CFD Brokers Australia 2020 – Top Rated (and Safe) CFD Platforms

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CFD Brokers Australia

CFD trading is a way to make money trading online. Those who do engage in this type of asset trading, may require minimal technical knowledge about how trades work.

If you are interested in CFD trading from Australia, below is information on how you can get started.

Best CFD Brokers Australia

We’ve checked all brokers that offer CFD trading and which are open to Australian traders.

Here are the top3 CFD Brokers in Australia:

1. HighLow

HighLow is an acclaimed binary options CFD broker based in Australia. It’s one of the few brokers to hold an AFSL.

HighLow offers a number of perks to traders. Mainly, they have a highly user-friendly trading platform available in multiple languages. The broker allows users to try a demo before opening a live trade. This is highly advantageous to CFD traders that are just starting out. Highlow still offers binary options trading (Is it safe?, Is it legal?).

The broker offers a number of options to traders as well. Naturally, high-low options are available. In addition, you will benefit from range, short-term, and on-demand trading options. For more information, read our highlow review.

You can start a trade with HighLow for as cheap as $10. Their maximum trade price is capped at $2,000, which is not ideal for high flying traders.

  • ASIC licensed trader
  • Excellent trading platform software
  • Demo available
  • Low starting trades

2. eToro

eToro is a well-known trading platform based in Australia. The company offers its services to Australians through a licensed entity in Australia. The platform is most popular in Europe, but Aussies can trade in local currency without an issue.

eToro Australia offers a number of trading options, but it has recently become popular as a CFD broker. Placing trades is very convenient through their software. The platform enables social trading. Users can copy trades of other investors or start thematic investing.

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Another advantage is that eToro’s trading fees are low compared to other brokers. However, the fees for non-trading features are high.

  • Popular CFD broker
  • Superior trading platform
  • Social trading allowed
  • Low trading fees

3. Plus500

Plus500 is another Israel-based broker that specialises in CFD trades. The company has a subsidiary in Australia that is locally regulated. The company lists itself on the stock exchange and has annual financial disclosure statements. So you can be assured that the broker is safe to use.

This broker offers a very popular trading platform with many user-friendly features. One major positive is mobile trading, which is seamless with Plus500.

Like HighLow, Plus500 does offer a demo. This way, you can try out new strategies. This broker might be best suited for CFD traders with some experience or new traders.

  • Mobile trading possible
  • Popular trading platform
  • Stock Exchange-listed
  • Issues financial disclosures

VISIT PLUS500 CFD Service. Your capital is at risk

What is CFD Trading?

CFD stands for Contract for Difference trades. It’s unique in the sense that investors are not trading an actual asset. Users make money by leveraging the price margin of a stock or share market instrument. Essentially, a CFD trade allows investors to profit from price changes of an asset like stock, futures, crude oil, or even gold.

Investors don’t actually own the asset to make a CFD trade. For example, if you want to place a CFD trade on gold, you don’t own the gold. The actual value of the asset doesn’t need to be considered either.

CFD trades are speculative and are leveraged. Users can turn a profit if they correctly speculate the rise or fall of a financial instrument within a certain period. You can purchase these trades with a small amount of money. In other words, you don’t have to pay the full price of asset speculation. For example, if you want to make a $100,000 CFD trade, you will be able to pay a leveraged price of 100:1, or something similar depending on the broker. This is one of the many advantages of CFD trading.

CFD trading is highly advantageous to small-time Australian investors because users don’t need to outright own an asset. Also, you will receive a fairly large market exposure for a small amount of money. It’s not without its risks either. The speculative nature of the trade means you can lose a lot of money with just a small movement in the market forces.

How to Choose an Australian CFD Broker

Australian investors make CFD traders through a broker. You could use a traditional market broker or hire a broker that specialises in CFD exchanges. As CFDs have become quite popular in Australia, you will find many from the latter category vying for attention.

Above all, check if the broker is Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) approved. If so, that is a sign that you are about to benefit from legitimate and highly legal practices. It’s highly recommended to work only with brokers who have an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL).

The determining factor for choosing a broker for many investors is the commission. Brokers charge commissions as a percentage of the overall trade. Some brokers only charge for stock CFDs, but it’s best to ask for which trades the commissions apply.

CFD Brokers Australia – Fees and Commissions

The commission rate varies between brokers. However, make sure that you are not paying for a commission that is higher than usual.

It’s common for traditional brokers to charge about a 5% commission rate.

