CMC Markets is a CFD/Forex broker. I opened an account with them not too long ago. I got to know CMC through my investing mentor. He mentioned that it provides a good technical analysis introduction course for beginners and that’s the main reason why I signed up with them.
You can open an account with CMC Markets from just $1!
Here’s what I get from them when I opened an account. All the things mentioned below are FREE:
- 1-day Trader Course
- Trader Continuing Education Courses
- One risk-free trading day on “Trade IQ Hongkong33 Index CFD”. Profits you keep. They cover your losses.
- 8 modules trading education CD packages.
- Technical analysis cd-rom
- Pschology of trading cd-rom
- Free subscription of “The Edge Singapore” magazine for 3 months.
Previously they had a 2-day technical analysis (TA) course. However, they changed it to a 1-day trader course. I asked why and they said some participants felt 2-days course are too intensive, so they changed to a 1-day course. But there will always be on-going courses where they hold frequently which they will touch more on in-dept TA, forex, how to use their platform etc. And you have to be their member to attend those courses.
The 1-day trader course outline which I had attended:
- A start into the world of CFDs
- Introduction to shares and CFDs
- Essential of Foreign Exchange Analysis
- Beginners for commodities trading
- Importance of technical analysis
They taught on margin and liquidation, risk management, position sizing, trading plan, list of shares for shorting/long, intro to forex, simple TA like moving average, fibonacci retracements etc.
They didn’t touch a lot on TA in the trader course. Basically it’s just an introduction course. Personally I learned something because I didn’t really know a lot on trading/CFDs/technical analysis back then. Of course, I have more knowledge now after reading a lot of books and have starting trading too.
CMC Markets uses a desktop-based software MarketMaker for their platform. They also have a web-based platform. You can log in and trade as long as you have an internet access and you are not bounded to your laptop. The desktop MarketMaker has more features and a little bit more advanced. But I adapted to it pretty fast after “playing and exploring” for a short while. You don’t really need to read the pdf manual to know how to use it.
For Singapore shares, the commissions are 0.1% (min. S$15). For US shares, it’s US$0.02 per share CFD (min US$10). Well, besides shares, you can also trade indices, commodities. Margin requirement normally ranges from 10%-20%. It’s quite standard.
Update: With the new platform, CMC Markets does NOT have a minimum commission. Please refer below for the new changes.
Since we are doing margin trading on CFD/Forex, we need to deposit our money with them. So, I did some research to check whether our funds are safe just in case our broker closes down suddenly.
CMC Markets Singapore holds a Capital Market Services license. An important feature of such brokers is the segregated account they employ to hold traders’ funds. These accounts separate customer funds from the brokers’ funds. If the broker goes bust, traders are still able to withdraw their money.
The common ones such as CMC, Igmarkets, Cityindex etc are all regulated by MAS and they have a local office here in Singapore. So you know your funds are safe with them.
Here is the list from MAS:
Customer Service and Comparison With Other Brokers
So far, I am still quite pleased with CMC Markets Singapore. They have pretty good customer support. I send them a few emails and they responded quite fast. They also have a “live chat” incorporated in their MarketMaker. Once, I tried to chat to see whether a real person will really respond to me in real-time. I didn’t really did an in-depth comparison between CMC with other brokers, although I did tried CityIndex and Igmarkets demo accounts. As long as I am still satisfied with CMC, I will just stick to them.
UPDATE (17 Dec 2011)
CMC Markets has upgraded to a new platform – Next Gen Platform, and I have migrated to it. This a very major change and I like what I saw. Some of the changes include:
1. No minimum commission
“Next Generation trading platform commission is no longer charged on company CFDs (share CFDs). However, a transactional cost of trading is built into the spread.”
2. Customized Leverage
Traditionally, a CFD broker has a fixed trading margin required, say 10% for stocks (i.e. 90% leverage). Under the new platform, you can customized your leverage. Be it 10%, 20%, 50%, 80% or 0% leverage. If you use NO leverage, which you fork your own money and paid in full, you don’t have to pay any financing fees. You choose whatever you are comfortable with.
3. Trade Directly From Chart
This is the one I like best. Normally, you have to key in your stop-loss level, limit orders manually. But with the new platform, you can set your stop-loss/limit order directly from the chart itself. It is very visual and it’s very easy to do it.