Understanding CFD vs. Forex: What Every Trader Should Know

Considering CFD or Forex trading for your financial portfolio? This article gives you a clear picture of their differences and how you can get started.

Forex and CFDs are international financial instruments. Both are highly leveraged instruments that offer the possibility of financial success, but they are not the same. Contracts for difference are a special kind of derivative financial product, while Forex involves buying and selling currencies.

What Is CFD Trading?

Contracts for Difference are derivative contracts allowing investors to speculate on price changes in underlying assets without purchasing or owning such assets. They enable investors to trade the difference between an asset’s opening and closing prices through a broker. CFD trading offers a wide variety of assets, including stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. Its minimal barrier to entry means it can be used by anybody, anywhere in the world. Using leverage, you may manage bigger holdings with the same amount of money.

What Is Forex Trading?

Foreign exchange is the buying and selling of currencies in the Foreign Exchange market. Currency exchange is decentralized, allowing traders to purchase and sell currency pairings like GBP/JPY or EUR/USD to benefit from price changes. Due to the overlap of sessions in several time zones, currency trading can occur around the clock, five days a week. As in CFD trading, traders can use leverage to magnify their gains on a reduced financial investment.

What Is the Difference Between a CFD and Forex Trading?

Asset Traded and Characteristics

Unlike Forex trading, which only trades currencies, CFDs allow you to speculate on various markets your broker can cover. Traders can take a bullish or a bearish stance on an asset and place either a short or a long position. Gains or losses are determined by the fluctuation between the asset’s opening and closing prices.

The foreign exchange market is global in scope. There is typically no centralized currency exchange. The value of one currency is exchanged in relation to another.

Pips are the smallest increment of change in a currency pair that can result in a profit or loss.

Leverage is a feature of Forex and CFD trading that allows investors to manage a larger position with the same amount of cash. However, leverage amounts may vary depending on factors like the broker, location, and regulations.

Liquidity and Access to the Market

Since the foreign exchange market is open around the clock across several time zones and can be accessed by anybody with an internet connection and a broker account, it offers excellent market access and liquidity. The forex market is the most liquid financial marketplace, with daily exchange volume averaging $6 trillion. In addition, this market has low entry barriers, necessitating only a little starting capital investment and some familiarity with currency pairs.

Market access and liquidity of CFD trading make it possible to trade on a wide variety of worldwide marketplaces throughout their respective hours. As expected, they vary depending on the underlying asset being traded. Traders benefit from this variety of markets and assets but face problems like adapting to various laws, fees, spreads, and commissions.

Spreads, Commissions, and Other Charges

The spread, or the difference between the broker-quoted buy and sell price, is a frequent cost associated with buying and selling CFDs and FX. This charge covers your broker’s overhead and the money they make from your trades. The spread shifts due to changes in the asset, the broker, the market, and the liquidity.

Currency trading on the FX market has more competitive spreads than CFDs since more people trade in this market. In addition to spreads, you may incur other expenses for each trade while trading CFDs. CFD trading makes greater use of them, especially when dealing with equities and indices.

Reason for Trading

Foreign exchange trading can be done for speculative purposes, although its principal function is facilitating commerce and investment across national boundaries. Foreign exchange markets include transactions between central banks, businesses, institutional investors, and private speculators. Hedging is another reason people trade Forex. Currency traders often work with forex brokers, although Forex can also be traded on the Contracts for Difference market.

The initial intent of the CFD market was to serve as a hedging mechanism. CFD contracts can be a hedging tool for existing equity and commodity investments. Contracts for difference do not expire like option contracts. Rolling over overnight contracts may incur additional fees depending on the provider. Since there is currently no oversight, the fees may differ.

Mini and micro units are more manageable for smaller traders and are available for several currency transactions. Currency futures contracts can also be traded as options. Currency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) allow investors to trade currencies on the stock exchange.

Final Words: How To Trade CFD and Forex

First, you must create and fund an account with a trustworthy broker. Make sure your broker has a solid reputation through background research.

After selecting a broker and opening an account with them, you will need to fund your account using the method you have chosen. Some account types and platforms are more suited to your specific needs and style than others, so do your homework.

You should also choose a way to trade that is consistent with your objectives and risk comfort level. You can reduce your risk and enter and exit positions with more consideration when you have a plan. You can use technical and fundamental analysis to spot opportunities and determine when to enter and quit a market.

Ultimately, you must decide which asset or currency pair to trade. Studying the economic statistics, geopolitical events, and central bank policies that affect the price fluctuations of your preferred currency pair is crucial. After deciding the currency pair to trade in, you may purchase or sell it on your platform. Always keep a tight eye on your investments and employ risk management strategies to reduce potential losses.



