CMC Markets Review
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 2021
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.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
Is CMC Markets Safe?
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.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to CMC Markets clients.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available from any broker's UK entity, nor to UK residents.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||158|
|CFDs - Total Offered||9852|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions and Fees
If trading costs matter to you, CMC Markets has you covered. For our 2021 review, 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.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$0.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.74 (August 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.64 (August 2020)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms and 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 2021, 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.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||86|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||40|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||9|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
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.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
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.
|Has Education - Forex||Yes|
|Has Education - CFDs||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||Yes|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||Yes|
|Tutorials/Guide (PDF or Interactive)||Yes|
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.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||29|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
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. In 2021, the Next Generation platform won both our award for #1 Platform Technology and #1 Web Based Platform.
Overall, CMC Markets finished Best in Class across ten categories in 2021, 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.
2021 Review Methodology
For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three month time period. Each broker was graded on 108 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.
About the author: 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. 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.