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CMC Markets Review

Steven Hatzakis

April 14th, 2022
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% 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 well-trusted across the globe, and delivers a terrific trading experience thanks to its excellent pricing and selection of over 12,000 tradeable instruments.

CMC Markets’ proprietary Next Generation trading platform is packed with quality research and innovative trading tools, and CMC Markets finished Best in Class across 10 categories for 2022.


CMC Markets pros & cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • 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 low-cost leader, with measurably lower trading costs compared to the industry.
  • Competitive pricing is available for active traders – though the availability of discounts and rebate programs will depend on your country of residence (and any applicable regulations).
  • CMC Markets’ Next Generation platform features a massive selection of over 12,000 tradeable instruments.
  • CMC Markets delivers a terrific user experience, as well as advanced tools, comprehensive market research, and an excellent mobile app.
  • CMC Markets’ Invest app is available in Australia for exchange-traded equities.
  • Launched in 2021, CMC Markets’ Dynamic Trading product for professional clients allows for the fine tuning of allocations through percentage weightings of investment portfolios.

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • CMC Markets’ MetaTrader 4 (MT4) offering has fewer tradeable symbols, but the addition of Beeks VPS as well as plugins from Autochartist and FX Blue in 2021 have greatly improved its offering.
  • Though educational content at CMC Markets is robust, it lacks progress tracking, quizzes and interactive content.
  • CMC TV has produced less video content in recent months, with its output limited to weekly webinars.

Overall Summary

FeatureCMC Markets
Overall 5 Stars
Trust Score99
Offering of Investments 5 Stars
Commissions & Fees 5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 5 Stars
Research 4.5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 5 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 five tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulators (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), Financial Markets Authority (FMA) - New Zealand, 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 Licenses5
Tier-2 Licenses1
Tier-3 Licenses0
Trust Score99

Offering of investments

CMC Markets offers over 12,000 CFDs, a large number of forex pairs, and access to international equity markets (such as Australia). CMC Markets also quotes its 158 currency pairs both ways (not just EUR/USD – but also the inverse USD/EUR quote). This unique feature doubles the number of CMC Markets’ available pairs – bringing the total up to 316.

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 to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents (except to Professional clients).

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

CMC Markets offering of investments:

FeatureCMC Markets
Forex Trading Yes
CFD Trading Yes
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 11927
Forex Pairs (Total)158
US Stock Trading (Non CFD) No
Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD) Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Cryptocurrency (Physical) No
Cryptocurrency (CFD) Yes
Crypto Disclaimer (UK)Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents (except to Professional clients).

Commissions and fees

If you are a cost-conscious trader, CMC Markets has you covered. For our 2022 annual review, CMC Markets finished Best in Class in the Commissions and Fees category thanks to its consistently low spread offering, which is available for all customer segments and account types.

Average spreads: CMC Markets offers competitive pricing that ranks above the industry average, with typical spreads of 0.73 pips on the EUR/USD – according to CMC Markets’ price data for August 2021.

Forex rebates: CMC Markets offers liquidity rebates for active traders that start at 5% per Level 1 spread. Higher discounts can be reached when surpassing at least $25 million in notional trading volumes per month, with the highest tier kicking in for those that trade over $300 million monthly. 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, which is comparable to similar programs offered by IG (0.59 pips) and Saxo Bank (0.6 pips).

Note: This program is only available to clients in New Zealand, and to PRO clients in the U.K., Australia, and the EU.

Alpha rebates for shares trading: CMC Markets’ Alpha offering (only available in the U.K., New Zealand, Canada, and Australia) provides free access to services such as premium reports, market data, and Trading Central. Alpha consists of three tiers – Classic, Active Investor, and Premium Trader – each with its own trading requirements. The Classic base tier requires 11 trades per month, while the Active Investor tier requires 11-30 trades per month – or five trades with at least $500 in commission spend. Lastly, Premium Trader becomes 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, though – like with most brokers – there is a premium for using GSLOs. The extra cost is displayed in the trade ticket window, and CMC Markets refunds this cost automatically if the GSLO is not triggered.

