Since we often get this question, we have decided to talk about the broker used by our trading firm for its operations. That is Markets.com, as the people who follow us and are subscribed to our free Telegram channel already know. Today we want to provide a complete overview, updated to 2022, of all the services that our broker offers and of all the reasons that led us to choose it.
Clearly ours is a professional use, designed for the needs of a team which is very active in the financial markets. However, Markets.com is also perfectly well-suited for the typical needs of the retail investor, which is why we also recommend it to those who follow our forecasts.
At the end of the guide you will be able to judge for yourself if this is the right brokerage service for you. We are especially interested in showing you its features as they are, explaining the costs of the service and showing you how to use the platform.
What is Markets.com?
Let’s start with the basics. Markets.com is an online broker, i.e. a service that allows you to buy and sell financial instruments. It is owned by Playtech, a colossal conglomerate that owns some of the best-known brands in the world of investments and online casinos. To get an idea of the size of Playtech, it is a company listed in London that is part of the FTSE 250 index, along with the 250 largest companies in the UK.
This is just one of the many elements that testify to the strength of the broker. It also has a long history, having been born in 2008. With its 13 years in the space, it is one of the longest-running brands in the world of online trading. In recent years the service has continued to expand, ranking number one in Europe and more recently also in South Africa and Australia.
Through Markets.com you can buy and sell financial instruments safely, directly from your phone or your computer, paying far lower commissions than those offered by traditional intermediaries, such as post offices and banks.
Is Markets.com Safe?
Markets.com is completely safe. Let’s remember the basics, that is, what characteristics a broker must have to legally operate in Italy:
- Every broker has to be a stock company, registered in a European country
- Within the country where the company is registered, the broker has to obtain a specific license as a financial intermediary
- To operate in Italy, it is further necessary to request the authorization of the Consob (regulatory authority)
Each of these requirements adds an extra layer of security. Regulated brokers must present a wide variety of documents, choose managers who reflect precise standards of integrity and professionalism, as well as openly show their financial statements.
Markets.com has been operating for a long time under CySEC regulations (the Cyprus Stock Exchange Authority, where the broker is based) and with the authorization of the Consob. It offers deposit insurance in the – very unlikely – event of insolvency and it keeps the company’s checking accounts separate from those of the customers. Furthermore, on the official web site the broker provides all the necessary documentation to explain every detail of the service.
What more? 13 years of history, a 1.3 billion dollars capitalization and user reviews. All of that made us immediately feel very confident in our choice, we knew we were working with a serious broker even before opening our account.
Two years after moving all Ferlito Consulting’s trading accounts to Markets.com, we have also started build a close relationship with the broker’s management. That allows us to talk directly to the administration, to preferentially submit the problems of our customers to assistance and to have promotions reserved for those who follow us. And by getting to know the team that works for Markets.com in person, we confirm our positive opinion on the service even more.
Why we chose Markets.com
Before choosing Markets.com, we thoroughly compared all the services in the market. We have carefully studied eToro, Degiro, Interactive Brokers, Banca Sella and many other platforms that today share out the Italian market. So ours was a well-considered choice, based on concrete data.
By that we are not necessarily saying that Markets.com is the best platform for everyone. Surely it is the one that does the most for us and for the great majority of the traders who follow us: people with an average starting capital, from 5,000 to 10,000 euro dedicated only to trading, against the 1,000 euro of the average deposit of most platforms in Italy. People who also intend to open operations quite frequently, ideally at least 4 per week.
Let’s go and see, one by one, all the most important topics that normally have to be evaluated when choosing a broker. For each of them, we will explain what Markets.com offers and how it positions itself against the competition.
1. Investments or online trading: what can you do on Markets.com?
We are well aware that there is now a clear distinction between platforms for investing and platforms for online trading. Investment platforms, such as Intesa or Degiro, are closely linked to long-term operations. They do not offer derivative contracts or leverage, except on a very marginal basis compared to their offer. Here, people usually keep their invested capital for a long time to build a long-term savings plan.
On the other hand, we have the platforms for CFD trading, such as eToro or Plus500. These are almost exclusively speculative platforms, focused on short-term speculation.
Our investment approach cannot fit in a cage. We have a continuous research work on both the core positions of our trading firm, the long-term ones, and on speculative operations. This has allowed us over the years to obtain higher returns, on average, than those offered by the market, but without running the risks of pure speculation.
Markets.com is 100% suitable for both. You can make speculative leveraged operations on CFDs and you can buy real shares, you can trade cryptocurrencies but also build a portfolio of ETFs. Both aspects have been designed in a winning way: low spreads on CFDs and extremely low commissions on underlying instruments.
