Spread Betting on Financial Instruments

Spread betting is one of the most efficient options you can use in the prediction of financial markets. However, a trader cannot have sole ownership of the underlying asset. Rather, they will place bets, predicting the rise or fall of that particular asset. The asset could be a stock or commodity, your choice. What spread bettors do is to analyze and predict whether the price of the purchase or commodity will decrease or increase, using the price of the commodity provided to them by brokers as a measure. 

Spread Betting on Financial Instruments

Like how trading in the stock market works, two prices are placed on spread bets — the bid price, the price at which bettors can buy, and the asking price, which bettors can sell. The spread is simply the difference between the bid price and the asking price. Unlike other kinds of trade, spread bets can be done without paying any tax whatsoever. 

Let’s assume a trader predicts that the price of gold is going to drop. The trader will create a spread bet to “sell” the market (the price of Gold). Whether the trader will suffer a loss or gain depends on the correctness of his prediction. If the price of gold eventually drops, the trader will make a profit. But if the price increases, he will suffer a loss.

How Spread Betting Originated 

The spread betting concept was thought to have been first described by a mathematics teacher who became a bookmarker, Charles K. McNeil. The idea of spread betting came up in Chicago in 1940 when gambling and other betting forms were at the highest point in American history. However, spread betting became a more professional concept in the financial sector in the 1970s — about thirty years after Charles K. McNeil birthed the idea. By 1974 spread betting had found its way into the gold market when Stuart Wheeler, founder of IG Index, introduced the idea. Before then, it was relatively difficult for many people to participate in the Gold market; the introduction of spread betting made things easier. 

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Understanding Financial Spread Betting 

The spread betting concept is easy to understand; an investor (a bettor) buys or sells a financial asset. This buying or selling is dependent on the investor’s perception of the market. They may sell if they believe that prices will fall and buy if they foresee a price increase. Knowing that the broker will pay for successful trades and get paid (to an extent) for unsuccessful trades, to different degrees, based on how significantly the stock swings throughout the exchange. This is part of a significant, frequently catastrophic aspect of how humans are with — the urge to endure difficult circumstances in anticipation of a major shift. For spread betting, all gains and losses are uncapped, indicating that investors will have to determine the perfect moment to accept a profit or loss. 

Bets are presented on several markets and benchmarks, which are utilized primarily as a pure quantitative framework for the wager. If the market moves above the price at which the investor buys a particular commodity, the investor makes a profit. It is this simplicity, in particular, that tends to make spread betting such an enticing trading platform.

Markets are outlined by the broker based on spreads that reflect the range at which the corresponding stock or index would be projected to shift over the day. With everything else being fair, spreads will be based on the current market price, with a point in each direction designed to accommodate the broker’s service charge. Nevertheless, it may be hard for investors to determine when stocks will fall or rise because of the constant change these prices undergo. 

Concepts of Spread Betting 

While financial spread betting looks like an easy concept on paper, it is one of the hardest skills to showcase expertise. Spread betting demands investors to have deep knowledge of how transactions are made, market dynamics, and all the materials they may need to tackle different issues while trading. The first move an investor can make to master the art of spread betting is to have a deep understanding of the various options available to help them make successful trades. 

Spread betting is different from normal share trading. It has a variety of important advantages and provides continuous benefits in share dealings. Investors are guaranteed to make quick, attractive profits in spread betting. However, we must not forget that while spread betting has garnered enough popularity among investors, it is still under the umbrella of the general trading sector. Therefore a few investors do not want to risk their money on spread betting because they are wary of the potential risks and disadvantages it may present.

Leverage IN Financial Spread Betting 

Leverage is a crucial factor in spread betting. It enables the market’s predictability, exposes its risks, and the problems it identifies cannot be underestimated. Leverage cannot be avoided in spread betting. Like two sides of a coin, leverage and spread betting cannot be separated. Nevertheless, by having a deep understanding of the market, and by trying to figure out the potential risks involved in financial spread betting, one can defeat all the potential challenges leverage presents. 

Markets are the most influential aspect of spread betting and other forms of monetary transactions. It is the dynamic nature of markets that offers the opportunity required by spread trading to thrive. And by having a piece of in-depth knowledge about how market volatility works, investors a step towards making successful transactions. 

Making A Financial Spread Bet 

In making a financial spread bet, the trader must first deliberate on how much money they are willing to risk. For instance, you may decide to risk $20 per point for a specific financial commodity because you believe the prices will increase shortly. If your prediction is correct, and the commodity’s value increases by ten points, you will earn a total of $200 as profit. Although this looks like the simplest financial transactions, in theory, it is very important to remember the spread. 

Just like other kinds of financial transactions, you must pay before playing in spread betting systems. Since the spread’s cost is included in all trades, the broker may always enjoy the benefits. The current price is always higher than the bid price and lower than the asking price. As a result, traders must pay before gaining access to the market. Because of this, even while having an equal risk/reward situation, you will require fifty percent of your transactions to be successful so that you neither gain nor lose money. 

For investors involved in financial spread betting, it is important to focus on the spread when trying to set up the “take profit” and “stop-loss” levels. That being said, it is the financial institution you opt to trade with that determines the spread’s size. Therefore, it will only be wise to carry out extensive research before deciding which broker with low spreads you wish to trade with. 

Spread Betting Example 

To give a clearer illustration of how spread betting works, let’s use this example:

Let’s assume that the FTSE 100 was placed in 1000; the provider could place his bid price at 999 and an offer price of 1001. If you decide to invest with $10 for each point on a long trade, you will only make a $200 profit when the index increases to 1021. However, you will lose $200 if the trade becomes unsuccessful and does not go in your favor. Whether you make profits or not, you must pay the spread — always make sure you remember this. 


Financial spread betting can be exhilarating and rewarding if you understand the rules. Spread betting is a free-flowing kind of trade that allows different individuals from every part of the world to gain access to the market regulated by specific financial institutions. These financial markets are not designed to exploit people or take their money from them. Rather, they are designed to help you make profits when you buy or sell financial commodities. By carrying out extensive research before deciding to join any financial spread betting company, you can make real money from spread betting on financial instruments. 

Also, you must work on creating the right strategies and implementing them, you stand a chance of making successful trading decisions in spread betting long-term. Since you’ll be betting on real-time financial instruments, it is a more structured form of generating income than casino gaming. Spread betting and leverage go hand-in-hand. Knowing how to effectively reduce the risks involved, you can successfully turn leverages into your advantage. 

Lastly, putting your money in online trading platforms for spread betting always comes with some risks. So, don’t expect it to be a joyful ride all the time. There will be times when you take losses no matter how carefully you plan your trades. Don’t be ashamed or discouraged. Just change your strategy and try again. Also, never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose. 

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