anna couling spread betting companies advisorHello and welcome to another of my financial trading sites which this time aims to help you find the best spread betting companies for your trading and investing strategies. As many of my regular followers and readers will know, I am a full time trader myself, trading primarily in commodities and forex using a wide variety of strategies and platforms, and in addition I also write daily updates on the markets along with forecasts and trading suggestions, and you can find links to all of these on the site, along with my twitter details, so please do follow me if you can!

I hope that this site will give you an unbiased view of the spread betting market, and in particular to try to compare all the current spread betting companies of which there are an ever increasing number, some of which are good, and some not so good! Trying to find the best spread betting company for your trading will of course ultimately be a personal choice, and as well as reading such sites like this, I would urge you to visit some of the spread betting forum sites, where you will find a vast amount of helpful (and some unhelpful) advice which should give you an insight into the industry and the spread betting companies themselves.

Do however always bear in mind that spread betting is a very high risk trading environment, and there are always more losers than winners, otherwise the spread betting companies would not be in business, and the forums do attract some of those who have lost and wish to vent their anger in public. Some of the criticisms levelled at the industry are valid, many are not, and indeed in the last few years with the tightening of regulations by the FSA, and a willingness on the part of the spread betting industry to improve it’s image, the level of complaints have decreased, as the market and industry matures. Indeed it is hard to believe that until the late 1970’s, the spread betting market did not exist, and it was only the formation of a trading index in spot gold prices, introduced by Stuart Wheeler who subsequently founded IG index in 1974, that started the whole spread betting phenomena. Until then, many of these markets had been the exclusive preserve of the professional traders, but the gold index became so popular that the rest, as they say is history.

Many of the spread betting companies today cover an enormous number of markets, having diversified into sports and other forms of betting, but for my analysis of the best spread betting companies, I will only be concentrating on those financial spread betting companies that cover all the major equity, forex and commodity markets that are the most liquid and popular among financial traders.

Finally, before I start to compare spread betting companies in detail, I would like to add a few cautionary words about spread betting, for those who have never used this innovative and simple trading method, or perhaps have tried and lost money. The most important word in the previous sentence is SIMPLE! Spread betting is deceptively simple, almost too simple to believe, and beneath this simplicity lie a myriad of dangers for the unwary. Not only is it simple, quick and easy to open an account, but placing a spread bet is simplicity itself, and in seconds you can be long or short of an index, equity, or commodity, and at £5 per point or pip movement ( or more) with an unlimited profit and loss profile, then in a matter of minutes you can be up or down hundreds or pounds without really trying!

The other issue is that accounts can be opened with very small capital sums, and as a result most spread betting traders are underfunded as a result, and will almost inevitably receive the dreaded margin call in due course. Finally most spread betters fail to realise how markets are constructed against the underlying assets,the more complex aspects of risk and money management, or the dangers of leverage. All crucial to your long term survival. As someone who trades with a spread betting account regularly myself, I know the risks, but then I have been trading for over 15 years, so I should! Provided you trade with a solid and well defined risk and money management strategy, understand about the dangers of leverage, have a detailed knowledge of the instrument you are trading, and have sufficient trading capital that you can afford to lose, then you will be at no greater or lesser risk than in any other market. As I say to everyone I teach – trading is hard work and requires patience, study and discipline.

So with the lecture over, lets start by looking at the financial spread betting companies and then go on to try to compare the best spread betting companies currently in the market.