Only Fineco and Banca Sella position themselves in the market in the same way, but both are much less convenient. A look at the costs of Markets.com, compared to those of Fineco or Banca Sella, immediately explains the reason for our choice.
2. Negotiable instruments
Another strength of Markets.com is the fact that it allows you to trade many financial instruments of all major asset classes. Here we have to distinguish between:
- Real shares, therefore not derivative securities. On the platform there are over 7,000 from the 16 exchanges with the biggest flows in the world, including the Italian one. As we will see shortly, Markets.com’s commissions on these instruments are extremely low.
- CFDs, that is derivative instruments of a speculative nature, perfect for trading operations. On Markets.com we find CFDs on all major asset classes: stocks, Forex, commodities, indices, ETFs, bonds and cryptocurrencies. There are over 2,200 tradable CFDs.
This sets the total tradable assets on Markets.com above 9,200. These are all the instruments in which our trading firm needs to invest and they are the ones that most retail investors also need.
Clearly CFDs, even on Markets.com, have the same advantages as on other platforms. We are talking above all about leverage and the possibility of short selling, so that you can invest both on the upside and the downside.
3. Platforms available on Markets.com
The issue of the platforms was another of those that prompted us to choose this brand. With Markets.com you can choose between different platforms, both desktop and mobile, while always maintaining a single account. This means that you can log in with all platforms, without having to choose a single one, how and when you want. By reloading your account, withdrawing or doing any other operation, you will always see it reflected on all your accounts.
The available platforms are:
- Metatrader 4 – Even today, after almost 20 years of honorable service, it is the most used trading platform in the world. Fast, available on all devices, secure and full of analysis tools to study charts. Ferlito Consulting very rarely uses trading algorithms, but those who love this approach can also use them on MT4.
- Metatrader 5 – Very similar to Metatrader 4, but even more advanced. More tools, more charts at the same time, even more updated information and a more solid IT infrastructure at the base. Metatrader 5 right now represents the spearhead of online trading platforms in our opinion.
- MarketsX – The trading platform owned by Markets.com entirely reserved for CFD trading, where you can manage all your speculative investments with a series of dedicated tools.
- MarketsI – Another trading platform entirely developed for investments in real shares. Unlike the previous one, it has a series of specific additions for long-term investments and for the analysis of company balance sheet data.
- App – The Markets application for trading from mobile and tablet, with all the tools you have on the desktop version but reduced to pocket size.
It is not just a question of having plenty of choices, but above all a question of having a lot of quality choices.
4. Costs: spreads and commissions
One of the main meters to measure the quality of a broker is the cost aspect. Again, we made an analytical comparison of all the platforms in the market before choosing Markets as our broker.
Let’s start by saying that no commissions are paid on deposits, withdrawals and accounts, just as all the platforms made available by the broker are free. These are all aspects that are undoubtedly important for those who employ capital as retail investors.
The rest are purely trading costs, which differ depending on the type of investment. No fixed commission is paid on speculative investments made with CFDs. You pay only a small spread, i.e. the difference between the buy and the sell price of the instrument. To give an example of Markets.com spreads, here are some of them:
- EUR / USD 1.2 pips
- GBP / USD 1.6 pips
- Oil 0.01% of the price
- Apple shares 0.008% of the listing
- Bitcoin / USD 1 $
They are really low spreads. Lower than those offered by Capital.com, Trade.com and all other providers more involved in speculative trading. And obviously they are lower than those of eToro, which has now become a ‘premium’ broker in terms of trading costs.
The commissions on real shares, on the other hand, are calculated differently. In this case, the spread offered by the broker is that of the market, i.e. the natural distance between buyers and sellers on the stock exchange. In this case, Markets.com applies a very simple commission scheme:
- 0.1% on European (France, Germany and Spain) and UK stocks with a minimum of $ 10
- $ 0.02 on US stocks ($15 minimum)
- 0.1% on Australian stocks ($10 minimum)
They are not the lowest costs ever, for example you can save something with Degiro. But it is a small thing that does not weigh on the advantages offered by not having to have two different brokers, one for investments and the other for speculative trading.
5. Customer Support
Any trader with a minimum of experience behind him knows that sooner or later it happens that he has to write to the assistance of his broker. Also from this point of view we have never had any problems, even before getting in touch with the broker’s management. Within the platform, just click on ‘Client support’ at the top, as shown in the image, to speak to support.
Assistance also responds in Italian, via live chat, usually within a few minutes. One positive thing, among many, is that those who work there have always been kind and competent in giving answers. In addition, each operator has sufficient power to take action in order to solve problems, without having to call a superior who in turn ‘passes the buck’ on someone else.
