CFD allows traders to access a wide variety of markets and a wide range of trading tools. Trading on a CFD demo account is a necessary step for those who want to trade profitably. Demo trading helps you to improve skills, find weaknesses in your psychological state, while not risking real money.
August 6, 2021, | AtoZ Markets – CFD allows traders to access a wide variety of markets and a wide range of trading tools. CFD stands for Contract for Difference and allows traders to buy or sell financial instruments without owning the underlying asset. For example, instead of buying Apple stock, you can buy CFDs on Apple.
Most CFD brokers are also market makers, in other words dealing centers. This means that they themselves create the market by taking the opposite side of your trade. You might be thinking, “Isn’t there a conflict of interest here?” There is a conflict, you are right. But that is their business model. Most retail traders trade very small amounts and carry out a small volume of transactions. It is not profitable to bring their positions to the real market, so the broker satisfies this demand by creating a synthetic market for small traders. In addition, this business model is more profitable than ECN, STP, or providing direct access to the global stock markets.
Advantages of CFD trading
Unlike stock trading, CFDs provide a number of benefits.
First of all, you don’t need a lot of capital to open an account and trade. Also, CFDs give you the opportunity to trade with higher leverage than the stock market. This means you can control large position sizes with a small deposit. For example, if a stock requires a 10% margin and you have a $1,000 trading account, you can buy shares up to $10,000. However, don’t forget that leverage is a double-edged sword. With more returns, you also get more exposure.
With CFDs, you can go short on most stocks. You will be able to hedge your positions and even profit from a market crash.
You will get access to many trading tools:
- Agricultural goods.
And all this on one trading account with minimal commissions and low margins.
CFDs trading risks and how to avoid them
Unlike stocks, which are traded on a stock exchange, CFDs are traded against your broker. Most of these brokers have offshore jurisdictions. This means that there is always a risk of being scammed by your broker. At the same time, it will be difficult for you to achieve justice and defend your interests.
Currently, the competition between brokers is so high that the risk of such a scenario is relatively low. Choose only a reliable broker. You can find a list of reliable brokers on atozmarkets.com/forex-brokers/.
Your broker will always require you to provide a sufficient margin to cover open positions. There are times in the market when the price moves very quickly and the size of your losses can also increase very quickly.
Remember to control your risk and always trade with a stop loss.
Sometimes, during periods of high volatility, your broker may raise margin requirements.
Do not use the entire available margin and limit the number of simultaneously open positions.
When trading CFDs, there may be discrepancies in quotes from different brokers. This can sometimes be critical if you are trading on lower timeframes. On higher timeframes, starting from H4, discrepancies are usually insignificant. However, there is always a risk that your stop loss may be hit precisely because of your broker’s quotes. Don’t put your stop loss too close.
CFD trading Costs
Commission is the fixed cost of a transaction that you must pay to open/close your position. CFD brokers with direct market access tend to charge higher fees than dealing centers.
Spread is the difference between the buy and sell price. For example, Apple’s stock price is $120 and the selling price is $119. This means that if you want to buy Apple, it will cost you $ 120. If you want to sell Apple stock, you get a price tag of $119. The spread will be $1. Stay away from markets with low liquidity, as the spread is usually quite high there.
A swap is a fee to hold your position that is charged every day by the broker. Fee size depends on the funding rate and the time which you hold your position for.
Quote Fees – Some brokers charge a monthly fee to access more accurate quotes. This may be relevant for you if you are scalping.
How much money will it take to trade CFDs?
Each broker has the minimum deposit amount. You can easily start even with $100. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to trade the shares of most international companies. The main thing is to consider the margin (which usually ranges from 5 to 10%) and do not open too many trades at the same time.
CFDs are perfect for novice traders who want to try their hand at trading and trade on a large number of financial markets, while not investing large amounts of money.
But before you start trading CFDs with real money, I’d like to advise you to practice on a demo account.
CFD demo trading
A CFD demo account is a trading account, which you can use to trade with virtual money. There are many reasons for a new trader to practice on a demo account. And I highly recommend a new trader first to trade on a demo acount.
Many people underestimate trading on a demo account, believing that trading with fake money does not make much sense. However, this is a delusion. Trading on a demo account is an integral part of the success of any trader.
Trading is always long-term work. Many traders are often extremely enthusiastic and optimistic when they first start trading. However, after a year, most of them fall out of the race and stop trading. Why is this happening? Because most people lose money and decide that trading is not for them.
However, there are simple steps you can take to avoid this situation. And trading on a demo account is the most important step. Demo trading can save you time and money.
While you may not be able to replicate the experience of trading with real money, you can get a number of benefits from demo trading.
Many of us have ever played sports. And athletes spend most of their time in training. For example, footballers spend 80% or more of their playing time on the training field trying to upgrade their skills, which they need to play in real life.
Trading on a demo account is done with virtual money, so you can trade without risking your real money.
