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What are good spread betting strategies?

Brian Hayslip


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The markets available for spread betting are many and varied. The broker platform City Index for example offers spread betting markets in over 12,000 instruments. With pretty much all assets able to be traded using spread bets, and broker platforms offering an extensive range of analytical tools, it’s possible to trade a whole range of strategies. Strategies based on Technical Analysis are particularly popular among traders with short-term investment horizons. If you’re looking to scalp, and take a lot of small wins, then spread betting supports that. It is important to study the bid-offer spread to ensure the cost of getting in and out positions don't undermine your plans. While UK residents can use spread bets to improve the tax efficiency of their trading there is some online comment that the spread betting platforms can be subject to wider bid-offer spreads. Trend following and Market reversal strategies are the mainstay of many traders and spread betting platforms certainly allow for these to be pursued. Those looking to trade Events such as news flow or company reporting can also do that through spread betting. It’s also possible to trade spread bets on strategies that are based on Fundamental Analysis. You’d have to run through the numbers to establish how the frictional costs associated with holding a position add up. If you consider spread betting is the best means of trading,any strategy will need to factor in the time you are likely to hold the position. The important thing is to have a well thought out and much-tested strategy. Whatever market situation it is based on you need to have confidence in it. At the same time monitor its performance in case some kind of paradigm-shift occurs which could mean it just doesn’t work anymore. There are some strategies that do not fit so well with spread-betting. Social and Copy Trading platforms are relatively new ways of trading the financial markets and at least for now do not encompass spread betting. If you are looking to apply your own systematic models and engage in automated trading then you may want to look at trading other instruments such as CFDs. For one thing, should your trading be profitable then you may want to look to be copied yourself and setting up in a larger market could be beneficial.
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