Compare the 8 best CFD brokers online in 2024

An Invezz panel of experts regularly tests the best CFD brokers. This guide picks out the top CFD trading platforms and compares their best features.
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Updated: Apr 4, 2024
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Trade your favourite markets with our top-rated broker, Plus500.

7.8/10

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Ready to dive into the world of CFD trading, but overwhelmed by all the options? We get it. With dozens of brokers out there, finding the right fit as a beginner can feel like a maze.

That’s why we didn’t just make a list. We put 40+ top CFD brokers through rigorous testing – fees, security, market variety, the whole nine yards! We dissected everything, from their mobile apps to their research tools, according to these seven criteria:

  • Commissions and fees
  • Security and regulatory status
  • Range of markets
  • Mobile accessibility
  • Demo and social trading features
  • Research tools
  • User reviews & feedback

Why? Because choosing the right platform from the start can make or break your trading experience.

Ready to see the results and find your perfect beginner CFD broker? Let’s go!

Best CFD broker online overall for 2024

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  1. Plus500: Best for international CFD trading*
  2. eToro: Best for beginners, copy-trading & demo-account
  3. Public: Best for sharing beginner trading ideas
  4. Degiro: Best for 0% commission on US stocks

Where can I find the best CFD trading platform?

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We rank Plus500 as the best CFD broker in 2024.

Below are three more of the top CFD brokers that came out with the highest score from our experts. A low cost of trading CFDs, range of CFDs to trade, and high security were very important to our panel and each of these services scored well on both counts.

Sort by:

1
Min. Deposit
$ 100
Best offer
User Score
10
Trade +2000 CFDs on Shares, Options, Commodities & more
Unlimited risk-free Demo Account
0 commissions & attractive spreads with up to 1:5 leverage
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
American Express, Apple Pay, Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Discover, Google Pay, Mastercard, PayPal, SEPA, Trustly, Visa, , skrill
Full Regulations:
ASIC, FCA, FSA, MAS, cysec-250-14-regulator, isa-regulator

Buy or sell stock CFDs with Plus500. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2
Min. Deposit
$ 10
Best offer
User Score
9.9
Up to $240 bonus!
Deposit with ACA, Wire, Pay with my bank
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
CySEC, FCA

eToro offers real assets only, no CFD products. eToro securities trading offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc. (‘the BD”), member of FINRA and SIPC. Investing involves risk, and content is provided for educational purposes only, does not imply a recommendation, and is not a guarantee of future performance. Invezz.com is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the BD.

3
Min. Deposit
$ 0
Best offer
User Score
9.6
Get insights from millions of investors, creators, and analysts
Build your portfolio of stocks, ETFs, and crypto–all in one place
No minimum deposit
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Wire, Check, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
Cryptocurrency execution and custody services are provided by Apex Crypto LLC (NMLS ID 1828849) through a software licensing agreement between Apex Crypto LLC and Public Crypto LLC. Crypto trading on Public platforms is served by Public Crypto LLC and offered through APEX Crypto. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved before trading.

Top 8 CFD trading platforms, reviewed

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1. Plus500. Best for international CFD trading*

From 0.08%

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

3,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Can get a free demo account A great mobile platform Well regulated in multiple jurisdictions Wide variety of CFDs to trade Several good risk management tools
No support on trading information and education Website isn’t brilliantly designed to help users find answers to their questions No MetaTrader trading platform compatibility

Overview

We love Plus500 because it is one of the industry’s most transparent and reliable brokers. Its fees are clear and you’ll know exactly what you will be paying before you make a trade. Its technology driven platform gives access to CFDs on over 2000 stocks.

Plus500 has something for all types of stock trader, no matter what level of experience. Its zero commission and tight spreads make it a top choice for day traders and its trading academy is packed with educational content, perfect for beginners just starting.

For accurate instrument availability, visit plus500.com.

