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14 Best CFD Brokers UK 2024

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
Best CFD trading platforms UK

In a nutshell, the best CFD brokers in the UK are Plus500, known for its user-friendly platform and comprehensive risk management tools; eToro, popular for its social trading features and extensive asset variety; and Spreadex, which offers a diverse range of CFDs coupled with superior customer service.

Looking for your perfect CFD broker?

I’ve tested, scored, and ranked the best CFD brokers and platforms in the UK.

Whether you’re seeking security, user-friendliness, or extensive trading options, I’ve got you covered.

Best overall
Best for beginners
Best for tight spreads
4.6
4.5
4.5
Description:

One of the fastest-growing trading platforms in the UK for CFD trading. Comprehensive for all levels of experience.

Description:

30 million users globally trust eToro for their social trading needs, benefiting from a vast array of stocks, ETFs, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

Description:

Top-notch spread betting & CFD trading platform with award-winning customer service.

Pros:
  • Intuitive, user-friendly platform
  • Demo trading account & learning academy
  • Fast and responsive customer service
  • Trading tools & charts
Pros:
  • User-friendly platform for beginners
  • Copy the moves of professional traders
  • Social trading & educational features
Pros:
  • Trading platform is near-perfect
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Great charting tools
  • Low spreads
Disclaimer:
82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Disclaimer:
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Disclaimer:
64% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
Best overall
4.6
Description:

One of the fastest-growing trading platforms in the UK for CFD trading. Comprehensive for all levels of experience.

Pros:
  • Intuitive, user-friendly platform
  • Demo trading account & learning academy
  • Fast and responsive customer service
  • Trading tools & charts
Disclaimer:
82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Best for beginners
4.5
Description:

30 million users globally trust eToro for their social trading needs, benefiting from a vast array of stocks, ETFs, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

Pros:
  • User-friendly platform for beginners
  • Copy the moves of professional traders
  • Social trading & educational features
Disclaimer:
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Best for tight spreads
4.5
Description:

Top-notch spread betting & CFD trading platform with award-winning customer service.

Pros:
  • Trading platform is near-perfect
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Great charting tools
  • Low spreads
Disclaimer:
64% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

14 Best CFD Brokers UK Ranked

Here is a quick list of the best CFD trading platforms to use in the UK based on my hands-on analysis:

76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

  1. Plus500 – One of the fastest-growing CFD brokers in the UK
  2. eToro – Best CFD trading platform UK for beginners
  3. Spreadex – Best CFD broker for tight spreads
  4. Trade Nation – Best CFD broker for low-cost fixed spreads
  5. IG – Best CFD broker UK with over 17,000 tradable instruments
  6. Pepperstone – Best CFD trading platform for using MetaTrader 4
  7. XTB – Best stock exchange-listed CFD broker
  8. AvaTrade – Best CFD platform for selection of trading platforms
  9. Saxo – Best CFD trading platform UK for choice of CFDs
  10. Trading 212 – Commission-free CFD trading platform with a free share upon sign-up
  11. City Index – Award-winning UK CFD broker with low fees
  12. Admirals – Best for competitive forex fees
  13. CMC Markets – Best for advanced charting tools
  14. Capital.com – Best for comprehensive CFD product selection

Best CFD Brokers Compared for UK Traders

Here I’ve compared the CFD brokers based on four key rating criteria you must consider and compare.

What are the best CFD brokers in the UK?

RankTrading platformMinimum depositS&P 500 index
CFD fee
No. of tradeable
instruments
Tier-1 licenses
(regulation)
1Plus500£1000.7 points (average spread cost)2,8006
2eToro$10$3.13,4793
3Spreadex£00.6 points3,3171
4Trade Nation£00.45 points (average spread cost)6012
5IG£250$2.619,5378
6Pepperstone£00.4 points (average spread cost)2,3423
7XTB£0$3.36,0102
8AvaTrade£100$2.61,2604
9Saxo£500$0.02/share70,0007
10Trading 212$1$1.51,7852
11City Index£0$2.613,5007
12Admirals$2500.4 points (average spread cost)6,9424
13CMC Markets$00.6 points (average spread cost)12,0745
14Capital.com$200.8 points (average spread cost)3,1193

Best CFD Trading Platform UK Reviews

It is forecast that the global online trading market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4% per year1.

Choosing the best CFD trading platform is crucial for newcomers in the market.

Having worked in the retail investment sector in London over the last four years, I had the opportunity to experience the rise first-hand.

Additionally, in my role working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”, I was able to work with and test some of the biggest CFD brokers on the market.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best CFD trading platforms in the UK based on five key criteria:

  1. Minimum deposit
  2. S&P 500 index CFD fee
  3. No. of tradeable instruments
  4. Tier-1 licenses (regulation)

Factors such as usability, trading platforms available, research tools, education materials, and additional features were also considered.

All the CFD trading platforms I’ve reviewed below are regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or similar.

You can read about how we test platforms here.

This article was reviewed by Tobi Opeyemi Amure, a trading expert and writer at InvestopediaInvesting.com, and Trading.biz.

1. Plus500 – One of the fastest-growing CFD brokers in the UK2

Plus500 - Best CFD trading platform for trading tools

Plus500 is popular for its easy-to-use web and mobile platform, making it a top choice for CFD trading.

Established in 2008 and regulated by the FCA in the UK, the platform provides a diverse range of tradable assets, including forex, stocks, commodities, indices, options, and ETFs.

Plus500 operates on a commission-free model but generates its profits from spreads, which are among the tightest in the market.

You need to pay attention to additional fees though, including overnight funding, currency conversion, guaranteed stop orders, potential deposit and withdrawal fees, and an inactivity fee.

Plus500 has many payment methods, including debit/credit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets, making deposits and withdrawals easy.

To begin trading with Plus500, a minimum deposit of £100 is required.

Plus500’s trading platform works on all devices. Traders can easily use the CFD trading app on mobile and track trades.

I would recommend Plus500 for experienced traders. The lack of research and educational resources makes other CFD brokers much more suitable for beginners.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£100Spreads and other fees apply.
0.7 points is the average spread cost
during peak trading hours. The spread is subject
to change as it is dynamic.
19,5378

Read my full Plus500 review.

Pros:

  • No commission on buy/sell transactions
  • Competitive spreads
  • Free unlimited Demo account
  • Over 2,800 tradable instruments
  • Real-time quotes and sophisticated analytical tools
  • Fast and dependable order execution

Cons:

  • No available API integrations
  • Lack of social copy trading
  • Limited educational and research tools

82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2. eToro – Best CFD trading platform UK for beginners

eToro - Overall best CFD trading platform UK for beginners.

