CFD Trading: How Does It Work & Pros and Cons

Written By Alla Levin
April 18, 2023

CFD (Contract for Difference) is a derivative where buyers and sellers trade price movements of different securities. They don’t own the asset but speculate on its price movement. All kinds of assets, including stock, commodities, forex, and cryptocurrencies, can be traded through CFD trading.

Here, the underlying price of the asset doesn’t matter. The asset’s price during entry and exit determines the balance the buyer is supposed to pay. The contract is signed between a broker company and a client. In this post, we are going to discuss how CFD trading works and why you should consider adding this to your investment portfolio.

CFD Trading: How Does It Work & Pros and Cons

CFD trading doesn’t require any physical inventory. Instead of buying anything, you predict the price movements of an asset and go long or short accordingly. If you expect the asset’s price to rise, you buy and hold. If you are expecting it to fall, you sell it.

Like other investments, CFD is highly volatile and is only advisable to experienced investors that have spent a good amount of time trading different securities. Whether you make a profit or incur a loss depends entirely on the accuracy of your prediction.

You can find many trading platforms for CFD trading. Note that both buying and selling CFD can lead to loss. Conducting fundamental and technical analyses before entering this market is your only chance at making income from CFD trading.

Simply put, it’s an investment contract where the broker and the client agree to pay the difference in the price of securities at the time of opening and closing the contract. If investors notice an upward price movement and expect it to fall, they might sell the securities immediately to reap the benefits before the price drops. The broker is then supposed to settle the balance from their accounts.

Cost of CFD TradingCFD Trading

You are charged a commission for stocks in CFD trading. Commodities and forex trading through this method incur no commission, though. You may be charged the financing fee, as well. It’s only for those who plan on holding the position. If you are not a day trader, you must pay interest for each day you hold the position.

Pros of CFD Trading: Good Leverage

One of the biggest advantages of CFD trading is that they offer higher leverage than traditional marketing options. It was restricted to 2%, i.e. 50:1 leverage, but it’s now 3% and might reach 50%. Increased leverage allows traders to enter the market with minimal capital and exit with high returns. A lower margin allows holding only a small percentage of the shares and letting your money grow. That being said, high leverage also presents a high risk.

You Can Use Order Limits

Order limits, like stop-loss and take-profit, allow traders to make the best of their trade. Putting stop-loss ensures that your contract closes automatically once you reach the maximum loss limit. Likewise, take-profit will close the deal and transfer the profit to your account once you reach the profit limit. These tools make CFD trading smoother and less risky.

Go Short or Long

As mentioned earlier, CFD trading allows going short or long with your trade. Since you do not have to own the asset, you can easily bet on its price movements and buy or sell them accordingly. This trading strategy can lead to enormous profits from small capital when done correctly. However, only experienced clients have the tools and knowledge to trade CFDs, as speculating price movements is not a cakewalk.

CFD trading pros and cons limited restrictions

Some trading platforms restrict the total day-trade transactions that can be made from a specific account or the minimum deposit amount needed to open day-trading. CFD is free from these restrictions. There’s no minimum capital requirement since you do not own the asset. Usually, people deposit $1,000, but the standard deposit amount is between $2000 and $3000.


CFD is a versatile derivative that works on all kinds of financial instruments. It works on stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, f.orex, and more. This allows people to diversify their portfolios without buying the assets.

Cons of CFD Trading: Weak Regulation

CFD trading is not regulated, and its reliability depends completely on the broker you work with. It’s important to run a background check on the broker, their experience, credibility, reputation in the market, and other factors before creating an account with them.

CFD trading pros and cons: Highly Volatile

CFD might offer excellent investment opportunities and is highly rewarding for experienced traders but carries high risk. Your broker might close your account if they believe you won’t be able to settle the differences between the purchase price and the asset’s current price. Stop-loss can reduce the loss to some extent, but it doesn’t work always. Sharp price movements, for instance, can result in high losses for CFD traders.

These were the benefits and drawbacks of CFD trading. Researching the market and entering only when you are confident you can make accurate bets is advisable.

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