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CFD trading platforms in Ireland

Compare fees and trading platforms to find the best CFD broker for you.

warning iconWarning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Whether you’re an experienced trader in Ireland or just curious about dabbling in the stock market, chances are that you would have heard of CFDs. Read on to learn all about CFDs and why you might trade in them.

What are CFDs?

Contracts for difference (CFDs) allow investors to gain profits through price changes on various assets including stocks, commodities, market indices and cryptocurrencies. You can also trade CFDs on foreign currencies or forex trading.

Instead of owning the asset itself, investors own a trading contract, meaning CFD traders can both profit and lose money regardless of whether prices are going up or down. For that reason, CFD trading often becomes more popular during times of market volatility, as traders seek to profit by “shorting” the market when it falls.

CFDs can be profitable, but they are highly risky and complex, with stats suggesting that as high as 8 in 10 investors lose money when CFD trading. This means that CFDs are better suited to more experienced traders.

This guide offers a complete overview of CFDs, including how they are traded, some trading strategies and what risks are involved.

Compare CFD trading platforms

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product What you can trade Markets Link
eToro
Currencies, Commodities, Indices, Stocks, Cryptocurrencies
Global
Go to site
71% of CFD accounts lose money
More Info
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk
Use eToro’s CFD trading platform to trade CFD currencies, commodities, indices stocks and crypto.
Saxo Markets
Stocks, ETFs, Indices, Forex, Bonds, Commodities
Global
Go to site
68% of CFD accounts lose money
More Info
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk
Access more than 19,000 CFDs from your Saxo Markets trading account.
Plus500
Shares, commodities, forex, indices, cryptocurrencies
Global
Go to site
77% of CFD accounts lose money
More Info
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk
Make commission-free trades on 2,000+ CFDs through Plus500’s platform.
Eightcap
Eightcap
Stocks, commodities, indices, currencies
Global
Go to site
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk
Fund your Eightcap account to start trading the markets with access to more than 200 cryptocurrency CFDs.
AvaTrade
Stocks, commodities, indices, bonds, ETFs
Global
Go to site
71% of CFD accounts lose money
More Info
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk
Trade CFD forex, commodities, stocks and indices with AvaTrade.
Capital.com
Commodities, Shares, Cryptocurrencies
Global
Go to site
83.45% of CFD accounts lose money
More Info
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk
Use Capital.com’s CFD trading app to access more than 5,600 CFDs with zero commission.
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5 reasons to trade CFDs

There are a few main reasons you might want to trade CFDs:

  • CFDs allow you to speculate on thousands of financial products and global markets that you may otherwise be unable to access.
  • You can go long or short, hence you can profit (and also lose money) in both rising and falling markets.
  • You can hedge your portfolio. Hedging acts as insurance for the rest of your portfolio through CFDs.
  • You can usually access free demo accounts, as ewll as charts and trading tools through your broker.
  • CFD contracts don’t necessarily have a fixed expiry date, meaning you can close out your position (in other words, end the contract) when you decide.

What can you trade with CFDs?

Some of the most common markets you can access with CFDs are stocks, indices, forex, bonds, cryptocurrencies and commodities such as oil or gold.

How to select the best CFD trading platform

The CFD broker in Ireland you chose will very much depend on your trading style and what instruments or assets you prefer to use. If you’re looking for the best online platform or app for you, consider the following:

  • Available markets. Does the broker offer the market you want to trade — forex, gold, silver, cryptocurrency, stock market indices, global stock CFDs, ISEQ CFDs?
  • Direct share CFDs. Not all brokers offer CFD trading on shares, and some that do charge an additional subscription fee to access them.
  • Currencies. If you’re looking to trade forex, check whether your preferred pairings are being offered
  • Commission fees. Is there any brokerage fee charged for trading and is it too expensive?
  • Minimum opening balance. Can you meet the broker’s minimum opening balance? Some brokers require an especially high minimum of up to €250,000 — especially if you’re trying to open an accredited investor account or trade with high amounts of margin.
  • Platforms and software. Which trading platforms do they offer and can you add-on software or analytics tools?
  • Other types of trading. Do you also want to invest directly in shares, ETFs, forex or managed funds?

