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Home / Spread Betting: Trade Globally, Tax Free*

Spread Betting: Trade Globally, Tax Free*

What Is Spread Betting?

Despite the name, financial spread betting is viewed by many market participants not as ‘betting’, but as a tax-free method of trading the financial markets*. Subsequently, the growth of this type of trading amongst professional traders and retail clients alike has grown exponentially in recent years, to the extent that it is part of many investment portfolios. It remains a risky product, and is frequently used by traders and investors seeking a product with a higher risk/reward profile.

Put simply, spread betting allows you to speculate on whether you think an underlying market (i.e. a share price or commodity) will go up or down. You trade on a ‘per point’ basis, meaning that you invest a stake per point. Let’s say you want to go £25 per point long on gold. For each point that the gold point ticks up, you make £25. For each point it goes down, you lose £25.

This type of trading provides you with a wide variety of markets to trade, and is currently tax free – it is not subject to either CGT or stamp duty*. These features are not available with some other types of trading. Such a method of trading gives investors and traders access to currencies, indices, commodities and shares, allowing you to broaden your horizons beyond the equity markets.

Spread betting gives you the option to trade rolling contracts, meaning you can hold the trade for as long as you want. If the trade moves in the direction you did not expect and you have a running-loss, you can continue to hold the contract if you anticipate that the position will recover.

A History

Spread betting is a fairly recent trading instrument; its popularity increasing steadily amongst investors and traders over the last ten years. However, its history spans back to the 70s; it was Stuart Wheeler who introduced the instrument to the market, when gold that was the main underlying market. As a result of its success at the time, the financial community of London readily adopted it after its introduction. The placing of spread bets is still considered a convenient approach to investment, and is now popular throughout the UK and worldwide.

In the early days, a lack of capital investment and innovation caused the growth of the market to remain fairly idle, despite there being opportunity for growth. It was only financial specialists who made use of this instrument; the public initially deemed it too ‘innovative’ and a lack of relevant technology caused firms to not be able to meet the demand of their perspective customers.

It wasn’t until the emergence of the Internet during the early 2000s that this type of trading really ‘took off’; the benefits of the Internet (i.e. it being a widespread communication infrastructure) meant that firms could reach the common investor easily – and allow them to trade conveniently online.

The UK market continues to grow, as platform innovation continues into the mobile age.

Trading Examples

Spread bets are traded on margin, which means that you are only required to have a percentage of the trade in your account prior to executing the trade. For example, if you are looking to place a trade worth £5,000 and the margin requirement offered is 20%, you would only be required to have £1000 in your account in order to place the trade. This frees up funds in your account, allowing you to make other trades so you can leverage your returns. Of course, this brings increased risks as you potential losses are also leveraged. Read on to learn more with the aid of examples.

An example of a simple winning spread betting trade:

* You feel BP will go down

* You place £5 a point on the stock decreasing (i.e. you go short)

* The stock does indeed decrease by 7 points and you choose to close the trade at that point making a profit of £35

An example of a simple losing spread betting trade:

* You feel BP will go down

* You place £5 a point on the stock decreasing (i.e. you go short). The stock increases by 10 points.

* To limit your losses you decide to close the trade, losing £50 allows rolling contracts. Therefore, you can hold a position for as long as you want, providing you meet the margin requirement.

An in-depth winning spread betting trade:

* After reviewing Accendo Markets’ research and studying the charts on the platform, you believe that shares in Vodafone will go from 345.5p a share to 315.5p a share. Therefore, you decide to go short (i.e. you’ll make a profit if the price falls). The current price is 342.5p.

* You call your Accendo Markets trader and ask them to place an order for you.

* You ask them place an order for £10 a point, opening at 345.5 with a contingent stop loss of 355.5 and a contingent limit of 315.5. Note here that you’re not opening the position immediately, but at a ‘better’ price than market – if it gets there. When and if this order is opened (if the price reaches 345.5), a stop and limit order (to close) would be automatically attached to your trade.

* The contingent stop loss and the limit: If the stock reaches either of these points (if your trade is opened), it will automatically exit the trade to either limit your loss or take a profit at your pre-specified levels.

* The stock moves in your favour from 345.5 to 330.5, before moving to 350.5. It fluctuates, but does not hit your stop or limit.

* You continue to hold the trade for a week before it is automatically closed when the stock decreases once again to your limit of 315.5p a share. You make a profit.

* Upon closing the trade at 315.5, the stock has moved 27 points in your favour. Despite the fact the stock has lost value, you correctly anticipated which way it would move in the market meaning you receive a profit of £270 (27 points x £10 a point).

