Long position definition

What is a long position?

A long position describes the process of buying an asset with the expectation that the price of the underlying will rise. It is also known as ‘going long’ or ‘taking a long position’, and long positions are often opened by bullish traders with an optimistic market outlook.

Learn how CFD trading works

Find out more about CFD trading, including what the spread is and how leverage works.

How to take a long position

If you’re looking to go long, you would open your trade at the offer (buy) price. A long position can either be opened by investing directly in the underlying asset, or by using financial derivatives such as CFDs or spread bets.

When investing in an asset directly, you will take ownership of it. As a result, you need the price to rise in order to realise a profit.

CFDs and spread bets are different because you never take direct ownership of the underlying asset, meaning they can be used to go both long and short. With a long CFD trade or spread bet, you would expect the price of an asset to rise and the extent to which your prediction is correct will determine your profit or loss.

Discover the differences between investing and trading

Long vs short positions

A short position is the opposite to a long position. You’d go short if you believe that the price of the underlying asset will decrease.

When you open a short position with CFDs or spread bets, you are effectively speculating that the market will fall in price. The extent to which the market agrees with your prediction determines your profit or loss.

Learn more about short-selling assets

Build your trading knowledge

Discover how to trade with IG Academy, using our series of interactive courses, webinars and seminars.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - Y

See all glossary trading terms

Help and support

Get answers about your account or our services.

Get answers

Or ask about opening an account on 0800 195 3100 or newaccounts.uk@ig.com.

We're here 24hrs a day from 8am Saturday to 10pm Friday.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.