A close runner-up on my list of the best CFD trading platforms and what I recommend to beginners is eToro.

The platform allows you to trade stocks, forex, ETFs, indices, and commodities.

You’ll have access to CFD trading with leverage to boost market exposure and reduce capital needs.

eToro offers a wide range of analysis tools for traders at all levels. These tools include both fundamental and technical resources, helping users trade wisely.

eToro provides traders with real-time news, economic data, social sentiment trends, and advanced charts.

The platform’s ProCharts tool lets you compare charts across various financial tools and periods.

As CFD trading is risky, you’ll have access to risk management tools such as stop loss, take profit, and trailing stop Loss to guard your investments and manage positions better.

One of its biggest advantages is its CopyTrader functionality. If you’re not sure how or what to trade, this unique functionality allows you to automatically replicate the trades of successful traders on the platform.

If you fancy yourself as a skilled trader, you can apply to eToro’s Popular Investor Program. By doing so, you can earn monthly if other users copy your trades.

If you are new to CFD trading, eToro makes it simple to get started. Plus, I recommend you practice trading strategies and gain confidence utilising their demo account ($100,000 virtual funds).

eToro has competitive trading fees: 1 pip for forex CFDs, 2 pips for commodities, 0.75 points for indices, and 0.15% for stocks and ETFs.

In my experience, eToro’s CFD platform has great tools, an easy interface, and many investment choices.

I recommend eToro for beginner or intermediate traders as one of the simplest CFD trading platforms, however, it may be too simple for experienced traders looking for complex tools and charts.

On top of this, they have an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot (which is quite rare for a trading app), with over 18,000 reviews.

eToro Trustpilot review.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
$10$3.13,4793

Read my full eToro review.

Pros:

  • Trading platform compatible across all devices
  • Social trading and copy features
  • No commission on stocks and ETFs, coupled with competitive spreads
  • Low minimum deposit requirement
  • Offers a free demo account

Cons:

  • Conversion fees for GBP
  • Higher non-trading fees
  • £5 withdrawal fee

{etoroCFDrisk}% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Other fees apply. Your capital is at risk. For more information, click here.

3. Spreadex – Best CFD broker for tight spreads

Spreadex - Best CFD broker for tight spreads.

Spreadex, a UK-based trading platform established in 1999, has distinguished itself as one of the best CFD trading platforms in the country.

It offers an extensive range of CFDs and forex pairs, along with excellent charting tools, making it an ideal choice for both novice and seasoned CFD traders.

This platform stands out for its user-friendly interface, both on the web and its award-winning mobile app, allowing traders to access markets efficiently.

A significant strength of Spreadex is its transparent and competitive fee structure, devoid of any non-trading fees, making it a cost-effective option for traders.

The platform’s safety credentials are robust, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), providing a secure trading environment. Moreover, its history of over two decades signifies reliability and financial stability.

However, the platform’s focus on CFDs and forex means a limited range of other asset classes, which might be a limitation for those seeking a more diverse trading portfolio.

Another area for improvement is educational content, where the platform lacks comprehensive tools like webinars and a demo account, which are essential for beginners.

Spreadex’s customer service is top-notch, with 24-hour support and multiple channels for assistance, reflecting the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction. The onboarding process is straightforward, and traders can benefit from quick account verification.

Spreadex is a well-rounded CFD trading platform, offering a blend of excellent trading tools, customer service, and a secure trading environment. Its limitations in educational resources and asset variety are small compared to its overall offerings, making it a top choice for CFD trading in the UK.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£00.63,3171

Read my full Spreadex review.

Pros:

  • Wide range of CFDs and forex pairs
  • Transparent, competitive fees
  • Excellent customer service

Cons:

  • Limited asset variety outside CFDs/forex
  • No comprehensive educational resources

64% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

4. Trade Nation – Best CFD broker for low-cost fixed spreads

Trade Nation - Best CFD broker for low-cost fixed spreads.

Trade Nation, a reputable UK-based CFD broker, is distinguished by its commitment to transparency and user-friendliness.

It offers a diverse range of trading services, including CFD trading, spread betting, and forex trading, all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The platform stands out for its low-cost fixed spreads, starting at just 0.6 pips for CFDs, providing traders with a transparent and predictable cost structure.

Trade Nation’s intuitive interface, both on its web and mobile platforms, makes it an excellent choice for newcomers to CFD trading. With no minimum deposit, complimentary withdrawals, and a variety of products, it’s accessible for various trading strategies.

Trade Nation is also notable for its Smart News feature, which compiles tweets and news headlines for effortless market tracking. The platform’s charts, powered by ChartIQ, enhance the trading experience with reliable and comprehensive visuals.

However, Trade Nation’s product portfolio is somewhat limited compared to other brokers, and it lacks comprehensive educational resources. While it offers quality research tools and customer support, there’s no live chat, only a chatbot, and the desktop trading platform could be improved.

Overall, Trade Nation is a solid choice for those seeking a straightforward, transparent CFD trading experience with a focus on fair trading and fee clarity.

Its user-friendly approach and innovative features make it particularly appealing to new traders entering the CFD market.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£00.45 points (average spread cost)6012

Read my full Trade Nation review.

Pros:

  • Transparent fee policy with low-cost fixed spreads
  • Negative balance protection for safer trading
  • Innovative Smart News feature for market insights

Cons:

  • Limited educational resources for traders
  • Restricted product portfolio compared to other brokers
  • No live chat support, only a chatbot available

75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

5. IG – Best CFD broker UK with over 17,000 tradable instruments

IG Markets - Best CFD Broker UK with over 17,000 tradable instruments.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. 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.

IG holds the distinction of being the largest CFD broker in the world, with a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1974.

As a regulated broker, it operates under the oversight of esteemed financial authorities, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

It was also rated ‘Most Trusted Broker in 2023, Best Overall Broker in 2023‘ at ForexBrokers.com Annual Awards3. Rest assured, IG provides a secure and trustworthy trading environment.

One of its greatest advantages is its vast selection of over 17,000 tradable instruments (largely through CFDs and spread bets). Many are available for trading 24 hours a day.

The broker maintains competitive spread charges, starting as low as 0.1 pips.

In terms of non-trading costs, there are deposit and withdrawal fees, while the inactivity fee is favorable, only coming into effect after two years of inactivity.

IG impresses with its advanced yet user-friendly trading platform. It’s comprehensive and full of customisable features.

The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform has many charting tools and technical indicators, giving traders full control over their trades.

At the same time, IG offers the L2 Dealer, enabling Direct Market Access (DMA) trading. The expert order control feature facilitates swift order execution directly from the tradable markets, enhancing efficiency.

