Compare the best UK CFD brokers authorised and regulated by the FCA. Choose a CFD broker that offers the most markets, best pricing and client security.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Featured brokers appear first. Learn about how brokers are ranked...
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|Read Tamas Szabo CEO Interview|| Visit Pepperstone
What is CFD trading?
If you want to be a better CFD trader, start by reading our handy bitesize guides:
- CFD trading tips
- What does CFD trading mean?
- What is the difference between spread betting and CFD trading?
- Three golden rules to sensible CFD trading
- How do I qualify as a professional client for CFD trading and spread betting?
- Compare the best brokers for indicies
Watch our "What is CFD trading" video interview with CMC Markets
We're talking with Ryan O’Dougherty from CMC Markets about CFD (Contract for Difference) trading, what CFDs are, who they’re for, what you can trade, what are the main risks, the main benefits, and also, some top trading mistakes and how to avoid them. Or read the interview transcript here.
How to compare CFD trading brokers?
If you're looking for a new or your first CFD (contracts for differences) trading broker there are a few key points to compare when deciding who to open an account with. Firstly, you need to look at price. Some CFD brokers charge commission whereas others included the costs in the CFD spread.
Normally, it's only DMA (direct market access) CFD brokers that charge commission but use our CFD broker comparison tables to check. Secondly, are they regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)? All CFD trading brokers listed in our comparison are regulated by the FCA. You can check whether a broker is regulated by the FCA in the UK by checking the FCA register.
Only fully FCA authorised and regulated brokers offer client funds protection under the FSCS. From the 1st September 2019, this protection extends to;
- limiting leverage to between 30:1 and 2:1 by collecting minimum margin as a percentage of the overall exposure that the CFD provides.
- Close out a customer's position when their funds fall to 50% of the margin needed to maintain their open positions on a CFD account.
- Provide protections that guarantee a client cannot lose more than the total funds in their CFD account.
- Stop offering monetary and non-monetary inducements to encourage trading.
- Provide a standardised risk warning, which requires firms to tell potential customers the percentage of their retail client accounts that make losses.
source; FCA website, 01/07/2019.
Thirdly, how good is there online trading platform? When comparing CFD trading brokers the best way to choose a broker that is right for you is to open a CFD trading demo account to really get a feel for a platform and to understand what you like and dislike about each broker.
You won't need to risk your own money with a demo account, but it will give you an idea of how the platform works, what kind of resources the broker offers and insights in to the data behind the platform, albeit with limited functionality. Read how to compare CFD brokers here
How do CFDs Work?
Trading CFDs is a form of high risk, high reward speculation on the financial markets. You can trade shares, Forex, commodities, fixed income and indices like the FTSE, DAX, Down and S&P. CFDs are a leveraged OTC (over the counter) product so you don't actually own the underlying asset – just receive a profit and loss based on the difference between the price at which you open and close a trade.
What does CFD trading mean?
Firstly, it means that you are not buying or selling an actual asset. You are entering into a contract for the difference between the closing and opening price of a trade based on how many contracts you buy. The amount of contracts usually mirrors the same amount in the underlying market. Read more on what CFD (Contracts for Difference) trading is and how it works here
How to compare CFD trading platforms?
Our comparison makes it quicker and easier to choose a CFD trading platform. You can compare spreads, pips and the markets offered all in one place. However, as well as using our comparison trying out each broker through a demo account is also a good way to familiarise yourselves with what each offers and find out which you prefer. Demo accounts allow you to quickly try each CFD trading platform and save you risking any real money. Read more on the best way to compare CFD trading platforms here
Why to trade CFDs
CFDs are one of the most cost-effective ways to speculate on the financial markets. They provide many advantages over traditional investing – but of course with these advantages come disadvantages. You can make big money, but you can also lose big if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t use a well respected CFD broker.
Our definitive CFD brokers list of FCA regulated broker
Trading CFDs is risky, not just because CFD's by nature are a high risk investment product. But also because CFD brokers can go into administration. To reduce the risks of your broker going bust, it's important to only use FCA regulated brokers to make your trades.
Fortunately, all of the brokers included in our comparison are companies that are regulated by the FCA in the UK and accounts from companies that we are familiar with and have had experience using.
Good Money Guide is one of the most trusted places to compare brokers side by side and read both expert and customer reviews.
Where can you find CFD brokers in the USA?
