Spread betting companies

Spread betting companies have been around since the 70s.Most spread betting companies will offer a wide variety of markets for the client to trade, including equities, currencies, commodities and bonds. They offer the ability to trade long (buy) or short (sell) so that the trader can profit from rising or falling market conditions. Additionally, many markets are available for trading 24 hours a day, 5 ½ days per week and bets can be placed for as little as 50p per point.

Most spread betting companies have invested heavily in their trading platforms as reliability, security and speed of execution are of paramount importance to the trader, as is ease of use. Software has been integrated in to the trading platform to assist traders, giving additional functionality as well as real time charts and technical tools.

Spread betting companies also offer various standard trading facilities such as the ability to set up stop losses to limit the losses or place limit or market orders. Orders can also be placed in to the markets to automatically open or close trades should predefined criteria be met without the trader needing to be present. Essentially everything that a trader needs can be done conveniently directly on the trading platform from within the client's account.

There are numerous different types of spread bets, ranging from daily bets or forwards. The trader can select his own preference of these depending on his likely holding period. Spread bets can be closed at any time or run until expiration, at which point the trader has the option of closing out the trade or rolling the trade over into the next contract, or next day in the case of rolling daily bets.

Spread betting has numerous advantages over traditional trading or investing. One of the biggest advantages for UK residents is that spread betting is exempt from stamp duty and capital gains tax.

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