Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% 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. 71% 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 in the UK: everything you need to know

New to the world of trading? From how trading works to the markets you can speculate on, here you'll discover all the trading need-to-knows to start you off on the right foot.

Call 0800 195 3100 or send us an email with any questions about opening a trading or investment account between 8am and 6pm (UK time) on weekdays.

Contact us 0800 195 3100

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Call 0800 409 6789 or email helpdesk.uk@ig.com if you have any questions about trading or investing. We're available 24/7 between 8am Saturday and 10pm Friday.

Contact us 0800 409 6789

Call 0800 195 3100 or send us an email with any questions about opening a trading or investment account between 8am and 6pm (UK time) on weekdays.

Contact us 0800 195 3100

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Call 0800 409 6789 or email helpdesk.uk@ig.com if you have any questions about trading or investing. We're available 24/7 between 8am Saturday and 10pm Friday.

Contact us 0800 409 6789

Trading essentials

Trading is the act of buying and selling financial assets for the purpose of making profit. You predict the price movement of the underlying asset by going long or short; and make a profit if your position is accurate. Many people use the terms 'trading' and 'investing' interchangableably but there's a difference.

Investing is when you buy and own an asset. Trading is when you use a financial instrument called a derivative – like spread bets and CFDs – to speculate on an asset’s price movements – without owning the asset.

Trading products in the UK

Spread betting

Trade rising or falling markets by betting an amount of capital per point of market movement with spread betting.

CFD trading

Exchange the difference in price between opening the position and closing it using a contract for difference (CFD).

Investment products in the UK

Share dealing

Buy and own company stocks with a share dealing account. You can choose from over 12,000 leading UK and international shares to invest in and earn dividends.

Smart Portfolios

Get exposure to diverse global markets with an expertly managed fund tailored to your risk profile with an IG Smart Portfolio.

Markets and assets to trade in the UK

Shares

Shares are units of ownership in a company. You can earn profit by investing in the stocks and selling them at a higher price. When trading, you can also profit when prices fall.

Indices

Trade indices to get exposure to the world’s biggest stock markets – from the Dow Jones and the FTSE 100, to the Hang Seng Index.

ETFs

ETFs, known as exchange traded funds, are investment baskets that track the value of an individual commodity as well as a collection of stocks.

Forex

Forex trading involves speculating on the price of one currency against another. You trade on movements in the market price between currencies

Commodities

Commodities are physical goods bought and sold on exchanges, like stocks. There are different types of categories of commodities, from agriculture and energy to minerals.

Thematic and basket

Thematic and basket trading is a process of forming a portfolio based on trends and taking a position on a group of stocks simultaneously that are part of a theme.

IPOs

An IPO is a process for private companies to be traded publicly. With us, you can trade or invest in the shares of the company before, during and after they’re listed on the stock exchange.

Bonds

Bond trading involves buying and selling corporate and government bonds. You trade on the actual prices of the bond sold on the secondary market.

Interest rates

Interest rates are the value charged on the borrower of a loan of an asset, indicated as a percentage. You can trade three interest rates with us.

Live market prices for UK traders

Trade what you want, when you want, with us. Our innovative platform enables you to set alerts on the most popular markets and receive notifications about market events – as they happen. We offer more than 17,000 markets to trade. You won’t find that anywhere else.

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Out of hours market prices

Get access to a range of trading opportunities after hours when the market has closed. We offer the longest trading hours for key markets like US stocks, the FTSE 100, Dow Jones, DAX, Hang Seng, GBP/USD, EUR/USD and USD/JPY.

This period generally features a lot of volatility in prices because trading volumes after hours tend to be modest.

While there exists the potential to make a profit when other investors are not active, there’s risk in trading after hours due to reduced liquidity, a wider spread and volatility in the market.

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Trading strategies and styles you need to know

Trading strategies

Discover several trading strategies and styles you can use when speculating on price movements. Analyse the market and track emerging trends to tailor your position for a particular strategy to get the best results

Learn more about trading strategies

Day trading strategies

Choose the best strategy to buy and sell stocks within a short time frame, usually in a single trading day. Traders speculate on asset prices, executing trades multiple times to take advantage of market movements in a day

Learn more about day trading

Scalping trading strategies

Learn more about four scalping strategies that take advantage of small price changes. You open a trade and close it the moment that profit is made to lower exposure to risk

Learn more about scalping

Swing trading strategies

A swing trading strategy involves taking a position that lasts for a couple of days. You’ll make profit or potential loss depending on how much the price moves in line with the prevailing trend

Learn more about swing trading

Best position trading strategies

Position trading involves taking a long-term position on an asset and keeping it open for long. You can trade or invest using position trading strategies when you spot a trend developing

Learn more about position trading

Free trading resources for UK traders

  • Learn how financial trading works by going through our comprehensive tools and resources available on
    IG Academy
  • You can open a free demo account to practise and discover the best trading strategies that work before you move to a live account
  • Beginners and seasoned traders can act on trading signals that describe emerging chart patterns and key levels on a range of markets
  • You can customise trading alerts to receive automatic notifications when prices reach your specified targets

FAQs

How do I start trading?

To get started trading, you need to understand the tools and platform you will use. Luckily, you can use resources from IG Academy to learn everything you need to know about trading and practise how to place a trade on our demo account in a risk-free environment.

How can beginners learn to trade?

Beginners can learn how to trade on our demo account that features all of the markets that you can speculate on live. You will be credited with £10,000 in virtual funds to take your first position.

What are the best trading platforms?

We offer the UK’s best platform and app.1 Our platform has a user-friendly interface and fast response time, including on different programmes we offer like MT4, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer.

How can I start trading stocks and shares?

There are two ways to start trading company stocks: by buying and owning shares through a share dealing account, or by trading them with spread bets and CFDs. You can do both with us.

How can I start trading forex and currencies?

You can trade forex and currencies with us through spread betting or CFD trading accounts, on the spot price, with forwards or options.

Try these next

Learn more about how spread bets work when trading

Find out how to trade CFDs on our platform

Learn about the differences between spread bets and CFDs

1 Best trading platform as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2021 and Professional Trader Awards 2019. Best trading app as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2021.