CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 66% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 66% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

How to trade shares

Discover how to trade in shares with our market-leading offering – and take your position today.

Call 010 344 0051 or email helpdesk.za@ig.com to talk about opening a trading account. We're here 24 hours a day from 9am Saturday to 11pm Friday.

Contact us: 010 344 0053

Call 010 344 0051 or email helpdesk.za@ig.com to talk about opening a trading account. We're here 24 hours a day from 9am Saturday to 11pm Friday.

Contact us: 010 344 0053

If you’re ready to open a position on a share, here are three steps to follow:

1. Decide how you want to trade

Use leveraged products like CFDs to trade stocks.

2. Select your opportunity

Choose from over 16,000 international CFDs on shares and ETFs.

3. Take your positiion

Create a trading account and take your first position.

Or if you’d like to learn more about share trading, read our in-depth guide below.

How to trade shares in South Africa

  1. Learn how the stock market works
  2. Discover how to trade shares
  3. Build a share trading plan
  4. Choose a share or ETF to rade
  5. Understand the risks and charges
  6. Open a share trading account
  7. Find a stock trading opportunity
  8. Open, monitor and close your first position

Learn how the stock market works

The stock market refers to the collection of markets and exchanges where shares in publicly traded companies are bought and sold. The buying and selling of stocks works in a similar way to any other marketplace, where parties negotiate a price at which to exchange an asset.

Institutions known as stock exchanges facilitate the trading of publicly listed shares. To be listed on a stock exchange, companies often undergo an initial public offering (IPO). Once shares have been made available to the public, individual and institutional investors can start trading them.

You’d buy a company’s shares if you believe it will experience strong growth. To earn a profit, you’d then need to sell them at a higher price. If, on the other hand, you believe that a company is going to experience difficulties that could affect its share price, you may decide to sell your shares to lock-in your current profit or limit any potential future losses.

Learn more about shares

What moves the price of shares?

Before it goes public through an IPO, a company’s shares will have a set price range – often determined by the underwriter of the IPO (normally a large bank). This range will be set according to the anticipated interest in the listing, as well as the company’s fundamentals – including its revenues, its products, and its existing popularity.

Once the IPO has completed, fluctuations in the share price are caused by changes in the supply of and demand for the stock. If supply is higher than demand, the share price could fall; if demand is higher than supply, the share price could rise.

There is always a limited supply of shares in a company. It may make the decision to issue more shares, or to buy shares back from shareholders to reduce the supply, but the number of shares outstanding is always known.

There are a number of reasons that the demand for a share can fluctuate over time, including:

  • Earnings reports. Companies usually release interim reports on their financial performance once every quarter and a full report once a year. These influence the company’s share price as traders and investors use figures including revenue, profit and earnings per share (EPS) as part of their fundamental analysis
  • Macroeconomic data. The state of the economy a company operates in will affect its growth. Data releases such as gross domestic product (GDP) and retail sales can have a significant influence on company share prices – strong data can cause them to rise, while weak data can cause them to fall
  • Interest rates. if interest rates are low, the stock market might see increased activity – despite the previous factors mentioned here. That’s because more people could turn to stocks and shares to achieve greater returns than they might otherwise be able to if they saved their money in a bank account
  • Market sentiment. Share price movements aren’t always based on fundamental analysis. The view that the public, as well as market participants, have on a particular stock can also cause demand to fluctuate. This is how speculative bubbles are formed
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When you create a trading account with us, you’ll be able to:

  • ‘Buy’ (go long on) or ‘sell’ (go short on) over 16,000 international shares to speculate on their price rising and falling
  • ‘Buy’ or ‘sell’ our range of ETFs to get exposure to a basket of shares from an entire country, index or sector
  • ‘Buy’ or ‘sell’ a host of global indices – including the South Africa 40 (South Africa 40, CAC (France 40) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Wall Street) – to speculate on the performance of an entire economy with a single trade.

