What Are CFDs? A Comprehensive Trading Guide

Conversely, if a trader believes a security's price will decline, an opening sell position can be placed. Again, the net difference of the gain or loss is cash-settled through their account. On the other hand, if the trader believes that the asset’s value will decline, an opening sell position can be placed.

With a CFD trading account, our clients can choose between trading at home and on-the-go, as our platform is very flexible for traders of all backgrounds. A contract for difference (CFD) allows traders to speculate on the future market movements of an underlying asset, without actually owning or taking physical delivery of the underlying asset. CFDs are available for a range of underlying assets, such as shares, commodities, and foreign exchange. CFDs or Contracts for Difference are financial instruments that allow traders to speculate on the price movement of underlying assets without actually owning them. CFDs are commonly used in the forex market and give traders the opportunity to profit from both rising and falling prices.

  1. For example, when you close a CFD position involving EUR/USD, there are no actual euros or dollars physically exchanged.
  2. Forex is short for foreign exchange, an asset class based on the relative values of fiat currencies.
  3. This is a useful way to learn how CFDs work without risking real money.

You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. We want to clarify that IG International does not have an official Line account at this time. We have not established any official presence on Line messaging platform. Therefore, any accounts claiming to represent IG International on Line are unauthorized and should be considered as fake. Please ensure you understand how this product works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing money.

CFD traders have to pay the spread on entry and exit positions, meaning that it’s potentially harder to make small profits. The spread cost must be factored in to the calculated profits and losses resulting from CFD trading. Discover how the latest features can improve your market understanding and analysis.

Key features of trading CFDs

However, it’s worth noting that one of the advantages of using CFDs rather than the traditional approach to buying equities is that sometimes the SDRT charge is removed from your P&L. In the leveraged scenario, any price move will have a x5 impact on your P&L. If the price goes down 10%, then in the first example, you’ll lose $50, and in the second, you’ll lose $250. Due diligence (2) – It’s also worth crowdsourcing the thoughts of others in the trading community. Regulators offer some protection, but if you’re wiring funds to a third party, then a Google search about whether it is trustworthy is always a good option. Pension funds and family offices have designated teams whose job it is to check and then monitor third parties.


Leverage is a trading tool that allows you to enter higher value trades even if you don’t have the full capital required. In fact, it’s the biggest single trading market in the world, with trillions of dollars being bought and sold each day. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. There are over 80 currency pairs to choose from with us, including major, minor and exotic pairs . Conveniently access and manage all your trading accounts in one place.

With us, you’d usually trade FX CFDs on the spot (on the current cash price of that currency pair, as opposed to the future price) and you’d always trade in the quote currency. For example, when trading EUR/USD, you’ll trade in US dollars. Join thousands of traders who choose a mobile-first broker for trading the markets. The amount of money required to open and maintain a leveraged position is called the “margin” and it represents a fraction of the position’s total value or size.

Learn to Trade

Instead, you’ll use the derivative to speculate on price movements. Contracts for differences (CFDs) are contracts between investors and financial institutions in which investors take a position on the future value of an asset. The difference between the open and closing trade prices are cash-settled.

If you open a long position and the asset’s price rises, you’ll profit by how much it has gone up, but if it falls, you’ll lose out. If you go short and the price drops, you could make money, but if it rises, you would lose. FXTM have a range of trading accounts on offer for CFD trading. These are suitable for both beginner and advanced traders alike, and come with an array of competitive leverage and margin requirements. As in, they derive their value from the movement of an underlying asset. They allow traders to trade price movements without actually owning the underlying asset.

By not owning the underlying asset, CFD traders can avoid some of the disadvantages and costs of traditional trading. When traders choose to trade CFDs, it means that they are engaging in a contract between themselves and the broker. The trader – the “buyer” – and the broker – the “seller” – agree to a contract which speculates on the price of an asset in market conditions. Not all just2trade forex broker traditional online stockbrokers or trading platforms offer CFDs, although there is plenty of competition in the UK. This has resulted in favourable terms for would-be traders with better pricing structures and enhanced features. In addition, CFDs usually levy a daily interest charge whenever a position is held overnight, and this is usually applied at a previously agreed rate.


In fact, traders often use CFDs (and other leveraged derivatives) to trade in the forex market. Online CFD providers opened the door to a host of new possibilities for traders, including adding derivatives to their portfolio. Today the London School of Economics estimates that CFD trading accounts for more than a third of all stock market trades in the UK. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

The currency being bought is known as the base currency (appears on the left), while the other is called the quote currency (appears on the right). A CFD is a contract under which two parties agree to exchange the difference in price between the opening price and closing price of the contract. A derivative is a financial instrument whose price is dependent upon or derived from the price fluctuations of an underlying asset. Many retail traders can (and do) go into a negative account balance. This means you can lose all your money and owe more money to your CFD provider. The net profit of the trader is the price difference between the opening trade and the closing-out trade (less any commission or interest).

CFDs = Leveraged Derivatives

Putting on a position in a CFD trading account means that you are setting up a contract between yourself and your broker, rather than a direct investment in the markets. The price of your position is derived from prices in the underlying market. Although CFDs spare traders from many of the costs of traditional trading, CFD traders are required to pay the costs of spreads.

For example, the broker CMC Markets, a U.K.-based financial services company, charges commissions that start from 0.10%, or $0.02 per share, for U.S.- and Canadian-listed shares. The opening and closing trades constitute two separate trades, and thus you are charged a commission for each trade. For example, say you hold £5000 worth of physical ABC Corp shares in your portfolio; you could hold a short position or short sell the equivalent value of ABC Corp with CFDs. You could then close out your CFD trade to secure your profit as the short-term downtrend comes to an end and the value of your physical shares starts to rise again. CFD trading in forex offers a flexible and accessible way for beginners to enter the forex market.