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Top Plus500 Alternatives To Trade CFDs

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Trading contracts for difference is becoming a popular method to trade the major markets. Trading CFD’s allows one to use leverage to trade much larger position than traditional stock market investing which can be a double edged sword. One of the most respected providers of CFD trading systems is Plus500. However, there are also alternatives which are worth noting. Let us look at what many consider to be the four popular alternatives to Plus500 as well as a handful of the features that are provided to clients.

Best alternative: ETX Capital

(Regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority, UK #124721)

This London-based electronic trading platform was first established in 2002 and since then, it has been very respected by both novice and professional traders alike. It should therefore come as no great surprise that ETX Capital provides CFD trading systems as well as other options. There are four different sectors which can be catered to through ETX. These are:

  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • Equities
  • Currency pairs (Forex)

It is also important to note that there are a variety of subcategories within each of these sections. For instance, commodities include precious metals, energy segments and soft commodities (wheat, soybean and oats are a few). In the same respect, traders can take up positions within some of the largest markets in the world including the UK 100, the France 40 and the Germany 30. Forex pairs include popular currency relationships such as USD/GBP, EUR/GBP, USD/JPY and EUR/USD. Other worthwhile tools at the disposal of all clients are automated trading algorithms, market commentaries, guaranteed stop-loss orders and mobile-friendly architecture. ETX Capital is an excellent platform for experienced investors and those who may be new to CFD positions.

AvaTrade

AvaTrade is a Dublin-based company that was founded in 2006. This firm has consistently scored very high in terms of flexibility and customer service. A minimum deposit of $100 dollars (or the equivalent currency) is required to activate an account. Miniature accounts, demonstration accounts, VIP accounts and segregated accounts all support CFD traded. Current investment portals include Meta Trader 4, Meta Trader 4 mobile, ACT and AVA Mobile Trader. Much like ETX Capital, AvaTrade provides its customers the ability to embrace CFD positions. The primary categories which are currently offered include:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Commodities
  • Indices
  • ETFs (electronically traded funds)

It is also important to mention here that leverages of up to 200:1 are provided on all CFD positions. While this is an excellent means to maximise one’s profit margins, losses can be just as profound. Any leveraged position should only be utilised after the risks are well understood.

Spreads will vary and these will primarily depend upon the asset that is being traded. Some spreads are as low as 0.3 pips although these are liable to change. It is wise to consult their online trading conditions portal to learn more as well as to note any updated figures. A few other benefits in regards to AvaTrade include a compatibility with both Windows and iOS mobile devices, chart-based trading, one-click execution orders and demonstration accounts.

Pepperstone

Claiming to be the largest online trading platform within Australia, Pepperstone has been a favourite of investors for years. While suited for novice traders, Pepperstone themselves state that they specifically cater to institutional clients. Their CFD options revolve only around indices (as opposed to some other online portals). However, they also deal with the largest indices in the world such as:

  • The France 40 Index
  • The EU Stock 50 Index
  • The UK 100 Index
  • The US SPX 500 Index
  • The US Tech 100 Index

This wide choice of indices provides investors with the ability to hedge one CFD position against another in real-time; critical to mitigate losses during unexpected market conditions.

Pepperstone is also known for their extremely low margin requirements. These are frequently associated with larger trades. Once again, margins should only be used after an in-depth appreciation of the risks as well as the potential rewards involved. A few other benefits to note are daily margin limits, the ability to activate a demonstration account and no less than $50,000 dollars (Australian) in funds once this account is confirmed.

eToro

eToro is another very well-known electronic trading platform. Currently based out of Limassol, this firm is advantageous in the fact that only %50 dollars (or the foreign currency equivalent) is required to establish a live trading account. It is also worth pointing out that eToro specialises in CFDs attached to blue-chip stocks within various markets. This system is one of the most liberal in terms of the instruments which are offered to the client. Some prime examples can be seen in flexible options such as:

  • Guaranteed stop-loss orders.
  • Guaranteed limit orders.
  • Islamic accounts.
  • Email and mobile phone alerts.
  • A compatibility with Mac OS, iOS, Windows and Android operating systems.

With low spreads and no hidden fees, any profits (or losses) which may be incurred are absolutely clear from the beginning. This is not often the case with other trading platforms. This company uses its own proprietary software. The three options are eToro OpenBook, eToro WebTrader and eToro Mobile Trader.

One a final note, social trading is highly encouraged by eToro. Streaming news feeds, commentaries and the ability to follow the most successful investors can give a novice client the advantages that he or she requires to succeed.

These are four excellent alternatives to Plus500 in terms of trading contracts for difference. While their advantages are clear, past performance does not necessarily indicate future results. CFD trades are not without their fair share of risks. Any investor needs to appreciate this concept before entering into the world of online trading.

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The Top 7 UK Brokers for Trading Indices Online

nasdaq
Below we list the top platforms for trading indices online. One of the reasons people choose to trade indices is to broaden their positions to help to mitigate the volatility that is often associated with discrete assets such as commodities or equities. It is just as important to appreciate that not every online broker will offer the same advantages and tools when entering into the world of index trading. We provide a closer look at some of the top platforms as well as the unique amenities that each has to offer.

1. Featured Broker: ETX Capital

(Regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority, UK #124721)

One aspect which can be frustrating is that traders may not be able to open a position after the closing time of a specific index. As ETX Capital offers the possibility of rolling trades, indices can be accessed even if they are currently closed (any spreads are based off of future values as opposed to present rates). ETX capital also enables index trades to be carried out with platforms such as Meta Trader 4, Trader Pro and Binary. This adds a further sense of flexibility to any position. Mobile-friendly platforms are possible for those who require access while out and about. Some of the indices offered include the DAX 30, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Other benefits include 400:1 leverages, automated trading, market commentaries and segregated accounts.

