Best CFD Trading Platforms & Brokers

Continue reading for our first-hand reviews of these recommended platforms and discover their main features.

Updated: February 12, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Elizabeth Anderson

Edited By

Elizabeth Anderson

 

Like all kinds of trading, you'll need a reliable and efficient platform to set yourself up for the best chances of success — especially in a fast-moving market like CFD trading (CFD stands for Contracts for Difference).

In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the key features of some major CFD platforms and how they can cater to both novice traders and those with more experience.

There's a lot to digest when getting involved with trading CFDs. But by the end of the article, you'll hopefully have a much more comprehensive understanding of how these platforms work and the best CFD brokers for your specific financial goals.

Whether you're entering this market with a fairly low stake simply to diversify your portfolio, or you're trying to go big and extend your trading experience, preparation is key to CFD trading — as is the platform you'll ultimately be trading on.

Read on to find out more.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 64-81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with these providers. 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.

ServiceScoreRegister
1. Plus500★★★★★Click Here
2. IG★★★★★Click Here
3. City Index★★★★★Click Here
4. Axi★★★★Click Here
5. Capital.com★★★★Click Here
6. Admiral Markets★★★★Click Here
7. SpreadEx★★★★Click Here
8. Pepperstone★★★★★Click Here
9. OANDA★★★★★Click Here
10. CMC Markets★★★★★Click Here

Best CFD Trading Platform — Reviews

We have compiled a list of the 10 best CFD trading platforms below. Continue reading for our first-hand reviews of these recommended platforms and discover their main features.

1. Plus500

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% 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.

When using Plus500, we were pleased with the range of features we could use. Various charts were available that helped us analyse the markets and price fluctuations.

We had no problems using the dashboard to switch between the “all popular”, “risers and fallers”, and “favourites”. We could also access the economic calendar, which highlights the expected impact of specific events on the financial instruments you may want to trade.

When we navigated to the market news, we received up-to-date information on world events and how they could affect our CFD trading.

Using the alerts feature, we could add our alerts related to the price of the instruments. We had the option to receive push notifications, SMS or email alerts. The trade dashboard was easy to understand and featured the funds available, the equity, margin, profit, and loss.

We could switch between all commodities, cryptocurrencies, indices, forex, options and more. We also found it easy to search instruments to find the ones we wanted.

The more we used this platform, the more we noticed that it is ideal for beginner traders. The simple process of searching for an instrument or selecting one from the list makes it geared towards inexperienced or first-time traders. We found it easy to add our CFDs to a favourite list and check the chart to learn about its historical performance.

We did not pay commissions, but had to pay other fees such as overnight funding and inactivity fees.

2. IG

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% 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.

IG’s top strength is the sheer amount of trading tools and features it provides. Offering an array of tools to aid charting and technical analysis, this platform is perfect for providing newcomers with in-depth market insights.

We were impressed with the “ProRealTime” feature, which encourages users to build and test their trading strategies off the back of historical data, helping them hone their analytical skills.

Still, it's worth mentioning that this feature is geared more towards experienced traders as it involves a lot of tools, such as algorithm development, that may not mean much to a novice trader. 

Furthermore, it costs £30 a month if you don't make at least 4 transactions per month, so, once again, this is more for the adept day traders.

Since it is loaded with over 90 tradable assets, IG provides its users an extensive range of markets to trade CFDs — equities, commodities, bonds, you name it.

As far as fees go, we found IG’s fees are generally very low and never exceed 1%. 

3. City Index

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% 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.

City Index is one of the more well-established CFD trading platforms on our list, as it's been around for decades. And our testing found it seems committed to providing top-notch trading experiences.

Like all the platforms we analysed, we found that City Index offers an incredibly intuitive (and customisable) interface. This is especially important when there's so much data to interpret at all times, especially for novice traders.

Again, like most CFD trading platforms, we discovered that City Index boasts a fairly impressive range of tradable instruments that are made up of Forex, indices and even commodities.

Generally speaking, the significance of accessing multiple global markets from just one account (like you can with City Index) can't go understated, as it ultimately does wonders for your portfolio diversification.

Additionally, we noticed that City Index offers something they refer to as a “Guaranteed Stop Loss Order”. Sometimes when trading, you'll find that in times of high volatility or market gaps, your orders might not get filled, so this feature is much appreciated. When we used this feature, we minimised our risk when trading CFDs.

