CFD's are a popular alternative to physical share dealing.

Features of trading using CFD's

  • Go Short - take advantage of falling prices

  • Leverage - gain larger exposure with a small deposit

  • Instant access to many markets normally from the same platform at any time - trade domestic & international shares, indices, forex, commodities and more

  • No Stamp Duty*


See how CFD trading compares to traditional shares dealing and find out which form of trading is most suitable for you.

Feature CFD trading Shares dealing
Ability to go long - take advantage of rising prices Yes Yes
Ability to go short - take advantage of falling prices Yes
Ability to hedge - go short and mitigate against potential losses in your shares portfolio Yes
Free from Stamp Duty* Yes
Pay Capital Gains Tax* - CGT to be paid on profits Yes Yes
Leveraged trading - gain a large exposure for a fraction of the value Yes
Immediate dealing - instant trading both in and out of a market Yes Yes
Access to other asset classes - such as Indices, FX etc Yes
Access to global shares – flexibility to trade 1,000’s of different shares from around the world Yes Yes
Receive dividend and interest adjustments Yes1 Yes
Physical ownership - benefits include the ability to attend AGMs Yes

 1Positions are adjusted to reflect dividends.


A CFD is a derivative product that enables you to speculate on the price moves of shares and other global markets without having to actually own the physical asset. This means that unlike share dealing there is no Stamp Duty to pay.
With traditional shares dealing, you’d have to pay your broker the full value of the shares you want to purchase. For example, if you‘d like to purchase £10,000 of BP shares, you’d have to deposit the full £10,000. Importantly, CFDs are leveraged which means you only have to deposit a small fraction of the total value of a trade (usually a deposit of between 2% and 10%) to get the same level of exposure. Leverage comes with significant benefits and risks: your investment capital can go further, but you can also lose more than your initial deposit.
Unlike conventional shares trading, CFDs allow you to take a position on the value of an asset whether you think it will go up or down. For example, if you thought BP’s share value was overpriced, you could take a position on it falling. This would not be possible through traditional shares dealing. The more the market moves in the direction you’ve predicted, the greater your profit. The more the market moves against the direction you’ve predicted, the greater your loss could be. With CFDs, it’s important to remember that you’re trading on the price of the market, rather than physically owning the share. This means you don’t own any assets. CFD trading in the UK is free from stamp duty, with the exception of Irish stocks, which are charged 1% of the notional trade value. This value is, however, refundable if you trade out within 30 days.
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