Unfortunately, you can't trade CFDs in the US. Plus to make it even worse if you are a US citizen or resident you can't trade CFDs with a UK broker. UK and US regulations prohibit US clients trading with overseas brokers. But if you are a UK or European trader you can trade US stocks on CFDs with a UK CFD broker. You can however compare US CFD stock brokers where you can usually trade on margin.
Which are the best CFD brokers in the UK?
If you're looking for the best CFD brokers in the UK then you've come to the right place. Our CFD broker comparison tables display only UK CFD brokers that are regulated by the FCA and that we consider to have good reputations. We don't include brokers on Good Money Guide that are not properly regulated or have bad reputations within the industry.
What are STP CFD brokers?
STP means (Straight Through Processing) which means when you put an order in it goes into the market the broker buys or sells on your behalf. The alternative is where a broker matches up with other traders or does not hedge your positions at all. In the grand scheme of trading, it does not matter whether your broker is STP or uses a B-Book. You make money if you call the market right. You can't blame the broker if your trades are not profitable.
Where can you trade CFDs with a stockbroker?
CFD stock brokers are really a good example of why CFDs are a useful tool. CFDs enable stockbrokers to give their clients direct market access (you can compare DMA brokers here) meaning they get better prices, can work orders inside the price and work algo orders like daily VWAP (volume weighted average price) price matching.
What's the best way to compare CFD platforms?
Simple, use our CFD broker comparison tables to check out the key features of CFD brokers in the UK. There are two ways to compare costs on a CFD platform. The first is to see how far the prices are from the actual underlying market spread. The second is to see what commission is charged. If a commission is charged the prices you will see on the CFD platform for comparison will be the actual bid-offer spread. The commission will be a percentage from the bid-offer price.
CFD trading for big money and high net worth (HNW) large traders
If you are a big CFD or spread betting trader (and by that we mean £50k upwards) you need a broker that is going to give you a bit more than just the top ten traded forex pairs and a few commodities.
Our spread betting comparison tables compare all the spread betting accounts in the UK, and a quick glance will show that they are all pretty much the same. However, if you are an experienced trader with big pockets and want to trade in a tax efficient way, there are brokers out there that go the extra mile to ensure that the more sophisticated traders get an edge.
If you are a big spread betting customer and want a broker that gives you more we’ve summarised some of the best accounts for larger traders.
What are the Best CFD brokers for high net worth individuals and large traders
- Of course, IG offers CFDs and tops this list as they offer CFD trading too.
- Saxo Capital Markets is another decent CFD broker for HNWs as you can trade DMA, buy physical shares, bonds, and trade all sorts of exotic derivative products. They also have decent brokers for phone trading if you want to work VWAP or other algo orders that may otherwise move the market if you did them yourself.
- Compare other brokers for CFD trading here
The importance of brokerage account diversification for larger traders
No matter what size your account balance you should be a responsible trader and diversify. This doesn’t just apply to your portfolio, but also to your financial service providers.
History has shown us that spread betting brokers can go bust quickly (Alpari, January, 19th 2015). It is sensible to spread your business around a few of the top spread betting brokers so that if there are rumbles or rumours you can close and reopen your positions at another broker quickly.
The last thing you want to happen is to have all your positions with a defunct broker and the auditors taking weeks to close them out (cough cough MF Global). A sensible solution to mitigating this issue is to have a secondary account on standby so that if you foresee any future problems with your broker you stop using them sharpish.
As most accounts are opened online it can take as little as 20 minutes or as much as two days to get a new account ready. Make sure you trade for the best, but are prepared for the worst and have secondary accounts that you are familiar with on stand by in case you need to make a switch.
Comparing top MT4 CFD Brokers - where and how to do it?
If you want to compare top MT4 CFD brokers you can see our MT4 CFD broker comparison table. We highlight the key aspects of trading MT4 with a CFD broker, which ones are the best, how they should be regulated and how many markets are on offer. We only include FCA regulated MT4 CFD brokers in the comparison table.
How to compare Forex CFD brokers
Forex CFD brokers tend to focus on Forex, but will also offer trading in major indices, commodities, fixed income and some top stocks in the UK, US, Europe and Asia. If you want to compare Forex CFD brokers you can view our Forex CFD brokers comparison table.
