Broker review

Markets.com

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Markets.com is an online Forex and CFD broker platform run by Safecap Investment Ltd. It is regulated by CySEC and is registered with the FCA as well as other EEA financial licensing authorities. Services are also available in other jurisdictions such as South Africa.

The firm was originally operated under the name GFC Markets and was in 2010 rebranded into Markets.com. This came after the merger with software developer TradeFX. The entire group was acquired in 2015 by Playtech.

Markets.com has 5 million registered accounts, has placed 13 million trades and clients traded 185 billion USD worth of value last year.

You can easily open an account online and the process is very smooth. Clients are offered to trade over 2200 markets.

The company lacks banking background but we see a big positive by the giant Safecap being the mother company and the fact Playtech is listed on FTSE.

There is practically no minimum account deposit (100 USD) and accounts are protected by the CySEC which guarantees deposits up to 20k EUR.

Markets.com has a competitive fee structure although it is not the most transparent. It offers negative protection balance, you can’t lose more than you have deposited,  which is a plus. Not all brokers provide this type of services.

Note that Markets.com offers trading in CFDs only.

Despite not having a banking background, the fact Playtech as the mother company, listed on the FTSE, gives Markets.com full transparency when it comes to ownership and other important factors when it comes to choosing the broker.

There is one standard account type. The account can be funded in: EUR, USD, GBP, CAD, JPY.

Markets.com offer trading in stocks, indices, FX, cryptos, ETFs, bonds and commodities. All products are solely traded as CFDs. You have access to most stocks you probably will wish to trade, especially the larger names. You also have access to most relevant fx, commodities, cryptos, ETFs and indices, but wishing to trade the small cap of your choice is probably not going to be met. A full list of products available, fees and leverage with Markets.com can be found here.

The web trading platform does a great job for the investor/trader looking for an easy to use a platform offering what most traders look for. It’s an intuitive platform that has most functions needed. There is a more advanced platform MT5, that is aimed for the more sophisticated trader. The mobile version does the job well and has the functions most traders look for.

Markets.com has developed several proprietary indicators and algorithms that provide value added in several areas of trading. One of those is Traders Trends. You can really tell Markets.com has good experience in developing software, both from a sophistication aspect but also the user friendliness aspect.

The biggest negative is probably the somewhat lighter amount of instruments you can trade compared to some of the other CFD brokers.

 

General

Positive

  • Intuitive trading platform
  • User friendly trading platform
  • Good fee structure
  • Smooth account opening process
  • Great customer service
  • Practically no deposit required
  • No minimum trades required and no charges for dormant accounts
  • Playtech as mother company is great

Negative

  • Product offer a bit light compared to some of the other CFD brokers
  • Charting functions are a bit light

 

Products

  • Equities
  • ETFs
  • Forex
  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • Cryptos
  • Bonds

Fee structure

Positive

  • Good competitive rates

Negative

  • Bit confusing to figure out fees since it is all one fee

The Account and Regulation

Positive

  • Various currencies to choose from as base currency
  • CySEC regulated as well as other regulatory bodies
  • Registered with the FCA as well as other EEA financial licensing authorities

Negative

  • FCA regulation would be welcome

 

Trading Platforms

Web trading platform

Positive

  • Good platform for most CFD traders
  • Simple to use
  • User friendly interface
  • Great proprietary value added tools
  • Trending list displaying hot assets as well as other unique features

 

Negative

  • Charting could be better looking
  • Lacks a news ticker and some more advanced features

Mobile Trading

Positive

  • Simple and straightforward
  • User friendly
  • Ok charting

Negative

  • Lacks some of the features that are found on the web platform

Research

Positive

Simple and straightforward Sentiment section consisting of:

  • Insider’s stuff (history of insiders in a stock)
  • Analyst recommendations
  • Bloggers opinions
  • Hedge funds

(The above are all nice features but they are only applicable to a few stocks).

  • Good economic calendar
  • Event and trading – proprietary algo that gives you probability trade setups based on historic pay offs around specific event such as unemployment reports etc

Negative

  • Sentiment indicators applies to only a few stocks

 

The Markets.com web trading platform

As with most trading platforms the user can choose dark or light background.

The starting page for all clients looks the same.

The layout is simple and straightforward. The platform is intuitive and is easy to use. After the extremely smooth process of opening your account you can choose to see the real account (that you eventually need to fund for trading possibilities) or a demo account that gives the user a feeling of how the system works without trading real money.

The main menu is the list to the left. You can easily click to see open positions and open orders (You can also generate daily trading reports with details on various aspects of your trading. This is done in the trading tools section).

Below the orders section you have the list of assets you can trade. They are subdivided into assets, but also by volatility, trending etc. I particularly like the featured assets link as it gives you the currently hottest assets people look at.  Irrespective if you trade these, it makes sense to check out what are the main themes in the markets currently.

The drop down list continues to include assets with sublists of what instruments you can trade within each asset class. Stocks are further subdivided into countries.

The right part of the initial page shows the underlying assets in each subgroup. The image below shows the Featured assets list. You can easily trade any of these by a simple click. The chart in the lower part of the window is linked to each asset.