Similar to my experience with IG in the FX world, I’d recommend it highly as a CFD trading platform. My only critique is its steep stock CFD trading fees.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£250$2.619,5378

Read my full IG review.

Pros:

  • Access to more than 17,000 tradeable instruments
  • Choice of three diverse trading platforms
  • Comprehensive educational and research resources
  • No charges for deposits and withdrawals

Cons:

  • High stock CFD fees
  • Higher initial deposit requirement

6. Pepperstone – Best CFD trading platform for using MetaTrader 4

Pepperstone - Best CFD trading platform for using MetaTrader 4.

Pepperstone is a top choice for the best CFD broker in the UK with a wide range of trading tools and instruments.

You can seamlessly engage in forex, indices, stocks, ETFs, commodities, and other assets through CFDs on the platform.

Pepperstone offers low-cost spreads and fast execution speeds, making it a competitive choice.

Pepperstone allows you to access leverage of up to 30:1 and choose from over 60 currency pairs, while if you have a professional account, you can enjoy even higher leverage and exclusive features.

The platform lets you trade from 0.01 to 100 lots, giving you control over your trading methods.

Traders can use well-known platforms like TradingView, MT4, MT5, CTrader, DupliTrade (for social and copy trading), and Capitalise AI (for code-free trading automation) for various trading needs.

Pepperstone’s platform suits both new and seasoned traders. It offers educational materials to help traders learn and improve.

Opening a Pepperstone account is easy and free. Traders can sign up without fees and get a free demo account.

Utilising a demo account is one of the best things you can do to practice CFD trading without risking real funds, help to build confidence, and test your trading strategies.

When it comes to trading fees, Pepperstone’s spreads start as low as 0.6 pips for forex CFDs, 0.4 pips for index CFDs, 0.05 pips for commodity CFDs, and 0.10% per side for UK share CFDs.

It’s worth pointing out that Pepperstone also applies a swap rate for holding CFD positions overnight.

I’ve found that Pepperstone delivers as a feature-rich CFD trading platform.

Its wide range of instruments, low-cost spreads, powerful trading software, and educational resources make it a great option if you’re looking for optimal trading conditions or higher leverage options.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£00.4 points (average spread cost)2,3423

Read my full Pepperstone review.

Pros:

  • Top-rated for customer satisfaction and value for money
  • Options to trade CFDs via MT5 or cTrader (MT4 for forex trading)
  • Unique currency baskets available
  • Competitive spreads
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
  • Quick and straightforward account opening process

Cons:

  • Primarily focused on CFDs, limiting other trading options
  • Educational resources are less comprehensive compared to competitors

7. XTB – Best stock exchange-listed CFD broker

XTB - Best stock exchange-listed CFD broker.

XTB has established itself as a top CFD broker in the UK, offering an intuitive and highly customisable trading experience.

XTB gives you quick access to over 5,600 markets. These include forex, indices, commodities, stock CFDs, and ETF CFDs.

You’ll want to take advantage of impressively tight spreads starting at 0.1 pips, leverage of up to 30:1, and zero commissions on stock and ETF CFDs.

On XTB, you have the option to use the xStation software or the well-known MetaTrader 4 (MT4) for trading.

The xStation trading software, available on iOS, Android, and desktop devices, caters to the needs of both beginner and advanced traders.

The interface is user-friendly and gives you charting tools and risk management options.

With the built-in trading calculator, you’ll be able to easily estimate costs, profits, and losses before initiating positions.

Modifying stop loss and take profit orders directly on the chart or closing all positions with a single click is a great benefit.

XTB offers many educational resources like videos, webinars, and courses for traders of all skill levels.

You won’t have to worry knowing a personal account manager is on hand to resolve issues and ensure a smooth trading experience.

Opening an XTB CFD trading account is free. It may be helpful to utilise the demo account with £100,000 in virtual funds to test your trading strategies before live trading.

Deposits in GBP and EUR are free of charge, although a £12 processing fee applies to withdrawals below £60. Additionally, inactive accounts are subject to a monthly fee of £9.

Spreads start at 0.1 pip for forex CFDs, 0.004 points for commodity CFDs, and 0.04 points for index CFDs. As said before, stock and ETF CFDs are commission-free.

Be cautious of the overnight fees, however.

I suggest XTB if you plan to utilise its proprietary platform (xStation 5 platform), which offers useful customisation, search functions, and modern design.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£0$3.36,0102

Pros:

  • User-friendly trading platform
  • Low forex fees
  • Swift deposit and withdrawal process without any fee
  • Customer service is available through live chat

Cons:

  • High charges for stock CFDs.
  • Account inactivity fees

8. AvaTrade – Best CFD platform for selection of trading platforms

AvaTrade - Best CFD platform for selection of trading platforms.

I recommend AvaTrade if you’re looking for a CFD broker with access to various trading platforms.

It offers the well-known MetaTrader 4 and 5, along with its in-house platforms (AvaTrade WebTrader, AvaTrade Go, AvaOptions, and AvaSocial) catering to all trading styles and levels of experience.

AvaTrade delivers strong educational content. They give a free demo account and many learning tools like courses, webinars, eBooks, and tutorials.

AvaTrade’s WebTrader has charts with 90 indicators, 13 drawing tools, 10 time frames, and three chart types. However, it needs more to match the feature quality of top platforms like IG’s.

They keep improving their copy trading tools to compete with leaders like eToro and Pepperstone. AvaTrade offers ZuluTrade, DupliTrade, and MetaTrader’s Signals market. They also launched AvaSocial in the U.K. in partnership with Pelican Exchange.

AvaTrade offers the top-rated AvaTradeGO app for mobile trading on Google Play and the App Store. The app’s clear design helps you make quick decisions.

As an internationally regulated CFD broker, AvaTrade offers a wide array of over 1,200 CFD instruments including forex, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and bonds.

The platform offers low spreads for CFD trades from 0.9 pips, no fees for deposits or withdrawals, and tools like Expert Advisors and AvaProtect.

Keep in mind that AvaTrade is not regulated by the FCA, but by the following Tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)Canadian Investment Regulatory Organisation (CIRO)Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), and in the EU via MiFID.

AvaTrade offers a wide range of trading platforms and helpful guides for new traders. Each year, the number of tradeable markets grows, and EU Professional traders benefit from competitive spreads.

With this in mind, AvaTrade is a CFD trading platform to watch over the coming years.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£100$2.61,2604

Read my full AvaTrade review.