In Australia, brokerage charges depending on ASX stocks. Therefore, make sure of what the typical charging rates are before you hire a broker.

Other than the commission, you might want to consider the type of currencies the broker is using. If a trade goes south, some may offer rebates and alternatives investors can benefit from. Don’t forget to check out the broker’s software, as it needs to be easy to use. The trading platform itself must offer all the features you need.

Before starting a CFD trade, educate yourself on the intricacies and technicalities of this type of exchange. Always choose a licensed broker. You may have an advantage by choosing an Australian broker over those based in other countries.

Top 10 CFD Brokers for 2020 – Best CFD Trading Accounts

The CFD (Contract-for-Difference) space has heated up in recent years, with both casual and more experienced traders now able to speculate on a range of financial products without needing to actually own or store the underlying asset itself.

As such, this makes CFDs ideal for those that want to make seamless investments in a safe, secure and user-friendly eco-system, without the burdens of having to utilize the services of an offline broker.

However, with hundreds of leading CFD brokerage platforms now operating in the market, how do you know which one is best suited for your individual needs? In our comprehensive CFD Brokers guide, we’ll point you in the direction of the very best CFD platforms for 2020 and beyond.

Find in This Article

Best UK CFD brokers

If you’re based in the UK and looking for the best CFD brokers, we would suggest taking a closer look at some of the following platforms.

Ever since the CFD market became available to retail investors the paradigm of trading changed forever. In between thousands of brokers that have emerged over the years, there are some that simply shine between the coals. CryptoRocket is a fully dedicated CFD platform that has become incredibly popular in Europe and Australia.

Even though it started as a cryptocurrency dedicated firm, it has drifted and diversified into other markets. Today the firm offers a broad range of markets like FX, Stocks, Commodities, and of course, cryptocurrency.

If you are interested in trading CFDs, we recommend taking your time to fully review CryptoRocket as a strong option and alternative to traditional brokers. Since the firm does not have its business located in Europe, it does not have to follow rules in terms of leverage and other retail restrictions, allowing traders to operate with much more freedom than with an European broker.

Pros:

    High Leverage – 1:500 No transaction and deposit fees MT4 and WebTrader available Professional and valid customer support services Highly secure trading platform

Cons:

    Limited Deposit Methods Less regulated than other brokers

Launched backed in 2020, Markets.com are an ideal CFD platform if you are still relatively new to online trading. Not only is the Markets.com platform highly favorable to beginners, but traders also have access to a full suite of educational tools. In terms of regulation, Markets.com are licensed by CySEC in Cyprus, ASIC in Australia and the FCSA in South Africa.

CFDs can be traded in a full range of asset classes. This includes commodities (hard metals and energy), currencies, bonds, ETFs, indices and of course, traditional blue-chip stocks.

Pros:

    Ex cellent trading platform for beginners Full suite of education tools CFDs available in all major asset classes No commission fees for trading – everything included within the spread Good selection of payment methods supported Leverage available No withdrawal fees

Cons:

    Guaranteed stop losses not available with CFDs Spreads on certain CFD products are less competitive

Plus500 are one of the largest and most well-established players in the CFD brokerage space. In fact, the entity are listed on the London Stock Exchange, and the CFD platform is fully regulated by the UK’s FCA. Plus500 have the capacity to facilitate a plethora of CFD products, including but not limited to ETFs, stock indices, currency pairings, shares and even cryptocurrencies.

Trading fees, alongside average PIPs, are ultra-low, which is great for high-frequency traders. On the other hand, a slight drawback with the Plus500 platform is that leverage financing costs are on the high side. If leverage isn’t your thing anyway, then this shouldn’t be an issue. When it comes to user-friendliness, the Plus500 trading website is easy to navigate through on both their online and mobile platforms.

Pros:

    One of the most established CFD brokers in the space – listed on the London Stock Exchange Low trading fees and tight spreads Excellent selection of asset classes listed Regulated by the UK’s FCA Platform layout and design ideal for newbies

Cons:

    Lack of fundamental news analysis Leverage financing fees expensive

80.6% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Best CFD brokers for U.S customers

Due to regulatory uncertainties, access to online CFDs platforms for those based in the U.S. is somewhat limited. However, there are still a good number of well-regarded platforms that allow U.S. citizens to deposit, trade and withdraw funds with ease.

