Thanks to its web-based MarketsX platform, Markets.com is easy to use and new trader friendly. However, Markets.com is pricey and lacks the feature-rich trading tools required to compete with the best trading platforms.
Top Takeaways for 2020
After spending five months testing 30 of the best forex brokers for our 4th Annual Review, here are our top findings on Markets.com:
- Founded in 1999, Markets.com is a subsidiary of a UK publicly-listed company (LSE: PTEC). Markets.com is regulated in two tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading.
- Markets.com's MarketsX platform is cleanly designed, easy to use, and includes a respectable offering of features, including integrated research, market analysis, webinars, and educational videos. That said, there is a lack of depth with trading tools to compete with platform leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank.
- Spreads on forex pairs are wide (expensive) compared to pricing leaders such as CMC Markets and IG.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Is Markets.com Safe?
Markets.com is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 97 out of 99. Markets.com is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by two tier-1 regulators (high trust), two tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust). Markets.com is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Overall, compared to the Markets.com Metatrader offering, the MarketsX platform offering would be my choice because of its lower comparable spreads and access to a more significant number of tradeable instruments (57 forex pairs and 2,179 CFDs).
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Markets.com clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||57|
|CFDs - Total Offered||2179|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
MarketsX: Markets.com offers a premium account called MarketsX for traders who deposit at least $250, where spreads are comparably lower than its primary account offering and with added platform benefits.
Variable spreads: In terms of trading costs, spreads at Markets.com changed from being fixed to variable on its forex pairs, bringing the broker in line with most multi-asset brokers that offer variable spreads. That said, the minimum listed spreads are still comparably higher, and I was unable to make an adequate comparison given the lack of average spread data published by the broker.
MetaTrader accounts: It's also worth noting that spreads are generally tighter on the company’s proprietary Web Trader platform, compared to its third-party trading platforms offered, including MT4 and MT5, where the product range is not as extensive.
Average spreads: The firm advertises spreads as low as 1.9 pips on the EUR/USD, and 3.0 pips on its MT4 offering, which are more expensive when compared to other firms with variable (floating) spreads. Summary aside, we would like to see Markets.com share average spread data for its new variable spread offering, to help make a level comparison with other brokers with variable spreads.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$100|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.9 (as of Oct 19)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||1.9 (as of May 19)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
Markets.com offers its flagship trading platform, MarketsX, as well as the full MetaTrader suite.
MarketsX charting: In terms of charting in MarketsX, there are nearly 90 indicators available for technical analysis – which is more than the industry average. That said, only four drawing tools are available.
MarketsX usability: Web Trader is very easy to use. Throughout the platform, Markets.com has emphasized providing traders a smooth user experience. For example, alongside pre-defined screeners, module linking is enabled by default.
MetaTrader: Markets.com also offers MetaTrader4 (MT4) and MetaTrader5 (MT5) for algorithmic traders, although pricing is higher compared to its flagship platform.
Overall, Markets.com has a good foundation for research. However, there remains room for further improvement as the broker trails industry leaders IG and Saxo Bank. For example, adding content from in-house analysts, a heatmap tool, or forex news videos would improve Markets.com’s research offering.
Third-party research: Research from third-parties includes TipRanks and pattern recognition from Delkos.
Integrated tools: I enjoyed exploring the modules under the Sentiment tab, including the Insider Trades, Analyst Recommendations, Bloggers Opinion, and the Hedge Fund Confidence section. The Fundamental section was also rich with tools, including the Events & Trade section, which contains useful event-related analysis, alongside financial news and market commentary.
Reports: Another highlight is that Markets.com provides detailed research reports for many of its single-share CFDs.
Education: Markets.com also does an excellent job integrating live webinars into its trading platform as part of its XRay offering and educational video content from Recognia.
Besides the MT4 native app available for mobile, Markets.com also offers its proprietary mobile app as a counterpart to the MarketsX web-based platform. Like MT4 mobile, the Markets.com app is available for Android and iOS devices.
Pros: The Markets.com mobile app combines many features found in the flagship platform, keeping a consistent look and feel across both platforms, with nearly all features available. For example, I was pleased to see most of the research resources from the web version integrated into the mobile app under the trading tools tab.
Cons: While the Markets.com mobile experience is respectable, the charting tool lacks drawing tools and indicators, which leaves a notable gap in the mobile offering. Also, watch lists don't sync across platforms.
Thanks to its MarketsX platform, Markets.com provides a decent balance of simplicity and functionality. That said, Markets.com research tools are respectable but still trail industry leaders. And while spreads have improved, Markets.com remains expensive, especially on its MetaTrader offering. All in all, Markets.com finished Best in Class across three categories in 2020, including Ease of Use, Beginners, and Trust Score, which are key areas where it stands out against peers.
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. As of June 2019, the company boasts a market capitalization of over £1.2 billion and holds £304m in cash on its balance sheet.
Playtech develops gambling, casino, and financial trading technology that powers its brands’ products, including those of Markets.com. The broker serves forex and CFD traders through its proprietary and third-party trading platforms under the Markets.com brand. Read more on Wikipedia about Markets.com.
Markets.com Trading Features
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
Markets.com Research Features
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
Markets.com Mobile App Features
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
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.
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.