Financial Spread Betting and Trading Guide

Compare the Spread Betting Companies

Below we compare a number of spread betting companies.

For a full comparison that covers the main stock market indices, forex, commodities and treasuries markets, see our spread betting companies page where we also have the most recent comments from our users and editors.

User Ratings 7.6 6.6 6.7 7.1
Web Platform Spread Betting Accounts Spread Betting Accounts Spread Betting Accounts Spread Betting Accounts
Mobile App(s) iPhone App iPhone App iPhone App iPhone App
iPad App iPad App iPad App iPad App iPad App
24 Hour Trading 24 Hour Trading with Financial Spreads 24 Hour Trading with City Index 24 Hour Trading with ETX Capital 24 Hour Trading with CMC Markets
Live Charts Financial Spreads City Index ETX Capital CMC Markets
Stop Loss Available Financial Spreads Stop Loss Orders City Index Stop Loss Orders ETX Capital Stop Loss Orders CMC Markets Stop Loss Orders
Automatic Stop Loss Automatic Stop Loss on Financial Spreads Trades Automatic Stop Loss on City Index Trades Automatic Stop Loss on ETX Capital Trades Automatic Stop Loss on CMC Markets Trades
FCA Authorised and Regulated Financial Spreads City Index ETX Capital CMC Markets
Comparison Notes.

Financial Markets
Taking a quick look at the markets:

Trading Update: 1 March 2018

Weak US Finish So Expect to see Europe Open Lower

Update by Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst, CMC Markets.

Risk Warning

On we concentrate on financial spread betting, however, we also discuss other forms of trading such as CFDs and margined forex. All of these ways of trading are leveraged and carry a high level of risk to your capital. You can lose more than your initial investment.

Spread betting, CFD trading and margined forex may not be suitable for all investors. Only speculate with money that you can afford to lose and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before you trade. Seek independent financial advice where necessary.

Please note that accounts are subject to status and suitability checks.

Stock Market Index Spread Betting Guides

Stock Market Guides Indices are very popular with spread bettors and we have a wide range of analytical reviews and trading guides for investors:

  • Stock market homepage – here we have a price comparison for the most popular stock markets, worked financial spread betting examples and a look at where you can spread bet and where you can practice trading.

  • Live charts and prices – including prices for 24 hour markets as well as live charts for the major stock markets.

  • Individual stock index guides – we have 20 guides covering the world’s major stock indices like the FTSE 100, DAX 30, Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100. We also take a look at other European indices as well as the Indian and Chinese stock markets.

  • Stock Market Opening and Closing Times – a quick guide to the opening and closing times for the major stock markets and where you can trade when the stock market is closed.

Forex Spread Betting Guides

Forex Guides We have a series of forex guides covering the popular ‘major’ forex markets as well as the ‘minor’ and ‘exotic’ markets:

  • Forex homepage – here we have a forex spread betting comparison. We also look at the basics of the global forex market and price influences as well as how to spread bet, where you can trade and where you can practice your trading.

  • Live prices and charts – including prices for 24 hour markets and a chart for the movements in over 50 currency pairs.

  • Individual forex market guides – over 40 individual foreign currency trading guides from euro/sterling to dollar/yen. We also cover currencies like the Australian dollar, South African rand, Chinese renminbi (yuan) and Bitcoin.

Shares Spread Betting Guides

Whilst individual shares are not as popular with spread bettors as a whole stock market index like the UK’s FTSE 100, the German DAX 30 or the US Dow Jones, there is still regular interest in the bigger global companies.

As well as the risks that come with any spread betting, there are a number of positives and one of those is the ability to take a position on individual companies listed on stock exchanges across the world.

Most spread betting firms listed on this site offer a selection of UK, US, German, French and Irish shares. Many will also offer other European, Indian and South African shares. For more details also see:

  • Shares homepage – an introduction to equities spread betting including how to trade, where to trade, risk management etc.

  • Live charts – here investors can check live charts for hundreds of UK and US shares as well as many other leading global stocks.

  • Special Reports – whilst we offer hundreds of individual reports on shares that are currently listed on the stock market like Barclays, Apple, Facebook and Google. We also produce guides to trading companies both before, and after, they IPO e.g. Alibaba, Twitter and Royal Mail.