2. AvaTrade.com – Bonus Of Up To $10,000!

AvaTrade is another leading platform for those who wish to open a position within various indices. A handful of the sectors which are offered include (but not limited to):

  • The NASDAQ 100
  • The FTSE 100
  • The DJ EURO STOXX 100
  • The S&P 500

Both long and short positions are available while leverages of up to 200:1 are possible. However, always note that leverages can incur massive losses and should only be employed by those who are completely familiar with the risks involved. Meta Trader 4 as well as proprietary AvaTrade software platforms are available for laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

3. Plus500.co.uk – £20 Sign-Up Bonus!

Plus500 is located out of London and was first founded in 2009. This broker charges no commissions in regards to index trading (fees are included within a breakdown of their payout structure). Healthy leverages of up to 294:1 are offered to those who wish to enjoy healthy profits and are not averse to potentially significant fluctuations. Please note that CFDs are offered for the majority of all index trades. Real-time streaming data as well as the Plus500 trading platform are provided. Trailing stops, mobile alerts and guaranteed limit orders are a few other instruments at the disposal of the trader. Indices include the IBEX, the CAC 40, the DAX and the EURO STOXX 50.

4. London Capital Group

Otherwise known as LCG, London Capital Group was founded in 1996. It is therefore one of the oldest and most respected online trading platforms. Users can employ both the Meta Trader 4 system as well as LCG Trader. One interesting feature in regards to index trading here is that spreads as low as 0.9 pips are available for the FTSE 100 alongside only 1 pip when opening a position through the Dow Jones Industrial Average. All data is updated in a real-time fashion while mobile software is available for both Windows and Android operating systems. Some useful tools offered by London Capital Group include:

  • Automated trading signals.
  • Chart-based opens and closes.
  • Trailing stops.
  • One-click execution of index trades.

Intuitive platforms as well as customisable layouts are other benefits provided by this online broker.

5. eToro

The platform at eToro offers no less than 12 indices to trade from. Colour-coded movement indicators enable clients to appreciate the direction of any sector within seconds. The software packages currently available are all designed by eToro. These include OpenBook, Mobile Trader and WebTrader. Leverages are quite high; up to 400:1 for experienced investors. Social trading is also stressed by this provider. Thus, eToro may be ideal for those who have just entered into the world of indices. This is primarily found through their OpenBook system. Market commentaries, the ability to follow top traders and demonstration accounts are a few other advantages not to be overlooked.

6. XM

Over 20 different stock indices are offered through XM. As leverages as high as 888:1 are possible, XM is ideally suited for those who are looking to maximise their profits through both long- and short-term positions. Android Trader, Meta Trader 4, an iPhone application and WebTrader are all possible platforms to employ. Chart-based trading as well as automated strategies can be catered to thanks to the tools at XM. Speculation in reference to market trends is likewise able to further refine one’s strategies. No extra fees or commissions are included within any profit. This enables the individual to better appreciate his or her future positions.

7. Pepperstone

Pepperstone boasts positions in 13 major stock indices from around the world. The CFD technology utilised by this broker ensures minimum slippage and negligible latency rates. It is also worthwhile mentioning that Pepperstone is partially designed with the needs of the institutional trader in mind. Extremely large positions can quickly be accommodated thanks to the ability to place massive orders through what they refer to as a “Liquidity Aggregator”. Both Meta Trader 4 and cTrader terminals are available. Some popular indices include:

  • AUS200
  • US30
  • HK50
  • Japan 225

Flexible leveraging and real-time prices further round out the benefits provided through Pepperstone.

These are thought to be some of the most effective platforms for those who wish to trade indices. It is still important to recall that every trade involves a certain amount of risk; particularly those associated with leverages. Prudence should always be embraced in order to mitigate losses and maximise profits.

Image credit:United War Veterans

ETX Capital MT4 Platform

ETX Capital MT4 Platform Review

ETX Capital offer three different platforms for traders, and the MetaTrader 4 is one of them. MT4 is one of the leading online trading platforms and is a popular choice for online forex trading. When ETX Capital acquired Alpari in March 2015, they sought to provide a familiar trading environment for Alpari clients and that is why they installed the same MT4 servers. With the ETX Capital MT4 platform you can trade a wide variety financial markets including the indices, commodities, equities and currency markets.

Is ETX Capital MT4 Platform Right For You.

The platform is popular choice for:

  • Forex, Spread betting & CFD traders
  • Traders who want to use automated Expert Advisors (EAs)
  • Trading micro lots
  • Traders who want to use hedging
  • leveraged trading
  • Visit the ETX Capital MT4 page and find our more.

    Trading

    For traders who prefer automated trading, this is the platform that provides it. ETX Capital has an AutoTrader platform that facilitates the use of automated Expert Advisors (EAs). Traders using EAs can set parameters for their trades and then wait for the automated responses. The advantage that traders get with this option is that one does not have to be in front of a computer to open or close trades. With MT4 automated trades, ETX Capital is responsible for the hosting while the traders provide the Expert Advisors.

    On The MT4 trading platform, ETX Capital has made sure that traders can take advantage of the all the opportunities available. The one click trading feature is what makes this possible.

