Contract for Differences CFDs Overview & Examples

Maintenance margin is equity required in your account to cover for your trade in case it starts making losses. The margin increases if the market price is rising and decreases when they fall. Equity goes up when running profits increase, and goes down when running losses occur. You can trade CFDs on shares, indices, ETFs, commodities and currencies, as well as other smaller markets. provides access to thousands of different CFD assets across these classes, so you are only a few clicks away from trading the world’s most popular markets all in one place.


Trading contracts for difference is a way of speculating on financial markets that doesn’t require the buying and selling of any underlying assets. Find out everything you need to know to understand CFD trading, from what it is and how it works to short trades, leverage and hedging. Since CFDs trade using leverage, investors holding a losing position can get a margin call from their broker, which requires additional funds to be deposited to balance out the losing position.

Profit and losses

CMC Markets is remunerated through the spread which is the difference between the bid and ask price. Contracts for difference is aleveraged​ product, which means that you only need to deposit a small percentage of the full value of the trade in order to open a position. On the other hand, are contracts that require you to trade on the expected future price of a financial instrument. Unlike CFDs, they specify a fixed date and price for this transaction – which can involve taking physical ownership of the underlying asset on this date – and must be purchased via an exchange.

Essentially, CFDs are used by investors to make price bets as to whether the price of the underlying asset or security will rise or fall. A contract for differences is an arrangement made in financial derivatives trading where the differences in the settlement between the open and closing trade prices are cash-settled. There is no delivery of physical goods or securities with CFDs. As a result, traders should be aware of the significant risks when trading CFDs. Overall, CFDs are broadly accessible for a range of financial assets and have unique advantages drawing from their differences from futures and options markets. In particular, CFD trading is cheaper than trading real assets, enables higher leverage, has global access, and is not subject to shorting restrictions.

  • Some of the benefits of CFD trading are that you can trade on margin, and you can go short if you think prices will go down or go long if you think prices will rise.
  • Trading CFDs means that you can either make a profit or loss, depending on which direction your chosen asset moves in.
  • If you don’t want to take a position with leverage, then perhaps share dealing will be more appealing to you.
  • CFDs are an extremely flexible tool, providing traders with lower margin requirements, uncomplicated access to global markets, no shorting or day trading rules on top of little or no fees.

Then, if ABC Corp’s share price falls in the underlying market, the loss in value of your physical share portfolio could potentially be offset by the profit made on your short selling CFD trade. You could then close out your CFD trade to secure your profit as the short-term downtrend comes to an end and the value of your physical shares starts to rise again. A contract for difference allows traders to speculate on the future market movements of an underlying asset, without actually owning or taking physical delivery of the underlying asset. CFDs are available for a range of underlying assets, such as shares, commodities, and foreign exchange.

Short and long CFD trading explained

If you are risk-averse, then you will be looking for opportunities with lower risk-to-reward (R-R) ratios. You close your position when you buy with the current ask price. A 10% margin means that you have to deposit only 10% of the value of the trade you want to open.

Contracts for differences is an advanced trading strategy that is used by experienced traders and is not allowed in the United States. The witching hour is the final hour of trading on the days options and futures contracts expire. Short selling occurs when an investor borrows a security, sells it on the open market, and expects to buy it back later for less money. However, trading is a risky strategy relative to other forms of trading. Most successful CFD traders are veteran traders with a wealth of experience and tactical acumen.


Although CFDs allow investors to trade the price movements of futures, they are not futures contracts by themselves. CFDs do not have expiration dates containing preset prices but trade like other securities with buy and sell prices. CFDs allow traders to trade in the price movement of securities and derivatives. Derivatives are financial investments that are derived from an underlying asset.

Is CFD trading right for me?

When you trade oanda forex broker review with us, you can take a position on thousands of instruments. Our spreads start from 0.7 points on forex pairs including EUR/USD and AUD/USD. You can also trade the UK 100 and Germany 40 from 1 point and Gold from 0.3 points.


It’s important to have enough equity to withstand volatility and adverse market conditions regardless of the required margin to open a position. A general rule of thumb is to start trading small sizes with at least $2500 to $5000 and familiarizing yourself with the potential profit and loss swings that could take place. A CFD, also known as a contract for difference dictates that a buyer will pay the seller the difference between the current value of a specific asset and its value at the time of initiating the contract. Contracts for difference allows market participants the opportunity to generate profits simply from price movements without owning the actual asset.

