CMC Markets offers a range of markets through the CMC ‘next generation’ trading platform from share to forex trading including 183 currency pairings and a typical EUR/USD of 0.7 pips while AxiTrader focuses solely on forex trading offering 53 currency pairings and a EUR/USD spread of just 0.1 pips using the MT4 platform.
CMC is a market maker, this means the broker does not connect you to liquidity pools but instead are the direct counterparty to your order. This means they take the other side of the trade. As CMC Markets are a market maker spreads will tend to be slightly higher compared to non-market maker traders (such as AxiTrader) however wider spreads does not necessarily mean they are more expensive. See our cost comparison below.
Some things to note about CMC Markets
They only offer one account type
There are no commissions
Automated trading is available (with no dealing desk)
The online broker offers some of the largest collections of currency pairs for trade we have seen. With over 330 global currencies pairs. If you are looking to trade with both major forex pairs and exotic currency pairs then CMC might suit your needs.
CMC Markets additional fees
When you have a CMC account there are several costs to be aware of there are
Holding Costs (Rollover Fees): This occurs when you hold your position after trading has closed for the day. The holding cost uses the tom-next rate for the currency pair in the underlying market.
Market Data Fee: Trading with certain instruments will incur a $20+GST fee to activate the monthly subscription to access the market data. If you execute two or more trades in the month, you will receive a refund for your fee.
Guaranteed Stop Loss Order: If selected you will need to pay a premium to use this feature. This will be a premium rate x number of units. The premium rate will vary according to the chosen trading platform.
Unlike CMC, AxiTrader is an Electronic Data Communication (ECN) broker. This means they connect you with liquidity pools. Orders are filled by trading with banks, financial institutions and brokers and private investors.
AxiTrader offers lower spreads when we compare with CMC Markets. See our cost comparison below.
AxiTrader by comparison with CMC Markets only offer 80 currency pairs. While this may be less than CMC Markets, it covers all the major pairs most traders would consider for trade.
AxiTrader does not require a minimum deposit and allow expert traders.
AxiTrader additional fees
When trading with AxiTrader you need to be aware of one fee. This is the swap rate
Swap Rate: This is the same as CMC Markets holding fee. If you hold a position overnight for a currency pair. The rate charged will vary by currency pair and the swap rate in the market at the time, the position size and the spread AxiTrader have on offer.
Spreads and cost comparison CMC Markets vs AxiTrader
Below are the most recently provided average spreads for each broker according to their website. Average spreads apply for a period of 1 month. Spreads for AxiTrader are taken from their ‘Pro’ account as this is their lowest cost account.
AVG Spreads (11/02/2019)
CMC Markets (Oct 2018)
AxiTrader (Aug 2017)
As you can see AxiTrader on average provide lower spreads BUT these spreads don’t factor in commissions.
AxiTrader cost with commission by lots
Mini Lots commission ($0.07 roundtrip)
Micro Lots commission ($0.70 roundtrip)
Standard lots commission ($7 roundtrip)
Cost with Commission by lot type
AUD USD Spread 0.61 pips (Aug 2017)
0.131 (0.061 + 0.07)
0.131 per mini lot
AUD USD Spread 0.61 pips (Aug 2017)
1.31 (0.61 + 0.70)
1.31 per micro lot
AUD USD Spread 0.61 pips (Aug 2017)
13.1 (6.1 + 7)
13.1 per standard lot
The table above shows the cost that would be paid for each AxiTrader account once commissions are factored in
Now let us compare these costs for each lot with CMC Markets which does not have a commission
CMC Markets –
Cost is 0.10 x 0.75 (since AUD USD has 0.10 value per pip in mini lots) = USD$0.075 per mini lot
This compares favourably with AxiTrader which costs $0.31 per mini lot
Cost is 1 x 0.75 (since AUD USD has 1 value per pip in micro-lots) = USD$0.75 per micro lot
This compares favourably with AxiTrader which costs $1.31 per mini lot
10 x 0.75 since AUD USD has 10 value per pip in standard lots). Cost is USD$7.50 per micro lot
This compares favourably with AxiTrader which costs $13.10 per standard lot
Spreads and cost CMC Markets vs AxiTrader conclusion
Although AxiTrader have lower spread, when it comes to basic costs – we can conclude that CMC Markets is cheaper because they don’t have commissions.