How To Manage Your Trading Portfolio


If you want to manage your trading portfolio better, here are some tips that would be beneficial.

Knowing how to manage a trading portfolio is critical if you want to stamp your footprint into the world of trading, and it’s a crucial skill that many day-to-day traders need more time to understand fully. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned trader with years of experience or a newbie who’s trying to find what works for them; the key to being successful is being able to manage a portfolio and be able to assess risks, get the best returns for your investment, and stick to the goals you set.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can manage your trading portfolio and share some tips to help you trade smarter.

Define Your Investment Objectives

If you want to be a successful trader, having a sole idea of your end goal will be pivotal and will significantly impact your trading behavior and future success. Setting goals will help you decide what you get from trading, whether long-term growth, short-term gains that can be quickly turned around, or a mix of both. Once you’ve decided on a trading strategy that you want to use moving forward, it’ll be a lot easier to find a pattern that works for you and is sustainable long-term, which is where tools like TradingView can come in very helpful.

Diversify Your Portfolio

Being overly leveraged in a particular direction could spell disaster for your future in trading, ending it before it’s had a chance to begin. Diversifying your portfolio is a term used to describe traders making sure to have investments in various sectors or industries, some of which may compete with one another. This means that should one of your investments go badly wrong, you’ll be able to survive because you have investments elsewhere that can prop up your portfolio as a whole.

Monitor and Act Accordingly


Your portfolio could easily become unbalanced, affected by market conditions beyond your control. This is why monitoring your assets and being able to act decisively is essential, but this isn’t an easy skill to master, and it will take time to get this right. Rebalancing involves selling stocks that have outlived their usefulness or maxed out, freeing up capital that can be used to invest in other stocks that are undervalued and have high-growth potential.

Set Stop-Loss Orders

While this may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to acting sensibly and with a clear sense of direction, many traders neglect this aspect of trading because they don’t think the unthinkable could happen. Stop-loss orders will help you offload assets that suffer from a sudden drop in value, helping protect your portfolio by ensuring that it doesn’t become flooded with low-value assets that will be much harder to liquidate. It might take time to research, but it’s certainly worthwhile.

Stay Informed and Analyse Data

It’s been said before that knowledge is power, which is more accurate than ever in the world of high-stakes trading. It’s easy to stay informed about the latest trends and developments in trading. Still, the real skill is knowing where to look to get the most effective information before anybody else. Make sure to use social media to find out about the latest developments in real-time and follow people who are most likely to have exclusive track news that could have a considerable impact.

Avoid Emotional Trading


The worst thing you can do is act impulsively when trading, so if you’re ever feeling upset and overwhelmed, it might be a good idea to step away from the computer and give yourself a break. As well as not trading when you’re overcome with emotion, it’s also important not to let fear and greed influence your behavior, as this will often result in you making decisions that you would not typically do. Staying disciplined and in control is one of the best things you can do to be a successful trader.

Keep a Trading Journal

Organisation is crucial, and keeping track of your activity is a surefire way to make decisions that will have a much better impact on your trades in the long term. Many seasoned traders use their trading journey to keep track of the trades they make and note the circumstances around them so they can reflect on these and analyze them later. Self-reflection is a compelling trait for traders, and if you can do this successfully, you’ll be able to make much smarter decisions moving forward.

Knowing how to manage a portfolio will put you in excellent stead, as it’ll help you remain disciplined and develop the ability to make smarter decisions in the long term. There are many different skills that you can sharpen to become a better trader, but by making these small changes, you should see an increase in the profitability of the trades you place.



Markets are down, time to trade?

2022 has undoubtedly been a tough year for equity markets with global indices such as the S&P 500 down approximately 18% year to date.

A falling market can present interesting situations to different investors, and some would now see the glass as half-full. For instance, they may view cheaper valuations as a safety net that offers a larger margin for error. For investors who are thinking of starting their trading journey now, they can consider exploring with OCBC Securities. A wholly owned subsidiary of OCBC Group, OCBC Securities is a brokerage in Singapore that offers reliable services with transparent upfront fees. Now with their newly revamped iOCBC mobile app that comes packed with a myriad of user-friendly features, an even more seamless investment journey with iOCBC awaits.

Here are 5 new features on iOCBC that can help you spot timely trading opportunities:

1. Intuitive interface throughout the entire trading journey

For those who trade, they will know that every second counts. From the overall look and feel to small thoughtful details, the iOCBC Trade Mobile App is now designed intuitively for traders to trader smoother and faster. To start with, the biometric capabilities allow you to login and submit orders in a flash.