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CMC Markets pricing summary:

FeatureCMC Markets
Minimum Deposit$0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.73 (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - ActiveN/A
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes
Execution: Agency Broker No
Execution: Market Maker Yes

Mobile trading apps

CMC Markets' mobile app is cleanly designed and comes packed with multiple research tools, powerful charts, predefined watchlists, integrated news and educational content, and much more. Bottom line: CMC Markets delivers a terrific mobile app experience.

Ease of use: I only found one minor drawback; indicators added in the web version do not automatically sync with its mobile counterpart – a feature provided by industry titans Saxo Bank and TD Ameritrade. That being said, watchlists do sync with the web-version, and once indicators have been added, the layout can be saved as a preset to apply to other charts on CMC Markets’ mobile app.

App overview: The overall look and feel of the CMC Markets mobile app closely resembles the web-based version of the Next Generation platform. There’s no question; CMC Markets invested ample time in the app's development, especially given the challenge of organizing so much information with such limited screen space.

Charting: Charting on CMC Markets’ mobile app is just as impressive as the web version of the 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.

Market research: CMC Markets’ in-house staff provides research under the Intraday Update, Morning Call, Evening Call, and Price Mover categories, along with a slew of other themes available in the Next Generation mobile app. Available research material includes CMC TV, integrated educational content, webinars, and 23 videos that cover trading strategies. Also, a notable useful feature: once subscribed to an event in CMC Markets’ economic calendar, you’ll receive an alert to notify you when the event or news release time approaches.

Other tools: The predefined 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.

Gallery

CMC Markets mobile trading:

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

Other trading platforms

The CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform is fast, reliable, and packed with impressive tools and features. CMC’s platform is a market leader that will impress even the pickiest of traders.

Platform usability: During my testing of CMC Markets’ platforms, I was extremely impressed with Next Generation’s design, which focuses on speed and usability. The platform’s layout wizard lets you choose between floating or fixed windows, in addition to predefined layouts or custom setups. Module linking is supported and features five color-coded levels. This useful function saves time, by prompting an update to the instrument displayed on your chart when you click on the corresponding symbol in your watchlist. Though it takes some time to set up the platform if you don’t use the default layout, the ease-of-use factor is comparable to Saxo Bank’s SaxoTraderGO platform – another favorite of mine.

Charting: The Next Generation platform features rich charting, with 80 technical indicators and studies, 40 drawing tools, and 60 easily attachable candlestick patterns (or 73 if you count the 13 available chart patterns). Standout charting features for the Next Generation platform include its Breakout and Emerging Patterns tools. 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 easily identify any existing patterns.

Automated trading: CMC Markets’ Next Generation platform doesn't feature the ability to run automated trading strategies – though advanced order types (such as its Boundary Order) are available to help traders set deviation parameters and limit potential slippage. Traders looking for an automated trading experience can use CMC Markets’ MT4 offering – though its product range is far more limited.

MetaTrader: With just 62 instruments and fewer available tools and features, I do not recommend choosing MetaTrader (MT4) over Next Generation.

Gallery

CMC Markets trading platform:

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
DupliTrade No
ZuluTrade No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)86
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)40
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields9
Order Type - Market Yes

Market 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 module, CMC TV, a bi-monthly print magazine, and the Opto Trading intelligence portal, which features articles, podcasts and a print magazine published every four months. There is also third-party content from Reuters and Morningstar.

Market news and analysis: In addition to news headlines from Reuters, CMC Markets' team of analysts produces quality research in written format, available under its News and Analysis section. Both the Insight series and Weekly Outlook series provide broad market coverage, and can be filtered by asset class. Additional articles can be found on the CMC Markets Opto Trading Intelligence portal, including daily market analysis articles that cover global markets.

Video content: CMC TV is the broker's flagship in-house broadcasting offering (comparable to IG’s similar IG TV), which produces high-quality market analysis videos. While CMC Markets produced content less frequently in 2021 on its main YouTube channel, I found that its Opto CMC channel is actively producing quality content, including interviews with industry experts and news videos from ETFTV throughout the week.

Gallery

CMC Markets research:

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

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.

