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CFD Trading: What is It and How Does It Work?

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If you are new to the world of online trading, you may have heard about CFD trading but not be sure what it is. CFD stands for Contract For Difference, and it is a type of trading that allows you to speculate on the price of assets without actually owning them. In this blog post, we will explain what CFD trading is and how it works. We will also discuss the benefits of CFD trading and answer some common questions about it.

What is CFD trading?

In CFD trading, you are essentially entering into a contract with a broker to exchange the difference in the value of an asset from when the contract was opened to when it is closed. This means that you can speculate on the price movements of various assets, including stocks, indices, commodities, and currencies, without physically owning them.

How does CFD trading work?

When you open a CFD trade, you select the asset you want to trade and the size of your position (known as the “volume”). You then choose whether you think the price will rise or fall (known as “going long” or “going short”) and place your trade at the current market price. When your trade reaches its predetermined level of profit or loss (known as the “stop loss” and “take profit” levels), it will be automatically closed.


One important aspect of CFD trading is that you can also use leverage, which means borrowing money from your broker to increase your potential profits (but also increases the risk).

What are the benefits of CFD trading?

There are a few key benefits to CFD trading:


  • You can trade on margin, potentially making larger profits with smaller investments.
  • You have access to a wide range of markets and assets to trade, including international markets that may not be readily available for direct investment.
  • You can go short and long, meaning you can profit from a falling market.
  • It offers flexibility regarding position sizes and the ability to modify or close trades easily.

The main features and uses of CFD

Short and long trading

With CFD trading, you can bet on whether prices will rise or fall. With a traditional trade, you can only profit as the market price rises. However, with a CFD position, you can gain regardless of whether the market is rising or falling in price. When you close the position, you will realize your profits and losses from both long and short trades.


You can take on a large financial position by trading CFDs without paying the entire cost upfront. If you wanted to buy 500 Apple shares outright, you would need to pay the full cost upfront. However, with a contract for difference, you might only have to put down 5% as collateral.


Although trading with leverage allows you to make bigger trades than if you were using only your capital, it’s important to remember that your profits or losses will still be calculated based on the full size of your position. This means that both your profits and losses can be greatly increased compared to your original investment, and you could end up losing more than you originally deposited. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the leverage ratio and make sure that you are only trading with an amount of money that you can afford to lose.


Leveraged trading, or ‘trading on margin,’ allows traders to open and maintain a position with only a fraction of the total funds required.

There are two types of margins when trading CFDs: a deposit and maintenance. The former is required to open up a position, while the latter becomes mandatory if your trade approaches losses not covered by the first percentage and any extra money in your account. If this occurs, your provider will likely receive a margin call requesting that you add more funds to your account. If you don’t have enough money to cover the request, the position may be closed, and any losses incurred will be realized.


CFDs can also be used to protect against losses in an existing portfolio. Say, for example, you thought some of the ABC Limited shares in your portfolio might decrease in value briefly because of a disappointing earnings report. You could balance out some of the potential loss by making a CFD trade that would give you an opportunity to earn money if the market fell. By hedging your risk in this way, any fall in the value of ABC Limited shares would be canceled out by a rise in your short CFD trade.

Risks at CFD trading

As with any type of investment, there are potential risks involved with CFD trading. These include the possibility of incurring losses greater than your initial investment due to leverage, as well as market volatility and lack of liquidity in certain assets. It is important to understand these risks before starting to trade and develop a sound risk management strategy.

Final thoughts

CFD trading offers the opportunity for greater profits with smaller investments, as well as access to a range of markets and the ability to hedge risks. However, it is important to understand the potential risks involved before starting to trade and develop a sound risk management strategy. Happy trading!

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