What Is Contract For Difference (CFD)

Introduction to (CFD)

Price fluctuation is a factor that always affect an asset. We can say that a contract for difference (CFD) states what a buyer ought to do at any price difference. This price difference is as a result of fluctuations of asset value. Let us discuss CFD Trading, trade market and buy price.

Meaning Of Contract for Difference (CFD)?

The meaning of contract for difference (CFD) cut across a buyer’s duty and price difference. It is responsible for giving investors the opportunity to make constructive decision. This decision helps them to defend their self from price changes of an asset. Volatility is a special feature of stock market. Prices can change at any time. So, to avoid losing money totally, investors sign a contract for difference.

How does a certificate for difference function? Like we earlier said, it protect investors from losing money when a price of an asset changes. At the point of buying or selling a commodity, a document is signed. This signifies that, the buyer or seller will receive the actual worth of the goods or payment even if the price reduces. Here, any price difference will be covered by the buyer during this price change.

In recent times, cryptocurrency traders use the certificate for difference. We all know that cryptocurrency is one of the most volatile asset. It is an acceptable innovation as crypto traders won’t lose out. They can still obtain their money for the coin sold even if the price changes.

There are two ways to the certificate for difference. At the point the agreement is signed, the price is stable. The buyer and the seller decide on the price. For any reason the price increases, the buyer will still receive the asset at the initial price. On the other hand, the seller won’t make additional profit.

Application of CFD in Cryptocurrency.

Here, it doesn’t follow the normal process. Certificate for difference can be said to come with a mix feeling. It can favor the buyer or the seller. This is how it plays out. At the point of agreement, if the price goes up, the buyer will pay extra money. If the price reduces, the seller will get less than the actual price. This is a win or loss game.

The value of an asset is not stable, as it can change at any time. What a contract of difference does is to enable a buyer or a seller make profit out of a trade. A buyer must fulfill its part of the agreement, by paying the seller the difference in price. However, the main determiner is the change in price and not the actual price.

A different term is used as regards to cryptocurrency. The agreement of CFD is between a broker and a client. It doesn’t use any asset exchange. It is popular in recent times, due to its high rate benefits.


  • The concept of contract for difference (CFD) is to accept a payment scheme between a broker and client. The scheme is the difference in asset price at a given time.
  • For every increase in price of an asset, the investor claims a revenue and not the asset.
  • Access to the capital asset at a lower price, easy sale, time effectiveness, etc are the pros of CFDs.
  • The Con of CFDs is the drastic drop in the level of the client’s order.
  • More negative effects are, poor industry regulation, lack of liquidity and poor maintenance.

Overview Of Contract for Differences (CFD)

Working Principle Of CFDs

Having studied the meaning of certificate for differences, we wolenow look at the way it works. Investors adopt the CFDs, as it is a good trading scheme. There is no purchase and delivery of assets. Instead, a change in price will generate a revenue for the investor. A simple illustration is, for a an investor to study the price movement of an asset. The will now know the best time to invest.

Having studied CFDs carefully, I have discovered, it come with different dynamics. With CFDs, investors can make picks on how the asset price will go. This is more Or less a gamble. However, an investor will make a stake on an asset, when the price is up. This way, the difference between the actual price and new price becomes the profit.

On the contrary, when the asset price drops, the trader will place the asset on sale. He ought to purchase an offsetting trade to end the sale. The the difference of the loss is calculated and sent to the provided accounts.

Countries That Adopt The Use Of CFDs

The united states does not permit the use of certificate for difference contracts. A couple of countries permit the use of CFD over-the-counter. These countries consists of both African and European countries. They are :

United Kingdom,Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Spain, France, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Thailand, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

In Australia, the CFD was refined with some new features. This was disclosed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). It seeks to increase the security of customers by lowering the gree CFD that is accessible to retail clients. Also, it seeks to increase the loss rate of client’s CFD.

Irrespective of the fact that U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prohibits transaction with CFD , but non-residents can trade using them.

Side Note

The benefit of certificate for difference is that, an investor can make profit in both ways. Whether the market is going up or down. This is why it is becoming more popular in recent times.

The CFDs Requirement

This is what the certificate for difference requires in regard to cost. It doesn’t have a definite requirement. CFDs may require a commission or a financing cost. Then, the difference in price, from when you bought till what the price is.

Generally, people who only sell stocks, take commission for stocks. The broker can charge a commission of 10%, off every share in U.S and Canada. For every turn the value of a stock takes, it attracts a commission.

In a case, where an investor places a buy or sell position for a long time, a charge may be attached. This is because, a lot can be made within that period. So, the charge is assigned based on the length of days taken in that position.

For instance, a trader buys a share of GlaxoSmithKline at £10,000. The current floor price is £23.50. If the trader expects an increase to £24.80, he/she will pay a commission of 0.1%. If it is a long position, the trader will also be charged.

