The broker you work with can play a huge role in your chances of success, from giving you the support you need when it comes to technical issues to providing a strong platform for trade execution. You should consider your needs thoroughly before searching for potential brokers to work with, and you should always vet brokers before creating an account and storing funds with them.
In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to do to choose the best CFD broker for your trading needs. If you would like to start trading CFDs, you will need to partner with a strong investment company that offers the instruments you want to speculate on, with the strong support you will need.
What is CFD trading and how does it work?
CFD stands for Contract for Difference, and CFD trading is the buying and selling of these contracts to speculate on the price movements of financial markets with the aim of deriving a profit from market movements. In CFD trading, traders do not need to buy or sell the underlying asset directly. Instead, they can simply take a position based on how they predict the market will move.
CFDs, unlike options contracts, do not have expiry dates. When a trader wants to close a trade, they can buy another contract of the same quantity, speculating on the same underlying asset, and take the opposite position. For example, a trader who buys a CFD going long on a stock can close their position by buying a similar CFD going short on the same stock.
Having a strong understanding of CFD trading is essential before participating in the markets, as it is a high-risk investment strategy. Not only that – you should understand what moves the markets of the underlying instruments in which you want to invest too, as you will be making your trading decisions based on your prediction of market movements.
An example of CFD trading
Say, you are a trader who wants to trade CFDs on a stock. The current market price of the stock is $100 per share, and you believe that the stock will increase in price soon. You anticipate this by buying 100 CFDs of the stock at $100 per share, and the total value of your position is $100 x 100 shares = $10,000. The broker charges a commission of 0.1% per contract, so you pay a commission of $10.
A few days later, the price of the stock does increase. The new stock price is $120 per share, and you decide to close the position to reap the profits. You sell your CFDs back to the broker at a price of $120 per share, for a total value of $12,000, resulting in a gross profit of $2,000 and a net profit of $1,980 ($10 x 2 sides), after commission.
However, if your predictions are wrong and the price of the stock decreases, you will incur a loss.
For example, if the price of the stock decreases to $90 per share, the price of your position will be worth $90 x 100 = $9,000. In this case, you will incur a loss of $1,000 plus commission, which will add up to a net loss of $1,020.
How to identify your trading needs
Before doing research on the broker that you want to work with, you should first identify your trading needs. This will give you a rough idea of the kind of resources and products you want to trade with and will need. Some factors you can consider include your risk appetite, your trading style, and your investment goals.
If you are someone who can stomach high risk investments, you may be interested in volatile markets that fluctuate frequently and unpredictably. This can give you the potential to earn substantial profits, but it may also result in substantial losses. If you are a more conversative trader, you may want to speculate on underlying assets that are relatively stable, such as certain funds and stocks from established companies.
Broker conditions to evaluate
When evaluating a broker, you should consider their regulatory status, fee structure, product offering, trading platform, customer support expertise, and availability of a demo trading account. Read more below for information on how you can vet potential brokers to work with.
A regulated CFD broker and provider will meet certain standards and adhere to strict regulations set out by local laws to protect traders from undesirable activities. Make sure the broker is authorised by a credible regulatory body, and that they are compliant with international laws and standards.
Not all brokers are created the same, and some fees that many CFD providers tend to charge include trade execution and account management fees, and commissions. Some charges you may encounter include overnight financing and withdrawal fees. Make sure your broker has a transparent fee structure with no hidden costs, and that you are getting fair and competitive spreads and rates when trading.
A broker is only as useful as their product offering. If you are looking to diversify your portfolio, this is especially important. Make sure the offer gives you access to the markets and exchanges you want to participate in, and you can speculate on the instruments you want.
You should also ensure that the trading platform offered by the trader is one you are comfortable using. Many traders have partnerships with MetaTrader and offer MT4 and MT5, but there are also brokers with bespoke platforms. Ensure that the trading platform provides all the tools you will need to execute your trades. You should also make sure that trade execution is smooth with low latency.
Customer support is essential for when you encounter an issue, whether it is related to technical problems or problems with your account. You should make sure the broker’s customer support is responsive and knowledgeable. If in doubt, you can check out peer reviews and see what other traders’ experience with the broker is.
Availability of demo account
Finally, consider whether you can access a demo account upon registration with the broker. Many of them offer this feature so that their clients can hone their skills with live pricing. Using a demo account is also a good way to give the broker and its platform a test drive, and you will be able to judge if the platform is suitable for you.
Choosing the right broker is essential when you are starting out with CFD trading. The right broker can provide you with access to the instruments on which you want to speculate, a robust trading platform, and a reliable support team you can count on. You can also make the most of your trades with transparent and competitive fee structures, which can add up over time.
When you are evaluating your options, you should make sure you evaluate the reputation and regulations of the broker, as well as its product offerings. Most importantly, make sure you are sure of your own trading parameters and set risk management measures in place, such as never investing more than you can afford to lose.