Finding a Good CFD Broker in the UK
Traders and investors of all walks of life know that it’s important to use only regulated and reputable providers but with so many CFD brokers on the market, they might be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed and confused when it comes to choosing a reliable brokerage. Depending on the trading experience and objectives, traders will have different requirements and needs and that is why it’s important to review what brokers have on offer and how to make the best use of the features and trading platforms provided; the comparison table above makes it easy to see what each CFD broker has to offer along with their pros and cons. Let’s look in more detail what to expect and how to make sure you trade only with the best CFD brokers.
When it comes to choosing a Contracts For Difference broker that you can trust, the first vital benchmark you must consider is FCA regulation. In the UK, any broker accepting deposits is required to be regulated by the FCA as the body responsible for authorising and overseeing financial transactions, and it’s essential that you steer well clear of any UK broker who is not regulated. Companies that are registered and authorised by the FCA are as a result subject to more stringent controls, making sure traders get the fairest possible deal and preventing rogues or unfair business practices from impacting upon others’ trading success.
Choosing a CFD broker is a split-second decision for most traders, and as a result the number of traders who become quickly dissatisfied with the service level they are receiving is significant. In order to ensure your search goes fully according to plan, it’s important to remember to check for FCA authorisation as a preliminary step, in order to protect your money, your personal data and your trading portfolio from unfair, illegitimate influence.
FCA regulated brokers are authorised to do legitimate transactional business in the UK, and given the nature of CFDs it is recommended that traders look for a broker who is registered by the FCA to provide the level of certainty and security they require. We compare and review ONLY regulated CFD brokers to make it easier for traders and investors and help them save time on research.
Reputation of your CFD Broker
You wouldn’t trust your money to the first stranger you meet in the street, instead you open an account with a reputable bank so why not do the same when it comes to CFD trading? If you want to have a good broker, you need to check its reputation and what other traders have to say it. Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you and combed internet forums and review sites to make sure we list only reputable CFD brokers; the companies you can comfortably trade with and have a good trading experience.
Trading Costs and Spreads
Just like any other business, CFD brokers are in the business of making money and they charge their clients for every trade. It is important to understand what charges brokers have and how to minimise them in order to have a successful trading career.
CFD brokers mainly make their money from the spreads; spreads are the difference between buy and sell prices (ask and bid). Every time you place a trade you pay the spread and thus tighter spreads benefit traders. Normally, brokers will have variable spreads (unless stated otherwise) which will change depending on the underlying market conditions; we list only brokers with competitive spreads and transaction fees to make sure traders keep their trading costs down.
Overnight financing (swap rate) is a fee traders pay for holding their positions overnight, Contracts For Difference is a leveraged product, where you basically borrow money from your broker and in turn, your broker will charge you interest every night for holding your positions. This fee is usually around relevant interest rate benchmark +/-2.5% and if you plan on keeping your positions for a long time, this fee can really eat up into your profits and you might want to consider a swap free account.
Gone are the days of hidden fees such as deposit and withdrawal charge or inactivity fee, these days CFD providers try to make their charges as simple and transparent as possible.
What makes CFDs so attractive is the number of markets you can trade from a single account and that’s why it’s important to compare CFD brokers to make sure you can trade the markets you want. Comparison table above lists the markets each broker has to offer; every broker has common markets (indices, stocks, forex and commodities) but the number of stocks and other markets can vary considerably and can be anything between 1,000 and 20,000. Make sure your broker offers the markets you want to trade before opening a CFD account.
Features and Accounts
Normally, CFD brokers will have a number of accounts to choose from depending on your trading style, experience, and trading volume. Make sure you select the account which is most suitable for your trading needs as it will save a lot of time and confusion in the future.
If you’re not sure what account is best for you, it would be a good idea to give them a call or contact them through live chat so they could assist you. This way you get to test their customer service and end up with the right trading account; there’s no shame in asking customer support for help, there are there to assist you.
Best CFD Trading Platforms in the UK
CFD trading platform is a vital instrument which you should familiarise yourself with and spend some time practicing to make sure you understand how to place trades and orders. Brokers will provide a free trading system for you to trade on but some brokers will offer you a choice of well known platforms. The choice of a trading software is entirely up to you as different people prefer different platforms but it’s better if you start trading on a platform you already know and understand or spend some time learning how to use it efficiently. You can always test drive a system by opening a free demo account and then move to a live account to trade when you’re ready.
Platform User Interface
Trading platforms have very similar designs and most of the time if you know how to use one system, you’ll be comfortable with another one so you should choose the platform you like the most. Every platform allows customisation so you can easily fine tune it and adjust it the way you want.
Range of Trading Tools
Every platform will have a set of trading tools available for traders but the range of tool can vary significantly and it’s important to use the system with the tools you need to trade successfully. Most of the platforms will have economic calendar and announcements, orders, charting software, indicators, ability to trade from the graphs and many more features. That’s where comparison table above comes handy as you can easily see what trading tools are available on each platform and what extra free features are provided by brokers.
If you are new to trading and just starting out as a CFD trader it’s important that you don’t overwhelm yourself with all the tools available; just because your trading platform has some nice tools, doesn’t mean you have to use them all at once. Use the tools rationally and only when you need them, just because your charting software has 50 indicators doesn’t mean you have to use them all for every single trade.
Every trader should use orders, especially stop loss orders to control losses. Before you start trading make sure you understand how orders are placed to avoid confusion and frustration when you run a live trade. Different platforms handle orders differently, for example, some will ask you to set a price at which you want to exit the trade whereas others might ask for the number of “points” away from the current price. It really depends on you what orders you want to use, if any; nevertheless, orders will save you time and help you to control your emotions, so you don’t have to stay in front of a monitor watching every tick and panic when a trade goes the wrong way.
CFD Broker Choice in the UK
It’s an undeniable fact that trading with a reputable and regulated CFD broker will make your trading career much more enjoyable and profitable. That is why it’s so important that traders compare and review CFD trading platforms and providers to make sure they find the best deal on the market; it might sound complicated and tedious but it surely will pay off in the long run.
Best CFD brokers provide a safe trading environment, reliable trading platforms, outstanding customer service, and competitive pricing. Don’t leave your broker choice to chance, trade with reputable CFD brokers you can trust and rely on.
Who is the best CFD broker in the UK?
It really depends on your trading requirements, experience, and preferences and only you, as a trader, can answer which CFD broker is best for you but surely your broker should be trustworthy and regulated. When choosing a broker, it’s important that it offers the markets you want to trade with competitive spreads and commission structure.
Do I have to trade with a regulated broker?
You can trade with any CFD broker you want to but the regulations are there to protect you against unscrupulous and dishonest providers. Regulated brokers give you a greater peace of mind as they have to follow stringent requirements and rules.
Is it better to have more CFD markets?
Not necessarily, it really depends on what markets you want to trade. Most of the traders only trade commonly traded market so there’s no need for them to have thousands of stocks listed on their trading platform.
What CFD trading platform should I choose?
The best CFD platform is the one that provides all the necessary features and tools for you to implement your trading strategies and meet your trading objectives; trade on the platform you’re comfortable with.
What about CFD trading costs?
CFD market is saturated, and spreads are very low across the board. CFD brokers listed above have some of the most competitive spreads and swap rates in the UK.