What is CFD Trading?

What is CFD Trading?

CFD trading (Contracts for Difference) is a form of derivative trading that allows investors to speculate on the price movements of securities, commodities, and foreign currencies without owning the underlying asset. CFD trading is an attractive form of trading for investors due to its many advantages over traditional forms of investing, such as leveraged trading, low cost of entry, and no need for extensive market knowledge.

How do CFDs work?

Traders open a CFD position and take advantage of price movements in the underlying asset, either up or down, but without taking ownership of the asset. Instead, when opening a CFD position, traders open a contract with a broker and agree to pay or receive the difference between the current and opening price of the asset when the trade is closed.

What are Leverage and Margin in CFD Trading?

Leverage and margin are two important concepts to understand in CFD trading. Leverage is the amount of money borrowed from the broker to finance a trade. For example, if you wanted to open a trade for $100 with 10:1 leverage, you would need to put up only $10 of your funds. Margin, on the other hand, is the difference in the price of the asset at the time of the trade and the time it was opened. For example, if you opened a trade for a CFD with a $100 value, and the asset opened at $90, the margin would be $10.

The way that leverage and margin differ in CFD trading compared to their original meanings is that they are much more greatly leveraged than in normal trading. For example, when trading stocks, the leverage is usually limited to 1:5 or 1:10, however, when trading CFDs, the leverage can often be as high as 1:400 or even 1:500, depending on the broker. This can allow traders to invest much more money than they initially had, making their potential profits much larger. The margin also differs in CFD trading, as it is not the difference between the price of the asset when the trade was opened and when it was closed, as is typically the case with stocks, but rather the difference between the entry price and the current price of the asset at any given time.

What is the Cost of CFD Trading?

The cost of CFD trading varies widely, depending on the individual broker and their offerings. Typically, the most common fees associated with CFD trading are the broker commission or spread. Broker commissions are the user’s cost to the broker for conducting their trades. Spreads are the difference between the bid and ask prices for a given instrument.

Aside from the broker commission or spread, CFD traders may also incur some additional costs such as:

  • Trading platform fees
  • Exchange and clearing fees
  • Clearinghouse fees
  • Margin fees
  • Regulatory fees

Depending on the type of instruments traded, these fees can add up quickly and can affect the overall profitability of a trader’s CFD account. It is important for CFD traders to fully understand the costs associated with their trading activities and to factor those costs into their trading strategy.

What are the Advantages & Disadvantages of CFD Trading?

CFD trading can be an advantageous way to capitalize on the movements of underlying assets, allowing traders to gain exposure to markets they would otherwise not be able to access. However, it also comes with certain risks and disadvantages that may not be suitable for all traders.


  1. CFD trading can be cheaper than other types of trading since CFDs usually have lower commissions and transaction fees.
  2. CFDs allow traders to go short as well as long, meaning that traders can still make profits even when the markets are falling.
  3. Leverage can be used when trading CFDs, enabling traders to make larger trades with limited capital.
  4. CFDs can provide access to a wider range of markets, including stocks, commodities, indices, and currencies.
  5. CFDs tend to have shorter settlement periods than other types of trading, offering more flexibility for the trader.


  1. Leverage can also lead to heightened losses, with traders running the risk of losing more than their initial deposits in some cases.
  2. CFDs do not provide physical ownership of the asset, so they lack some of the tax benefits associated with ownership.
  3. CFDs may not be suitable for traders who are looking for dividend payouts.
  4. CFDs may be more expensive than other types of trading when it comes to widening spreads and payment of overnight fees.

What is the Difference Between CFD and Investment?

The biggest difference between CFD and investment is that CFD allows you to trade in a wide range of markets without actually owning the underlying asset. With CFD, you can speculate on stocks, indices, commodities, and foreign currencies. On the other hand, investments allow you to own an underlying asset and can be held for long periods, as you can benefit from various market movements. Investing is generally better suited for long-term investing goals, while CFD trading is more suitable for short-term goals. With CFD, you are exposed to the highest level of risk, and losses can be much higher compared to investments. CFD also requires greater investment knowledge, so individuals need to understand the key risks before investing. Ultimately, the best decision will depend on the individual’s goals, risk appetite, and financial situation.


Eurotrader doesn’t represent that the material provided here is accurate, current, or complete, and therefore shouldn’t be relied upon as such. The information provided here, whether from a third party or not, isn’t to be considered as a recommendation; or an offer to buy or sell; or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security, financial product, or instrument; or to participate in any particular trading strategy. We advise any readers of this content to seek their advice.

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