How to trade stock CFDs out of hours

We’ve got a market-leading-out-of-hours offering on over 70 key US shares CFD. Because volatility doesn’t wait for the main market session, you’ll be able to trade the pre-market open and post-market close.

How to trade shares with direct market access (DMA)

DMA is available with CFD trading, and it lets you open a position directly through the order book of an exchange – giving you deep liquidity, full market visibility and advanced execution.

Our DMA platform is called L2 Dealer, and it gives you access to Level 1 and Level 2 pricing data. Level 1 data will give you the pricing direct from an exchange, while Level 2 will also show the exchange’s order book.

Discover how to trade shares

With us, you can trade stocks by speculating on a share’s price movements with derivatives like CFDs.

With CFDs, you can enjoy tight spreads and limit your maximum risk by setting a guaranteed stop-loss1 before opening your position. CFDs can also be used to hedge your equity portfolio against future losses.

CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you won’t need to commit the full value of the position upfront – just a deposit, known as margin. But, bear in mind that leverage can increase both your profits and your losses.

With CFDs you can ‘buy’ (go long on) the shares if you think the stock price will rise, or you can ‘sell’ (go short on) the shares if you think the price will fall.

Shorting with derivatives can be an effective way to hedge against downward price movements in your non-leveraged investment portfolio, or it can be a way to generate profits outright from shares that are falling in value.

However, please note that short-selling is a high risk trading method because share prices can keep rising – theoretically without limit. This means that when taking a short position, you stand to incur unlimited losses. If you are using derivatives, you can attach stops to your positions to protect yourself.

When you create a trading account with us, you’ll be able to:

  • ‘Buy’ (go long on) or ‘sell’ (go short on) over 16,000 international shares to speculate on their price rising and falling
  • ‘Buy’ or ‘sell’ our range of ETFs to get exposure to a basket of shares from an entire country, index or sector
  • ‘Buy’ or ‘sell’ a host of global indices – including the South Africa 40 (South Africa 40, CAC (France 40) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Wall Street) – to speculate on the performance of an entire economy with a single trade.

How to trade stock CFDs out of hours

We’ve got a market-leading-out-of-hours offering on over 70 key US shares CFD. Because volatility doesn’t wait for the main market session, you’ll be able to trade the pre-market open and post-market close.

How to trade shares with direct market access (DMA)

DMA is available with CFD trading, and it lets you open a position directly through the order book of an exchange – giving you deep liquidity, full market visibility and advanced execution.

Our DMA platform is called L2 Dealer, and it gives you access to Level 1 and Level 2 pricing data. Level 1 data will give you the pricing direct from an exchange, while Level 2 will also show the exchange’s order book.

A good trading plan can be hugely beneficial to your stock trading, as it will outline exactly what your aims are, how much capital you have at your disposal and what your appetite for risk is.

The aim of a trading plan is to take the emotion out of your decision-making, as well as providing some structure for when you open and close your positions.

Every trader will have a different preference for the share opportunities they choose. For example, some people prefer the lower risks associated with established blue-chip stocks, while others might prefer to speculate on more volatile shares, like those found in the energy sector.

We’ve got over 16,000 international stocks and ETFs for you to choose from. If you’re looking for inspiration for a stock to take a position on, consider using our stocks screener tool.

When you’re choosing a stock, its important that you carry out your own due diligence on a company. You should use both fundamental and technical analysis when assessing a company’s financials and potential future share price performance.

  • Technical analysis is concerned with chart patterns, technical indicators and historical price action.
  • Fundamental analysis is based on a company’s financial metrics, including its net revenue, earnings calls, or profit and loss statements.

When trading CFDs on stocks, you’ll be charged a commission instead of a spread. There are other costs to consider, such as overnight funding fees. 3Trading is high risk, mainly due to the use of leverage – which can increase both your profits and your losses. Before trading or investing in shares, you should take steps to manage your risk. We’ve got courses at IG Academy that take you through risk management and how to mitigate your exposure to risk in the financial markets.

