As individual trading in Spread Betting moves away from the trading floors in major exchanges and on to the computer-based platforms that can be accessed from anywhere, there is an increasingly large number of broker providers that will provide access to the Spread Betting markets. It can be a daunting task to decide which broker is the best for your trading style, so here we will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the major broker choices that are currently available.
While this list is by no means all inclusive, most traders would agree that the companies on this list are generally viewed as the powerhouses in the industry. Typically, traders are looking for a balance between low trading costs, and trading efficiency. Additional features that should be considered are charting software options and educational materials, as this will help you to make more accurate and informed trades once your account is live.
IG markets is one of the longest and most well-established trading brokers currently available. The company offers a wide selection of asset choices and trading types and given the size of the company, customer service and trading execution efficiency is rarely questioned. If your trading style requires an efficient platform (which will be needed for short term strategies and news trading), IG Markets is clearly one of your best choices.
Given IG’s position in the Spread Betting industry, the company is often criticized for its high trading costs and lack of educational materials. Because of this, inexperienced and high frequency traders might feel as though they are at a disadvantages with this broker.
City Index is considered by most to be the number 2 company in the CFD and Spread Betting industries. City Index is probably best known for its free market research that is released at the beginning of each trading session. For fundamentally based traders this will be seen as a major advantage but there is also a technical report that is highly touted as well.
The disadvantages at City Index come mostly from two areas: trading costs and leverage limits. Spreads on the majors are between 3 and 6 points and this could be seen as a problem for higher frequency traders. In addition to this, traders looking to maximize leverage will likely want to find another broker, as City Index offers trading at 150:1.
CMC Markets is emerging as one of the most popular choices in the Spread Betting industry and perhaps its biggest strength is seen in an area that is lacking in some of its competitors: Educational materials. CMC offers an impressive selection of free tutorials to its clients and this will be especially attractive to newer traders who still need to learn the basics.
The most common criticism that is voiced by users of CMC is that trade execution can be lacking in times of high volatility. While the platform itself is attractively designed, this might prove to be a major disadvantage for news traders and short term strategies that play against market volatility.
Capital Spreads is a UK based broker that has emerged as another leader in the Spread Betting industry. Trade execution is stable and the company offers fixed spreads in all market conditions. The trading platform is simple and user friendly, so Capital Spreads is an excellent choice for new traders and those implementing Swing Trading strategies.
Disadvantages in the Capital Spreads offerings come from their slightly high Forex trading costs and limited offerings in exotic currencies and small cap stocks. This makes Capital Spreads a difficult choice to make for traders that are looking to invest in less popular markets that have low liquidity levels.