CMC Markets enjoys a solid global reputation for its exceptional trading experience, competitive pricing and diverse instruments. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or just starting in the world of financial markets, this CMC Markets review will provide valuable insights into what the platform offers.
CMC Markets Overview
Founded in 1989, CMC Markets is a highly regarded U.K. forex broker on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). CMC’s flagship platform, “Next Generation,” along with the MT4 platform and mobile app, offers a wide range of CFDs and spread betting options across various assets, including forex, commodities, indices, individual shares, government bonds, and 14 cryptocurrencies. CMC Markets earned recognition as the Best Overall Forex Broker for 2020 by Investopedia.
A diverse range of offerings
Regulated by the FCA in the U.K.
Strong emphasis on customer service
Industry-leading research amenities
Client account protection
Differences between Next Generation and MT4
Elevated CFD spreads for specific indices
No back-testing or automated trading features
Range of Offerings
CMC Markets boasts one of the most extensive product selections among online forex brokerage platforms. According to the company’s website, you can trade up to 10,000 financial instruments, providing unlimited possibilities, especially for long-term portfolio managers. This diverse range encompasses over 330 FX pairs, more than 90 indices, 14 cryptocurrencies, 9,000+ shares and ETFs, 110+ commodities, and 50+ treasuries.
Their spreads are competitively low, and specific margin percentages are for all financial instruments except individual shares. CMC’s margin rates begin at 20% for U.K. and U.S. shares. Different margin rates are applicable for larger position sizes in shares, depending on the tier where the position size falls.
The exclusive Next Generation trading platform is for technically-minded clients seeking an upgrade from MetaTrader 4. However, the platform’s navigation may not be as user-friendly as some other options due to its interface’s many features. While cryptocurrency CFD trading and spread betting are seamlessly integrated with no need for a particular interface or exchange, the platform has relatively high average spreads that might affect client interest.
One of the platform’s standout features is its advanced charting capabilities, boasting a wide range of tools, including 115 indicators/overlays, 12 chart types, and 35 drawing tools. It also offers highly customisable watchlists, access to client sentiment data, and a streaming Reuters feed. Charts can be popped out for creating and optimising complex desktop layouts. For long-term trend analysis, historical price data spanning 20 years is available for primary instruments.
Next Generation offers three primary order types, each with the option to attach “take profit” and “stop loss” orders. Market orders are the simplest, executed at the prevailing market rate. Limit orders are pending orders with the entry set at a predetermined point below or above the current market rate, depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. Stop orders are also pending orders, with the entry set at a predetermined point above or below the prevailing market rate. As with limit orders, traders can choose the expiration time, and both guaranteed and trailing options are available when filling out the order ticket before execution.
The Next Generation order interface needs to be revised, being at best described as mediocre. It offers a limited order ticket that allows users to initiate essential market and pending orders, with the latter providing the added security of GSLO (Guaranteed Stop-Loss Order). CMC must furnish a trading journal or provide tax accounting tools within the platform.
When placing orders, clients can specify the “pip value,” which then populates the order ticket with the “trade value” and, for market orders, the “estimated margin.” Traders can set “stop loss” and “take profit” levels by inputting the rate, specifying the number of pips, or indicating the desired risk or profit amount.
In contrast to some of its competitors’ platforms, Next Generation lacks a built-in tool for analysing trading activity. Considering this platform’s many features, it might be a stretch, but this omission has led to a lower ranking in this category. The capability to delve deeper into one’s trading activity beyond basic metrics can prove invaluable to all traders.
CMC Markets Mobile App
A closer look at CMC Market’s iOS/Apple app offering reveals a somewhat mixed picture.
On the positive side, iOS users can appreciate the ability to personalise their home screens, create watchlists, manage open orders, access breaking news, and even tap into several of Next Generation’s desktop features, particularly on the iPad’s larger screen. However, this ambitious vision for Apple-based mobile apps appears to fall short of expectations, as user reviews indicate. Phrases like “just ok” and “fails at the basics” dominate the landscape, making it challenging to get excited about managing your CMC Markets account on the go.
Scrolling down the review list reveals more concerning issues, including frequent “server errors” and instances where users were rerouted mid-trade to a different brokerage entirely. Some users had to use CMC’s mobile website to execute their trades through the correct brokerage. These experiences collectively suggest that, for the time being, the iOS apps are better suited for monitoring activity while reserving hands-on management for the desktop platform.
