You are NOT trading.

Huginn

Newbie
5 2
In my experience the spread doesn't vary according to the margin on deposit.

I understand your first point but if the trading plan is to go for larger moves in which the, say 2 point, spread makes up say 10% then where's the harm? If I made a 20 point profit I'd have to give a lot of that back in tax wouldn't I? I agree it's a harder platform for scalping or small moves but then a beginner will get burnt trying to scalp using DMA too.

I'm intrigued as to why there is such a level of vitriol aimed at people who use SB companies. How does it affect people who use DMA? It's a bit like a Mac users not understanding how anyone could use a PC...oh, I get it now :)

H.
 

forexangel

Newbie
8 0
Is 2 pips a big spread??

If you're trading 200-300+ pip swings, then does it really matter if the spread is 1, 2 or 3 pips?

Surely the method, having an edge and the ability to apply it is more important than the exact spread...

I can get 1 pip spread (eur/usd) on brokers account, 2 pips SB.........so what?
 

bluetipex

Active member
174 22
Yawn.....

Yet another ignorant post to start a thread.

So WASP, I must be a DayBETTOR in that case.

Yes, this argument has already been done to death elsewhere on T2W.

It's really very boring.

It IS possible to consistently make money from spreadbetting, on short term trades. By short term I mean by using a 1 minute chart. Standard indicators are all you need.

If it makes you happy to say that I'm not a trader then so be it. It matters not one iota.
 
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wasp

Legendary member
5,107 877
Yawn.....

Yet another ignorant post to start a thread.

So WASP, I must be a DayBETTOR in that case.

Yes, this argument has already been done to death elsewhere on T2W.

It's really very boring.
Welll **** me, how perceptive you are. Yes you are a daybettor, the name gives it away 'spread BETTING'.... and you call me ignorant! :eek:

It IS possible to consistently make money from spreadbetting, on short term trades. By short term I mean by using a 1 minute chart. Standard indicators are all you need.
Congratulations, I never said it was impossible. Did you want a badge or something?

If it makes you happy to say that I'm not a trader then so be it. It matters not one iota.
For my esteemed daybettor and all else whom disagree, I posted this thread for those who asked my opinion on which broker or spread betting company to use, and this is my opinion. I'm not interested i arguing with anyone about it. Choice is yours.
 

MrGecko

Senior member
2,778 789
Wasp,

It is clear that you are a well respected member of the T2W community, who has undoubtedly contributed far more than many. However, it seems to me that your original post is full of subjectivity and personal prejudice. Yes, people have asked you for your opinion - but:

I posted this thread for those who asked my opinion on which broker or spread betting company to use, and this is my opinion. I'm not interested i arguing with anyone about it. Choice is yours.
strikes me as unabashed arrogance. Anyone who is not prepared to consider that their opinion of fact could be misguided - heaven forbid, wrong - should bear in mind that humility is probably the best tool of learning there is.

Furthermore, there are a few comments in particular you have made that I find difficult to accept in the context you have set them.

Specifically:

speculation that involves taking a bet on the price movement of a security
Besides arbitrage, you will find that every "trade" is infact the acceptance of a payout, for a specified risk, determined by the value of an asset under certain conditions. Be it buying /ES8M, or AAPL, or a $10pp Spreadbet on EUR/USD - My payout is largely determined by the value of said asset at the time T I close the position. You go on to say that:

In financial markets, trading also can mean performing a transaction that involves the selling and purchasing of a security
Well I might be an options geek, and I might be in the market for buying and selling volatility in the wholesale OTC market. This is just as much an asset as a spread bet, but you don't consider me a trader??? :eek:

Moving on...

A spread betting company quotes two prices, the bid and offer price
Call up the dealing desk of Killik & Co. or Brewin Dolphin, and ask for the price of BP shares. They will quote you a Bid and an Offer, which may well be different to the best Bid/Offer currently available in the market. But because I am dealing with a counterparty who is making a profit from the difference between the Bid and the Ask, I am not considered a trader??? Would you consider the counterparty, the MM in BP at Killik a trader??? :eek:

Next;

The investor does not own the underlying stock in spread betting, they simply speculate on the price movement of the stock
I've already covered the speculation aspect of this sentence, so I will focus on the first part "own the underlying stock". You are right, a spread better does not recieve the packet of rights associated with an ordinary share. However, what about CFD's? Increasingly these are being used to gain an influence over the management of a company; so much so that the FSA have launched investigations into abuse of these instruments, with disclosure of an interest > 3% in any listed company through a CFD likely to emerge in the future. But as CFD's dont mean you own the underlying stock, you cant be a trader??? :LOL: These things were invented by the City!

