CMC Invest ReviewYour capital is at risk.
CMC Invest is the latest share dealing app for U.K. investors, launched by CMC Markets Group in September 2022, and now available via mobile on a stand-alone basis with commission-free trading across all account types.
While CMC Invest’s U.K. offering is still evolving, the group’s history and reliability as a global brand has helped accelerate its offering and bring it closer to market leaders in offering U.K.-listed shares and U.S. equities, despite being a mobile-only app for the time being.
CMC Invest pros & cons
- Commission-free across all U.K. account types.
- Plus account features 2,100 funds, 1,150 US equities, and 250 U.K. shares.
- Multicurrency denominated accounts (e.g., USD Wallet).
- ESG ratings and risk scores are well-integrated on app.
- Good variety of predefined screeners across sectors with sortable parameters for funds and shares.
- High trustworthiness factor and well-regulated in numerous jurisdictions.
- Access to CMC Invest community for live account holders.
- Plus account offers flexible ISA accounts, which are less restrictive than traditional ISAs.
- Solid company track record in Australia and broader U.K. CFD and global market.
- Web platform not yet available.
- No advanced charting (just line chart and cross-hair across six time frames).
- No interest earned on idling cash.
- Core account doesn’t support ISA or SIPP plans, and has greater limitations compared to the Plus account.
- Plus account costs £10 per month, unless you don’t hold overnight positions.
- £50 fee to place a trade by phone.
- Mutual funds not yet available, though expected soon for Plus accounts.
- Research reports not yet launched, but are available in a beta version and also expected soon for Plus accounts.
- App is not geared toward day traders.
|Commissions & Fees|
|Offering of Investments|
|Platforms & Tools|
|Ease of Use|
Commissions & fees
CMC Invest offers two pricing options for its trading accounts, the Core and Plus accounts. Core is best suited to budget investors who plan on holding longer-term with no custody fees; the Plus account is ideal for those who do more intraday trading or who have larger portfolios to absorb the £10 monthly fee.
The caveat to this is that ISA accounts (which are flexible ISAs) are only supported in the Plus account.
Core account: The core account costs nothing and comes with zero commissions, providing you access to over 2,000 U.S. shares, large-cap U.K. shares from the FTSE 100, and over 300 ETFs; however, it cannot be used to open an ISA account.
Plus account: This tier costs £10 per month (after a free three-month trial) and has all the features of the core account, plus a USD currency wallet, access to mid-cap U.K. shares, and the ability to open a flexible ISA retirement account.
CMC Invest plans to launch a premium pricing option with additional perks such as access to research, ESG ratings, mutual funds a SIPP account and more; it was not yet available as of this writing.
Other fees: There is a 0.5% forex conversion fee when trading foreign shares, such as U.S. shares, from your GBP account balance.
For instance, if you buy £100 GBP of a particular U.S. stock, you would take the GBP/USD exchange rate multiplied by 0.005 (0.5%) which on £100 worth of shares would cost less than a dollar (e.g., if GBP/USD is 1.22, multiplying by 0.5% equals $0.61).
Share dealing fees: All accounts are commission-free at CMC Invest.
Custody fee: Besides typical U.K. stamp duty (0.5%) and PTM levy (£1), which are standard government fees across all U.K. brokers when you buy U.K. listed shares, there is no custody fee at CMC Invest, unless you have the Plus account which costs £10 per month. It’s worth noting that there is also no interest rate to be earned on your idling cash, regardless of your CMC Invest account type.
Scenario pricing: When calculating annual share dealing costs, trading frequency and account balance are the two most important factors to consider. Assuming a £30,000 portfolio in a traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are scenarios of how much CMC Invest would cost based on trade frequency, using the commission-free core account (the Plus account would be the same as Core but incur an additional £10 monthly fee) and not including government fees such as U.K. stamp duty:
- 5 trades per year = £0
- 12 trades per year = £0
- 36 trades per year = £0
- 120 trades per year = £0
- 3 fund trades per year = £0
|Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month||0|
|Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month||0|
|Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month||0|
|Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000||0|
|Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K||0|
|Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m||0|
|Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over||0|
|Bonds - Corporate - Fee||N/A|
|Bonds - Government (Gilts) - Fee||N/A|
|ETFs - Fee||0|
|Investment Trusts - Fee||0|
|Telephone Dealing Fee||50|
Mobile trading app
The CMC Invest mobile app is available for U.K. residents who have either Android or iPhone devices, and requires a live account for full access; no demo account is yet available.