Turning to the Android app, the situation appears more favourable. Android users can access a range of technical indicators, create watchlists, engage in live streaming pricing for trading, and keep tabs on open positions. However, this relative improvement is still marred by user reviews echoing concerns like “unable to log in,” “poorly designed,” and “really slow.” “Worst trading apps” is among the shared sentiments, indicating that CMC Markets has substantial room for improvement in delivering a mobile user experience that aligns with its customers’ expectations and needs.
CMC Markets offers a competitive pricing structure tailored to suit clients’ trading preferences, account types, and the asset classes they trade. The spreads are consistently narrow, with starting points at just 0.3 pips for foreign exchange pairs, making them highly cost-effective within the industry. For those with CFD Accounts, there are minimum commissions associated with share trading, varying depending on the geographical listing of the shares.
Commissions for Stockbroking Accounts also differ by geographical location. Active traders enjoy favourable rates, starting as low as $9.90 or 0.075% per trade, depending on which is higher. Clients are exempt from trading commissions for shares listed in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Japan. This account type also has supplementary fees for value-added services, such as alerts, data feeds, and checks or foreign bank transfers.
A noteworthy feature is the opportunity for frequent CFD traders with substantial transaction volumes to benefit from rebates on forex pairs, commodities, indices, and shares. These rebates are applied on a sliding scale upon reaching specified turnover thresholds.
Beyond standard transaction fees, there are subscription charges for accessing specific stock market data feeds and subscribing to the Stockbroking Pro platform, amounting to $49.00 monthly. Moreover, carrying costs are associated with foreign exchange pairs and commodities, which vary according to the instrument and holding costs for forex positions, reflecting the swap rates plus a 1% charge imposed by CMC.
CMC imposes a separate fee for users who wish to employ a guaranteed stop-loss on their trades. A monthly inactivity fee of $15 is levied if a trading account remains dormant without any transaction activity for 12 months. Yet, clients are eligible for reimbursement of up to three months’ worth of these fees once trading resumes.
A notable advantage is the absence of minimum deposit or withdrawal thresholds when trading with CMC Markets. Clients can deposit funds in a wide range of currencies, enhancing convenience. Furthermore, the broker places a premium on swift processing of customer withdrawals.
Although the fee structure may appear intricate, CMC Markets still stands out as the most cost-effective choice for Australian clients who engage in frequent trading, surpassing the cost offerings of other local brands.
CMC’s educational tools stand out among competitors, ranking in the top tier. Their extensive trader’s library is an excellent resource for helping less experienced clients get up to speed quickly. A significant portion of the educational materials focuses on platform and software instruction, which is highly beneficial, particularly considering the wealth of features available in the Next Generation platform.
In addition to platform guidance, CMC provides introductory guides for trading their diverse range of products. They also offer a section featuring videos dedicated to trading strategies. For those seeking more advanced knowledge, robust online webinars, presented in partnership with Trade With Precision, cover advanced topics.
Despite its impressive educational resources, the absence of a search function can make it challenging to locate less popular topics, giving the impression that this section could benefit from better organisation. The glossary, on the other hand, is adequately comprehensive.
CMC Markets excels in this category, providing extensive research and analysis conducted by their in-house analysts. They also offer access to third-party materials, including live Morningstar quantitative equity research reports for account holders. This feature could attract serious traders to consider opening a live account with CMC Markets.
Many of these valuable resources are available on their website. Moreover, news sources can be conveniently filtered by region and asset class, enhancing the user experience. The website includes a standard economic calendar for informing users about important events.
However, one notable criticism revolves around the need for a dedicated search function or a well-organised archive, making locating specific topics challenging.
CMC Markets offers a range of valuable resources. Some resources may require clients to exit the venue and visit a web page. Still, the inclusion of Reuters News, a mix of fundamental and technical market analysis, compensates for this. They also provide a highly beneficial CMC TV service, which offers regular video market commentary through a platform link to YouTube.
Reliability & Security
CMC Markets offers a range of trading platform options for different account types. For CFD Account holders, the proprietary platform known as Next Generation takes the spotlight. This platform stands out for its security excellence and advanced features like robust analysis tools, up-to-the-minute news updates, and cutting-edge technical indicators.
