How to trade CFDs

Introducing our trading platform

IG has developed its own trading platform, which is:

  • Browser-based, meaning no downloads are required
  • Fully customisable
  • Consistently fast and reliable
  • Full of features, information and analysis tools

CFDs are a leveraged product and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit.

Placing a CFD trade using our trading platform

Let's say you think BT's share price is likely to rise soon. You decide to trade shares in BT as a CFD, so log into our trading platform to see the prices we're offering.

Finding prices

To check the live prices for BT, you can use the finder. Either use the inbuilt navigation tree, or start typing the market’s name – a dropdown menu will automatically show all the markets that match. Selecting the market you want will import it into the ‘prices’ panel.

In the 'prices' section you'll see the current bid and offer prices, in the 'Sell' and 'Buy' columns respectively. You'll also see other useful information, such as the market's net change on the day, and the day's highest and lowest prices. If there's a date under the 'period' column, this is when your trade will expire. if there's a dash instead, your position will stay open until you choose to close it.

Let's say you're happy to trade on the current price. Click on the green button next to that market - or on the market name itself - and a deal ticket will pop up.

The deal ticket

The deal ticket is pre-populated with the current prices. The bid price is in the 'Sell' box, and the offer is in the 'Buy' box. The prices constantly update, so you can choose to keep an eye on the ticket waiting for the right price.

Let's say you want to buy 6000 BT shares as a CFD. At the moment, BT is trading at 199.00/199.50. The price we quote for shares is always the same as the stock exchange's price. You decide to open your trade at the offer price of 199.50.

Next, you can specify the number of contracts you want to trade. Remember that the contract price depends on the market you're trading.

Just as if you were trading regular shares, we charge a commission. Our standard commission for UK and Australian shares is just 0.1%.

This means that your opening commission is:

0.1/100 x 6000 shares x 199.50 = £11.97

The bottom half of the deal ticket allows you to add more advanced instructions, but we won't talk about those at this point.

Once you open your trade, you'll receive a confirmation message to show that it has been accepted. Trades are occasionally rejected, but the vast majority go through without any problems. Check the details on your confirmation message carefully to make sure the trade is as you intended.

Calculating your profit/loss

Your open trade will now appear in the 'open positions' pane in our trading platform. All the time your position is open, you'll be able to see your profit or loss by checking the profit/loss column.

Let's say that in a few days' time, BT's stock has risen, as you'd hoped. You decide to close your position and collect your profits. To do this, you simply sell the same number of contracts as you bought initially.

The simplest way of doing this is to bring up a 'close position' screen by clicking on the green button or market name of the position in the 'open positions' pane. When you click on 'sell', you'll receive another confirmation to let you know that you've sold that number of contracts.

Trading platform features

Our trading platform, has been designed to be user friendly and intuitive. It is also fully customisable, so while we have structured the various features' default settings in a useful way, you can easily rearrange the panels as best suits you.

Across the top of the platform you will find a series of tabs. You can click these to reveal or conceal a number of panels:



The finder panel enables you to quickly locate a particular market among the thousands we offer. There’s no need to navigate through endless screens to find what you’re looking for.


The prices panel shows you the live quoted prices for any markets you are interested in. The panel is deselected by default, but will open automatically when you click on a market in the finder panel.


The watchlists panel displays a list of popular markets as default. Once you get going, you can create personalised watchlists and view these separately. When a watchlist is created and saved, it is added to the dropdown menu.

Open positions

The open positions panel lists any positions you presently have open. You can clearly see which ones are in profit and which are in loss, details of stops and limits you have in place, and you can also see live quoted prices in case you want to make any edits.

Working orders

If you have set any orders to open or close positions at particular prices, you’ll see these orders listed in the working orders panel.


Our charts

Charts are a popular trading tool for new and experienced traders. We offer a range of charting packages to suit your level of expertise.

You can view the latest performance chart for any market you’re interested in while logged in to the platform – just click on the chart icon to the right of the market name and choose the time period you want to view.

You can find out more about our charts offering in our technical analysis module.


As an IG client, you have free access to the powerful Autochartist pattern recognition software. Autochartist monitors market performance and automatically identifies potential trading opportunities based on pre-determined patterns and behaviours.

trade from Charts

Our IG Trade from charts application integrates our trading and charting technology and enables you to place orders directly from the charts themselves.

Simply 'drag and drop' opening orders onto your charts and you’ll be able to adjust them with the click of a mouse. The orders are displayed as lines and are activated when crossed. This means that when a market passes the level you’ve specified, your order will be activated and your position opened.

You’ll be able to see any orders you placed using Trade from Charts in the orders to open panel of the trading platform. Similarly, your orders to close will also appear on the Trade from Chart, and can be edited there.

Features of Trade from Charts include:

Full customisation
Our Trade from Charts package has the same full range of technical indicators and tools as our main charting service. Our charts are also fully customisable to your preferences – you can use them to close positions and attach stops and limits to your existing positions and working orders. You can also see your stops and limits illustrated within the charts.

Advanced charts
Trade from Charts are available to all account holders when you subscribe to our ProRealTime package. Just activate the feature in the 'my account' area of the platform, then open the standalone charting package. There is a special Trade from Charts help section in our trading platform, accessed through the tools menu.