CMC Markets is a leading online financial trading company, offering spread betting and CFDs across major global markets. Today it boasts 80,000 active clients, thousands of instruments, and an annual trade volume of 64.5 million. However, this CMC review is here to break down its offering, looking at the trading platform, accounts, fees, market hours, and more.
The first part of this CMC review takes a look at their rise to global success. The company was founded in 1989 by Peter Cruddas. At this time it was a foreign exchange market maker, under the name Currency Management Corporation.
By 1996, the company had launched a real-time forex trading platform and claimed to have made the first ever online FX deal, thanks to their MarketMaker software.
2000 saw the introduction of CFD trading at CMC. The year after spread betting on financial markets was available. These two financial products were to form the core of CMC’s business in the future.
From the turn of the century, CMC embarked on an ambitious global expansion. This started with offices in Sydney, Australia. Offices in New York were then opened in 2003 and Toronto in 2005. 2007 then saw Goldman Sachs buy a 10% stake in the company for £140 million.
The 2008 financial crisis saw the company take a significant hit in earnings. As a result, Peter Cruddas closed seven offices, substantially reduced employee numbers and changed his management team.
In 2010, CMC launched its new trading platform – ‘Next Generation’. This introduced new features, such as the ability to quote markets priced to additional decimal points and provide trade execution without re-quotes.
July 2015 saw CMC break into the binary options market, offering Countdowns. By April of the following year, CMC introduced a range of binary products specifically designed for mobile, tablet, and desktop. This product has now been discontinued.
Firstly, reviews of the CMC Next Generation web platform are fairly positive. It can be straightforwardly accessed from any html5 web browser. Users have been impressed with the sleek interface and easy-to-navigate platform.
Another benefit that is highlighted is the customisability on offer. While the trade ticket design is simple, you can expand it to add stops and limits, plus to see the depth of book pricing. In addition, when in the trade ticket window, flicking between order types is straightforward. You will find the estimated margin at the bottom of the trade ticket window, depending on trade size and margin requirement for your specific product. On top of that, deciding between normal stop-loss, trailing stop, and guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLO) is easy.
Investor Protection & Regulations
CMC Markets is authorised and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority under the name CMC Markets UK plc, as confirmed on the FCA register below:
The broker also offers investor protection by holding client money in segregated accounts, as confirmed below:
CMC Markets is part of the CMC Group which is a publicly listed company on the London Stock Exchange, thereby offering transparency in its dealings and health.
CMC Markets offers a wide range of instruments to trade on covering all major asset classes such as 300+ Forex instruments, 60+ Indices, 15 Cryptocurrencies, 90+ Commodities, 30+ Treasuries and 9,000+ Shares and ETFs.
Below is a list of just some of the available markets for trading:
|GBP/USD||US 30||Crude Oil|
|Treasuries||Cryptocurrencies||Shares & ETFs|
|Canada Bond 10 YR||Bitcoin/USD||Apple|
|Euro Bobl – Cash||Ethereum/USD||BP|
|Euro Bund – Cash||Dash/USD||Netflix|
CMC Markets offers 3 trading accounts as shown above. Each account comes with some similarities and differences as highlighted in the comparison table which is on the broker’s website. For example, each account has the same platform features but the range of instruments differs slightly, as shown below:
Opening an account can be done easily on the broker’s website by clicking on the Start Trading button. This will then open up a registration page where users simply need to input their email and password, as shown below:
Users are then logged into the CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform where they can continue the application process, as shown below:
In the next page, users need to fill out their personal details, address details and financial details.
Once this has all been filled out, users simply need to agree to the broker’s Terms and Conditions, as shown below:
Users are then shown a confirmation of the application:
And are then redirected to the CMC Markets Client Portal area and an email is sent asking for users to verify their identity and address. Users can also open demo trading accounts and can manage both live and demo accounts from the CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform.
Clients can choose between Next Generation and MetaTrader 4 for iOS and Android when picking a mobile platform. The homegrown app outshines MT4 in nearly all aspects but includes fewer features than the web version. For example, the number of technical indicators has been pared down to 40+ while charts have been optimized for mobile devices. Clients can build complex orders and generate customized alerts through push notification or email. The apps provide fingerprint ID entry, but this useful feature isn’t part of a two-tier authentication process.
