The spread betting market much like the forex market is constantly in a state of flux with some companies growing organically, whilst others take a more aggressive approach with mergers and acquisitions. As a result we are constantly seeing new companies enter the market as others are absorbed and eventually disappear, so here is a list of the latest spread bet companies, in what is becoming an increasingly crowded market for spread betting companies.

GFT

GFT is another of those companies which has moved away from its core business of spot forex trading, to diversify it’s product range by moving into the uk spread betting arena. The UK spread betting arm is run by GFT Global Markets UK, which is wholly owned by US based currency dealer Global Forex Trading. Whilst the company in the US has been established for many years and is a leading player in the forex markets, its spread betting subsidiary is relatively new, in much the same way as FXCM. However, where this company differs from FXCM is in the product offering, which is very broad, and as well as covering equities, commodities, indices, bonds and interest rates, the company has recently introduced a very interesting new product based on the VIX. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular instrument this is often referred to as the fear index, as it represents the state of the market based on Volatility and is a contrarian indicator. In other words when the VIX is low, and the market is calm then it is time to sell as the market is probably reaching a turning point, and likewise when the VIX is high then the markets are in a state of panic with rising fear, and now is the time to buy. The market saying for the VIX is as follows : When the VIX is low it’s time to go, and when the VIX is high it’s time to buy!

Spreads quoted by the company are as low as 0.3 index points, margins as low as 0.5% with guaranteed stop facility on all indices. Trading is available on the DealBook platform which can be downloaded as a desktop version, or online as a browser based application for trading anywhere in the world. You can find more details here – spread betting GFT

Prospreads

Prospreads has now been acquired by Capital Spreads, and now offers a specialist trading platform for professional spread bettors. You can find more details by following the link here – spread betting company Capital Spreads.

Finspreads

Finspreads was originally launched in April 1999, and in February 2001 launched the first fully interactive online spread betting platform. The company was acquired by the IFX Group plc in 2002, and IFX Group was then purchased by City Index in 2006. With its roots in spread betting, the company offers a wide range of markets, covering indices, equities, forex, commodities and options. More recently the company has also introduced binary betting to its trading platform, a relatively new form of trading but one which is growing in popularity as it provides a low risk alternative to spread betting, generally using short term time frames for bets. Finspreads offer 24 hour trading online, and have recently added interest rates to their portfolio. As part of City Index you have the comfort of trading with a large market player in the spread betting industry. You can find more information on spread betting with Finspreads here.

Intertrader

Intertrader is a new company to the spread betting market and is in fact owned by PartyGaming which is listed on the FTSE 250, and you can find details of the latest share price here. The company runs its platform under licence from London Capital Group which also owns Prospreads and Capital Spreads. All the major markets are available including US equities, bonds and interest rates along with tight spreads and low costs. However, what makes this company unique from the others is a client service called TradeBack – in simple terms this is a ‘loyalty’ cash back scheme which gives you a rebate of up to 10% depending on the volume of trades that you execute.  In effect you are trading with tighter spreads, so compare the standard spreads with other spread betting companies as they may have the cash back scheme built in already, but certainly worth a close look. You can get more details on Intertrader spread betting Tradeback scheme here. On a personal note I love the web site which is simple, uncluttered and easy to navigate.

Cantor Index

Cantor index is part of the Cantor Fitzgerald Group of Companies with a heritage that stretches back almost 50 years. Cantor Index itself was established in 2000 in order to develop its spread betting product offerings to a variety of markets including both sport and the financial markets, but in recent years the company has concentrated on those in the financial sector. Cantor offer a wide range of markets which is also backed up by a powerful set of trading tools and news feeds, of which Reuters is just one. The trading tools include sophisticated stock screening for filtering out stocks and shares based on a wide number of custom criteria such as best performers, broker views, latest movers etc You can get the latest information on the Cantor Index spread betting tools here.

MF Global Spreads

MF Global spreads is the financial spread betting division of MF Global Holding Ltd, a US based company which is quoted on the NYSE. The company offers a broad range of products and the only differentiation that I can see from the other companies in the market is that they welcome small bets – unfortunately they do not go on to say what size these might be, so I am unable to comment further! They do have a special offer running at the moment for a free £2 FTSE bet so if you are interested in taking up this offer have a read of my site on ftse betting which should provide further information before you start betting on this index, which I hope is helpful! You can find more details about the company and spread betting offers here.

Delta Index

Delta Index is one of a group of Irish spread betting companies which have entered the market in the last few years, having been founded in 2001, and concentrating entirely on the financial spread betting market, and offering shares, currency, indices and commodities. Unusually, the company offers the option of a one on one tutorial to help you learn how to trade on the platform and how the products work – an interesting and novel feature and you can find the details here ( delta index tutorial )! Delta Index also offer Contracts for Difference.

Worldspreads

Worldspreads is another of the Irish contingent, having been formed a year earlier than Delta Index in Dublin in 2000. The company employs around 30 people and was recently the subject of a management buyout in 2009, under the terms of which the company was required to change its name. As a result Worldspreads will be know as MarketSpreads from May 22nd 2010. The company offers spread betting across the usual markets along with CFDS, and you can find more details of Worldspreads Ltd here.