Commodities Spread Betting Guides

Commodities Guides Although retail trading volumes are not as high as forex and index markets, some commodities, like gold and crude oil, can be particularly popular with spread bettors.

  • Commodities homepage – we have a price comparison for the most popular commodities, a review of where you can trade, trading examples and some interesting technical analysis case studies.

  • Live prices and charts – here you can check the live prices and charts for 11 different commodities futures.

  • Individual commodities market guides – we have created guides for the popular metals and energies markets like gold, silver, Brent crude oil and US crude oil. We also have guides covering the less popular softs / agricultures like coffee, sugar and wheat.

‘Specials’ Spread Betting Guides

We also take a quick look at IPO grey markets and other ‘Specials’ like the Nonfarm Payroll (NFP) spread betting market.

Political Spread Betting Guide

Politics spread betting is becoming increasingly popular.

  • Politics Spread Betting – price updates, a look at how the markers are moving, how to trade, which firms have politics markets etc.

Spread Betting Company Reviews

We have been comparing the spreads and minimum stakes offered by many of the larger firms since 2008.

Over the last few years, the spreads offered across the top 20 most popular markets have become increasingly similar. Nevertheless, when it comes of the account facilities, costs, range of markets, mobile platforms etc. the individual companies still have a number of differentiating factors that will suit different investors.

On CleanFinancial, we keep up-to-date on developments, and regularly update the spread betting company reviews.

For more details on a particular firm, click on the relevant link below. For each review you will find an overview of the basic service, user comments and ratings as well as our editors’ comments on the latest product developments (or hiccups).

In addition to looking at the markets on the platform, most of the reviews have video guides and live/indicative prices from the relevant firm.

  • City Index Review – one of the oldest spread betting providers, City Index launched in 1983. They were the first spread betting firm to launch an iPhone app.

  • CMC Markets Review – whilst most platforms operate in similar ways, have similar menus and share many common characteristics, the CMC Markets platform is designed differently and so it may take slightly longer to get used to.

    However, if you like your technical analysis, you should take a look at the videos on our CMC review page, the platform seems to have a stronger bias than most to analysing, recognising and trading patterns.

    The trading platform is also unusual because, as well as offering the normal commodities futures markets that you will find offered on most other websites, you can spread bet on daily (cash) commodity markets.

  • ETX Capital Review – like a number of other firms, ETX offer mobile apps, MT4 and Autochartist. However, ETX Capital are unusual in that they have minimum stakes sizes of 50p per point, the industry standard is £1 per point.

  • Financial Spreads Review – not to be confused with Finspreads below, Financial Spreads offer both spread betting and CFD trading. They also offer 24hr trading and advanced charts.

  • Finspreads Review – Finspreads are owned by City Index and this website, along with its 3 different types of account, seems to cater more to the newbie. The ‘beginner account’ lets new account holders trade with 10p stakes.

  • IG Index Review – the first UK spread betting firm and the still the market leader in terms of size. IG tend to pick up the lion’s share of industry awards and, because they offer 8,000 markets, they are also one of the places to check if you are looking for an unusual market.

    A warning though, if you are trading a less popular market through IG, or any other firm, these markets can have wide spreads, i.e. they are comparatively more expensive to trade. Also, these markets can be more illiquid and so there is a greater chance of the underlying market ‘gapping’.

  • InterTrader Review – a joint venture between London Capital Group and They are one of the few platforms that offer larger traders and/or high frequency traders a rebate on their own trading, this is essentially a form of commission-on-your-own-trades or cash-back.

  • Spreadex Review – another firm that has been around for a long time, they have been trading since 2000. As well as offering the normal markets a seasoned trader might expect from their provider, Spreadex is one of the few places you can trade a broad range of UK small caps. They are also one of the few firms to offer credit accounts (subject to suitability and status).

  • Tradefair Review – another joint venture, this time between London Capital Group and Betfair. Like other companies on the LCG platform, e.g. Capital Spreads, they offer spread betting and CFDs on about 2,500 markets, iPhone trading and 24 hour markets. They also offer advanced pattern recognition software (via Autochartist).

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