CFD trading platforms

Compare fees and trading platforms to find the best CFD broker for you.

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Disclaimer: General information only. All forms of investments (and in particular, trading CFDs, commodities and forex) carry significant risk, including the risk of losing more than the invested amounts, market volatility and liquidity risks. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Such activities are not suitable for most investors.
Name Product Minimum Opening Deposit Minimum Opening Deposit Commission - ASX 200 Shares Available CFD markets Platforms
Pepperstone CFD
$5 or 0.07%
Share CFDs (AU, US, UK, HK, and German shares), Forex, Indices, Cryptocurrencies, Commodities, and ETFs
MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Get access to more than 60+ forex and CFD markets when you sign up with this award-winning Australian broker. Plus, access the new advanced TradingView charts platform.
Vantage CFD
$2 per lot ($1 each side)
Forex, CFD shares, Indices, Cryptocurrencies, Commodities, ETFs
MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Vantage has some of the lowest CFD trading fees in Australia, plus you can place trades and find global trends through the new TradingView charts platform.
eToro CFD
No commission
Forex, Shares, Indices, Cryptocurrencies, Commodities, ETFs
eToro Trading Platform
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Join the largest social trading network in the world.
Plus500 CFD
No commission
CFD on Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Indices, Shares, Options and ETF's
Plus500 Trading Platform
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Trade CFDs on Australian and International shares, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities and more.
IG CFD broker
0.08% with $7 minimum
Indices, FX, Shares, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, ETPs, Options, Interest Rates, Bonds
MetaTrader 4
ProReal Time
IG Trading Platform and Apps
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Trade from over 15,000 markets with Australia's leading service for CFD trading and forex.
IC Markets CFD (True ECN Account)
0.1% per side
ASX shares, global shares, indices, commodities, forex, cryptocurrencies
MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Trade 230+ different products with fast execution under 40 milliseconds on average.
Saxo Capital Markets CFD
0.10% with $6 minimum
Indices, FX, Shares & ETFs, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Options, Bonds
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Award-winning trading platfrom with extensive charting tools and reliable execution.
Blueberry Markets CFD Trading
$20 per month subscription plus 2% of trade size
Indices, ASX200 Shares, Commodities, Cryptocurrency
MetaTrader 5
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Bottom of the market fees on forex, CFDs and commodities with 24/7 quality customer service.
ACY Securities CFD
No commission
NYSE, Nasdaq, ASX, FX and CFDs on shares, forex, indices, commodities, precious metal, ETFs and cryptocurrencies.
MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
Disclaimer: CFD Service. Your capital is at risk. Trade over 2,000 products across CFDs, forex, indices, metals, shares, commodities and cryptocurrency, starting from as low as $50 a trade.

A contract for difference (CFD) is a tradable instrument that tracks the price of an underlying asset. They are traded across multiple asset classes including foreign exchange, commodities, shares and cryptocurrencies.

Trading CFDs and forex on leverage is high-risk and you could lose more than your initial investment. It may not be suitable for every investor. Refer to the provider’s PDS and consider the risks before trading.

What are CFDs?

CFDs are derivative contracts that can be used to speculate on the price movements of different assets including stocks, commodities, market indices and cryptocurrencies. You can also trade CFDs on currencies, but in Australia, we typically refer to this as forex trading.

Because they're complex investment products that are typically paired with leverage, they're high-risk and best suited to experienced traders.

Instead of owning the asset itself, investors hold a contract that is attached to a specific asset. The contract stipulates that the buyer of the contract must pay the contract seller the difference between the current price of the asset and the price at the time the contract was sold.

One of the benefits of CFDs is that they can go both "long" or "short", meaning a trader can try to make a profit regardless of the direction of the market. For this reason, CFD trading often becomes more popular during times of market volatility, as traders seek to profit by "shorting" the market when it falls.

Despite their popularity, as many as 8 in 10 investors lose money when trading CFDs.

This guide offers a complete overview of CFDs, including how they are traded, some trading strategies and what risks are involved.

Pepperstone CFD Trading Offer

Pepperstone CFD Trading Offer

Enjoy cheap fees and incredibly quick order executions when you trade forex, commodities and crypto assets.

  • Trade more than 1,200 instruments across forex, commodities, shares and crypto
  • Fast and reliable trading with a 99.72% fill rate
  • Tight spreads - trade FX from 0.0 PIPs spreads on 14 currency spreads

Disclaimer: Trading CFDs and forex on leverage is high-risk and losses could exceed your deposits.

5 reasons to trade CFDs

There are a few main reasons you might want to trade CFDs:

  1. CFDs allow you to speculate on thousands of financial products and global markets that you may otherwise be unable to access.
  2. You can go long or short, hence you can profit (and also lose money) in both rising and falling markets.
  3. You can hedge your portfolio. Hedging acts as insurance for the rest of your portfolio through CFDs.
  4. You can usually access free demo accounts, as well as charts and trading tools through your broker.
  5. CFD contracts don't necessarily have a fixed expiry date, meaning you can close out your position when you decide.

What are the risks?

CFDs are extremely risky, complex products and are ideally only suited to very experienced financial traders. Here are some of the potential risks that you should know about before deciding if CFD trading is right for you:

  • CFDs are complex. CFDs are very intricate and confusing products. Even if you have a general understanding of what a CFD is, this doesn't mean you're ready to start trading CFDs.
  • You can lose more than your initial capital. If you gamble on the pokies, the most money you can lose is the amount you put into the pokie machine. This is not the case with CFDs. If you lose a CFD trade, you can lose much more money than you started with, meaning you actually owe the CFD provider money, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • You don't own the underlying asset. When trading CFDs, all you own is the contract between you and the CFD provider. Therefore, you can't benefit from the capital growth of the underlying asset over the long term.
  • CFDs depend on how the market performs. Even though you don't own the underlying asset, CFDs are still affected by market conditions. This can increase risks even more in a volatile market.