An in-depth losing spread betting trade:

* After doing your research, you believe that shares in BP will go down from 107p a share, to 98p a share.

* You log into your platform to place the order at 107p for £10 per point. You go short (i.e. anticipate a fall in the share price). You put a stop at 115p and a limit at 98p.

* The stop loss and the limit mean that if the stock reaches either of these points, you’ll automatically exit the trade to limit your loss or cap your gain.

* The stock moves against you, rising to 111p.

* Despite holding the stock for another week, the stock continues to rise and eventually hits your stop at 115p.

* In this instance, the stock never moved in your favour and you realised an 8 point loss, which equates to £80 in this case.

Spread Betting Platform

At Accendo Markets, we think we offer the best, easiest to navigate platform in the industry. Not only is this platform easy enough to use for novice traders, it also has the range of tools required by experienced traders. Up-to-date and detailed information is always at your fingertips on a platform that is designed to cater for all your needs.

With this platform, you’ll have access to the following tools:

* Full professional charting package with a host of technical indicators

* Stock-specific information and news

* An RSS feed from Accendo Markets’ analysts, giving you real-time research and trade ideas

* A list of all available markets, from equity markets to commodities. You can find specific information on each stock at the click of your mouse, from margin requirement to guaranteed stop charge

Before placing the trade, the simple user interface will tell you:

* How many contracts/shares you’re purchasing

* What your potential profit or loss is, depending on your stop and limit levels

* The margin required for each position

Once the trade is placed you are given full, detailed information about your trade, showing you:

* The name of the stock

* When you entered the position

* Your entry level

* Live profit and loss position, along with current price

As well as:

* A running total of the profit/loss you may have incurred

* The total free equity you have available to trade

* The total amount of money you have in your account, including profit made or losses incurred from open trades

We hope that the information given has helped educate you on how spread betting works. We hope that it has also put your mind at ease, knowing that if you choose to spread bet with Accendo Markets you will be in the hands of seasoned professionals. Our staff of traders and analysts have years of experience in the markets, giving them a wealth of experience that they are eager for their clients to benefit from. Our primary goal is to help you, the investor, improve your returns.

Please take a few moments to explore the rest of our site. We encourage you to take advantage of our no obligation free research trial and free platform trial. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or email us, we’ll be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Spread Betting With Accendo Markets

Your Accendo Markets platform will give you the time to tailor and perfect your trades prior to executing them. Using the platform’s charting software, you can follow the trend of your chosen market and time your trades with precision planning.

Spread betting remains commission free. Your Accendo Markets account does not incur hidden charges or fees on any of the profits you make from your trade. Your trading platform will be provided free of charge, and there are no periodic fees for inactivity. Accendo Markets is paid through the bid/offer spread, and a small financing charge is made on positions held overnight. For more information on spreads and financing, visit our spread betting markets page.

At Accendo Markets, we aim to help you make the most from your spread betting.

* Your Trader: You’ll be assigned your own personal trader who you can speak to as much or as little as you would like about the market and your trading strategy. Our traders are here to give you as much assistance as you need, and place your orders if you choose not to trade online.

* Your Trial Platform: Prior to investing your money, we’ll give you access to a free, no obligation trial platform. You can use it to learn how the process works, what it is like to trade in the market and whether your strategy is likely to be successful. It can also help you decide whether you would prefer to trade online or ask your Accendo Markets trader to execute trades on your behalf, albeit on an execution-only basis.

* Your Research and Trade Ideas: As a trading client with Accendo Markets, you’ll receive our research and trade ideas Gold Pass. If you’d like to trial our research at no cost or obligation, we can arrange a 14-day trial for you.

* Your Freedom: At Accendo Markets, we strive to be the best execution-only provider in the market. We’ve won awards, but we’d like to win more!

When it comes to trading with Accendo Markets, you’re in control. Trade online or via your broker. Use our research and trade ideas or formulate your own. It’s up to you, we aim to help you trade how you want to trade.

Trading, with a personal touch.

Available Markets

As an Accendo Markets client, you’ll have access to thousands of global financial markets from commodities and currencies to equities and indices.

*Under current UK tax law. Tax laws may be subject to change.

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Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

4.81 Average

156 Reviews


I have found Accendo staff very helpful,,and informed. I have traded with you for some years now and have no regrets. Keep up the good work!

Posted 3 years ago

Shaun D

since signing up for Accendo I have had two traders, Mark and Sam. I have found both of these to be very informative about how CFD's work and they have made it very easy for me. Since working with Sam (last four months) my trading knowledge has improved and I can make more informative decisions about which Company's to invest with. Keep up the good work Sam.