What can you trade with CFDs?

Some of the most common markets you can access in Ireland with CFDs are shares, indices, forex, bonds, cryptocurrencies and commodities like oil or gold.

If you want to trade CFDs, you need to fully understand how the CFD itself works as well as the underlying asset. If you have no experience trading shares, for example, it’s probably not such a good idea to get into CFDs.

What are the risks?

CFDs are extremely risky, complex products and are ideally only suited to very experienced financial traders. Here are some of the potential risks that you should know about before deciding if CFD trading is right for you.

  • CFDs are complex. CFDs are very intricate and confusing products. Even if you have a general understanding of what a CFD is, this doesn’t mean you’re ready to start trading CFDs.
  • You can lose more than your initial capital. If you gamble on the slot machines, the most money you can lose is the amount you put into the slot machine. This is not the case with CFDs. If you lose a CFD trade you can lose much more money than you started with, meaning you actually owe the CFD provider money, sometimes hundreds of thousands of euros.
  • You don’t own the underlying asset. When trading CFDs, all you own is the contract between you and the CFD provider. Therefore you can’t benefit from the capital growth of the underlying asset over the long term.
  • CFDs depend on how the market performs. Even though you don’t own the underlying asset, CFDs are still affected by market conditions. This can increase risks even more in a volatile market.

Are CFDs right for you?

Due to the complexity and high level of risk involved, CFDs will not be suitable for the vast majority of traders in Ireland. CFDs could be right for you in the following situations:

  • You are an experienced trader.
  • You have a strong understanding of not only CFDs but many financial products and markets.
  • You possess a high tolerance to risk, and are not at all risk-averse.
  • You can afford to lose quite a bit of money (it’s not guaranteed that you will, but you need to be able to afford it if you do).
  • You have some level of legal expertise to understand the complexity of CFDs.
  • You are not interested in owning the underlying assets.
  • You understand the measures available to minimise your risk and are experienced using these tools, for example, stop-loss orders.
  • You have conducted plenty of research – trading CFDs is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

How to choose the best CFD trading platform

The CFD broker you choose will depend on your trading style and what instruments or assets you prefer to use.

If you’re looking for the best online platform or app for you, consider the following:

  • Available markets. Does the broker offer forex, gold, silver, cryptocurrency, stock market indices and global stock CFDs?
  • Direct share CFDs. Not all brokers offer CFD trading on stocks, and those that do can charge an additional subscription fee to access them.
  • Currencies. If you’re looking to trade forex, check whether your preferred pairings are being offered.
  • Commission fees. There’s often a brokerage fee charged when trading stock and stock index CFDs, check to make sure it’s not too high.
  • Minimum opening balance. Some brokers require a high minimum opening balance before you start trading – consider trialling the demo version first if it has one.
  • Platforms and software. Which trading platforms are on offer and can you add on software or analytics tools?
  • Other types of trading. Do you also want to invest directly in shares, ETFs, forex or managed funds?

Frequently asked questions about CFDs

CFD and share trading glossary

  • Ask or Ask price. This is the price at which you can buy CFDs.
  • Bid or bid price. This is the price at which you can sell CFDs.
  • CFD (Contract for difference). This is a contract entered into by two parties who agree to exchange money according to the change in the value of an underlying asset.
  • Contract currency. This is the currency in which a particular asset is traded.
  • Dealing. Dealing is when you open or close a CFD position.
  • Derivative. A financial instrument whose price is derived from an underlying asset.
  • Going long. When you open a buy position.
  • Going short. When you open a sell position.
  • Hedging. Taking an opposite position to reduce the risk associated with an initial position.
  • Initial margin. This is the minimum initial amount of money a CFD trader must outlay to open a position.
  • Leverage. Leverage allows you to trade a larger value asset than the worth of your initial investment. This is sometimes also referred to as gearing.
  • Open interest. This is the interest rate that applies to all CFD positions that are held open overnight.
  • Stop-loss. A stop-loss order can be placed when a CFD position is opened and is triggered when the price reaches a specified level. These orders are used to close out positions that have resulted in a loss and aim to prevent further loss.
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Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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