    Another trading advantage that the ETX Capital MT4 platform offers is the ability to support multiple charts. Information is very crucial when trading and that is what charts provide. With multiple ones, traders get real-time data that they can use for decision making. The environment in different markets keeps changing, and it is essential to monitor them when trading. Real-time data shows all the fluctuations that may be taking place.

    The ETX Capital MT4 platform has a watch list feature. As the name suggests, this lists enables a trader to keep an eye on specific markets. With the drop and drag function on the platform, traders can add particular markets to the list.

    Trading on the MT4 platform offers traders favourable leverage rates of up to 400:1. Such margins increase the potential returns that a trader can get. Traders can also use micro lots, meaning that it is possible to trade smaller.

    MT4 on Mobile

    ETX Capital has a mobile app for the MT4 platform. Even with automated trading, traders still appreciate mobile apps. Traders can download the app on Android devices and iPhones and iPads from Google Play Store and iTunes. A trader can also get the app on Windows Mobile. Mobile apps are available in multiple languages.

    Visuals and Speeds

    Like other ETX Capital platforms, the MT4 is black in colour. Its tools are in red and blue buttons, so they are pretty easy to see against the black background. The layout does not have any complexities, making trading uncomplicated.

    When it comes to speed, ETX Capital has fast platforms. Traders can log into their accounts without experiencing lags.

    Signing Up

    The sign-up process on the MT4 platform is straightforward. ETX Capital provides a secure page where traders submit their details for sign up. There is also a registration bonus on sign up, and a trader has to tick a box to accept. The broker also offers a first deposit bonus that is dependent on several terms and conditions.

    The MT4 platform may seem a bit complex for some people, but ETX Capital offers educational resources that a trader can use. To find out more about what this top brokerage offers read our ETX Capital review.

    ETX Capital Bonuses and Promotions (2016)

    ETX Capital bonus & promotions 2016

    The Bonuses

    The promotions and bonuses available from ETX Capital in 2016 are some of the best available for traders. Currently ETX offer two great bonuses which are:

  • £20 no deposit bonus
  • First deposit bonus up to £3,750
  • A great thing about the ETX promotions is that you can claim both the offers instead of just choosing one. If you want to claim the bonuses now just click here: ETX Capital Bonuses T&Cs Apply.

    ETX Capital

    Founded in 2002, ETX Capital is one of the premiere electronic trading platforms available in today’s marketplace. This online broker offers numerous trading tools such as Meta Trader 4, streaming news feeds, a platform compatible with mobile devices and advanced trading signals. Amenable leverages, low minimum deposits and numerous payment methods round out the functionality of this site. Another benefit is that there are some interesting bonuses and promotions available to clients. If you want to take a closer look at some of these options in greater detail read our highly rated review of ETX Capital.

    First-Time Bonuses When Signing Up

    In order to entice new investors to join ETX Capital, there is a sizeable sign-up bonus. Users will receive no less than $20 dollars when signing up. This $20 dollars will be made available within two trading days. Please note that no deposit is required and these funds can be used towards executing an active position. In addition, first-time depositors who activate an account with $100 dollars will receive an additional matched $100 dollars towards their account. It should be pointed out that ten trades must take place within the first 60 calendar days and the bonuses themselves are required to remain within an account for 60 days. Should any funds (including profits) be withdrawn during this time, the registration bonuses will be waived.

    Incremental Bonus Opportunities

    Much like many other firms, the bonuses awarded for first-time entrants will differ depending upon the amount of money placed towards an account. This is represented in the form of a percentage. As the size of the deposit increases, the proportion rewarded in return likewise rises. The current promotions are as follows:

    • $100 – $999 dollars: $100 dollars.
    • $1,000 – $14,999 dollars: 25 per cent of the deposited amount.
    • $15,000 and more: $3,750 dollars.

    While these bonuses are listed in dollars, they are also applicable to both pounds and euros. It should be mentioned that no two bonuses can be combined with one another (excluding the no-deposit bonus of $20 dollars). Additionally, the client will need to open up a fully authorised trading account with a minimum of $100 dollars. Those who trade with euros or pounds will likewise need to deposit this numerical minimum. Should an account reach a value of zero, none of these registration bonuses will apply.

    Instruments to Claim Bonuses

    There are several ways to enjoy these first-time bonuses. Clients can place trades within a number of sectors including:

    • Forex (currency) pairs.
    • Commodities.
    • Indices.
    • Contracts for difference (CFDs)

    However, micro CFDs are NOT included within this current bonus package.

    Withdrawal Promotions

    As of the time that this article was written, ETX Capital is also offering an interesting reward in terms of withdrawals. Users are able to withdraw any amount that exceeds $100 dollars (or the equivalent in euros and pounds) without any type of transaction fee. Up to five withdrawals are allowed per month.

    These are some of the bonuses that are currently offered by ETX Capital. Please note that these promotions can change from time to time. Additionally, any form of online trading carries its own risks and investors should only open an active position after they are well aware of the principles involved.

    ETX Capital Demo Account Review (Updated 2016)

    ETX Capital Demo Account Sign Up Screen

    In this ETX Capital demo account review we uncover everything you need to know about the ETX platform from the sign up process to placing your first trade.

    Our initial thoughts on the ETX Capital demo account is.

    • Quick and simple sign up
    • Easy to use modern platform
    • Simple to customise to suit your own preferences
    • Instantly access relevant charting information

    To start practicing and trading with the ETX Capital demo account simply click here: ETX Capital demo account. Alternatively if you want to know more about ETX Capital, take a look at our full review of ETX Capital which also includes a video overview of the broker.