In essence, it lets you be confident that your positions will be closed at predefined levels, which mitigates the impact of some of the more unexpected market movements.

It's also worth making a quick note about City Index's customer service, in which it excels regarding its responsiveness and overall quality of support. Whether it's over the phone, email, or even live chat, you have access to assistance with City Index whenever you need it.

This level of commitment to customer care enhances the entire trading experience for City Index users, so this CFD trading platform is worth experimenting with to see if you enjoy using it.

4. Axi

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading  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.

We found Axi to be a standout choice for experts and newcomers alike.

When using Axi, it took just a few milliseconds to execute any of our traders. It meant we didn’t have to worry about frustrating delays in markets that are naturally dependent on quick, decisive action.

For currency traders specifically, Axi offers over 60 different Forex pairs composed of minor, major and exotic currency pairs. Its spreads are incredibly tight, starting from as low as 0.0 pips, which keeps trading costs at a minimum.

As for new traders who are perhaps unfamiliar with CFD/Forex trading, Axi goes the extra mile in supporting its traders with educational resources. We liked its exclusive “AxiTrader Academy”, which provides personalised training programs tailored to your experience level.

It's not strictly for beginners, either, as you'll find valuable insights in the Academy that can refine your trading skills even if you're more familiar with CFD trading.

Above all, though, the trading interface where Axi shines. Powered by platforms such as MetaTrader 4, we had easy access to a wealth of technical indicators and customisable charts to be used in conjunction with our trading analysis.

Of course, you can be assured Axi is reputable, too, as it's regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), meaning it provides a trustworthy trading environment – although there is still a high chance you could lose money through your own trading choices.

In summary, its low fees, smart technology and excellent learning guides make Axi one of the best CFD trading platforms in our opinion.

5. Capital.com

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% 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.

We could easily trade contracts for difference (CFDs) on Capital.com and were guided by advanced charts and risk-management tools. 

We especially liked the guaranteed stop-losses, which was a feature that also helped us lock in a position at our pre-selected price.

We found the demo account ideal for beginners and experienced traders.

We found our favourites on the dashboard, to which we could add many more. We also found it easy to see our balance, including our available funds, equity, margin, and profit and loss. The dashboard was partially customisable, so we could choose which options to display there.

We could also see market news and information about future economic events.

If you are a beginner using Capital.com, you will find a 24/7 support feature. We used this feature and found there were multiple ways to get queries answered, including via email, live chat, WhatsApp and more.

We could easily access the powerful MetaTrader4 platform through Capital.com. This offers various technical tools, trading signals, and advice and advisors to assist with algorithmic trading.

We liked the “most traded” option, which allowed us to view the most traded commodities, indices, forex shares and more. We noticed that there were fees for overnight funding and spread bet fees. The daily fees in a spread bet example is 0.01096%.

6. Admiral Markets

Investments involve risks and are not suitable for all investors. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72% 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.

When we used Admirals (formerly called Admiral Markets), we were pleased that it offered pips as low as 0.6. This meant we did not need to pay significant amounts for the cost of exiting or entering some of our trades. 

We also liked other features of Admirals’ platform, such as its large selection of CFD products. Indices, commodities, stocks, cryptocurrency CFDs and more are available.

Navigating the platform was relatively easy. Once we had registered and invested our funds, we could trade with more than 4,000 CFDs across various markets. The platform provides real-time charts, which helped us check the price fluctuations in our testing.

Admirals also offers market news and research, which kept us up to date with the recent changes in the market for each financial instrument CFD. 

Like other CFD brokers, you are offered a demo account to practice trading and reduce the chance of losing actual money. It’s estimated more than two-thirds of retail CFD accounts lose money, so using a demo account will help you gain confidence before trading.

We found we could manage our positions easily. With auto-close features such as stop loss options, we could close our trades when required. We could also set limit orders to protect the funds we gained.

The platform is ideal for experienced traders. We recommend practising using CFDs before trading in a live market, especially if you are a beginner.

7. SpreadEx

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 64% of retail investors 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.

SpreadEx makes our list of the best platforms for CFD trading because it offers a simple user interface. Features offered include price alerts and market analysis.

When using SpreadEx, the price alert meant we received an email letting us know the price of a CFD had been reached at the price we wanted. We were then able to execute trades at that price.

What we liked about the platform was the technical analysis feature. We could customise it, meaning we could use a design that allowed us to look closely at patterns and fluctuations more easily. We could use these charts to set the stop option according to our market predictions. This feature helped us limit risk when trading.

