MARKETS.COM Review 2018

By John Jagerson  | January 10, 2018

Regulated in Cyprus and South Africa, MARKETS.COM offers trading in more than 2000 markets.

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Overall Rating

3.1/
5.0
Products & Fees
3.6
Trust
2.2
Special Features
3.0
Desktop Experience
4.0
Mobile Experience
2.9
Customer Support
3.8
Research & Insights
4.3
Education
1.0

MARKETS.COM Fast Facts

Formed from a rebranded GFC Markets, and a technology company, TradeFX, MARKETS.COM is operated by Safecap, a subsidiary of Playtech PLC which is traded on the London Stock Exchange's Main Market and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Markets.com offers trading in Forex, Shares, Indices, Cryptocurrencies and commodity CFDs. A custom mobile application, MetaTrader 4 (MT4), and a web-based trading platform are available. The broker is regulated by CySec in Cyprus, and the Financial Services Board in South Africa.

pros

  • Breadth of Trading Products
    MARKETS.COM offers 50+ forex pairs, 25+ indexes, 2000+ shares and ETFs, 15+ commodity markets, and 1 Crypto currency (Bitcoin futures).
  • Simplified Cost Structure
    There are almost no fees, and trading costs are limited to the spread and rollover.
  • Easy to Use, Streamlined Trading Platform
    Although proprietary, the web-based trading platform has good features, is easy to use, and seemed very fast.

cons

  • Limited Account Protection
    In the case of a default, account protection is limited to EUR20,000.
  • Registration and Regulation
    Regulation in Cyprus does not have the same reputation or oversight of regulators in the UK, or US.
  • No Spread Betting
    Traders looking to take advantage of the tax benefits of spread betting will have to look elsewhere.
1
Crypto Currency
(Bitcoin futures)
2000+
Shares and ETFs
15+
Commodity Markets

Products & Fees

3.6

MARKETS.COM has average costs overall, but some markets were less expensive than others. Some spreads were fixed, but the client agreement states that fixed spreads can be switched to variable at the discretion of the broker, so we don't consider this truly fixed. No guaranteed stop losses are available, except one variation for fulltime residents in France. There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating the account, but a GBP 10 per month fee is applied if your account is idle for more than 90 days. We also want to note that just as this review was being completed, MARKETS.COM halted new entries in cryptocurrencies, and MARKETS.COM is unable to provide crypto trading over the weekend. This appears to be a temporary halt, but certainly indicates some risk for traders looking for those products.

  • EUR/USD
    2.0 pips
  • GBP/USD
    2.0 pips
  • USD/JPY
    3.0 pips
  • S&P 500 CFD
    $0.60
  • Japan 225
    $10.00
  • Oil CFD
    $0.03
  • Europe 50
    $2.00
  • Gold
    $0.70

Trust

2.2

MARKETS.COM's trust scores suffered in our ratings because of a Cyprus registration and the lack of account protection above what's available from the ICF in the case of default. Traders also cannot use custodian banks to hold their capital. On the plus side, MARKETS.COM does offer negative balance protection so that it isn't possible to lose more than you have deposited in an account.

EUR 20,000
Default Protection (MARKETS.COM)
(If MARKETS.COM defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to EUR 20,000 may be compensated for under the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF)).

What you need to know

Account funds are supposed to be held by MARKETS.COM in segregated accounts and has limited protection in the case of a default. It is not possible to use custodial accounts with a different bank to increase that protection, which is something that investors should consider. It is also fair to note that MARKETS.COM is owned by Safecap Investments Ltd., which is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 stock index.

Special Features

3.0
Special Features

MARKETS.COM meets many of the minimum requirements for our special features scores, mostly because they offer MetaTrader 4 (MT4) as a trading platform. The functionality of MT4 is a little dated, and the charts aren't great, but the ability to autotrade, backtest, and install Expert Advisors (EA) will be attractive for many traders. However, it is worth noting that there are a few unusual features available from MARKETS.COM. Investors can't trade Bitcoin fututes over the weekend, but investors can expect to see more cryptocurrencies soon. If traders are using the custom, web-based platform, technical annotations can be applied directly to their charts from Trading Central.

Chart Annotations
Apply Technical Chart Annotations to Your Charts
(Apply Trading Central's technical chart annotations directly to your own charts inside the platform)
Flexible Deposits
Deposit with PayPal or Skrill
(Traders can deposit with credit/debit cards, PayPal, or Skrill among other methods)

What you need to know

MARKETS.COM meets the minimum special features requirements through MT4, but adds a few unique features of their own. Most of the features we liked were provided for MARKETS.COM by third-parties, like Econoday, but the broker has done a good job of making sure that many of the functions (and customer support chat) are easy to find in the trading application.

Desktop Experience

4.0
Desktop Experience

MARKETS.COM's trading platform is browser-based, and supports complex order types, and some account analytics. The platform includes customizable charts, advanced studies, and the ability to tile charts. Clients can trade directly from the charts, but orders aren't displayed visually. The platform was fast and easy to use, which may be good for new traders. However, it didn't have much advanced functionality to compete with MT4 for more experienced traders.