Pros:

  • Access to multiple trading platforms
  • In-depth educational guides
  • Competitive spreads

Cons:

  • No FCA-regulation

9. Saxo – Best CFD trading platform UK for choice of CFDs

Saxo - Best CFD trading platform UK for choice of CFDs.

If 70,000 tradable instruments don’t wake you up I don’t know what will!

Saxo Markets (UK branch of the renowned Saxo Bank) is celebrated for its proprietary CFD trading platform, SaxoTraderGo.

You have the option to trade stocks, ETFs, indices, forex, bonds, commodities, and index options.

The SaxoTraderGO platform, accessible via desktop, tablet, or smartphone, boasts comprehensive charting with over 50 technical indicators, integrated trade signals, news feeds, and robust risk-management features.

For advanced traders, the SaxoTraderPRO offers a higher level of sophistication.

Saxo also impresses with its competitive pricing structure for CFD trading.

Spreads start as low as 0.4 pips for forex, 0.10% for UK shares and ETF CFDs, 0.05 points for commodity CFDs, and 0.25 points for index CFDs.

The bank shares diverse research content from both its team and external sources like Dow Jones and NewsEdge, spanning videos, articles, podcasts, and headlines.

It centers its research within the SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO platforms and includes signals from Autochartist. The user-friendly content is sorted by asset class or theme.

Despite its non-interactive economic calendar, its video content, housed on its site and platforms, maintains high quality.

I’d recommend Saxo if you can justify the higher initial deposit. The CFD trading platform is highly trusted, full of advanced trading tools and top-notch market research, and includes all you need as a trader.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£500$0.02/share70,0007

Read my full Saxo Markets review.

Pros:

  • Advanced trading tools
  • Exceptional research resources
  • Extensive variety of products available

Cons:

  • Higher minimum deposit
  • No 24/7 customer support or live chat facility

10. Trading 212 – Commission-free CFD trading platform with a free share upon sign-up

Trading 212 - Commission-free CFD trading platform with a free share upon sign-up.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use CFD trading platform, you might want to check out Trading 212.

Trading 212 provides CFDs on 29 commodities, 36 indices, 1536 shares, and 184 forex pairs. They also give traders access to securities like fractional shares. However, they have stopped offering cryptocurrency trading.

With a low minimum deposit, traders can kick-start their journey with a modest £1 investment for the Invest and ISA accounts, or £10 for the CFD trader account.

Trading 212 offers commission-free trading. However, when trading CFDs and forex, you’ll have to pay a spread.

You must pay attention to potential charges, including deposit fees for amounts over £2,000 and currency conversion fees.

Trading 212 sets itself apart with its user-friendly CFD trading app that is compatible across all account types and offers comprehensive trading services.

It offers one of the easiest CFD trading apps that is compatible across all account types and has over 10 million downloads on Google Play.

It offers educational resources for new traders but lacks features for experts. Users can easily sort markets and sync their watchlists with the web platform.

The app showcases an economic calendar detailing upcoming events, their potential impact, and forecasts. Despite its strengths, it misses key research tools and trading customisations, like good-till-date order options.

An added perk is its Google Chrome plugin. The charting tool comes with 45 indicators and 19 drawing tools.

Despite its benefits, Trading 212 has certain limitations, including a lack of research tools, no educational articles, and no access to MetaTrader.

In my experience, Trading 212’s platform is user-friendly for beginners. However, seasoned traders might find it lacking compared to the top CFD brokers in the UK.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
$1$1.51,7852

Read my full Trading 212 review.

Pros:

  • No commission is charged on real stocks and ETFs
  • Fast and straightforward account setup
  • Easy-to-use trading platforms

Cons:

  • Restricted range of research tools
  • No educational articles
  • No MetaTrader

11. City Index – Award-winning UK CFD broker with low fees

City Index - Award-winning UK CFD broker with low fees.

City Index, owned by NASDAQ-listed StoneX Group (SNEX), offers diverse trading platforms, a top mobile app, broad market research, and many tradeable markets.

Its Web Trader platform offers a full trading experience with access to all its products. Built for daily traders, it has advanced tools, OCO order features, and simple market search from set watchlists and in-built research.

They now focus on Web Trader and MT4, moving away from the AT Pro desktop platform. Web Trader’s charts, using TradingView, have nearly 90 indicators and many drawing options.

You can quickly change stop-loss or limit orders. Setting up a workspace in Web Trader requires manual arrangement of widgets, but the platform still provides research tools, market news (Reuters), and watchlist sync across devices.

The trading platform allows you to trade in diverse global markets with over 80 currency pairs and over 4,500 CFDs, including spread-betting products.

Fees and spreads are competitive, for example, it has an average spread of 0.74 pips on the EUR/USD and commissions from 0.08% on UK shares.

City Index provides high-quality market research but lacks daily videos. Their written content covers a wide range of markets.

They use Trading Central’s tools on their main platforms. Clients can read daily articles from the City Index analyst team, get news from Thomson Reuters, use the FxStreet economic calendar, and receive SMS alerts with trading ideas.

The Market News on City Index includes articles like the Week Ahead Report with charts and summaries. City Index also hosts webinars for market forecasts and has added new content to its YouTube, including YouTube Shorts and research videos.

City Index provides educational resources for new and intermediate traders. Their Training section on the website covers basic to advanced strategies.

They feature unique videos like the Trading Academy reality show and the Celebrity Trader series. While City Index’s YouTube has many webinars, adding more interactive content, videos, and articles would improve their overall offering.

City Index is a top pick among UK CFD brokers, if you’re looking for the lowest prices it’s not for you. However, if you value a Web Trader platform with advanced tools, spread betting, and top-notch market research, it’s a great option.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
£0$2.613,5007

Read my full City Index review.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive trading platform
  • Quality research materials
  • Access to spread betting

Cons:

  • Lower prices can be found elsewhere

12. Admirals – Best for competitive forex fees

Admirals - Best for competitive forex fees.

Admirals, formerly Admiral Markets, established in 2001, has grown into a globally recognised Forex and CFD broker, serving clients in over 130 countries.

Known for its impressive selection of over 6,000 instruments, Admirals offers a broad range of assets including popular currency pairs, indices, and commodities. The platform has earned over 20 international industry awards, highlighting its quality and reliability.

Regulated by several authoritative bodies including the UK’s FCA, Admirals prioritises high regulatory standards and a secure trading environment. Its platform provides access to 15 of the world’s largest stock exchanges, offering a diverse array of investment opportunities.

Admirals support both MetaTrader 4 and 5, allowing for a robust trading experience with versatile software options.

Key features of Admirals include a transparent pricing system with low trading fees and spreads starting from 0.6 pips for forex.