Another option for CFD Account users is the industry-standard MetaTrader 4 platform. This platform offers features such as sentiment analysis, price alerts, and the ability to use custom indicators. It’s accessible on Android and iOS devices, with a web-based version ensuring 24/7 availability.
For Stockbroking accounts, multiple platform choices cater to clients’ specific feature preferences. While the Standard platform doesn’t offer as much depth as the Pro version, the latter is available through a monthly subscription. Both are rich in features, boasting built-in investment research, powerful charting tools, top-tier news feeds, and much more.
CMC Markets has garnered numerous awards in recent years, underscoring its appeal and trustworthiness in the Australian market. Some accolades bestowed upon the broker include:
- Canstar Outstanding Value – Online Share Trading (2011-2020)
- Canstar Broker of the Year – Online Share Trading (2020)
- Awards for Best Platform Features, Best Charting, and Best Research Tools in the 2017 Australia CFD & F.X. Reports by Investment Trends
- Recognition for Best Platform Reliability in the 2017 F.X. Report by Investment Trends
- Winner of Best Online Trading Platform and Financial Services Provider of the Year at the 2016 Shares Awards
As per the CMC Markets Review, this platform provides dedicated customer support available 24×5, ensuring traders have assistance when needed. Users can refer to the FAQ section for quick answers to common queries.
Moreover, CMC Markets offers various channels for customer support, including phone, email, and live chat. Notably, their phone support is highly responsive, with immediate assistance available. According to the Investment Trends U.K. Leverage Trading Report, this broker received recognition in 2019 as the best phone and email customer service provider.
For active investors seeking technical support, CMC Markets has you covered. You can contact their customer support team, who strives to provide same-day responses. The support team is accessible via email or phone during their operating hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (GTM+10).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are CMC Markets suitable for novice traders?
CMC Markets is a reputable online trading broker headquartered in London with a global community of traders. They offer two trading platforms, including their proprietary platform and MetaTrader 4. CMC Markets also stands out for its low minimum deposit requirement and competitive spreads, making it advantageous for new traders.
Who is the owner of the CMC Markets platform?
CMC Markets was founded by Peter Cruddas in 1989. Known initially as Currency Management Corporation, it was later rebranded as CMC Markets. Based in London, CMC Markets provides trading services to a worldwide audience.
Can I register for a CMC Markets demo account?
You can easily register for a demo account with CMC Markets. These demo accounts are available for both Stockbroking and CFD account types. They are a valuable tool for users to explore CMC Markets’ key features and test the platform’s functionalities.
What types of accounts does CMC Markets offer?
Currently, CMC Markets offers two types of accounts. The first is the Stockbroking Account, which provides access to various instruments, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, warrants, options, and more. The second is the CFD Account, offering an even broader selection of asset classes such as forex pairs, commodities, indices, shares, cryptocurrencies, and bonds.
Does CMC Markets support mobile trading?
CMC Markets offers mobile trading capabilities, allowing traders to access their investment services through internet-connected mobile devices for both account types. The platforms are fully compatible with Android and iOS devices, ensuring convenience and flexibility.
What trading platforms are available at CMC Markets?
CMC Markets offers a variety of trading platforms to cater to different preferences. These include the widely recognised MetaTrader 4 platform, CMC’s proprietary Next Generation platform, and the Standard and Pro Stockbroking platforms. There are also mobile versions of the CFD platform for remote access and trading on the go.
CMC Markets offers a versatile and well-rounded trading experience suitable for traders of all levels. Their extensive product range, coupled with the accessible and feature-rich Next Generation platform, provides a strong foundation for traders. The abundance of research resources and educational materials further enhances the trading experience, underlining their commitment to customer support.
The broker’s regulation by the FCA adds a layer of credibility, and their strong emphasis on account security is reassuring. Including negative balance protection provides clients peace of mind and a reasonable premium for guaranteed stop-loss execution is a valuable risk management tool, particularly in volatile markets. Notably, there are no cumbersome hidden costs and free withdrawals through wire transfers are a welcome convenience.
Note that there are limitations for mid and higher-level accounts without professional designation, such as the unavailability of active trader rebates or access to the API interface. Yet, professionals and institutions will find many attractive features, though there are exceptions, such as the higher spread costs for specific instruments like the S&P 500.