Margin and Leverage
CMC Markets Margin
When you open your position on the forex market, CMC Markets require you to deposit a certain level of money. This ‘margin’ is a percentage of the actual value of the position you will take. This percentage is the margin rate.
For example: If you want to take a position of $400,000 and the required margin rate is 0.25% then you will need $1000 in your account. The required margin varies for each currency pair but most are 0.20% and this is the lowest permitted amount.
AxiTrader, on the other hand, don’t express the required amount as margin but as leverage. Leverage is much the same as margin but expressed as a ratio. Using the example above, if you want to an open a position of $400,000 and the leverage is 400:1 then you will need to need a minimum $1000 in your account to open a position.
AxiTrader only allows leverage of 400:1 or in margin rate terms: 0.25%. The table below table the conversion from leverage to margin rate
Margin/Leverage CMC Markets vs AxiTrader conclusion
AxiTrader offers higher leverage so if leverage is important to you then we recommend AxiTrader.
CMC Markets have their proprietary trading platform called Next Generation’ and in late 2018 started to offer MetaTrader 4.
The CMC Markets ‘Next Generation’ platform
This award-winning platform introduced in 2013 has been built using the knowledge CMC Markets have gained from over 20 years of industry experience and is great for active traders. Some of the most notable features the platform includes: – 100% automated execution – Competitive pricing – Consistent performance
CMC Markets ‘Next Generation’ platform offers 5 different types of layouts to tailor for the needs of different types of traders. An experienced trader might prefer an advanced layout with lots of complex information and data while new traders might prefer the standard layout which only contains essential information.
– Powerful web and mobile platforms
Next Generation is available as an app on all iPhone and iPads and Android phone and tablets. This using PC can access the trading platform via the web browser.
Key features available include
– Access charts on the go: – Live prices updated every 5 seconds – Access over 40 indicators – Ability to set your trading positions within the charts – Intelligent watchlists – create and store your watchlists – Analysts insights – CMC Markets have their team providing market insights through the day – Markets calendar – Powered by Reuters, keep up to date via push, email and SMS when important new events happen – Client Sentiment tracking – See how other traders’ positions on the market – Account deposits and withdrawals – organise your funding directly through the app – Real-time alerts – receive a notification when you execute an order
CMC Markets offers some of the most sophisticated charting tools available. Key features include – Mobile charting – live streaming charts with access to 20 technical indicators and 10 drawing tools – Pattern recognition scanner – data is automatically compiled and collated from over 120 instruments that could present trading opportunities.
CMC Markets MetaTrader 4
For year time, CMC Markets resisted all temptation to introduced MetaTrader 4 into their platform portfolio. Although MetaTrader 4 is the most used and popular platform for both traders and brokers worldwide, CMC Markets always believe their platform offered superior experience.
CMC Markets decision to offer MetaTrader 4 is a strategic move. Although CMC Markets say it is to meet the demands of existing clients, it will also allow them to attract clients with their competitors as MetaTrader 4 is a familiar product to them.
We will discuss the benefits of MetaTrader 4 in the AxiTrader platforms section but it is important to be aware that there may be some restrictions if you use Mt4 with CMC Markets. These include
1. You cannot use the same CMC Markets Account with CMC Markets Next Generation and MT4. You will need a separate account for each. 2. Trader may not have access to the same range and breadth of instruments with MT4 as opposed to CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform. 3. Add on tools and extra features commonly available with other brokers may not be available with CMC Markets MT4 platform
AxiTrader MetaTrader 4
Developed in 2007, MetaTrader 4 by MetaQuotes is the most readily available platform made available by online forex brokers.