We’ve got a truly market-leading shares offering– with over 16,000 international shares and ETFs, as well as a host of global indices. With us, you’ll also benefit from our out-of-hours All Session stocks offering, which lets you take a position on over 70 leading US shares when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

So, if you want to take a position on shares, you’ve come to the right place. Traders have been using our services to access financial markets since 1974, and today we offer CFDs to retail traders who are looking to manage their next opportunity.

How to trade shares

To trade shares, follow these steps:

Create an account or Open My IG

  1. Search for a company in our trading platform
  2. Assess whether you want to go long or short and take steps to manage your risk
  3. Open and monitor your share trade
  • Stock market screener. Filter shares by country, sector or index – and sort by EPS, market cap and more
  • Technical analysis tools. Use our powerful HTML5 charts that include indicators such as Bollinger bands, RSI and moving averages
  • News and trade ideas. Find information on stocks to watch and market opportunities from our team of expert analysts and in-house financial writers
  • Trading alerts. Set notifications for when a share price reaches a certain level or moves by a certain amount

Once you have chosen a stock to focus on, you can open your first position.

Trading with CFDs

To start share trading with a CFD, the first thing to decide is whether you’ll ‘buy’ the market to open a long position, or ‘sell’ to open a short one. When you open a trade, you can also attach orders to your position.

  • Stop orders are designed to restrict losses to a maximum amount should the market move against you. They automatically close your trade if the market hits your chosen stop-loss level

  • Limit orders are designed to lock-in profits should the market move in your favour. They automatically close your trade if the market hits your chosen limit level

You’ll be able to monitor your open positions on from within our platform. Any running profit or loss will move in line with the underlying share prices, and it will be clearly displayed.

Once you are ready to close your trade, you can do so by clicking on ‘positions tab’ in the menu. When the tab is opened, select the ‘close’ button. By closing your trade, you’ll realise your final profit or loss.

Free share trading tools and resources

Before you start trading shares, you should consider using the educational resources we offer like IG Academy or our demo trading account. IG Academy has lots of courses for you to choose from, and they all tackle a different financial concept or process – like the basics of analysis – which can help you become a better trader.

Our demo account is a great place for you to learn more about leveraged trading, and you’ll be able to get an intimate understanding of how all our trading products work – as well as what it’s like to trade with leverage – before risking real capital.

FAQs

Can I make a profit trading stocks?

You can make profit share trading by correctly predicting whether a company’s stock will rise or fall in value.

If you decide to trade shares with derivative products, you could take advantage of falling market prices by going short.

How can I trade shares online?

You can trade shares online via the IG trading platform, which offers you a fast and smart way to trade via your web browser. You will have full dealing functionality and be able to open, close and edit positions with just a few clicks.

Learn more about the IG online trading platform.

How can beginners start trading or investing in stocks?

Beginners can start trading or investing in stocks by learning as much as possible about the market before they open a position. One way to do this is to take a look at IG Academy’s range of online courses.

Another way for beginners to gain confidence trading stocks is by opening an IG demo account. They can build their strategy in a risk-free environment by practising trading with £10,000 in virtual funds.

How do you buy shares in a company?

  1. Decide whether to trade or invest
  2. Create a live account
  3. Choose which stock to focus on and perform analysis
  4. Open your position

What are the costs of share trading?

For CFDs on shares, you’ll be charged a commission instead of a spread. There are other charges to consider, such as overnight funding.

Learn more about our costs and charges.

Develop your knowledge of financial markets

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

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Start trading over 70 US markets out of hours with IG

Take a position on over 12,000 shares and ETFs with IG

Learn how to make the most of IPOs and grey markets with IG

1Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.
2Trade in your share dealing account three or more times in the previous month to qualify for our best commission rates. Please note published rates are valid up to £25,000 notional value. See our full list of share dealing charges and fees.
3Negative balance protection applies to trading-related debt only and is not available to professional traders