The fees: There are no commission fees on any trades with Plus500 and it makes it money through the Bid/Ask spread. Spread starts from 0.01% and varies depending on the instrument. Additional fees include overnight funding depending on trade size and guaranteed stop orders, which add a minimum of 10% to the spread. There is an inactivity charge of £10 per month for accounts not logged in for three months. 

*Based on a comparison of 60+ leading brokers and trading platforms.

Highlights

Visit Plus500 Plus500 Review

Buy or sell stock CFDs with Plus500. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2. eToro. Best for beginners, copy-trading & demo-account

0% commission

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

4,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Great for beginners, simple to set up and get started Competitive, industry-leading commissions Popular ‘Copy Portfolios’ function lets you follow top traders Excellent customer service, with live chat support provided Over 2,000 CFDs available to trade for UK & EU users (not US, real assets only)
Comparatively high fees for withdrawals and account inactivity Does not integrate with the MetaTrader platform High spreads on some assets

Overview

We love eToro because you can trade more than 3,000 stocks, commission free. When you buy stocks on eToro, you’re buying the underlying asset, which means you can earn dividends. Or you can trade fractional shares, which means you can invest in even the most expensive stock from just $10.

As well as being a broker that offers lots of investor protection, eToro offers a very social trading experience. You can easily see what’s trending on the stock market every day, browse the latest analyst opinion about every one of those stocks, and copy other people’s trade suggestions from your desktop or the eToro app.

The fees: Stock and ETF trades are commission free. Stock CFDs are charged a 0.15% spread and overnight fees can apply. You can deposit money for free but you have to pay $5 per withdrawal, and there’s a minimum withdrawal of $30. A $10 per month activity fee is charged if you don’t log in for a year.

Highlights

Visit eToro eToro Review

eToro offers real assets only, no CFD products. eToro securities trading offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc. (‘the BD”), member of FINRA and SIPC. Investing involves risk, and content is provided for educational purposes only, does not imply a recommendation, and is not a guarantee of future performance. Invezz.com is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the BD.

3. Public. Best for sharing beginner trading ideas

public.com logo

...

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

...

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Commission free stock and ETF investing Share and compare your portfolio on a social trading platform Trade crypto, fractional shares, and alternative investments
You can't trade on margin or use leverage No forex, options, funds, metals, or bonds

Overview

We love Public because it’s a social platform where you can share trading tips and get ideas from other people. Public offers 9,000+ financial instruments, including cryptocurrencies and stocks from around the world.

Alongside a community of other investors all sharing their ideas, Public offers real time news and information so that you can see the full picture before you invest. And the assets don’t just include your run-of-the-mill assets; you can make alternative investments in things like handbags and comic books as well.

The fees: There are no fees for investing in stocks during regular trading hours in the US – 9.30am-4pm EST. There is a $2.99 fee for trades outside of regular hours.

Highlights

Visit Review
Cryptocurrency execution and custody services are provided by Apex Crypto LLC (NMLS ID 1828849) through a software licensing agreement between Apex Crypto LLC and Public Crypto LLC. Crypto trading on Public platforms is served by Public Crypto LLC and offered through APEX Crypto. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved before trading.

4. Degiro. Best for 0% commission on US stocks

...

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

...

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Low trading fees No minimum deposit required Segregated client funds
No US customers No forex or cryptocurrencies offered for trading Limited educational resources

Overview

We love Degiro because it offers a simple trading platform so that you can trade quickly and easily wherever you are. Degiro offers stock trading on 50 stock exchanges in 30 countries, including the US, UK, and all leading European markets, with free stock trading on all US stocks.

Degiro has won 86 international awards and is one of the largest companies in Germany. All its services are available online or via the Degiro app. The website also boasts a huge range of educational material, including an Investor’s Academy, to help you get started.

