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Online brokers have become big players in the industry, with projections to reach $18.4 billion by 2031. So, what roles do they perform that have made them valuable today? Even traditional brokers that once trumped the stock exchange buildings of the past now have an online presence.
Online brokers are no different from the traditional stock broker you call to trade in stocks. Only this time, you view the trades yourself, open a position with one click, and close it when you want to. Hence, online brokers provide the tools for traders to open and close trades independently.
Some brokers go as far as providing advice on certain aspects, like investments and taxes. Others let you decide while providing features for you to trade. That brings us to the different online brokers, including the following:
- Full-service brokers: They provide research and analytics and often recommend investments.
- Day trading brokers: They don’t often have physical offices, as their services are online.
- Discount brokers: They often use more research tools but without recommendations.
Now that the understanding of online brokers is out in the open, we can turn to IG and CMC Markets.
Overview of IG and CMC Markets
|💰 Account Minimum||£250.00||£/$0|
|💸 Commission Fees||£/$0 for most markets, but additional fees for share dealing||£/$0 for most markets, but additional fees for share dealing|
|💼 Investment Options||Stocks, ETFs, Funds, Bonds, Options, Futures, CFDs, Spread Betting||Stocks, ETFs, Funds, Bonds, Options, Futures, CFDs, Spread Betting|
|📊 Research and Analysis||News, research, analysis, charting tools, economic calendar, IG Community||News, research, analysis, charting tools, economic calendar, CMC TV|
|📱 Mobile App||Yes||Yes|
|🏦 Retirement Accounts||Yes (SIPP)||Yes (ISA and SIPP)|
|🎓 IRA Accounts||No||No|
|📈 Trading Platform||Web, mobile, advanced platforms (L2 Dealer, ProRealTime, MT4)||Web, mobile, advanced platforms (Next Generation)|
|📞 Customer Service||24/7 phone and live chat support, email, social media||Phone and live chat support, email|
|📚 Educational Resources||Webinars, courses, trading guides, platform tutorials, IG Academy||Webinars, courses, trading guides, platform tutorials, CMC Markets Education|
|🌕 Fractional Shares||Yes||No|
|🌱 Socially Responsible||No||Yes (CMC Markets SRI)|
|🌎 International Investing||Yes||Yes|
|💳 Cash Management||Yes (IG Smart Portfolios)||No|
|🔍 Margin Trading||Yes||Yes|
|⚙️ Options Trading||Yes||Yes|
|₿ Cryptocurrency Trading||Yes (IG Crypto)||Yes|
|🛡️ Account Security||FCA and ASIC regulated, client money protection, two-factor authentication||FCA and ASIC regulated, client money protection, two-factor authentication|
|💹 Leverage||Varies by market, up to 1:30 for retail clients||Varies by market, up to 1:30 for retail clients|
|⚖ Regulation||IG Group Holdings plc is regulated by the FCA and ASIC.||CMC Markets UK plc is authorized and regulated by the FCA. CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty Ltd is regulated by ASIC. CMC Markets Europe GmbH is authorized and regulated by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and the FCA.|
Starting with a demo account is the best approach to learning to trade without losing money. Only a few people can master the volatile nature necessary to be profitable. Even so, the FCA reported that about 80% of customers run at a loss when trading CFDs.
IG vs. CMC: A Comprehensive Broker Comparison
Welcome to our comprehensive comparison of IG and CMC, two of the leading online brokers in the industry. In this comparison, we will provide you with a detailed overview of each broker, their pros and cons, and a conclusion to help you decide which platform is the best fit for your trading needs.
IG is a leading online broker that offers a wide range of trading products and services. Founded in 1974, IG is regulated by multiple authorities, providing traders with a secure and reliable trading experience.
- Wide range of trading products
- Competitive pricing
- Advanced trading platform
- Educational resources
- Limited customer support options
- Higher minimum deposit
IG is an excellent choice for traders seeking a wide range of trading products, competitive pricing, and a reliable trading platform. However, those seeking more comprehensive customer support options or a lower minimum deposit may find better options elsewhere.
CMC is a leading online broker that offers a range of trading products and services. Founded in 1989, CMC is known for its innovative platform, competitive pricing, and exceptional customer service.
- Innovative platform
- Competitive pricing
- Exceptional customer service
- Diverse trading products
- Limited educational resources
- No social trading feature
CMC is a great choice for traders seeking an innovative platform with competitive pricing and exceptional customer service. However, those who require more comprehensive educational resources or social trading features may find better options elsewhere.
IG’s services fall into several categories, including
- The web platform
- The trading apps for smartphones and tablets
- MetaTrader 4
You can access the CFD, index, commodities, and forex markets with these platforms. You can also extend your reach to bonds, ETFs, interest rates, knock-out trading, and digital 100s. IG allows traders to take a short-term future on global interest rates.
