Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Trading from home

In the past, traders would be required to work full-time on the trading floor of a stock exchange or broker’s office. However, with advanced technology and online trading platforms, it is easier than ever to work from home and trade the financial markets. For many, it is considered a part-time or short-term hobby; for others, it is a full-time occupation from the comfort of their own study. This article provides information on how to trade from home, tips for an effective setup and how to manage your risk when you start trading.

KEY POINTS

  • Our flexible online platforms allow you to trade on a variety of markets and instruments across the globe
  • Traders can choose between spread betting and CFD trading, which are both types of derivatives
  • Spread betting is tax-free and only available in the UK*, whereas CFD trading is available globally but comes with extra costs
  • Some traders do it as a hobby, whereas for others, it's a full-time job
  • You can use either a desktop, tablet or mobile device

Can you make money trading for a living?

Trading from home can be an efficient way to generate more income using your flexible timetable. Online brokers provide the option to trade on a number of financial markets, whether this be forex, shares or treasuries, without requiring the knowledge equivalent to that of a professional trader. The amount of money you gain or lose will depend on your skill set, however, and how many hours a day you commit to your trading strategies.

It is possible to make money trading, but it comes with many risks and extra costs that must be taken into consideration. Consult our section on ‘what else do you need to know’ before opening a potentially risky trade. After all, not all positions will end in profit.

New to the financial markets? Learn how to become a trader.

How to trade from home

  1. Make sure that you are in a comfortable environment with the ability to keep a focused mindset. Trading from home can provide many distractions and you will need to pay close attention to your positions, especially when trading in volatile markets​. It may be wise to choose an empty, quiet room with all your resources in one place.
  2. Educate yourself. Keeping up to date with market news and analysis is vital. You could also monitor an economic calendar for important updates and changes in the financial markets, and resources like Morningstar reports​ focus on quantitative research and price updates. It is also a good idea to read external material, such as widespread financial journals, magazines and newspapers that focus on current financial affairs.
  3. Build an appropriate trading plan. Decide whether you want to focus more on technical analysis, fundamental analysis or a mixture of both. Determine the amount of money you are comfortable investing and losing, with the intention of sticking to it.
  4. Practise trading with virtual funds on a demo account. Put into place your take profit and stop-loss orders in order to mitigate risks as much as possible. Consult our money and risk-management guide​ for more tips on how to trade safely.
  5. Try out various strategies, technical indicators and platform tools. This way, you will know which of these are most effective for profits and which should be avoided in your next trades.
  6. Pay attention to your mental wellbeing. Psychology plays an important role in online trading, as traders can often become overwhelmed, impatient or greedy after experiencing losses.
  7. Report your findings. Many traders choose to keep a trading diary with records of previous positions, statistics and other useful information that can be used in the future. This will make trading at home a lot smoother.


To see whether you could make money from spread betting or trading CFDs, you could try out our risk-free demo account, which allows you to practise first using £10,000 of virtual funds. Once you feel confident enough to enter the live markets using real funds, you can then switch to a live account.

What markets are available?

Traders can access financial markets like forex, stocks, indices, commodities, bonds and ETFs whether they are trading as a part-time hobby or a full-time job. We explain a couple in more detail below.

Forex

The forex market is one of the most popular among home traders, due to its high liquidity, volatility and accessibility for information. It's open 24 hours per day during the week, due to the different time zones between continents. This makes it easier for traders who only have a few spare hours per day or per week, as they are not restricted to daily stock market hours, for example.

So, can you make money trading forex at home?

There is no shortage when it comes to currency trading strategies​. Day trading, swing trading and scalping are all popular strategies among in-house and home traders alike. The use of technical indicators also helps to identify trends, price charts and predictions for the future market. This information is easy to find online and is key if you want to make money.

At CMC Markets, we offer 330+ currency pairs, including major, minor and exotic crosses. Major forex pairs such as USD/JPY and GBP/USD have spreads starting from just 0.7 points.

Shares

Stocks or shares are also very popular instruments for trading, due to their international availability. It's possible to trade on both established, blue-chip stocks and UK penny shares​.

You don't need a large amount of money to invest in penny stocks, as these often sell for around $1 and can vastly increase in value over a number of years. Therefore, they are popular assets to trade for a living as any stock has the potential to grow, develop and start producing profits.

The table below shows a selection of instruments that we offer, along with their spreads and prices.

Stock indices

Instrument Min spread Price Day Week
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Forex pairs

Instrument Min spread Price Day Week
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Commodities

Instrument Min spread Price Day Week
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Shares & ETFs

Instrument Min spread Price Day Week
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Bonds

Instrument Min spread Price Day Week
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Pricing is indicative. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Spread bet or trade CFDs on our mobile trading app for Android and iOS

Expore our home software and mobile app

We offer the choice of two platforms: Next Generation (CMC's platform) and MetaTrader 4, an internationally recognised platform. You can compare the differences between the two in relation to position sizes, platform tools, installation requirements, executions and stop loss orders, among many other factors.

To see a full list, visit our trading platform comparison page for Next Generation vs MT4.

Mobile applications are perfect for those who do not own a desktop computer or are often on the move throughout the day. Our mobile trading app​​ works with both iOS and Android systems and include all the regular features of our home trading software. You can even choose to receive trading alerts and price alerts that pop-up on your phone when you download the software.

Steps to getting started on your own

So, have you finished reading this article and want to get started spread betting or trading CFDs on our platform? Follow the simple steps below to sign up for an account.

  1. Open a trading account to access our product library. You’ll be able to practise first using £10,000 of virtual funds on our risk-free demo account.
  2. With a demo, you can access financial markets such as commodities, forex, indices and treasuries for an unlimited period of time, as well as one-month free access to shares and ETFs.
  3. Deposit funds to open your live account and access unlimited instruments. Your subscription will also include exclusive market data, Morningstar reports and a Reuters news feed.

What else do you need to know before trading?

Trading on the financial markets can be a daunting process, especially for a beginner, so it may be a good idea to brush up your knowledge on the following things beforehand:

  • Costs​ (including spreads, margin rates, overnight fees, commissions)

  • The risk that your chosen market or instrument presents

  • How trading with leverage works​ (also known as trading on margin)

  • How to prevent margin calls and account close-outs

  • Risk-management tools, indicators and market data that can help with every trade

FAQs

Can I start trading with £100?

You can start trading with £100, as there is no strict minimum deposit amount. However, you may need to add more funds depending on your stake size (spread betting) or number of units (CFD trading). Learn more about our margin account requirements.

Can I trade on-the-go?

Our clients are able to trade on the go using our award-winning mobile app*, which has gained numerous industry accolades. Download our app now for iOS or Android devices.


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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