‘Where the World Comes To Trade’
The Markets.com trading platform is clearly striving to be the best trading app in a crowded marketplace. The company started out as GFC Markets and was rebranded in 2010 as Markets.com. This was done after GFC Markets’ owner Safecap Investments Limited merged with TradeFX, a developer of software for forex and CFD operators. In 2015, Playtech purchased TradeFX and its subsidiaries including Markets.com for €458m.
Today’s offering comes with an assortment of features and enhanced customisation capabilities. These include the shortlisting of favourite trading instruments, viewing multiple trading charts at once and a personalised popular trading instrument list created with proprietary algorithms.
The Markets.com app can be used via web, mobile and tablet (iOS and Android). It boasts:
- An interactive user interface touted as being easy to use. Every feature on the platform is accessible in a few clicks at the most
- Advanced trading tools including charts (available in multi-chart view), technical analysis tools and free real-time quotes
- A free demo account, also known as a practice account, users can practise their trading skills and get use to the interface with a free unlimited demo account
- Advanced risk management tools are included. The com app offers stop loss and take profit settings among other trading tools
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What’s on Offer
As well as the usual forex pairs, bets on indices and commodities, the Markets.com app allows trading in cryptocurrencies, an instrument that when doing an app comparison, comes up as conspicuously absent on some competitors’ platforms.
Then there is Markets.com’s own blended products. The blends are baskets of shares that are combined to reflect a shared theme that can potentially be linked to specific market trends or developments. When a client invests in the company’s blends, they gain exposure to multiple shares in specific sectors as a single product.
The shares included in Markets.com’s blends are chosen based on market capitalisation, trading volume, liquidity and price volatility. For each blend, traders are given the exact weight of the shares making up the basket. The idea is that traders can simply select the desired blend based on shares included, while taking into account their own investment objectives.
Markets.com blends are calculated by using the following information:
- Percentage of market cap of every share with respect to the total market cap of all shares available in the blend. This is used to determine the percentage weight of the share price in relation to the total basket
- The correlation matrix of shares in each blend. This is used in tandem with other factors in determining appropriate leverage levels. Correlation values lie in the range (-1,1) where values close to 1 imply positive correlation and values close to -1 imply a negative correlation
A Wire Transfer is offered in partnership with Barclays and can be made from one bank account to another bank account. Private financial details are kept safe between the customer and their financial institution. Safecap Investments Limited does not accept cash or cheques as a payment method for deposit in any of its bank accounts.
Fast Wire Transfer allows the transfer funds in the customer’s local currency, saving conversion costs and fees. It is a much faster transfer service than other bank transfers.
PayPal is a favourite online payment method across the internet. It has an easy interface that can be accessed via web and also on mobile devices. The Markets.com app offers the option of making deposits and withdrawals with this popular payment method. Brokers who accept PayPal have a significant advantage over companies who do not, as the payment method allows users to access funds directly from their bank account.
Markets.com offers the option of performing deposits and withdrawals with Neteller. This payment method is secure with two-step authentication and works only with the client’s secure ID. Other supported payment methods are Sofort, Giropay, iDEAL, MB Multibanco and U-Net.
The app allows accounts to be opened in US dollars, UK pounds, euros, Polish zloty, Swedish krona, Danish krone, and the Norwegian krone.
- PayPal payment offered
- No cash or cheque payment
- Sofort, Giropay and iDEAL
Unlike some other platforms, Markets.com offers recommendations and trading advice and is in the process of introducing more advisory tools. The advice the company offers is a collaboration between the parent, Safecap Investments Limited, and TipRanks, according to the Markets.com website, a “provider of aggregated big financial data”.
Describing the offerings, the website says: “With the assistance of advanced technologies and algorithms, TipRanks has created several cutting-edge and user-friendly decision-supporting tools in order to enhance your knowledge of the global financial markets and sentiments. Our new TipRanks service package will be known as Markets Consensus. Markets Consensus will offer you advanced analytical tools on financial insights.”
“The first tool, Daily Analyst Recommendations (DAR), is already available on our trading platform. This innovative tool collects all the information available by leading financial analysts and presents it to you as real time data. Daily Analyst Recommendations is an innovative decisions-supporting tool, seamlessly integrated into the Markets.com Trader to enable a comprehensive trading experience.”