Brokers of all levels now offer a demo account to their clients. It is an account in which virtual money is used, so as not to take any risks and to be able to try the platform for free.
Once you register for free at Markets.com you will have access to such an account. You will immediately receive 10,000 virtual dollars with which you can start trading on any instrument present within the platform, exactly as if it were real money. While you obviously won’t be able to withdraw the profits, it can be an effective way to approach the broker for those just starting out.
The demo account is available on all platforms proposed by the broker and it has no time limits. You can use it as much as you want, and if you want you can receive another 10,000 virtual dollars if you run out of balance on your account.
To make the experience even more complete, Markets has thought of everything: you will have trading conditions equal to those of the real account, with the same latency, the same spreads and the same tools to analyze the charts. This is very positive and demonstrates the transparency of the service. Many brokers, in fact, offer their customers cheaper conditions on the demo account to deceive them that they will receive the same treatment on the real account.
If you’re thinking of trying Markets.com but don’t feel ready to make a deposit yet, this is a good way to approach the service without taking a risk.
In addition to everything we have seen so far, Markets.com offers other services that our trading firm does not actively use. While we don’t use them ourselves, because we have alternatives within the team, they are still very good for retail investors.
The first service is the free market sentiment analysis, which allows you to find out if investors are buying or selling a certain financial instrument. The most interesting service, from this point of view, is Bloggers Opinions. It is a tool that compares the opinions of the most authoritative bloggers (over 50,000) on each specific asset. Among the bloggers involved are MotleyFool, SeekingAlpha and other top names.
By comparing the opinions of all bloggers, the tool calculates the percentage of bullish and bearish opinions. This can help you invest in the direction of the main trend.
Recently, an excellent addition has also been introduced for Marketsx clients. As you have probably noticed, the charts you see on our website come from the TradingView platform. That is because Marketsx clients are eligible to receive a TradingView Pro + account for free. Normally you pay a subscription of € 29.90 per month to access such an account, but through the partnership between TradingView and Markets.com this agreement has been reached.
TradingView Pro +, in our opinion, is the ultimate chart analysis experience. You can check the price history by going back several years, unlock multiple time frames, analyze price trends with multiple indicators on the same chart and you can also export the data from the charts to do your own statistical analyzes. It also allows you to set 100 server-side alerts to be immediately informed in real time on any important event.
Hedge Funds Confidence: Find out where hedge funds invest
Another very useful tool is Hedge Funds Confidence, which we at Ferlito Consulitng also use. It is a tool, always developed ad hoc by Markets.com, to find out which stocks hedge funds are buying and which ones they are selling.
This can be useful for understanding where strong bearish or bullish pressure is coming. Combined with Bloggers Opinions, the two tools give you an overview of both what retail investors are doing and what institutional investors are doing.
There is clearly a reliable source behind all the information that is shown to you. The tool created by Markets.com directly goes to study the reports that hedge funds and mutual funds must send to the SEC by law. It is basically the same strategy with which Tesla’s maxi-investment in Bitcoin was discovered at the beginning of 2021.
- Among the strengths of Markets.com we definitely want to mention:
- Very low spreads on CFDs and affordable stock trading costs
- The ability to manage speculative investments and long-term investments on the same platform
- The quality, speed and completeness of the customer service
- The many choices available in terms of platforms
- The quantity of tradable instruments, both as CFDs and with access to the underlyings
- The solidity of the company behind the broker and transparency towards customers
- The services to stay informed and to know the opinions of analysts on the various stocks
- The free and unlimited demo account, which is certainly helpful for less experienced traders
These are some of the essential qualities of Markets, but there are many other small aspects that led us to choose this broker. The market for intermediaries and platforms is in fact increasingly competitive: without paying attention to details, it is impossible to stand out.
- Some negative element exists in all brokers. As for Markets, we would like to see these aspects improved:
- It would be nice to have derivatives and real shares within the same platform, rather than moving from MarketsX to MarketsI
- The Italian translations of the platform are not always correct and optimal
When you open the screen related to a certain stock, there is no possibility to access the financial statements
They are certainly less than the merits and in our opinion they are also much less relevant. That said, there is always room for improvement for any service. It will be nice to find out if this type of functionalities will be coming in the future.
At Markets.com, all tradable instruments in the form of CFDs allow you to access leverage. It means that you can borrow money from the broker to make your investments, increasing the firepower of your capital. Financial leverage amplifies both positive and negative fluctuations, allowing you to make speculative moves even in the very short term.