    Overview of the ETX Capital Demo Account

    It is popular option for traders to utilise a demonstration account before committing to a specific platform. ETX Capital offers this opportunity; a great choice for those who may be unfamiliar with how their platform functions.

    Sign Up
    The registration process is simple and some basic information is first required. These fields must be addressed:

  • First and last name.
  • Valid phone number (for future contact).
  • Functional email address.
  • Once these details are provided, the applicant will be immediately taken to the main demonstration account page. Please note that Adobe Flash Player needs to be installed in order to display all information correctly. Important to note that the demo account works on both Mac and PC.

    Page Layout

    One of the advantages of the platform offered by ETX Capital is that it is extremely intuitive and clean. From the default layout here are several features worth mentioning here. First, a drop-down menu of the most popular assets are listed on the left-hand side of the main page. These include:

    Commodities
    Indices
    Equities
    Forex positions
    Bonds and interest rates

    ETX Capital Demo Account - Popular Markets

    There is also a watch list which enables the trader to follow specific instruments the trader is currently involved in or potentially would like to trade. Cash balances, open/closed positions, reserved margins and available trading funds are all displayed along the top of this screen as well.

    The bottom portion of the main screen displays all currently open positions in a top-down fashion. Alerts, balances, transactions, trade history and open positions are clearly illustrated here and with the click of a button, each can be examined in more detail. These can be opened up in a separate window for streamlined interfacing.

    Platforms Available

    We should note here that with a demonstration account, the client only has access to the TraderPro software offered by ETX Capital. This is a proprietary framework which is preferred by many individuals. However, there is also the possibility of upgrading to the popular Meta Trader 4 system or a binary options alternative. Both of these will require the deposit of funds. Although the amount of money deposited will vary, the trader still has the advantage of enjoying a first-time bonus as well as a registration bonus (explained within the website).

    Assets and Allotted Demonstration Funds

    When a demonstration account is first opened with ETX Capital, the trader will be provided with €10,000 euros (or the monetary equivalent) of funds. These can then be used to immediately open positions within the aforementioned sectors. There are numerous unique assets to choose from. While these can be broken down into areas such as commodities, indices and equities, a drop-down menu within each category provides further options. Examples here can include major or minor European indices, country-specific equities, commodities such as metals or energy, short-term bond interest rates and CFD positions. With any of these options, the bid and the ask prices are displayed in real time. There is also a search bar which enables the user to quickly pull up a specific asset or trading position.

    Funds can always be added to this demonstration account and once the initially allotted funds have been exhausted, it is necessary for the client to upgrade to a live position in order to continue trading.

    Open a demo account with ETX Capital today.

    The Top 5 Stock Trading Platforms UK

    best stock trading platform UK

    The list below includes five of the top online brokers for trading stocks in the UK through spread betting, CFDs and binary option platforms. The brokers are all regulated in the UK and provide CFD, spread betting or Binary option platforms to trade a variety of stocks with.

    1. ETX Capital

    ETX Capital is a leading online Forex, spread betting and CFDs broker that was founded in 2002 and based in London. They are regulated by financial conduct authority in the UK. Their offices are located in EC2M 2QS, London and is a member firm of the London Stock Exchange through Monecor (London) Limited. In March 2015 ETX Capital acquired the client base of Alpari UK. They are concerned in making changes as simple as possible for Alpari clients. They have installed MT4 servers resembling the one used in Alpari. ETX Capital took their initiative time to create a help line to assist Alparian clients swap their accounts and get their money back.

    Features

    ETX Capital offer three different trading platforms which include, ETX Trader Pro, ETX MT4 and ETX Binary. The ETX Capital Platforms are available for iPad, iPhone and all android devices and traders can choose different financial assets to trade. ETX Capital accommodate traders from various countries and have a wide choice of languages to chose from.

    Account

    EXT Capital has only one standard account where they allow minimum deposit of $100 and no maximum to open an active account. It offers leverage rates of 100/1 for several products up to 400/1 on some instruments on their MT4 platform.

    Education

    They offer a wide selection of educational materials for their client’s to be become traders. The company focus on providing quality actionable educational material for their traders through seminars to both experts and to independent retail traders. They offer training to people of different levels of trading skills and knowledge and those who want to know more about technical analysis and other aspects of becoming a successful trader.

    Bonuses/promotions

    ETX Capital offer a no deposit £20 sign up for new clients and a 25% first deposit bonus up to £3,750.

    2. XM

    The company was founded by a group of inter-bank dealers. They started XM with single purpose of improving the Forex Trading community.

    Fund deposit

    You can fund your account through a wide variety of deposit methods including UnionPay, credit cards, iDEAL, Moneybookers skrill, MoneyGram, Webmoney, Western Union, MasterCard, wire transfer, China Union Money and local Bank transfer.

    Fund withdrawal

    When you want to withdraw your money, you can use unionPay, Credit cards, iDEAL, money bookers and many other ways. XM guarantee customers fund by keeping them in a secure Barclays account and allow withdrawal the same day you deposited.

    Types of accounts

    • Micro trading account- ideal for traders that do not have years of forex trading experiences and would prefer an account with lower risk. You can activate the account from as low as five dollars.
    • Standard trading account- this account can be used by those wishing to expose themselves to medium risk. This account involves larger contract sizes.
    • Executive account- this account involves larger risk and is aimed at professional traders with a minimum deposit of $100,000 dollars to become activated
    • Demonstration accounts- this is made to those who wish to try out the platform before making the decision to join.
    • XM offers Islamic account for members of the Islamic community that would like to trade under Islamic laws.

