Understanding CFDs for Beginners: Controlling Risks and Taking Profits

July 10, 2023

Trading in Contracts for Differences (CFDs) involves high risk due to the volatility of the financial markets and the leverage involved.

However, with proper knowledge and careful planning, mitigating these risks and maximising potential profits is possible.

Here are some strategies for controlling risks and taking profits when CFD trading.

1. Risk management strategies

Set Stop Losses: A stop loss is an order to close out a trade at a certain price that is less favourable than the current market level. Setting a stop loss limits your potential loss if the market moves against you. It’s one of the simplest and most effective risk management tools.

Use Limit Orders: A limit order is an instruction to close out a position at a more favourable price than the current market level. This allows you to lock in profits when the market moves in your favour without constantly monitoring the market.

Position Sizing: This involves deciding how much of your capital you will risk on a single trade. A common approach is to risk a small percentage of your trading capital, say 2%, on any single trade. This way, even a series of losses won’t significantly deplete your trading capital.

Diversification: This involves spreading your investments across various financial instruments to reduce the risk of all investments performing poorly at the same time. By diversifying your portfolio, you can mitigate the impact of poor performance on a single asset.

2. Profit taking strategies

Setting Profit Targets: Before entering a trade, it’s essential to have a clear idea of where to take profits. You can set a profit target, which is a specific price at which you will close your position to take profits. Having a predetermined profit target helps take emotion out of your trading decisions.

Trailing Stop Orders: A trailing stop order is a type of stop loss order that moves with the market price. It allows you to lock in profits as the market price increases and limits losses when the price declines.

Scaling Out: This involves closing out portions of your position as the market moves in your favour, allowing you to take profits while keeping a position in case the market continues to move in your favour.

Utilising Technical Analysis: Technical analysis involves analysing price charts and using technical indicators to predict future price movements. It can identify profitable exit points, helping you maximise your profits on each trade.

Prepare for possible losses in trades

CFD trading involves significant risks and is not suitable for all investors.

While the abovementioned strategies can help control risks and maximise profits, they cannot completely eliminate risk.

It’s crucial to understand the market, continuously educate yourself, make well-informed decisions, and always be prepared for the possibility of losses.

Disclaimer: ProsperUs Investment Coach Billy Toh doesn’t own shares of any companies mentioned.

Billy Toh

Billy is deeply committed to making investment accessible and understandable to everyone, a principle that drives his engagement with the capital markets and his long-term investment strategies. He is currently the Head of Content & Investment Lead for Prosperus and a SGX Academy Trainer. His extensive experience spans roles as an economist at RHB Investment Bank, focusing on the Thailand and Philippines markets, and as a financial journalist at The Edge Malaysia. Additionally, his background includes valuable time spent in an asset management firm. Outside of finance, Billy enjoys meaningful conversations over coffee, keeps fit as a fitness enthusiast, and has a keen interest in technology.

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