Pros

Navigating the thousands of possible markets was very easy and convenient. A favorites watchlist was quick to setup and modify. The platform has a very simple interface without a lot of complicated settings. Small "spark"-style charts were available from the watchlist, which made it easy to see which direction the market was trending without having to open a full chart.

Cons

There is no autotrading, "Expert Advisors," or backtesting functionality. The platform is easy to use, but it didn't provide much advanced functionality for technical analysts and algorithmic traders. There are no right-click menus, which can also throw some users off who are used to advanced trading platforms, like MT4/5. There was no streaming news feature and most economic and fundamental tools were only available on the website.

Mobile Experience

2.9
Mobile Experience

The CFD mobile app includes most of the functionality available in the desktop application in a smaller format. Not all of the chart features were available, but otherwise, order entry and account management were reasonable. Traders can access MARKETS.COM trading instruments, complex order types, account details, and the favorites watchlist through the mobile app.

Pros

The mobile app includes the necessary functionality to analyze, and research trading opportunities. Clients can use advanced order types, and track their accounts the same way they would in the desktop app. The available symbols were well organized, and it was easy to find specific markets. The favorites watchlist was available, and synchronized with the main web-based trading application.

Cons

There is no added security beyond the login password. News, and analysis was largely missing except for "Traders Trends". There wasn't an economic calendar, and users can't set price alerts and notifications.

Customer Support

3.8

MARKETS.COM's customer support is available whenever the markets are open via phone, chat, and email. During our tests, we found that support was quick to respond. Chat based support was one of the best we have experienced, and the chat interface could be launched inside the web-based trading platform. Phone support is not available until you have opened a live account.

What you need to know

We found MARKETS.COM's representatives to be courteous and knowledgeable. The chat function in the trading platform was easy to use and helpful. Phone support covers all market hours but it is only available to funded accounts. The support website has a good knowledge base, and searchable archive that should answer most questions about the trading platforms and account management.

Research & Insights

4.3

MARKETS.COM offers calendars and some market data for research. There was an intermittent video market update provided by Trading Central, but the quality was low and it wasn't regularly updated. The tools that aggregated client sentiment, analysts' recommendations, and news trading opportunities were good. Although streaming news was available in the MT4 alternative platform, we felt that news and analysis was something traders will feel is missing.

Analyst Recommendations
An aggregated list of analyst recommendations and ratings
Insiders' Stuff
Track insider activity and stock behavior
Event Trading
Evaluate and plan for news events and their expected impact on the markets
Trading Central
Apply Trading Central's chart analysis directly to your charts in the web-based platform
Traders Trends
See the overall positioning of other traders on each instrument
Trending Markets lists
Find the top rising or falling markets, or those hitting new highs and lows

Pros

We liked that MARKETS.COM provides access to many of its research tools inside the custom trading application. The calendar from Econoday must be accessed from the website, but MT4 traders have a calendar option inside the platform. The client sentiment indicator (Traders Trends) was quite interesting and very easy to find for each market. We also think traders will appreciate the ability to add Trading Central's technical analysis annotations directly to the charts in the web-based trading platform.

Cons

More advanced research and data tools, like the Commitment of Traders report, was missing. The economic calendar was nice, but there wasn't any additional analysis and commentary that was actionable, or even released regularly.

Education

1.0

MARKETS.COM had extremely limited educational resources. There was some definitional content for economic announcements, but the videos were dated and low quality. The broker hosts regular, educational webinars, which helps to connect clients to the markets and provides a format for more application-based learning to occur. The topics in the webinars were very basic, which may be good for new investors but will leave most advanced traders looking for more.

Educational Webinars
Technical Analysis 101
(Education for new investors about basic chart analysis and trading)
Live Trading Webinars
See What's Moving the Market
(Commentary in the Live Market with Actionable Ideas)
Glossary and FAQ
Apply the Right Terms to the Right Market
(Learn a little more about the core concepts and terms behind CFDs, Forex, and trading)

What you need to know

The education from MARKETS.COM was not very extensive. We think that beginners aren't likely to find enough to get started, and more advanced traders will find the content that is there to be too basic. Webinars can create a market-connected educational experience that is very effective, but the topics were a little redundant and fairly basic.

Bottom Line

Regulation by CySec in Cyprus does not provide the same kind of oversight and account protection of regulators in the U.S. or U.K., which may be a concern for many traders. MARKET.COM's account fees were lower than average, but trading costs were about average overall. However, the costs for some markets were very competitive, so it is a good idea for investors to evaluate the trading costs based on the markets they focus on individually. The trading platform was easy to use but limited in its functionality. Investors can use MT4 as an alternative to the web-based application. There was limited education, analysis and research, which may be a problem for beginning investors or those who are looking for more actionable content. We also want to note that just as this review was being completed, MARKETS.COM halted new entries in cryptocurrencies. This appears to be a temporary halt, but certainly indicates some risk for traders looking for those products.

John Jagerson
Reviewed by John Jagerson

John Jagerson has worked in the capital markets and private equity for most of his career, including investing, writing and money management. He currently manages a registered CTA and contributes to Learning Markets, the companion site to the book "Profiting With Forex" by John Jagerson and S. Wade Hansen.

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