Established back in 1995, VarengoldBank FX are a German-based brokerage firm that among many other financial instruments, facilitate CFD trading. Regulated by BaFin in Germany, U.S. citizens are eligible to join. In terms of the CFD products available at VarenGold, this mainly centres on currencies, commodities and indices.

Pros:

    Regulated by the BaFin in Germany Open to U.S. citizens Established back in 1995 Utilizes Meta Trading 4, which is ideal for first timers Deposit funds via credit/debit cards, PayPal or bank wire

Cons:

    Minimum deposit of $2,500 Limited number of CFD products

An additional well-established CFD broker that is also U.S. friendly is that of OANDA. Launched in 1997, the platform is home a good selection of educational materials, customer support is highly rated and payment channels includes PayPal. The OANDA brokerage platform is ideal for those that like to trade currency-based CFDs, as more than 72 currency pairs are listed.

Pros:

    Platform in operation since 1997 U.S. citizen-friendly More than 72 CFD currency pairings to trade Other CFD products include margin rates, commodities, bonds and indices Authorized and regulated with authorities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Australia and Japan

Cons:

    Less CFD products in comparison to other leading brokerage platforms.

Launched in 2007, Zulutrade are an online CFD platform that specialize in both social and copy trading features. This subsequently allows non-experienced users to copy the trades of seasoned traders, all within one easy-to-access ecosystem. The useful thing about Zulutrade for those based in the U.S. is that they have integrated their platform with other leading brokerage firms. As such, Zulutrade will ensure that you only place trades with platforms that allow U.S. citizens.

Pros:

    Platform in operation since 1997 Strong focus on social and copy trading – ideal for inexperienced traders Directs U.S. citizens to brokers that allow U.S. traders Zero commissions – fees are represented in the spread Vast majority of major CFD asset classes are supported

Cons:

    Has a reputation for hosting too many unprofitable copy traders.

Best CFD brokers for Australia & New Zealand

If you’re based in either Australia or New Zealand, then we would suggest taking a closer look at Plus500. Not only do Plus500 have ultra-low pips and competitive fees, but the platform is authorized to accept residents from both Australia and New Zealand.

Ever since the CFD market became available to retail investors the paradigm of trading changed forever. In between thousands of brokers that have emerged over the years, there are some that simply shine between the coals. CryptoRocket is a fully dedicated CFD platform that has become incredibly popular in Europe and Australia.

Even though it started as a cryptocurrency dedicated firm, it has drifted and diversified into other markets. Today the firm offers a broad range of markets like FX, Stocks, Commodities, and of course, cryptocurrency.

If you are interested in trading CFDs, we recommend taking your time to fully review CryptoRocket as a strong option and alternative to traditional brokers. Since the firm does not have its business located in Europe, it does not have to follow rules in terms of leverage and other retail restrictions, allowing traders to operate with much more freedom than with an European broker.

Pros:

    High Leverage – 1:500 No transaction and deposit fees MT4 and WebTrader available Professional and valid customer support services Highly secure trading platform

Cons:

    Not Available in the US Less regulated than other brokers

Pros:

    Highly established – even listed on the London Stock Exchange Huge selection of CFD asset classes Heavily regulated Super low spreads

Best CFD websites for experienced traders

If you are an experienced CFD traders looking to utilize a range of high frequency methods, then the likes of Vantage FX is potentially best suited for your needs. Through the use of an electronic communications network (ECN) and straight through processing (STP), traders not only have their trades executed in an ultra-fast manner, but direct market access is also available.

Pros:

    Suited for highly experienced CFD traders Both ECN and STP supported High leverage levels available Ultra-fast execution times

Cheap CFD brokers

Ever since the CFD market became available to retail investors the paradigm of trading changed forever. In between thousands of brokers that have emerged over the years, there are some that simply shine between the coals. CryptoRocket is a fully dedicated CFD platform that has become incredibly popular in Europe and Australia.

Even though it started as a cryptocurrency dedicated firm, it has drifted and diversified into other markets. Today the firm offers a broad range of markets like FX, Stocks, Commodities, and of course, cryptocurrency.

If you are interested in trading CFDs, we recommend taking your time to fully review CryptoRocket as a strong option and alternative to traditional brokers. Since the firm does not have its business located in Europe, it does not have to follow rules in terms of leverage and other retail restrictions, allowing traders to operate with much more freedom than with an European broker.

