Markets.com Review 2018

Best CFD fee structure
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Markets.com is a CFD broker regulated in Cyprus and South Africa. It was acquired in 2016 by Playtech, a gambling software development company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Since acquired, Markets.com have done significant steps to become an established CFD broker. It does not have any banking background.

As a plus

Markets.com has one of the best fee structure for trading CFDs. You get negative balance protection and minimum funding requirement is only $100. Its account opening process is seamless and fast.

On the flip side

It only provides CFDs and is regulated only by second-tier financial regulators. The fee structure is not the most transparent.

Recommended for traders wanting to venture into CFD trading.

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Markets.com review
Investor protection and regulation

Markets.com provides negative account protection and its parent company is listed on the London Stock Exchange. However, it is regulated only in Cyprus and South Africa. and does not have a banking background.

Account protection amounts

Markets.com is regulated in Cyprus and South Africa. European clients are served by the Cypriot Markets.com legal entity and your account is protected by €20,000 if the company goes bust.

Clients from Protection Amount Regulator Legal Entity
Europe and other eligible countries €20,000 Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (‘CySEC’) Safecap Investments Ltd
South Africa No protection Financial Services Board (‘FSB’), South Africa Safecap Investments Ltd

Cyprus has more online brokers than its fair share in the European Union, allegedly because of regulatory and tax reasons. Being regulated in Cyprus only is not considered the best sign when it comes to broker’s safety. However, Markets.com has done significant steps to become a transparent broker. Here is how Brokerchooser understands the company structure.

A gambling and gaming software company, Playtech acquired TradeFX which owns Safecap Investments Limited, the Cypriot firm which operates Markets.com. Playtech, the ultimate parent company, is a big gambling and gaming software developer company. It is also listed on the London Stock Exchange which is a good sign as companies listed on major exchanges need to provide greater transparency. On the flip side, it does not have any banking background.

The sheer fact the ownership structure is public shows Markets.com’s effort to be transparent. There is also a good press coverage on how markets.com is transforming its business to be more diligent. Nevertheless, keep in mind that Markets.com is neither regulated by the stringent UK body (FCA), nor is listed directly on an exchange, nor has a banking parent. These factors would show more transparency and regulation quality.

Negative balance protection

Markets.com offers negative balance protection to its clients. This means you cannot lose more than what you have in your account. This might sound obvious but most of the brokers do not guarantee this.

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Markets.com review
Account opening

The account opening process is seamless and easy to complete.

Who can open an account?

At the time of the Markets.com review, most European country citizens were allowed to open an account. Citizens of Belgium, US, Canada and Australia are not allowed to open an account though.

Additional citizens not allowed to open an account: Afghanistan, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Ethiopia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Guam, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Macao, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, US Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen.

Minimum funding requirements

The minimum funding is $/€/£100.

Account opening process

The account opening is very easy.

You enter your

  • personal data,
  • financial information,
  • trading experience
  • and a simple test on your financial knowledge.

After these steps, you need to set your default leverage. It can vary among 1:300, 1:200, or 1:50 and you can change your default anytime later on.

Markets.com review - Account opening

Completing these steps lands you already on the trading platform and you can browse through a demo account.

The copy of your ID and proof of residency needs to be uploaded and this got approved in Brokerchooser’s case in one day.

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Account types and base currencies

Markets.com has only one, standard account type. You can open an account in the following currencies: EUR, USD, GBP, CAD, JPY.

Marketscom image

Markets.com review
Funding and withdrawal

Money transfer is really easy with Markets.com.

You can use

  • Credit Card Payment
  • Bank transfer
  • Innovative solutions like Paypal, Skrill and Neteller

In all cases, you need to prove you are the one transferring money, not a third party.

Markets.com review - Money transfer deposit

Withdrawing money is easy and during our Markets.com review, Brokerchooser did not encounter any difficulties. Funds can be withdrawn the same way as deposited, e.g. if you debited with credit card, you can withdraw to your credit card. 

Brokerchooser tested the card withdrawal process and we received back our deposit within 4 days. The promised maximum time frame was 7 days, that is not the fastest, but the actual 4 days withdrawal time was shorter in our case.

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Markets.com review
Product portfolio

Markets.com is a CFD broker. No other asset class is available, like real stocks, ETFs or bonds.

All the products are built on CFDs and when Markets.com offers e. g. “stocks” what they really mean are CFDs on stocks. Keeping this in mind, Markets.com offers CFDs on stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities, forex and cryptos. Yes, also cryptos, Markets.com started to offer CFDs on cryptocurrencies, e.g. Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin.

