How to Manage Risk When Trading CFDs

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If you want to trade on capital markets well, you must have a strategy to manage risks that are integrated as routine in your trading. Those who fail to do this when starting trading CDFs will find it challenging to maintain a profitable account.

The first thing that you need to decide is how much money you are prepared to lose, based on the capital you have, and your target for a profit within a specific timeframe such as daily, each week, or each month, etc. 

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Once you have made this decision, but before entering into a position, you need to work out a plan for your risk management and decide the ratio for your reward vs. risk.

You will need to understand what the leverage is that you are using with your broker. We are going to look at the general rules and guidelines that you could follow to have a strategy that is successful in your trading.

Managing Risk

You should base your risk management on your tolerance of risk and incorporate it into your strategy. Every strategy developed needs to be a part of your business plan, which will detail the amount you are willing to risk in addition to any gains you will expect. Traders must understand that everyone has a different tolerance to risk and that you should do the independent management of your chances. It will take time before you become a profitable trader, and you need to understand what your trading flaws are as well as your qualities. 


CFDs, or Contracts for Difference, are instruments that are traded widely, which let you trade multiple products such as indices, equity shares, cryptocurrencies, currencies, and commodities. Lots of reputable brokers offer Contracts for Difference on a large range of securities.

When you purchase or sell CFDs, you accountable for the difference between the price you bought and the sale price even though you have not owned the instrument.

You will need capital to post for a Contract for Difference, but the amount varies depending on the instrument’s volatility. An advantage of CFDs and one reason why they are so popular is that you can post just some of the transaction’s overall value and don’t need to publish it in its entirety. 

CFDs are set up for those investors who want to speculate on a security or a currency pair’s direction, and they give a benefit in comparison with ETFs or standard shares bought on exchanges. Let’s take Apple stock as an example. If you are looking to trade Apple shares, you will have to post only around 5% of the amount typically required to post if you bought the shares from a stockbroker. Retail CFD brokers can work out your maximum loss for the chosen CFD and give you margin calculations before you purchase.

Profit Factor and Risk vs. Reward 

Successful traders are aware of risks for every trade, as well as their potential reward before executing a trade. Two ratios help with this process. One is ‘profit factor,’ and the other is ‘risk versus reward.’ 

The risk versus reward ratio is the reward potential divided by risk. If a trading strategy is successful, it’ll gain more than any losses. Take the example of winning $2 for each winning trade and losing $1 for each losing trade, the reward to risk ratio is 2:1. It’s pretty simple. New traders may find this ratio useful. You will need to decide what your positive rate is, and you must apply it, despite what might happen during the trading window.

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The other is the profit factor. To work this ratio out, you need to divide the winning gross trades by the total overall losing trades. Another way would be in multiplying the average rate won on your successful trades by the percentage of winning and then divide this number by the speed of unsuccessful trades on average multiplied by the loss percentage.

Grab the Trend

A typical step in after deciding a strategy for trading is by placing technical indicators in your trade tools. Where you sell or purchase a CFD or currency pair, an average moving crossover strategy waits to catch medium-term trends. To be a trader that’s profitable with a working risk management strategy, you need to make more than the losses you face, thus grabbing the trend. This is why it’s essential to learn these skills.

The technical indicator lets you know when to buy your securities or currency pair when a short-term moving average crosses higher than a long-term moving average. Likewise, you would perform the reverse if the long-term average goes above the short-term average.

When trading with a strategy that follows trends, the risk management used could be, for example, one in which you look to lose 3% and with a look to gain 10%. Using a monetary example, if you want to earn $1,000, it means that you are ok with losing $300 on each deal.

If you do nine trades and lose 6 of those (totally $1,800) and win 3 of them (totaling $3,000), the result will be a $1,200 overall profit. The idea is finding a reward-risk profile that will meet your goals in trading. In our given an example, the reward-risk ratio is 3.33:1 with a profit factor of $120.

Different strategies with higher winning percentages than losing ones can give you equal losses and equal gains. Winning for 60% of the time and losing 40% with a $100 risk on every trade would equal a profit of $200 after ten trades.

Once you gain in confidence with moving averages, you can then learn other sorts of indicators such as Bollinger Bands, Fibonacci as well as relative strength indexes and put those within your charts too.

Profits Running, Losses Cut

A concept that is crucial in allowing your profits to run but while cutting any losses. If you follow trend strategies, this is particularly important. You should use a trailing stop loss as a risk management tactic too. A percentage of stop-loss can be used. The aim is to hold the position until a market reverse. There aren’t many brokers that offer trailing stop losses.

Using Risk Management in Trading CFDs

Before making any trades with actual capital, beginner traders should paper trade to see if the planned strategy will work. Additionally, once you have decided on your strategy, it’s important to keep to it. Beginner traders will exit early often, especially when losing capital, but not allowing the plan to be seen through will not allow it to turn profitable. Moreover, it’s often easy to keep in a trade even when the market turns, making you run the risk of it all going wrong.

Trade Crypto with Leverage

With CFDs, you use leverage. If there’s higher leverage, there’s a greater risk. You must know what leverage your chosen broker offers and any instruments they use if you want to be successful.

Risk Management in Day Trading

Day trading means planning to exit your position by the time the day has ended. Before you trade any CFD, you need to look at the historical ranges within a day so that you can work out any potential losses or profits within a given day. The volatility of some trades is much higher than others, like with cryptocurrencies.

You need to work out a risk vs. reward ratio, which will fit your product’s daily ranges as your focus should be on exiting positions by the end of the day. This means that you will need a daily limit to how much you are willing to lose.

You may also want to include commissions and slippage into any trading activities. Slippage means the capital that is generally lost by exiting or entering a trade. The commission consists of the offer/bid spread the broker gives.

To Conclude

An important factor in trading CFDs is risk management. You need to plan the amount you are willing to risk before you start each trade. Have your financial goals in mind when planning a risk management strategy, as well as your personality and your tolerance of risk. You need to remember that you have to take a risk, and the reward at the end is based on that risk. If you risk more, you should be rewarded with more. The less you risk, the more solid a trader you can become. Your trading strategy should be balanced with a positive reward to risk ratio, making sure you allow profits to run and cut losses when necessary. That should be the ultimate goal.


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