What Is CFD Trading And How Does It Work?




Contracts for difference (CFDs) trading is a type of financial market betting that does not include the purchase and sale of underlying assets. Instead, traders can open a position by agreeing to exchange the difference in the value of an asset between the time the position is opened and the time it is closed.

CFDs are used as a way to trade on price movements of assets that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to buy and sell directly. CFD trading gives investors access to markets such as forex, shares, indices, and commodities without needing to own the underlying asset. However, it is crucial to choose one of the best cfd brokers to keep your money safe.

When trading CFDs, investors open a position with an agreement that they will exchange any gains (or losses) in the value of the asset with their broker at the end of each trading day. A CFD trader can decide to go either long or short on the asset, meaning they can make a profit from rising or falling prices. 

Short And Long CFD Trading Explained

CFD trading is leveraged, meaning a trader can open larger positions than the amount deposited. Leverage enables traders to enter into CFDs with less capital but holds greater potential for higher returns or bigger losses. 

When someone opens a short position, they profit when the price of the asset falls. On the other hand, going long means that a trader will profit when the price of the asset rises. 

  • CFDs allow traders to speculate on the future direction of a market, such as up or down. CFD trading is popular for hedging against other assets since traders can take a long position if they believe the price of an asset will rise or a short position if they believe it will fall.
  • Stop-and-limit trading features in CFDs reduce risk protection. Stop-loss orders assist traders in risk management by automatically terminating CFD contracts at predetermined levels, while limit orders can lock in profits or limit losses.
  • CFD trading is more complicated and risky than traditional investing, so make certain you understand it before you begin. Many brokers provide training and demo accounts to help traders learn how to trade in the markets.


Leverage In CFD Trading Explained

Leverage in CFD trading is the ratio between the amount of money you borrow to open a position and the value of your deposit. The higher the leverage, the lower the capital required to open a CFD position. 

For example, if you have an account balance of $10,000 and use 10:1 leverage (i.e. borrow $9,000 from your broker), you can open a CFD position worth up to $10,000. If the underlying asset rises by 1%, then you would see a gain of 10% on the initial capital ($1,000).

However, leverage is also one of the biggest risks associated with CFD trading and can result in huge losses if the market moves against your position. Therefore, it is important to understand how to use leverage responsibly and ensure you are aware of the risks associated with CFD trading.

Margin Explained

Margin is the amount of money required to open a CFD position and keep it open for a certain period. Margin requirements vary depending on the asset and market conditions but typically range from 1-2% of the value of your underlying position. 

For example, if you buy £10,000 worth of shares with 10:1 leverage, you will need to deposit only 1% of the position value, or £100. This is known as the margin requirement and is used by your broker to cover any potential losses on the trade. 

If the value of the asset changes and your account falls below this margin level, then you may be subject to a ‘margin call’, where your broker will close out your position to limit their losses. 


CFD trading allows traders to profit from rising and falling markets without the need to possess the underlying asset. However, in order to trade safely and responsibly, it is critical to understand how CFDs work and the associated risks. Furthermore, prior to getting started, it is critical to use leverage responsibly and understand margin requirements. CFDs, with the correct data and strategy, can give investors with a viable way to profit from market price fluctuations.