Stocks

As with all CFD brokers, the broker decides which stocks they provide CFDs on. This will result in a smaller offering range than if the broker would offer direct stock trading exchange. Markets.com offers an okayish stock CFD selection. To give you a feeling, they offer ~200 UK and 1 Japanese stock CFDs. Whereas with IG you can trade with all stocks from the UK exchange and most major Japanese stocks.

IG also beats Markets.com in stocks product range in Italy or Germany. On the other hand, when it comes to small exchanges, the picture is more complicated. E.g. Markets.com offer CFDs on Hungarian stocks.

The bottom line is that in most cases you will be able to trade with stock CFDs at Markets.com. But, when it comes to either small stocks on large exchanges or stocks at a small exchange you need to check it first their product offering.

ETFs

Markets.com offers 39 ETFs. This is mid-range, e.g. eToro offers ~60, kind of similar, but Saxo offers 675.

Indices

Markets.com offers 27 indices to trade as CFDs. This includes the largest stock markets and indices like the VIX.

Commodities

The main commodities are available: gold, oil, copper, silver.

Forex

A wide range of 55 currency pairs are available, also some exotic currencies.

Cryptocurrencies

As an innovative solution, Markets.com offers CFDs on cryptocurrencies. You can trade with Bitcoin, Dash, Ether, Litecoin and Ripple. All cryptos besides Ripple can be traded against the EUR and the USD.

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Markets.com review
Fee structure

Markets.com has a competitive fee structure. after breaking down the fees and comparing it to other CFD provider brokers. 

When you are an average investor it is extremely hard to figure out on Market.com’s homepage whether it has a competitive or non-competitive fee structure.

This is because you cannot find a dedicated fee structure description on Markets.com website,  and most of its fees are involved in the spread. This all makes Markets.com’s fee structure opaque. Here is what Brokerchooser found out during our Markets.com review.

Trading fees

The Markets.com does not charge any trading fee or commission, everything is included in the spread.

On the spread side Markets.com is on the higher end of the spectrum. But you should not count only the spread since some brokers like IG charge a commission as well.

Spread Markets.com IG eToro
EURUSD (pips) 2 0.6 3

Apple (USD)

0.35 0.02 0.09
BMW (EUR) 0.2 0.04 0.24

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Non-trading fees

On the non-trading fee side, Markets.com charges only financing fee, that you have to pay as an overnight rollover fee while trading with CFDs. On top of that the broker does not charge any non-trading fees like inactivity fee or withdrawal fee. This is a big plus and quite favourable compared to other service providers.

Finding out the financing rate is not a piece of cake.

There does not exist a fixed and transparent calculation method for this and the Markets.com can change both the calculation method and the benchmark rates anytime without noticing the customer. This is one of least transparent approach we have experienced so far. Buy the way, the actual financing rates for each individual instruments can be found on the trading platform is you click the instrument information.

The financing rates are more or less in line with the average rates of the other brokers. The actual financing rates of Markets.com (compared with IG and eToro) in the time of our review are as follows:

Yearly financing rate Markets.com IG eToro
EURUSD 3.1% 0.5% 1.8%
Apple 6.2% 3.7% 4.9%
BMW 6.2% 2.1% 6.9%

A more detailed comparison can be found in our comparison table.

Markets.com review
Web trading platform

The Markets.com web trading platform is simple in every sense. It is easy to use, but the functionality is not sophisticated.

The web platform is available in 15 languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Russian, Arabic, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Czech. The mobile platform covers even more languages including e.g. Hungarian, etc.

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Popular

Markets.com web trading platform is easy to navigate around. Its design is mid-range, nothing exceptional, but it also serves its purpose and looks ok.

Trading Platform Login

Markets.com applies a one-step username / password login. Brokerchooser was missing a more secure two-step authentication.

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Login

Functions of the platform

The platform has five main sections:

  • The header has some non-trading functions, like depositing funds, live chat and settings
  • Below the header, you can change the view on the main panel with a menu list
  • The main panel is divided into three sections
    • The left side of the main panel is divided into two sections. On the top, you see the list of assets you can trade with and on the bottom, you see the balance of your account
    • In the middle and biggest section of the main panel, you see the chart of the selected asset you want to trade with
    • On the right side, there is a news bar

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Bitcoin

Let’s start with the menu list governing the main panel.

