall Score: 8.22 / 10
  • Ranking: 6 th (22 brokers)

Final Thoughts

With competitive pricing and nearly 10,000 instruments to choose from across nearly every market and asset class, CMC Markets is a great choice for global forex and CFD traders. Furthermore, the CMC Markets Next Generation platform is powerful and versatile, with plenty of configuration options and tools for traders to customize the platform to meet their needs.

CMC Markets finished Best in Class across eleven categories in 2020, continuing its streak near the top of the industry in all key areas.

About CMC Markets

Founded in 1989, CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX) has grown to become one of the leading retail forex and CFD brokerages globally. CMC Markets serves over 57,000 clients worldwide through its 15 offices globally, with a staff count of 687 people across its entities regulated in the UK, Canada, and Australia. CMC Markets holds over £189 million in Tier 1 regulatory capital and £339.8 million in client segregated funds as of March 31st, 2020. The company has a market capitalization of over £944 million as of September 2020. Read more on Wikipedia.

CMC Markets Trading Features

FeatureCMC Markets
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)86
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)40
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields9
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

CMC Markets Research Features

FeatureCMC Markets
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
Weekly Webinars Yes
AutoChartist No
Trading Central (Recognia) Yes
Delkos Research No
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes
Economic Calendar Yes

CMC Markets Mobile App Features

FeatureCMC Markets
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes
Watch List Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies29
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes
Forex Calendar Yes

2020 Review Methodology

For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers over a five month time period. Each broker was graded on 105 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.

While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.

All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.

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.


Steven Hatzakis

About the author: 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. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/20/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The ForexBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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