    Conclusion

    XM is trying to come up with the modern way of adapting to the changing market environment. The broker is highly responsive to new clients as well as their regular clients. This broker no longer accepts the use of PayPal payments. A higher minimum deposit of $100,000 dollars is required for their executive account which caters to professional and expert taders. XM however offers powerful account for you across all their account levels.

    3. 24option

    This company is currently developing new trading platforms to make simplify how trading is done. It is owned by Rodler Limited. Since it was started, it is continuously implementing new tools to make things simpler for the users. This broker offers a demo account service that allows new users to get used to their platform without making a initial deposit. They offer a 100 percent welcome bonus for new clients on their first deposits.

    Withdrawals

    24option gives one free withdrawal per month to the clients, for frequent withdrawal there is a fee to be charged. This account offers no limit to the amount you can withdraw. You will receive bonuses for signing Options Bee. You can use wire transfer, money bookers, credit/debit cards, Neteller and other methods to withdraw your money.

    Regulations

    They were the one of the first binary options broker to have applied regulation. When you are trading with a regulated broker be sure of high level of service and protection of new comers. It has an EU Passport for operating within the European Union as per the MiFID and regulated by CySEC. When you want to choose a binary option broker, it is wise to check the list of licensed and regulated brokers.

    Bonuses

    The maximum trade size at 24 Option, is $100,000 per trade and their minimum trade amount is $24 while the minimum deposit is $250.

    Conclusion

    240ption is an easy way to trade binary options with the simple user friendly interface. They offer free trading signal that you can use when you trade with them.

    4. FXCM

    This one of the largest Forex brokers. It offers the best Forex trading platforms on the market that accept traders to use commodities, currencies and bitcoin.

    Trading platform

    The advantage of this trading platform is that it operates with 1K micro lots. They don’t accept dealing desk, this enable them to communicate directly with the traders.

    Demo accounts

    FXCM offer all the new traders there is a demo for about one month that makes you have experience on how to use the account before you join to prevent future losses.

    Trading accounts

    It provides several account designs. 100k account is an ideal for experienced traders. Opening a standard account requires an initial deposited about $2,000, and offers leverages ranging to 1:200 for nonresidents of the United States and 50:1 leverage for US-based traders. The minimum deposit for a standard account is 2000 USD.

    Summery

    There are varieties of choices for selecting a broker; FXCM stands to be the best. If you wish to be successful in your trade option, then with no worry FXCM is the best for you.

    5. ATC Brokers

    STP Brokers offer a straight through processing order execution to traders. This company offers top company service.

    Funding options

    There are several ways of funding your account they include, cheque, credit cards or wire, ACH for clients from the United States. Funding is always in US dollars for all the clients. When you want to withdraw you can use, checks, wire or credit cards. If you withdraw using wire transfers, you will be charged $25 while the other means are free.

    Help and support

    When you need help or any support, you can use the email, telephone or online chats with the ATC Brokers agents. They offer two months Meta Traders demo account and one month trading station demos.

    Summary

    For the best traders broker, ATC Brokers is the best for currency trading broker because it provides straight through processing instead of market making. If you are a Forex trader and you are tired of your current brokers try ATC Brokers.

    image credit:Oliver O’Neill

    Spread Betting vs CFD Trading: What’s the Difference?

    spread betting vs cfd trading

    Spread Betting Or CFD Trading – Which Is Right For You?

    Very often in the financial world, people trade on assets that they do not actually own. These financial instruments have exploded in popularity in recent decades, thanks in part to the rise of the internet and the increasing ease with which individuals can get involved in trading. Two of the most popular means of doing this are spread betting and CFD trading. There are pros and cons to each of these two methods, which will be covered in this article.

    Spread Betting

    Spread betting involves essentially betting on whether the value of a particular stock, share, indices or commodity will go long or short. You don’t own the asset, so there are no taxes to pay on gains but neither can you offset losses against gains elsewhere. Most spread betting is leveraged, which means that you put down a small deposit but trade for a much larger value. It’s important to understand the risk involved in this, because it means that if your trade does not go the way you expect it to, you could end up losing a lot more money than you put down. It’s not unique to spread betting but it’s important to be aware of it. On the positive side of things, it does also allow you to multiply your gains quickly with some well placed trades.

    CFD Trading

    CFD trading meanwhile stands for Contract For Difference, which means that two parties will agree to exchange the difference in the opening and closing price of a contract. You can once again go short or long on your trades, so for example if you decide to go short on a trade and the closing price ends up being lower than when you placed the trade, you can profit on the difference. Much like spread betting, you never actually own the underlying asset you are trading on but you buy CFD units instead. This allows for greater flexibility than traditional share ownership, because your trades are self contained and you are not stuck with unfavourable shares from bad trades.

    Since you don’t actually own the underlying asset in either spread betting or CFD trading, you do not have to pay stamp duty on your trades. However, you do have to pay capital gains tax for CFD trading whereas you don’t for spread betting, so in terms of tax efficiency spread betting has the slight edge. The other major difference between the two is that spread betting has a fixed expiry date, whereas you can hold on to CFDs indefinitely except in some specific circumstances. Thus spread betting is more suitable for short term trades, whereas CFDs are better suited for longer term investments.

    The pros and cons of spread betting.

