A: 'It seems so straightforward I must have missed something. Have I?'
1. The spread.
2. Financing costs.
3. For a share at 3.15p, is a point = 1p, or 0.1p, or 0.01p?
Those things aside, the max you can lose is £315, assuming a point = 1p. You don't have a 'stake' in spread betting in the same way as you do on a horse race. You have margin to cover losses. The size of the margin requirement may depend on your account history, the liquidity of the instrument, which exchange it's on, the market cap, etc
A: Ok, we need to go back to the basics here. You can start with as little or as much as you can afford to lose, if you shop around you can find a broker which will allow you to place trades with fractional lot sizes. This means that your underlying trade value is not restricted so you can trade for even 1p/cent per market point.
Starting with 75 - 100 quid and expecting to make 50 pounds per day is very unrealistic! Your goals are way out there as you are practically aiming to achieve more than a 50% increase in your account. I'm not saying that 50 quid a day is not achievable with the proper capitalization but with your experience and start up cost, I shouldn't think so.
Trade on a virtual account and then migrate to a live one where you will trade for real money. Expect to lose this money even with up to a years experience as you build the necessary psychological skills. Only get into this seriously if you are willing to do just that. Take it seriously and look to pursue this in the long foreseeable future.
All of us are always trading 24/7. If you are married you are constantly trading your personal freedom for a lifetime of compromised companionship. If you are employed you constantly trade your independence for perceived security and benefits. If you are self employed you are trading your perceived security and set benefits for unlimited potential gain or loss. If you think of everything you do and everyone you deal with as a trade of some sort, then, this will put things in perspective more than anything else I can think of with trading. The ultimate question is always 'are you willing to trade what you have for something else.' Be careful what you wish for
A: Buying shares the traditional way requires you to pay the full purchase price but with margin trading as in spread betting it is possible to create the same exposure with considerable less capital outlay. Most providers insist on just a 10% margin on liquid shares such as BP - and this will magnify the potential profits (losses), for instance a 5% rise in the price of BP would equal a 50% return on your margin deposit!
If you are just starting out I would suggest reading on the basics of trading and risk management first, and then attack spread betting on say 10p/point initially. With volatility at very high levels, it doesn't even matter if you have the right idea for the day, because intraday you will get smoked on your small amount of capital on larger spread bets. However, if you are seriously looking into spread betting as an alternative speculative vehicle you should be prepared to commit at least £5,000 of capital to your account.
A: Create 3 or more spread betting accounts - minimum deposits are quite small. This will allow you to gain first hand experience of their various foibles and be able to make your own mind up. You'll find some are better in certain areas than others, and it is not until you start using them that you'll work out which is best for what . In any case, it's always useful to have at least two accounts - that way if you urgently want to exit a position and for some reason the platform is down, you can always lay it off in another account.
Try not to get too confused by the sales 'blurb' from all the different companies. EASE OF USE should be the key thing...!! You will see literally '000s' of different instruments on the average instrument tree and the spreads are usually all very competitive - so that makes it an even harder decision sometimes.
As for charting - whether you need 3rd party depends on what you want to do and how much sophistication you need: bear in mind that most the spread betting companies provide feeds of their own prices, which isn't necessarily the same as the market, and also means that data such as volume isn't always available.
A: I know that with Finspreads you can bet as low as 10p per point for an 8-week introduction period...normal stakes are 50p per point on certain markets. IG Index also have an introductory offer starting from 10p on some instruments but it only lasts a few weeks.
A: Well, try speaking to IG Index and say you want to stay at 10p trading for the interim - there is a fair chance they will let you continue especially if you call them up and mention that you really want to stick in £150k in but need more practice... A friend of a friend asked and apparently it wasn't a problem To be honest 10p traders are probably a bit of a pain for them - trading 10p here and 20p there won't let them offset the action and it just clogs up the systems...etc
A: I was the one who recommended a minimum of 1,000 pounds but you either need to have experience in the markets or seek a third-party to assist you with your investments in order to achieve great returns especially with that amount of money.
What is a great return?
That depends on your personal definition of what constitutes a good return.
The trouble with investments is that it's a percentiles game - so that the actual returns from your investment depends on the size of the investment you started with.
Frankly, £1k is not a great deal to play with, but in the right areas, can work well. For example, if you had have invested in gold 4 months ago with that 1k, it would now be worth around £1.3. Which is a growth of 30% - which sounds great - but £300 out of it isn't all that great, considering the risks...
Here is my recommendation:
Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account into a Money Market Account every month and transfer the same amount every month, i.e. 50 pounds, 100 pounds, etc. until you have sufficient funds to invest with.
In the meantime you can research different investment strategies which will meet your investment goals or different companies which may be able to assist you.
You may want to trade on paper for a while [Ayondo: offer a good simulator platform]. You are right, if you play the markets right you can reap huge benefits.
The content of this site is copyright 2016 Financial Spread Betting Ltd. Please contact us if you wish to reproduce any of it.