MetaTrader 4 is popular not only with brokers but with traders as well. There are several reasons for this including – Stability – the platform has gone through numerous upgrades since its formation in response to the client’s expectations and experiences which has made it a very reliable and trustworthy platform to trade on – It is available through the web and via a strong set of mobile apps for iOS, Windows and Android. This makes it available to nearly all users. – It is free of charge
Key features of MetaTrader 4 include – Expert advisors: This allows you to use algorithmic trading or automated trading – Hedging and scalping – Multiple market monitoring tools and chart windows which can be customised – Numerous order types such as pending orders – 1-Click trading – to enhance simplify and speed up trading – Enhanced connectivity to third party extensions – 128bit secure encryption – Desktop version is customisable including different colour and sizes for background charts and fonts.
Not to be confused with CMC Markets ‘Next Generation’ platform, AxiTrader include complimentary platform extension to MetaTrader 4 to give the client greater trading experience. This extension consists of a range of features including advanced management tools, sentiment trading and enhanced ordering.
Advanced management tools include: – ‘Trade Journal’ that automatically records trade activity that one can use to improve future trading decisions. – ‘Terminal Windows’ so you can manage alerts, functions and templates – ‘Economic Calendars’ so you can plan your trading around major economic and market events. – ‘Correlation Trader’ to help you find trading opportunities and manage your money
Sentiment trading tools include: – ‘Sentiment Indicator’ so you can see what positions others traders are taking on the market
Enhanced ordering tools include: – ‘Mini Manager’ to assist in dealing with complex ordering and fast trading
Platforms CMC Markets vs AxiTrader conclusion
In the past, we would have recommended AxiTrader because they offer MetaTrader 4 which CMC previously did not. AxiTrader offers add on features for MT4 which CMC do not have. So you need to decide if you prefer AxiTrader + their add on or CMC NexGen. We always prefer to recommend MT4 as this is such a well known and trusted platform.
Both CMC Markets and AxiTrader are authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This means they keep your funds in segregated accounts and always have minimum levels of hand to remains solvent.
While both AxiTrader offers common risk management tools such as Pending Orders, Stop Loss Orders and Margin Calls, CMC also offer Guaranteed Stop Loss Order making their offering stronger.
A Stop Loss Order is a sound investment strategy to protect yourself against losses. It is an order to close your losing position so further losses do not occur. So, if you don’t want to lose more than 10% then set your stop-loss order to sell at 10% less than the price you bought at.
Setting a Stop Loss order won’t guarantee you will sell position at the set loss level. Slippage and buy/demand. Which means you could have larger losses than anticipated. For this reason, CMC Markets allow you to purchase a Guaranteed Stop Loss Order. In the event your forex sells below your stop loss level, CMC will pay the difference lost below your stop loss level.
Risk Management CMC Markets vs AxiTrader conclusion
CMC Markets offer all the usual risk management tools AxiTrader offer but also offer guaranteed stop-loss orders which AxiTrader do not. They also have a good library risk management education resources to encourage responsible trading so we like CMC Markets for risk management.
CMC Markets Customer Service
Customer service at CMC Markets is made up of the shares customer service team and the CFD customer service teams. The shares customer service teams are available 7.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday while CFD customer service team is available 24 hours a day Monday morning to Saturday morning.
CMC Markets offer the usual Email and customer support which is available in domestically in all countries they have offices. Live chat is also available.
I tested the Live chat available on the CMC Markets website and asked a few questions about forex. While the support team answered my first few questions, I was eventually informed that it was the CMC Markets Share Support team I was speaking with and was given a phone number to call for further forex questions. This phone number would have to be for the CFD support team.
CMC also has a range of tools on its website to assist clients. This includes help topics, a FAQs section and a glossary when it comes to customer service. Each CFD has its own help section. One observation that made when researching the CMC Markets website it is is a little confusing if the information relates to shares or CFDs in the help sections.
When it comes to education, the resources are very extensive and includes and webinars, platform and trading guides when it comes to trading and also a trading library. Podcast and eBook series are also available to further enhance your training.
Lastly, CMC Markets do offer a demo account for both Next Generation and MetaTrader 4 platforms. Their demo accounts include $10,000 virtual funds and have no expiry date making it a great tool not only to test the platforms before sign up but also to test trading strategies with no risk.