Pan Index

Pan Index is yet another of the Irish spread betting companies, born out of the boom in the Irish economy in the last decade. The company is once again based in Dublin, but this particular spread betting company has specialised in marketing their services to the Far East client base. They offer a simple and intuitive trading platform backed up by 24 hour multilingual customer support. As you would expect they offer trading on the Fare East indices such as the Nikkei 225 and the Hong Kong index, as well as the more traditional forex and commodity markets.

ODL Securities

ODL securities has recently been acquired by FXCM to strengthen its position in the uk spread betting market. More details are available under the FXCM spread betting comparison.

Finospread

One of those spread betting companies that came and went! – there was a great deal of uncertainty when they launched and a search in Google provides no details and no web site! Originally part of Finotec.

Spread Co

Another very new entrant to the market and founded by an ex employee of CMC markets plc. The company is based in London and purports to have an office in Singapore. The company offers a range of products across commodities, forex, indices and equities along with a range of CFD’s. Nothing else to say at present about Spread Co!

Etrade Spread Betting

Etrade spread betting is now owned and managed by TD Waterhouse with the existing clients being managed through London Capital Group ( small world!) As far as I know at the moment the company is not taking on new clients at present. However, you can check the TD Waterhouse site here.

ETX Capital

An interesting company which has gone through several twists and turns over it’s 40 year history having started life as Monecor Ltd, a London based broker, which eventually became the retail derivatives arm of Tradition UK, which then became TradIndex. Between 2002 and 2007 TradIndex developed an online spread betting market, and in 2007 the group of private investors acquired Monecor, relaunching TradIndex as ETX Capital, the name we know today. ETX provides a range spread betting services across the broad markets including indices, bonds, forex, commodities and equities, as well as CFD’s. ETX has recently launched a new browser based platform, and offers clients an advanced charting package which allows for detailed back testing of trading strategies. More details of this can be found by following the link to ETX Capital here.

Shortsandlongs

Yet another of the new kids on the block, and if you like black, you’ll love their new site! Launched in 2008, the company is based in London. The company is owned by Spreadex and markets itself as a ‘private members trading club’ – clearly aimed at the male traders amongst us who read Nutz and Zoo magazine! However, joking aside the company does offer a unique offering in the spread betting industry, and that’s the FREE GUARANTEED stop loss – very unusual and certainly a unique selling point for the company, so well done to them – I’m not sure if there are any strings attached to this offer, but certainly worth checking them out – make sure you have the screen on high brightness when you visit the site! Despite the slightly ‘macho’ site I like them so check them out here at shortsandlongs.

Spreadex

Whilst Shortsandlongs is one of the new breed of spread betting companies, Spreadex would certainly qualify as one of the older ‘lags’ having been around since 1999 when it was first established by City trader Jon Hufford. The company grew rapidly and in 2006 the online sports betting service was launched followed the year after by the online financial spread betting products. Indeed  visit the Spreadex site and you will be asked to choose between the two services before entering the site. The company prides itself on a friendly and fun approach to spread betting and this is reflected in the products and promotional offers – my favourite is the air miles ( not just any old air miles but for an executive jet!) and I have included this unique spread betting offer here. The range of markets and products offered is excellent, and all backed up  a suite of support tools and intuitive and simple one click execution platform. If you don’t open an account with Spreadex themselves then I would suggest Shortsandlongs as the dedicated alternative for financial spread betting if you like the look of the company.

PaddyPowerTrader

I have a bit of a soft spot for Paddy Power as they were one of my longer term shares, which I held for some time and made good solid profits with excellent dividends. The last and most well known of the Irish spread betting companies, Paddy Power has been around for over 18 years, and their motto really sums up the Paddy Power approach, which is ‘fun, fair and friendly ‘ – their words not mine! As you may know, they cover a vast range of spread betting markets from sport to media and the financial markets. They cover all the usual markets and as with many of the other spread betting companies discussed here, offer a plethora of support and educational materials to get you started. If you would like further details on this well established company then simply follow the link here to the PaddyPower home page. It is also interesting to note that Paddypowertrader is a registered name of London Capital Group – amazing how this company seems to crop up all over the place and certainly a force to be reckoned with in the future!

Finally, no review of the spread betting industry would be complete without a mention of the Financial Services Authority which regulates and governs the financial industry in the UK, and before opening a spread betting account with a company you have never heard of before, it would be worth your while just spending a few minutes checking the FSA register to see if the company is correctly registered, and I have included the relevant link to the FSA here. Naturally for the Irish companies compliance is handled by the Irish Financial Regulator, so again you can check the details here as well. I would also urge you to check the spread betting forums for news, updates and a general sense of the company and the way it handles its clients. Whilst I do accept that many of the forums are filled with bitter people who have lost money and are intent on blaming the company, rather then themselves, there are many positive comments as well, which are often helpful and constructive, and will give you a feeling for the company you are considering.

I will do my best to keep this list updated and amended as things change, and I hope you find the site both useful and interesting, and if you have read this far, good luck with your spread betting – thank you for visiting and taking the time to read right to the end!