The platform is particularly renowned for its low forex fees, making it an attractive choice for traders focusing on currency markets. Admirals’ trading platforms, MT4 and MT5, are well-integrated with advanced tools and analytics, offering a seamless experience across web, mobile, and desktop interfaces.

However, Admirals caters primarily to CFDs and does not offer a wide range of traditional investment products like real stocks or ETFs to all clients. The platform also charges an inactivity fee and requires a minimum deposit of $250, which might be a barrier for some traders.

In summary, Admirals stands out for its extensive market access, competitive pricing, and commitment to regulatory compliance, making it a top choice for traders interested in forex and CFDs.

The platform’s advanced tools and educational resources further enhance its appeal, particularly for experienced traders.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
$2500.4 points (average spread cost)6,9424

Read my full Admirals review.

Pros:

  • Extensive range of over 6,000 instruments, including forex, indices, and commodities
  • Access to major global stock exchanges and both MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms
  • Low trading fees with competitive spreads, especially for forex
  • Award-winning broker with a long-standing reputation

Cons:

  • Limited to CFDs, with real stocks and ETFs available only for specific account types
  • Charges an inactivity fee
  • Requires a minimum deposit of $250
  • Limited educational resources for beginners

13. CMC Markets – Best for advanced charting tools

CMC Markets - Best for advanced charting tools.

CMC Markets, a leading CFD, forex, and spread betting platform in the UK, offers access to over 12,000 financial instruments across diverse markets.

Known for advanced charting tools and over 115 technical indicators, it caters to both experienced traders and beginners.

The platform is distinguished by competitive pricing, with spreads starting from 0.7 pips for forex CFDs, and a comprehensive range of assets including forex, indices, commodities, shares, and ETFs.

Regulated by multiple authorities like the FCA, CMC Markets ensures a secure trading environment. Its user-friendly interface, accessible through web and mobile platforms, offers detailed trade information and efficient execution.

While the focus is primarily on CFDs, it provides extensive research and educational resources, enhancing user experience.

CMC Markets is well-suited for traders seeking a broad market range, advanced trading tools, and a platform with a strong regulatory framework.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
$00.6 points (average spread cost)12,0745

Read my full CMC Markets review.

Pros:

  • Wide range of over 12,000 financial instruments
  • Advanced charting tools with more than 115 technical indicators
  • Comprehensive research and educational resources

Cons:

  • High fees for stock CFDs
  • No 24/7 customer support
  • Inactivity fees apply

14. Capital.com – Best for comprehensive CFD product selection

Capital.com - Best for comprehensive CFD product selection.

Capital.com, established in 2016 and regulated by top-tier authorities like the FCA, stands out as a premier CFD broker in the UK.

It’s renowned for its intuitive trading platforms, both web and mobile, which are user-friendly and feature advanced charting with over 70 technical indicators.

The broker offers a diverse range of CFD products, including forex, indices, stocks, commodities, and crypto (for non-UK clients), with low forex CFD fees and a straightforward account opening process.

The platform is particularly suitable for beginner traders, providing comprehensive customer support and a host of educational resources.

Capital.com also ensures client safety with measures like negative balance protection and no minimum deposit requirement for starting trading.

However, it focuses solely on CFDs and spread betting, without offering traditional investment products. Additionally, overnight fees can be high, and some advanced order types like trailing stop orders are not available.

Capital.com is a strong choice for those seeking an accessible, well-regulated CFD trading platform with a focus on user experience and customer support.

Key rating criteria:

Minimum depositS&P 500 index CFD feeNo. of tradeable instrumentsTier-1 licenses (regulation)
$200.8 points (average spread cost)3,1193

Read my full Capital.com review.

Pros:

  • User-friendly mobile and web trading platforms
  • Excellent customer support
  • Wide range of CFD products

Cons:

  • High overnight fees
  • Limited to CFDs and spread betting; lacks traditional assets
  • No trailing stop order functionality

How to Choose the Best CFD Platform & Broker in the UK?

Choosing the best CFD broker in the UK is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your trading experience and success.

Along with the key rating criteria I used to rank the platforms, here’s what to look for:

  • Regulation: Ensure the broker is regulated by a reputable financial authority, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Regulation provides a level of investor protection and ensures the broker operates in compliance with established standards.
  • Security: Look for brokers with robust security measures, including data encryption and segregated client funds. This helps safeguard your personal and financial information.
  • Range of Instruments: It’s important to consider the variety of instruments offered by the broker. Look for a diverse selection, including forex, stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, to access multiple markets and diversify your portfolio.
  • Trading Platforms: Evaluate the trading platforms offered by the broker. A user-friendly and feature-rich platform is essential for executing trades efficiently. Keep in mind factors such as charting tools, order types, and customisation options.
  • Fees & Spreads: Compare the fee structure and spreads charged by different brokers. Make sure you look for competitive spreads, transparent pricing, and assess factors like commissions, overnight fees, and withdrawal charges.
  • Leverage & Margin: Be aware of the leverage options available. Higher leverage can amplify potential profits but also increase risk. Ensure the broker provides suitable leverage levels that align with your risk tolerance and trading strategy.
  • Customer Support: Take time to test the quality and availability of customer support. A responsive and knowledgeable support team can assist when needed, especially during critical trading periods.
  • Educational Resources: Evaluate the educational resources offered by the broker. Look for materials like tutorials, webinars, and trading guides that can enhance your trading knowledge and skills.
  • Demo Accounts: Check if the broker offers a free demo account. This allows you to practice trading with virtual funds and familiarise yourself with the platform before risking real money.
  • Reviews & Reputation: Research the broker’s reputation by reading reviews and testimonials from other traders. This can provide valuable insights into the broker’s reliability, execution speed, and overall customer satisfaction.

What Are Contracts for Difference (CFDs)?

Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivative financial instruments that allow traders to speculate on the price movements of various underlying assets without owning the assets themselves.

CFDs are popular for trading a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, indices, commodities, currencies, and cryptocurrencies.

When trading CFDs, the trader enters into a contract with the broker, agreeing to exchange the difference in the price of the underlying asset between the opening and closing of the contract.

If the trader anticipates that the price of the underlying asset will rise, they can take a long (buy) position. Conversely, if they expect the price to fall, they can take a short (sell) position.