Markets.com claims the DAR tool collects, evaluates and presents customers with public stock recommendations made by “leading financial analysts and experts”. They claim all featured analysts are measured by their accuracy and they are then given a star ranking between zero and five, with five stars being the highest available rank. Changes in the ratings are uploaded in real-time.
The second tool on offer is called Insiders’ Stuff. It is described on the website as “an innovative decisions-supporting tool, seamlessly integrated into the Markets.com Trader to help you discover the complete market activity on a stock from a wide range of financial experts”.
The tool collects, evaluates and presents traders with what it describes as “the latest insider transactions made by over 36,000 corporate insiders”. Insiders’ Stuff uses proprietary algorithms that allow it to aggregate transactions and display them on a dashboard page.
Insiders’ Stuff reveals an array of insights, including opinions about whether a transaction is informative or uninformative. This tool is intended to enable the user to make a call on whether transactions should be regarded as informative or uninformative with the objective of finding the “most compelling investment opportunities”.
If a transaction is deemed uninformative, it suggests “an insider is buying/selling shares for reasons that do not necessarily indicate confidence in the company, such as exercising share options” whereas those deemed informative are regarded as ones deliberately made by insiders, often because they feel the stock is undervalued. The Markets.com website claims that: “Using Insiders’ Stuff can give you a strong trading edge by revealing the lowdown on daily insider transactions displayed in a clear and helpful feed. This can provide a glimpse into the insider’s real belief in the company’s future.”
Markets.com is operated by Safecap Investments Limited, which is a regulated investment services company authorised to operate by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority in South Africa as a Financial Services Provider. The company claims it practises “strict regulatory and compliance requirements in each and every aspect of the firm’s operations including financial reporting, client asset management, segregation of client\firm funds/and more”. As the company is regulated out of Cyprus, it has to comply with strict EU financial regulatory standards when dealing with UK customers.
The way the EU oversees financial service providers was completely overhauled during and after the 2008 financial crisis. The European System of Financial Supervision was set up in 2010. ESFS comprises three European supervisory agencies who are tasked with supervising individuals, institutions, and industry sectors. Then there is the European Systemic Risk Board, who provides oversight for the entire the financial system, while coordinating EU policies to maintain stability within the financial system. The three supervisory agencies are the European Banking Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority. Being registered in Cyprus means Markets.com is under the supervision of all these agencies.
When looking into customer comments as part of our Markets.com app review, we found a significant number of users who complained of being frozen out of the app, with reports of buy and sell buttons being grayed out for days at a time, rendering the software unusable. Resolutions seem to happen on an ad-hoc basis and there are multiple reports of customer services being unable or unwilling to address the issues. This is particularly worrying when trading volatile instruments such as cryptocurrencies, given how fast markets can move. During the last bull run on Bitcoin in December 2017, prices were fluctuating up to 20% in a single day on many of the most popular altcoins and Bitcoin itself was changing value by thousands of dollars in the space of a few hours. Not being able to access or close active positions has the potential to cause serious losses to a trader over a fairly short period of time.
Other trading apps attract complaints about length of time taken to make withdrawals. The Markets.com app claims a three-day turnaround time after a withdrawal application is made. On the whole, users don’t raise many issues with turnaround time, although some claimed to experience problems with their withdrawals, but not on the sort of scale you see with some online trading apps.
How Does It Stack Up?
On the whole, Markets.com strives to create an impression of being a solid, reliable broker. Compared with other online trading platforms and apps, it offers no outstanding features beyond basic competence and doing what it says on the tin. The website offers a wealth of information and is considerably more detailed than some of its competitors, so it’s a good place for a beginner.
The company offers a low initial deposit at $100 which is standard for brokers who ask for a minimum deposit at all. There are, however, other companies who do not insist on a minimum deposit amount, so those who are looking to start out or trade small sums should probably look elsewhere.
On the safety front, there are other brokers who are under more regulatory scrutiny, although the size and reputation of markets.com make it appear to be as safe from collapse as any other online exchange.
Finally, Markets.com is a good, although uninspiring option for any type of trader, whether beginner or seasoned. It gives solid coverage of the basics, customer service and regulation on par with its peers and its generally solid reputation makes it as sensible an option as any, particularly if you want a broker which offers news and trading suggestions as well as just the actual trading software.