What is spread betting?
Spread betting is a derivatives product that allows you to trade on the price movements of thousands of financial markets including indices, shares, currencies, commodities and more.
You can use spread bets to speculate on price movements irrespective of whether the markets are rising or falling. If you go long (buy), your profits will rise in line with any increase in that price. If you go short (sell), your profits will rise in line with any fall. Similarly, if you go long on the price and the underlying stock price falls, you will incur losses.
Spread betting is a margin-ed product that only requires you to deposit a small percentage of the full value of your position. This means that the potential for profits, or losses, from an initial capital outlay is significantly higher than in traditional trading. The margin required is typically between 1% and 10% of the total value of your position, depending on the market.
What is a spread?
Just like other forms of trading, including traditional share dealing, we quote two prices for all our spread bets – a buy price (the price at which you can go long if you expect the underlying market to rise) and a sell price (the price at which you can go short if you expect the underlying market price to fall). The difference between the ‘buy’ price and ‘sell’ price is known as the spread.