The fees: All stock trades come with a €1 handling fee. US stock trading has no other fees, UK stock trading costs $1.75, and European stock trading costs €3.90. The rest of the world costs €5. A core selection of ETFs are free to trade, other global ETFs cost €2 plus a €1 handling fee. Derivative trading costs €0.75. There are no inactivity, deposit, or withdrawal fees.

Highlights

Visit DEGIRO DEGIRO Review

Investing involves risk of loss

The best CFD brokers for your needs

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What is the best CFD broker for beginners?

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eToro has the best service for beginner traders trying their hand at CFD trading. The platform is designed for new users, with social features like CopyTrader to help you learn from others that place CFD trades. Here are more beginner-friendly CFD platforms:

CFD providerTrading feesLearning resources?
eToroFrom 0% commissionYes
Skilling0% commissionYes
Capital.com0% commissionYes

What is the cheapest CFD broker?

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Pepperstone is the best low fee CFD broker. It offers the best value as calculated through a combination of trading, overnight, and inactivity fees. Here is a low fee CFD brokers list:

Asset Plus500 fees eToro fees Public fees
Cryptocurrencies From 2% 1%
Commodities From 0.04% From 2 pips
Currencies From 0.8% From 1 pip
Indices From 0.7% From 0.75 pts
Stocks From 0.08% 0% commission
View more > Plus500 > eToro > Public >

What is the best low spread CFD broker?

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Pepperstone has the lowest spreads of any CFD trading platform. It offers extremely low average spreads on popular assets like major forex pairs. Here are more low spread CFD platforms:

Product Plus500 spreads eToro spreads Public spreads
Stock CFDs 0.10% 0.15%
ETF CFDs 0.10% 0.15%
Forex CFDs 0.8 pips From 1 pip
Crypto CFDs 2% 1%
Index CFDs 0.20% From 0.75 points
Commodity CFDs 0.50% From 2 pips
View all tradable assets > Plus500 > eToro > Public >

What is the best CFD forex broker?

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City Index has the best range of forex pairs combined with a great CFD trading experience. You can trade the major, minor, and some exotic pairs. Here are more CFD brokers for trading forex:

CFD providerNo. currency pairs
City Index80+
AvaTrade55+
FXCM40+

What is the best CFD broker for trading with leverage?

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AvaTrade has the best combination of leverage and user experience. Leverage is capped by law at 30:1 for retail traders in the UK and Europe, so you won’t be able to access any more leverage than that unless you are a professional CFD trader.

Here are the best CFD trading platforms for trading CFDs with leverage experience:

Product Plus500 maximum leverage eToro maximum leverage Public maximum leverage
Stock CFDs 1:5 1:5
ETF CFDs 1:5 1:5
Forex CFDs 1:30 1:30
Crypto CFDs 1:2 1:2
Index CFDs 1:20 1:10
Commodity CFDs Up to 1:20 1:10
View more > Plus500 > eToro > Public >

What is the best high leverage CFD broker?

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Pepperstone offers the highest amount of leverage to professional CFD traders. You must meet various requirements to qualify as a professional, such as minimum deposits and proof of funds. Here are more options to help you find a high leverage CFD broker online:

CFD providerMax. leverage (professional)
AvaTrade400:1
Pepperstone500:1
FXCM400:1

What is the best CFD broker for scalping?

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Admiral Markets offers rapid trade execution with low trading fees. Speed and price are to of the most important considerations when scalping. Here are some more scalping CFD brokers:

CFD providerTrading feesAve. order speed
Admirals0% commissionImmediate
Pepperstone0% commission<0.03s
City Index0% commission (excl. shares)0.05s

What is the best CFD broker for free stock trading?

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eToro offers 0% commission on many of its stocks, so it’s the best option for zero-to-low fee CFD trading. Opening a CFD trading account is free and there are no management fees. Here are some more free CFD trading platforms:

Best broker (CFD)Trading feesTotal stock CFDs
eToroFrom 0% commission3118+
Plus500From 0% commission2800+
Skilling0% commission700+

What is the best CFD broker for US stocks?

