What are turbos and how do you trade them?
Everything you need to know about trading turbos, including what they are and how they work. Plus, discover our unique turbo24s – giving you round-the-clock access to some of the world’s most popular markets with zero commission.
What are turbos?
Turbos – also known as turbo warrants or turbo certificates – are leveraged securities. A turbo’s price tracks an underlying financial asset’s one-for-one, and you can use a turbo to go both long and short. Your risk is capped, because each turbo trade has a built-in knock-out level and will terminate if this is hit.
Turbos are traded on venue rather than over-the-counter (OTC), and have fully visible order books that you can view to gauge sentiment and plan your strategy.
What are turbo24s?
Turbo24s are the world’s first 24-hour turbo warrant – letting you trade uninterrupted from Monday to Friday, even when the underlying market is closed. When you trade turbo24s with us, you’ll pay zero commission, and you won’t be exposed to any currency risk because turbo24s are traded in euros.
Turbo24s are traded on the multilateral trading facility (MTF), Spectrum. You can interact with the venue’s order book directly – giving you control over the price you pay for a turbo24. Plus, our intuitive trading platform has an in-built turbo calculator, which makes it easy to plan your positions. And with leverage shown clearly, you can quickly find the trade you want.
This page will look primarily at turbo24s rather than other forms of turbo warrant or certificate, which may differ in some ways. You can start trading turbo24s today by creating an account with us, or get to know them first with a risk-free demo account.
How does trading turbos work?
- What are ‘long turbos’ and ‘short turbos’?
- What is leverage in turbo trading?
- How are turbos priced?
Turbos trading works through buying a transferrable security that enables you to take a position on an underlying asset’s price rising or falling. For each trade, you choose a knock-out level – the point where you’d like to exit if the market turns against you.
This then helps to determine the purchase price for the turbo, which will be your maximum possible loss. You’ll pay this outlay in full upfront, so you’re in control of your risk, and you’ll always know the most you stand to lose on each turbo24 trade from the outset.
What are ‘long turbos’ and ‘short turbos’?
There are two types of turbos – long turbos, sometimes known as bull turbos – and short turbos, also known as bear turbos.
You’d buy a long turbo if you thought the price of the underlying asset was set to rise. With a long turbo24, the knock-out level will be below the underlying asset’s current market price to protect you against downward movements.
Alternatively, you’d buy a short turbo if you thought the price of the underlying asset might fall. A short turbo24 will have a knock-out level which is above the underlying asset’s current market price to protect you against upward movements.
What is leverage in turbo trading?
Turbos are leveraged derivative products, so taking a position is logistically simpler and costs far less than trading the underlying asset directly. This means you can command larger positions, and any profits you make are amplified. However, it’s important to note that trading with leverage will also accelerate any losses you might incur.
By selecting your knock-out level, you control the price you pay for a turbo – and this in turn determines your total leverage. The lower the price of your turbo, the higher your leverage will be. You can see the leverage associated with each knock-out level clearly in our turbo24 trading platform.
How are turbos priced?
Turbos are priced based on the difference between the underlying market price and your selected knock-out level – as well as other costs and adjustments.
As all potential costs are built into the price of a turbo, the initial outlay is all you’ll pay.1 If you exit your trade the same day without being knocked out, you’ll receive this full amount back – plus or minus any profit or loss.
Additional costs will apply if you hold a position overnight, however these are accounted for by a small adjustment to your knock-out level – so you won’t need to top up your account to maintain your trades.
Turbo trading example
Say you want to trade an underlying asset, such as the DAX, GBP/USD or Brent Crude. The asset you choose is currently valued at €100 in the underlying market, and you believe its price will rise so you buy a long turbo24.
You choose a knock-out level of €90, because with long turbos the knock-out level must be below the current market price. As a result, the price of the turbo24 (excluding costs and other adjustments) is: 100 – 90 = €10. This is your initial outlay, and the most you could lose on the trade.
The closer your knock out level is to the current price, the lower the price of your turbo and the higher the leverage. Greater leverage means that any movement in the underlying price – up or down – will amplify your profit or loss.
If the underlying asset rises by €10 to €110, that’s a 10% increase. Your turbo will track this price rise point for point, and its new value will be: 110 – 90 = €20. This gives you a 100% profit on your €10 outlay – ten times higher than you would have achieved by trading the underlying market directly.
But, if you thought the price was going to fall from €100, you’d buy a short turbo. Say you set your knock-out level at €110, since with short turbos the knock-out level must be above the current market price. The price of this turbo (excluding costs and other adjustments) is: 110 – 100 = €10.
Let’s suppose that despite your analysis, the underlying asset’s price increased by €10 to €110. Your short turbo24 would be knocked out and you’d lose your €10 outlay – but nothing more, even if the market continued to rise.
