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What Is CFD, and How to Trade CFDs?

A CFD refers to the contracts between two parties. Both parties agree to pay the price difference between the opening and closing rates of a specific asset or market. Therefore, it is a method to guess the price movement without actually owning the asset. The CFDs performance reflects the underlying market or underlying asset. Losses and profits are established when an underlying asset’s value moves in line with the opening price position. If you trade them with brokers, you don’t really own the asset. You speculate on the price movements, upward or downward.  

Explain CFDs 

CFDs let traders trade in the direction of price movements of derivatives and securities. Derivatives refer to financial investments derived from any underlying asset. The traders essentially use CFDs to make bets on whether the underlying security or asset rates will increase or decrease. CFD investors bet on the rate moving up or down. Investors who anticipate an upward price movement will purchase the CFD. Traders who foresee the opposite price movement will sell their open positions. 

If CFD buyers see the price of an asset rise, they will provide their holdings for sale. Whatever is the difference between the buying price and the selling price is netted together. This difference represents the losses or gains from the trades. It gets settled via the brokerage account of the trader. If a trader thinks that the price of an asset will decline, they can place an open sell position. To close this position, they should buy an offsetting trade. The difference of the loss or gain is cash-settled via their account. 

How Do CFDs Work?

A CFD is an agreement that takes place between a CFD broker and an investor. It lets exchange the differences in the values of financial products (derivatives or securities) between the opening time and the closing time of a contract. It’s an advanced strategy used by highly experienced traders only. There isn’t any delivery of securities or physical goods with CFDs. CFD investors never own the underlying assets but get revenues depending on the specific asset rate change. 

Traders can use contracts for differences to place bets about whether an underlying security or asset rate will fall or rise. Investors can either bet on downward or upward movement. If a trader who has bought a CFD sees an increase in the asset’s rate, they will put their holdings for sale. The difference between the buying and selling prices is netted together. This net difference represents the profit from the trades. It gets settled with the brokerage account of the trader. 

However, if the investor thinks that the value of an asset will decline, an open sell position is placed. To close this position, the investor should buy an offsetting trade. The loss is then cash-settled through the account of the trader. 

How to Trade CFDs? 

When you trade contracts for differences (CFDs), you buy a specific number of contracts if you anticipate their price to increase. You will sell them if you foresee them falling. The small details can sometimes be more complicated since functionalities and platforms differ from one provider to another. Below are the steps you should follow to begin trading CFDs: 

Make and Fund Your Account: Creating an account for CFD trading is a simple process. It takes a few minutes only to finish. Once the provided details get verified, you have to fund the account. You can either add funds through a debit card or a credit card. If you want to build confidence in a risk-free environment, then you can open your practice account and trade using virtual money. Here are some of the best forex brokers in Australia who provide CFD account facilities.

Create a trading plan: A CFD trading plan is a complete blueprint for your CFD trading activities. It must include your time commitment, motivation, attitude to risks, markets to trade, preferred strategies, goals, and available capital. A CFD trading plan can assist you in making better decisions. It describes your perfect trades, acceptable losses, required profits, and also risk management strategies. 

Find an opportunity: After you open and fund your trading account, it is now time to find the first trade. You can go both short and long on different markets. With such a large number of financial markets to select from, finding out the trade can look daunting. 

Choose a CFD trading platform: Most brokers have access to many trading platforms like mobile trading apps, web-based platforms, advanced platforms, MT4, and MT5 platforms. They are customized to fit your trading preferences and styles with interactive charts, risk management tools, and personalized alerts. 

Open, watch, and close a position: Once you have chosen the market you wish to trade in, you are prepared to make a trade. First, decide whether you want to go short or long. After you take the position, the loss or profit will go in proportion to the underlying price. You can watch all the open positions on your trading platform and also close those positions by clicking on “close.” 

How Does CFD Trading Work? 

When it comes to CFD trading, you do not buy/sell the underlying assets like currency pair or commodity. You will buy/sell a large number of units of a specific financial instrument based on whether the price will go upward or downward. 

What are CFD Margin and Leverage? 


Leveraged trading is also called “margin trading.” It is because the capital needed to open and maintain a position represents a fraction of the full size. With CFDs trading, there are two main types of margin. One is the deposit margin, and the other is the maintenance margin. To open your position, you need a deposit margin. If a trade closes to losses that aren’t covered by the funds in your account, a maintenance margin is needed. In this case, your broker may make a margin call to top up capital in your account. The position will be closed if a sufficient balance is not there in your account, and the incurred losses will be realized. 


CFD trading is known as leveraged. Thus, you can get exposure to a huge position without needing to invest the cost initially. Leverage lets you spread your funds further. But remember that your loss and profit will be calculated on the complete size of the position. So, pay full attention to the ratio of leverage and ensure that you trade within your means. 


There are many advantages to trading CFDs, like low margin requirements, no day trading rules, quick access to worldwide markets, and no or little fees. Traders can make money trading CFDs. But remember that CFD trading is risky. Most CFD traders are veterans with a lot of tactical insight and experience. So, ensure to gain proper knowledge and understanding of CFDs before you start trading. However, check on CMC Markets Review, as this trading platform allows CFDs to trade, so check out it today before registering with any other platforms.

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Georgette Howard

About author
Georgette Howard has 3 years of experience as a freelance news writer. He has deep interest in forex and finance. He love writing forex blogs in his free time.
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