Markets.com has always been a bit of a tricky platform to review because for years I’ve never thought there has been anything interesting about them.
Markets.com is the B2C division of Finalto which itself is a subsidiary of FTSE 250 listed Playtech. Markets.com offers margin trading through the provision of CFD trading and Spread Betting services across Forex, equity indices, single stocks, ETF and commodities.
The business was founded in 2008 and today operates in the UK, Cyprus, South Africa, Australia and the BVI. Seen as a mid-size player in the margin trading world Markets.com offers a simplified and personalised offering to its customers, whether they are CFD traders or Spread Bettors.
I’ve always seen them as just another broker providing access to the markets and advertising on football shirts, with no real added value flogging MT4 and MT5. The website, whilst jolly, is noticeably absent of platform screenshots, pricing or even market access info. There are so many brokers out there peddling access to the markets, that they almost blend into one another. So brokers nowadays have to do something to make their trading platform more appealing than the competition.
But what makes them different? Why trade with Markets.com as opposed to one of the other plethora of online trading platforms out there?
One thing to note first about Markets.com is that it’s a trading platform and makes no bones about it. They offer CFD trading and spread betting (for those in the UK) and is currently owned by Finalto, which is the financial division of Playtech the gambling software development company (currently listed on the LSE with a market cap of nearly £2bn).
There is a small aspect of investing where you can use a screener on the platform called “Investment Strategy Builder” to create a portfolio of US stocks that aim to beat the market, but if you then choose to buy the stocks basketed together from it, you do so on a non-leveraged CFD. So, you don’t pay commission, but you do pay financing charges. This means it’s cost-effective if you hold the position for a few days or weeks, but any longer than that financing charges generally outweigh the commission and stamp savings. Buying non-leveraged CFDs on UK stocks is cost-effective because you save on stamp duty which means you can hold the positions for a month or so, but the screener only covers US stocks at the moment where you don’t have to pay stamp duty anyway.
So Markets.com comes across as a trading platform, with a gambling pedigree, for clients that want to trade, not invest.
Market access is relatively decent, with 8,000 tradable assets on the platform, it’s less than market leaders like IG, but more than most other brokers out there. They also say that they will add stocks to their platform on request as long as the liquidity is there. Prior to writing this review, I spoke to Neil Wilson, their Chief Market Analyst who told me that in actual fact, most traders trade the top ten like EURUSD, GBPUSD, Gold, Oil, S&P, NASDAQ and DAX anyway. And as for as equities are concerned it’s mainly the most popular FAANG stocks, with the exception of German clients trading Deutsche Bank or Italians jobbing about in Unicredit. So they cover what they need to.
There are some good features to the platform (their platform not MT4/5 which they also offer) though. As with all brokers, they want to keep you engaged and on the platform so have partnered with TipRanks to provide some insights. It only covers US stocks at the moment so if you are trading UK stocks you’ll have to cope with the basic key statistics, financials and related instruments. But if you are trading Tesla for example you can get insights like analyst recommendations, blogger opinion, hedge fund confidence (which tells you whether or no hedge funds are buying or selling the stock from S-3 SEC filings (where hedge funds have to report positions over a certain size)) and news sentiment.
Sentiment of course is a great indicator. Although not necessarily in the way you think. Just because everyone is bullish of a stock it doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to go up, it may mean that everyone has bought it already and the buyers are soon to run out. And what happens when there are more sellers than buyers? That’s right, it goes down even though everyone thinks it’s great.
One of the longest-running sentiment indicators is the Investors Intelligence Advisors Sentiment which has been predicting market tops and bottoms for fifty years based on the principle that the more extreme bullish or bearish sentiment is, the more likely there is to be a reversion.
Another nice feature is what they call “blends” which as tradable baskets of stocks. So if you don’t want to trade ETFs, or can’t find one on the sector you want to bet on, you can speculate on themes like the Metaverse, Cannabis, Memes, Buffett’s main positions or the space travel sector.
Charts are from Trading View, which has always been excellent and continue to get better and you can trade from the chart, which is almost industry standard now.
Research & Analysis
Why we like them
Markets.com has one of the best integrations of Tipranks around giving traders some very good insight into US stocks. This makes it a good option for traders who trade the main market US stocks and are looking for inspiration.
- TipRanks US stock analysis
- Blends for sector trading
- MT4 also available
- No longer have strategy builder