Best CFD trading platfom UK

Last updated: 17.05.2021
Christian Kuehn
Christian Kuehn
CFD & Trading
> 20 years

Contracts For Differences, otherwise known as CFDs, bring the online trading world to a retail level, allowing traders of all backgrounds to profit from market movement, no matter the size of their deposit.

Below, we look to give you a complete review of the CFD trading world, uncovering how leverage can enhance returns and much more. We also discuss the importance of choosing the right platform to trade CFDs and how five key attributes can turn a good platform into a great one.

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  • What is CFD trading?
  • Security and licensing
  • Usability and functionality
  • Tradable assets
  • Payment methods & fees
  • Trading tools & additional features
  • The best CFD trading platform UK

What is CFD trading?

Although sharing many similarities with stock trading in the UK, trading contracts for differences (CFDs) does come with a couple of notable differences – asset ownership and the use of leverage.

A contract for difference (CFD) offers traders the opportunity to profit from an asset’s price movement without owning the underlying asset. The overall value of an asset is not taken into account when opening a CFD position; the focus here is on the price difference between a trader’s open and exit positions.

Generally, CFD trading is seen as an advanced strategy due to the level of research and analysis involved. Traders will look for key indicators within the market to best predict the movements of the asset over the term of their contract and place buy or sell orders accordingly.

Simply put, if traders conclude the value of an asset should depreciate over the coming minutes, hours, or by the end of their trading day, they will place a sell order in the hope of profiting from an asset’s loss in value. The reverse applies to buy orders.

The second main difference between trading CFDs and buying stocks is leverage. Leverage allows traders to enhance their buying or selling power within the market in the hope of significantly increasing the returns of a trade. Effectively used as a temporary loan from your broker, leverage gives traders the ability to invest small amounts of capital at a specified ratio.

For example, here at Nextmarkets, we offer some of our traders the opportunity to trade with leverage up to 1:100 (depending on circumstance); this enhances a trader’s initial deposit by some significance. Of course, leverage comes with its own risk, and we would always recommend using leverage alongside a stop limit.

CFDs are available for a range of underlying assets that all come with their own pros and cons. Below, we aim to take away one additional worry when trading CFDs by highlighting some key attributes to look out for when selecting the best CFD trading platform in the UK. Much like what we’ve done when assessing stock trading UK or finding out how to buy shares UK.

Select a CFD day trading platform

As with all financial decisions you make, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the who, what, when, where, how and why’s before committing to anything. Now you are familiar with what CFD trading is, it is now time to find your new platform.

Our experts have curated a top 5 list of attributes to help confirm your platform is suited to CFD day trading UK. Keep reading to find out how you can adjust your strategy and improve your CFD trading skills.

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Security and licensing

Whether you are day trading in the UK, swing trading in the UK or CFD trading in the UK, the most important attribute of any chosen platform should be its security.

Although the CFD industry is not thoroughly regulated, all credible platforms should still hold relevant trading licenses. All information regarding licensing should be visible, or at least easily accessible, by any trader reviewing the site. Generally displayed at the bottom of the homepage, in the About Us section, or Terms & Conditions, this is our number one piece of information to look out for to confirm a platform’s legitimacy.

The inability to locate this information should be considered a huge warning sign, other notable security measures to keep an eye out for include:

  • Reputable and established payment methods
  • The use of segregated bank accounts
  • Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure
  • The ability to add Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to your account

Usability and functionality

The usability of your platform is a key consideration when looking to trade contracts for differences.

Understanding where to find markets, how to personalise charts, change currencies, view trending stocks, and place orders are all critical components to successful trading. Having a platform that allows for all of these functions to be easily accessed by a swipe or click of a button will allow for greater fluidity when trading CFDs.

The nature of CFD trading relies upon great research and analysis and the speed of order execution. An app-based platform will allow quick and efficient account access, allowing you to research, place, review, and exit trades at ease. However, you will also need to ensure the tools, markets and account options mimic that of the web-based platform.

Thankfully, when trading with Nextmarkets, the seamless transition between the web-based and mobile apps ensures your trading experience is never jeopardised. Whether you are trading at home or on the go, you can be certain of a clear, concise and user-friendly platform that aids the CFD trading style.

Best forex broker - Nextmarkets

Tradable assets

CFD trading is a style of trading best utilised in short, sharp, bursts and you are likely to see traders place a high volume of orders per trading session. Having an array of tradable assets ensures that traders can focus their efforts on more volatile markets, such as cryptocurrencies, gold or the forex market during an economic event.

Ensuring your chosen broker is home to a vast selection of assets also ensures your trading hours are not limited by factors such as stock exchange hours or having to rely on volatile movement during busier working hours. Other markets see movement around the clock; using a platform that accommodates this allows you to expand your portfolio and knowledge on various markets that suit your timetable.