What can you trade with CFDs in Australia?

Some of the most common markets you can access with CFDs are shares, indices, forex, bonds, cryptocurrencies and commodities like oil or gold.

If you want to trade CFDs, you need to fully understand how the CFD itself works as well as the underlying asset. If you have no experience trading shares, for example, it's probably not a good idea to buy a shares CFD.

How do CFDs and stocks differ?

While both involve stocks the 2 financial instruments are actually vastly different.

If you're a traditional share investor, this means you're buying into the business, becoming a part owner. As such, you get a number of perks of ownership including voting rights of the company and dividend payments.

On the other hand CFD traders are not actual owners of a business. Instead, they are trading based on the movement of an asset. This means they don't have any of the perks that traditional business owners have even if they go long on the asset. Where CFDs gain an advantage over traditional share owners is they can trade on the price movement in either direction. This means they can profit from a falling share price.

If you're trading CFDs over shares you're also facing more risks. This is because CFDs work with leverage. While you can choose how much you want to lever up (in Australia it is up to 30:1) you are still taking on additional risk. When CFDs lose, it's possible to lose your entire balance.

How do CFDs and forex differ?

There are a few key differences between CFDs and forex, although again you can trade forex CFDs.

The main difference is how the price of an asset will change. When you're trading CFDs the price is largely determined by the underlying supply and demand of the currency. When you're trading via the forex market, the price will swing based on the fundamentals of the currency.

There's also the difference in the purpose of each market. Forex was originally created to help countries trade with each other. CFDs are not involved in international trade but instead are used by investors as a hedge.

Are CFDs right for beginners?

CFDs are not recommended for beginners, given they are riskier than traditional assets. This is especially the case when leverage is involved.

Instead, CFDs are more suited to traditional investors who have been trading for a while or those that are considered sophisticated investors.

If you're new to trading and want to learn, many of the brokers offer free demo accounts and educational resources. These can help you learn how the markets work as well as test your strategies prior to risking your own capital.

Are CFDs right for you?

CFDs are more suitable if:

  • You are an experienced trader.
  • You have a strong understanding of not only CFDs but many financial products and markets.
  • You possess a high tolerance to risk and are not at all risk-averse.
  • You can afford to lose quite a bit of money (it's not guaranteed that you will, but you need to be able to afford it if you do).
  • You have some level of legal expertise to understand the complexity of CFDs.
  • You are not interested in owning the underlying assets.
  • You understand the measures available to minimise your risk and are experienced using these tools, for example, stop-loss orders.
  • You have conducted plenty of research – trading CFDs is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

Can you make money trading CFDs?

While the vast majority of retail investors especially actually lose money, it is certainly possible to make money trading CFDs.

Like anything though, becoming a successful trader can take some time, as you will need to learn the basics, control your emotions and build up your trading skills. As such, you’re better off starting with a demo account. This way you can practice your trading without risking your capital.

How to choose the best CFD trading platform

The CFD broker you choose will depend on your trading style and what instruments or assets you prefer to use.

If you're looking for the best online platform or app for you, consider the following:

  • Available markets. Does the broker offer forex, gold, silver, cryptocurrency, stock market indices, global stock CFDs and ASX 200 CFDs?
  • Direct share CFDs. Not all brokers offer CFD trading on shares. Those that do can charge an additional subscription fee to access them.
  • Currencies. If you're looking to trade forex, check whether your preferred pairings are being offered.
  • Commission fees. There's often a brokerage fee charged when trading stock and stock index CFDs, so check to make sure it's not too high. These brokers instead run off a spread model.
  • ASX live data. Does it charge a fee to access live stock market data from the ASX and other stock market indices?
  • Minimum opening balance. Some brokers require a high minimum opening balance before you start trading – consider trialling the demo version first if it has one.
  • Platforms and software. Which trading platforms does it offer and can you add on software or analytics tools such as PsyQuation?
  • Other types of trading. Do you also want to invest directly in shares, ETFs, forex or managed funds?
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Frequently asked questions about CFDs

CFD and share trading glossary

  • Ask or ask price. This is the price at which a CFD trader can open a sell position or close a buy position.
  • ASIC. This is the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
  • Bid or bid price. This is the price at which a CFD trader can open a buy position or close a sell position.
  • CFD (contract for difference). This is a contract entered into by 2 parties who agree to exchange money according to the change in value of an underlying asset.
  • Contract currency. This is the currency in which a particular asset is traded.
  • Dealing. Dealing is when you open or close a CFD position.
  • Derivative. This is a financial instrument whose price is derived from an underlying asset.
  • Going long. This is when you open a buy position.
  • Going short. This is when you open a sell position.
  • Hedging. This is taking an opposite position to reduce the risk associated with an initial position.
  • Initial margin. This is the minimum initial amount of money a CFD trader must outlay to open a position.
  • Leverage. Leverage allows you to trade a larger-value asset than the worth of your initial investment. This is sometimes also referred to as gearing.
  • Open interest. This is the interest rate that applies to all CFD positions that are held open overnight.
  • Stop-loss. A stop-loss order can be placed when a CFD position is opened and is triggered when the price reaches a specified level. These orders are used to close out positions that have resulted in a loss and aim to prevent further loss.
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Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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