CFD Basic Guide: How To Trade CFDs Smarter


Traders can speculate on asset prices using Contracts for Difference (CFDs), an alluring derivative product. Due to its low cost and total online nature, CFD trading is easily accessible to new traders. However, CFDs are complicated instruments, so it is advised to fully educate oneself on CFDs’ operations before starting to trade.

In this article, we will comprehensively understand how to trade CFDs effectively.


Before deeply understanding functionality, it’s essential to know the basic definition. CFD for A Contract for Difference is a financial agreement where the settlement is based on the difference between the opening and closing trade prices. Those contracts do not involve the delivery of goods and are often used as financial derivatives.

CFDs are an investment vehicle that allows for leveraged trading. As a trader, you can use a small portion of your total transaction value to open a relatively large position. This provides you with increased exposure to global financial markets. CFD trading enables for both long and short positions, giving you greater speculative freedom to capitalize on price movements. Ultimately, CFDs offer advantages such as leveraged trading and speculative freedom, enabling traders to open large positions with relatively little capital.

Introduction to the Key Characteristics of CFD Trading: 

CFDs (Contracts for Difference) are rapidly becoming a popular financial instrument for investors due to their flexibility and high potential for profit. To help you better understand CFD trading, we have compiled a list of three essential characteristics that are crucial for successful trading. 

1. Leverage: CFDs allow traders to trade on margin, meaning a small initial deposit can control much larger positions. While this can amplify profits, it also increases risk, so it is essential to use leverage wisely. 

2. Stop Loss Orders: Stop Loss Orders help mitigate risk by allowing traders to set a predetermined exit point for their trades, ensuring they do not lose more than they are comfortable with. 

3. Diversification: CFDs provide access to a wide range of markets, including stocks, indices, commodities, and currencies, allowing traders to diversify their trading portfolio and reduce their overall exposure to risk. 

By understanding these three essential characteristics of CFD trading, traders can make more informed decisions, minimize risks, and maximize profits.

It is important to understand that engaging in leverage trading may increase your potential profits. However, it also can magnify any potential losses. Therefore, it is imperative to exercise caution and approach such trades with careful consideration and proper risk management strategies.

The Process of Trading

When trading contracts for difference, you have the option to buy or sell a specific number of contracts, which is referred to as the deal size. Each point the market moves in your favor increases your profit. However, as with any investment, there is a chance of loss if the market moves against you.

If you believe that the price of an asset will go up, you can open a “long” (buy) position. This means that you will make a profit if the price of the asset rises as you expected. However, there is also a risk of loss if your prediction is incorrect.

On the other hand, if you anticipate that the price of an asset will decrease, you can open a “short” (sell) position. This means you will profit if the price falls as you predicted. Nevertheless, there is still a possibility of loss if your prediction is incorrect.

5 Steps To Start 

For individuals who aspire to begin CFD trading, extensive knowledge, and experience are essential. Therefore, we aim to provide a concise guide to the most critical introductory steps to streamline the process.

The Profit & Loss Concept

It would help if you calculated the profit or loss resulting from a CFD trade. First, you must multiply the total number of contracts in your position (deal size) by the value attributed to each contract. Following this, you must multiply that figure by the difference in points between the opening trade price and the closing price.

Research How CFDs Work

CFDs operate by replicating the behavior of the underlying market. This means that not only is it plausible to simulate a conventional trade that generates profits as the market surges in value, but an individual may also initiate a CFD position that creates earnings when the underlying market declines in value.

Start Trading

It’s time to initiate a deal after selecting which market to trade in. If you predict a decrease in the asset’s value, going “short” or selling is the way to go. Conversely, opting to “buy” or go long is the right move if you predict an increase.

On the trading platform, you can keep a tab on all your active positions and shut them down by clicking the ‘close’ button. Also, for example, if you want to close a buy position, you can sell the same number of contracts at the same price.

Track CFD Timeframes

Traders need to understand the timeframes associated with CFD trading. You can identify short-term trends over a few hours or days and long-term trends that take weeks or months to identify. Keeping an eye on these enables you to trade accordingly and capitalize on any opportunities in the market.

Explore Costs

CFD trading offers flexibility but has certain costs, such as additional spread and dealing charges. To understand how these charges impact your earnings potential, consider the leverage available on a given CFD. For instance, if the margin is 5%, you can control assets worth 20 times more than your initial capital.

Final Takeaways

Numerous advantages come with CFD trading, including lower margin requirements, access to international markets, the lack of shorting or day trading regulations, and minimal or no fees. However, high leverage amplifies losses, and paying a spread when entering and exiting positions can be costly when there are no significant price changes.

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