Markets.com was founded in 2007 as GFC Markets, before rebranding to its present name in 2008, and had operated under the ownership of TradeFX Limited before Playtech PLC acquired it for €458 million in 2015.
Markets.com operates as a leading multi-asset broker and is one of several trading names of Safecap Investments, a Playtech PLC subsidiary, which is regulated in Cyprus and passported throughout Europe under MiFID. The brand is also regulated in South Africa by the FSB. Today, the firm serves forex and CFD traders through its proprietary and third-party trading platforms under the Markets.com brand.
Markets.com’s parent company, Playtech, has been listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) since 2012 under ticker symbol PTEC and is part of the FTSE 250 Index, with a market capitalization of over £2.8 billion as of February 2017. Playtech develops gambling, investing and financial trading technology that powers its brands’ products, including those of Markets.com.
Commissions & Fees
In terms of trading costs, spreads are fixed on forex pairs at Markets.com, compared to most multi-asset brokers that offer variable spreads. Also, spreads are generally tighter on the company’s proprietary Web Trader platform, compared to its third-party trading platforms offered, including MetaTrader4 and Sirix platforms, where the product range is not as extensive.
The firm advertises spreads as low as 2.0 pips on the EUR/USD, and 3.0 pips on its MT4 offering, which are – on a fixed-spread basis – comparable to other firms with fixed spreads, yet more expensive when compared to other firms with variable (floating) spreads.
|View All Fees||Markets.com||eToro||Plus500||XTB||ADS Securities|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||2.000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|All-in Cost GBP/USD - Active||2.000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||2.000||3.000||N/A||0.900||N/A|
|Average Spread GBP/USD - Standard||2.000||4.000||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Commissions & Fees|
Summary aside, we would like to see Markets.com publish how consistent spreads remain fixed to help make a level comparison with other brokers with fixed spreads.
Markets.com provides customer services via live chat and by email on a 24-hour basis throughout the trading week from Sunday 22:05 GMT through 21:00 on Friday.
In terms of email support, clients can message a general support address or submit an online ticket. Although email is supported 24/7, during our experience replies sent in the evening were answered the following day, which is still an acceptable turnaround time.
The interaction I had on live chat was similar to the phone experience, as the staff member was able to answer most of my questions yet some responses felt either canned or came across in a reprimanding tone, with no personable aspect or interest in the broker/client relationship.
According to staff, when I asked if there were any dedicated account managers, I was told the company is in the process of redesigning its customer support process to include a dedicated account manager that traders would be assigned, which is something clearly needed.
Overall, Markets.com needs to help fill the gap in its customer service experience, along with improving the quality of live chat to rank higher in this category, as it has an otherwise good foundation with 24-hour support.
Research appears minimal on Markets.com’s Web Trader platform. That said, the few tools available from the Events & Trade section as well as the market sentiment shown in the Traders Trends section are very powerful and useful. The research is nicely integrated into many parts of the platform, giving it a premium touch.
For example, detailed charts show the history of prior economic events, powered by Delkos, and this feature lets users analyze the potential impact of expected news beyond just a consensus estimate.
There are also headlines streaming from investing.com and other news aggregators, and a trending now feature gives you a snapshot of what is happening currently in the market, similar to a static market screener.
Overall, Markets.com has a very good foundation for research. However, there is room for improvement as the broker trails other multi-asset brokers such as IG, City Index, and CMC Markets. Adding content from in-house analysts, such as a heatmap and more advanced stock screeners, would make Markets.com’s research tools even better.
Platforms & Tools
Markets.com offers its Web Trader platform (also available in mobile form), where the widest range of its product offering can be found, including 55 forex pairs and a total of 2,002 CFDs, nicely packaged in an innovative user interface. The firm also offers the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) software by MetaQuotes Software Corporation.
Moving to Markets.com’s own proprietary trading technology, the Web Trader platform stood out as having several innovative features and a modern design, thanks to the use of HTML 5, which gave it a responsive interface and made it easy to switch between various modules.