Pros:

    High Leverage – 1:500 No transaction and deposit fees MT4 and WebTrader available Professional and valid customer support services Highly secure trading platform

Cons:

    Not Available in the US Less regulated than other brokers

If keeping trading fees to an absolute minimum is your main priority, then we would recommend heading over to Plus500. This highly established and heavily regulated CFD broker has some of the lowest fees in the industry. Not only are CFD trades commission-free, but major asset classes have significantly low spreads.

Pros:

    Zero commission trades Ultra-tight spreads Overnight holding fees competitive

What is a CFD?

A Contract-for-Difference, or simply a CFD, is a financial product that allows investors to speculate on an asset without needing to own or store it. This is especially useful for those that want to invest in hard assets such as Gold, Silver or Uranium, as there is no requirement to actually hold the asset in question.

However, the potentialities of CFDs does not stop at just hard assets. You can invest in virtually all of the same asset classes that you would expect to find on major exchanges. This includes the trading of currencies, commodities, indices, ETFs, interest rates, options, futures and even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

How does a CFD broker work?

In its most basic form, a CFD broker is a third party platform that facilitates the trading of CFD instruments. Essentially, the CFD broker will enable you to deposit funds, trade and subsequently withdraw your money back out.

Each CFD broker has their own pros and cons, which ranges from fees, user-friendliness, regulatory status, accepted countries, number of asset classes and more.

What difference is there between trading CFDs and buying assets outright?

The fundamental factor that separates CFDs from that of traditional assets is that you do not actually own the underlying asset. For example, when purchasing blue-chip stocks through a conventional broker, you essentially own equity in the company in question. This gives you certain perks, such as the ability to receive company dividends, or the right to vote.

On the other hand, as CFDs merely represent the performance of the underlying asset, there is no ownership and thus, perks that you would otherwise receive by owning the asset are not present.

An additional benefit to investing in CFDs over traditional equity is that you not only have the option of going long, but also short. This means that you can speculate on the asset losing value on the open marketplace, as opposed to making gains.

What kind of CFD brokers are there?

In the vast majority of cases, leading online CFD brokers will utilize the Metatrader 5 (MT5) trading platform. Unlike its MT4 counterpart, the MT5 platform is highly suited for facilitating a range of CFD-backed financial markets.

An alternative trading platform that some leading CFD brokers utilize is that of cTrader. Launched in 2020, some commentators argue that cTrader is best suited for first time traders, not least because it commonly facilitates copy trading features.

What type of CFD trading accounts are there?

While each CFD broker will have their own underlying account types to choose from, in the majority of cases this will consist of either a ‘retail client’ or ‘professional/institutional client’.

Regarding the former, this is essentially best suited for casual traders that like to trade on a part-time basis. Once again, although this will differ from broker-to-broker, retail CFD clients will usually be restricted to ultra-low leverage levels, as well as having negative balance protection safeguards automatically installed.

On the other hand, and as the name suggests, professional/institutional client accounts are suited for highly experienced traders.

By falling in to this investor bracket, you’ll like have the option of obtaining high leverage levels, as well as having the capacity to go into negative balance.

One of the key drawbacks to a professional trading account is that you might not be accustomed to investor compensation schemes that are available in certain countries, such as the UK .

Tips to choosing a CFD broker

In order to assist you in your search for a CFD broker that best suits your individual needs, check out the following 10 tips.

First and foremost, it is crucial that you check what regulatory licenses the CFD broker holds. In most cases, brokers will be authorized to offer their CFD products by regulators in multiple jurisdictions. If the broker is not licensed by a single notable body, then you need to look elsewhere.

You need to spend some time assessing how much you are going to be charged to use the CFD broker. Fees can be somewhat tricky, not least because they cover a range of different factors. In most cases, this will include commission, leverage costs, trading fees and the cost of holding assets over night.

It is also a good idea to conduct some independent research on how well received the CFD broker is by the online community. This can include reviews that are available in the public domain. It is also worth ascertaining when the CFD broker was launched, as those with a longer trading history generally have a better reputation.

While leverage isn’t important to some traders, others view it as a highly important trading mechanism. The amount of leverage you are able to obtain from a CFD broker will depend on a number of factors, however this commonly centres on your geographical location, and whether you are a retail or institutional investor.

If you are a CFD trading beginner and like the sound of social or copy trading features, then spend some time finding out how the CFD broker facilitates this. You need to ensure that the platform is fully transparent on how it generates its performance statistics, insofar that you want to ensure you are actually backing a successful long-term trader, rather than somebody that has experienced a couple of lucky months.