Using a demo account that follows real-time market conditions is a great way to find your favoured and most profitable markets. Risk-free CFD trading can help new traders uncover new assets, bolster their knowledge, review patterns, as well as understanding times and triggers of volatility whilst safe in the knowledge your funds remain unscathed.

Payment methods & fees

How you deposit and withdraw from your chosen platform could be the decision-maker when signing up to your new broker, regardless of the markets available. The ability to deposit and withdraw at ease is a necessity within all aspects of the trading world, and finding a broker that facilitates reliable and everyday funding options is a must.

When depositing and withdrawing, it is always wise to check for minimum deposit amounts and maximal withdrawal limits to ensure this works alongside your trading habits. Often, these limits will vary depending on the trading account you hold, level of identification approved, and CFD assets you are trading.

Another consideration relating to your account funds are the platform fees. Often brokers will tempt in customers with lucrative leverage options or even a sign-up bonus. Whilst these are great tactics to bring in new customers and could prove beneficial to your trading journey, consider the importance long-term of a platform that offers zero-order, third-party or hidden fees.

Based on the sheer volume of transactions made during each CFD trading block/day, any sign-up bonus will soon look redundant compared to a platform that is prepared to offer you no additional charges when placing your buy and sell orders.

Trading tools & additional features

For anyone who is vaguely familiar with forex trading in the UK, you will understand the need and importance of a sufficient set of tools to personalise your chosen charts.

Utilising and understanding your platform’s trading tools are imperative to a successful career within the CFD trading world. Whether you are plotting lines of support and resistance using a straight-line charting tool, reviewing the movement of Bollinger bands, or changing your bar to a candlestick to understand better the current trends and patterns of your chosen market, having an array of tools on standby can be the difference between a successful trade and a losing trade.

It’s also important to take note of any additional features of your platform. We mentioned demo accounts previously in this CFD trading UK review and want to reiterate just how useful a demo account can become. Not only does it give you real-life market movement to assess and analyse your chosen markets, but you can also trial new strategies and use charting tools to perfect your craft risk-free.

The education received from your platform is another crucial feature to try and take advantage of. Can your chosen platform directly improve your trading knowledge? If it includes hints and tips from industry experts, a comprehensive FAQ and self-help page, or complete tutorials on CFD trading basics, then the answer is yes!

The best CFD trading platform UK

As we conclude our CFD trading UK review, we hope you have found the above of interest, enhanced your knowledge of CFD trading, as well as what you should expect when signing up to the best day trading platform UK.

Our guide has highlighted some key areas to focus on when setting up your CFD account. Here at Nextmarkets, we have made the process nice and easy too.

Once you have downloaded the app or accessed the platform via your chosen web browser, you can sign-up within minutes. Simply enter your name, address, email, answer some quick-fire questions regarding your current trading knowledge and employment status before forwarding your photo ID and household bill for approval. Once our team has authorised your documents and confirmed you are who you say you are, you can deposit them into your account (Visa, Mastercard or bank transfer) and begin your career in CFD trading UK.

Licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), you can ensure your funds are in good hands. We store all funds in segregated accounts, meaning there is no confusion and money is easily traceable.

Whether you look to use our self-developed web-based platform or the iOS and Android app, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you will have full access to your trading account, full access to all markets and options, as well as usability of any charting tools you may need. If you are still using our demo account to cement your own strategies and get used to the fast-paced world of CFD, then that is all accessible too. Allowing you to enhance your trading knowledge at home or on the go!

Before placing your CFD orders, you can take a look through over 8000 assets and discover some new CFDs to research, analyse and trade with. Uncover expert tips from 22 industry experts throughout the month, and execute your orders via the Gettex exchange in Munich.

We are Europe’s commission-free online broker, offering price quality and investor protection, as well as zero third-party fees. With leverage on-demand, you can take advantage of your smaller deposits with a bit of help from us too. If you are looking at stocks as an investment opportunity, rather than looking to trade as a CFD, we recommend looking through our guide on how to buy shares UK.

Find out more about day trading UKswing trading UK, or forex trading UK. We cover all the latest guides for your convenience.

CFD trading UK FAQs

🚀 How profitable is CFD trading?

A contract for difference (CFD) offers traders the opportunity to profit from an asset’s price movement without owning the underlying asset. The overall value of an asset is not taken into consideration when opening a CFD position; the focus here is on the price difference between a trader’s open and exit positions

❓ What is CFD trading?

CFD trading is seen as an advanced strategy due to the high levels of research, analysis and understanding of markets involved. Traders will look for key indicators within the market to best predict the movements of the asset over the term of their contract, use various trading strategies to confirm their predictions, before placing a buy or sell order.

🤝 Where can I trade CFDs in the UK?

Although the CFD industry is not thoroughly regulated, all credible platforms should still hold relevant trading licenses. Here at Nextmarkets, we are licensed by the MFSA, and offer our clients the opportunity to trade over 8000 CFDs.

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