SpreadEx emphasises that new or experienced traders can always improve their trading skills. For this reason, it may be a good platform for beginners and seasoned traders. What supports this is the education hub SpreadEx offers. It informed us of various key trading fundamentals and details about spread betting. We could also learn about how to use economic indicators when making trades.

8. Pepperstone

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.3% 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.

We were able to access plenty of features when using Pepperstone

Pepperstone’s platform offers an education hub that helped us understand how to trade CFDs. We could access a few trading platforms and were pleased with its features. 

For example, when we connected to TradingView, we could use its market analysis trading charts and economic calendar and found them useful when looking at market fluctuations.

With the MetaTrader4 platform, we could customise the platform to match our trading approaches. With the MetaTrader5 platform, we could go long or short with shares. This feature meant we could buy assets and keep them as the value increased over time or make a profit after selling an asset when its value was decreasing.

We noticed that for a few of the CFDs, fees applied. For example, we had to pay a commission on CFD FX trades with the Razor account. The commission was £2.25 on the MT4/MT5 Razor account.

Some of the other tools we used were the market scanner and risk management tools. The market scanner offered us information about market movements. The risk management tool indicated the ranges of market movements over a specific period. It helped us stay within our risk tolerance.

9. OANDA

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.6% 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.

We found 120 CFD instruments were available when we used OANDA. We could take a position on multiple instruments such as commodities, indices, forex, and bonds.

We liked OANDA's option to get support when the markets were open. When required, we could contact the OANDA team and gain technical advice for various difficulties. We also liked that we could use the platform on both desktop and smartphone.

Some of the platform's features include market analysis features that helped us assess the market conditions. We also used the news feature to stay current on the financial news related to our CFDs.

We found the platform easy to use. When we wanted to place a limit or stop on our trades, we could do this easily by clicking on the financial instrument and editing the new order feature.

Viewing our trades, orders, positions and activity on the OANDA platform was easy. 

These features appeared on the bottom right panel of the trade dashboard. 

The trades tab showed us the margins and positions we had taken, plus additional information about our ticket numbers. The orders tab showed us when the order would expire and how many pips away our order was. This feature helped us understand the difference between the current price and trade exit point.

In most cases, the commission costs of trading share CFDs were 0.10% with OANDA. This applied to opening and closing a position.

10. CMC Markets

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or 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.

We were able to trade a few CFDs using CMC Markets. Some examples included CFDs on indices, commodities, shares, forex and more. We also liked that this platform has various features, such as a trading forum and pattern recognition scanner.

With CMC Markets, we could take a long or short position on thousands of instruments. We could also use guaranteed stop-loss orders. This latter feature helped us manage risk and close positions when asset prices reached our pre-set level.

Other features we could access on the dashboard included our watchlist, news, analytics and products. The platform allowed us to review the current news related to our CFDs, and our watchlist allowed us to monitor financial instruments with minimal difficulty.

With our graphs, we could select the duration of the data displayed. This feature allowed us to view market data over several days or months.

What Is a CFD Trading Platform?

In essence, CFD trading platforms are a kind of software application that's paved the way for many similar types of financial trading, such as crypto trading exchanges.

The term ‘CFD' refers to Contracts for Difference. This is basically a kind of derivative product that allows you, the trader, to speculate and invest on the price movements of different types of securities without ever having to own the underlying asset.

For example, rather than actually having to own gold bullion bars, you can simply trade their derivative form instead, which is a lot more convenient for the majority of traders.

As a result, it presents quite a unique opportunity for traders since you have the chance to make profits from both falling and rising markets, ultimately allowing you to capitalise on the volatility of the market.

Aside from the convenience, CFD platforms have become increasingly popular over the past decade among retail (rather than institutional) traders thanks to the accessibility and the hope of making a profit.

Whenever you're trading CFDs, you're essentially entering into a contract with whichever platform provider you've chosen. And as mentioned, the value of this contract is based on the price movement/fluctuations of whatever the underlying asset is.

As we said earlier, there are a bunch of different tradable assets that investors can get involved with when entering one of these markets, including but not limited to the below.

Stocks

Stock CFDs are definitely one of the most popular and well-known ways you can trade CFDs. For instance, you can trade shares of some of the most prominent and successful companies in the world, regardless of whatever stock exchange they'd usually be located on.