The first menu point is the asset selector. You can either search for an asset or you can drill down through a tree system (e.g. for Apple: Shares, US, then alphabetically choosing AM-Av and there it is.) The search function works well, it gives relevant results for e.g. Google, Oil or Japan. The asset selector also has a handy trending now section where you can check for example top risers or 7-day downtrend, etc.

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Search

Going forward, the next menu points are “Popular” and “Favorites”. It is not entirely clear what the main differences is between “Popular” and the trending now section at the asset selector, but the Popular is also a selection of well, popular CFDs. The Favorites is your personal watchlist.

The next two menu points are Open positions and Orders. Both appear on the left side only, giving you the opportunity to close position or cancel your given order.

Following Orders, the next two menu points are Closed Positions and Order History. These two are reports about your earlier tradings. As Markets.com does not charge fees and commissions, but everything is built into the spread, you cannot really see from your statements how expensive Markets.com was for you.

The last menu point, Trading Tools hides two innovative functions: Events & Trade, and Daily Analyst Recommendations.

Events & Trade is an FX economic calendar based analysis tool. How does it work? Imagine an economic calendar, but instead of listing only the upcoming events you can also see the currency pairs the events influence.

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Economic Calendar

There is more. You can also investigate what happened to the FX pair movement in the past after the economic event depending on if it out or underperformed the consensus. Let’s see an example. The UK GDP YoY growth rate report is an economic event. With the tool you can investigate what is the likelihood the GBP/USD increases if the actual GDP growth rate outperforms the consensus. You can check this for specific timeframes (in 4 hours, in 48 hours, etc.). The tool gives a probability based on the historic performances, but Brokerchooser could not find the methodology how Markets.com calculates the probability. The Events & Trade is by no means a bulletproof advice on how to trade currencies. Still, it is a handy tool investigating the potential effect of economic events.

The other Trading tool is the Daily Analyst Recommendations which helps you with stock trading. It is a TipRanks solution integration to Markets.com. TipRanks is a 2012 founded startup and it ranks analysts based on their past performance. When using the tool in Markets.com you see recommendations from top-tier bank analysts (UBS, Merrill Lynch etc.) on 15 stocks. The 15 stocks are like Alibaba, Apple, Nike etc. The tool not just gives you the recommendation of the specific analyst, but also shows you the market consensus.

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Analyst Recommendation

Both the economic calendar and the analyst recommendation tool the trade buttons are conveniently there, so you can trade straight away.

Giving orders at Markets.com is easy to do. The trading panel is clean, partly because there are not a lot of functions built in. There is a nice bar chart showing “trader trends”, e.g. the percentage of long vs short positions. It is not fully clear, how the bar gets calculated. Are this positions Markets.com sees, routes, etc.? We remained unsure.

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Trading Panel

There is an intermediate charting tool on available. Besides the basics, you can add plenty technical analysis indicators to the chart. It is not the most proficient charting tool though. E.g. you cannot give for example order on the charts.

Order types and order management

Order type selection is relatively basic at Markets.com.

The default is what we Brokerchooser would call “market”. When clicking advanced box you can add limits. The limit order is working off-standard since it does not allow you insert a lower/higher (buy/sell) limit price than the current market price. This doesn't make sence. At the same time, you can conveniently set stop loss and take profit orders.

There are two more tools helping you to trade. In the right panel, there is a news feed from investing.com. Additionally, there is also a pop-up alert when Markets.com thinks something newsworthy is happening. Sadly, you cannot set alerts manually.

Lastly, let’s discuss account management in the header. It is quite easy to navigate around and you can find all the major functions there. What Brokerchooser specifically liked, is the clean way of changing your default leverage.

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Leverage setting

What we did not like is the account statement. It is quite confusing that in the statement, funds and withdrawals are added to profits and losses on trading. This makes the statement hard to read.

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Markets.com review
Mobile trading platform

The Markets.com mobile platform is a functional, nicely designed tool, but misses some funtionalities.

Markets.com operates mobile platforms both on iOS and Android.

There is a great onboarding when you first log in, and after a few minutes you will be good to go. On the other hand, the mobile platform is a bit simplified. Here are a couple of tools not available at the mobile platform compared to the web platform.

Markets.com review - Mobile Trading platform - Chart

  • Neither the economic calendar nor the analyst recommendation is available
  • You cannot see the news
  • There are also no alerts
  • You cannot add indicators to charts
  • The closed positions information is less than on the web platform

Markets.com review - Mobile Trading platform - Order types

These are not major fails, but you need to keep in mind, that some of the functionalities will not be available.