    The Pros of spread betting:
    1) Shorter trade duration, so your profits or losses are realised sooner
    2) No stamp duty or capital gains tax
    3) Easy to control your stake

    The cons of spread betting:
    1) You own no underlying assets so your portfolio cannot appreciate in value
    2) Losses can easily be magnified with leveraged trading
    3) You cannot offset losses against other gains

    The pros and cons of CFD trading.

    The Pros of CFD Trading:
    1) CFDs mirror those of the underlying asset, so if dividends are paid out on the underlying asset, you will get paid dividends on your CFD
    2) No expiry date, so you can hold on to CFDs for as long as you feel necessary
    3) You can offset losses against other gains

    The cons of CFD trading:
    1) Since you don’t actually own the underlying asset, you don’t receive any voting rights associated with the underlying stock
    2) Interest is often charged on margin, so holding onto CFDs for too long can be expensive
    3) You are charged capital gains tax on profits

    Regulated Brokers for Spread Betting and CFD Trading

    There are plenty of brokers for both spread betting and CFD trading, so if you are interested in getting started you will be spoilt for choice. It can be hard to know who to go with when you’re just starting out, so below are some brokers for both spread betting and CFD trading.

    1. ETX Capital

    Trusted by more than 51,000 traders since entering the spread betting market over a decade ago, ETX Capital is one of the oldest and most trusted online brokers around today. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and provide one of the widest range of instruments at the lowest spreads available. They offer spread betting, CFD and binary option platforms to suit any trader. ETX Capital offer a customisable platform to show as much or as little technical information you want in a platform and currently offer a great £20 no deposit bonus sign up bonus.

    If you want to find out more about ETX Capital, read our in-depth review of ETX Capital here.

    2. eToro

    eToro is a broker which sets itself apart from the competition by billing itself as a “social trading network”. This means that you can follow other people and copy their trades. This is somewhat like spread betting on a larger level, where you judge a person on their previous trades and decide whether their trades will be successful in the future or not. eToro is generally more of a passive means of investment, where you select certain investors to copy and let them make the trades. While you can become a Popular Investor yourself, which is what they call investors who get copied, it’s a slightly different means of trading than most brokers.

    3. IronFX

    IronFX is a broker with several trading platforms to choose from, which allows them to support a wide range of platforms from Mac and PC, to mobile and tablet as well as web based trading platforms. This allows you to make trades from wherever you are and on almost any device you might have access to. This is very important, particularly for shorter term trades like spread betting. You can’t go wrong with IronFX for trading on the go.

    4. CMC Markets

    CMC Markets is a broker with a pedigree name, supports both spread betting and CFD trading and allows you to trade across thousands of markets. It’s one of the biggest and best brokers available on the internet and is a great all around choice for online trading. It’s more traditional than eToro when it comes to investing, but if you trust your own trades above those of others then it’s a great choice.

    Spread betting and CFD trading offer similar means of trading on underlying assets without owning them, but there are some significant differences between the two which you should consider carefully before starting any trades. Always be aware that your capital is at risk and losses can exceed deposits, never invest more than you are willing to loose.

    image credit:Salvatore Gerace

    The 5 Best Online Stock Trading Sites With CFDs & ETFs

    best stock trading sites

    The Top 5 Sites To Trade Stocks With CFDs & ETFs

    Trading stocks and securities via the Internet has become a powerful tool reducing costs and decreasing the barriers of entry to becoming a trader. Whether utilising CFD (contract for difference) methods or ETFs (exchange-traded funds), there is indeed a massive opportunity for both individuals and institutional traders. While there is always a level of risk involved and losses can occur from time to time, the latest platforms are able to provide the insight and clarity required to make the most informed choices at the appropriate times. Let us now take a look at what many consider to be the top five regulated brokers for trading stocks online through CFDs and ETFs.

    1. ETX Capital

    ETX Capital was founded in 2002 and since this time, it has become another massive online broker. One notable benefit with this service is that there are three different types of trading platforms available. These are:

    • MetaTrader 4
    • ETX Trader Pro
    • ETX Binary

    Alongside this flexibility, ETX Capital offers competitive spreads that are seen as being some of the best in the business. As it is possible to activate an account for as little as $100 dollars (or the domestic currency equivalent), this site is ideal for those who are on a tight budget. Note that indices and commodities are also provided within CFD trades. A few other interesting additions to this website include guaranteed stop losses and limit orders, leverages of up to 1:400, one-click executions and demonstration accounts.

    2. IronFX

    IronFX has been an online broker famous for its fixed spreads (as low as 0.03 pips) and amenable commission rates (approximately 0.10 per cent for most CFD positions). With well over 50 stocks available, many astute traders will take advantage of such profitable positions. It should be mentioned that IronFX currently provides five different platforms to choose from which include:

    • MetaTrader 4
    • PMAM (Personal Multi-Account Manager).
    • WebTrader 4
    • Social Trader
    • AutoTrade

    Some common stocks include Cisco Systems, Citigroup, Bank of America, IBM, General Electric and Exxon Mobil Corporation. Leverages as high as 1:500 will help investors to further capitalise on such positions although it should once again be noted that increased leverages can equate to mounting losses within a short period of time. A handful of other amenities associated with IronFX include a minimum account size of $500 dollars, access within over 180 countries, the ability to follow experienced professionals and applications for both Android and iOS systems.