Demo account gives an opportunity to check the trading conditions of your broker, for example, order execution speed, margin, commission, absence of requotes, and slippage.
You will be able to test your scripts and Expert Advisors. It is always recommended to test it on a demo account before launching a script or an Expert Advisor on a real account. You do not want your advisor to start opening and closing orders and making a loss. Running on a demo account will help you find errors in the code and eliminate them.
Let’s say you have been trading on demo for 3-4 months. Then you start trading on a live account and after 6 months you suffer serious losses. You find yourself in a situation where you have lost money and time. Therefore, you should return to trading on a demo account. In fact, you should not leave demo trading if you have had less than 3 months of successful demo trading experience.
You need to first become a profitable demo trader before risking your own capital. There is no reason to start trading on a live account if you do not have enough trading experience. Therefore, the best way to cut your losses and reduce the number of possible mistakes and failures is to trade on a demo account.
Trading is always carried out with a long-term perspective. Unfortunately, many traders do not stay in the market after two years. Most leave trading after the first year.
If you have been trading for several years, you will realize that there are constant ups and downs here. At the very beginning, there will be many more falls. But that shouldn’t be a reason for despair.
Saving time and effort
You will save time and energy if you use the demo account correctly.
Value your time. If you start trading on a live account too early, you will lose not only time but money.
Be smart and efficient, devote enough of your time to trading on a demo account. It is an indispensable method of preparing for real money trading. Ignore the advice of your broker or other traders who will push you to open a real account, while saying that trading on a demo account means nothing.
If you do not trade demo for enough time, you will experience psychological stress due to your losses and constantly doubt the effectiveness of your working strategy. All these factors increase the risks of your trading, especially if you are a beginner.
Trading strategies testing
Trading strategies testing is a process that allows you to see the performance of your strategy in the past based on historical data. But remember that past results are not a guarantee of the same performance in the future. However, backtesting can give you confidence that your strategy is valid. The longer the testing period is, the more reliable the results are.
In addition, a trading strategy, which is based on daily or weekly timeframes is more likely to be considered reliable than a strategy, which is based on tick data. This is because tick data can be unreliable and random.
There are several assumptions you should consider when re-testing your trading strategy and trying to determine if the strategy will work in the future.
You need to make sure that your criteria are validated over a long period, not a limited, specific period.
Forward testing on a demo account
Forward testing allows you to additionally reinforce backtesting results on history in real-time, without risking real capital. One of the benefits of forward testing on a demo account is helping you determine how your trading strategy is performing.
When you analyze your strategy, you need to be honest with yourself. You should look at all trades collectively, not individual trades by choice. You should carefully analyze data and determine if additional adjustments in your strategy may be required to compensate for similar risks in the future.
Whether you are taking a systematic approach or a discretionary approach, trading on a demo account can help you spot any pitfalls. If you are using technical analysis, the demo trading approach will test your decision-making processes, similar to real trading. You will make decisions on entry and exit levels in real-time, and you will practice these techniques to see if they work as intended.
Should you trade on a CFD demo account?
I would advise you to use a demo account in the following cases:
If you are still quite a beginner and are not familiar with the CDF trading basics. Then you should definitely try to trade on demo for several weeks.
If you have not yet tried the broker’s trading platform or have never traded the exact CFD.
If you have developed a new trading strategy and you need to test it to see how it works. However, after any testing, you also need to thoroughly test this strategy on a small real account. Do not open a real account with your last savings. Instead, start with an amount you don’t mind losing.
5 important questions about real money trading
Trading on a CFD demo account is a necessary step for those who want to trade profitably. Demo trading helps you to improve skills, find weaknesses in your psychological state, while not risking real money.
But how do you know that you are ready to trade with real money?
Here is a small list of questions that you must answer positively in order to start trading with real money. If you answer negatively to at least one of the questions, I advise you to stay on demo.
Have you traded regularly for 3 months?
This is a very important question. The CFD markets are always changing, which means that a trading strategy that works well on a demo can fail after 3 months. You should have enough experience to notice changes in market behavior so that you are able to react quickly and adjust your trading strategy to current conditions.
Have you experimented with different trading styles?
There are so many styles and trading strategies around. Are you sure you have found exactly what suits you best? Make sure you try your hand at scalping, trading daily charts, automated trading, and more. You need to have confidence in your system.
Do your winning trades outweigh your losing ones?
If you have not traded profitably on a demo account, then you should not trade with real money. As soon as you get one losing trade in real trading, emotional decisions will immediately absorb rational ones, and this will lead to the loss of the entire deposit. Make sure you are a profitable demo trader.
Do you keep a trade journal to improve your skills?
This is the part which many traders miss due to laziness or indiscipline. I can guarantee that if you take a little time to record and analyze your trades, you will significantly improve your results.
Do you have a trading plan?
Without a specific trading plan, your deposit is doomed to be destroyed. You should always know what you will do when you receive a signal from your trading system to enter a trade.
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