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The Top 7 UK Brokers for Trading Indices Online

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. – 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. – £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.


    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.

    EXT Capital Trading Apps Review (2016)

    ETX Capital Mobile Trading Apps

    ETX Capital is a popular choice for traders looking to open a trading account with a trusted and reputable broker. The broker is a member of the London Stock Exchange and has authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. Traders get access to numerous FX pairs and derivatives from different markets. It has three trading platforms that suit different needs which are the ETX Trader pro, ETX MT4 and ETX Binary platforms. Mobile devices and computers have changed trading practices in modern days. Traders now look at how convenient it is to trade with a certain broker before making a decision. Offering a mobile trading platform is one of these conveniences. ETX Capital is fulfilling this need with its various mobile apps across different platforms such as Android and iOS.

    ETX Capital Mobile Trading

    The mobile trading platform that ETX Capital provides for traders allows access to an account with the same login details as on a desktop. Traders can carry out a lot of trading activities on the mobile platform. If you want to deposit or withdraw from the account, the mobile platform allows it. Transferring money in and out becomes less of a hassle. The app provides secure encryption, so traders don’t have to worry about the security of transactions. Traders can also open and close trades on their mobile devices. It means that you can trade from anywhere as long as you have a mobile device close by.

    The popularity of ETX Capital among traders extends to different countries. To cater to these various traders, the ETX mobile trading app has multiple language features. Traders can use the app in Chinese, Portuguese, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, Irish, and French, just to mention a few. With the mobile app, a trader can set alerts for price levels. It also provides access to monitoring tools that make it possible to keep up with the markets.

    Some ETX Capital services are not available when using the mobile trading platform, though. For instance, if a trader wants to get education resources, they would have to log into the PC version. The same goes for checking all the assets and derivatives that ETX offers for trading.

    Compatible Devices

    To ensure that a majority of traders get the app on their devices, ETX Capital has different versions. Traders can get the app on Android devices (smartphones and tablets), iPad and iPhone. These apps can be downloaded from Google Play Store and iTunes.

    The look of the ETX Capital mobile app simplifies trading significantly. Traders using the app can switch from one trading platform to another. On Android and IOS, the app offers clear icons that users have to tap to operate.

    GO for iPad

    ETX Capital has a new iPad app called GO which is “developed by traders for traders.” With this particular app, traders can customise the screen layout to make it easier to monitor trades. Users can trade directly from the chart, and there is also a drop and drag feature.

    A lot of people use their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) for a lot of things. Mobile trading makes it possible to play the market without being tied down to a desktop computer. With ETX Capital mobile apps, trading is on the go. In cases of problems with the mobile trading apps, the broker has customer care services that a trader can turn to. There is also demo account that a trader can start with before registering for a real account.

    If you are interested in finding out more about this broker, you can 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:

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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

    The Top 5 Spread Betting Apps for Trading on the Go

    Spread betting is quickly gaining popularity in the financial world. With the many spread betting accounts offering these services, the market is quite competitive. Due to this competition, many spread betting brokers have developed mobile trading platforms. Here are a few pointers on how to download the best apps for online spread betting.
    First, ensure you choose a good broker to trade with. Always go with a broker that is regulated by a trusted authority like the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
    Second, choose the app that suits your needs. to effectively know which to go for, you could do a test of each platform before downloading the app of your choice. What is important is your comfort when using the account.

    In addition to having some of the best apps on the market, the brokers listed below are also regulated and highly rated spread betting firms around today.

    best spread betting apps

    Top 5 Spread Betting Apps

    1. ETX Capital

    The company has a substantial amount of experience in the market as it was founded in 2003. The company is passionate and serious with its clients as shown by the heavy investment in the trading platform and infrastructure.
    The key features of this platform are the tight spreads they offer. A great welcome bonus of £100 for a deposit less than £1,000 and a 10% top up bonus up to £10,000 for larger deposits. A commission rebate scheme capped at £1,000 per month is also a key feature of the platform.
    ETX Capital has a wide range of markets with around 3000 items to trade. There are also additional products which you can access on request. There are also a lot of bonuses on offer.
    ETX Capital is one of the best trading platforms in the UK and it also powers most of the biggest spread betting brands. It has mobile apps for Windows, Blackberry, Apple and Android devices.

    2. Spread Co

    Also one of the reputable spread betting platforms, Spread Co has a great platform with native apps that make it easy to use. You can easily navigate the platform with great risk management features such as stop loss/limit order functions. If you are a high volume trader, you will fall in love with their low margins, low financing costs, tight spreads and great useablitiy. The platform has a professional charting with powerful tools and what is more; the platform is quite innovative therefore very intriguing.
    The platform has apps for Android, iPad and iPhone.