Often overlooked, always spend some time understanding what payment methods the CFD broker supports. You don’t want to go through the rigmarole of opening an account, only to find that your preferred payment channel is not available. Moreover, you should also check what the minimum and maximum deposit amounts are.

  • Educational guides and market information

It gripes us when CFD brokers do not offer their users a comprehensive avenue to research market fundamentals. If possible, choose a broker that has a good offering of key market analysis. If you are a beginner, it’s also worth checking whether the CFD broker offers any useful educational materials.

The spread is the difference between the CFD buying price, against that of the current selling price. In a nutshell, if the spread is high, it generally means that liquidity levels are low, and volatility is high. As such, always choose a CFD broker with tight spreads.

As you depositing your own hard-earned money, you need to ensure that you are using a CFD broker that places security at the top of its priority list. One example of a crucial safeguard is that of two-factor authentication.

This will require you to enter a unique code that is sent to your mobile phone every time you want to perform key account functions, such as logging in, trading or withdrawing funds.

  • Number of CFD asset classes If you like the option of trading of a wide variety of asset classes, then make sure that the CFD broker in question offers a good number of markets. This should generally include currencies, commodities, indices, shares, ETFs and in some cases, cryptocurrencies.

How to use a CFD platform

If you are at the stage where you have selected your preferred broker, registered an account and then subsequently deposited funds, you should ensure that you have a firm grasp of key CFD practices. Take a look at some of these key factors below.

Firstly you need to choose your preferred market. This might be currencies, ETFs or shares, for example.

  • Choose the CFD asset that you want to trade

Once you’ve selected your desired market, you then need to choose the asset that you want to trade. For example, if you opted for blue-chip shares, then this could be Apple or IBM.

  • Determine whether you want go ‘Long’ or ‘Short’

As we noted earlier, one of the key benefits of CFD trading is that you can speculate on the asset going up in value (long), or alternatively, losing value (short).

If you want to go long, then you’ll need to ‘buy’ the asset. On the other hand, if you want to go ‘short’, then you will instead need to ‘sell’ the asset.

Regardless of your experience in the CFD trading space, it is crucial that you set-up stop losses. This will automatically close a trade when the value of the asset hits a certain position. Ultimately, this can be the difference between making a small loss, or your balance in its entirety.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to ensure that you understand how much you are risking on each CFD contract. You have the option of determining how much you want to stake for each movement in price, which is referred to as a ‘tick’. Each market will have its own tick value too.

For example, if you want to buy a CFD in Apple, and one tick is represented by $0.01, then every time the share price moves by 1 tick, you profit or loss will be multiplied by $0.01. Continuing on from the same example, if you choose to stake $0.50 per tick, and the share price of Apple increases by 10 ticks, then your profit would be $5.

  • Learning how to perform chart analysis

Although this is an art that takes time and effort to perfect, it is worth spending some time learning how to read charts. Known as technical analysis, many traders rely on chart analysis to predict how the market might move, based on historical trends.

How we rated these CFD brokers

When we went through the evaluation process of rating each broker, we took into account a range of key factors. This included whether or not the broker is regulated and by whom, the fees charged, the number of CFD assets, user-friendliness and reputation, among many other factors.

Ultimately, we decided to break each recommendation down by certain segments, such as the best broker for UK or U.S. citizens, or the best platform for beginners. This way, it allows you make an informed decision as to the best CFD broker for your individual needs.

Conclusion

If you’ve read our guide from start to finish, you should now have a firm understanding as to the many factors that you need to consider when choosing the right CFD broker. Essentially, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, not least because each platform will have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The best approach that you can take is to perform your own research prior to signing up to a new broker. We hope we’ve made this approach more conducive for you, by pointing you in the right direction.

FAQs

This is a complex question to answer, not least because each trading platform with have their own pros and cons. If you are looking to speculate on the price of stocks in the most convenient way possible, then it might be worth using a CFD broker.

If you want to buy stocks online, then there are a range of brokers that can facilitate this for you. If you are instead more interested in speculating on the underlying asset in the most cost effective and efficient manner, then a CFD broker might be more up your street.

The fees charged by conventional stockbrokers will vary from broker-to-broker. However, it is important to remember that traditional stockbrokers will charge a lot more than CFD platforms. The key reason for this is that stockbrokers must be remunerated for their efforts, insofar that they actually purchase the stocks on your behalf.