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Skilling is the best for trading US stock CFDs. There are more than 700 stocks available, including all the leading companies that are listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ stock exchange. Here is a list to help you find the best CFD platform for US CFDs:

CFD providerStock exchanges available
SkillingNASDAQ, NYSE
eToroNASDAQ, NYSE
Plus500NASDAQ, NYSE

What is the best small stakes CFD broker?

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Skilling. To trade with small stakes, you need CFD brokers like Skilling that have low minimum trade sizes. You can start trading with a few pence once you’ve made an initial deposit. Here are more platforms for small stakes CFD trading:

Product Plus500 minimum trade eToro minimum trade Public minimum trade
Stock CFDs $10 $10
ETF CFDs $10 $10
Forex CFDs 0.01 lots $33.34*
Crypto CFDs $0.10 $10
Index CFDs $10 $1,000
Commodity CFDs $10 $1,000
View more > Plus500 > eToro > Public >

What is the best CFD broker for advanced order execution?

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City Index has the fastest order speed of the CFD trading platforms we surveyed. Its top of the range order execution means that you often get a better price on limit orders and it has a near perfect execution record. Here are more ways to trade CFDs with fast execution speeds:

CFD providerAve. execution speed
City Index0.05s
Pacific Union0.15s
FXCM0.21s

What is the best CFD broker for professional traders?

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Capital.com has the best combination of speed, cost, and analysis tools for the expert trader. Set the parameters of your order in advance, including entry and exit points, trade size, and limit price, and Capital will execute as soon as those triggers are set off. Here are more CFD options for the pros:

Best broker (CFD)Trading fees
Capital.com0% commission
City Index0% commission (excl. shares)
Pepperstone0% commission

What is the best CFD broker for large traders?

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FXCM is the best option for CFD traders who want to trade big and often. It offers no limit on max trade size, fast execution speeds, and a trading platform that integrates with MT4, MT5, and Trading View.

Here is a selection of leading options to help you find the best CFD trading platform for large traders:

CFD providerMax. trade size
FXCMNo max
City IndexNo max
Pepperstone100 lots

Which is the best CFD broker with the best customer reviews?

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Pepperstone has the best online customer reviews from several independent review websites. According to Trustpilot users, Pepperstone scores 4.5 / 5. The best CFD broker according to Google Play Store users is Interactive Brokers with a score of 4.8 / 5. Apple App Store users rank Pepperstone best with 4.4 / 5.

CFD brokerageTrustpilot Apple App store Google Play Store
Pepperstone4.54.44.1
AvaTrade4.64.34
Interactive Brokers3.74.24.8

Best CFD brokers by country

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The rules, regulations, and cost of CFD trading vary depending on where you live. Here you can find the best CFD trading platforms in each country.

What are CFD brokers?

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CFD brokers are trading platforms that allow you to trade financial assets using a ‘contract for difference’. In other words, you use a broker to trade CFD assets such as stocks and shares, indices, commodities, currencies and cryptocurrencies without the need for the physical delivery of the underlying asset. 

What is CFD trading?

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CFD trading is the online trading of financial assets in which traders aim to profit from the difference in the price of the underlying asset, without physical delivery or exchange of that asset taking place between buyer and seller. 

The assets in question are regular financial instruments, such as stocks on the London Stock Exchange, or major currency pairs. The difference between actually buying those stocks or forex pairs and using a CFD trade is that with a CFD trade, you never own the asset, you simply trade a contract that represents its current price.

For instance, the contracts on gold are based on the actual trading values of gold on the primary exchange where it is traded, which is the COMEX exchange in London. 

If someone is trading crude oil, there is no exchange or delivery of crude oil. Rather, the platform establishes the CFD trade contract on crude oil based on the price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) or the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

How does a CFD broker work?