You then move on to describe your definition of trading:

In financial markets, trading also can mean performing a transaction that involves the selling and purchasing of a security
and

trade still involves giving one thing in exchange for another.
Do you not understand the concept of risk? Traders trade RISK, nevermind the wrapper it comes in. I can receive risk by buying or selling an asset with the intention of completing the reverse transaction in the future for a profit, and I can receive risk by entering into an agreement where the payout is determined by the underlying assets' price at some time in the future. Potaeto, Potarto.

__________________________________________________________________________

In this first part of your post, these are the only serious arguments - most of the rest is just "filler", and pretty contentious at that (e.g. "Trade is the voluntary exchange of goods, services, or both." - absolutely. I pay my SB firm a commission, in the form of a spread, for the provision of RISK).

You then go on to list the - in your opinion - pro's and con's of spread-betting. Of all the "cons", only 2) and 6) aren't misleading.

2) Fair playing field - Spread betting companies are dodgy as hell with bizarre antics (*1). They are market (*cough*) makers and thus in control of what you are trading.
And this is perhaps the only valuable point you make. Yes it is true that, in dealing with an SB firm, you are accepting a payout determined by the value of an instrument at time T, where the SB firm itself provides the value of said instrument. Conflict of interest? Of course! Does this mean I can't trade it? Bullsh!t.


There is a difference between buying a payout in acceptance for risk from an exchange, and buying a payout in accpetance for risk from a counterparty. But to say that one is trading and the other isn't is just plain ignorant. Each have their benefits - through an exchange I eliminate the conflict of interest (to the best degree possible), and through an SB firm I can tailor the size of the payout to suit my own particular propensity for risk. These are significant differences, but they share exactly the same principals of RISK and PAYOUT. Trading, or betting, is about finding opportunities, whereby one considers the PAYOUT and the RISK to be mis-matched, and acting to profit.

As an aside, some members do seem to exhibit a genuine "class divide" attitude here on T2W - there are those who trade mostly via exchanges (or ECN's), and those who trade via spreadbetting. In general, it seems that a few of the "exchange traders" consider themselves to be better traders than "SpreadBetters" - perhaps because of the bigger cash requirements (a point you elude to in your post), and I won't disagree that there are different skill sets for each. However the reality is that we are all just different shades of grey; there are good traders, bad traders, full-time traders, part-time traders, prop traders, hobbyists and teenagers (Spanish89 is my fav :cheesy:). Instead of arguing about who is the most "trader-like", we could all just lay our d!cks out on the table and see who's got the biggest (I will sell the risk that you have the biggest ;) - friendly banter :D).

This is my opinion, and if anyone can convince me that I am wrong I will change it.
 

Splitlink

Legendary member
10,850 1,231
Of course, you are right.

Wasp, I'm surprised !

There seems to be some kind of "category" cult, here. I've done both types of trading/betting and, frankly, spreadbetting has not ruined my bottom line, yet.

Ben Graham doesn't think much of any of it, BTW.

Split
 

wasp

Legendary member
5,107 877
Wasp,

It is clear that you are a well respected member of the T2W community, who has undoubtedly contributed far more than many. However, it seems to me that your original post is full of subjectivity and personal prejudice. Yes, people have asked you for your opinion - but:

strikes me as unabashed arrogance. Anyone who is not prepared to consider that their opinion of fact could be misguided - heaven forbid, wrong - should bear in mind that humility is probably the best tool of learning there is.
...............

My reasoning for the post and why I will not debate this on here is not arrogance but a lack of time. SB vs DA has been done to death with no conclusive answer. I had numerous PM's from newbies asking for my opinion and this is it, all in one place. Whilst normally I would happily debate 2 sides to everything, I truly believe DA is the answer and I can't and won't change that.

I'm not trying to say who is more trader like, it was to give my opinion on the best avenue for a trader to begin their journey.

There are plenty of pro's on this board and although not contributing, the serious and successful I know for sure, do not spread bet.

Ask yourself this; If SB is such a great platform, why is there not a single firm in the country who clear through an SB?! How many SB accounts does Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway have? Which SB do the NYSE and FTSE clear through.........?

Call it arrogance if you wish but I can't continue this endless looped discussion. Like price vs indicators, DA will always win over SB IMO.
 

Windowsill

Well-known member
305 39
If you are or even have been a spreadbetter then there is a barrier to DA.