When browsing the markets, their predictive search bar with suggested results can help you to find the security you are looking for quickly, and also show you other similar instruments that are available on the iOCBC platform.

You can then add tickers to your watchlists from various convenient points through the app such as the search results and order ticket. Customise your watchlists to your preferences with collapsible columns to choose what information you want to see upfront or hide, and easily organise your watchlists with the drag-and-drop function.

As a new investor, making your first few trades can be incredibly stressful. With iOCBC, fret not as their trade order form comes with pre-built order validity checks. For newbies, this is very helpful as it will automatically display possible errors upfront by ensuring valid lot size and price range. Seasoned traders will benefit from this as well as it helps to reduce chances of fat-finger errors and also speed up your order placement.

After your orders are placed, tracking them is a breeze as the orders page is cleanly designed with colour coding to easily distinguish between buy and sell orders. Filter your orders by status (active, filled and unsuccessful) and see exactly how each order is filled and at what time with a detailed order log.

2. Gain market insights

The iOCBC mobile app is packed with features to help you spot trading ideas and validate them with your technical analysis. Their professional-grade yet easy-to-use charts powered by TradingView comes with more than 100 Technical Analysis indicators and over 50 smart drawing tools to support you in identifying actionable technical patterns. Investors can also choose to discover new trading ideas effortlessly with iOCBC’s trading tools – Market Statistics, ChartSense and StockReports+. StockReports+ is especially helpful for new investors as reading these reports will help them gain valuable sectoral insights. With in-depth market analysis from industry reports, coupled with charting tools ready at disposal, these could help to elevate trading performances.

3. Manage your portfolio like a professional!

How would one know how well he/she is doing without keeping score? Not to worry, an investor’s portfolio is updated in real-time for timely monitoring as part of holistic portfolio management on the iOCBC mobile app. Amazingly, various types of corporate action events including stock splits, dividends and rights issues are tracked so that the average cost of holdings, realised profit and losses will be adjusted accordingly.

4. Know the fees you pay upfront

Whilst you might have heard of other brokerages having hidden fees that customers may not be aware of, you will be glad to know that OCBC Securities has always been upfront about the fees that it charges to investors. With something as critical as your trading portfolio, you would want to know what you need to pay for and trade with peace of mind.

5. A reliable and secure platform

Lastly, OCBC Securities is a wholly owned subsidiary of OCBC Group, and OCBC Bank is consistently ranked among the World’s Top 50 Safest Banks by Global Finance! OCBC Securities offers reliable, secure end-to-end encryption trading and custodises your foreign shares with a renowned global service provider. With more than 35 years of experience in the industry, OCBC Securities has always been a brokerage that priorities their customers’ needs. Customers of OCBC Securities are provided with a dedicated Trading Representative to guide and assist them on their queries and even discuss market ideas. For beginners, this means you will have someone to handhold you to start your trading journey.

Apply for an iOCBC trading account today to get started!

The article is published by MoneyDigest and does not represent OCBC Securities Private Limited (“OSPL”)’s view on the matters mentioned. All views or information expressed or provided in this article belong to and are that of the writers and are for information purposes only. They do not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. You should not make any decisions without independently verifying or assessing the contents. No representation or warranty whatsoever (including without limitation any representation or warranty as to the accuracy, usefulness, adequacy, timeliness or completeness) in respect of any information (including without limitation any statement, figures, opinion, view or estimate) provided herein is given by OSPL and it should not be relied upon as such. OSPL does not undertake an obligation to update the information or to correct any inaccuracy that may become apparent at a later time. OSPL shall not be responsible for any loss or damage howsoever arising, directly or indirectly, as a result of any person acting on any information provided herein.

Trading in capital markets products and borrowing to finance the trading transactions (including, but not limited to leveraged trading or gearing) can be very risky, and you may lose all or more than the amount invested or deposited. Where necessary, please seek advice from an independent financial adviser regarding the suitability of any trade or capital markets product taking into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs before making a commitment to trade or purchase the capital markets product. In the event that you choose not to seek advice from a financial adviser, you should consider whether the capital markets product is suitable for you. You should consider carefully and exercise caution in making any trading decision whether or not you have received advice from any financial adviser.



What to do when investing in volatile markets

volatile markets

The majority of investors are cognizant that the market goes through bulls and downturns. So, what transpires when the market is volatile?