In effect, you can, however this process is primarily reserved for institutional investors. Unless you fall within this bracket of investor, then you will likely need to use a broker.

Virtually any asset class can be represented in the form of a CFD. Notable examples include currencies, shares, ETFs, indices, interest rates and cryptocurrencies.

If you ‘Go Short’ on a CFD, it means that you are speculating that the value of the underlying asset will go down. If it does, then your trade will result in profit.

Before you start trading with your own money, it is crucial that you gain a firm understanding of how the marketplace works. Even better, some CFD brokers allow you to open up a demo account, which is a great way to get comfortable trading CFDs.

CFD stands for ‘Contract-for-Difference’. However, they are usually just referred to as CFDs.

This depends. If you implement the correct safety procedures, such as installing stop-losses, then CFD risk-levels can be controlled. On the other hand, a failure to set-up stop losses and utilizing leverage can be very high-risk.

In most cases leverage is available when trading CFDs. However, this is usually dependant on your investor status. Institutional investors will most commonly be offered high leverage levels, due to their experience of the marketplace. While retail investors can be offered leverage, this is usually limited to ensure that you do not experience significant losses.

Unfortunately not. As you are speculating on the movement of the underlying share price rather than actually owning the stock, you would not be accustomed to dividend payments. For this you would need to purchase conventional stocks from a broker, rather than a CFD.

Best CFD Trading Platforms South Africa 2020

We compare CFD brokers by factors that will affect the overall quality of the trading experience for the trader and according to our review process. The major conditions by which we compare CFD brokers are:

  • Financial regulation and reputation
  • Quality of educational material for beginner traders
  • Trading conditions
  • Platform support

The most reputable CFD brokers will meet all of these standards, and we have listed those below.

We compare CFD brokers by factors that will affect the overall quality of the trading experience for the trader and according to our review process. The major conditions by which we compare CFD brokers are:

  • Financial regulation and reputation
  • Quality of educational material for beginner traders
  • Trading conditions
  • Platform support

The most reputable CFD brokers will meet all of these standards, and we have listed those below.

Broker

AvaTrade

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Equities
  • ETFs
TYPE OF BROKER

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • POLi
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Paypal
  • Bank Transfer
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 400:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.9 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 50+

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Professional 1.3 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
Retail 1.3 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Equities
  • ETFs
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • POLi
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Paypal
  • Bank Transfer
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 400:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.9 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 50+
Broker

OctaFX

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
TYPE OF BROKER
REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • MT5
  • cTrader
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Visa
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bitcoin
  • Fasapay
  • Bank Transfer
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.0 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 28
Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
cTrader ECN pips $3.00 Market USD 100 Account Details
MT4 Micro 0.4 pips None Market USD 100 Account Details
MT5 Pro 0.2 pips None Market USD 500 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • MT5
  • cTrader
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Visa
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bitcoin
  • Fasapay
  • Bank Transfer
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.0 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 28
Broker

HotForex

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
  • Energies
  • Bonds
TYPE OF BROKER

72.83% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bitcoin
  • VLOAD
  • Unionpay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.0 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 51

72.83% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Micro 1.0 pips None Market USD 5 Account Details
Auto 1.0 pips None Market USD 200 Account Details
Zero 0.0 pips $3.00 Market USD 200 Account Details
HFCopy 1.0 pips None Market USD 300 Account Details
Premium Pro 1.0 pips None Market USD 5000 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
  • Energies
  • Bonds
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bitcoin
  • VLOAD
  • Unionpay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.0 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 51
Broker

easyMarkets

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Equities
  • Metals
  • Vanilla Options
TYPE OF BROKER

73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Sofort Banking
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Astropay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 400:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.9 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 103

73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Standard 1.9 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
Premium 1.4 pips None Instant USD 2000 Account Details
VIP 0.9 pips None Instant USD 10000 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Equities
  • Metals
  • Vanilla Options
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Sofort Banking
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Astropay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 400:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.9 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 103
Broker
Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
  • Energies
TYPE OF BROKER

69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Sofort Banking
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bitcoin
  • Unionpay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.1 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 57

69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Micro 1.0 pips None Instant USD 5 Account Details
Standard 1.0 pips None Instant USD 5 Account Details
XM Ultra Low 0.6 pips None Instant USD 50 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
  • Energies
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Sofort Banking
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bitcoin
  • Unionpay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.1 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 57
Broker

