Trade Cdfs

If a stock has an ask price of $25.26 and 100 shares are bought at this price, the cost of the transaction is $2,526. With a traditional broker, using a 50% margin, the trade would require at least a $1,263 cash outlay from the trader. With a CFD broker, often only a 5% margin is required, so this trade can be entered for a cash outlay of only $126.30. 

It should be noted that when a CFD trade is entered, the position will show a loss equal to the size of the spread. So if the spread is 5 cents with the CFD broker, the stock will need to appreciate 5 cents for the position to be at a breakeven price. If you owned the stock outright, you would be seeing a 5-cent gain, yet you would have paid a commission and have a larger capital outlay. Herein lies the tradeoff. 

If the underlying stock were to continue to appreciate and the stock reached a bid price of $25.76, the owned stock can be sold for a $50 gain or $50/$1263=3.95% profit. At the point the underlying stock is at $25.76, the CFD bid price may only be $25.74. Since the trader must exit the CFD trade at the bid price, and the spread in the CFD is likely larger than it is in the actual stock market, a few cents in profit are likely to be given up. Therefore, the CFD gain is an estimated $48 or $48/$126.30=38% return on investment. The CFD may also require the trader to buy at a higher initial price, $25.28 for example. Even so, the $46 to $48 is a real profit from the CFD, where as the $50 profit from owning the stock does not account for commissions or other fees. In this case, it is likely the CFD put more money in the trader’s pocket. 

The Advantages: Higher Leverage 

CFDs provide much higher leverage than traditional trading. Standard leverage in the CFD market begins as low as a 2% margin requirement. Depending on the underlying asset (shares for example), margin requirements may go up to 20%. Lower margin requirements mean less capital outlay for the trader/investor, and greater potential returns. However, increased leverage can also magnify losses. Global Market Access from One Platform Most CFD brokers offer products in all the world’s major markets. This means traders can easily trade any market while that market is open from their broker’s platform. 

No Shorting Rules or Borrowing StockCertain markets have rules that prohibit shorting at certain times, require the trader to borrow the instrument before shorting or have different margin requirements for shorting as opposed to being long. The CFD market generally does not have short selling rules. An instrument can be shorted at any time, and since there is no ownership of the actual underlying asset, there is no borrowing or shorting cost. 

Professional Execution With No Fees 

CFD brokers offer many of the same order types as traditional brokers. These include stops, limits and contingent orders such as “One Cancels the Other” and “If Done”. Some brokers even offer guaranteed stops. Brokers that guarantee stops either charge a fee for this service or attain revenue in some other way. 

Very few, if any, fees are charged for trading a CFD. Many brokers do not charge commissions or fees of any kind to enter or exit a trade. Rather, the broker makes money by making the trader pay the spread. To buy, a trader must pay the ask price, and to sell/short, the trader must take the bid price. Depending on the volatility of the underlying asset, this spread may be small or large, although it is almost always a fixed spread. 

No Day Trading Requirements 

Certain markets require minimum amounts of capital to day trade, or place limits on the amount of day trades that can be made within certain accounts. The CFD market is not bound by these restrictions, and traders can day trade if they wish. Accounts can often be opened for as little as $1,000, although $2,000 and $5,000 are also common minimum deposit requirements. 

Variety of Trading Options 

There are stock, index, currency and commodity CFDs; even sector CFDs have emerged. Thus not only stock traders benefit – traders of many different financial vehicles can look to the CFD as an alternative.