Learning center: CMC Markets’ educational offering spans a variety of topics and covers a range of trader experience levels. From forex trading basics with related beginner articles, to advanced strategy guides that feature content about cryptocurrency trading, CMC provides a wealth of educational material. I also counted an additional 140 articles that covered topics such as fundamental and technical analysis.

Educational videos and podcasts: CMC Markets hosts a variety of educational videos, platform tutorials, and podcasts on its YouTube channel. Some of this content is also available on its website and trading platforms – such as the Artful Trader Series, the Opto Sessions series, and its trading strategies video playlist.

Webinars: CMC Markets provides a good selection of webinars from its offices in Australia and the U.K., led by in-house analysts as well as third-party provider Trade with Precision.

Room for improvement: Adding quizzes and progress tracking, and centralizing all its educational materials in one place for easy accessibility would help CMC Markets to better compete with educational leaders IG and AvaTrade. Also, in 2021 CMC Markets slowed production of video content on its main YouTube channel, compared to its Opto CMC channel which continues to create excellent content.

Gallery

CMC Markets education:

FeatureCMC Markets
Has Education - Forex or CFDs Yes
Client Webinars Yes
Client Webinars (Archived) Yes
Videos - Beginner Trading Videos Yes
Videos - Advanced Trading Videos Yes
Investor Dictionary (Glossary) Yes

Final thoughts

With competitive pricing and over 12,000 instruments spanning virtually 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 customization tools and configuration options.

Overall, CMC Markets finished Best in Class across 10 categories for 2022, continuing its streak near the top of the industry in all key areas.

Is CMC Markets a good broker?

Yes, CMC Markets is an excellent broker that ranks at the top of nearly every key category of importance. As an online forex and CFD broker, CMC Markets goes above and beyond to offer a rich trading experience. Its trading costs, platforms, ease of use, education, mobile apps, research, range of markets, and trading tools are all exceptional.

Is my money safe with CMC Markets?

Yes, your money is safely held by CMC Markets, which has operated as a broker for CFDs and forex for decades, holds a wide variety of regulatory licenses,and is a publicly traded company (LSE: CMCX).

Under the FCA’s Client Money rules, CMC Markets is required to segregate client money (unless you agree otherwise) from CMC’s own funds. The funds held in segregated bank accounts do not belong to CMC and will be held in a way that enables it to be identified as client money.

CMC Markets is considered a safe broker to hold client assets, including your cash money, as it has a market capitalization of over £679 million as of February 2022 – making it a well-capitalized broker. Investing and trading carry risks; it is important to use a broker that is well-capitalized to reduce your potential counterparty risk.

Furthermore, depending on the CMC Markets entity that holds your account, you may be eligible to receive compensation in the extraordinary event of the broker’s insolvency (contingent on any related investor compensation scheme available and whether you are designated as a Professional or Retail trader).

For example, in Canada there is up to $1 million in protection available per eligible client, under the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). In the U.K., if eligible, your funds are protected up to £85,000 under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). FSCS is an independent body that offers protection to customers of financial services firms that have failed. The compensation amount may be up to £85,000 per eligible person, per firm. Eligibility conditions apply. You can contact the FSCS for more information.

What is the minimum deposit for CMC Markets?

There is no minimum deposit requirement at CMC Markets. Regardless of the CMC Markets entity you choose — i.e., U.K., Singapore, Australia, Germany or Canada — the minimum deposit is zero.

About CMC Markets

Founded in 1989, CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX) has grown to become one of the leading retail forex and CFD brokerages globally with over 69 billion Australian dollars in client assets under management (including Australian stockbroking business and partnerships). Including forex clients, CMC Markets serves over 308,6440 active clients worldwide through its 13 offices globally, with a staff count of 663 people across its entities regulated in the U.K., Canada, and Australia. CMC Markets holds over £338 million in Tier 1 regulatory capital as of March 31, 2021. The company has a market capitalization of over £813 million as of October 2021. Read more on Wikipedia.

2022 Review Methodology

For our 2022 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 39 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.

Each broker was graded on 113 different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm. This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure. Read about Trust Score here.

As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy.

Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors with 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.








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