For the traders not trading overly active every trade conducted is displayed below each asset and displays clearly what you have traded. See below the list including BBVA where we have executed two trades that are displayed below the BBVA symbol. These trades are also to be found in the position list that tracks all positions, which is the preferred view for the more active trader. Note the switch to white layout.

Your balance is always showed in the lower left part of the screen. You can quickly see how your account is doing and what kind of margin you have left.  

Placing an order or executing a trade is easy. Simply click the asset you wish to trade (buy or sell) and the order window pops up. You can choose to trade at market or place orders at preferred levels. A good features is the possibility to take automatic stop losses or profits.

To the right you will be presented with additional information regarding the asset you are about to trade, for example the leverage.

Orders with limits will be shown as the below image. You can choose to cancel individual orders or cancelled all at once. Cancelling all orders is a good option when markets start getting volatile or when something has happened and you wish to cancel all orders.

Markets.com have a feature called the Trading Central. This can be switched on or off depending on your preferences.

This widget basically reads the chart you pull out and applies certain technical factors to it automatically and outlines levels in the chart as well as gives you a brief technical explanation in the text below the chart. You will see resistance, support and pivot lines in the chart as well as a short comment regarding the overall technical picture.

This is all done automatically by a proprietary algorithm and is a handy tool, both for novice but also for more experienced traders.

There are many technical indicators to use among and most traders will be satisfied with the indicators provided. Below is the scrolling menu offering various possibilities.

The charting itself is straightforward. Drawing basic trendlines, changing time frames and other basic charting essentials are all easily performed by using the upper right buttons.

You have several options to customise the chart view. You can easily change to view multiple charts in smaller windows etc. The charting experience is overall good and gives what most traders need, but will be a bit light for the more advanced users.

Moving back to the Trading tools there is a neat section called Sentiment, subdivided into: Insider’s Stuff, Analyst recommendations, Bloggers opinions and Hedge funds.

Insider’s stuff gives you a very good overview of what insiders have done in a specific stock, both on an overall level as well as on individual basis.

Analyst recommendations gives a great overview of what various analysts think about a certain stock, target prices, up/downside and more.

The system also gives you information on how well ranked the analyst is and how his/her track record has been over time.

Blogger’s opinion gives you what popular bloggers have published regarding one or several stocks. The below list is filtered to include: Amazon, Alibaba and Facebook. In these times of social media this is a great tool. Markets.com writes:

By tracking and measuring the performance of over 50,000 financial experts, the Bloggers Opinion tool is able to identify the top experts within each sector who consistently outperform the markets.

The Hedge fund activity window is another great tool where you easily can track what the world’s biggest hedge funds are doing in a stock. The data is compiled nicely and gives you as a trader information you otherwise would struggle to get.

I give the Sentiment section a big thumbs up. Impressive tools! Currently the Sentiment section offers info on a few stocks only.

There is a good economic calendar outlining upcoming macro events.

What is great about this feature is that it also has intelligence to it where the system gives you probabilities based on past events, the Event and Trade feature. You can think of Events & Trade as a statistical helping hand, making sense of the plethora of constantly changing data and directing your attention to statistically significant patterns.

Once again Markets.com have nicely developed an algorithm that gives value added for the trader.

The Traders Trend (another neat proprietary algo from Markets.com) is basically an indicator that represents buy and sell trends of Markets.com traders, updated every few minutes.The indicator is shown as a line with green and red showing percentages.

This innovative feature gives the trader a sort of a pulse of an instrument. Various inputs are factored into the sentiment and displayed as percentages. It is shown on the web platform as well as the mobile platform.

Mobile Trading Platform

The mobile trading app offers a good, user friendly and robust platform that will satisfy most CFD traders use. It has the relevant features and is easy to use. It lacks more advanced tools and options that the web platform offers.

Charting is rather simplified and lacks indicators to be applied.

Overall it’s a good mobile app but I lack some of the good features the web version delivers so well.

Trading an asset is easy as you just need to click the asset and the order/trading window opens up. There is little room for confusion.

Just as with the web platform, the menu is located as a dropdown list to the left on the app giving you all the options to trade your preferred asset.

Charts look ok, but can be improved with indicators as one example.

The below is the typical look from one of the lists you have chosen, in this case the popular tab. Click on the asset and the intraday chart will show how the asset has performed today. Trading is further easily conducted by simply clicking the buy/sell buttons.

You can also apply alarms to your assets by clicking the bell next to the asset.

 

Conclusion:

Markets.com is a great broker for the CFD trader looking for a simple and user friendly platform. Fees are competitive and the many proprietary features such as the Traders Trends offer good added value. Mobile Trading does a good job but offers nothing exceptional.

The more advanced trader will find the web platform a bit light.  

 

Commissions:

Practically you don’t need to deposit anything in order to obtain the platform. You will need a minimum of 100 USD to start trading. Markets.com is purely a CFD broker and makes all revenues from the spread it offers. Pricing is rather competitive and there are no minimum charges applied for dormant/ not active accounts.

Below are a few fees outlined but for full pricing visit the Market.com homepage here.


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