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The function of a CFD broker is to provide a CFD trader with access to the market where the assets are listed, with prices drawn from the underlying exchanges. They can then place various types of orders for the asset classes listed on their chosen platform. 

The principal aspect of using CFDs is that no exchange of the underlying asset takes place. The participants in the CFD trades are only trading the difference in prices of the contracts. These contracts are based on the prices of the underlying assets themselves. 

Whenever an order is placed, the order is matched by the online CFD broker using a dealing desk to ensure speedy execution, using a counter-order in the same quantity as the trader’s request. 

So if a trader places an order for an asset, it is transmitted through the front-end of the engine (such as the MT4 desktop or mobile client). It gets transmitted to the back-end of the software at the dealer’s dealing desk, where it is matched with a SELL order of the same quantity. Once executed, the execution order is transmitted back to the front-end, where it shows the trader that the order has been executed. The whole process lasts just milliseconds. 

Types of CFD brokers

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CFD brokers specialise in contracts for difference, allowing you to trade CFDs on a wider range of financial instruments beyond popular currency pairs. But with so many CFD brokers and trading options available, choosing the best CFD brokers for your needs can be a difficult task.

Below, we’ve provided a quick breakdown of the different types of CFD brokers to help you understand which is the most suitable choice for you. 

  • Market maker brokers. These CFD brokers set their own bid-ask spreads and execute trades directly with you. This can lead to potentially tighter spreads, especially during low volatility periods. However, it also raises a potential conflict of interest, as they profit when you lose and vice versa.
  • Direct market access (DMA) brokers. With the best DMA brokers, you get direct access to global financial markets, connecting electronically to liquidity providers. This means transparent pricing with spreads reflecting real-time market conditions. DMA CFD accounts typically require larger minimum deposits and commission fees.
  • STP/ECN brokers. Similar to DMA brokers, Straight Through Processing (STP) and Electronic Communication Network (ECN) brokers route your orders electronically to liquidity providers. This results in highly transparent pricing with no conflict of interest, as spreads depend on market depth. However, forex and CFD spreads can be wider due to fluctuating market liquidity.
  • Hybrid brokers. As the name suggests, these brokers combine elements of both MM and DMA/ECN models. Hybrid brokers may offer tighter spreads for popular assets while providing DMA access for others. This offers flexibility for retail CFD accounts and both beginner and active traders. 

Types of CFD accounts 

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CFD brokers offer a range of options to suit diverse trading needs and preferences. Below we’ll explore the most common account types to help you choose the most appropriate account type. 

  • Standard accounts. Standard CFD accounts are the most common option for many retail CFD investors and traders. They typically require minimum deposits and offer access to a broad selection of financial instruments and currency pairs. Many standard accounts even come equipped with advanced trading tools and market research support, making them perfect for both beginner and active traders.
  • Mini and micro accounts. If you’re just starting out, or want to trade with little money, Mini or Micro accounts are ideal. They have significantly smaller minimum deposits and trade sizes. However they may have limited access to certain financial instruments compared to standard accounts, but they’re excellent for learning the ropes.
  • Demo accounts. If you don’t want to risk any money at all, the best demo accounts are the top option. They allow you to experiment with trading strategies, explore different asset classes, and familiarise yourself with a broker’s CFD trading platform and features completely risk-free. 
  • Islamic accounts. Halal CFD accounts cater to Muslim forex traders and CFD investors. The best Islamic brokers and trading platforms comply with Sharia law by avoiding interest-based charges. These accounts offer alternative fee structures, like swap-free trading. There are many types of Sharia accounts, such as Islamic forex brokers.

How to choose the best CFD broker for your needs?

