Spread Betting Broker Summary
This review will cover the essential aspects of CMC Markets, which is a UK based Spread Betting company that was founded in 1989. CMC Markets is only available, however, to exclusive regions as tax restrictions make CMC’s spread betting products available to residents of England and Northern Ireland. Because of this, CMC is popular in these areas and the company offers attractive spreads as a means for drawing attention away from some of the larger and more well known competitors in the industry.
Trading Markets Offered
CMC Markets divides its tradable assets into 30 categories but the broader categories center on some of the more traditional choices, to include: forex, commodities, stock indices, and individual shares. CMC places much of its focus on spreads, which start from 0.7pts for trading products in the major indices (such as the UK 100, US 30 or Germany 30). One benefit of their products is that spreads do not change, regardless of position size. Margin requirements start from 0.25%, which equate to a massive leverage ration of 400:1. Similar trading arrangements can be seen with their forex products, but trading fees are slightly higher when spread betting with commodities.
The Spread Betting platform that is used by CMC clients is another propriety web based program, which offers some very interesting features in its sleek design. No downloads are required for the trading station, so your trades can be accessed from any computer with a stable internet connection. The CMC platform allows traders to create custom a trading dashboard, where you can drag and drop individual quote panels so that specific assets, such as silver or the US30 can be monitored more closely. Once your specific assets are added your Watchlist, external markets can be ignored. In addition to this, charts for your chosen asset can be placed on your dashboard so that price activity can be analyzed more closely.
CMC’s main weakness, perhaps, is its lack of special offers that are available for new clients. Instead, they look to attract traders with free educational tools and competitive spreads, as their assumption seems to be that this will benefit traders more for the long term, rather than just in the initial offering.
CMC claims to be number one in terms of its educational tools that are freely offered to new traders. There is, in fact, a wide range of educational tools that are available but whether or not this is truly the best selection is questionable. The guides are simple and relatively straight forward focusing on five central areas: Financial Markets, Trading Mistakes to Avoid, Company Fundamentals, Economic Announcements, Support and Resistance, Trading Plans, and Trendlines. While some would argue that these areas do cover the main points for new traders, there is little in the way of substantive material for traders that have a middle or advanced level of trading experience. As such, the educational offerings at CMC Markets will not be preferable for all trading clients.
CMC markets offers a comprehensive charting package that is built into the trading platform and is easily customized. The company’s platform software is one of the strengths of their product and the charting package offers a wide range of technical indicators for all trading levels.
Site Strengths/ Weaknesses
Site strengths include the well designed trading platform that allows traders to focus on their market of choice, and remove external and perhaps irrelevant markets. Weaknesses can be seen in their funding requirements, which forece traders to maintain specific levels of funding in order to keep all of their current positions open.
CMC markets focus is mostly on keeping spread charges competitive and offering an advance software package for technical traders focusing on individual markets. Instructional materials may be unsuitable for advanced traders and funding requirements tend to be more strict than what is seen for other brokers. If you focus is on these two features, CMC markets is easily an acceptable trading option.