Let’s give an alternative example. A trader buys a share of 426 contract at £23.50 per share. The trader takes a trading position at £10,011 and an increase occurs at £24.80. If the period is 16 days, then the final price is £10,564.80.

Calculating the profit, £10,564.80 – £10,011= £553.80

As the commission is 0.1%, the trader pays an opening position of £10. As it takes 16 days and the charge is 7.5%, therefore (426 x £23.50 x 0.075/365 = £2.06. Since the position is open for 16 days, the total charge is 16 x £2.06 = £32.89). Upon closing the position, the trader pays additional £10.

Benefits Of CFDs

Higher Leverage

With CFDs, a trader has the ability to earn very high returns. This is higher than the local trading. A CFD has a standard leverage. Although the price has dropped to 2%. However, it is now on a 3% range and can increase to 50%. The working principle of leverage is, higher the leverage, the higher the loss.

CFD’S Acess To Global Market

The CFD brokers play an important role in making products readily available in major markets. Now, investors can obtain CFDs without stress.

Lack Of Shorting Rules or Borrowing Stock

Shorting is a situation where, a trader sells a security first, with the intention of repurchasing it or covering it later at a lower price. Some markets do not support this. Instead, the trader should borrow the before selling it. Therefore, any security under CFD can be shorted without having to pay money.

No Payment for Advanced Performance

The local broker and CFD brokers share a common similarity. Some order form the offer are stops, limits etc. The also have contingent orders, with its unique property. There may be a charge attached to a guaranteed stop. It depends on the broker.

When an order is made, and charges are paid, a broker can make profit. There are different payments a trader must make, which may be minimal or maximized. Payments like ask price, bid price, etc. However, price fluctuations affect this payments.

Lack Of Day Trading Materials

With CFD, a trader can carryout day trading without any hindrance. On the other hand, a certain amount is needed by some markets for day trading. This is a positive development for CFD traders. The least amount to open an account is $1,000 although you can use higher amounts.

Different Trading Opportunities

There are certain securities, brokers offer on CFDs. Securities like index, stock etc. With this securities, anyone can CFDs as a replacement to exchanges. However, this quality is only unique to those who value different financial moves.

Cons Of CFDs

We might have been singing the praises of CFDs. However, the present some negative effects. Having to pay for trade entries and exits obstructs profit channels. Anotger disadvantage is, one can’t make much progress in trade with this spread. Trading will small amounts will then result to great loss. The traditional markets might have its own problems, but CFDs doesn’t support profit making.

Lack Of Strong Industry Regulation

People recommend CFD for its positive features. This is also similar to a CFD broker. However the broker thrives on sustainability and good trading ability rather than liquidity or government influence. Generally, CFD broker are good, however it is advisable to carry out research before engaging with any broker.

Risks Of CFDs

Risks are bound to be in CFD trading, especially as it is becoming popular. It is now left for traders to act smart to avoid losing out totally. Above all, there are certain measures a trader should take to avoid liquidity. You just have to cover reductions in values to avoid encouring losses.

Another risk we will look at is Leverage risks. It really doesn’t guarantee profit or loss. Anyone can come at any time. To avoid this risk, a trader should adopt the use of stop-loss limits. But, this is not 100% effective, as it can experience loss. Slow trades lead to execution risks as sharp price movement lead to stop-loss risk.

U.S, prohit CFDs from being used in the country. This is because, it is free and risk inclined.

Illustrations of a CFD Trade

A stock with an entry price of $25.26 is bought into 100 shares. The transaction fees round up to $2,526. For this transaction to be successful, it will require an additional $1,263 and a 50% margin. However, a CFD broker may not charge that much. It may charge 5% margin or $126.30 equivalent

The transaction on CFD trade is documented, such that any loss or gain of the spread is seen. For a break-even price to be attained, a stock need to gain as much as the spread. You must have paid a commission for you to get the $0.05 gain.

Let us assume the the stock has a bid price of $25.76 in a local broker account. Its selling price can amount to $50 or 3.95% gain. The CFD bid price might vary slightly from the stock’s bid price. Its profit will also be less than the latter. This is as a result of the spread being bigger than on the normal market. However, the CFD trader makes a profit of $48

Explanation Of Short And Long CFD Trading.

Just like we discussed at the introduction of CFD, it helps to determine a stock’s price movement. This way you can make decisions that can profit you. Also, a situation where you open a CFD trade position for profit as the market decrease, is called ‘going short’. This is against ‘going long’. Nevertheless, both losses and profit will be experienced when the positioned are wrapped up.

Explanation Of Leverage in CFD Trading

Leverage means gaining exposure to a large position without commiting the full cost at the outset. So it is safe to say, CFD trading is leveraged. You might want to buy a large amount of shares. With CFD, you will just pay a little percentage. But in a traditional trade, you will pay the full cost.