If you want to invest passively in U.K. and U.S. shares or are just starting as a beginner, you’ll find the CMC Invest U.K. app easy to use, and it comes with basic features that can accelerate your learning. That said, more demanding traders will be left wanting more, compared to the best mobile apps available in the U.K. for share dealing.
Home screen and balance information: Starting from the home screen, where there are some basic account overview details such as balance information, there isn’t much going on other than profile settings and a shortcut to message CMC Invest directly; this is not an area where I would spend much time.
External resources: There are a few links to resources on the home screen but they will redirect you away from the app to an external webpage using your device’s browser. Ideally these features will be made available within the app, as redirects can detract from the user experience.
Discover and Watchlist tab: Moving to the more exciting part of the application, the Discover tab, at centre of the three tabs at the bottom of the app, will take you to a page where you can find available securities from the top search bar or select from a Shares and Funds tab — which will show you respective securities, including ones that are Popular, Top Movers, High ESG Scores — and other predefined screens such as Highest Dividends or Lowest Price-to-Earnings Ratios.
ESG scoring features: Powered by Sustainanayltics, the integrated ESG scoring in the CMC Invest U.K. app is nicely woven into the user experience, making it easy to assess the level of impact a company may have on various ESG factors and criteria.
For example, there is an overall risk score, as well as controversy category scoring, and 26 product involvement variables encompassing subjects like animal testing and predatory lending. Each is color-coded to signal the level of ESG impact.
Relevance for investors: A company with more sustainable practices will score better in the ESG criteria. If you find yourself becoming more concerned about ESG factors as an investor, these data points can be helpful when analyzing investment opportunities or to help increase awareness of ESG trends across listed companies.
Demo by Steven Hatzakis of the CMC Invest mobile share dealing app, the latest venture by global trading brokerage CMC Markets.
Other platforms & tools
CMC Invest doesn’t yet have a web-based or desktop application in its U.K. offering, leaving the mobile app as the only option for you to access your trading and investment account.
A CMC Invest web platform does exist but is only available in Australia at the moment, as part of the well-established CMC Invest Australia.
I have no doubt that if a similar web platform makes its way to the brand’s U.K. offering, it would significantly elevate CMC Invest U.K.’s ranking in this category. Currently the broker trails other U.K. stockbrokers when it comes to the best web and desktop trading platforms for share dealing.
Research at CMC Invest U.K. is currently limited to content produced by the affiliated research brand Opto (see more below), and a few other resources from within its mobile app. There is significant room for improvement to match that of its rivals.
For example, there are no news headlines or research reports, including analyst ratings (though ratings powered by Morningstar are available in beta). I did like how nicely the ESG scoring is integrated into the app.
Opto research team: Opto is the same research brand that powers the compelling content and podcasts for CMC Invest’s sister company, CMC Markets, across the globe, including the Opto magazine, of which I am a huge fan. That said, content from Opto for the U.K. is still in its infancy, with just a few videos available on its dedicated YouTube channel and a biweekly newsletter, as of publication of this review. Overall, I look forward to seeing the high-quality content for which Opto is known continue to make its way into the CMC Invest U.K. experience.
Market data and ESG: From within the CMC Invest app in the U.K. there is market data powered by Morningstar and ESG data from Sustainalytics, while key information documents (KIDs) for select funds are provided by Schroeders. Company fundamental analysis is listed as coming soon for Plus account holders.
|Research - Shares||No|
|Research - CFDs||No|
|Research - Funds||No|
|Fund Research - Research Reports||No|
|Research - ETFs||No|
|Portfolio Allocation Breakdown||No|
Offering of investments
The range of markets available to you at CMC Invest will depend on the account type that you hold, with the Plus account featuring a wider range of markets. The Core account provides access to over 2,000 U.S. securities, large-cap U.K. shares, and 300 ETFs and investment trusts. The Plus account includes those plus an additional selection of mid-cap U.K. shares, with mutual funds and other asset classes expected to be added soon.
|Research - ETFs||No|
|Bonds - Corporate||No|
|Bonds - Government (Gilts)||No|
CMC Invest offers educational content in two primary forms supplied by its affiliate Opto, consisting of articles published on its website and videos on its dedicated YouTube channel.
