Spread betting for beginners

Find out how to open a spread betting account and start trading with us. Learn about our account opening process, trading platform, funding your account and more. Not sure if spread betting is right for you? Visit our what is spread betting article.

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Demo account

If you're new to spread betting or CFD trading, a spread betting demo account is a great way to try your hand at the markets and test-drive our trading platform. There is no charge for opening a demo account and it can be set up instantly. Once you have familiarised yourself with our platform and are confident with how it works, you can apply for a live account.

Applying for a live account

Apply for a live account by completing our online application form. You can also apply for a live account directly from your iPhone, iPad or Android device.

Identity confirmed automatically

Our online application form will only request the most relevant pieces of information and automatically try to verify your identity online using a third party system. If the verification is successful you will not need to provide any further documents to support your application and your account will be opened almost immediately.

Identity not confirmed automatically

If we are unable to automatically verify your identity, you will need to provide supporting documentation before we can open an account for you. You can provide copies of the following documents as proof of identity and address:

* Proof of identity: a valid passport or photocard driving licence (full, not provisional).

* Proof of address: a bank, building society or credit union statement showing your name, address and account number, a recent mortgage account statement, a local authority tax bill, a utility, telephone (landline) or broadband bill, received in the post and dated within the last three months. We cannot accept online statements.

Please note, we do not accept certificates of insurance or a copy of your TV licence, even if it is less than three months old.

What happens once my account has been opened?

Once you have completed an application (including providing supporting documentation, as necessary) and your account has been opened, you will receive a notification asking you to verify your account. You will then receive a welcome notification which will contain all of your account details. This will also provide you with useful information on how to access our trading platform so you can get started more easily. We also offer articles that can help you get started in trading assets, such as spread betting forex.

Funding your account

You are not required to make a minimum deposit in order to activate your live account, but you will not be able to place a trade until you have deposited some funds into your account.

You can fund your account via the 'payments' icon on our platform.

You'll find the 'payments' icon in the navigation bar located at the top of the platform. Click on the icon to transfer funds in and out of your account. You will need to enable 'pop-ups' so your browser allows the payments window to open.

Withdrawing funds from your account

To withdraw funds from your live account, simply click on the 'payments' icon on the platform, then click the 'withdrawals' tab. You can also contact the Client Management team on +44 (0) 203 003 8588, who will be happy to process the withdrawal for you.

There are no charges for funding or withdrawals when you use a UK debit card. Other methods of payment may have a fee associated with them and you should contact your card provider for more information.

Learn more about funding and withdrawing from our account support section.

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Our wide range of videos offer platform guides and tours, plus features to help you get started and understand how to take full advantage of the platform's functionality and risk management features.

Summary of the risks

When you spread bet, you are taking a position on the real-time movement of a financial market. The markets can move quickly throughout the day, so the value of your spread bets and/or account can also change quickly. It is therefore important that you understand how to manage your risk.

We provide in-depth learning materials on how to use the risk-management tools available on our platform, to help you successfully manage and reduce the risks.

You can lose more than your deposit

It is important to remember that the loss you could make on a bet may exceed the amount of margin that you used to enter into that bet. This is a feature of leverage (margin trading) and it means that you can lose more than your deposit.

Bigger your stake size, bigger your risk

The impact of any price movement on your account will partly depend on the size of your stake in the relevant product. A small movement in price may have a large impact on your account if you have a large stake in the relevant product.

Things to remember:

  • Do not trade with money that you cannot afford to lose.
  • Practise new strategies on a demo account first. This enables you to test your strategies on the price movement of indices, forex, cryptocurrencies, commodity market, shares and treasuries, without risking real money. However, remember that past performance is not an indicator of future performance.
  • Make sure that you understand the upside and downside risk of every trade. You may only need to deposit a small amount of margin to open a spread betting position but the potential gains and losses could be much greater. Remember, increased leverage means increased risk and you could lose more than your deposit.
  • To help manage your risk, we recommend using a stop-loss order, such as a trailing stop or guaranteed stop-loss order, to protect your trades.
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FAQ

What is spread betting?

Spread betting is a form of derivative financial trading, where traders do not own the underlying assets they are trading on. Instead, you attempt to forecast whether an asset’s value will fall or rise. You gain profit for a correct speculation and lose capital for an incorrect speculation. To find out more, visit our ‘what is spread betting’ page.

How does spread betting work?

Spread betting works by a trader speculating on whether they think the price of a financial instrument will rise or fall. You can go long and buy if you believe the price of an asset will go up. However, you can also go short and sell if you believe the market will take a downtrend. New to spread betting? Watch our intro video.

Spread betting and share dealing, what’s the difference?

There are many differences and some unique advantages to both spread betting and traditional share trading. Spread betting is a leveraged product which means that, unlike share dealing, you can gain exposure to a larger amount of trading capital with a smaller initial outlay. However, when you ‘share deal’ you own the underlying asset, which could provide some income benefits, such as those received from dividends. Read about the advantages of spread betting to discover if it is suitable for you.

How can I start spread betting?

On the CMC Markets spread betting platform, you can place all of the necessary steps to start trading, such as choosing from a variety of instruments, buying or selling via an order ticket, and implementing risk management conditions. To get started, open a demo account or live account and start trading.

Disclaimer: CMC Markets is an execution-only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although we are not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, we do not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination.

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1

Apply for a live account

Complete our straightforward application form and verify your account

2

Fund your account

Deposit easily via debit card, bank transfer or PayPal

3

Find and trade

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