Like all regulated brokers within the European Union, Markets.com offers different levels of leverage for retail clients and professional clients. In particular:
- Stocks 1:5
- Forex 1:30
- Crypto 1:2
- Indices 1:20
- Commodities 1:20
The values shown refer to the leverage available for retail accounts. For traders with a ‘Professional’ classification it is possible to obtain leverage greater than 1:200.
Is Markets.com worth it?
Our opinion on Markets.com is that it is a very serious and very valid broker, with low costs and many unique features. While it may not suit all investors’ tastes, both our trading firm and many of the people who follow us are finding it very good to use it. This above all demonstrates the flexibility of the service in adapting to many different needs.
When looking for a broker, first look for an affordable broker that offers quality in exchange for low commissions. This is absolutely verified on Markets.com.
If we talk about platforms, even in this case there is nothing to complain. There is a lot of choice, from native platforms to Metatrader, which still remains the most used platform in the world today. A beginner will be happy with the software developed by the broker itself, while a more demanding investor who perhaps uses algorithmic trading tools may prefer Metatrader.
Level assistance is also expected from a level broker. And Markets.com does not disappoint from this point of view either, making its experts always available to customers. So in our opinion it is a broker that suits many people, especially those looking for a service with which to combine quality and convenience while maintaining an easy and intuitive user experience.
The Markets.com app
Markets.com has also developed its own app, available for both iOS and Android, which brings the entire platform into the few inches of a smartphone. The functionality, speed and ease of use remain absolutely unchanged. The app is free and you can log in directly with the credentials you use on the desktop version.
The app has also recently been totally revamped, with a new graphic layout and new features. This makes the mobile trading experience even more complete.
Sub-accounts: an excellent feature
One of the features of Markets.com that we have always appreciated the most are the sub-accounts. For a novice trader it may not be a great addition, but for those who have been around for some time there are obvious advantages.
In a nutshell, you can create sub-accounts that always refer to your main account. So you will always enter the broker with the same credentials, but within the platforms you can choose from time to time which sub-account to use for your next operation. Each sub-account contains a portion of your balance, of your choice, which as always benefits from negative balance protection.
A smart way to use sub-accounts can be to have one for strategic long-term trades and one for short-term and more speculative ones. If we want to open particularly risky positions, perhaps with short selling, sometimes we open a sub-account specifically for that position. In this way we know that, in the worst case scenario, we will only be able to lose the money linked to that sub-account without affecting the main balance.
There are traders who choose to use a sub-account for traditional instruments and one for cryptocurrencies, those who use them to keep forex and shares separate. In short, you can use them as you prefer. We simply want you to be aware of their presence: you are then free to adapt them to your investor profile.
Training on Markets.com
If you are not yet an expert on financial markets and want to learn how to move better between the various asset classes, to understand when to buy and when to sell, Markets.com also accompanies you in this. Over time the broker has begun to cultivate a section of the site totally dedicated to training. It’s still in the expansion phase but already quite remarkable.
First of all, you will find webinars in which analysts comment on the performance of the financial markets and talk about possible investments ideas. In these events, they talk about prominent people in the economic and financial context, both public and private, sometimes also involving successful traders who tell their strategies.
Then we find another area completely dedicated to news, where all the most important news coming from the financial markets are published. This section is well cultivated in our opinion: there is enough to always be informed, but there is not too much. It would risk creating excessive background noise and driving investors away from the most important information, which instead stands out.
Finally, in the Learn section of the site you will also find an updated list of investor analysis. Clearly we have our own analyzes, which we also share on our Telegram channel, so we do not follow those published by Markets.com. However, in the near future we could also publish our opinions on the broker’s website; for now the service is only available in English, but the Italian Markets community is growing and is seriously considered by the management.
Final opinions and conclusions
To conclude our talk on Markets.com, we cannot help but be satisfied with everything we have seen so far and with the way the service is growing over time. Since Playtech bought the brand, the service has been completely revamped. For those who have been in the trading industry for many years, maybe someone brings back memories of when it was a tiny service. At the time, slightly unwary investors only approached Markets.com for the € 25 no deposit bonus, a type of promotion that is now no longer even possible in Europe.
With perseverance and dedication, a service ‘in the background’ of the trading landscape has been transformed into a very high profile brand. The real stock purchase service combined with CFD trading is a true excellence. The whole site has been redone, the entire proprietary platform has been redone, thousands of new assets and compatibility with Metatrader have been introduced.
We are happy to have chosen Markets.com as a partner of our trading firm. Every day we feel supported by the broker’s actions, which obviously did not fund this post. We are simply happy to have our say on a quality service which, in our opinion, in Italy does not yet enjoy the popularity it deserves.