Plus500

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Equities
  • Vanilla Options
  • ETFs
TYPE OF BROKER

76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • Paypal
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 300:1
  • Min. Spread : Not Disclosed pips
  • Currency Pairs : 70+

76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Standard 0.0 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Equities
  • Vanilla Options
  • ETFs
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • Paypal
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 300:1
  • Min. Spread : Not Disclosed pips
  • Currency Pairs : 70+
Broker

FxPro

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
  • Energies
  • Futures
TYPE OF BROKER

Market Maker NDD

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • MT5
  • cTrader
  • FxProEdge
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Unionpay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.6 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 70+

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
FxPro cTrader 0.45 pips $4.50 Market USD 100 Account Details
FxPro MT4 1.2 pips None Market USD 100 Account Details
FxPro MT5 1.52 pips None Market USD 100 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
  • Energies
  • Futures
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • MT5
  • cTrader
  • FxProEdge
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Unionpay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.6 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 70+
Broker

CM Trading

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
TYPE OF BROKER

73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • Sirix
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Neteller
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Fasapay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 200:1
  • Min. Spread : 1.5 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 47

73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Bronze 1.5 pips None Instant USD 250 Account Details
Silver Not Published pips None Instant USD 1000 Account Details
Gold Not Published pips None Instant USD 10000 Account Details
Premium Not Published pips None Instant USD 25000 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • Sirix
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Neteller
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Fasapay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 200:1
  • Min. Spread : 1.5 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 47
Broker

FP Markets

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
TYPE OF BROKER

of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • MT5
  • IRESS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Paypal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Fasapay
  • BPay
  • paytrust88
  • POLi
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.0 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 50+

of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
RAW 0.0 pips $3.50 STP USD 100 Account Details
Standard 1.0 pips None STP USD 100 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • MT5
  • IRESS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Paypal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Fasapay
  • BPay
  • paytrust88
  • POLi
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.0 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 50+
Broker

IG Markets

Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Equities
  • Bonds
  • Interest Rates
  • Digital 100s
  • IPOs
TYPE OF BROKER

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Paypal
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 200:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.6 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 93

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Live Account 0.6 pips None Instant USD 250 Account Details
Spread Betting 0.6 pips None Instant USD 250 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Equities
  • Bonds
  • Interest Rates
  • Digital 100s
  • IPOs
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Paypal
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 200:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.6 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 93
Broker
Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
TYPE OF BROKER

83% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bitcoin
  • Unionpay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : Flexible
  • Min. Spread : 0.1 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 59

83% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Cent Account 1.5 pips None Instant USD 10 Account Details
Standard Account 1.3 pips None Instant USD 100 Account Details
ECN Zero Account 1.5 pips None Market USD 200 Account Details
ECN Account 0.1 pips $2.00 Market USD 500 Account Details
FXTM Pro Account 0.0 pips None Market USD 25000 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
  • Equities
TRADING PLATFORMS
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Bitcoin
  • Unionpay
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : Flexible
  • Min. Spread : 0.1 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 59
Broker
Minimum Deposit
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
TYPE OF BROKER

Market Maker NDD

79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

REGULATED BY
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • xStation5
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Paypal
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.1 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 49

79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Account Spread From Commission Execution Min. Deposit
Islamic 0.28 pips $10.00 Instant USD 5 Account Details
Pro 0.28 pips $3.50 Instant USD 5 Account Details
Standard 0.35 pips None Instant USD 5 Account Details
TRADING INSTRUMENTS
  • Commodities
  • Forex
  • Indicies
  • Metals
TRADING PLATFORMS
  • MT4
  • xStation5
DEPOSIT METHODS
  • Bank Transfer
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Paypal
Trading Conditions
  • Max. Leverage : 500:1
  • Min. Spread : 0.1 pips
  • Currency Pairs : 49

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What is CFD Trading?

CFD trading, or a Contract for Difference, is where investors don’t take ownership of the asset they are trading. CFDs are derivative products; their value is derived from the underlying asset. The underlying asset can be anything that is commonly traded on a market – be this commodities such as crude oil, corn and gold or equities such as Spotify or Boeing shares or currencies such as Forex and crypto pairs, or even entire indices such as the NASDAQ, JSE or FTSE. So, rather than trading the asset itself, traders instead speculate on the future price of the asset with what is known as a futures contract.