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There are many things to look out for, we recommend these as your core focus when picking the best CFD trading platform:

  • Use a regulated platform. Make sure to pick a CFD trading platform that is regulated by the financial authority where you live. For instance, activity in the United States is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • Payment method variety. There are lots of different ways to fund CFD brokers. You typically get convenient deposit methods such as credit/debit cards and e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal. Make sure your preferred payment method is available.
  • Large asset selection. The best CFD trading platform will have a large number of assets, providing you with flexibility in terms of what you can trade. Is the currency market in a slow march? You can switch over to stocks or indices. Choose brokers with a large asset selection such as stocks, bonds and more and you won’t get stuck in non-performing markets. 
  • Good reputation. Certain online CFD trading platforms may have a good offering, but if their user experience leaves something to be desired, they’re probably best avoided. Always check for online reviews provided by real, verified users. This step can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. 
  • Ease of use. The best CFD brokers are well-designed and pleasing to the eye. Badly designed ones can be counterintuitive to use and induce visual fatigue over long periods of use. Speed and ease of use are vital factors when you’re trading.
  • Demo account. Many top CFD brokers offer demo accounts to practice trading your skills in a ‘false’ market environment. It mimics the real world, but your balance is essentially fake. Start with $100 or $100,000 and get started!

Quick answers to key questions

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Do I own the assets I’m trading on a CFD trading platform?

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No. When you trade CFDs you don’t own any underlying assets, it’s purely a means of speculating on price.

The advantage is that you don’t have to bother with the logistics of transporting your assets from an online CFD broker to a point of exchange or worry about the safety and security of the assets.

You only trade on the underlying price changes of each asset so you can perform CFD trades faster and take advantage of price fluctuations much quicker.

Trades on CFD platforms are also leveraged, so you don’t need a large capital outlay to get involved with CFD trading. This makes CFD trading ideal for professional traders and offers enough flexibility for most retail CFD traders as well.

What options do I have when CFD trading?

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You can either take a long position with the expectation that the price will rise, or – crucially – a short position if you expect the prices to fall. The ability to go short is one of the biggest differences between CFD trading vs trading the underlying asset.

So if you purchase an asset for, say, $1.50 per unit and you purchase 100 units of the asset, the entry price would cost you $150. If the price rises to $2.10 per unit, the position would be worth $210. Therefore, your profit (the difference between the entry and exit price) would be 210 – 150 = $60. 

Similarly, if you short an asset for $400 and the price falls to $230, your profit would be the difference between 400 and 230, which is $170.

Will I have to verify my CFD trading account?

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Yes. International financial regulations require that all services must verify the identity and residence of all clients on their platforms. Some may go a step further to ask you for statements of accounts from where your funds will come from.

CFD brokers must be regulated, and providing your identity with and residence with a government-issued ID such as an international passport/driver’s license or a utility bill/bank statement will suffice to verify your account. 

Is online CFD trading secure?

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It is very secure. Many CFD brokers have implemented a segregated accounting system for their clients where the primary capital is lodged in the members’ area and only deployed on the trader’s express requests.

Some of these processes are now protected using 2-factor authentication (via SMS or email). Furthermore, many platforms use very high-grade encryption protocols to protect all CFD trader information entered on their websites.

Can I trade multiple assets on a CFD trading platform?

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Yes, it’s possible to trade CFDs on virtually any financial asset. It’s most commonly used to trade forex pairs, but many of the best CFD trading platforms offer commodity CFDs and stock CFDs, as well as exchange-traded funds.

Crypto CFDs are available in some countries, like the US, but not in others.

Will I be charged a fee to trade CFDs?

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You normally won’t have to pay any commission fees but a rollover fee will be applied for keeping your CFD trades open overnight or over the weekend. Sometimes flat-rate withdrawal fees are applied.

Can I use CFD trading apps?

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Yes, most CFD trading platforms offer a mobile app, with virtually the same features as the desktop version. You can trade CFD instruments on the go or from the comfort of your couch.

How are CFDs different from stocks?

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CFDs let you speculate on the price movements of stocks and other financial markets without owning the underlying asset. Instead of buying the stock outright, CFD trades simply involve opening a contract with a broker on the stock price change. When trading stocks, you buy and own shares in a company, giving true ownership and potential dividends.

