Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% 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 and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Advantages of CFD trading

Learn about some of the advantages of CFD trading. Contracts for difference (CFDs) are a type of derivative product that allow you to trade using leverage within the financial markets, including on indices, forex, commodities and shares. Discover the main benefits of CFD trading on our online platform, and learn about the associated risks of CFD trading also before placing a trade.

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What are the main benefits of CFD trading?

No stamp duty

Unlike traditional share dealing, there is no stamp duty to pay on a CFD trade as you don't take physical ownership of the underlying asset. However, tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and can change. Read more about CFDs vs share trading​.

Trade on both rising and falling markets

With contracts for difference, you can trade on the price of a product going down as well as up, so you can try and benefit from selling (shorting) as well as buying opportunities. Many investors use CFDs as a way of hedging their existing portfolios through periods of short-term volatility.

Efficient use of your capital

One of the key advantages of CFD trading is that you can trade on margin, which gives you 'leverage'. This means you can trade without having to put down the full value of a position. As your money is not tied up in one transaction, you can use it for other investments. Read more about trading with leverage.

For example, to buy the equivalent of 10,000 telecom company share CFDs with us, you may only need to deposit 5% of the total position value that you might have to pay if you were buying physical shares from a stock broker.

If each share cost 150p, then you would only need to deposit £750 of position margin with us (5% of £15,000 = £750) plus the applicable commission, which in this instance would be £12.

To complete the equivalent trade with a stockbroker, you would have to pay the full value of £15,000, plus CFD commissions and taxes.

Note: trading using margin means you can magnify the returns on your investment but it is important to remember that losses will be magnified as well. There are many order types and execution tools on our platform that help you manage your risk effectively. Learn more about our software, which has been voted as best CFD trading platform​* for several years.

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Are CFDs tax-free in the UK?

Unlike spread betting, contracts for difference (CFDs) are not tax-free in the UK*, as you are required to pay capital gains tax. However, CFD trades are exempt from stamp duty. Read about spread bets versus CFDs.

Can you go short with CFDs?

With CFD trading, you can take a position on both sides of the market and either buy or sell. Short selling is a particularly popular strategy for traders that want to take advantage of falling asset prices in volatile markets. Read about how to short stocks​ as an example.

Which markets can you access through CFD trading?

We offer CFD trading on over 12,000 financial instruments across markets such as indices, forex, commodities, shares, ETFs and treasuries, plus our exclusive CFD share baskets. Browse our wide range of markets​.

Is there an expiry date for CFDs?

Most CFD trades do not have an expiry date, meaning that you can hold positions for a long period of time. Some traders prefer to use position trading strategies​ to trade on instruments over the longer term, rather than investing directly.

How can I trade CFDs?

To start trading CFDs with us, you can register for a live CFD account​ to deposit funds and gain access to the live markets. If you would like to practise first, you can open a demo CFD account​ to trade with £10,000 virtual funds.