CFD Trading vs Shares Dealing

CFDs are a popular alternative to physical shares dealing for a number of reasons.

See how CFD trading measures up to traditional shares dealing and find out which form of trading is most suitable for you using our handy table below.

Feature CFD trading Shares dealing
Ability to go long - take advantage of rising prices Yes Yes
Ability to go short - take advantage of falling prices Yes  
Ability to hedge - go short and mitigate against potential losses in your shares portfolio Yes  
Free from Stamp Duty* Yes  
Pay Capital Gains Tax* - CGT to be paid on profits Yes Yes
Leveraged trading - gain a large exposure for a fraction of the value Yes  
Immediate dealing - instant trading both in and out of a market Yes Yes
Access to other asset classes - such as Indices, FX etc Yes  
Access to global shares - trade over 10,000 different shares from around the world Yes Yes
Receive dividend and interest adjustments Yes1 Yes
Physical ownership - benefits include the ability to attend AGMs   Yes

¹Positions are adjusted to reflect dividends.

No Stamp Duty

Unlike shares dealing, a CFD is a derivative product that enables you to speculate on the price moves of shares and other global markets without having to actually own the physical asset. This means that there is no Stamp Duty to pay.

Leveraged access

With traditional shares dealing, you’d have to pay your broker the full value of the shares you want to purchase. For example, if you‘d like to purchase £10,000 Meta shares, you’d have to deposit the full £10,000.

Importantly, CFDs are leveraged which means you only have to put down a small fraction of the total value of a trade (usually a deposit of between 3.33% and 50%) to get the same level of exposure.

Leverage comes with increased benefits but significant risks: your investment capital can go further, but you can also lose more than your initial deposit.

Go long or short

Unlike conventional shares trading, CFDs allow you to take a position on the value of an asset whether you think it will go up or down. So if you thought Meta’s share value was overpriced, you could take a position on it falling. This would not be possible through traditional shares dealing.

The more the market moves in the direction you’ve predicted, the greater your profit. The more the market moves against the direction you’ve predicted, the greater your loss could be.

With CFDs, it’s important to remember that you’re trading on the price of the market, rather than physically owning the share. This means you don’t own any assets.

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