To make it clear from the beginning, financial market volatility is the measurement of the size and speed of an asset’s price movements. Volatility exists in any asset whose market price fluctuates over time. The broader and more regular these swings are, the higher the volatility, and making a terrible move might wipe out earlier profits and much more.

When investing in turbulent markets, there are a few things to keep in mind.


Volatile markets might expose that investments believed to be properly diversified, in fact, are not. If you haven’t recently reviewed your portfolios to ensure that you understand how each asset class is performing and that the mix fits your investing strategy, now would be an excellent time to do so.


Assets that have appreciated in value will make up more of your portfolio over time, while those that have decreased will make up less. Rebalancing entails selling positions that have become overweight in comparison to the rest of your portfolio and reinvesting the profits in underweight ones. It’s a sensible move to repeat this process frequently.

Go for long-term
aiming long-term

Image Credits: towardsdatascience.com

Markets fluctuate, and you’re bound to see multiple major drops throughout your investment journey. When compared to bull markets, even instances when the market plunged by more than 20% have traditionally been quite brief. Because it’s impractical to time the market’s ebbs and flows, all investors should tune out the buzz and fixate on their long-term goals.

Stay the course

If you’re retired or on the verge of retiring, your stance on investing in a volatile market can be a little different. Rather than attempting to chase high gains in the short term, your priority should be on safeguarding the assets you’ve amassed via long-term investment. To keep on track, create a retirement investing framework before you bid goodbye to your monthly paychecks, so you won’t make rash judgments about your assets during market downturns.

Keep day trading at bay

When you day trade, you purchase and sell investments quickly in the hopes of profiting from small price variations. While this may appear to be a simple, low-risk approach to making money, it is complicated and time-consuming. Day traders must build a system to track stocks, keep a constant eye on the markets, and have an uncanny ability to determine when the optimum moment to buy or sell is, which may feel like a full-time job. Day trading can potentially result in significant losses if you aren’t 100% sure what you’re doing.

When stock markets begin to plummet, daily doses of negative updates may seem inescapable. Even the savviest investors might worry, doubt, and make drastic judgments as a result of it. Panic, on the other hand, brings you nowhere. When markets get stormy, it’s critical to stay calm. Don’t be hesitant to speak with a financial professional if you’re concerned about market fluctuations. They can provide expert guidance, review your financial strategy, and assist you in determining the best actions to take.


6 Money Lessons To Avoid Being Broke

Nobody ever wakes up one morning and thinks, “I want to be broke.” A hefty loan here, a bad investment there, and a long credit card statement later – you have no idea how you landed in this state. You are living paycheck to paycheck without savings intact.

What can you do to turn the tide? Start by reading this article and applying these lessons into your life.


Goals mark your direction in life. If you do not have a clear destination to work towards, it can be difficult to find the passion or motivation to save. Whether you are eyeing on purchasing a flat or figuring out how to pay off your debts, crafting a plan can get you there.

As you set your financial goals, consider making them SMART. Financial goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Creating goals using the SMART method can help you ensure that you are working on an achievable goal within the timeline that you set. Stay on course!


Spending less than you make and buying what you can afford seem like simple personal finance rules. However, these are easier said than done. You can get distracted with the consumer-driven society that tempts you to live beyond your means. When this happens, a good rule of thumb is to save at least 15% of your income.

If you find it hard to save money, try paying for groceries and clothes with cash instead of a credit card. Take it one step further by using a budget per month. Withdrawing a fixed amount every month can help you to become more aware of your spending choices.


The majority of personal finance lessons do not center around financial education, but on financial behavior. If you can modify your behavior with money, you can alter your financial future. Remember that you do not need to be a financial expert to prepare an emergency fund or to save for retirement. Start by building a solid financial plan and committing to it.


Search for part-time jobs such as freelancing or dog walking to grow your income. You can take on other positions in the same company too. If you feel like you have reached the glass ceiling in your field, consider looking for new career paths to generate more income. Increasing your income can help your financial future.


Investing is a good way to protect and grow your assets. However, the talent of wise investing does not come to us all. You may be succumbing to emotions and invest impulsively, hence you win big or lose big.

As a precaution, have an advisor who is trustworthy and credible. Research on your part is vital as well. It will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to make smart investments.


It is understood that budgeting plays an essential role in controlling your spending, paying off debts, and staying on track with your financial goals. Creating a budget starts with adding up all your expenses for the month and subtracting that amount from your total income.

Image Credits: unsplash.com

Set monthly and daily spending limits to adjust and make up for any oversights. You can create a budget using a notebook, a spreadsheet, or a budgeting app. Use a tool with which you are most comfortable.

Sources: 1 & 2