I spent 10 mins on a direct access platform demo......During that time I was unable to locate any index. In fact, could not locate any tradeable instrument whatsoever!
Then I read some instructions........ still none the wiser.

So, are the "designers" of these systems traders, betters or what!
 

black bear

Guest
1,303 164
DA v SB

Hi

My experience, and I like to trade 90% of the time the small moves 1- :?: usually max around 50 pts, average winner last time I looked 9.4 pts so not in the longer timeframe camp :)

Anyone learning to trade intra day who does have the put up for a real platform / Broker access would be far better off going DA and just paying the cost of fee"s attached etc imho and papertrading the real market until results settle down and the steep learning curve in the inicial few months is out of the way and behind them.

If they are in the real serious camp regards trading and learning, imho they would be better borrowing the money for the inicial margin etc and papertrading and saving up while they learn, I may be wrong :) but once an account is open and up and running, you only need margin in account if you intend to trade real money, sure there are many brokers who are happy you papertrade for as long as you want or feel required :)

Cost = A few months fees, even a year or two depending on choice of platform etc, probably far less than the money they would have lost to the sb firm and learn more imho and not be at the mercy of the strange platform disconnects and price movements so often reported.

If you have not got the funds to go DA and your stuck with SB access imho you must at the very least be out on the 15 min tf for your signals and be looking to capture a large chunk of the days price move and even be looking to hold overnight when opportunity presents its self.

That tf does not suit me at all well emotionally so I prefer to live and trade in the moment = DA a must even with the associated costs attached.

I do not see any problem with SB firms if your out on timeframe which if I am honest is where I would prefer my own trading activities to be.

Horses for Courses :)

Time with DA = close to 5 months, 2 price error feed failures = out of the market 2.5 mins on the 1st and 5 mins in fast moving market on the second, constant quotes by broker on the phone and happy with outcome and service etc

Not the case with SB firms I am sorry to report = reception - to deal desk - who are you :?: :LOL: even if you start conversation with account number etc, security Questions :LOL:

Disconnects were a real problem every other day even when trading in amounts I would consider learner stakes.

This is not helpful when trying to learn to trade without emotions imho and just not worth the hassle on the lower tf or even if your someone who just trades out when you recognise your trades not working out pretty fast to limit your downside.


Latter :clover:
 

Finn2008

Newbie
6 0
Oh Dear!!

Spread-Betting is Non-Professional and DA is Professional. Those who know, know why, and those who don't, argue.

The End.
WOW - QUICK THINKING BATMAN - OH, NO WAIT!! Where did SB originate? Could it be??...the City of London...what a bunch of bl**dy amateurs!! It must be so nice to have an uncomplicated, black and white view of the world... such a pity reality gets in the way, isn't it? DA for 'professionals' eh? Actually, the only reason you need DA (usually provided at extortionate cost) is if you're a day trader or scalper (usually chronically undercapitalised) who, for some completely unknown reason, isn't successful enough to get a job at an IB or HF...real 'professional'. Understand this, real professional traders ARE Market Makers, so the spread is their bread and butter. By contrast, if you use SB for longish term trades (personally I use it because it allows me to position trade while tightly controlling risk and w/o having to worry about taxes), you will come away very happy indeed. BTW, I think you should know that the divide that matters in life isn't between professionals and amateurs, but between those who are successful and those who aren't. Most 'day traders' with their $1000 per month setup, fall into the latter category... I believe they have an attrition rate of about 80% per year. But hey, you want to make it hard for yourself, who am I to judge!! Most SBs just don't want to pay $000's per year for something that doesn't give guaranteed stop-losses and doesn't help them tax-wise. Day traders are so caught up on avoiding the spread with DA that they can't see that most normal traders aren't!! To sum up: 'Don't day-trade with SB companies'...original message, because that is SOOO not obvious is it!?!
 

keano

Well-known member
327 30
I've traded using both over the years. Still do.

If you make money spreadbetting, then you're a professional trader. Likewise with direct access. Silly saying you're a pro if you use IB and and a novice if you use CMC. All depends on your style of trading.

Trading much shorter term timeframes, I'd have to say that DA is the way to go. If you're a swinger there's nothing wrong with a spreadbetting company. It's not as if DA borkers never have problems. Lost count of the number of disconnects IB's TWS has had over the years.

I know some people say you have no business trading if you cant afford to go the Direct access route but try telling my brother that. He turned £6000 into £80000 in under a year and has never looked back. I think trader Dante managed to turn a tiny account into something much more substantial aswell. There are lots of them.