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Markets.com review
Research

Markets.com's research tools are more than what some discount brokers provide, but Brokerchooser would not characterise the provided research offering as broad and deep.

Markets.com only provides some research tools for its customers. It does not provide fundamental data or detailed analyst reports. Its technical analysis tools are at best intermediate. It does provide some solutions though.

  • There is a smart economic calendar under the trading tools menu point. The economic calendar shows how affected currencies pairs reacted to the specific event when the event’s result outperformed or underperformed analyst consensus. We discuss the tool in more details at platform review.
  • Markets.com also provides analyst recommendations from top banks on 15 shares. The recommendations involve buy/hold/sell direction, target price, and analyst consensus. It does not provide argumentation behind the recommendation though. More on the tool at the platform review.
  • There is an investing.com news feed available.
  • There are some alerts popping up when something interesting happens on the market. Unfortunately, you cannot set alerts.
  • The charting tool can plot several indicators to the chart for each asset.

Markets.com review - Web Trading platform - Charting tool

 

 

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Markets.com review
Education

At Markets.com you can sign up for regular webinars about trading and also watch tutorial videos of the trading platform.

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Markets.com review
Customer service

Markets.com has a good customer service in phone, live chat and email.

In Brokerchooser’s Markets.com review we tested all of the channels. The Chat support worked well on the mobile phone too, it was timely and professional. The tone was also good. On the other hand, the email response was a bit slow when Brokerchooser tested. We also did not have the best experience with the phone call. Our call was suddenly disconnected while waiting for the answer and we got the answer in an email.

You can reach the telephone customer service in your local phone number, so there is no need for an international call.

The customer service is available in English, Spanish and Italian.  

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Markets.com review
Bottom line

In our Markets.com review, we tested Markets.com thoroughly and here is the verdict. It is an ok broker, especially if you want to concentrate on CFD trading only. It has an easy-to-use platform and by far more transparent than most CFD brokers on the market. You also get negative balance protection, important when you trade with leverage. Its fee structure is one of the most competitive within CFD brokers. However, it is not regulated by first tier financial regulators, only Cysec and FSB. All in all, it is a good choice.

As the minimum funding is $100, feel free to try it out. 

Markets.com review overview

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Markets.com logo

Markets.com is a CFD broker regulated in Cyprus and South Africa. It was acquired in 2016 by Playtech, a gambling software development company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Since acquired, Markets.com have done significant steps to become an established CFD broker. It does not have any banking background.

As a plus

Markets.com has one of the best fee structure for trading CFDs. You get negative balance protection and minimum funding requirement is only $100. Its account opening process is seamless and fast.

On the flip side

It only provides CFDs and is regulated only by second-tier financial regulators. The fee structure is not the most transparent.

Recommended for traders wanting to venture into CFD trading.

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Overall

Pros
  • Easy to use platform
  • No minimum account balance
  • Competitive fee structure
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio, only CFDs
  • Non-transparent fee structure
  • Not FCA regulated, Cysec and FSB only

Investor protection and regulation

Pros
  • Negative balance protection
  • Its parent company is listed on the London Stock Exchange
Cons
  • Not regulated by a stringent regulator
  • No banking license

Account opening

Pros
  • Fast and seamless account opening process
  • $/€/£100 minimum funding
  • More account currencies
Cons
  • None

Funding and withdrawal

Pros
  • Multiple funding and withdrawal opportunities
Cons
  • None

Product portfolio

  • CFDs on Stocks/ETFs/Indices/Commodities/Forex/Cryptocurrencies

Fee structure

Pros
  • Competitive fee structure within CFD brokers
Cons
  • Fee structure is not transparent
  • Financing fee calculation is very opaque

Web trading platform

Pros
  • Good search function
  • Easy to use web trading platform
  • Innovative economic calendar and analyst recommendation for some assets
Cons
  • Limited order types
  • One step login authentication only
  • No customizability
  • No order confirmation

Mobile trading platform

Pros
  • Functional, nicely designed trading app
  • Good UX
Cons
  • Missing functionalities, e.g. price alerts

Research

Pros
  • Innovative economic calendar
  • Analyst recommendation for some assets
Cons
  • No own research team
  • No fundamental data

Customer service

Pros
  • Email, call and chat available
  • Chat was quick and professional
Cons
  • E-mail support was slow to respond

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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