An extensive trader’s library will get lower-skilled clients up to speed quickly, but technical and fundamental tutorials are beginner level and lacking in advanced instruction. A large share of educational resources is devoted solely to platform and software instruction, rather than trading strategy or execution. A healthy roster of online webinars, offered through a partnership with Trade With Precision, fills the need for advanced topics but there’s no archive of prior programs. Overall, educational resources are impressive but poorly organized, with no single listing or search function, making it harder to find less popular topics.
Spreads and Commission
The spreads at CMC Markets are variable with AUD/USD spreads often below 1 pip. All spreads are variable and will be higher in times of low liquidity and for non-major currencies.
More worryingly, CMC Markets says that spreads will be wider on large trades. This is due to the cost of having to manually price a trade rather than it being relayed through the automated dealing desk. While this is understandable given CMC Markets’ business model, it is not something a high-volume trader would expect from a broker or want to deal with.
Leverage up to 1:500 is available and no commission is charged on any trades
Deposits and Withdrawals
Accepted deposit and withdrawal methods include:
- Bank transfer
- Debit card
- Credit card
Deposits and withdrawals are generally commission-free, though 1% is charged on credit cards and 0.6% charged on debit cards. For large deposits, this fee could end up being a substantial sum.
Customer support is available 24/5 and can be accessed through the FAQ section, live chat, via phone and through e-mail. CMC Markets states that 98% of calls are answered in less than 20 seconds, though we did not test this feature during our CMC Markets review. That being said, CMC Markets was voted the “Best Phone & Email Customer Service” in 2019 by Investment Trends UK Leverage Trading Report.
The proprietary trading platform developed by CMC Markets is the most unique feature this broker offers, but within its platform is another gem in the form of its charting package which was ranked highest in a 2019 Investment Trends survey. This package comes loaded with over 115 technical indicators, over 70 chart patterns and 12 different chart types and creates a powerful technical analysis tool for traders. Another great feature inside the trading platform is CMC Markets Price Projection Tool which can automatically scan for chart formations as well as candlestick patterns and calculate the projected price.
Traders who prefer a social trading environment can take advantage of the Chart Forum which connects them to like-minded traders and allows traders access to CMC Market analysts with easy to share and copy analysis across the trading platform. Rounding up a great trading platform experience are live news provided by Reuters and quantitative equity research reports by Morningstar. The CMC Markets trading platform is the gateway to a very well organized and developed infrastructure which allows traders access to everything they need in order to trade successfully.
Bonuses and Promotions
While there were no special promotions or deposit bonuses at the time of this CMC Markets review, professional traders can qualify for cash rebates based on trading volume which is a great incentive.
This is standard operating procedure for prime brokerages which don’t seek to attract clients through monetary incentives, but through services offered which create a superior trading environment as well as experience; CMC Markets has delivered in this regard.
CMC Markets is a UK-based prime brokerage which offers an exceptional service to all type of clients and covers the entire spectrum of financial markets. Its proprietary trading platform offers a fantastic gateway and market access and the platform offers many bonuses that go above the standard broker offering. These include, but are not limited to, a charting package, price prediction tools with automated chart recognition features, and more. Regulation, security and transparency is what CMC Markets is built on and this LSE listed broker delivers on all its promises. No false hype or marketing, but an honest approach which led to the creation of a superior brokerage.
New traders can benefit from an extensive educational program which allows them to grow as traders first before they attempt to grow their accounts. A research team offers market coverage and analysis across asset classes and regions and traders have access to over 10,000 different assets. Spreads are tight, commissions acceptable and execution is flawless; this combination creates a trading environment every trader should consider.
Established traders who are used to the MT4 trading platform and have their own range of custom created tools, indicators and automated trading solutions don’t need to worry as CMC Markets offers the MT4 trading platform alongside its own, next generation trading platform. Corporate clients who depend on the MT4 infrastructure will get a bridge in order to connect their solutions to CMC Markets and benefit from the full range of services.
CMC Markets is a prime brokerage and rightfully so. The personalized products and services cater to clients from all segments of finance, attention to detail exits throughout CMC Markets and all awards as well as accolades collected over the past three decades are well deserved. CMC Markets is a first-class broker which should be part of any well diversified approach to asset management, across asset-classes and geographical regions.