Note that, your position influences the calculation of gain and loss. It is advisable to put know about leverage ratio to enable you trade properly.

Explanation of Margin

As much as leveraged trading and ‘trading on margin’ look similar, the are still different. The look similar because only a small portion of the whole size is represented by the money for position opening.

There are distinctively two margins in CFD trading. A deposit margin and a maintenance margin. The function of deposit margin is to pick a position. Meanwhile, a maintenance margin takes care of trades that are about to run into loss. A situation like will require a sufficient top up which can correct it.

Explanation Of Hedging With CFDs

The most Important feature of hedging is that, it prevents losses in an active portfolio. You can device the help of hedging, if you are uncertain of your coins dipping. Through hedging, you can go short on the market through CFD trade.

Foot Note

Pros of CFD trading include: lower margin requirements, easy access to global markets, no shorting or day trading rules, and little or no fees. However, high leverage increase losses when they occur. Also, to pay a spread to enter and exit positions can be costly when large price movements do not occur. This confirms that, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has restricted CFDs to
protect retail investors.

Four Key Concepts Of CFD

We will explain the four key concepts behind CFD trading: spreads & commission, deal sizes, durations and profit/loss.

Spread and commission

There are 2 CFD prices. They are: buy price and sell price. We will discuss that below.

  • The sell price otherwise known as bid price is the price we use to open a short CFD.
  • Buy price otherwise known as offer price is the price we use to open a long CFD.

In the trade chart, sell prices are a bit lower than the present price. While buy prices are a bit higher. The resultant difference between the two is known as Spread.

In certain cases, adjustments are made on the buy and sell prices. This shows the cost required for a trade.

There is only one diverging quality, which is our share of CFDs. The are not charged as regards to the spread. It is advisable to use commission, this way we can bring close the buying and selling shares to the market.

Deal sizes

As though CFDs are being traded in standardised contracts (lots), they size of the unique contracts are different. It however depends on the particular security that is traded on.

For instance, Silver is traded at lots of 5000 troy ounces. The CFD still has its equivalent. For share CFDs, the contract size is usually standing in for one share in the company you are trading.

With this illustration, its more evident that CFD trading is similar to traditional trading than others.


In other trade type, like options, they have an expiry time. Unlike CFD that does not have. So, for any open order, there is a corresponding close corner

There is alwys a regulation on daily CFD Position. If you keep the position for a long time, it incurrs additional charges. This reflects the cost of the capital the provider adds.

The distinguishing feature is the foward contract. It can expire at some point. It isn’t always the case though, with the main exception being a forward contract. A forward contract has all overnight funding charges already included in the spread.

Profit and loss

This aspect requires carefulness and accuracy. It has to do with determining the profit or loss of a CFD trade. You can achieve this when you multiply the total number of contracts by the value if each contract. When you determine the difference in points between the close and open price, you multiply it with the figure above.

Profit or Loss = (no. of contracts x value of each contract) x (closing price – opening price)

Minus any paid charge or fee to get the actual calculation of the gain or loss from a trade.

For instance, if you purchase 50 FTSE 100 contracts when the buy price is 7500.0. It is recorded that a single FTSE 100 worth $10 per point. You make a profit of $500 for any upward movement. Then, you lose $500 for any downward movement.

If at the point you sold the FTSE 100, it was trading at 7505.0, your profit would be $2500

2500 = (50 x 10) x (7505.0 – 7500.0)

If you sell when the FTSE 100 is trading at 7497.0, your culmulative loss would be $1500

-1500 = (50 x 10) x (7497.0 – 7500.0)


Is it possible to trade CFDs without leverage?

It is possible, depending on some providers. However, all CFDs have Leverage. Volatility and Liquidity influence leveraging.

Can CFDs be used for hedging?

It is very much possible to use CFDs for hedging. This is done by opening a profitable position if there is a loss at one position. A perfect illustration is, the taking out of a short position from a market. If there is any loss, your profit augments for it.

Is there any difference between CFDs and futures?

Volatility is a constant factor affecting the stock market. The value of contrasts at some point will fall or rise. Its the duty of contracts for difference to protect an investor from incurring losses. It does this by closing your position if it notices a loss signal on the market trade.

On the contrary, futures are contracts that enable you trade a financial instrument in the future. The main difference is, CFDs doesn’t give a specific date for the trade but futures do. However, the current movement of assests and market predictions for the future, influences futures trading. Traders can observe the prices of futures contracts with IG CFD trading accoun, without purchasing the contracts.


I believe this article has impacted more knowledge to you. Note that this is not an investment advice, therefore you need to carry out your own research.

See the List of things to learn.
  1. Blockchain Technology
  2. Defi
  3. NFTs
  4. DAOs
  5. Crypto
  6. Web 3.0
  7. Altcoin Tokenomics
  8. Metaverse
  9. Smart Contracts

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