If you want to learn to trade CFDs or spread bet on the financial markets, we’ve put together a guide that contains some reliable ways to understand the markets better.
- First, things first. Don’t get taken in by glamour lifestyles on social media
- Secondly, be very careful about what sort of trading course you attend.
Where can you learn to trade?
Free seminars run by independent trading education companies are very rarely free. Normally, the free seminar gets you into a room where you’ll spend an hour being upsold a premium trading course. We’re not in the habit of criticising individual companies but if you google “trading courses” for example then look at the Trustpilot reviews… Well, you’ll get the idea…
Go to a seminar held by your broker
Obviously, the point of these seminars is to get you trading. But since there is so much consolidation and competition in the brokerage industry, brokers want to form long-term relationships with their clients. And an obvious way to do this is to help their clients be better traders. IG (read IG reviews) for example, have quite a lot of educational material on its website but also runs free seminars for clients depositing over £1,000. The seminars are held in their offices and run by industry experts like John Sheridan and Simon Clarke. Interactive Brokers has also launched the TradersAcademy which is full of guides and videos for beginners, intermediate and advanced traders.
STA Official Qualifications
Get a qualification from the Society of Technical Analysts (STA). They focus on adding a human element to charting.
Futurestechs is a technical analysis research provider headed up by Clive Lambert. Clive is on the board of the Society of Technical analysts and has been running Futurestechs which has provided research and analysis to banks and brokers for the last 18 years. They primary look at the futures market which can be traded through a futures broker. Compare futures brokers here.
Acuity Trading, headed up by Andrew Lane, provides sentiment-based analysis direct and through brokers to traders. Acuity trading has been trading since 2013 and uses a combination of machine learning and natural language processing technology to automate the process.
Investors Intelligence has provided data, signals and analysis to some of the largest brokers in the past including, IG, London Capital Group, Selftrade (now Equiniti), Barclays, TD Waterhouse and ADM to name a few.
The technical analysis is based on end-of-day pricing and looks for short to medium-term trends in the market. Their longest indicator has been running since 1963 and measures professional sentiment (not social media) to show when the market is overbought or oversold, allowing clients to trade or hedge appropriately.
Founded by ex-Goldman fund manager Ed Croft, Stockopedia is one of the best resources for digging out stock buying signals. The subscription platform highlights undervalued stocks that longer-term investors may want to add to their portfolios.
Autochartists and Trading Central
If you’ve had a spread betting account or done any CFD trading over the last few years you will no doubt have had access at some point to either Autochartist or Trading Central.
Both technical analysis platforms look at the market and atomically produce trading signals from their algorithms. These trading signals are then displayed and in some cases and analyst will expand on the opportunity.
But, as brokers move away from providing advice or even anything that can be construed and implied advice it’s independent third-party research providers that could provide an alternative.
So, are there any decent alternatives to Autochartist and Trading Central?
Smart Signals by City Index is the latest iteration of GetGo, that I reviewed a few years ago. One of the key advantages of SMART Signals is that is provides the track record for each type of trading signal it give, meaning it can be used as a leading or contrarian indicator.