    3. CMC Markets

    Although CMC Markets has become famous throughout the world for an unrivalled access to Forex trades, it also offers an extremely impressive choice of CFD trades. According to their website, there are currently no less than 943 different shares available to members. Please note that these also include EFTs. Users can become involved with popular choices such as Lloyds Banking Group, Tesco, Rio Tinto and Apple shares (to name but a few examples). Spreads as low as 0.10 per cent will enable profits to accrue over time. Notwithstanding the variety of products offered, CMC Markets also utilises an extremely efficient trading platform. Over 80 different technical indicators, numerous charting tools, mobile-friendly access and a highly intuitive layout have all made this broker a popular choice.

    4. Ayondo

    Ayondo was first launched in 2009 and many have placed this virtual broker at the top of their list. A minimum deposit of only €100 euros is required to open an account while a demonstration version is available for up to 30 days before an investor is asked to join. Ayondo uses the TradeHub platform and this is seen as being an extremely user-friendly interface. Another unique feature in regards to CFD trading through Ayondo is that the traders themselves can become signal providers after having reached various benchmarks. This is a useful tool for others to employ, for it can augment the existing social media software.

    A variety of stocks are available such as blue chips, mid-cap shares, large-cap shares and small-cap holdings. The major advantage with this wide spectrum is that traders can employ multiple positions to hedge against any perceived market volatility. Some of the countries and indices used include the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Although spreads are generally around .12 per cent (slightly higher than some other brokers), these are mainly attached to large-cap shares. On a final note, Ayondo provides numerous different educational tools such as webinars, trading tips, frequently asked questions and an online manual for those unfamiliar with TradeHub.

    5. Hargreaves Landsdown

    Hargreaves Landsdown was founded as far back as 1981 and boasts a solid reputation. Over 6,000 individual shares are active and commissions can be as low as 0.1 per cent. Although the number of shares may not be as high as some other brokers, it always needs to be mentioned that a highly intuitive platform and regular access to news updates are two major benefits. Hargreaves Landsdown pays particular attention to the fluctuations within the FTSE 100 market, so this broker could be an excellent option for those who mainly want to focus upon blue-chip shares out of the United Kingdom. A knowledge centre covers such topics as the principles behind ETF trading, investment trusts, split-capital trusts and many other useful tools. Although the overall platform may appear to be a bit “bare” when compared to Meta Trader 4 and similar systems, such clarity can actually enable trades to be carried out with extreme clarity. A dedicated application is available for iOS and Android smartphones.

    These are considered to be the top five stock trading websites for the coming year. Although each offers an opportunity to make considerable profits, markets can and will fluctuate. Therefore, only capital that can afford to be lost should be risked. Thanks to such modern trading tools, such risks have nonetheless been mitigated to a large extent.

    image credit:quintanomedia

    6 Best Online Trading Apps for Android in 2016

    Android

    As an online trader it is important to be up to date with the latest movements on the stock market. Situations can change quickly so you have to be equally flexible and dynamic. Smartphones and tablets have given people the opportunity to revolutionise their trading and stay up to date with the latest news and trends. In order to this however you need a solid trading platform. Mobile apps are the solution and are now widely available. As well as making trading far more convenient they provide a secure environment to make sure the trades you make are as relevant as possible. In such situations it is important to have the best tools available to you, so for your convenience we have listed the top 7 online trading apps for Android platforms.

    All of the following apps are free to download and available on the google play store.

    1. MetaTrader 4

    MT4 is the most popular android app for online trading and for good reason, its large range of features and polished mobile interface have made it very popular with more than 50,000 reviews on the Google Play store. Some of its key features include: fixed spreads, microlots, technical analysis, customisable tracking graphs and an integrated financial calendar. As the most popular trading app on the Play store it has the added benefit of a large amount of online tutorials and guides to help you get started with the platform.

    If you would like to trade using the MT4 platform, ETX Capital is one of the most popular online brokers who use the platform and also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

    2. Trading 212 FOREX & Stocks

    Designed by Avus Capital, a well-known trading platform provider, this app is the second most popular on the Play store. It includes a wide variety of features and instruments for tracking your stocks and shares. It’s simple layout and intuitive controls offer greater usability than many of its competitors while sacrificing a few tools. Notable features include: over 400 financial instruments, financial news and analysis and tight spreads, even at news time.

    3. eToro – Mobile Trader

    This app has been built and designed by eToro, best known for their popular online social trading platform. As a well-established company it has excellent customer support for the app. eToro puts a lot of emphasis on its established community of users to communicate with, the app even includes a function to copy the trades of successful users.

    If you are interested in social trading and eToro, you can read our full review of eToro here.

    4. FOREX.com for Android

    This popular American company aims its platforms at experienced traders and this trend continues with its app. One of the leading platforms for the US market it has won awards for its customer service. However, the app hasn’t proved to be as successful as their other platforms. Although it is a powerful and fairly user friendly app some users have reported it having technical problems.

    5. Forex & CFD Trading by iFOREX

    The creators of this app are iFOREX, fairly recent entrants into the marketplace. The app includes a customisable layout and access to over 80 currency pairs. The app has received many good reviews and appears to be a solid piece of software. The trading platform even includes a special account for Islamic traders who wish to abide by the principle of no ‘Riba’ – a term used for unjust gains in business transactions. However, the company has received criticism for its lack of transparency, poor customer service and no free demo account available.

    6. DTMobile by Delta Stock

    Created by the South African company Deltastock this app is currently not very popular, but the users who have downloaded it seem to be very happy with it – the app, receiving a 4.1 star rating on the Play store. Their simple and attractive interface makes it easy to navigate, but as a new company they struggle to keep up with all of the features included in competing apps. However, their excellent customer service puts them in a strong position to continue to improve the app.

