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CMC Markets Review

Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis | September 13th, 2019

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% 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.

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Founded in 1989, CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX) has grown to become one of the leading retail forex and CFD brokerages globally. The broker offers an extensive range of nearly 10,000 CFD instruments across major asset classes including forex, commodities, and securities markets.

CMC Markets serves over 50,000 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 £200 million in Tier 1 regulatory capital and £332.4 million in client segregated funds as per its latest annual report. The company has a market capitalization of over £290 million as of September 2019.

Review Summary

Rank: 3rd (of 28)

Through its offices regulated in major global financial centers, CMC Markets offers traders a wide range of offerings with excellent pricing and its Next Generation trading platform, full of innovative trading tools and charting.

Benefits

  • Competitive spreads for all customer segments.
  • Largest selection of currency pairs in the industry (over 180).
  • Regulated in major financial centers and listed publicly in the UK.
  • Powerful charts and pattern recognition tools.

Considerations

  • The range of tradable securities on CMC Markets' MT4 offering is limited to just 54 instruments.

Is CMC Markets Safe?

help 98
Trust Score

CMC Markets is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 98 out of 99. CMC Markets is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by four tier-1 regulators (high trust), one 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 Licenses1
Tier-3 Licenses0
Trust Score98

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 1st (of 28)

CMC Markets is our top pick in 2019, thanks to its low spread offering, which is available to all its customer segments and account types.

Benefits

  • CMC Markets offers highly competitive pricing, with average spreads on the EUR/USD as low as 0.7 pips and typical spreads of 0.744 pips, according to CMC Markets price data for the 30 days ending September, 2018.
  • CMC Markets offers liquidity rebates to active traders that surpass at least $25 million in notional trading volumes per month. Liquidity rebate levels range from $5 to as much as $10 per million for those that trade even higher volumes.
  • CMC Markets Alpha offering is a VIP account launched through its Australia entity for high-net-worth clients who have $3K in commission spend or have more than $2.5m in holdings.

Considerations

  • CMC Markets offers a Guaranteed Stop-Loss Order (GSLO), which, as its name implies, guarantees the stop-loss order rate clients choose when setting risk thresholds on their positions. There is a premium for using the GSLO – for example, $8 per 100,000 units using the EUR/USD, and the GSLO also affects the prime margin, which is the amount at risk specified in the GLSO based on the rate chosen.

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Further Reading

Fees Comparison

FeatureCMC Markets
Minimum Initial Deposit$0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.744
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active0.744
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 6th (of 28)

The CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform is fast, reliable, and comes packed with several unique tools and numerous features to support traders of all skill levels.

Benefits

  • The Next Generation platform is built entirely using HTML5, making it fast, flexible, and reliable. For example, the trade ticket design is simple, yet it can be easily expanded to add stops and limits as well as to see the depth of book (level 2) pricing.
  • When it comes to charts, the experience is quite powerful as there are plenty of tools and a long list of 79 technical indicators and studies, and 74 chart patterns that are attachable to each chart.
  • Another feature that stands out from the charting experience is the pattern-recognition tool, which offers traders numerous options for trading and analyzing price action. 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.
  • MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is also available as an alternative platform.

Considerations

  • The current version of the Next Generation platform doesn’t feature the ability to run automated trading strategies – even though pattern recognition and social-trading tools are available. Trader's looking for automated trading can choose the broker's MT4 platform offering.

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Further Reading

Tools Comparison

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)79
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)24
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields8
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Customer Service

Rank: 6th (of 28)

To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.

Results

  • Average Connection Time: <1 minute
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 7.0 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 5.0 / 10
  • Overall Score: 6.8 / 10
  • Ranking: 6th (23 brokers)
  • View Infographic

Research

Rank: 5th (of 28)

CMC Markets’ research offering is rich with in-house content including its Insights News, CMC Markets Blog, CMC TV, and even its own print magazine called Opto, and third-party content from Reuters and Morningstar.

Benefits

  • Traders can also access additional tools within the platform, including pattern recognition software and client sentiment tools – both of which are available to live account holders.
  • The broker's flagship platform is powered by Forex news from Reuters and covers multiple asset classes and markets, alongside the CMC Markets Market Insights also available in headline format with expandable stories.
  • The market calendar window provides a countdown to the time when each economic news event is expected to be released. I found the calendar functionality useful to help traders prepare in advance. The calendar also provides a chart with history tracking changes over time for each event to help traders interpret fundamental trends.
  • CMC Markets launched Opto, a magazine aimed to provide traders and investors with market research and analysis across multiple asset classes, and available as a newsletter.

Considerations

  • None.

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Further Reading

Research Comparison

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 Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes
Economic Calendar Yes

Mobile Trading

Rank: 7th (of 28)

The CMC Markets’ mobile app provides traders a positive experience as the app is cleanly designed and comes packed with multiple research tools, powerful charts, and filters such as several pre-defined watch lists to scan trading symbols across various asset classes.

Benefits

  • The overall look and feel of the CMC Markets mobile app closely resemble the web-based version of the Next Generation platform, while the user interface does well in dealing with the challenge of organizing so much information with limited screen space. What CMC Markets has accomplished is impressive and it shows the broker has taken its time during development.
  • Like much of the rest of the app, charting was just as impressive as the platform’s web version. Although only 29 of the 81 technical indicators are available on the mobile app, it’s still a good offering compared to many of CMC Markets’ competitors, which often lack variety or have no technical indicators on their mobile apps at all and limited research and trading tools.
  • In terms of choosing from the nearly 10,000 products available, CMC Markets manages to keep the process simple, as users can search the product library where products are grouped by asset class, or they can start off with a blank search by product name, or even use a pre-defined watch list.
  • The pre-defined watch lists in the CMC Markets mobile app are useful and include popular products, price movers, and currently trending categories, to help traders sift through potential trading opportunities.
  • For research purposes, another useful feature in the app is the economic calendar where you can subscribe to an event. Doing so automatically creates an alert so you can be notified when the news release time approaches. There is also CMC TV, CMC Insights, the broker’s blog, Reuters News, educational content for trading strategies, the Trading Smart series, and webinar schedules.

Considerations

  • While the charting experience was impressive, one minor drawback is that zooming in and out across different time frames was not always fluid.

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Further Reading

Mobile Apps Comparison

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 / Studies23
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes
Forex Calendar Yes

Offering of Investments

Rank: 6th (of 28)

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

Offering Comparison

FeatureCMC Markets
Forex: Spot Trading Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)180
CFDs - Total Offered9848
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Final Thoughts

Rank: 3rd (of 28)

CMC Markets is a great choice for Forex and CFD traders as the company’s Next Generation platform is powerful and versatile with plenty of configuration options and tools for traders to customize the platform to meet their needs.

With nearly 10,000 instruments to choose from across nearly every asset class and global market, CMC Markets is a great choice for traders looking for a multi-asset solution and broad range CFDs and forex pairs at competitive prices. The broker's expansion into stockbroking in Australia, coupled with its frequent trader program and Alpha service for VIP clients, helps CMC Markets further distinguish itself as a multi-asset broker among peers.

2019 Review Methodology

For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 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 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 involves 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 02/18/2019 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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