How are CFDs different from forex?

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While forex trading focuses strictly on currency pairs, CFD trading lets you speculate on currencies plus indices, bonds, interest rates, commodities, and crypto. CFD brokers provide access to more diverse financial instruments than forex brokers. However, both allow leveraged trading.

Which broker has the most CFDs?

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eToro has the largest collection of CFDs available to trade, with more than 3000 available to trade. Here are some more brokers with the most CFDs available:

Product Plus500 assets eToro assets Public assets
Stock CFDs 1,800+ 3117
ETF CFDs 100+ 317
Forex CFDs 50+ 49
Crypto CFDs 40+ 73
Index CFDs 20+ 20
Commodity CFDs 20+ 26
View more > Plus500 > eToro > Public >

Note that all listed instruments on Plus500 are available to trade as CFDs.

What are the advantages of using a CFD broker?

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When trading CFDs, the best CFD trading platform provides exposure to almost any popular asset without having to own or physically deliver that asset. Your trades can be leveraged, allowing you to use a small amount of collateral to control large positions, while the spreads are usually low and trades are commission-free.

CFD trading is also more or less instant and is suited to a relatively active trading style. It’s best for people who are looking to speculate on price movements rather than benefit from the long term advantages of holding certain assets.

And what are the drawbacks?

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When you trade CFDs, the drawback of not owning underlying assets is that you don’t get any of the benefits of ownership. So you aren’t entitled to dividends if you own a stock CFD, which you would be if you owned the stock itself.

Similarly, you can’t use gold as a long-term hedge or store of value because you don’t own any gold bullion if you trade CFDs.

In addition, CFDs have recently come under leverage restrictions in various places around the world. One such limitation comes from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). Therefore, services of this type in the UK and EU have started to apply restrictions, reducing leverage – which used to be as high as 1:500 – to 1:30 at most for casual CFD traders.

Crypto CFDs have been banned entirely in the UK to protect investors from using leverage to speculate on unrestricted and volatile assets.

Should I use a CFD trading platform?

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CFD brokers are ideal if you want to trade multiple asset classes and want to generate short term results through an active trading strategy. Online CFD trading platforms offer a lot of flexibility: you can go short, use leverage, and buy and sell assets much faster than is possible elsewhere.

Furthermore, financial brokers in the US are regulated, and many are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation SIPC, which entitles you to deposit insurance when you open an CFD trading account with any of the best platforms for CFD trading.

This is a form of trader insurance contributed by the broker on your behalf. The scheme provides a maximum compensation of $500,000 ($250,000 cash) to CFD traders whose monies are lost as a result of broker insolvency or liquidation.

Ultimately, it depends on what’s important to you. Trading CFDs may not be best suited to investors with a long term view in mind. But the low cost of trading means a CFD trading app is a relatively simple way for beginner traders to get started.

Your verdict: Best CFD brokers according to our users

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As part of our expert research and testing, we gather views and feedback from a wide variety of everyday users. We collect this feedback and use it to influence the final ranking of each of the top CFD trading platforms.

Below you can get into the nitty-gritty of the data, and compare user reviews from across the best CFD brokers.

Review source Plus500 rating eToro rating Public rating
Trustpilot 4 4.4
Google Play Store 4.3 4.1
App Store 4.1 3.8
View more > Plus500 > eToro > Public >

FAQs

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Can I use a CFD platform on my mobile phone?
Is it possible to short with CFDs?
Are CFD brokers regulated?
Is trading CFDs the best way to buy and sell assets?
Is online CFD trading legal?
Do I have to pay tax on any profits made through CFD trading?


Sources & references
Risk disclaimer
James Knight
Editor of Education
James is the Editor of Education for Invezz, where he covers topics from across the financial world, from the stock market, to cryptocurrency, to macroeconomic markets.... read more.