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Trading and Investing 101’s

What is trading?

Trading is the buying and selling of financial instruments in order to make a profit. These instruments range from a variety of assets that are assigned a financial value that goes up and down – and you can trade on the direction they take.

What’s the difference between trading and investing?

Investing is the ownership of financial assets and is usually a long-term affair with limited risk. Trading is speculating on financial markets without the ownership of those assets, often with a higher risk than investing and done with a more short-term frame of mind.

What is a trading account?

A trading account is used to trade or invest in securities in the financial markets. This account will enable you to buy and own shares outright. You can also have a leveraged trading account, like a spread betting or CFD trading account, which gives you exposure to various markets that you can trade without taking ownership of the underlying assets.

What is a derivative?

A derivative is a contract between two or more parties that derives its value from the price of an underlying asset, like a commodity. Derivatives are often used as a means to speculate on the underlying’s future price movements, whether up or down, without having to buy the asset itself.

What is margin trading?

Margin trading is another term for leveraged trading – the method used to open a position on a financial market using a deposit (called margin). When trading on margin, a trading broker is essentially loaning you the full value of the trade, requiring a deposit as security.

How does trading on margin work?

Margin trading works by giving you full exposure to a market, but at a fraction of the capital you’d normally need to outlay. Your margin deposit is a percentage of the full position size, and the margin rate is determined by your trading provider. Markets with higher volatility or larger positions may require a bigger deposit.