CMC Markets leads CFD evolution with new platform


CMC Markets is raising the bar for Australian CFD providers with the launch of its CMC Tracker platform for Australian investors.

The result of A$156m of investment over two years, this new platform has been built in response to customer, industry and regulatory feedback that retail investors must be empowered and confident to trade the markets.

“The CMC Tracker platform will be a substantial leap forward for an industry that relies on the latest technology, and will allow more innovative applications of CFD trading,” said Louis Cooper, Head of CMC Markets Australia and New Zealand.

The platform will allow faster execution through a range of features including increased order types, advanced charting techniques and the ability to execute trades from these charts, and integrated news feeds all at a lower cost of trading.

In a review of the Tracker platform, Canstar Cannex (Australia’s leading financial research institute) believes “through their development of the Tracker platform CMC Markets can potentially revolutionise the role CFDs play in the investor’s/trader’s portfolio.”

Adjustable leverage and automatic, transaction based stop losses manage downside
A major new innovation is the platform allows an investor to dial down the level of leverage in the CFD, to as far as zero. This means the platform will allow investors leverage-free access to products like FX, international stocks and commodities. The platform also allows the more self-directed investor to employ a ‘buy and hold’ strategy’ if they wish.

Canstar Cannex describes the adjustable leverage as a feature that “will open the door for CFDs to be used in a more conservative space at a gearing level chosen by the trader”.

“We believe this will be incredibly beneficial for investors who are sufficiently comfortable with using CFDs but want less risk. It creates one of the easiest ways to access foreign exchange and commodities in a market where there are limited choices for investors wanting access to these asset classes,” said Mr Cooper.

Another new risk management feature is the automatic transaction based stop losses, which automatically set a stop loss equal to an investors’ margin. This feature remains enabled from account set up unless the investor deliberately changes their account settings, providing a higher level of protection for newer or more risk adverse investors.

The platform increases CMC Markets’ focus on education with live news streams from Dow Jones and integrated education modules and embedded social media. CMC Markets was named “Best education materials” in the Investment Trends May 2011 Australia CFD Report for the third year running.

New portfolio mixer allows control and equity hedging
Another notable feature is the portfolio mixer, which allows an investor to drop and drag different assets, companies, currencies and commodities into one on-screen basket.

“For educated, savvy investors, CFDs can be a great tool for hedging company exposure in their equity portfolio. We wanted to give them a means to be able to do this accurately and confidently, so with the appropriate education they can start to minimise the downside of investing purely in an equity portfolio, especially in volatile markets,” said Mr Cooper.

For the most sophisticated investor, it is possible to use the mixer for more targeted techniques including building your own index across multiple assets, for example a gold index which includes direct access to the commodity as well as gold miners.

Automated system will reduce trading costs
The new platform offers CMC Markets’ lowest spreads ever, meaning investors can trade currency pairs at interbank rates, (including EUR/USD) and all major indices (including Australia 200) from 0.7 pip spreads.

In regards to financing, an investor only pays interest on the leveraged portion of their trade, not the entire trade amount. The financing charged is only 2% above the base rate.

“The basic premise is an investor’s bottom line means everything. With tight spreads, commission free company trading and no financing charged on the margin amount, investors should have more money in their pocket to trade with,” said Mr Cooper.

The platform also has versions built specifically for mobile devices which allows investors to trade with superior functionality on iPads and iPhones plus market leading security features.

“This platform should set the pace for our competitors, many of whom have lagged behind in technological investment. We expect this platform to propel us to the position of number one CFD provider in Australia,” Mr Cooper concluded.

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