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Markets.com Forex Broker Review


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Markets.com is a capital markets brokers that has a zero commission trading policy. The parent company is Safecap is subsidiary of Playtech PLC, ticker PTEC, which is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange and is part of the FTSE 250 index. The company was established in 2006 and received permission to begin regulated forex trading in 2008. The company is regulated in Cyprus and South Africa, but does not provide its services to U.S., Japanese and French traders which does raise some concern.  Markets.com does not charge a commission, and instead charges either a fixed or floating spread based for specific tradable assets.  The company provides a demonstration account with no minimum deposit. Markets.com is a leader in contracts for differences trading.

Company Information

Markets.com was establishing in 2006 and received approval to trade forex as a regulated entity beginning in 2008. The company is regulated in 2-jurisdictions which include South Africa and the Eurozone.  The South African entity is under the jurisdiction of the Financial Service Board of South Africa with a license number of 43906.  In the Eurozone, Markets.com is regulated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC), and has a CIF license number of 092/08. The company is MiFID compliant which means that it is recognized by all member states in the Eurozone. The regulation requirements are relatively robust, and include consistent reporting of capital requirements, along with regulator financial reporting. The company is also required to segregate operating income from customer income, to ensure the safety of client money. According to their website, the company is a global brand used by Safecap and owned by TradeTech Markets Limited. Safecap and Markets are subsidiaries of Playtech PLC, a company traded on the London Stock Exchange’s which is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index. The company does not provide services to traders from Japan, France and the U.S.

The company has won a few awards:

  • Best Broker in Customer Service Europe 2012 (Global Banking & Finance Review)
  • Best Customer Service 2012 (London Investor Show Forex)

Registration

The registration process is straight forward. If you are from one of the countries that Markets.com does not provide services to, you will receive a pop up asking you to contract customer support at support@markets.com. The United States is one of the countries that are unable to trade through this broker which does raise some minor red flags, but does not make Markets.com a scam.

Assets available

Markets.com offers a wide variety of tradable instruments including forex pairs, and CFDs. The company offers more than 50-currency pairs, including major, minor and emerging market currency pairs.  Markets.com is active in the contract for differences space, offing commodity CFDs, equity index CFDs, and more than 2,000 equity share CFDs.

Customer support

Customer support is robust, but they do not offer phone customer support service on the weekend.  They have 24 hour a day, 5-day a week email customer support as well as, live chat. The company’s support center has a plethora of frequently asked questions that allow traders to find the answer too many popular questions. Markets.com website is available in 14 major languages including but not limited to Arabic, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

Types of Platforms

Markets.com has as a proprietary trading platform that is web based, and allows you to sort assets by category. Their 1-click technology allows you to see charts with technical analysis side by side with customized quotes.  Markets.com offers real-time news which will allow you to track major developments as they unfold in real-time.

Some of the more advanced features includes an entire section devoted to sentiment. The platforms Market Consensus tab includes tracking, corporate insider purchase and sales, which is used as a strategy to track sentiment.  In addition their sentiment features hedge fund purchases and sales that are officially listed with regulators such as the SEC.  With more than 2,000 shares, this feature is very intuitive. Lastly the company offers a social sentiment section where you can track the markets sentiment based on blog posts from traders around the globe.

Markets.com provides access to a free demo account that is available prior to making your first deposit. A demo account allows you to test your trading strategy without risking real capital.  The demo trading platform has most of the bells and whistles available for real accounts, and has no cutoff date.

The company also offers clients access to the very popular MetaTrader 4 platform, which allows traders to back-test and execute traders. This platform is customized for Markets.com, but is similar to most of the other forex brokers who also offer a MT4 alternative.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Markets.com offers several ways to fund your account. This includes major credit cards, bank wires, as well as payment services such as Neteller and skrill.  In addition, the company offers a slew of other deposit methods that can be found on the website. Withdrawals follow the same path as the initial deposit. For example, if you wired money in from Bank XYZ, the withdrawal method would be a wire back to Bank XYZ.

The company has a minimum credit and debit withdrawal of 10 USD/EUR/GBP

Skrill/Neteller: minimum 5 USD/EUR/GBP

Wire Transfer: minimum 100 USD/EUR/GBP and 20 EUR within EU

It takes one business day for a withdrawal request to be processed by Markets.com, and another few days for you to see your capital in your account.

