A financial spread bet enables you to take a position on whether an underlying market will rise or fall in value. You never own the asset itself, and because spread betting is a leveraged product, you only need to put a fraction of the full value of the trade – or the ‘margin’ – to gain full exposure. All spread bets come with a fixed expiry date.
Share dealing allows you to buy shares for their full value, offering a way to hold them for as long as you like and enjoy shareholder privileges. Unlike spread betting, you’ll have to pay stamp duty on each trade and capital gains tax on any profits, except those protected in a tax-free stocks and shares ISA or SIPP.