Whether it's household names like Apple or Microsoft or some of the more niche and relatively unexplored stocks on lesser-known exchanges, exposure is the real reason why these platforms are so popular.

Commodities

Shares from popular corporations aren't the only thing you can trade on one of these platforms since CFDs also provide a gateway to the commodities market, too.

We gave the example of gold bullion bars earlier, but you can actually trade other commodities on these platforms — things such as crude oil or even certain agricultural products like wheat and corn.

Forex (Foreign Exchange)

As a trader, there's a high chance you've heard of the forex market. If you're slightly unfamiliar with how one of these platforms works, they essentially let you make trades based on the fluctuations of prices between different currencies across the world.

For example, you can trade major currency pairs on this platform, like EUR/USD or GBP/AUD. The foreign exchange market is actually one of the most liquid and profitable financial markets across the world, so there are plenty of opportunities for profits by using these platforms, too.

Indices

Lastly, you're also able to access certain indices on CFD trading platforms that represent either specific sectors or regions across the global financial markets. For example, CFD traders would typically be able to access the NASDAQ, FTSE 100, and many other examples, too, spanning across a range of different countries.

How Do CFD Trading Platforms Work?

Whether it's a substantial amount of capital or even just a seemingly insignificant amount, the fact remains that you easily lose money through CFD trading.

As such, it's absolutely vital that you have a firm understanding of how CFD trading platforms actually function so you have the best possible chance of achieving success; however that may look like for you.

So, let's take a closer look at all you need to know about these trading platforms.

Account Creation

To kick things off, you're naturally need to create a CFD trading account before you can start investing. Fortunately, this isn't a particularly complicated process at all, and if you have any prior experience signing up with an online trading platform then you should be able to fly through this step.

First, you'll just need to provide a bit of personal information about yourself — basic things such as your phone number, full name, and address. After this, you'll then just need to verify your identity (usually by sending a picture of yourself next to a valid ID) and finish up by agreeing to the platform's terms and conditions.

Depending on where you're located in the world, some of the platforms you use might also require compliance with certain regulatory requirements — the FCA, in the UK, for instance. Trading CFDs in the UK is legal, but the FCA certainly has some choice words about it.

In contrast, the United States has outright banned CFD trading within the country.

Market Selection

Now that you're registered and have successfully created an account, you have access to the diverse selection of financial markets that CFD trading platforms are known for!

From individual company stocks that are listed on major global exchanges — the London Stock Exchange, for instance — to classic commodities/precious metals like gold and silver, there are a myriad of different ways to make money using these platforms.

It can always help to invest in specific financial assets that you might already have experience in. Of course, it's tempting to dive straight in and be excited about making money in markets you've previously never entered. But if you don't know anything about the Tokyo Stock Exchange, for example, it might be best to avoid it until you've at least built up a bit of confidence in your trading ability.

Long and Short Positions

When many people think of investing, they tend to think about buying an asset and selling it when it reaches a desired market value. However, this isn't always the only way you can make money when trading and one of the most popular ways to invest is actually the opposite strategy — selling high, buying low.

Bulls are those who believe an asset's price is going to rise. Bears are those who don't share the same optimism and believe the market value is going to fall instead.

Fortunately, one of the main advantages of CFD trading is that you can profit from both of these beliefs, making it a highly effective way to trade. Traders can take ‘long' positions (buy) if you anticipate the price of an asset is going to increase in value over time (whether that's through technical analysis or news regarding the asset).

Conversely, you can also take a ‘short' position (sell) if you feel that the asset's price is going to decrease. This approach allows you to be pretty flexible in your trading strategy and, theoretically, means you could ride the wave all the way up to your desired market value before immediately flipping and shorting it back down.

Naturally, you'd have to have quite a lot of conviction to execute this in practice, but it's certainly possible with CFD trades and, most importantly, a profitable strategy.

Leverage

Amid all of these features we've currently mentioned, leverage is by far the most fundamental difference between CFD trading and most other traditional forms of investing.

In essence, CFD platforms – including those listed above – offer something known as leverage. This basically enables you to control positions that are significantly larger than the initial amount of money you've invested — it's also commonly referred to as margin.

The amount of leverage that an exchange offers can vary quite significantly between different platforms, but they're usually always expressed as a ratio — something such as 1:10 or 1:50. For the former option, you'd basically be able to turn a £1,000 position into a £10,000 one, 10x the original amount of capital you deposited in your account.