AxiTrader Customer Service
AxiTrader offers 24/5 Monday to Friday customer support across a range of tools including live chat, email and phone. There is a toll-free number for calls within Australia and a regular number make calls from overseas. Toll-free numbers are also available in a range of countries using the local language. This includes China, Germany, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
One feature AxiTrader do offer not common among all broker is ‘request call back’. If you leave your details, AxiTrader customer support will call you back.
AxiTrader offers a large range of education tools to assist their clients. This includes a forex and CFD ‘basics’ series to help explain and get you started with your chosen trading medium. A glossary of key trading terms, forex eBooks, video tutorials and free online training course. They also have a section that delves into explanations of more complex trading features such as technical analysis and trading signals which should accelerate your trading knowledge.
AxiTrader provides a demo account however it is more limited when compared with CMC Markets demo account. The demo account free but only for the 30-day trial and you have access to $50,000 of virtual trading funds to play with.
Customer Support CMC Markets vs AxiTrader conclusion
AxiTrader customer support is more accessible to all users since CMC Markets live chat support easily available via their website is the shares support team. We, therefore, find Axitrader support less confusing when it came to finding Forex specific information.
CMC Markets have a refer a friend CFD bonus program. If you refer a friend and the friend makes a CFD trade then both you and the friend will receive a $250 bonus.
AxiTrader does not offer any bonus for joining them.
Contracts for Difference (CFDs)
CMC Markets CFDs
CMC Markets offer the most extensive range of CFDs among all online trading brokers we have reviewed. In addition to Forex, the following CFDs are available:
1. Indices 2. Hard and Soft Commodities 3. Shares 4. Treasuries 5. Cryptocurrencies
When it comes to shares, it is worth noticing that CMC Markets main business is selling shares so it is not surprising to see that they much of their website and support is stock trading focused. Not only does CMC Market allow you to buy and sell domestic shares but also international. Not all brokers offer this. CMC Markets also allow access to stockbroker investment products such as ETFs, Managed Funds, Listed Investment Companies. Another offering that is not common among brokers.
When it comes to commodities. CMC Markets offer just about all the hard and soft commodities you can imagine. Not only can you get Cocoa though the US exchange but Cocoa Bulk Beans through the UK exchange. Similarly, you can specify the type of coffee (Arabica, Robusta) you desire and type of Crude Oil (Brent, West Texas).
Treasuries are also available for investment. This is not usually available among Forex online Brokers.
Cryptocurrencies are perhaps the only area that CMC Markets don’t offer a large range of options but offer all the main ones including Bitcoin/Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple.
AxiTrader’s CFD range offering is far more selective than CMC Markets. AxiTrader does not sell shares or stockbroking investments, treasuries and the range of commodities available is restricted to Oil, Cocoa, Coffee, Copper, Natural Gas and Soybeans. Common commodities (that CMC Markets offer) such as Wheat, Rice, Cattle, Sugar, Copper are not available. AxiTrader does however offer a larger range of Cryptocurrencies than CMC Markets as they also offer Dash.
CFD CMC Markets vs AxiTrader Conclusion
CMC Markets easily win this one as they offer one of the largest range of CFD instruments for trade in the online broker market.
Deposits and Withdrawals
CMC Markets Funding
Compared to other brokers, the available funding methods are more limited.
CMC Markets offer the following funding options with no charge from AxiTrader PayPal BPAY POLi Bank Transfer
However, there are charges of 1% for Credit Cards and 0.60% for Debit Cards
Withdrawals can only be done via Bank Transfer
When it comes to deposits AxiTrader have the following method available and there are no charges from the brokers end regardless if domestic or international
Bank Transfer (not available international transfer) BPay (not available international transfer) Credit Card Debit Card Neteller Global Connect Skill/Money Bookers (only available for international transfer) China Union (only available for transfers to China)
Withdrawals can only be made with the following and incur no fees Bank Transfer Neteller (International only)
Funding CMC Markets vs AxiTrader conclusion
AxiTrader simply offer more options for deposits and withdrawals so we recommend AxiTrader