Many people have different ideas to what makes a good spread betting firm, depending on what their attitude is towards trading and if they are experienced or just starting out. All of the Spread Betting firms in the UK are regulated so there should not be any concerns regarding how reputable they are or how safe your money is with them. However, there are definitely some that are better than others. If you are not sure which ones to join check out our recommendations and remember to consider the following factors when making any decision:
It is always a great sign if a Spread Betting firm offers training. This does not mean a handbook with a few trading examples but thorough training, i.e., online videos, regular training seminars around the country and help available over the telephone. It used to be the case where you were expected to be more or less a trading expert when you opened an account but thankfully those times have most definitely changed and most of the firms offer very good training programmes. Even if you are a seasoned trader it is always a good idea to keep on to top of any new trading developments.
This aspect is quite often overlooked but it is especially important that a knowledgeable and helpful customer service department is provided by the spread betting companies. There is nothing worse than phoning up with a problem and being made to feel like you are asking stupid questions and wasting the operator’s time. The is no such question as a stupid question and thankfully, the majority of the Spread Betting companies now realise this. If you ever get put through to anyone who is in any way unhelpful, no matter which company it is, simply ask to speak to someone else. Don’t waste your time talking to anyone who has the wrong attitude, it is just not worth the bother.
The size of the spreads on whatever markets you are trading on can make a massive difference to your bottom line. You should really only be specialising on a very few types of trade, so if you regularly trade crude oil for instance, you should contact each Spread Betting Firm and ask them what is the size of their spreads on that particular market. They might range in size depending on the time of day so make a note of the times that you would normally trade as well, and compare who offers the best deal which suits you.
Many of the companies offer sophisticated charting packages at no charge if you have an account with them. It is often the case that these packages would cost £50 plus per month or more so you can see what a good deal you are getting. It is worth noting that some of these charting packages will offer information that you don’t really need, and can only go to distract you from actually starting to trade, so please bear that in mind. It is all very well having lots of charts displayed on your computer but quite often just a couple will suffice.
So there you have it. Some food for thought when trying to find a good Spread Betting Firm. Recommendations from a friend or a website like this is always helpful but hopefully this list will give you a bit more guidance about what you should be looking for.
Which Spread Betting Company?
Which spread betting company will you use? It is no doubt a competitive market and you will often find that all sorts of incentives are offered to persuade you to choose that particular company but you should also pay particular attention to the customer service, spreads and extras offered by each company. Ok so I am going to talk about this in more detail starting with the most important.
If you are a seasoned trader and trade on particular markets then you should definitely compare the spreads on offer between each spread betting company. A favourable spread can make such a difference over a period of time. Your staking should also play a part when choosing which firm to use. Make sure that you are not tempted to open an account where the minimum stakes are a higher than you are used to. By Spread Betting in this way you will be taken out of your comfort zone and this is where mistakes can and will happen.
It is also a good idea to look at what extras the spread betting firms have to offer. This can be in the form of charts and various research materials to help with your investment decisions. Some of these research facilities that come with various spread betting accounts are really very professional and would cost a considerable amount of money each month if they were purchased separately.
When you have narrowed down the companies that interest you it is always advisable to get in contact with them regarding any questions that you may have, and by doing this you are able to gauge the quality of the customer services in terms of how knowledgeable and how friendly they are. These simple attributes can go a long way to making your choice of a spread betting company a profitable one, after all, if you are not comfortable contacting the support staff because they are not very welcoming it will certainly have an effect on your trading.
These incentives often come in the form of sign up bonuses which is all well and good but you really should pay more attention to the size of the spreads and that the markets on offer meet your requirements. There is no harm in taking advantage of the sign up bonuses, which in some cases can be quite substantial, but shopping around for the tightest spreads will be far more financially beneficial to you over the long term.
All of the above should be taken into consideration when deciding on which is the best spread betting firm for you but it should also be remembered that you are not limited to join just one. It is perfectly acceptable to sign up with several but it is advisable to keep your trading with only one or two so as not to complicate matters. For ourselves we use Ayondo because we believe they have very fair terms. They charge financing fees only on the ‘borrowed’ amount (so if you open a position for GBP3,000 and put up GBP700 as margin they will ‘only’ charge you interest on the net GBP2,300 if you hold a position overnight unlike other providers who will charge you for the full GBP3,000. I also like the fact that they have a no-negative balance policy meaning that you never can risk losing more than the amount you deposit with them and that they offer free guaranteed stops and pay 100% of dividends unlike some other providers who may pay just 80%.