    3. Core Spreads
    Core Spreads is yet another top online spread betting platform. It has tight, fixed spreads so that you can trade for less. The platform is quite straight forward; you will feel quite at home trading on it.Being quite a straight forward platform, there is no clutter, just what is essential for you to use. On top of providing one of the most user friendly platforms available today, they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

    4. Easy Forex

    Designed by an award-winning designer, Easy Forex is reputable for its intuitiveness at all levels. A unique feature of the platform is its ‘freeze’ functionality which enables you to freeze acceptance rates for up to 3 seconds. The functionality serves to reduce the spread and enable the trader to enter and exit superior trades at the point they accept.
    You can ably be long and short at the same time while spread betting. Registration on the platform is easy and quick thereby saving on time. On registration, you obtain access to the trading platform which has numerous benefits.
    Some of the benefits of Easy Forex is that you will have accessibility to over 300 markets globally from which you can do your spread betting. The more the markets, the more the options you have. The platform also provides fixed spreads and the implication of this is that the risk decreases tremendously thus you can invest boldly.
    The trading platforms it runs on are; Web Trading, Trade Desk, MetaTrader4 and iPhone apps. The platform is also compatible with Windows OS making it accessible to users of Microsoft apps. The platform languages are multilingual therefore you can trade in a language you are most comfortable in. the platform has trade alerts which give you a sneak peak of the current trades that you might be interested in. In case, you do not have sufficient time to carry out all the manual procedures involved with spread betting, the platform’s automated trading will come in handy.

    5. IG

    Founded in 1974, the platform is a forerunner in product development offering its clients some of the most innovative tools and markets. IG has an estimated value of £3bn and it is a listed company on the London Stock Exchange.
    The key features are; large balance sheets, an excellent platform, great data and sentiment tools and they also have a provision for use of stock as a collateral. Their spread width is 0.8 points for trades transacted in Euros.

    Pure Deal, the platform it runs on, is secure and fast. The platform is web based and thus, you are not required to download it. It is quite an easy to use and a straight-forward platform. If you are an experienced trader you will fall in love with this platforms customisable features, providing options for the addition of trading extras like DMA prices, multiple deal tickets and buffer limits.
    IG has mobile apps for Windows, Blackberry, Apple and Android devices

    image credit:Eduardo García Cruz

    Spread Betting vs Share Dealing: What’s the Difference?

    spread betting vs share dealing

    Differences between spread betting vs share dealing and the pros and cons of each.

    The most significant difference between them is that in share trading you will actually buy and own the asset, share or stock that you are trading in. With share trading you have the ability to then sell them for a profit or loss at a later date depending on the movement in value. With financial spread betting, you never actually own the share or commodity in any way, nor have any right to ownership over it. It is a form of market speculation, where the trader will speculate on the movement of the asset, as to whether the value will increase or decrease.

    What is traditional share trading?

    As previously discussed, in traditional stock trading, the trader actually owns the stock. For example, if a new company was formed, for example Company XY, then the trader could invest in the company by buying shares. The shares in the company are purchased, meaning that you hold stock and therefore partial ownership in that company.

    When dealing in shares, you will buy the stock and wait for an increase in share value, when it reaches a higher value and you wish to then cash in on the profit, you will then sell at a higher rate than you bought the stock. This is how the profit is acquired. Consequently if the value of the stock decreased in value you would make a loss.

    When you buy shares, if buying in the UK, you usually are required to pay a tax or duty of 0.5% on any transaction related to holding shares. This tax applies to buying shares whether they are done electronically or not. When you sell on shares or make a profit from them, for example dividends, you are also required to pay Capital Gains tax.

    The pros of traditional share trading
    -You own the share or commodity.
    -It is easier to assess the market, and to gauge when to sell you shares to gain profit.
    -In general, share trading is seen as a long term investment strategy.

    The cons of share trading
    -You have to pay both Capital Gains tax and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax on any shares transactions / deals.
    -Shares rise and fall in value and it can take a long time to make a profit, so are not always suitable as a short term investment strategy.
    -There is the risk of potentially losing your money should the company fail. Any investment you made in the company would be lost.

    If you would like a list of top share dealing companies, read our comparison of share dealing brokers.

    What is spread betting?

    The first thing to note, unlike traditional share dealing, as detailed above you do not own the actual share, nor have any right to ownership on the commodity being dealt in. This means you do not own any stock in the company you are spread betting on.

    The 4 Steps to spread betting

  • 1. Find a reputable and regulated spread betting broker like ETX Capital.
  • 2. Select the financial instrument you wish to spread bet on, for example Facebook stock.
  • 3. Look up the price of Facebook stock with ETX Capital. They will provide a buy price and sell price.
  • 4. Decide which way you think the Facebook will go, if up in value buy if down in value sell.
  • 5. Decide your stake, how much money you want to put down. The stake relates to the amount of money you could potentially gain or lose per point of movement when compared to the value of the share.
  • The pros of spread betting
    -If you implement a guaranteed stop loss / limit order you know how much your profit or loss could be, if you make a profit then there is no UK tax.
    -You can close the trade at any time, without being dependent on if you are making a profit or a loss.
    -You can trade on margin which means you only have to pay a fraction of the actual cost of trades.

    The cons of spread betting
    -You have to pay an initial deposit to cover any potential losses.
    -If you predict the rise or fall incorrectly, you losses can exceed you deposits.
    -Spread betting is not suitable for long term investment

    The following are top rated and regulated brokers that offer spread betting: ETX Capital , Core Spreads and Spread Co.

