- Downloadable Platform: Main trading platform is not web based unfortunately although they have recently launched Marketmaker® Web (a lite web version of the platform), you install their platform onto your PC and it's not the most user friendly, but OK when you get the hang of it - I use them for any trades that have to be rolled over as they do it automatically and cheaply too.
- Platform Stability: Reports of platform freezes/disconnections especially during busy periods [Market Maker Edition]. You might also experience re-quotes (delays) especially in fast markets. One thing I would say is that you need to ensure that you have good memory on your PC otherwise the CPU can get overloaded leading to the platform freezing.
- CMC have stopped quoting AIM companies and small caps. Only FTSE350 shares now at LIBOR +/- 3%.
- CMC Markets have stopped making a market for futures contracts (now they only have rolling daily contracts).
- Execution Limitations: Apparently, CMC will not allow you to open a March short and a Sept long in the same instrument. In fact, further to this CMC will restrict you to trade only the nearest available contract. If there were multiple contracts available, of 888 for instance, in both June and September, then you would only be able to trade the June contract. Even if Marketmaker is quoting a price for the September contract, it will not be available until the June contract has expired. The contract which is available to trade is the contract that is closest to the current date.
- Stop Limitations: With CMC you can't amend your orders, you must cancel previous active orders and put in new ones. This is not so with Finspreads, for instance where you can just amend your orders without needing to cancel previous ones. Another thing I like with Finspreads is their chart - allows you to use up to 3 moving averages, CMC Markets only allows 1 moving average. A real disadvantage I see is that CMCMarkets will not automatically cancel any stop orders tied to a position once you've closed the position. This means that you still need to manually cancel the stops once you've closed an order unless you have specifically linked a pending order (i.e. through an if-done). This can land you in trouble if you forget to cancel a stop. Mobile trading is handy but doesn't keep track quite as quick and be careful to cancel stops and losses.
- In order to save money CMC have decided to only offer their in-house charts and have taken the ITT charts off their platform (ITT stands for ITT Financial - owners of Prorealtime). Unfortunately this is not their area of expertise and I would say they have delved into the old familiar territory of false economics as their new charts are somewhat inferior to the Prorealtime package. Not all of their clients like the new charts which have a different look to most other platforms.
- Not Suitable for Scalpers: Their platform is best for 'long term trading' or 'short term investing'. If you try to scalp them you will quickly end up on dealer referral. Being put on 'refer to dealer' effectively means it takes at least a few seconds to confirm your trade and/or you get a re-quote when you open or close a trade. Seems to me that CMCMarkets have never wanted the scalping business although they are not prepared to admit this. That is not in the least surprising, since they are dependent on trading on the LSE order book to match positions taken by what is probably a largish number of traders, often acting in unison or nearly so. Even with clever computers they would be dependent on trading using aggressive orders thereby costing themselves the spread and making 'dealing for free' totally uneconomic for those trades.
- Re-Quotes: In the past CMC somewhat had built a reputation for running stops and moving prices that do not reflect the underlying index. Also, there have been reports of re-quotes (although re-quotes can also be in the clients favour) and spiked out stops. However, it would be unfair on them to single them out, as their behavior is common throughout the market maker world. As they say 'CMC Markets is a market maker and as such sets the applicable price. It is the customer's responsibility to decide whether or not they wish to deal at those prices.' Having said all this, their new 'Next Generation Platform' is designed to eliminate re-quotes.
- Spreads Fluctuate in Fast Markets and can be Erratic for Mid Caps: Spreads may get wider (reports of spreads as big as 30 at times) if there is a huge increase in client trading on a particular product. As they say: CMC Markets quote a two-way price and the quote indicates the price at which we are prepared to deal with you. However, this price is not available irrespective of the size in which you want to deal. As term 6.4 of our terms of business state, "if you place a Bet which by virtue of its size is deemed by us to be abnormal by reference to the relevant instrument or its volatility or its liquidity, it may be subject to special conditions and requirements as notifed to you by us at the time you place the Bet. In particular, we may quote a revised price or spread applicable to the proposed Bet which you are free, at your absolute discretion, to accept or reject."
- If you wish Level 2 access this will cost you approximately £25 per month.
- If an index is 'reshuffled' and a stock drops out of an index - say from the FTSE Smallcap index, CMC Markets may cease to make a market in that stock and may require existing client positions on that stock to be closed after a deadline date - which policy doesn't seem fair.
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