    Hopefully this has inspired you to check out Android apps, many of the benefits listed here can only be judged subjectively so it is important to try the apps out to find which one is best for you. As with all financial trading your capital is at risk. These apps are designed for experienced traders, however trial accounts are available on several of these apps and are a good way to build up experience without risk. Mobile apps provide many strengths over traditional trading and can greatly benefit you when used responsibly.

    Best 9 Forex and CFD Broker Promotions and Bonuses for 2016

    Searching for the best Forex and CFD bonuses and promotions to take advantage of the market volatility in 2016?. When choosing a forex broker to trade with, it is critical to work with a forex provider that is regulated and authorised by a trusted regulatory body like the Financial Conduct Authority in the Uk or CySEC in Cyprus. We have done a round up of the best regulated brokers that are also offering the best promotions and bonuses for 2016.

    ETX Capital Mobile Trading Apps

    Below is the list of the top bonuses and promotions from nine of the best Forex and CFD brokers to choose from in 2016.

    1. Featured Broker:
    ETX Capital

    (Regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority, UK #124721)
    ETX Capital is a top choice as one of the most trusted and respected UK brokers, with a Brokernotes AA rating and Financial Conduct Authority Regulation. ETX Capital are currently offering 3 great promotions which makes them a top choice for traders.Their current promotions for online traders include:

    • £20 bonus for new customers just for opening an ETX TraderPro or MT4 account, no deposit required.
    • A 100% first deposit bonus, deposit £100 and get £100
    • First deposit up to £3,750 based upon first deposit amount

    Claim these offers and check out the full T&C’s here: ETX Capital 2016 Promotions.
    ETX Capital also provide three platforms for professional trading across a wide range of options. They also provide a very useful education service, allowing novice traders to gain insight into financial dealing.


    2 XM

    XM offers a matching sign-up bonus of 20 per cent for deposits up to $5,000 dollars. As these bonuses can be utilised as margins, positions can be kept open for longer periods of time than would otherwise be possible. XM also offer a no-deposit bonus of $30 dollars. There are no fees in regards to deposits and withdrawals while monthly contests offering $20,000 dollars in cash and prizes are offered to all clients.

    3 RoboForex/

    RoboForex offers several unique promotional offers. New users to RoboForex will receive a welcome bonus of $30 dollars when opening up an account. Should one’s account equity be more than $300 dollars, a free-of-charge VPS server is automatically made available. During working hours, funds can be automatically withdrawn at the convenience of the client. No commissions are added to any trade with RoboForex ; they are already included in the initial spread. Leverage amounts of up to 1:1,000 are possible while depending upon the size of the deposit, matching bonuses of up to 115 per cent are possible. This is valid for up to $30,000 dollars and these specific bonuses can be enjoyed until 31 January 2016.

    4 ForexTime/

    Providing leverages of up to 1,000:1 and spreads as low as 0.1 pips, FXTM is another respectable online Forex trading platform. Six different account types and over 100 different trading instruments likewise allow FXTM to be quite versatile. Instant withdrawals and no-fee deposits are two promotional benefits to take into account. A cash rebate of 200 percent on all deposits is valid until 29 February 2016.

    5 EXNESS/

    EXNESS is regulated by CySEC and the IFSC. It also utilises the vaunted MetaTrader 4 Forex trading platform. Bonuses of 10 per cent are provided for all deposits and re-deposits. These funds can be used towards a margin position. Bonuses of up to 50 per cent are available for all deposits up to $5,000 dollars. This is an unlimited promotion and will last throughout 2016.

    6 XTB

    With an initial deposit of £5,000 pounds, traders will receive no less than 10 per cent cash back when trading with certain promoted lots. These can be withdrawn once the promotional date has expired. Additionally, all clients can enjoy up to 1.1 per cent interest on their balances. Should a friend be referred and join XTB, this friend and the initial client will both receive £40 pounds towards their trading account.

    7 FiboGroup

    FiboGroup is regulated by CySEC and the FSC. New and active traders of FiboGroup are able to receive an impressive bonus of 100 per cent when they open up a platform utilising the MetaTrader 4 framework. A minimum deposit of $300 dollars (or the equivalent amount in a different currency) is required. This promotion is valid until 31 January 2016.

    8 TrioMarkets

    TrioMarkets is regulated by CySEC, the FCA and BaFin. Boasting more than 15 years of experience within the online trading community, this platform provides a deposit of up to $4 dollars per lot for every single trade. After trading for more than two weeks, there are also withdrawal rebates available. A minimum of $500 dollars is required to open up a standard account with TrioMarkets .

    9 Easy-Forex

    Easy-Forex provides its clients with the ability to receive as much as $300 dollars in risk-free cash when trading options. There are a number of affiliate promotions available as well for Easy-Forex. Those who introduce new brokers to Easy-Forex can receive up to $50 dollars in lot rebates as well as commissions of 10 per cent regarding a sub-affiliate trade. A sign-up bonus of 20 per cent is provided for new accounts of up to $2,000 dollars. Users can also enjoy a risk-free first trade for amounts not exceeding £200 pounds.

    FX Open

    FX Open offers a bonus of $10 dollars for all new STP accounts. Micro-trading positions can likewise enjoy a bonus of $1 dollars after an initial deposit. It should be noted that there are special promotions for PAMM managers. These can include a minimum deposit of only $200 dollars, floating spreads from zero pips and no trading strategy restrictions.

    While the Forex and CFD markets are not without their capital risk, these are nonetheless considered to be the top eight online trading promotions for 2016. It is wise to check back regularly for additional updates.