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Get the best out of your spread betting demo account

For residents of the UK and Ireland, it is relatively easy to get started with a spread betting demo account. Most Brokers are not required to perform the number of checks and collect as much personal information for a demo account as they do for a live account. Setting up a demo account is generally…

For residents of the UK and Ireland, it is relatively easy to get started with a spread betting demo account. Most Brokers are not required to perform the number of checks and collect as much personal information for a demo account as they do for a live account. Setting up a demo account is generally a speedy process.

A spread betting demo account will let you practice trading with paper money – which means your profits and losses will not be real. It will give you a feel for the platform you choose before you commit real money.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of spread betting demo accounts for you to cast your eye over. Follow the links to find our independent review of each broker. Before you make any kind of decision on which spread betting demo account you wish to trial though, take a look at our short guide to choosing a spread betting demo account below.

Choose a spread betting demo account

Spreadbetting Broker  Description
Pepperstone logo

Virtual Funds: $50,000

The new Pepperstone spread betting account enables novice traders to spread bet from 20p per point on a range of Indices, Commodities and Currencies. There’s flexibility to increase stake sizes as you gain in confidence. See our full Pepperstone review
ActivTrades logo

Virtual Funds: £10,000

ActivTrades provide spread betting clients with the option to trade from a minimum of 10p per stake across a range of indices, commodities and forex pairs.

City Index

Virtual Funds: £10,000

City Index offers access to over 8,000 instruments across Forex, Indices, Shares and Commodities markets. City Index is a familiar UK brand having been established in 1983 and will appeal to novice through to experienced traders.

Markets.com review

Virtual Funds: £10,000

Markets.com enable new clients to trade on their platform from 50p per stake across a range of indexes, currencies and commodities.

Ig Group

Virtual Funds: £10,000

IG offer new spread betting clients with the opportunity to build their confidence with reduced minimum bet sizes within the first two weeks of opening an account. You’ll be able to trade a 50% smaller bet size for those two weeks on an industry leading range of Indices, Commodities and Currencies. See our full IG review

How to make best use of a spread betting demo account

For beginners, a spread betting demo account offers you an opportunity to understand how fast the markets move, and will let you explore some of the other facilities spread betting companies offer, like market news and charting.

Bear in mind a demo account may not incorporate all of the markets you would expect from a funded account and the prices quoted may not necessarily be the live prices. However, most of the popular markets are likely to be available, giving you a chance to practice your trading strategies risk free and developing a style of trading that works for you.

It is important to bear in mind that a spread betting demo account will not necessarily prepare you for live trading.

Here’s the crux of it.

There is an added pressure that comes with trading real money that you simply can’t replicate with a demo account.

This is where your trading strategy will be invaluable. You will need to strive to formulate and hone your strategies using your spread betting demo account so that your trades become a simple function.

Removing emotion from your trading before you do it for real with a live account will help you avoid the big losses that come from beginner’s mistakes. Trading with real money is a game changer.

A spread betting demo account will allow you to monitor the underlying performance price of your chosen markets and understand their relationship with other markets and events over time.

A good spread betting demo account will also offer you the opportunity to manage your risk by setting stop orders as you would with a live account.

Spreadbetting platforms for beginners

We’ve taken a look at all of the online platforms available and put together this list of the best spreadbetting platforms for beginners. Each platform offers a limited risk feature that will significantly reduce your exposure to losses while you learn to trade.

Before you go ahead and sign up for a spread betting demo account, we’ll explain how you should go about choosing your spread betting broker

Choosing the right broker can be a bewildering process. There are now more companies offering access to the financial markets than ever before. The barriers to entry are lower, while the big, established firms are seeking ways to innovate, and to provide products and services that others cannot afford to deliver.

In addition, the overall cost of trading is coming down as more firms seek to compete on price. For the new trader, this is a great time to be starting out, as many companies will bend over backwards to win your business.

Competition is hot out there for your business, but not all brokers offer the same suite of products and services. It is fair to say that some are better positioned to deal with the beginner than others.

1. A lesson for beginners

For starters, some of the bigger companies have had the resources to invest in substantial educational programmes, which include colourful trading guides, videos, seminars and access to trading coaches who can answer your questions. These are usually offered free, and The Armchair Trader would encourage you to take advantage of them.

2. The trade off

Many brokers use different trading ‘platforms’ – the system you use to place your trades, follow prices, even do some analysis on. These are getting more sophisticated all the time, so it is important that you familiarise yourself with a spread betting demo account before you commit your funds to a live trading account.

Much is made of these platforms, and indeed they can cost a considerable amount of time and money to build from scratch, so their creators can feel justly proud of them.

But trading platforms are not the be-all and end-all. A poorly designed trading interface, however, can really cripple your ability to trade financial markets online.