Opto content: I found the content of good quality, despite just 20 articles published thus far. The YouTube CMC Invest channel has interviews with independent journalists and CMC Opto’s head of content. Opto has produced very high-caliber podcasts and content for sibling company CMC Markets, but it’s currently limited to just a few videos for the U.K. given how recently the firm launched.
CMC Invest community: As a live account holder you get access to the CMC Invest community, which is a dedicated portal set up like a forum. Investors can post, read the posts of other users, and access other resources such as a knowledge base for customer support.
Overall, the community has a good foundation although it is still in its infancy, with only a few dozen discussions. That said, I liked how you can suggest a feature and offer feedback about the mobile app, in addition to participating in stock discussions with other community members.
|Education (Share Trading)||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||No|
Though a new entrant into the U.K. share dealing scene, CMC Invest has already made considerable progress. With the strength of its parent, CMC Markets Group, and success of its global offerings, we have no doubt it will continue to evolve closer the offerings of peers in key categories.
I was impressed with how well the ESG scoring is integrated into the CMC Invest app and am looking forward to more markets being added, which will help boost its ranking in the offering of investments category relative to top competitors.
That said, there are a few areas where CMC Invest UK still has plenty of room for improvement. There is no web platform currently available, and its research and education sections are also in the process of maturing.
Overall, CMC Invest’s value proposition is strongest for longer-term investors, with commission-free trading on all account types and a growing number of perks for Plus account subscribers, including a flexible ISA.
About CMC Invest
CMC Invest is part of CMC Group (LON: CMCX), which was founded in 1989 and best known for its longstanding CFD broker brand, CMC Markets. CMC Invest the brand’s latest offering for investors to enter the U.K. share dealing market, following the success of its Australia arm, which caters to stock market investors and traders, including ANZ Bank’s stockbroker client base.
CMC Group brands have processed over 220 million transactions valued at more than $7.5 trillion, in the last three years, making it one of the largest online brokers globally.
Is CMC Markets available in the U.K.?
Yes, CMC Markets is a global group that is headquartered in the U.K., publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON: CMCX). It consists of numerous subsidiaries and brands, including three that are available for U.K. investors. CMC Markets Group UK entities consist of CMC Markets UK plc (reg. number 173730), CMC Spreadbet plc (reg. number 170627), and CMC Invest (reg. number 12816952) which is a trading name of CMC Markets Investments Ltd. All are fully regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
CMC Markets offers traders CFDs and spread betting in the U.K., while CMC Invest offers investors underlying exchange-trade securities including U.K. and U.S. shares, ETFs, funds and investment trusts, including for flexible ISA retirement account holders.
Is CMC Invest a good brokerage?
Yes, CMC Invest is part of the CMC Markets group, a longstanding brand that that is listed with top-tier regulators and trusted across the globe as a safe broker. CMC Invest is available in Australia and the U.K. and is to be launched in Singapore in May 2023, according to a recent company announcement.
CMC Markets has consistently won prestigious awards from numerous reviewers, including our sister site ForexBrokers.com, where it has earned a high Trust Score.
Though CMC Invest is still a new offering in the U.K., having launched in September of 2022, it is well established in Australia. CMC Invest is a trading name of its CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, an entity that holds an AFSL license and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). CMC Invest is the second largest stockbroker in Australia, handling the entire stockbrokering business for ANZ Bank, and is a participant on both the Australian Securities Exchange (ASE) and Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX).
Is CMC Invest good for beginners?
CMC Invest offers a user-friendly app recently launched in the U.K. with basic features that are designed for passive investors, and can be suitable for beginners, with a growing selection of research articles and videos from affiliated research firm Opto.
It isn’t a great choice for more advanced investors who demand sophisticated charting features and the like. CMC Invest’s long-established Australia arm has a more evolved offering, making CMC Invest one to watch as more features are carried over to its U.K. sister.
Does CMC Invest have fees?
CMC Invest fees depend on where you reside. For U.K. residents, there is no commission for share trading and investing in funds in the Core (basic) account, while its Plus account carries a monthly subscription fee of £10.
For comparison, in Australia, where CMC Invest has been established for over a decade, share dealing is free for the first $1,000 worth of stocks traded per order and per trading day; for anything beyond that you will incur $9 - $11 per order, depending on your account level.
For the 2022 StockBrokers.com U.K. Review, we assessed, rated, and ranked 11 U.K. share dealing platforms over a 10-week time period. Each broker was exhaustively tested on all available platforms and graded on 53 different variables. In total, over 17,000 words of research were produced.
Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Our team.
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