Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% 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.

Benefits of spread betting

Take your capital further by spread betting – you’ll get a range of benefits including leverage, going long or short on thousands of markets and tax-free trading.*

Start trading today. Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccountenquiries.uk@ig.com. We’re available from 8am to 6pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.

Contact us: 0800 195 3100

Start trading today. Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccountenquiries.uk@ig.com. We’re available from 8am to 6pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.

Contact us: 0800 195 3100

Advantages of spread betting

Spread betting appeals to a range of traders, both beginner and professional alike, because it enables them to:

  1. Make capital go further with leverage
  2. Go short or long
  3. Profit without paying tax or stamp duty*
  4. Trade a huge range of markets
  5. Hedge a share portfolio
  6. Access out-of-hours trading
  7. Trade without paying commission

Make capital go further with leverage

Spread betting takes your capital further due to leverage. You can get full exposure, with just a small initial deposit – known as the margin. So, let’s say that you want to place a bet equivalent to £1000 of Apple shares that has a margin rate of 20%, then you would only have to put down £200.

It’s important to note that your profit and loss are calculated using the full size of your position, not just the margin. This means leveraged trading could magnify your profits as well as your losses. This is why you should never risk more than you can afford to lose, and manage your risk.

Spread bet Share deal
You deposit £200 £1000
Your Apple position rises to £1025 You make £25, or 12.5% You make £25, or 2.5%
Your Apple position falls to £975 You lose £25, or 12.5% You lose £25, or 2.5%

Go short or long

When you spread bet, you can take advantage of markets that decline in price, as well as those that increase. This is because you are betting on the direction in which an asset’s price will move, rather than buying the asset itself.

So, if you believe a market is going to rise in price, you would open a ‘long’ position, and if you believe a market is going to fall in price, you would ‘go short’.

Discover the differences between spread betting and share dealing.

For example, if you opened a short position on the FTSE 100, you would trade at the ‘sell’ price on your dealing platform. A short spread bet for £5 per point of movement would mean that for every point the FTSE moves downwards you’ll earn £5. But for every point that the FTSE moves up, you’ll lose £5.

Discover how to spread bet and see more examples.

Profit without paying tax or stamp duty

When you spread bet, any profits are yours to keep because they are exempt from capital gains tax – unlike when you invest in shares. And since you never actually own the underlying asset, you won’t have to pay stamp duty either.*

Trade a huge range of markets

You can spread bet on over 17,000 markets including shares, forex, indices, commodities and more – all via a single login.

Hedge a share portfolio

Hedging can be a great way to offset risk, or at least limit losses to a known amount. You can hedge your share portfolio by spread betting on an asset that tends to move in a different direction to the shares that you own.

For example, if you own shares in an oil producing company but falling oil prices were causing the company’s share price to suffer, you could open a short position on oil to hedge your risk. This would mean that any loss to one position would be offset by profit to the other.

Access out-of-hours trading

Trading hours vary by market. For example, while shares and commodities trade when their underlying exchange is open, forex can be traded 24 hours a day.

When you spread bet with us, you can also trade out of hours on key indices like the FTSE 100, Wall Street and Germany 30 – alongside the popular currency pair GBP/USD. We also offer ‘all sessions’ trading on key US shares, so that you can trade both pre and post-market sessions.

It’s important to note that a market’s opening price may differ from its out-of-hours price – so your position may be adjusted.

Trade without paying commission

You won’t pay commission when spread betting, as the cost of opening your position is covered in the spread – the difference between the buy and sell prices you’ll see in your platform. And with us, you’ll get competitively low spreads across a wide range of markets.

Discover our costs and charges.

There could be other charges to pay once your position is open, such as overnight funding charges.

FAQs

You can hold a spread bet open until the expiry date that you have chosen. All spread bets do have a fixed timescale but this can be from a day to several months, depending on your preference. You’re free to close your position at any time before the date of expiry.

IG makes money from the spread, which are the two prices that we wrap around the underlying market price. The cost of any spread bet is factored into these two prices – called the offer and bid prices – so you’ll always buy slightly higher than the market price and sell slightly below it.

Find out more about how IG makes money.

Bet sizes in spread betting are the amount of capital that you’re putting up per unit of movement of the underlying market. You can choose your bet size, as long as it is above the minimum required for the market.

You don’t need any specialist software to start spread betting: once you open your spread betting account, you can trade via your web browser, mobile phone or tablet. All your open positions and watchlists will stay the same across all of our platforms and apps, so you can take your trading with you anywhere.

And if you’re looking for more advanced technology, you can access tools like ProRealTime and MetaTrader 4 to give an extra edge to your trading.

Find out more about all our platforms and apps.

Develop your spread betting knowledge with IG

Find out more about spread betting and test yourself with IG Academy’s range of online courses.

Develop your spread betting knowledge with IG

Find out more about spread betting and test yourself with IG Academy’s range of online courses.

Try these next...

Discover the differences between spread betting and CFD trading

Learn about risk management tools including stops and limits

Browser-based desktop trading and native apps for all devices

* Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.