Key characteristics of CFD trading include:

  • Leverage: CFDs enable traders to access larger positions than their initial capital through leverage. This amplifies both potential profits and losses.
  • Margin: To open a CFD position, traders are only required to deposit a fraction of the total trade value, known as the margin. It allows traders to gain exposure to the full value of the trade.
  • Speculative Trading: CFDs are primarily used for speculative trading purposes, aiming to profit from short-term price movements in the market. Don’t forget the possibility of capital losses.
  • Profit Potential in Both Rising & Falling Markets: CFDs allow traders to benefit from both rising and falling markets. Traders can take long positions to profit from upward price movements or short positions to profit from downward price movements. Don’t forget the possibility of capital losses.
  • No Ownership of Underlying Asset: Unlike traditional investing, CFD traders do not own the underlying asset. They are only speculating on the price movement.
  • Diverse Range of Tradable Assets: CFDs offer access to a wide variety of financial instruments, providing opportunities to trade different markets and assets within a single platform.

I’ve written up a more thorough guide on what CFD trading is here.

How Do CFD Brokers Work?

CFD brokers operate as intermediaries between traders and the financial markets, facilitating the trading of Contracts for Difference.

They provide traders with access to a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, indices, commodities, and currencies.

CFD brokers typically offer their own trading platforms or support popular platforms like MetaTrader, providing traders with tools for market analysis, order placement, and trade management.

When traders open an account with a CFD broker, they undergo a registration process, which may involve providing personal information, verifying identity, and agreeing to the broker’s terms and conditions.

Once the account is opened and funded, traders can execute trades through the broker’s platform, taking advantage of features such as leverage, order types, and risk management tools.

CFD brokers earn revenue through spreads (the difference between buying and selling prices), commissions, and other fees associated with trading activities such as overnight fees, inactivity fees, currency conversion, and more.

They also provide customer support, educational resources, and account management services to assist traders in their trading journey.

Types of CFD Brokers

Here are the main types of CFD brokers you will find in the UK:

  1. Market Makers: These brokers set both the buy and sell prices for a particular CFD, and trades are usually executed at these set prices. Market Maker CFD brokers typically offer a wider range of markets for traders to participate in, and they tend to have lower minimum account sizes and offer higher leverage. However, a potential downside is that there can sometimes be a conflict of interest as the broker could potentially benefit from a trader’s losses.
  2. Direct Market Access (DMA) Brokers: These brokers provide traders with direct access to the underlying market where the asset is traded, which can result in more transparent pricing. DMA brokers often allow traders to participate in pre-and post-market trading, and they may offer a greater ability for traders to set their order types and sizes. A potential downside is that DMA brokers typically require larger account sizes and may offer lower leverage compared to Market Makers.
  3. Straight Through Processing (STP) Brokers: These brokers send traders’ orders directly to the liquidity providers (major banks or other brokers) without passing through a dealing desk. This usually results in faster trade execution times and less potential for re-quotes. Prices can be more volatile, reflecting real market conditions. STP brokers typically earn their revenue from the spread – the difference between the bid and ask price of a trading instrument.
  4. Electronic Communication Network (ECN) Brokers: ECN brokers provide and display real-time order book information (featuring bids and offers at various sizes from market participants), allowing traders to trade against the market (not the broker) within an extremely liquid pool of trades. ECN brokers typically charge a fixed commission per trade, but spreads can be incredibly tight, often starting from 0 pips.

It’s important to note that some CFD brokers might operate under a hybrid model, offering both Market Maker and DMA services.

Both STP and ECN brokers can offer a more ‘raw’ trading experience, often preferred by more experienced traders. However, their model may require a higher minimum deposit and the variable spreads can be challenging for novice traders to navigate.

As a trader, it’s crucial to understand the features, benefits, and potential downsides of each type of broker, to find the one that best suits your trading needs and style.

What Assets Can You Trade With CFDs?

CFDs offer a wide range of tradable assets across various financial markets.

Here are some of the common asset classes that can be traded using CFDs:

  • Stocks: CFDs allow traders to speculate on the price movements of individual stocks without owning the underlying shares. This provides access to a wide range of global stocks from different exchanges.
  • Indices: CFDs enable traders to trade on the price movements of stock indices, such as the S&P 500, FTSE 100, or DAX 30. Traders can take positions on the overall performance of a group of stocks rather than trading individual stocks.
  • Forex (Foreign Exchange): CFDs allow traders to trade on the exchange rate fluctuations between currency pairs, such as EUR/USD or GBP/JPY. Forex CFDs are popular due to the high liquidity and the availability of leverage.
  • Commodities: CFDs provide exposure to commodities like gold, silver, oil, natural gas, and agricultural products. Traders can speculate on the price movements of these commodities without physically owning them.
  • Cryptocurrencies: CFDs offer the opportunity to trade popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more. Traders can speculate on the price movements of these digital assets without the need for a digital wallet.

What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Trading CFDs?

Trading CFDs (Contracts for Difference) offers several advantages and disadvantages.

It’s important to consider these factors before engaging in CFD trading:

Advantages of CFD Trading

  1. Leveraged Trading: CFDs allow traders to access larger positions than their initial capital through leverage. This can amplify potential profits if trades are successful. Don’t forget the possibility of capital losses.
  2. Diverse Range of Tradable Instruments: CFDs provide access to a wide variety of financial instruments, including stocks, indices, commodities, currencies, and cryptocurrencies. This allows traders to diversify their portfolios and take advantage of various market opportunities.
  3. Ability to Profit in Both Rising & Falling Markets: CFDs enable traders to take both long and short positions, allowing them to potentially profit from both upward and downward price movements. Don’t forget the possibility of capital losses.
  4. Flexibility in Trading Strategies: Traders can employ various trading strategies, including day trading, scalping, swing trading, and position trading, based on their preferred timeframes and market conditions.
  5. No Ownership of Underlying Assets: CFD traders do not own the underlying assets. This eliminates the need for physical ownership, storage, or delivery of the assets, simplifying the trading process.
  6. Access to Global Markets: CFD trading offers access to global markets and allows traders to participate in international markets without the need for multiple trading accounts.

Disadvantages of CFD Trading

  1. Risk of Losses: While leverage can amplify profits, it also magnifies losses. Traders need to be aware that trading CFDs involves significant risk, and losses can exceed their initial investment4.
  2. Overnight Financing Charges: Holding CFD positions overnight may incur financing charges, which can erode profits if not carefully managed.
  3. Complexity & Volatility: Financial markets can be complex and volatile, making CFD trading challenging. Traders need to stay informed about market trends, news events, and price fluctuations.
  4. Counterparty Risk: CFD trading involves a contractual agreement between the trader and the broker. Traders face counterparty risk, meaning the broker may not fulfill its obligations if it faces financial difficulties or goes bankrupt.
  5. Fees & Costs: CFD trading typically incurs costs such as spreads (the difference between buying and selling prices), commissions, financing charges, and other fees. Traders should carefully consider these expenses when calculating potential profits.
  6. Emotional Factors: CFD trading can be emotionally demanding, and traders may be susceptible to making impulsive decisions based on fear or greed. Emotional discipline and sound risk management practices are essential.

