CMC Markets, or as it was known then, Currency Management Corporation, was founded in 1989, and was one of the first companies to provide trading over the internet. It branched out from the currency market in 2000 when it started offering CFDs, and in 2001 when it added spread betting, and these two now make up the bulk of its business. It operates in fifteen countries, in Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America.
It offers two trading platforms, MarketMaker Web and MarketMaker Desktop, and is still one of the largest providers, although its position has been challenged. It offers a training course for new traders, and ongoing education with webinars and seminars. As you would expect with a long established company, the facilities offered are extensive and the range of products in spread betting comprehensive, including commodities, interest rates, sectors, indices, currencies and thousands of global shares.
There is no demo account service, so you have to open a live account to experience what CMC Markets has to offer. While “tight spreads” are claimed, the spreads do not seem to be as competitive as some other providers present. The FTSE has a 2 point spread, the EUR/USD and GBP/USD 3 points and Wall Street 4 points for instance. These rates are acceptable, but not as good as some and can cut into your profits.
When you come to open a live account, you will find some incentives available. You can have a full day education course, which is worth £200, training material and DVD, and a week of “risk-free” trading on the FTSE100. The charting facilities are comprehensive and easy to use, and include all regular indicators and stock screening. The website goes into detail on the types of orders that can be placed to limit risk, and this is also covered in live workshops.
User reviews have been mixed for CMC Markets. While some criticisms undoubtedly come as “sour grapes” from traders who lost, or from beginners who have little idea what spread betting is – how else do you explain the complaint of someone who does not realize that with a geared financial product you can lose more than the money in your account? – there are some genuine issues. Chief amongst these are the wider spreads, but some also believe they have been re-quoted unfairly when placing trades. Other factors are occasional platform freezing and mediocre support.
Conclusion and Overall Review of CMCMarkets’s Offering
CMC Markets are still one of the largest spread betting providers, and if only for that reason, are worth looking into. They have a vast range of products and a decent interface, including an excellent mobile interface. Although they do not have a demo facility, we rate CMC Markets as worth a look when you are considering which broker to use.