Moving to Markets.com’s own proprietary trading technology, the Web Trader platform stood out as having several innovative features and a modern design, thanks to the use of HTML 5, which gave it a responsive interface and made it easy to switch between various modules. The platform resembles an improved version of the Plus500 platform in terms of how instruments are shown and the star icons to add favorites to a watchlist, among other small similarities.
In terms of charting, there are over 90 indicators that can be added for technical analysis – which is more than the industry average. There is also a premium indicator powered by Trading Central, available for forecasting market movements using automated technical analysis; all beneficial features investors who prefer technical analysis will appreciate.
In terms of charting, there are over 90 indicators that can be added for technical analysis – which is more than the industry average.
The large number of indicators is a major plus for the Market.com Web Trader platform, while the limited number of drawing tools –with only four trend lines available – left a small gap in the charting experience.
The platform is otherwise light in other areas such as research and news, although the few resources for these categories have a rich premium feel and there has been great attention to detail in the user experience, with module linking enabled by default, for example. This means that when you click on a symbol in your watchlist, any open chart will change to that instrument. Another interesting design feature is that charts are visible in nearly every view to help keep traders focused on both recent and current price action. A nice touch.
Compared to MT4 and its compatible Sirix Web platform, Web Trader would be my choice from the range of platforms offered by Markets.com, as it offers lower spreads and access to a larger number of instruments compared to the other two platforms, and on its own is evolving into an innovative and modern web app.
Besides the MT4 native app available for mobile, Markets.com also offers its own proprietary mobile app as a counterpart to the Web Trader platform, and like MT4 mobile, the Markets.com app is available for Android and iOS devices.
The Markets.com mobile app combines many features found in the Web Trader platform, keeping a consistent look and feel across both platforms. For example, in addition to subtle research tools such as the Traders Trends sentiment data and the Trending Now screener, there is a module linking the charts, and a star icon to quickly add favorites to your watchlist, mirroring the web-based version of the platform in a highly responsive app.
By default, the watchlist didn’t sync with the favorites chosen on the Web Trader platform (this had to be done manually), and is something Markets.com should correct to help further merge the customer experience in what is already a highly unified app. Using the mobile app felt just like using the web platform, comparable to Saxo Bank’s web and mobile apps, in terms of responsiveness.
Otherwise, the only drawback with the Markets.com mobile app is that the charting lacks both drawing tools and the ability to add any indicators, despite its auto-rotating charts and having several time frames and chart types to choose from. It also has an easy pinch-to-zoom interface.
While the Markets.com mobile experience is respectable, adding alerts, drawing tools, indicators, and a syncing watchlist would be welcome and would help the broker better compete with its multi-asset brokerage competitors.
Markets.com is a market-maker broker, which means it provides execution in a way that relies on its own ability and willingness to execute your order, compared to agency brokers that rely on third-party market-makers.
Therefore, Markets.com’s selling point leans more heavily on execution quality because spreads are higher and fixed, compared to a firm such as Pepperstone, for example, which offers only agency execution and relies on third parties for execution (adding a commission to prevailing spreads).
Lastly, adding another regulatory license from a major regulator outside of Europe would further help boost Markets.com’s reach and ForexBrokers.com Trust Score, compared to its peers in the multi-asset brokerage category.
Markets.com can be a suitable choice for beginners who seek access to a wide range of markets. The broker offers an innovative Web Trader platform and mobile app that provides a good balance of design simplicity alongside premium research tools.
Although more advanced traders with cost-sensitive trading strategies will face steeper spreads, traders with execution-sensitive strategies may benefit from Markets.com’s ability to execute as a market-maker, compared to brokers that offer both methods and cater to a wider audience.
However, a lack of liquidity rebates, or even an active trader pricing structure makes Markets.com ideal for beginners and intermediate traders who are less cost-sensitive.
For our 2017 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 20 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 255 variables. Learn more.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, 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 currency pair. 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.View all Markets.com Fees & Features
Reviewed by 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. Over the past 18 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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