CFD trading Strategies that can help you make money
If you want to be a profitable CFD trader you need to follow some golden rules of CFD trading. It’s not difficult to make profitable trades, but what is difficult is ensuring that you make more profits on your winning trades than you make losses on your losing trades. It’s a well know fact that even the best traders in the world only get it right half the time. It’s how they manage their CFD positions that sets them apart and makes them better traders. You can find out more about the best CFD trading strategies here
Here are five quick CFD trading tips
- Don't trade with more than you can afford to lose
- Run your profitable trades
- Cut your losing trades quickly
- Use stop losses to minimise risk
- Combine technical and fundamental analysis before trading
CFD stocks brokers versus index and FX
FX and index only CFD brokers tend to be smaller and less established than CFD brokers that offer a broad range of share and stock trading. Going with an established broker that offers FD stocks trading gives you more flexibility over what you can trade.
CFDs versus Spread Betting
Spread betting and CFDs are fairly similar in some respects but totally different in others. Find out the major differences between CFD brokers and spread betting brokers and see which is right for you. Whatever product you trade though always read CFD broker reviews to ensure that any broker you choose is regulated by the FCA and have their head office based in London.
Trading stocks and shares on CFDs
The key advantage of trading stocks on CFDs is that you don’t have to pay stamp duty to the government. Also, unlike spread betting you can still get DMA. DMA enables you to get into the order book for trading at the best possible prices. The best equity CFD brokers will offer access to the global markets, but this is generally only for the larger brokers – smaller CFD brokers tend to only offer FX, commodity, index and fixed income prices.
DMA (Direct Market Access) CFD brokers
DMA CFD brokers are really only suitable for clients trading with over £100k on account or for hedge funds. Being able to get inside the bid/offer spread is great, but in reality, it doesn’t make a difference, unless you are working really big orders on limits or a high frequency trader. If you need to trade CFDs on DMA make sure you understand that missing a price because you are trying to nick an extra 0.25p could be a costly error. If you’re a professional trader you should only be dealing with a DMA CFD broker.
Advisory CFD brokers
CFDs are a very high risk product and it’s important that clients understand the risks involved before opening an account. Over the years the FCA has clapped down on advisory CFD brokers providing advice and hard core sales tactics used by CFD brokers to get clients to trade more. This website is all about execution only CFD brokers – that means CFD brokers that do not provide advice or recommend trades. Here is how to find a CFD stock broker
Best CFD brokers for trading Forex
FX CFDs are one of the most popular asset classes in the world. The foreign exchange market trades well over $4 trillion in volume everyday and a large percentage of that is from client speculating on short term price movements by trading Forex on CFDs. Take a look at our FX CFD comparison tables to see the best CFD brokers for trading Forex.
Index trading on CFDs – where and when to get the best access
The FTSE, Down, Dax and S&P are the major indices that are traded via CFDs at the moment. They offer great liquidity, news flow and are open 24 hours a day. As the underlying stock markets open and close the indices become more volatile so there is plenty of excitement and opportunity to be had from first thing in the morning until well in to the night. Spreads are tight and the intra-day range can be well charted. The top CFD brokers for index trading offer low initial margins on indices providing good leverage for trading on margin.
Reduce your trading costs with a CFD broker rebate program
The more CFDs you trade the lower your trading costs should be. Some brokers charge a commission and others add the commission into the prices they quote. If your broker is charging commission they may offer a reduction in rates if you deal a certain amount. However, for CFD brokers that price in commission to the spread they offer high volume traders a monthly rebate once they trade above a certain amount.
Top ten CFD brokers in the UK
If you’re looking for your first CFD broker, or want to diversify your risk, by spreading your trading around a few brokers take a look at our top ten CFD brokers section. It provides all the key information on the top ten CFD brokers in the UK, spreads, bonuses, when they were founded – we also show the pros and cons of using each broker. To be in the top ten all brokers must be UK based and regulated by the FCA.
CFD broker reviews – what CFD broker is best?
Choosing a CFD broker is a matter of personal preference. It can be based on anything from colour scheme to how friendly or efficient you find their customer support to the background information they offer. If you want to read reviews of the major CFD brokers in the industry our broker reviews for top CFD brokers can help;
- IG broker review
- ETX Capital broker review
- CMC Markets broker review
- Saxo Capital Markets broker review
CFD research and technical analysis
Most good CFD brokers provide some kind of research and analysis on the markets for their customers. But generally the better the broker the better the research, tools and analysis. It costs a lot of money to hire analysts and provide data to clients and some of it (if you know how to use it) can be exceptionally useful. Technical analysis provides a good overview of the markets based on charts and historical data
- Fundamental analysis users company financial releases to evaluate the health of a share price
- Economic data and calendars show when important announcements are due that could result in a price move.