Brokers will be able to take you through the process of familiarising yourself properly with the way their trading platform works, and it is essential that you do get to grips with it, or costly mistakes can occur later.

The majority of brokers now offer mobile applications (‘apps’) that allow traders to follow markets and trade on the move.

Obviously, there are limitations on just how much functionality can be delivered to a mobile device. If trading when you are out and about is important to you, you’ll need to choose a broker that offers the mobile technology you need.

3. Your Opening Gambit

Next, look at how much firms are asking as a minimum account opening sum. This still varies quite widely. Some companies are not only set up to cater to novice traders, they are also equipped to service thousands of retail clients, even those only prepared to stake a maximum of a few hundred dollars.

Others will only be interested in the big money traders.

When brokers compete on price – and they are increasingly having to do this – they compete on the size of their spreads.

One of the ways brokers make their money is by quoting a spread which is marginally wider than the spread they can get themselves in the market from their prime brokers.

Fifteen years ago, when there were fewer brokers competing in this space, they could afford to quote nice, fat spreads.

Nowadays, spreads are getting narrower all the time, and according to some sources within the business, some spreads are now so narrow that firms have to be running some of these tight markets at a loss, in order to attract new business.

We are seeing record narrow levels in spreads on some key markets, like the big stock market indexes. These are already highly liquid markets, with plenty of volume in the futures markets, so brokers can already afford to transfer this level of market activity to their customers in the form of tighter spreads.

Not all brokers are convinced that competing on spreads is the way to go, and they quietly maintain the conviction that a shiny new trading platform or a bigger range of markets will still allow them to compete. Time – and the consumer – will tell.

4. Set out your Stall

The range of markets offered can be important to some traders. Much of the volume in trading at any given brokerage will be in a small handful of key, headline markets.

These include the big financial indexes, the most important currency pairs, and the commodities that are most closely followed by the media, economists and global trading desks.

Indeed, 80 per cent or more of the volume of trading in any given month will be accounted for by fewer than a dozen markets.

This means most of the traders, and most of the money, are focusing on the same prices. These are the markets where brokers will be competing most aggressively when it comes to hacking down spreads and margins. Outside these markets, the pricing will not necessarily be as competitive.

5. A Showering of Awards

While it is true that deeper pockets can also provide superior products and services to the trader, this is not always the case.

However, publishers of financial magazines always need to have one eye on their bottom line, and glitzy black tie awards ceremonies, while making everyone feel good about themselves, also contribute heavily to magazines’ profits.

Our advice to the beginning trader: don’t be guided by how many awards a company has won.

Marketing departments love to plaster them all over their advertising, but the proof of the pudding, as always, is in the eating.

6. Compare the Markets

Astute traders will use more than one broker account.

The primary reason for doing so is to allow proper comparison of the prices between them.

If a trader is focusing in particular on a handful of markets, he can develop a good idea of where a price should be, and place trades with the firm that can offer the most competitive prices most consistently.

While this is less of an issue for the beginner, it is worth considering further down the line if you have the spare capital to commit to a second account.

7. Credit where it’s due

Brokers are in the business of lending money.

The very fact that they offer margin trading facilities means they are offering credit.

When opening a live account with an online broker, you are entering into a credit agreement. The company concerned will analyse your financial circumstances, just as a mortgage lender would, to assess whether you can afford to trade in the first place.

The long and short of it

The most important thing we want you to take away from this is to do your homework before you commit to a broker.

Take the opportunity to trial a few spread betting demo accounts and meet with a selection of brokers through their education offerings, in person at their offices if you can, and get a full understanding of the tools you will need in your armoury in order to implement your trading strategy.

Want to read more? You can get a copy of our Beginners Guide to Choosing the right Spread Betting Company which features a more in depth look at the topic. Get your FREE copy here.

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Industry News

School4Trading Review – How to Spot Possible Forex Broker Fraud

School4trading Review

School4Trading Review – How to Spot Possible Forex Broker Fraud

In this School4trading Review, we will look at the features of the software, as well as the customer support. First, let us look at the interface. The design is simple and easy to navigate. It also provides a chatbot, which helps you to communicate with the broker. The customer service is warm and inviting, which is a hallmark of a good broker. In contrast, a fraudulent broker will use cold and impersonal customer support to lure people in.

Another problem with the system is that the login process is not always intuitive. You may have to retype your password several times to get in. Then, you may experience difficulties withdrawing your funds or accessing your account. In such cases, you might have to wait for days or even weeks before you can withdraw the money you’ve invested. This is not a good sign. It’s better to choose a different trading platform altogether.

If you’re having trouble logging in, you should also check the legitimacy of the broker. Whether the broker is licensed by a reliable regulatory body or closed down, you’ll want to be sure it’s legitimate. If the broker isn’t licensed by the right body, don’t trust him. You shouldn’t waste your time with an inexperienced company. This will only cause you problems in the long run.