Now, while this may seem like an excellent way to increase your position size and reach profits that were previously unavailable with your account balance, leverage is actually highly controversial in the world of CFD trading.

In reality, a huge amount of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs because they overexpose themselves with unsensible amounts of leverage. Remember, while it's certainly an opportunity to amplify your profits, it also magnifies your losses by the same ratio.

In fact, because CFD traders lose money so frequently with leverage, it's actually part of the reason why the United States has banned the CFD trade altogether. While it's still legal in the UK, the FCA commonly reinforces how dangerous margin trading can be for retail traders with little to no experience in CFD investing.

As a general rule of thumb, it's best to only ever open positions with as much money as you're willing to lose. Don't get carried away with the concept of trading with a high account balance if you can't deal with the consequences.

This leads us nicely to our next point, where we'll be covering what makes risk management such an important aspect of CFD trading.

Risk Management Tools

Generally speaking, and perhaps contrary to popular belief, CFD trading platforms don't wish to see you go bankrupt at their expense. The best platforms out there are always going to provide various risk management tools in order to help you mitigate any potential losses.

Now, while the burden of risk management is generally your responsibility, there are a couple of options out there to have your back when you need them. For instance, let's take a look at two of the most commonly used tools by traders, stop-loss and take-profit orders.

In essence, a stop-loss order basically allows you to set a specific price level where you want a losing position to be closed. Say you open a position on any financial asset, and the market price is currently £50.

Though it entirely depends on each specific asset what your stop-loss level should be, let's assume you set a stop-loss at £45 (not to suggest all your positions should have a 10% wide stop-loss).

Now, if your asset has unfortunately reached this figure, your position will then be automatically closed, effectively cutting your losses so you don't potentially lose the entirety of the capital you deployed on this trade.

This works in the exact opposite direction for take-profit orders. Rather than sitting at your monitor anxiously watching the price action on a one-minute time frame, you can set a desired level – preferably one deduced via technical analysis – in which your position will be closed automatically.

And as a result, the winning position will be closed, so all your profits are in the bag. As a trader, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing that your position was in ample profits, only for it to fall straight back down the channel and hit your stop-loss.

This type of scenario is more common than you may think among newcomers to CFD trading. So both the stop-loss and take-profit tools are paramount for securing profits/preventing losses in such a volatile market.

Regulation and Security

As mentioned earlier, some countries outright refuse to allow CFD brokers to operate within their borders, regardless of how much-added security and support is available on the platform. Still, the countries that do allow CFD trading ensure that the industry is heavily regulated.

As a side note, this level of regulation is far more common in industries such as CFD trading than it is in other industries like cryptocurrency, so it's at least a bit safer for the consumer in that regard.

Put simply, though, regulations are generally only there to ensure that the platform you are using adheres to certain standards and ultimately provides a transparent trading experience for all its users.

The most reputable CFD trading platforms out there normally need to work in accordance with any laws that are imposed by the relevant financial authorities, such as the FCA.

Moreover, just because CFD trading is typically more regulated than the crypto space, that doesn't mean they can skimp on the general security measures for protecting their platform — things such as encryption protocols and two-factor authentication are all still crucial for the sake of safeguarding users' personal and financial information from any unauthorised access or even cyber threats.

Pros and Cons of CFD Trading Platforms

Now that we've covered some of the main features you can expect on a CFD trading platform, let's recap with a few pros and cons.

Pros

1. Diverse Asset Selection ✔️

As mentioned earlier, you can expect a wide variety of tradable assets on the majority of these platforms, across several financial markets.

Whether it's stocks of global giants or more basic commodities like gold and oil, you're almost spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your preferred asset to trade. There are even forex pairs that represent multiple different economies, too!

Ultimately, this diversity helps you, as a trader, out a lot. It means you're never tied down to one specific asset. You've got the opportunity to capitalise on many different market conditions, which generally gives you a dynamic trading experience full of potential.

2. Leverage and Amplified Profits ✔️

Though this can certainly be more of a curse than a gift, depending on what kind of trader and how experienced you are, the leverage offered by CFD platforms can be huge for amplifying potential profits, making your trading endeavours all the more exciting.

Having said that, it's absolutely key to exercise caution whenever you're applying leverage to one of your positions. All the best traders know there's a delicate balance you need to keep to ensure you use leverage responsibly while also managing risk.