End of the day when the price of MSFT rallies $2, the spreadbet price rallies $2. Choose your platform based on your own situation.

PS. I use DA 90% of the time as I like to scalp stocks.
 

Finn2008

Newbie
6 0
Not the best argument I've ever heard!!

I have started this thread in reply to the numerous PM's I get in question to the spread betting phenomena and whom to use etc... This topic has been covered numerous times before but I wished to bring it up to date and answer all the questions and bring it all into one place.

SPREAD BETTING

A type of speculation that involves taking a bet on the price movement of a security. A spread betting company quotes two prices, the bid and offer price (also called the spread), and investors bet whether the price of the underlying stock will be lower than the bid or higher than the offer. The investor does not own the underlying stock in spread betting, they simply speculate on the price movement of the stock.

A basic economic concept that involves multiple parties participating in the voluntary negotiation and then the exchange of one's goods and services for desired goods and services that someone else possesses. The advent of money as a medium of exchange has allowed trade to be conducted in a manner that is much simpler and effective compared to earlier forms of trade, such as bartering.

TRADING

In financial markets, trading also can mean performing a transaction that involves the selling and purchasing of a security.

Trading is not a new phenomenon - we've been doing it for centuries! The trade that occurred among the most primitive humans has evolved considerably over time, and the word "trade" has come to include the complex trading that occurs on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

However, the basic elements of buying and selling in some form of a market haven't changed a bit, because ultimately, trade still involves giving one thing in exchange for another.

(source: investopedia)

Trade is the voluntary exchange of goods, services, or both. Trade is also called commerce. A mechanism that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and services. Modern traders instead generally negotiate through a medium of exchange, such as money. As a result, buying can be separated from selling, or earning. The invention of money (and later credit, paper money and non-physical money) greatly simplified and promoted trade. Trade between two traders is called bilateral trade, while trade between more than two traders is called multilateral trade.

(source: wikipedia *cough*)

By pure definition alone, be it financial markets or anything else; spread betting is NOT trading.

______________________________________________________________


The number of arguments for each side is endless and to name but a few...

CONS

1) Its not REALLY trading - You have nothing to do with the markets. None.
2) Fair playing field - Spread betting companies are dodgy as hell with bizarre antics (*1). They are market (*cough*) makers and thus in control of what you are trading.
3) Ask yourself why no other country in the world offers 'spread betting'.
4) Its not regulated despite what the T&C may say. You try and argue with the FSA and see how much they do for you.
5) The markets produce some of the richest people and companies in hte world, through trading against each other, not against a bookies.
6) A direct access broker allows you to see much more and thus a better scope on the market.
7) Spread betting companies are bookies. End of. They are nothing to do with the market.


PROS

1) Its tax free!
2) Low minimum capital required
3) Erm...

So why do people persist?

Take the few pro's listed;

1) Tax free > Yes, apparently so. You have to win first though and 80% (or approx.) lose in direct access and/or spread betting so no great help just yet!

2) Low minimum capital > I can only speak for FX but EFX group are direct access and they only require 200 quid to open an account.

I think the cons speak for themselves and I am sure others will contribute to the list and explanations.

End of the day, if you wish to call yourself a trader, have an even chance with a fair and open playing field trading the MARKETS not the bookies, do yourself a favour, forget spread betting. Trade the actual market and not some bookies simulation where they are in control.

Hope that helps for all who asked.

Disclaimer:

I know there is at least 2 members here who do profit from Spread betting but they are long term investors, not day traders and certainly not newbies either.

(1*) gonna get slammed for that one I'm sure! :LOL:


I'd like to recommend and build on MrGecko's post earlier. Wasp said "They (SBs) are nothing to do with the market" ??? Well, apart from the fact that most SB firms are also dealers or MMs in Equities, Spot FX, Futures, Options, CFDs, and more, you are right, in that they are acting like bookies when they take SBs. However, my first point is this: should you bet GBP50/point on FTSE futures, do you really think they're going to sit there with that on their books, they're not going to lay it off in the FTSE Futures mkt? Presumably not - so, just like other derivatives, (e.g Options, CFDs) the 'bookie' will transfer his risk into the 'real' market by hedging. SBs, you see, are essentially derivatives, or, in the case of SBs on Futures and Options, derivatives of derivatives. I grant you that, if I have a bet with the SB company for, e.g. GBP3/pt, it probably isn't going to turn up in the market. But, then, for a couple of quid per point, it wouldn't move the market anyway, so it is pretty irrelevant. But, like I said, for larger stakes, the SB company will offset their risk. BTW, by your logic, I take it that CFD traders aren't 'real' traders either, which will undoubtedly come as a shock to all those HFs that use them so freely.
If you don't agree with me on the above, don't worry, when considered in conjunction with my second point, it is far more conclusive. A market was defined as "the voluntary exchange of goods and/or services". Well, what are derivatives markets for, fundamentally? Don't say the exchange of contracts on securites, or you just failed Markets 101. A: The exchange of risk, BY USING derivative contracts. So, SBs, too, enable the exchange of risk. How is that different from an OTC Option on a Futures contract on an Index, Commodity, IR/Bond or Currency? The Option writer hedges his position in the market just as a SB company does.
Also, on a slightly different but related tack, my question is this - by your definition, how exactly is the $3.2 trn/day spot FX market a 'real' market. It seems superficially to be just a load of 'bets' as well. No actual exchange of currencies ever happens. Seems an awful lot like a bet to me.
My point, then, is this; SB are a type of derivative. Derivatives markets nowadays are phenomenally complicated, so to declare that SBs are not 'real' trading seems almost ludicrous, considering that the line between trades and bets has been exploded by the growth of these derivatives. In your more recent posts, the point you say you are trying to make is that newbie traders shouldn't get into SBs if they intend to day trade. Having tried it, I couldn't agree more. So, why not just say that, and stop slagging off SBs companies, which, while far from perfect, have their uses for a certain type of trader. Why argue that your way (I assume, that, if you use DA, you are a Day Trader) is so superior to others (I see Warren Buffett is worth $62bn, and he sure as hell isn't a day trader)!! Not to be harsh, but, as I indicated in my other post, most Day Traders are terribly undercapitalised to start with (not helped by the cost of DA), and most of the good ones have no trouble getting snapped up by IBs and HFs if they have a track record to be proud of. Just some thoughts...
F
 

MrGecko

Senior member
2,778 789
IIRC this thread was begun by wasp after numerous request by newbies on which SB / DA broker to go for. Now it's clear that there are competing views on which is preferable, so before this thread spirals onto another "tennis match" of to and fro comments, I will state what I believe to be good advice to any newbies re: SB or DA

My view can be surmised as - for newbs, longer timeframes and SpreadBetting are the best route into the market.

*I state it now that I use both SB and DMA for trading, but for different products over different timeframes*.

The reasons I recomend SB over DMA for newbs is as follows: Firstly, you don't need alot of cash to implement sound money management. For example, say I have spotted a setup in the 1HR EUR/USD (timeframes I will come to later). I may determine that the risk in this particular trade is 40 pips. I could use EUR/USD contracts on the CME, that have a minimum tick size of $12.50 - so my max loss for this trade will be 40 * 12.5 = $500. If we have sound money management principals, this will equal (IMO) 2% - 3% of the value of our portfolio - so we need >$16,000 to step up to the table. The minimum tick sizes are similar for ECN's (hotspot etc), although I think MBtrading might be able to work smaller deals but for high commissions.

Anyway, the specifics of individuals DA brokers are not important. We could find the same trade, with the same 40 pip risk, and trade it from a $200 O&A account @ $0.15pp; For newbs, I think it is clear which is preferable (although the small risk can make traders reckless; IMO traders should start with an amount that will sting if they lose it - otherwise the emotional and psychological aspects aren't given enough consideration).

Secondly, I think the spreads associated with SB's are infact a bonus to newbs; it should discourage them from trying to trade timeframes such as the 5min, and lead them to pick trades on 1Hr + , where all the appropriate factors can be considered in time, rather than trading off a "buzz". At the 5min TF, the spread will kill you. The answer isn't to move to DMA, but to move timeframes. The whole point of learning is to establish a foundation that can be built upon - IMO f*****g around on 5min charts is only for the experts, trading specialist contracts, with the appropriate tools do so effeciently.

*i'll make a little space here for some prejudice of my own; I imagine that there are many traders who claim to be full-time pro's using the 5min; In this short a timeframe, IMO the real trading is done from the DOM and T&S, not conventional TA. Not to say that conventional TA doesn't work, but if this is how you want to trade, you should give the market time to digest and interpret the TA you are seeing - IMO TF's of 1HR and above...

... which is why I suggested SB over DMA to begin, because the size of risk that Newbies accounts can stomach on TF's > 1HR can only really be accomodated by custom spreadbets, not exchange determined minimum fluctuations.