Benefits of trading CFDs
CFDs are derivative products that offer distinct benefits including:
- Traded on margin
- Traded long or short
- Traded online
- Low transaction cost
- Access to international markets
- Benefits from dividends
CFD prices are obtained directly from the underlying market. This means CFDs give you access to the liquidity in the underlying market, plus liquidity offered by the CFD provider. Most of the time there is much more liquidity in the CFD market than in the underlying or physical market due to the higher number of participants including private and institutional traders.
Trade on margin
CFDs are traded on margin, typically from 5-10% to for shares and 1% for indices. This means a more efficient use of your capital as you only need to allocate a small percentage of your funds to secure a trade. This also enables you to magnify the returns on your investment with a much smaller capital outlay.
Trade long and short
Before CFDs, going short a stock could only be done through a traditional broker that would charge hefty fees on top of the normal brokerage. With CFDs traders can now go short any position or market without any extra cost. Going short is as easy as going long with CFDs. Going short also provides another benefit that was not available before. Your CFD provider will pay you interest on a short CFD position. This is similar to earning interest on your bank account balance.
With an estimated 13.4 million Australians with Internet access online share trading has also been on the increase, giving traders more control and constant access to their positions. Most CFD providers offer free software and CFD trading platforms that allow traders to place orders online even outside normal trading hours.
Low transaction cost
Trading CFDs can cost you as low as $10 each way compared to traditional stock brokerage rates of around $25-30. Although transaction costs are a small portion of your overall trading cost, they have an impact on your bottom line once the volume of your transactions increases.
Access to international markets
CFDs open up a wide range of trading instruments. Most CFD providers offer CFDs on Australian and International shares, indices, sectors, commodities, foreign exchange and treasuries. Most of these markets were not available or accessible to private traders before due to the complex nature or complicated set up of traditional brokerage accounts.
Receive benefits of dividends and stock splits
As CFDs reflect the price and movement of the underlying physical share, they also mirror any corporate actions that take place in the underlying share. This means, if you are a holder of a share CFD, you will also receive dividends and stock split benefits once they become due. However, you are not entitled to any voting rights or franking credits. On the same vein, when you are short a share CFD and the underlying stock goes ex-dividend, you have to pay the dividend amount as you would if you were short the physical share.
To find more helpful CFD trading tips you can download our free CFD Guide.