Is Trading CFDs Safe?

Remember that if the price moves against you, it’s possible to lose more than your margin of £300, as losses will be based on the full value of the position. A hedge is a type of investment that is intended to reduce the risk of the effect of adverse price movements in an asset. Futures are financial contracts obligating the buyer to purchase an asset or the seller to sell an asset at a predetermined future date and price. fxpro forex broker review provide traders with all of the benefits and risks of owning a security without actually owning it or having to take any physical delivery of the asset.


We offer over 18,000+ markets for you to speculate on with CFDs, including shares, indices, forex, commodities and more. Using CFDs to hedge physical share portfolios is a popular strategy for many investors, especially in volatile markets. While the product itself has experienced a boom in the past 10 years, the Covid-19 pandemic led to many people working from home amid global lockdowns. Furthermore, the pandemic brought upon bouts of volatility across many popular trading products which helped increase trading activities amid seasoned as well as beginner traders. The drop in leverage available helps protect traders from the adverse market conditions expected on a near-daily basis. The markets can be volatile and new traders may be tempted by early gains brought upon by beginner’s luck only to lose it later when their expectations on certain instruments fail.

Hedging with CFDs explained

This time, you have decided to sell 100 CFDs on Apple at $170 per share, which then proceeds to fall to $160 per share. If you keep a daily CFD position open past the daily cut-off time , you’ll be charged an overnight funding charge. The cost reflects the cost of the capital your provider has in effect lent you in order to open a leveraged trade. With both long and short trades, profits and losses will be realised once the position is closed. Conversely, if a trader believes a security’s price will decline, an opening sell position can be placed. Again, the net difference of the gain or loss is cash-settled through their account.

CFD trading is the method of speculating on the underlying price of an asset – like shares, indices, commodities, forex and more – on a trading platform like ours. Usually, there is no extra cost when trading FX and commodities but other products such as stocks may include the above-discussed commission as a separate charge. This is becoming a trend in other countries where regulators are playing a stronger role in protecting consumers.

Contracts for difference is a leveraged product, which means that you only need to deposit a small percentage of the full value of the trade in order to open a position. While trading on margin allows you to magnify your returns, your losses will also be magnified as they are based on the full value of the position. This means that you could lose all of your capital, but as the account has negative balance protection, you can’t lose more than your account value. Demo accounts are typically available for 1 month before expiring although most providers offer them for an unlimited period of time nowadays. Practicing on a demo should not be a short endeavor and should extend at least 1-3 months to get truly comfortable with the markets. The next step would be to start your account with a small deposit and trade the smallest sizes possible.

Any additional gains are paid to her at the time of exit as a profit. For example, if Alice enters into a CFD with Bob’s Brokerage on the price of Commodity A, and Alice is long on Commodity A, she will buy the ask price of $50.50 for Commodity A with Bob’s Brokerage. If Alice buys 100 units of Commodity A, the total cost of the transaction will be $5,050. It’s worth keeping in mind that with us you can speculate on the price of futures contracts without buying the contracts themselves. If you don’t want to take a position with leverage, then perhaps share dealing will be more appealing to you.

You hedge to protect your profits or capital, especially in times of uncertainty. The idea is that if one investment goes against you, your hedge position goes in your favour. CFD brokers are required by regulators to provide negative balance protection.

Most CFD providers launched financial spread betting operations in parallel to their CFD offering. In the UK, the CFD market mirrors the financial spread betting market and the products are in many ways the same. With leveraged trading, you can short-sell the market in order to hedge against this downtrend possibility.

CFDs make it much easier to access global markets for much lower costs and much easier to move in and out of a position quickly. All forms of margin trading involve financing costs, in effect the cost of borrowing the money for the whole position. Some of the benefits of CFD trading are that you can trade on margin, and you can go short if you think prices will go down or go long if you think prices will rise. CFDs have many advantages and are tax efficient in the UK, meaning that there is no stamp duty to pay. Please note, tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and can change or may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

You can monitor all your open positions on the trading platform, and close them by clicking the ‘close’ button. If you opened your position by buying, you could close by selling the same number of contracts at the sell price – and vice versa. Trading CFDs could be right for you if you’re looking for a way to trade rising or falling markets, and if you want to open a position using margin. However, CFD trading is risky and you could make a loss greater than your initial deposit amount.

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