How Does Leverage Work in CFD Trading?

Leverage in CFD trading allows traders to control larger positions with a smaller amount of capital.

It is expressed as a ratio, such as 1:10 or 1:30, indicating the multiplier of the trader’s capital.

For example, with a leverage ratio of 1:10, a trader can control a position that is ten times the size of their invested capital.

When a trader opens a CFD trade, they are typically required to deposit a portion of the total trade value, known as the margin.

The margin requirement varies based on factors such as the instrument being traded, market conditions, and the broker’s policies.

The leverage allows traders to magnify their potential profits if the trade moves in their favor.

However, it’s important to note that leverage also amplifies losses, and if the trade goes against the trader, they can incur significant losses that exceed their initial investment.

Therefore, proper risk management and understanding the potential risks of leverage are crucial in CFD trading.

Traders should consider their risk tolerance, use appropriate stop-loss orders, and carefully monitor their positions when utilising leverage.

How to Use CFDs for Hedging?

CFDs (Contracts for Difference) can be utilised as a hedging tool to manage risks in investment portfolios.

Here’s a brief guide on how to use CFDs for hedging:

  1. Identify the Risk: Determine the specific risk you want to hedge against in your portfolio. It could be exposure to a particular asset, market, or sector.
  2. Choose the Hedge Instrument: Select a CFD that closely reflects the asset or market you want to hedge. For example, if you hold a portfolio of stocks, you can use stock CFDs to hedge against potential downward movements in the stock market.
  3. Determine the Hedge Size: Calculate the appropriate size of the hedge position. The size should be sufficient to offset the potential losses in your portfolio if the hedged asset moves adversely.
  4. Correlation Analysis: Assess the correlation between the asset you want to hedge and the chosen CFD instrument. Ideally, the CFD should have a high correlation with the asset you want to protect.
  5. Execute the Hedge Trade: Open a short position with the CFD instrument to offset the potential losses in your portfolio. If the value of your portfolio declines, the profits from the CFD trade can help mitigate those losses.
  6. Monitor & Adjust: Continuously monitor the performance of both your portfolio and the hedging CFD. Adjust the hedge position if necessary to align with changes in market conditions or your portfolio’s risk exposure.
  7. Review & Assess: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your hedging strategy. Consider whether adjustments are needed or if alternative hedging instruments may better suit your objectives.

It’s essential to note that while CFDs can provide a hedging mechanism, they also carry risks, and losses on the hedge position may offset gains in the underlying portfolio.

Careful risk management and monitoring are crucial when using CFDs for hedging purposes.

Who Are CFDs Good For?

CFDs can be beneficial for a variety of traders and investors.

Active traders who engage in frequent trading activities often find CFDs appealing due to the ability to trade both long and short positions, utilise leverage, and take advantage of short-term price movements.

CFDs also attract short-term speculators who aim to profit from the volatility of different markets. Don’t forget the possibility of capital losses.

Additionally, CFDs can serve as a tool for portfolio diversification, allowing investors to access a wide range of tradable instruments without owning the underlying assets.

How to Trade CFDs in the UK

To trade CFDs (Contracts for Difference), follow these general steps:

  1. Educate Yourself: Gain a solid understanding of CFD trading by learning about its mechanics, risks, and strategies. Familiarise yourself with the financial markets and the instruments you wish to trade.
  2. Choose a Reliable Broker: Select a reputable CFD broker that is regulated by a recognised financial authority. Consider factors such as the broker’s reputation, trading platforms offered, range of tradable instruments, fees, and customer support.
  3. Open an Account: Complete the account registration process with your chosen broker. This typically involves providing personal information, verifying your identity, and agreeing to the broker’s terms and conditions.
  4. Fund Your Account: Deposit funds into your trading account. The minimum deposit requirement varies among brokers, so ensure you meet the specified amount.
  5. Select Trading Instruments: Choose the financial instruments (stocks, indices, commodities, currencies, etc.) you want to trade as CFDs. Conduct market analysis and identify potential trading opportunities.
  6. Analyse the Market: Perform technical and/or fundamental analysis to evaluate the price movements and trends of your chosen instruments. This can involve studying charts, indicators, economic news, and other relevant information.
  7. Develop a Trading Strategy: Establish a clear trading plan that outlines your entry and exit points, risk management approach, and position sizing. Stick to your strategy and avoid making impulsive decisions based on emotions.
  8. Execute Trades: Use the trading platform provided by your broker to execute CFD trades. Choose the appropriate order type (market order, limit order, stop order) and enter the desired trade size.
  9. Monitor & Manage Trades: Keep a close eye on your open positions. Adjust stop-loss and take-profit levels as necessary to manage risk and protect profits. Stay informed about market news and events that may impact your trades.
  10. Close Trades: When you decide to exit a trade, close the position through the trading platform. This involves executing an opposing trade to your initial position (e.g., selling if you bought, buying if you sold).
  11. Review & Analyse: Regularly evaluate your trading performance and analyse your trades. Identify strengths and weaknesses, and continuously improve your trading skills and strategies.
  12. Risk Management: Implement risk management techniques, such as setting stop-loss orders, diversifying your trades, and not risking more than a certain percentage of your trading capital on any single trade.

Learn more in my complete guide on ‘How to trade CFDs UK‘.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to CFD trading platforms in the UK, several top contenders stand out.

Each platform has its unique features and strengths that cater to different types of traders.

eToro offers a user-friendly social trading experience great for beginners, while with Pepperstone you’ll get advanced trading tools and competitive spreads.

IG Markets excels in its wide range of tradable instruments and trusted platform.

Ultimately, the best CFD trading platform for you will depend on your trading style, experience level, and specific requirements.

You must spend time researching and comparing the factors discussed in my guide.

FAQs

Is CFD trading taxable in the UK?

CFD trading is taxable in the UK, and the tax treatment depends on individual circumstances. Generally, profits from CFD trading are subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if they exceed the annual CGT allowance. Additionally, if CFD trading is considered your main source of income, it may be subject to Income Tax or other tax obligations. It is recommended to maintain accurate records of all trading activities and consult with a tax professional to understand your specific tax liabilities related to CFD trading in the UK.

Is it legal to trade CFDs in the UK?