The ProRealTime platform brings real-time charts and analysis to regular trades. Traders with more experience will like it more because it makes it easier for advanced technical analysis and automated trading. Hence, you can build algorithms, import strategies, and use 30 years’ worth of data to back-test your work.
ProRealTime allows traders to always transact, whether on the seat or not. Then, you get the analysis tools that add custom indicators, ProScreener, and order placement. There is still more you can do with this platform.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) makes CFD trading mobile, but you can still work on your desktop. You will enjoy low spreads, averaging 0.86 points for your transactions. Also, you can trade for 24 hours and maximize your chances.
One brilliant thing IG’s MT4 allows is that you can continue with any pre-existing MT4 data and analysis you have from another party. However, you must create an IG account before logging into your other account. You can trade indices, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies with MT4.
In conclusion, markets available on IG include the following: forex, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, options, and futures.
The online broker brings different trading opportunities to you. In addition, it adds more features to help you customize the platform to your taste. CMC Markets offers the following products for trading:
- Share baskets
This online broker makes it convenient to enter the realm of CFDs and spread betting. You can do that from its web platform or switch to mobile applications for more versatility. Before you dive in, you can explore its news and insights section to learn more about trading.
The standard and advanced platforms have different capabilities. Professional traders can use the CMC Pro, which has advanced tools for a deeper look at the market. With it, you will get the following:
- Technical indicators and drawing tools
- Price projection tool
- Module linking
- Chart forum
- Mobile Charting
You can also use the client sentiment feature to see the position of other clients in real time. It is similar to copy trading, except that you cannot copy their trades with one click. Still, you can boost your strategy with pattern recognition.
Other perks that come at an extra cost include guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLOs). The spread betting service on CMC Markets is tax-free.
Like every other trading platform, IG charges spreads and commissions on its trades. These are the direct fees, but you might have to pay extra for things like an overnight stay, a guaranteed stop, or extra services. Furthermore, you must consider the margins, slippage, negative balance protection, and volume-based rebates.
IG’s spreads come on top of the market spreads, which the broker charges for trades. In the case of CFDs, you will pay a commission. The spread on a trade can go as high as 5, but you can also get them for as low as 0.3.
Other charges include the following:
|Overnight funding||Guaranteed stop premium|
|You will pay a fee for keeping your position open past the daily cut-off time, which is 10 p.m. UK time. Also, you will pay an admin fee. Overnight funding does not apply to futures trading because the charge is in the spread.||This small fee is applicable if you attach a guaranteed stop to your position. You will see the percentage once you engage it.|
CMC Markets does not have fixed prices for its services. Instead, it uses an automated pricing engine to determine fees based on the market value of the products that are the basis of the service. That happens in two ways:
- Price generated from data vendors for products available on an exchange
- Price generated from liquidity providers for products available over the counter (OTC).
Countdowns have different pricing than spread bets and CFDs. That is because of the inherent difference in their products.
The order ticket contains a price ladder based on the trade volume. A wider spread will be applicable if you have a large trade. However, prices will be quoted manually if you trade CFDs outside the trading hours.
IG does an excellent job of providing adequate support to clients and unregistered users. You can chat with a representative and get your queries answered. Nevertheless, the help section is more than enough for any challenge you have.
The online broker offers the following customer support:
- Live chat through a hover button
- Telephone for new clients
- email with a dedicated address for account opening.
CMC Markets has offices in the UK, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, and many other places. You can speak with a customer representative if you are close to them. On the other hand, you can opt for telephone and email support if you want the online approach.
The telephone line is available 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday, while the email channel is open throughout the week. However, you may not get an immediate response if you send an email.
The detailed FAQ section of CMC Markets will help you sort out the most common issues. You may not need customer support if you take the time to find an answer to your question.
When deciding between IG and CMC, consider your specific trading goals, experience level, and trading preferences. IG is an excellent choice for traders seeking a wide range of trading products and a reliable trading platform. On the other hand, CMC offers an innovative platform with competitive pricing and exceptional customer service.
Traders seeking lower fees may find better options with CMC, while those who prioritize educational resources may prefer IG. However, both brokers offer a range of trading products and provide excellent customer service, making them suitable choices for traders of different levels and interests.
In conclusion, both IG and CMC are reputable brokers that cater to different types of traders. Consider your specific needs and trading goals when choosing a platform, and take advantage of the resources and tools provided by each broker to make informed trading decisions. It is also important to keep in mind that trading carries a level of risk, and traders should carefully consider their investment objectives and risk tolerance before trading.
Recommendations to Get the Right Broker
IG is a step ahead of CMC Markets on its mobile trading platforms. It will be better if you prefer to trade on the go with your smartphone. However, CMC Markets is the best if you want an affordable starting platform with little to no cost.
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