Skip to content

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% 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. 69% 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.

Trading Mistakes: over-leveraging

IG financial analyst Axel Rudolph explains the importance of not risking too much of your capital at any given time.

Video poster image

(Video summary)

How to safeguard your capital in trading

In this video, IG analyst, Axel Rudolph tells IGTV's Angeline Ong how important it is to manage the risks involved in trading. He recommends that traders only risk a maximum of about 3% of their total capital per trade. For example, if someone has £10,000 set aside for trading, they should only risk up to £300 on each trade.

However, he says that many people tend to risk much larger amounts, like £1,000 per trade. Axel emphasises that trading with smaller amounts is really important because most trading platforms only require traders to provide a small percentage of the total value of the assets being traded. The rest, around 95%, is provided by the broker. This allows traders to have the potential for big gains, but it also means that they can lose a lot of money quickly.

Maximising profits and minimising losses

To protect against this risk, Axel recommends that traders think about their capital as a percentage and trade accordingly. Even if someone risks what seems like a low percentage, like 10% (£1,000 in their example), if they lose a bunch of trades in a row, they can end up losing a huge chunk of their capital. For example, if five trades in a row go wrong, the trader would have lost 50% of their capital and would need to make a 100% return just to break even. Axel compares this to gambling in a casino, where consecutive losses can happen. The more someone gambles or trades, the higher the chances of experiencing these kinds of losses.

The main message here is that trading with smaller amounts and managing risk is crucial in order to avoid potentially devastating losses and give oneself the best chance for success in trading in the long term. So, it's really important to be careful and not risk too much on each trade.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Start trading forex today

Find opportunity on the world’s most-traded – and most-volatile – financial market.

  • Trade spreads from just 0.6 points on EUR/USD
  • Analyse with clear, fast charts
  • Speculate wherever you are with our intuitive mobile apps

See an FX opportunity?

Try a risk-free trade in your demo account, and see whether you’re onto something.

  • Log in to your demo
  • Take your position
  • See whether your hunch pays off

See an FX opportunity?

Don’t miss your chance – upgrade to a live account to take advantage.

  • Get spreads from just 0.6 points on popular pairs
  • Analyse and deal seamlessly on fast, intuitive charts
  • See and react to breaking news in-platform

See an FX opportunity?

Don’t miss your chance. Log in to take your position.

Live prices on most popular markets

  • Equities
  • Indices
  • Forex
  • Commodities
website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All share prices are delayed by at least 15 minutes.

" >


Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All share prices are delayed by at least 15 minutes.

Prices above are subject to our website terms and agreements. Prices are indicative only. All shares prices are delayed by at least 15 mins.

Plan your trading week

Get the week’s market-moving news sent directly to your inbox every Sunday. The Week Ahead gives you a full calendar of upcoming economic events, as well as commentary from our expert analysts on the key markets to watch.


For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of spread betting and CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.