Leverage

The second important thing to understand about CFDs is the leverage involved. CFDs are leveraged products where traders only put up a small percentage of the amount required for the trade, and a third-party liquidity provider will lend the trader the rest. The money in the trader’s account will then be used as collateral against the loss, but in exchange, the profits for the trader can be much larger. For instance, if you buy 100 USD of a crude oil CFD at 100 USD a barrel and the price of crude goes up by 2 USD you will make 2 USD in profit. But if you borrow 900 USD (to make an even 1000 USD when added to your 100 USD – a 10% margin or 10x leverage) and you buy 1000 USD of crude oil you would make 20 USD – all without spending more than your original 100 USD, a fairly incredible 20% profit in real terms.

The problem with this is that you can also lose money incredibly quickly. Take the same example above, but this time the price of crude oil falls by 5 USD. Because of your leveraged position (10x in this case), you would lose 50 USD, half of your original investment. In a volatile market (such as Crypto or certain commodities) it is very easy to lose your entire investment.

Additionally, losses apply not just to your investment but to your whole account and, if you are not careful, you can lose large amounts of the trading capital in your account through something called a margin call – this is explained in detail in the FAQs below.

Due to the risk involved in using leverage, retail CFDs are banned or very tightly regulated in much or the world. Since this trading is speculation on the price of an asset or instrument, traders can make money when the price is both rising or falling. CFD traders will take long positions when the market is bullish, and short positions when the market is bearish.

How to trade CFDs

To start trading CFDs, you will need to find a reputable broker and open an account – check out our list above. Because it is a financial trading account, the broker will require that you submit copies of your government issues identification documents and proof of residence such as a utility bill issued in the past six months. Once your account is set up, you will be able to make a deposit and open your first trade.

Is CFD trading gambling?

It can be gambling if you treat it as such, but if you do your research and treat it like any other investment in the financial markets, it is not gambling. It’s important to remember the risk of leverage as your deposit is only a small part of your overall exposure and you can lose substantially more than your deposit if the trade goes against you.

However, it is possible to reduce your potential losses by using a stop order. This means that the trade will automatically be closed if it goes against you by an amount you specify. Higher spreads can be another pitfall as it can ruin any potential profits. So pick which instruments you trade very carefully.

What is short selling with CFDs?

Short selling is when you believe the price of an instrument is going to decrease rather than increase. Instead of buying low and selling high, you sell high and buy low – profiting on the decrease in the underlying instrument’s value. See our article on short-selling for a more detailed breakdown of how this can work and it’s uses in trading.

What is a Margin Call?

Brokers will apply a required margin on any position taken by a trader – this is often 50% of the original margin or 50% of your original investment, but it varies from broker to broker and instrument to instrument. If the total funds available in your trading account falls below this value the broker will make a margin call – requiring you to add funds to your trading account or close your position, covering any losses from your trading account. Needless to say, this is a very bad thing, and if you are planning on holding a long-term position in a volatile market you should have the required margin foremost in your mind when calculating the funds to hold in your trading account.

Commissions on Trades

In addition to your deposit to open or close a CFD trade, you might have to pay a small commission, which can be as low as 0.1%. That said, most brokers make money through the spread and will charge no commission. You may also have to calculate interest adjustments that are added or subtracted from your trade if you hold the trade overnight.

Is Trading Profits Taxed in South Africa?

Profits are taxable in South Africa as income, even the case if the broker is located outside of South Africa. The South African government never sees this as a tax-free form of income. For more detailed information read our tax article.

Is CFD Trading Allowed in Islam?

Traders can open Halal accounts, which the industry has named Swap Free accounts. Swap Free accounts will stop any interest payments being made either from the broker to you, or you to the broker.

Swap Free accounts are more common than you may think and are widely available with CFD brokers. The usual way to get a swap-free trading account is to complete the regular registration process and ask your account manager to make the changes in your account.

Summary

CFDs are designed to mirror the price of underlying assets so traders can take advantage of the price fluctuation without owning the underlying instrument. Technically a CFD is a financial contract between the trader and broker that allows speculation on price.

CFDs are a flexible and attractive alternative to other financial vehicles and they allow you to take advantage of the fluctuations in the value of a huge range of instruments.

Importantly, CFD trading allows traders to make money both when the market is rising or falling. Furthermore, you don’t have to put up the full cost of exposure to the market, and there is no fixed period for your trade. With CFDs, you’re able to trade a multiple of your capital using leverage, but this can be a double-edged sword so make sure you’ve done your research and that you keep a close eye on your trades.

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