Remember, you can control your leverage and risk by selecting different knock-out levels for your turbo trades. However, keep in mind that choosing a knock-out level closer to the underlying market does increase your risk of being knocked out.
Why trade turbo24s with IG?
Trade 24 hours a day, commission-free
Turbo24s are currently the only way that you’ll be able to trade turbo warrants 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday. You can trade a range of popular markets with turbo24s, including indices, commodities and forex pairs – even when the underlying market is closed. And what’s more, you won’t pay any commission on your turbo24 trades with us.
Take advantage of rising and falling markets
You can use turbo24s to speculate on the price of an underlying asset rising or falling, without having to own that asset outright. You’d buy a long turbo24 if you expect the underlying price to rise, and you’d buy a short turbo24 if you expect the underlying price to fall.
Put an absolute cap on your risk
Turbo24s have a built-in knock-out level – limiting your loss if the underlying asset’s price doesn’t move as you predicted.
When a knock-out level is reached, your position will terminate without a value and you’ll lose your initial outlay. But you’ll never lose more than that when trading turbo24s, even if the asset’s price moves rapidly through your knock-out level or gaps.
Recover from out-of-hours knock-outs
If your knock-out level is hit out-of-hours, your turbo24 will only terminate if the underlying market remains at or beyond this level when it re-opens. If the market has reversed before that time, your trade could stay active and might ultimately turn a profit.
So, while you can trade turbo24s around the clock, you can’t be knocked out while the underlying market on which your turbo is based is closed.
Get the leverage you want with hourly price updates
We issue new turbo24s every hour, meaning fresh securities quickly replace those that have been knocked out by market volatility. This unique feature means you can always find knock-out levels that are close to the underlying market price – offering low costs and high leverage.
Trade without currency risk
All of our turbo24 markets are priced in euros – which means that you don’t need to worry about converting profits to your base currency. You also don’t need to think about exchange rate variability before opening a position.
High market liquidity – the ease with which an asset can be bought or sold – increases the probability that your order will be filled at the price you want.
With us, you can trade a broad range of frequently traded markets. And turbo24s are listed on Spectrum – a venue specifically designed to offer liquidity for retail investors.
React faster with an award-winning trading platform
We’ve been voted the best multi-platform provider,2 and you’ll get access to all of our charting tools and market analysis when you trade turbo24s with us.
Leverage is always shown clearly, and our in-platform turbo calculator makes it easy to plan your trades. You’ll quickly be able to find the turbo24 price equivalent to any underlying market level, so you can place a limit order at your target level.
If you’re not ready to trade the live markets, you can practise trading turbo24s with €10,000 in virtual funds on a demo account.
Open a turbo trading account
To trade turbos, you’ll need to open an account with a broker you can trust. We’re a world-leading online trading provider with over 45 years’ experience. Plus you’ll pay zero commission and get access to our superior turbo trading platform when you trade turbo24s with us.
Why would you create an account with anyone else?
Choose your turbo market and direction
Let’s say you expect the DAX to rise, so you buy a long turbo on the Germany 30 (as the DAX is called in our platform). You’ll find it in the ‘indices’ section. If you thought the DAX was going to fall, then you’d buy a short turbo instead.
You can see the knock-out levels and leverage ratios when you click either the ‘short’ or ‘long’ tabs to the right of the price chart.3
Select your order type and expiry
Choose from a range of market, limit and stop orders with different expiry options by expanding the selections.
Set your deal size and maximum risk
The deal size is the number of turbos that you’d like to trade, and you can change it using the ‘size’ box in the order window. The total size of your position will determine the outlay (‘consideration’) which will be the maximum amount that you stand to lose.
In the example below, the cost to buy one long turbo on the Germany 30 is 0.983, and the total size selected is 1000 turbos. As a result, the total outlay – or ‘consideration’ – is €983.00 (0.983 x 1000), which represents the maximum risk.3
To confirm the details before you take a position,, click on ‘preview order’.
Place your order and monitor your position
After you’ve followed the previous steps, and if you’re happy with the details of your position, place your order. You’ll need to monitor the market once you’ve placed your trade to ensure that it’s behaving in the way you anticipated.
If time passes and you’ve secured a profit you’re happy with, you can manually exit your position and realise your gains. But, if the market moves against you, your position will terminate automatically if your knock-out level is reached.
1 For turbo24s on the Italy 40 index only, the Italian Financial Transaction Tax (IFTT) applies.
2 As awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2020 and Professional Trader Awards 2019.
3 The examples in this section are based on real data taken from our platform on 27 February 2020. Please note that fees and spreads are variable, and may differ significantly from those illustrated here. The multiplier for each market can be found in our product details.