CFD Trading Vs Share Trading

Category: Trading Guides | Author: Trading Brokers | Date: June 15, 2023

Two paths, one goal. When it comes to trading in financial markets, different approaches exist to pursue trading goals. CFD trading and share trading are two popular methods, each with variant characteristics. Understanding these variances is crucial for making informed decisions. This article delves into the dissimilarities between CFD trading and share trading, providing valuable insights to help navigate these paths effectively. By gaining a deeper understanding of these trading methods, individuals can make informed choices based on their unique goals and preferences.

What is CFD Trading?

CFD trading, short for Contract for Difference trading, is a financial derivative product that allows traders to speculate on the price movements of various financial instruments without owning the underlying asset.

When you trade CFDs, you enter into an agreement with a broker to exchange the difference in the price of an asset between the time the contract is opened and when it is closed. This means you can capitalize on both rising and falling markets by taking long (buy) or short (sell) positions.

CFDs are available on a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, indices, currencies, commodities, and more. Traders can use leverage to amplify their market exposure, which can result in higher chances of success but also increased risk of losses.

CFD trading offers flexibility, as it allows traders to enter and exit positions quickly, trade on margin, and access a broad range of markets. However, it’s important to be aware that CFD trading carries risks, and it’s crucial to have a good understanding of the underlying markets, risk management strategies, and to carefully consider your financial goals and risk tolerance before engaging in CFD trading.


  • Ability to speculate on price movements without owning the underlying asset.
  • Access to a wide range of financial instruments for trading.
  • Flexibility to take both long (buy) and short (sell) positions.
  • Option to trade on margin, allowing for increased market exposure.
  • Opportunity to diversify trading strategies and explore various markets.


  • High risk associated with leverage, potentially leading to significant losses.
  • Counterparty risk as traders rely on the broker to fulfill the contract.
  • Costs involved, such as spreads, commissions, and overnight financing charges.
  • Complex pricing structure, including factors like spreads and margin requirements.
  • Absence of ownership rights and entitlements, such as dividends or voting rights on underlying assets.

What  is Share Trading?

Share trading, also known as stock trading or equity trading, involves buying and selling shares or stocks of publicly listed companies on stock exchanges. When you engage in share trading, you become a partial owner or shareholder of the company whose shares you hold.

The objective of share trading is to capitalize on the price movements of the shares. Traders and investors analyze various factors, such as company financials, industry trends, market conditions, and news, to make informed decisions about buying and selling shares.

Share trading provides opportunities for potential returns as the value of shares can fluctuate over time. Additionally, some companies distribute dividends to their shareholders. Share trading can be conducted through traditional stock exchanges or online trading platforms, providing individuals with access to a wide range of stocks and markets.

It’s important to be aware that share trading carries risks, including market volatility and the possibility of financial losses. It’s advisable to have a good understanding of fundamental and technical analysis, risk management techniques, and market dynamics before engaging in share trading. Seeking advice from a financial professional can also be beneficial in making well-informed investment decisions.


  • Potential for capital appreciation through price fluctuations.
  • Ownership rights and the ability to participate in corporate decision-making.
  • Access to a diverse range of publicly listed companies and sectors.
  • Availability of historical data and research to support investment decisions.
  • Opportunity to diversify investment portfolios and spread risk.


  • Risk of financial losses due to market volatility.
  • Limited control over external factors that can impact share prices.
  • Need for thorough research and analysis to make informed investment decisions.
  • Transaction costs, including brokerage fees and taxes.
  • Possibility of emotional decision-making and herd mentality influencing trading actions.

Comparing CFD Trading and Share Trading: Exploring Key Features


Share trading provides you with direct ownership of the underlying asset, granting you a stake in the company and the potential for long-term wealth accumulation. As a shareholder, you can benefit from capital appreciation, receive dividends, and exercise voting rights to influence corporate decisions. In contrast, CFD trading focuses on price speculation without actual ownership, allowing you to profit from both rising and falling markets without the associated ownership benefits.

Market Accessibility

CFD trading offers a vast range of financial instruments beyond traditional stocks. You can trade indices, currencies, commodities, bonds, and even cryptocurrencies, providing you with diverse market exposure. Share trading primarily focuses on buying and selling shares of publicly listed companies, limiting your market access to the stocks available on the respective exchanges.

Leverage and Margin

CFD trading allows you to utilize leverage, which enables you to control larger positions with a smaller amount of capital. This leverage amplifies both potential profits and losses. By trading on margin, you can access a greater market exposure than your initial investment. Share trading, on the other hand, typically does not involve leverage or margin trading, requiring you to invest the full purchase price of the shares.

Dividends and Voting Rights

Shareholders in share trading have the right to receive dividends, which are a portion of the company’s profits distributed to shareholders. Dividends can be a consistent source of income, especially from well-established companies. Moreover, as a shareholder, you can exercise voting rights in company matters such as electing directors or approving major decisions. In CFD trading, you do not possess ownership rights, which means you do not receive dividends or have voting rights since you are speculating on the price movements without owning the underlying shares.

Short Selling

CFD trading allows you to take advantage of falling prices through short selling. This means you can sell an asset that you do not own, aiming to buy it back at a lower price and profit from the price decline. Short selling is a valuable tool in CFD trading, especially in bearish market conditions. Share trading, however, does not involve short selling as it focuses on buying shares with the expectation that their value will increase over time.

Costs and Fees

Both CFD trading and share trading involve transaction costs, such as brokerage fees and commissions. However, CFD trading may have additional costs such as spreads, overnight financing charges, or inactivity fees. The specific fee structure can vary among brokers and platforms. Share trading generally has a more straightforward fee structure, mainly consisting of brokerage fees for buying and selling shares.

Risk and Volatility

CFD trading carries a higher level of risk due to the use of leverage. While leverage can amplify potential profits, it also magnifies potential losses, making risk management crucial. CFDs are subject to market volatility, which can result in rapid price movements. Share trading, although still subject to market fluctuations, is generally considered less risky as it does not involve leverage. However, the performance of individual stocks and market conditions can impact share prices.

Regulatory Oversight

Both CFD trading and share trading are subject to regulatory oversight to ensure fair and transparent trading practices. Regulations may vary depending on the country and jurisdiction in which you are trading. It is important to choose reputable brokers or platforms that adhere to regulatory standards and provide investor protection.

Carefully consider your preferences, risk tolerance, and financial goals when choosing between CFD trading and share trading.

CFD Trading or Share Trading?

Navigating the choice between CFD trading and share trading requires a careful assessment of your personal preferences, allowing you to make an informed decision that aligns with your unique trading style. If you have a penchant for short-term trading and enjoy the excitement of diverse market opportunities, CFD trading may be your ideal choice, offering flexibility and the potential for quick gains through leverage. On the other hand, if you lean towards long-term investing and relish the satisfaction of ownership, share trading is the path to consider, providing access to potential wealth accumulation, dividends, and voting rights. By understanding and embracing your preferences, you can confidently embark on the trading journey that suits you best, whether it’s the dynamic allure of CFD trading or the traditional rewards of share trading.


In a nutshell, CFD trading and share trading offer different paths to explore in the financial world. Share trading brings the joy of ownership and the chance for dividends, while CFD trading opens up exciting market opportunities, leverage, and speculative trading without actual ownership. The decision between the two boils down to personal preferences, risk appetite, and financial goals. Just remember to weigh factors like market accessibility, costs, and risks before diving in. No matter which path you choose, a solid trading strategy, staying informed, and seeking expert advice will help you navigate the exciting world of trading with confidence.

Relevant Articles