Frequently asked questions
Spread Betting and CFD trading carry a high level of risk to your capital; you should ensure you understand the risks involved. Please read the full risk warning.
Please use the drop-down list to choose a question. Where applicable, more detailed answers to these questions - including examples - are given within the main pages of the site.
Financial Spread Betting is a way of dealing in the price movements of a wide range of instruments, without actually owning the underlying asset. Like share dealing, the aim for investors is to profit from the price moving in their favour, but Spread Betting gives you the potential to profit in any market condition - provided you trade the right way of course. Financial Spread Betting is high risk as there is the potential to lose more than you initial invest. Read more about the risks.
You can Spread Bet on a vast range of indices, shares, currencies, commodities, metals, Government bonds, interest rates, sectors and options. See the full range.
Currently, yes. You pay no UK Stamp Duty - which means you save 0.5% on UK equities every time you buy compared to normal share dealing, and there is no UK Capital Gains Tax levied on profits - which avoids the inconvenience of having to declare your profits on your tax return. Financial Spread Betting is only tax-free if you are a UK resident, and tax laws are subject to change. In addition, any capital losses cannot be netted off against capital gains from other investments.
When a trade is opened you are only required to pay part of the full value of the deal up front, known as the deposit or Margin Requirement, and for equities is usually between 5% and 10%. Dealing on margin can significantly increase your profits, but it can also significantly increase your losses in the same way. Read more.
The initial cost of a Spread Bet is the margin required to open the trade, with any other charges typically built into the spread.
The holder of a Spread Bet is not entitled to dividends, as they do not actually own the underlying shares. However, if a company is likely to go ex-dividend before a trade expires, the price will be adjusted by the value of the dividend to compensate for this.
You can roll a Daily funded bet over as many times as you like. You can also leave us a standing instruction to roll a particular Daily funded bet, until such time as you instruct us to close it. Alternatively you can leave a standing instruction to roll all your open bets until you decide to close them.
As the name implies, quarterly bets are based on a three-monthly cycle - March, June, September and December. They will typically expire towards the end of the expiry month, and you will be able to choose the 'quarter' in which you want the trade to expire.
Although every opening bet you place will have an expiry date, sometimes you may think a trade needs longer to realise its full potential. Whatever your timeframe - daily or quarterly, you will be able to roll a bet over, beyond its original expiry date. You can do this online, or over the telephone.
Stop orders are used to buy or sell at a price worse (i.e. higher or lower, respectively) than the current market price, in order trade with the momentum.
Limit orders are used to buy or sell at a price better (i.e. lower or higher, respectively) than the current market price.
Yes, Guaranteed Stop Losses are available on a range of Spread Bets. A stop loss is an order which closes out your position at a certain price if the market starts moving against you. An ordinary stop loss will be triggered when the market price touches the level you set, and executed at the next available price. A Guaranteed Stop Loss gives you complete assurance that the position will be closed out at your stop loss level, regardless of whether the price is worse when the order is executed.
Spread Betting typically requires the deposit of a small percentage of the total trade value upfront, and therefore profits and losses can quickly exceed the initial deposit, requiring you to make further payments. Ensure you understand the risks, and do not risk more than you can afford to lose. These products are not suitable for everyone; if you are in doubt please seek independent advice. Read more.
The quickest and easiest way to place trades and orders is to log-in and trade online. Of course you may not always have access to a computer, in which case you can also trade over the telephone. Our dealers can be reached on 0207 573 0054; please ensure you have your account number to hand when you call.
HL Markets is normally open 24 hours a day between 11.00pm on Sunday night (or 9.00pm for Forex bets) and 9.15pm on Friday night. In some cases, shorter opening hours may apply on days which are either UK Bank Holidays or US public holidays, and if such days fall on a Monday we may not open on the preceding Sunday night. We are not open on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday or other days which are holidays in both the UK and US and if such days fall on a Monday we may not open on the preceding Sunday night.
You can find details of the minimum and maximum trade sizes for each of the instruments on the trading platform.
You can make payments into your account using a debit card, or via a BACS or a CHAPS transfer.
To withdraw money from your account, and have it paid either directly into your bank account please call 0207 573 0055. If you wish to transfer money either to or from a Hargreaves Lansdown Bank of Scotland or Vantage account please call 0117 988 9915.
You will have access to a vast number of trading tools, including a flexible charting package, comprehensive news and research.
If you understand the risks involved with Financial Spread Betting, you can apply online now.
You can contact us by telephone, email or post. In order that your query or transaction is dealt with quickly, please ensure that you call the most relevant number.