Yes, it is legal to trade CFDs in the UK. CFD trading is a regulated activity and is subject to oversight by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is the regulatory body responsible for supervising financial markets and ensuring consumer protection in the UK. The FCA sets rules and guidelines that CFD brokers must adhere to, including capital requirements, client fund segregation, and fair trading practices. Traders should ensure that they engage with regulated CFD brokers that are authorised and licensed by the FCA or another recognised regulatory authority.

What’s the best CFD trading platform for beginners?

eToro is widely considered one of the best CFD trading platforms for beginners. It offers a user-friendly interface and a range of features designed to simplify the trading process for novice traders. eToro’s platform provides a social trading experience, allowing beginners to learn from and even copy the trades of more experienced traders. The platform offers a comprehensive selection of CFD instruments, including stocks, forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, providing beginners with diverse trading opportunities. Additionally, eToro offers educational resources and a demo account for beginners to practice trading in a risk-free environment. With its intuitive platform and educational support, eToro is an excellent choice for beginners venturing into CFD trading.

What is the difference between spread betting and CFD trading?

Spread betting and CFD trading are both popular forms of derivative trading, but they differ in several aspects. Firstly, spread betting is considered gambling in the UK and is tax-free, while CFD trading is subject to Capital Gains Tax. Secondly, spread betting allows you to place bets on the price movement of various financial instruments without owning the underlying asset, whereas CFD trading involves a contract between you and the broker to exchange the difference in the price of the asset. This means that in CFD trading, you have exposure to the underlying asset’s price movements. Additionally, spread betting is only available in certain countries, while CFD trading is more widely accessible. Brokers may offer different features and pricing structures for spread betting and CFD trading.

Is eToro a CFD broker?

Yes, eToro is a CFD broker. It allows users to trade a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, forex, commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies, through Contracts for Difference. eToro provides a platform where users can speculate on the price movements of these instruments without owning the underlying assets.

Is trading CFDs the same as gambling?

Trading CFDs is not the same as gambling, although there are similarities and risks involved in both activities. CFD trading is a speculative investment method that involves predicting the price movements of financial instruments. Traders analyse market trends, utilise technical analysis, and employ risk management strategies to make informed trading decisions. While there is a level of uncertainty and risk involved, traders aim to make profits based on their market analysis and trading strategies.

Gambling, on the other hand, typically involves games of chance where the outcome is largely dependent on luck or random events5. The element of skill and analysis present in CFD trading distinguishes it from gambling. Successful CFD trading requires knowledge, understanding of the markets, and disciplined trading practices.

Can I trade CFDs within a Stocks & Shares ISA?

No, you cannot trade CFDs within a Stocks & Shares ISA in the UK. CFDs are considered speculative investments and fall outside the scope of allowable investments within an ISA. Stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds, and certain other approved investment products are eligible for inclusion in an ISA, but CFDs are not among them.

Can you trade CFDs in the UK?

Yes, you can trade CFDs in the UK. The trading of CFDs is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, ensuring that traders follow certain standards for the safety of all market participants.

Is CFD trading tax-free in the UK?

No, CFDs are not tax-free in the UK. While you don’t pay stamp duty because you don’t own the underlying asset, profits from CFD trading are subject to Capital Gains Tax. However, losses can be used to offset tax liabilities. It’s important to consult a tax advisor for precise information as tax laws can be complex and vary from person to person.

Can you make a living from CFD trading?

Yes, it’s possible to make a living from CFD trading, but it requires a great deal of skill, knowledge, and risk management. A trader must have a deep understanding of the markets, a well-thought-out trading strategy, and the discipline to stick with it. It’s important to note that a significant number of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs due to the high risk of leverage. It’s always recommended to seek professional advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading.

Which broker is best for CFD?

Determining the best broker for CFD trading can vary based on individual trading needs and preferences. eToro is well-liked for its social trading features, Pepperstone is known for its competitive spreads and user-friendly platforms, and IG offers a vast range of tradable assets. All three brokers are reputable and offer unique strengths, making them top contenders in the CFD trading space. It’s crucial to compare these platforms and decide which suits your specific trading requirements the best.

Are CFD brokers safe?

Yes, CFD brokers can be safe as long as they are regulated by reputable financial authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), or the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These regulators ensure brokers adhere to strict standards for financial stability, transparency, and customer protection. However, trading CFDs carries risks due to their leverage nature, so it’s important to understand the risks involved and trade responsibly.

Is CFD trading riskier than buying shares?

Yes, CFD trading is typically considered riskier than buying shares. The key reason is leverage. CFDs are traded on margin, which means you can gain exposure to a large position without having to commit the full cost upfront. While this can amplify profits, it can also amplify losses, potentially exceeding your initial investment. Additionally, CFDs are complex financial instruments, and their prices can change rapidly, adding to the risk. Unlike share ownership, holding a CFD doesn’t grant any rights to the underlying asset, such as voting rights or dividends. Always remember, understanding the risks and having a solid risk management strategy is crucial in CFD trading.

Is CFD trading good for beginners?

CFD trading can be quite complex and may not be the best starting point for beginners. Its inherent risks, such as the use of leverage, can lead to significant losses if not managed properly. Beginners may find it challenging to navigate the volatility and rapid price changes that can occur in CFD trading. However, if a beginner is committed to learning, understands the risks involved, and employs proper risk management strategies, it can be an avenue for trading. Many trading platforms offer demo accounts where beginners can practice CFD trading without using real money, which can be a helpful educational tool.

How much money do you need to start CFD trading?

The initial capital required to start CFD trading varies depending on the broker you choose and the individual contracts you trade. Some brokers allow you to open an account with as little as £10 to £200, while others may require more. It’s important to remember that CFD trading involves leverage, which means you can control a large position with a relatively small amount of money. However, leverage also magnifies potential losses, so it’s important to understand the risks and have a solid risk management strategy before you start trading.

Why do most CFD traders lose money?

Most CFD traders lose money due to a lack of proper risk management, inadequate understanding of the market, and emotional decision-making. The high leverage often offered in CFD trading amplifies gains but also magnifies losses, making it easy to wipe out an account quickly. Therefore, traders must educate themselves, plan carefully, and be disciplined in their trading approach.

You may also like:

Sources:

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1260026/forecast-global-online-trading-platform-market/ ↩︎
  2. https://investmenttrends.com/industry-research/award-winners/ ↩︎
  3. https://www.forexbrokers.com/annual-awards ↩︎
  4. https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/2020-06-conference-paper-arnold-pelster-subrahmanyam.pdf ↩︎
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9719960/ ↩︎
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Will Fenton is the founder of Sterling Savvy. He is a personal finance expert and writes about trading, investing, budgeting, and other financial topics.

Along with his education in Economics & Finance, he has experience working in the financial services industry in London working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”.

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