Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets, CFDs, OTC options or any of our other products work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Open a share trading account

Discover share trading and spread bet or trade CFDs on more than 8,000 global shares, at home or on the go.​

  • Open a share trading account for free​​
  • Award-winning customer service*​
  • Spread bet or trade CFDs on the go with our trading app​
  • Join over 275,000​ active clients worldwide​
CMC Markets

How to start share trading?

  • 1


    Just enter your email address and a password, then verify your email address to create your free share trading account. It’s quick and easy.​​​
    Apply now >

  • 2


    Get to know our platform by exploring its product library including over 8,000 stocks and ETFs. Access charts, make use of analysis tools, build watchlists and create order tickets. Our platform enables these features and many more.​​

  • 3


    Trade on our award-winning platform*. Conduct chart analysis on free live charts​. View the platform quick guide​​​​ and share price insights​.​

What is share trading?

Share trading is the buying and selling of company shares with the aim of making a profit. Shares represent a portion of ownership of a public company. Share trading is one of the most popular ways to access the stock market, but there are different ways you can approach share trading. Learn more >

Open a share trading account on our award-winning trading platform. Trade via your web browser, or download our iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Why trade on shares with CMC Markets?

Dedicated support, 24 hours a day

We're No.1 for customer service

Dedicated support, 24 hours a day

Over 30 years' industry experience

Dedicated support, 24 hours a day

Spread bet or trade CFDs anywhere with our award-winning app*​​

Dedicated support, 24 hours a day

Listed on the London Stock Exchange

More reasons to trade with CMC >​​​​​

CMC Markets

Is share trading right for you?

  • Go long or short on thousands of shares
  • Trade on over 8,000 global shares & 1,000 exchange-traded funds
  • Spread bet on shares commission-free or trade share CFDs with low commissions
  • Deposit a fraction of the full trade value with margin rates from 20%
  • Spread bet tax-free, while there's no stamp duty when trading CFDs**
  • Analyse price performance with advanced charts, technical indicators and drawing tools
  • Use features like guaranteed stop-loss orders to manage risk

More advantages of spread bettingThe risks of spread betting

More advantages of CFD tradingThe risks of CFD trading

Shares FAQs

Everything you need to know about trading shares with CMC Markets. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Get in touch ?

How much does it cost to open an account?

There’s no cost when opening a live account. You can also view prices and use tools such as charts, Reuters news or Morningstar quantitative equity reports free of charge. You will need to deposit funds in your account to place a trade.

View the full list of shares on the platform >

How does spread betting/trading CFDs on shares actually work?

When you spread bet or trade CFDs on shares on our platform, you don’t buy or sell the underlying share. Instead, you’re taking a position on whether you think the company’s share price will go up or down.

With spread betting, you buy or sell an amount per point movement for the share instrument you’re trading, such as £5 per point. This is known as your stake. With CFD trading, you buy or sell a number of units for a particular instrument. For every point or unit that the price moves in your favour, you gain multiples of your stake, and vice versa.

With spread betting, you buy or sell an amount per point movement for the share instrument you’re trading, such as £5 per point. This is known as your stake. With CFD trading, you buy or sell a number of units for a particular instrument. For every point or unit that the price moves in your favour, you gain multiples of your stake, and vice versa.

Do spread bets on shares attract dividends?

When a stock goes ex-dividend, the value of that stock effectively falls by the dividend amount. This means if you hold a spread bet or CFD position on a company that announces a dividend, your account will be credited or debited on the day the stock goes ex-dividend.

If you were long (holding a buy position), you would have been disadvantaged by the drop in the market caused by the pay out of the dividend, so we would credit your account with the dividend amount, less any applicable dividend withholding taxes. If you were short, you would benefit from the drop in the price, so the equivalent amount would be deducted. So, overall, you don't lose or gain anything from the adjustment. There are no withholding taxes on short positions. The dividend will appear as a 'Price Adjustment' in your account history within the platform.

What are the costs involved in spread betting and CFD trading?

There are a number of costs to consider when spread betting, including spread costs, holding costs (for trades held overnight – this is essentially a fee for the funds we ‘lend you’ to cover the leveraged portion of the trade) and guaranteed stop-loss order charges (if you use this risk-management tool).

The spread is the key cost involved in spread betting, and is the difference between the buy and sell price of an instrument. The narrower the spread, the better value you receive, because the market only has to move slightly in your favour to offer the possibility of a profit on your spread bet.

Share trades held open past the end of the day (5pm, New York time) are subject to holding costs, which can be positive or negative depending on your trade direction and the applicable holding rate. Holding costs for shares are based on the underlying interbank rate for the instrument, plus 0.0082% on buy positions or minus 0.0082% on sell positions.

You can add a guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) to your trade, which guarantees to close you out at your specified level, regardless of market volatility or gapping. A cost is applied for using a GSLO, but if it's not triggered we'll refund 100% of the original GSLO charge. The charge, or ‘premium’, is calculated by multiplying the premium rate by the bet size. Learn more >

Where do your prices come from?

Our automated pricing engine collates and checks thousands of prices per second streamed from our liquidity providers. The most representative price is then used to create the quotes on our platform. Learn more >

How does CMC Markets make money?

Our income comes mainly from our spreads, while other fees – such as overnight holding costs – make a minor contribution to our overall revenue.

We never aim to profit from our clients’ losses. Our aim is to build long-term relationships with our clients by providing the best possible trading experience, through our technology and customer service.

Our clients usually offset each other’s trades, with some going long on a particular instrument while others are short. In this way, CMC Markets isn’t exposed to the profits or losses of clients trading that instrument. Occasionally, if a large number of our clients all trade in the same direction, we hedge in the underlying market to protect our exposure to risk.

Is CMC Markets regulated by the FCA?

Yes, CMC Markets plc (registration number 173730) and CMC Spreadbet plc (registration number 170627) are fully authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Retail client money is held in segregated client bank accounts and money held on behalf of clients is distributed across a range of major banks, which are regularly assessed against our risk criteria.

Is CMC Markets covered by the FSCS?

Yes, your eligible deposits with CMC Markets are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensations Scheme (FSCS), the UK’s deposit guarantee scheme. If CMC Markets ever went into liquidation, retail clients would have their share of segregated money returned, minus the administrators’ costs in handling and distributing these funds. Any shortfall of funds up to £85,000 may be compensated under the FSCS.

Do you offer a demo share trading account?

If you want to try trading with a risk-free demo trading account, you can open a demo account now with just your email address and a password. A demo account still allows you to trade on many global shares, our exclusive share baskets, plus indices, forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities and treasures, all with a single login.

Ready to start share trading?

*Best Telephone & Email Customer Service, Best Platform Features and Best Mobile/Tablet App, based on highest user satisfaction among spread betters, CFD & FX traders, Investment Trends 2019 UK Leverage Trading Report.​​

**Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and can change or may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK