Skip to content

CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your deposits, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your deposits, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.

Online trading
Online trading

How to start trading online

Learn how to trade online in Singapore, and access key markets – like shares, indices, forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities – with our award-winning platform.1

Ready to start trading?

Start trading today. Call +65 6390 5133 between 9am and 6pm (SGT) on weekdays or email for account opening enquiries.

Start trading today. Call +65 6390 5133 between 9am and 6pm (SGT) on weekdays or email for account opening enquiries.

Start trading today. Call +65 6390 5133 between 9am and 6pm (SGT) on weekdays or email for account opening enquiries.

Start trading today. Call +65 6390 5133 between 9am and 6pm (SGT) on weekdays or email for account opening enquiries.

Learn more about online trading

Online trading is a way for traders from a variety of backgrounds, and with diverse levels of experience, to access a wide range of the world’s most popular financial markets. When trading online, you’ll use derivative products to speculate on the price movements of underlying assets – without ever owning the asset itself.

This is because derivatives like CFDs track the price of the asset on which they are based. Traders using derivatives never take delivery of the underlying, whether it be a physical commodity like gold or oil, foreign currency, or a security like company shares.

How to trade online in Singapore

With us, you’ll use CFDs – which are leveraged derivatives – to access over 13,000 local and international markets, including cryptocurrencies, shares, ETFs, commodities, forex, and indices. Additionally, you can also trade a selection of markets using knock-outs and digital 100s.

  • CFDs
  • Knock-outs
  • Digital 100s

A ‘contract for difference’, or CFD, is an agreement to exchange the difference in price of an underlying asset, as measured from the time the contract is opened until the time it’s closed.

For example, you engage in analysis and believe that the price of Tesla will rise from its current level of 700. So you buy five Tesla share CFDs. Your forecast is correct, and you close your position when the market reaches a sell price of 725. The difference is $25.

Your total profits, excluding other costs, are calculated as follows: (725 – 700) x 5 CFDs = $125. If, however, the market moves against you, and you close at a level of 685, your loss would be $75.

You can trade both rising and falling markets with CFDs. To open your position, you’d buy a contract if you believe an asset’s price is set to increase, and you’d sell a contract if you think its price is going to fall.

When you think a price will rise, it’s called ‘going long’. When you predict that it’ll fall, it’s called ‘going short’. Learn more about going long and going short.

Your profit or loss is determined by subtracting the price of the underlying at the time of buying the CFD from the price of the underlying at the time of selling the CFD – no matter whether you buy or sell to open your trade.

Please bear in mind that as you’ll open a CFD trade by depositing only a fraction of your position’s total value – called a margin amount – you could lose more than your initial outlay. It’s vital that you understand leverage (trading on margin), and that you manage your risk accordingly.

Knock-outs are CFDs that include an expiry date and a built-in knock-out level. The knock-out level is chosen by you when opening your trade, and it’s the price at which the CFD will automatically close if the market moves against you.

By setting your own knock-out level and your trade size, you’re able to control your preferred margin and risk amounts.

To enable you to go long or short on a market, we have two types of knock-out: bull and bear.

  • You’d buy a bull knock-out if you believe the price of the underlying market will rise

  • You’d buy a bear knock-out if you believe the price of the underlying market will fall

As with all trades, you’d make a profit if the market moves in your chosen direction, and a loss if the market moves against you. You can close your position at any time before expiry – unless the knock-out level is reached, in which case the position will be closed on your behalf.

Knock-outs are available on a selection of commodities, indices, forex pairs and shares.

Please remember that leveraged derivatives are complex instruments and come with a high risk of monetary loss.

Digital 100s enable you to speculate on the likelihood of a market event taking place as they’re based on a single statement with a yes or no answer.

For example, a digital 100 could assert that the Singapore Blue Chip Index will finish above a certain level. You’re then presented with the option to ‘buy’ the digital 100 if you think the index will be above the stated price, or ‘sell’ if you think it won’t.

The price of a digital 100 ranges from 0 to 100. Given market behaviour and the time until the digital 100 expires, this price is a reflection of our view on the probability of the event occurring. The more likely we think it is that the event will occur, the closer the price will be to 100.

If the digital 100 statement is true (eg if the market is at or above a specified level at expiry), the price settles at 100. If it isn’t true (eg if the market is below the specified level), it settles at 0. The difference between the digital 100’s final price (100 or 0) and your initial outlay (between 0 and 100), times your position size, will determine your profit or loss, excluding other costs.

Always bear in mind that trading incurs significant risk. It’s important to understand the risks involved, and to consider whether you can afford the potential monetary losses.

Get a risk-free online trading account

One of the best ways to learn more about online trading is to open a risk-free demo account with us.

Our demo accounts simulate the live market environment found in our award-winning trading platform,1 giving you access to over 13,000 markets, including:

  • Shares
  • ETFs
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • Forex

Trading in a virtual market will allow you to explore, experiment and learn with confidence. Our demo accounts come with a pre-set balance of $200,000 in virtual funds. By recreating the dynamics of ‘real’ trading, you get the opportunity to see how our products and financial markets work – all without putting any capital at risk.

Even experienced traders can use demo accounts to test new strategies, tools or ideas, safe in the knowledge that your experiments won’t result in any real-world losses.

Explore the markets you can trade online

Our online trading platform offers low spreads, exclusive opportunities to trade 24/7, and out-of-hours trading on 70+ leading US shares. It also gives you access to thousands of popular local and international markets.2

Below, you can see what markets you can trade using CFDs.

How to trade online - Trading

Our markets include:

  • Shares
  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • Currencies
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • ETFs

Shares like those of Lloyds, Apple and Tesla are a popular security to trade. As a representation of a unit of ownership in a company, shares appreciate or depreciate in value – ie in price – in step with supply and demand, often linked to a company’s performance. If market demand for a stock increases due to strong earnings, the share price will increase, and vice versa.

When trading with us, you have access to over 16,000 shares, including those of leading UK, US and international companies.

An index like the FTSE 100 or S&P 500 measures the performance of a selection of the market’s most influential stocks. Indices are traded via derivatives, because there is no underlying asset to own. Similar to ETFs, indices can also track the performance of economic subsectors and individual markets.

We provide over 80 indices to trade, including more 24-hour indices than any other provider.2, 3

A commodity can be defined as a raw material used in the production of goods or services. By trading CFDs, you can speculate on the price of commodities like gold, silver, oil, wheat and sugar without ever taking delivery of a physical product.

Trade on commodity prices directly with spot and futures CFDs, or indirectly through share and ETF CFDs. We also offer options CFDs on select commodities as an opt-in. Keep your costs down with spreads from just 2.8 points on Brent Crude and 0.3 on gold.

Foreign exchange, or forex, is the world’s most-traded financial market – in fact, currency transactions worth trillions of dollars occur daily. Whereas some people exchange currency for trade and travel, forex trading is often undertaken with the aim of earning a profit.

Our forex markets offer 24-hour trading, high liquidity and a wide range of major, minor, exotic and regional pairs. You can trade forex by using CFDs to access the spot, futures or options markets.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that operate through a system of peer-to-peer transaction checks, rather than a central server. When cryptocurrencies are bought and sold, the transactions are added to the blockchain – a shared digital ledger which records data.

With us, you’ll trade cryptos like Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and more by speculating on their price movements via CFDs. When trading CFDs, you can go long (‘buy’) if you think a cryptocurrency will rise in value or go short (‘sell’) if you think it will fall.

An exchange traded fund (ETF) tracks the overall performance of an index, economic sector or individual market. They work by either actually purchasing the basket of assets they’re tracking or by using sophisticated investment strategies to mimic the movement of the underlying market.

You can trade over 5,400 international ETFs using CFDs, including stock index ETFs, currency ETFs, sector ETFs (like energy, agriculture and healthcare) and market ETFs (like gold and commodities).

Get into the daily habits of a trader

In addition to using our demo account to learn more about financial markets and derivatives, ongoing and thorough research is fundamental to intelligent trading. Good trading strategies rely on understanding market dynamics and the correct interpretation of market signals – skills which can only be acquired by making use of reliable educational content – like IG Academy.

Read reliable and trustworthy sources

Like most things in life worth attaining, a bit of effort is required when trying to come to grips with the details of financial markets and financial instruments.

Learning new terms and understanding the logic underpinning their place in the world of trading won’t happen overnight – so it’s important to set time aside to read, read and read some more.

Whereas we offer a wealth of resources, including strategy and news articles, a handy glossary of trading terms, and a full educational series in the form of IG Academy, you can also look to respected industry sources for help and information. Here are some of our recommendations:

Watch and listen to content produced by knowledgeable experts

Of course, reading isn’t the only way to access quality information. Many financial experts understand the pressures of time, and have produced accessible podcasts and video content to supplement the literature available on the web. Do be careful about who you use as a trusted source, however: the internet is awash with opinions, ‘hot’ tips and – let’s face it – patently incorrect info.

For multimedia content, we recommend:

Learn more about fundamental and technical analyses

Fundamental and technical analyses are two different ways of interpreting and forecasting markets. Traders rarely rely exclusively on one or the other, and neither can forecast market movements with absolute precision or infallibility.

Fundamental analysis

Fundamental analysis looks to a range of factors to arrive at an estimation of a share’s true or ‘intrinsic value’. This value is what the analyst believes the price of a share should be. If this price deviates from the current market price, a profit stands to be made should the market move towards this ‘true’ value.

Fundamental analysis will look to macroeconomic factors, sector performance indicators and industry news, along with information gleaned from publicly available income statements and balance sheets, to arrive at a stock valuation.

If this valuation is, for example, under the current market price – it is argued – the market price will adjust over time so that the stock is correctly valued. In this case, an astute trader could short the stock and earn a profit from the price decrease.

Technical analysis

Technical analysis adopts the point of view that markets show discernible patterns, and that these patterns can be used to predict future movements. It will look to historical data and employ a wide variety of statistical techniques to identify these patterns and forecast market trends.

Analysts using technical indicators like Bollinger Bands, the relative strength index (RSI) and the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) believe that vital market information is contained within these indicators.

Learn more about trading styles and trading strategies

What is a trading style?

Your trading style is dependent on your holding period, trading volume and risk preferences. The holding period can be for the long, medium and short term, and simply refers to the duration between opening and closing a position.

Your preferred trading volume is determined by the time you can allocate to executing trades. And, the amount of capital you risk per trade, along with the risk profile of the share or market, will also be a factor in defining your trading style.

Trading style Timeframe Holding period Trading volume Further resources
Position trading Long term Weeks, months or years Low Learn more
Swing trading Medium term Days to weeks Medium Learn more
Day trading Short term Intraday High Learn more
Scalping Very short term Seconds to minutes Very high Learn more

What is a trading strategy?

Closely related to trading styles, trading strategies are defined by the range of factors you look to when deciding whether to open or close a position. Many well-known strategies rely on technical analysis and use technical indicators as trading signals. A strategy is a very specific methodology for defining at which price points you will enter and exit trades.

Trading strategy Core characteristics Further resources
Trend trading Used for medium and long-term positions. Attempts to identify market trends (rising or falling) and adopts long or short positions. Good for position and swing trading styles. Learn more
Range trading Used for short and very short-term positions. Traders look to trade on price oscillations that occur within a range between known ‘support’ and ‘resistance’ levels. Good for day and scalping trading. Learn more
Breakout trading Used for short and medium term positions. Prices ‘breaking out’ of a normal range of fluctuations are used as signals to open positions. Good for day and swing trading. Learn more
Reversal trading Can last varying amounts of time. Based on identifying reversal points in current up or downward trends. A reversal marks a key turning point in market sentiment. Good for position and swing trading. Learn more

Spend a day in the life of a trader

To further your knowledge about best practices, learn how professionals approach their daily trading routine. This will offer insight into research habits, trading styles and trading strategies, general market behaviour and even personal philosophies.

Here’s a brief summary of a few key points to consider:

  • Even before markets open, traders plan their day to ensure that they remain disciplined and emotionally unreactive when trading. Remaining detached allows for decisions based on solid economic rationale rather than unfounded optimism or fear. In turn, this prevents risky, impulsive or overly cautious behaviour
  • Early trading – when stock markets open – is often characterised by volatility and liquidity. This is because the market opening gives investors the opportunity to act on information and news coming from international and overnight markets. Many traders use the early market as an indicator of the market sentiment to be expected later in the day
  • After markets close, professionals will assess their trades and recap the day’s market behaviour. They do this to gain insight into prevailing market sentiment, volatility and liquidity, but also to review their own trades. By analysing each decision and its consequences, a trader can refine and hone their skills
  • Out-of-market hours events, either occurring locally or internationally, could have profound impacts on markets when they re-open. Traders must have an awareness of market-related news at all hours
  • Traders may engage in night trading to access international markets, and even work Saturdays and Sundays to gain exposure to weekend markets. Opportunities could arise at any moment, and professionals need to be agile and responsive

Practise online trading until you’re ready to open a live account

Use our demo to continue practising until you feel confident enough to engage in actual trades on our award-winning platform.1 Because the demo simulates the live environment, you’ll be familiar with the platform when you create your live account.

Note that while we don’t offer a practice account for share dealing, your live account can be opened for no minimum deposit.


What is online trading?

Online trading is a popular way to gain exposure to the world’s leading financial markets through derivatives like CFDs. When trading online, you’ll speculate exclusively on the price movements of an underlying asset without ever taking ownership.

This is because derivative instruments are designed to track the price of the asset on which they are based, and you can trade both rising and falling markets by ‘going long’ or ‘going short’.

How can I learn to trade online?

Financial markets are complex, so it takes time and effort to learn how to trade online effectively. We offer several high-quality educational resources to help you better understand the dynamics of online trading and the many risks involved.

For example, IG Academy is designed to provide traders of all levels of experience with accessible and accurate information about how financial markets work and how to trade using spread bets and CFDs.

Can I practise online trading?

Yes, you can practise trading online by signing up for a demo account. Our demo accounts simulate the live market environment found in our award-winning trading platform, giving you access to over 13,000 markets, including:

  • Shares
  • ETFs
  • Indices
  • Commodities
  • Forex
  • Cryptocurrencies

Our demo accounts come with $200,000 in virtual funds, which will allow you to experiment and learn with confidence. Without putting any actual capital at risk, you can recreate the dynamics of ‘real’ trading.

How can I learn more about the ways to trade CFDs?

You can learn more about how to trade online using CFDs by using our website as a resource. This can be done by working through the many informative pages addressing the various must-knows of CFD trading.

Resources for CFDs:

How can I learn more about the markets to trade online?

You can learn more about the markets to trade online by using our website as a resource. This can be done by working through the many informative pages addressing the various must-knows of the financial markets we’ve made available to traders. Read more about:

Try these next

Start trading over 70 US markets out of hours

Take a position on over 16,000 shares and ETFs

No exchange account? No problem. Go long or short on bitcoin with CFDs.

1 Based on the Investment Trends 2018 Singapore CFD & FX Report based on a survey of over 4,500 traders and investors. Awarded the Best Online Trading Platform by Influential Brands in 2021. Awarded the best forex provider in Singapore by the Global Brands Magazine in 2021. Awarded the best retail FX provider for Asia by FX Markets in 2021.
2 Where indicated, indices are available for dealing 24 hours a day, between 23:02 Sunday and 22:15 Friday (London time) each week. This will be between 07:02 Monday and 06:15 Saturday (Singapore time) on non-Daylight Savings periods and between 06:02 Monday and 05:15 Saturday (Singapore time) during Daylight Saving periods. Other indices are offered only when the underlying market is open. Please ask dealers for information about public holidays.
3 We offer 81 indices markets for CFD trading.