    If you would like to see our full list of the top spread betting providers, read our comparison of regulated spread betting brokers here.

    As with any investment, your capital is at risk and there is the possibility you could lose money.

    image credit:Rafael Matsunaga

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

    spread betting vs forex

    What is the difference between spread betting and forex trading?

    Foreign exchange is a vital part of today’s interconnected global economy. Companies require foreign exchange for paying for goods in another currency and dealing with international employees. People require it whenever they are travelling abroad, paying for their child’s education or paying mortgage for real estate overseas. This guide is designed to help investors and individuals understand the basic differences between spread betting and forex.

    Understanding Forex Trading

    Traditional forex trading in simple terms is selling a particular currency and getting another currency in exchange, as per the existing exchange rate between those two currencies. For example, a trader will sell GBP£ 100 to get approximately US$ 140 at a rate of 1GBP=1.4USD. If the price of the held currency rises, in this case USD, the trader can make a profit by selling the USD. The difference between the buying and selling rate is the trader’s profit. There is no universal exchange, so most of the transactions are made over the counter, where individual buy and sell transactions are matched. Once a deal is finalised, known as a spot deal, there is an exchange of the currencies between the two parties.

    Understanding Financial Spread Betting

    Spread betting is different from the traditional forex trading in various ways. In spread betting, there is no actual exchange of the currency or purchase of the financial instrument that is being traded. Spread betting involves taking a position based on anticipating whether the price of a financial instrument will increase or decrease in the future. This form of betting means an investor will win or lose money based on the marginal variation of a particular outcome and the expected value spread quoted by the spread betting brokerage. Besides foreign exchange, spread betting can be conducted on a wide range of financial instruments, including interest rates, individual share prices, indices, price of commodities etc. Depending on how a trader expects the market to move, he/she can either put in a ‘Long Buy’ (anticipating a rise in price) or a ‘Short Sell’ (anticipating a fall in price). Spread betting is further illustrated by these examples:

    Case 1: The trader expects the price of the financial product to rise. The trader assumes that the GBP to USD exchange rate will increase, assuming the exchange rate is 1GBP=1.14USD. The trader places a bet of £20 for every 0.1-point rise in the exchange rate. (long position). With this, there will be two possible outcomes:

    • If the exchange rate increases from $1.14 to 1.70 (a 0.56-point rise), then the trader’s profit will be 56 X 20, which is £1120.
    • If the exchange rate fell from $1.14 to 1.02 (a 0.12-point fall), then the trader’s loss would be 12 X 20, which is £240.

    Case 2: The trader expects the price of the financial product to fall. The trader assumes that the GBP to USD exchange rate will decrease, assuming the exchange rate is 1GBP=1.14USD. The trader places a bet for £20 for every 0.1-point fall in the exchange rate. (short position). There will be two possible outcomes:

    • If the exchange rate increases from $1.14 to 1.70 (a 0.56-point rise), then the trader’s loss would be 56 X 20, which is £1120.
    • If the exchange rate fell from $1.14 to 1.02 (a 0.12-point fall), then the trader’s profit would be 12 X 20, which is £240.

    The profit or the loss with respect to spread betting depends on two things.

    • The stake size, which is the amount an investor bets for every point increase.
    • The points drop or gain of the underlying financial product, which the investor has put his/her money in.

    What Are The Pros And Cons Of Both Investments?

    Investors should be aware of the pros and cons of both investments before making any financial decisions:

    • The biggest advantage of spread betting is that none of the profits are taxed. Forex trading is not tax-free, as you have to pay capital gains tax, as well as stamp duty.
    • In spread betting, you need to put in only a fraction of the money you trade. This is known as margin trading. This means traders can trade in high value since they have to put down only a fraction of this price as the initial stake, if the price moves in the way desired by the trader the profit can be much more that in forex trading. However, the inverse is also true. The loss can be significantly higher as opposed to forex trading, if the movement in price is opposite to what is desired by the traders. In traditional forex trading, the trader has to put down the entire amount of the trade, so the profit or loss is limited to the amount the trader has put down in the trade
    • Forex trading being a long established industry is regulated to a higher extent, as compared to spread betting. Traditional forex trading is provided by more established brokerages or financial institutions such as banks that provide accounts in multiple currencies. Because of this it is always best practice when choosing a spread betting provider to always consider going with a regulated brokerage.It is important to note that because spread betting involves high leverage the potential of losses from spread betting can be enlarged.

    Best Forex And Spread Betting Providers

    Traders and individuals that want to trade forex, binary options and spread betting will benefit from working with a long established and trusted broker like ETX Capital. If you would like more information on ETX Capital, read our full review of ETX Capital here.

    If you would like to see the best spread brokers available, read our comparison of spread betting brokers.

    Other key firms dealing with binary options, spread betting and forex include ZuluTrade, AxiTrader and Spread Co.

    Traders and individuals should keep in mind that their capital is at risk when they make any investments.

    image credit:Ken Teegardin

    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