The next factor that should be checked is the licensing. A legitimate broker will have a license from a high regulatory body. However, a broker without a license will be unreliable. Moreover, a reliable regulator will take away the license of a scam broker. As a result, a trustworthy School4Broker/Profittrade review should mention fees, account rules, and contract terms. A scam broker will be unable to operate legally.

Secondly, look for warning signs. The broker should be licensed and regulated by a reliable regulatory body. It should be regulated by a high level. If it doesn’t, it’s a scam. Lastly, it should have a website that lets you easily access your account. Moreover, you should not hesitate to check the contact information. If you find any information that seems suspicious, you should reconsider using the broker.

In summary, Forex trading isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s not as difficult as it seems if you’ve heard about the program. You’ll learn everything about the basics and how to become a professional. But if you’re still unsure about whether this program is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact a school4trading’s website.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to Forex trading is that it’s not easy. While it’s important to have a strong background in trading, there are a number of factors that can affect your success. Having a proper plan is vital in the long run, because you will be trading with real money. And, the platform should be reliable. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing a lot of money.

As we’ve mentioned, Forex is not easy. Investing isn’t something you can do in the comfort of your own home. You need a proven system. There are no free trials, so you’ll have to find a way to do it yourself. This isn’t a scam, and it’s a great way to make money without any help. A Forex system can help you learn the intricacies of the market.

Although the process of learning Forex isn’t an easy one, it’s certainly not impossible. Fortunately, there are many people who are willing to take the time to learn how to trade. But, even the most experienced trader needs to be aware of the risks of the market. While Forex trading isn’t easy, it can be done with the right knowledge. The software’s user-friendly interface is key.

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Daily Financial News

Don’t Count On JPY Correction; Staying Long GBP/JPY

The path of the potential pace of the JPY decline may still be underestimated by markets, which continue trading the JPY long.

While the 10% USDJPY advance from September lows looks impressive from a momentum point of view, it may no thave been driven by Japan’s institutional investors reducing their hedging ratios or Japan’s household sector reestablishing carry trades.

Instead, investors seemed to have been caught on the wrong foot, concerned about a sudden decline of risk appetite or the incoming US administration being focused on trade issues and not on spending. Spending requires funding and indeed the President-elect Trump’s team appears to be focused on funding. Here are a few examples: Reducing corporate taxation may pave the way for US corporates repatriating some of their USD2.6trn accumulated foreign profits. Cutting bank regulation could increase the risk-absorbing capacity within bank balance sheets. Hence, funding conditions – including for the sovereign – might generally ease. De-regulating the oil sector would help the trade balance, slowing the anticipated increase in the US current account deficit. The US current account deficit presently runs at 2.6% of GDP, which is below worrisome levels. Should the incoming government push for early trade restrictions, reaction (including Asian sovereigns reducing their holdings) could increase US funding costs, which runs against the interest of the Trump team.

Instead of counting on risk aversion to stop the JPY depreciation, we expect nominal yield differentials and the Fed moderately hiking rates to unleash capital outflows from Japan.The yield differential argumenthas become more compelling with the BoJ turning into yield curve managers. Via this policy move, rising inflation rates push JPY real rates and yields lower, which will weaken the JPY. Exhibit 12 shows how much Japan’s labor market conditions have tightened. A minor surge in corporate profitability may now be sufficient, pushing Japan wages up and implicity real yields lower.

JPY dynamics are diametrical to last year . Last year, the JGB’s “exhausted”yield curve left the BoJ without a tool to push real yields low enough to adequately address the weakened nominal GDP outlook. JPY remained artificially high at a time when the US opted for sharply lower real yields. USDJPY had to decline, triggering JPY bullish secondround effects via JPY-based financial institutions increasing their FX hedge ratios and Japan’s retail sector cutting its carry trade exposures. Now the opposite seems to be happening. The managed JGB curve suggests rising inflation expectations are driving Japan’s real yield lower. The Fed reluctantly hiking rates may keep risk appetite supported but increase USD hedging costs.Financial institutions reducinghedge ratios and Japan’s household sector piling back into the carry trade could provide secondround JPY weakening effects

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Daily Financial News

Mexico raises interest rates, cites Trump as risk

The head of Mexico’s central bank says U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump represents a “hurricane” sized threat to Mexico.

Banco de Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens told the Radio Formula network Friday that a Trump presidency “would be a hurricane and a particularly intense one if he fulfills what he has been saying in his campaign.”

Trump has proposed building a wall along the border and re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s central bank raised its prime lending rate by half a percent to 4.75 percent Thursday, citing “nervousness surrounding the possible consequences of the U.S. elections, whose implications for Mexico could be particularly significant.”

Mexico’s peso had lost about 6 percent in value against the dollar since mid-August. It recovered slightly after the rate hike

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