If you are new to CFD trading you need a CFD broker that is suitable for beginners. In this guide we will highlight what you need to know before you start trading CFDs and compare some of the best CFD trading platforms for beginners.

CFD trading is speculating on financial markets with derivatives. Traditional investing involves paying outright for shares in companies, whereas with a CFD, you are entering into a “contract for difference” between the opening and closing prices of a position.

CFDs are a form of leveraged trading that enables traders to essentially buy more than they can afford by trading on margin. This means that instead of paying full price for £1,000 worth of shares, by using a 10% margin, traders can speculate on £1,000 worth of shares with £100 on the account. You do not own the underlying shares with CFDs but are buying or selling 1,000 CFDs instead of 1,000 shares. Your profit and loss on 1,000 shares will be equivalent to investing, but unlike buying physical shares, the amount you need to deposit with your broker will be less.

For example, if you buy 1,000 CFDs in a share worth £1, that position is worth £1,000. To do this, you will need to deposit an initial margin of 10% (£100).

If the share goes up by 10%, you make £100 profit, which is the equivalent of a 100% profit on your deposit. However, if the share goes down by 10%, you will have lost 100% of your deposit.

CFD trading is available to almost anyone who can access a broker online, including professional and retail traders. However, before opening a CFD account, you will have to demonstrate that you understand the risks involved.

Compare CFD Trading Platforms For Beginners

Trading PlatformActive ClientsMinimum DepositFoundedInactivity FeePLC?Client Loss %More Info

City Index

126,0001001983£12 per month✔️70%Visit City Index
Interactive Brokers1,400,000019770✔️60%Visit IBKR

CMC Markets

308,64401989£10 per month✔️66%Visit CMC Markets
Pepperstone110,00002010079.3%Visit Pepperstone
Saxo Markets525,00001992£25 per quarter70%Visit Saxo Markets


11,0001002008£10 per month77%Visit Markets.com

Spreadex Financials

4,00001999069%Visit Spreadex


313,000£2501974£12 per month✔️73%Visit IG
n/a$502011$5 per month77%Visit FXTM
447,00002002€10 per month✔️77%Visit XTB

Which CFD trading platforms are good for beginners?

City Index

City Index offers some unique tools that can help beginner CFD traders sniff out trading opportunities. SMART signals provides real times trading signals and Performance Analytics reviews your trading activity and highlights which markets, times and strategies work best for you.


IG have an excellent CFD trading platform and offer access to a very broad range of markets. The platform is simple to use, with a clear layout. IG also have a reputation within the industry for having their clients’ interests at heart (as you read in our interview with the CEO, June Felix) and do not B-book clients (profit from client losses). If you are looking for your first CFD account, IG is a good place to start as they cater for all types of clients, from absolute beginners to hedge funds and institutional traders.

CMC Markets

CMC Markets is also good for beginners as their platform is one of the most comprehensive around without being too institutional-based. The platform gives the feel of trading like a professional, but everything is easy to configure and there are some good sentiment tools for new traders to get an idea of what other CMC Markets customers are trading.

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