Posted 4 years ago


I am very happy with the service I get from Accendo Markets and in particular Amrit Panesar. He is very professional and pleasant to speak to and this counts for a lot.

Posted 4 years ago

Shreekant P

Its a good site for dealing stocks worldwide and having good staff.

Posted 4 years ago

Nick W

Krishan Appiah is one of the most dedicated / informative broker I have ever had.

Posted 4 years ago

Thomas I

Since I have been trading with Accendo Markets I have experienced much greater success than has been my experience with other trading companies mainly due to the help given by, what I consider to be my terminal with the trading floor, Mark, who has been most helpful in reminding me of the progress of my positions throughout the day and keeping me in touch with those positions so that I can more easily make successful trades when appropriate instead of missing out on opportunities through lack of attention. He draws my attention to the situations and enables me to make profitable trades. I am very happy with the situation at the moment and am enjoying the experience. Thomas Irving.

Posted 4 years ago

Kartik A

Accendo markets keep me connected with the market and its very well followed by Mr. Krishan Appiah ,which helps me to take certain decision on time.

Posted 4 years ago

Peter p

I have been trading with Accendo Markets and James Abbott my account manager for coming on 5 years now, James Abbott the senior trader of Accendo Markets provides me with up to minute information when I need it and find him very easy and professional to deal with. Whenever I need to trade or am not sure about anything James is always their to help with any queries I may have. The Accendo Platform I find very easy to use and navigate although it has been slightly changed over the years but definitely for the better. Personal when I do trade 90% of the time, I rather telephone call to place my trade dealings and if James is not there to take my call I find others at Accendo like Sam, Lee take my trades and are. All in all everyone at Accendo Markets are amazing to deal with and my relationship with Accendo is just as I like it. Peter Petrou

Posted 4 years ago

Mrs. J

"Our Trader, Aymen Azizi, has been nothing but attentive to our every need throughout our long relationship with him. No issue is too small, full explanations on all our questions."

Posted 4 years ago

Brian R

I have been with Accendo for a long time now, ten or twelve year's, probably more . As I told Sam (my trader) I thought that CFDs were better than sex . I stopped trading for a few years and only started back about a couple of months ago. But it is as if I had never been gone , so to speak. Sam has helped me every step of the way, at my age one forgets things. I have only praise for Accendo and as far as I am concerned the platform is the best . Now I am back trading at 71 years of age, I might even try sex again. Brian Robertson.

Posted 4 years ago

Jim W

I understand how to make a profit with CFDs. I am restricted by the range of companies I have knowledge of. Although, I am not sure that is a big problem. Tom Robertson is a very fine man.

Posted 5 years ago

Rebekah S

Well, I would not be trading without the help of my trader, Sam Alnakkash. He provided a really great overview of Accendo Markets, an insight into trading in general and how to get started in trading online. His advice, support and training has been fantastic all along the way, enabling me to start trading earlier than I would have done had I not had the support. He has also been very adept at understanding me as a client in order to help me achieve my trading goals. I still have a lot to learn and hope I will get there.

Posted 5 years ago

Nick z

I like the updates on shares I trade. Updates from Bloomberg and Reuters plus industry updates and breaking news. I've had Matt Grice and James Abbott and found both to be excellent. I would like to continue a personal service with James. He understands how and which stocks I trade.

Posted 5 years ago

Steve O

Excellent, knowledgable broker interaction and communication, coupled with very good research and analysis.

Posted 5 years ago

William P

Being new to direct trading I needed help and was given all the time and advice that I needed to feel fully able to make decisions on what I wanted to invest in. I asked for and got exactly the type of info I required provided by Tom Cook, who I would recommend to anyone looking for help.

Posted 5 years ago

Mr. W

I have been dealing with accendo for the past 8 years my broker Amrit I find him very helpful when he is there lol and had many offers to change but will not do it Bill Roberts

Posted 5 years ago

Zoran N

Very good all round service! Timely market information. (charts + trends coverage ) On the ball accounts managers ,quickly available and alert . Part of my success owed to my personal manager Mr Sam Springet , than you.

Posted 5 years ago

Mr Brian C

Easy to deal with.....

Posted 5 years ago

Muhammed S

Accendo markets are great for trading cfds and their research is second to none! Aymen manages my account is extremely helpful and always keeps me updated on market info. Thanks again

Posted 5 years ago

Mr Buta B

Always available, whenever I call I get straight through to someone that can and will help. The staff are very knowledgeable, helpful and easy to talk to.

Posted 5 years ago

Stephen B

Aymen Azizi keeps an eye on what is happening in the market and informs me with timely relevancy, email call, and txt.

Posted 5 years ago