The company has a bonus offer of $25 for new account registration. The capital cannot be removed from your account until you have 25,000 in transactions cumulated.

Account Types

Markets.com has provides 3 main types of trading accounts. They include:

Standard account- Minimum deposit is $100

Classic account – Minimum deposit of $2500

VIP account – Minimum deposit $20,000.

For Muslim traders, Markets.com has also provided interest free trading that falls under the Islamic Sharia Principle.

Trading is performed in unit sizes not lot sizes which include:

  • Standard 1 lot = 100,000 units
  • Mini lot = 10,000 units
  • Micro lot= 1,000 units

Spreads and Leverage

Spreads

Markets.com is a commission free broker. You have a choice of fixed or variable spreads.  Fixed spreads can be as lows as 2 pips for major currency pairs.  Variable spreads, can be a lot tighter, but when market conditions become volatile, you will experience a widening of the bid offer spread. The company has a risk management section describing the orders they use to execute trades.

Leverage and Margin

The company boasts leverage of up to 1:300 on forex pairs and up to 1:200 on index and commodity contract for differences (CFDs). On equity shares 1:20 is the highest level of margin offered, which is robust considering most U.S. exchanges only allow 1:1.5. The company describes their margin policy in a PDF. For the most experienced investors they will offer the most attractive margin levels.  Less experience traders can expect margin levels of 50% of the maximum. Their margin call policy says that if your positions fall below 70% of the initial margin requirement, you will receive notification by the method you choose.  A decline below 50% of the initial margin requirement could trigger a margin liquidation event at the company’s discretion.

Mobile

Markets.com provides you with their own proprietary mobile platform that can be used on smartphones and tablets. The design is sleek, user friendly and very intuitive.  The mobile platform can be accessed through the App Store or Google Play.

Verdict

Pros:

  • Very large breadth of market instruments especially CFDs
  • Transparent pricing and tight spreads
  • Flexible trading platforms
  • Metatraders 4 and mobile alternatives
  • Fixed and Variable spreads
  • Robust leverage offered

Cons:

  • Requires minimum deposit
  • Restrict U.S., French, Japanese traders

Conclusion

Markets.com is a reliable broker that specializes in offering contracts for differences.  The company offers more than 50-currency pairs along with CFDs in indices, commodities, bonds, and individual equity shares.  With more than 2,000 equity share CFDs, this is the right broker for you if you are interested in trading stocks.

The company offers a number of analytical tools which include sentiment and the normal offerings from MT4. Their sentiment package focuses on equity shares, as the report insider buying, hedge fund activity and social trading.  Markets.com is regulated in 2-jurisdictions making them a reliable counterpart to trade with.

Their platform is solid, and the company has spent time and money creating a web and mobile proprietary platform.  The platform is easy to use, segregating different areas of the screen into cubes, which provide easy access to your quote list and charting graphs.

The margin and leverage that is offered is in line with the industry standard, with robust levels of gearing for major currencies and CFD indices. There is a minimum deposit of $100 (or Euro or Pound), but none required to begin to use their demo account.

The fixed spreads are good for people who want to lock in their costs, but these rates are high during normal market conditions. For example, the fixed spread for the EUR/USD is 2-pips, and the variable spread during normal market conditions is less than 1-pip.

The company does not offer its services to traders in the United States, Japan and France. Deposits and withdrawals are straight forward

FAQ

Is Markets.com Trustworthy?

Markets.com has been in business since 2008 and there are no reports that could be found online that describe any regulatory action.  They do not offer trading to the United States, France and Japan which is a minor red flag, but does not make them a scam.

Does Markets.com have a minimum Deposit?

Markets.com has a 100 minimum deposit for their standard account, and no deposit needed for their demo account

Is Markets.com regulated?

Think markets is regulated by the FSA in South Africa, and CySEC in Cyprus.

Does Markets.com have a Demo Account?

Markets.com has a robust demo account.

How does Markets.com make money?

Markets.com makes money in a number of ways. They take a spread on transactions, and as a market maker try to buy on the bid and sell on the offer.  Their fix spread option allows them to rack up solid gains during normal market conditions.