3. Short-Selling Opportunities ✔️

Unlike traditional investing, where you're typically only ever able to buy stocks and sell them when the time is right, CFD trading works with derivatives rather than physical assets, letting you profit from both rising and falling markets.

So, whenever the industry you're trading in becomes bearish, short-selling suddenly becomes a huge advantage to traders. Basically, it allows you to continue trading as normal without having to hope the market will recover and become green again. Just make sure you're handling any of your spot assets accordingly!

4. Accessibility and Convenience ✔️

Whether it's the mobile apps or simply how unmatched the convenience is with these platforms, CFD trading has more or less revolutionised how traders would normally engage with financial markets.

Now, you can monitor various different markets and make trades on the move. This means you no longer have to be sitting at a desk all day while you wait for a trading opportunity to show up.

Moreover, so many of these platforms come with real-time market data and plenty of analysis tools, so you're even more equipped to make the best possible trading decisions available.

Cons

1. High Risk Due to Leverage ❌️

Now for the flip side of leverage — the inherent risk it comes with. Even if you're trading with a low amount of leverage, it only takes the smallest market movement to cause potentially catastrophic losses, maybe even exceeding your initial investment.

As such, you'd never want to use leverage without discipline and an overall thorough understanding of risk management strategies so you can protect your capital.

2. Complexity and Learning Curve ❌️

As there are so many additional tools and markets involved with CFD trading, it naturally involves a certain level of complexity that can be pretty complicated for newcomers.

Understanding and experimenting with how leveraged products work, learning how to perform technical analysis/due diligence, and, of course, staying updated with market news can all be fairly challenging at first.

3. Overtrading and Emotional Decision Making ❌️

The general ease of access and real-time trading capabilities surrounding CFD platforms can easily lead investors to trade more than is sensible. Though this is something that is more common among newcomers, this can happen to the best of us — possibly even more so once you see significant profits for the first time.

Whether it's increased transaction costs or diluted focus, frequent trading, more often than not, leads straight to hasty and overall emotional decision-making.

The best CFD traders always try to separate the emotion from their decisions and adhere only to their trading plans to avoid falling into the trap of impulsive trading.

4. Conflict of Interest with the Platform Provider ❌️

Depending on the platform you sign up to (and this should be avoided as much as possible), some CFD trading might involve entering into a contract with the platform provider themselves rather than trading directly on the exchange.

Naturally, this might end up in some conflicts of interest, as the platform provider is ultimately lining their pockets from their own clients' losses. As such, it's obviously essential that you choose a trusted and regulated broker in order to put your mind at ease.

How to Choose the Best CFD Trading Platform

Selecting a CFD trading platform is an important decision that will affect your trading experience. Before you select one, it’s worth considering a few factors.

Let's examine a few factors worth seeking out in your platform of choice. These factors were applied when choosing which brokers to include in our round-up of the best CFD trading platforms.

1. Safety First

Ensure you're only ever using a platform regulated by reputable financial authorities in your country — in the UK, this is the FCA. You'd never want to end up as another statistic of those scammed by fraudulent trading platforms. The platform should make clear on website that it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and will include a reference number.

All the brokers we list in this article are regulated by the FCA.

2. A World of Assets

CFD trading platforms are best known for leverage, but the range of different tradable assets ultimately sets one platform apart from the next. From stocks to commodities, forex to indices, always ensure you get a broad selection that lets you explore different markets and generally spice up your trading portfolio.

3. Accessibility

If you're new to the game, user-friendly interfaces can be a dream for learning the ropes. Look for a platform with clear layouts and nifty charting tools, too.

Final Thoughts

To wrap things up, we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't reinforce the financial risk that CFD trading poses. In reality, over 70% of retail investor accounts report losing money fairly rapidly when trading CFDs, making it one of the most high-risk day trading methods out there.

This isn't to say you should avoid CFD trading entirely. If you are keen to get started, choose one of the reputable options on our list to get some skin in the game and understand whether this trading strategy is right for you.

If you do, however, decide to invest a fairly significant amount of money into CFD trading, it should be your top priority to educate yourself as best you can to prevent financial catastrophe.

Remember, you're trading against some of the most educated and resource-heavy institutional traders out there. So going into this type of trading without some basic strategy would be a major oversight.

Related Guides:

Best CFD Trading Platforms: FAQs

What Fees Should You Consider With a CFD Broker?

What Is the Difference Between Forex and CFD Trading?

What Are Retail CFD Accounts?

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