The contract for differences is derivative-based investment tools, they have become famous in the recent past, and many investors are dealing in them. In CFD trading, you gamble on the rising and falling market prices so that you can place a trade. In this tool also, you will not incur stamp duty expenses.
An equity swap is also a derivative-based tool. Here, you will agree with another party to exchange a given amount of cash flows in the future at an agreed date. Though these two are derivatives, there are some aspects in each that make them differ.
In a contract for differences, you trade the underlying asset, but you will not own it. You will trade several units of the asset that you are trading, depending on what you expect the future prices to be. If the speculation moves in your favor, you will make gains depending on the number of units you are trading. Consequently, if the prediction does not favor you, you will record a loss.
In CFD, you make use of leverage, where your opening capital will be a fraction of the total funds needed. You trade on a margin; therefore, you will increase your returns without considering whether they are negative or positive. A spread will also be required for this trade, and you will also incur holding costs if there are open positions at the end of the trading day. CFD even have an expiry date, and you renew them when the trading day ends.
While using equity swaps, you will exchange the cash flows with another person within a given period, as mentioned earlier. However, one cashflow that you intend to transfer will depend on how its index performs. Typically one of you will pay the other the return of an index, and the other disburse a profit depending on the floating interest rate.
There are various types of equity swaps, and one will depend on how an index performs while the other on the floating interest rate. You can decide when you want to exchange the cash flows, and it may be after a certain period or at the end of the contract. Investing in equity swaps will help you take part in the arrangement of an index without necessarily having an initial investment.
The main difference between equity swaps and CFD is that in CFD, you can use various assets such to invest such as currencies and commodities—equity swaps; however, they majorly deal with equity and equity indexes.
Another notable difference is in the expiry date. There are no expiry dates in CFD, and the position you hold at the end of the trading day can be renewed, provided you can finance that position. Equity swaps have a fixed time that they will take place, and this date Is usually determined early enough.