Core Spreads is yet another broker which cuts back on the price of their service while at the same time cutting back on some of the thrills too.
This has resulted in a lot of people opting to veer away from Core Spreads, looking for a more fully-featured offering.
However, honestly, I think Core Spreads is perfect for both new and experienced traders.
Sure, it may not be able to provide you with a wealth of tools that you can use, but the amount of money you will be saving on your trades will more than make up for it.
What is Spread Betting?
I don’t really want to go into a lot of depth about what spread betting actually is.
This is because it could easily take up pages and pages, and you are here to learn about Core Spreads more than anything else.
However, you are going to need to know what the basics of spread betting are.
With spread betting, you do not actually own the financial product. Instead, you will be given a ‘bid’ price and a ‘sell’ price (known as ‘ask’).
The difference between these two prices is known as a ‘spread’. Those that believe the value of a financial product will rise will go with the bid price, and those that believe it will fall will go with the ‘ask’ price.
Honestly, it is very much like ‘betting’. It is a complicated way to trade, and the only real reason people engage in Spread Betting is due to the limited taxation on it (there is no tax on spread betting in the UK).
Although, do bear in mind that you can make huge losses with spread betting, even with risk management tools built into Core Spreads which help you to limit this to some extent.
Basically, it isn’t really something that you should be engaging in if you do not have the foggiest what you are doing.
United Kingdom Only
Right off the bat, I want to point out that Core Spreads is only for those based in the United Kingdom.
If you are outside of the UK, you won’t be able to make an account. This is because Core Spreads requires your national insurance number.
Core Spreads has been designed from the ground up to cater to the needs of the British investors.
For example; the bulk of the service on this site will be spread betting. In the UK, spread betting does not have any tax obligations.
There is no need to report any money that you make (or lose) from spread betting. You will be reminded of this multiple times on the Core Spreads website.
Core Spreads is available in a few other countries, but bear in mind what you can do in those other countries is going to be very limited.
For example; if you are in the United States then you won’t be able to trade CFDs.
The site really has been built for British people, with other people getting access to some options, but if you are outside of the UK then you may want to look at a few other services that are available because Core Spreads may be a bit too limited for your needs.
Who is Core Spreads for?
Core Spreads is for British investors who are looking to do the following:
- Spread Betting
So yes, the options for this broker are pretty limited and, obviously, it is not a service which is going to be for everybody.
If you are looking to invest in individual financial products, then Core Spreads is not going to be the right site for you to use.
Markets available on Core Spreads
There are thousands of markets available on Core Spreads, although do bear in mind that you are limited with what you can trade on those markets due to the whole spread betting idea.
So, once again, I want to reiterate if you are planning to do anything but spread betting, then this site is not going to be for you:
- Forex Trades: you are able to trade thirty currency pairs on Core Spreads.
These are the most popular pairs, so if you are looking to speculate on something a bit more unique and which has a bit more of a volatile nature to them (because volatility could potentially mean profit), then Core Spreads is not going to be for you.
- Speculate on some of the most popular shares in the world. There are hundreds of companies. Core Spreads does try to ‘force’ you into trading with the more popular companies, though.
- Trade Indices
- Trade Commodities
So, this does mean that Core Spreads is one of the more ‘extensive’ spread betting sites available in the United Kingdom.
You are still going to be limited with what you can do on the site, and you aren’t really going to be owning anything.
That being said, a lot of people find that spread betting is a lot easier than trading stocks and shares normally.
This is because, in many cases, it should be easy to predict the way in which a financial product is going to go. The news will help you here.
Although, of course, since you don’t actually ‘own’ anything, your way of trading will be different to if you were trading normally. So, this is a site that you only want to use if you are serious about spread betting.
I wouldn’t really want to make the jump from trading spreads to stocks normally. You need to shake up your knowledge way too much.
I am going to warn you that around 73% of people end up losing money when it comes to spread betting, so there is a lot of risk here.
One of the major advantages of Core Spreads is the fact that it offers low spreads across its markets.
For example; if you are spread betting on FTSE100, then the spread is 0.1%. European stock markets are an average 0.2% spread, and American markets are a 2 cents spread.
This is important. The lower the spread, the higher your returns will be, and the lower the risk is going to be on your part.
Remember; there is no commission to pay on anything that you make from Core Spreads. There are some fees, which I am going to discuss in a short while.
However, spread betting works by there being no actual commission on your trades. Services like Core Spreads make their money from the spread they have available.
There are two types of accounts available on Core Spreads, and you will need to choose the correct one for you.
For the most part, the features of each of the account types will be the same, but you will be trading different financial products on them.
This is the account to opt for if you are spread betting. There will be no commission on the trades that you make, but there is a minimum 0.50 purchase in each currency (i.e. 50p or 50 cents). You can trade:
- 16 Indices
- 34 FX Pairs
- 5 Commodities
- UK Equities
- EU Equities
- US Equities
CoreTrader is the only platform that you will be using if you want to carry out spread betting on Core Spreads.
While it is not the best platform in the world, and it is lacking a few features, it works quite well.
One of the things that I am impressed with is the fact that Core Spreads know that CoreTrader is not as brilliant as it can be.
And, despite the low fees they charge for their services, they are working hard to add features into CoreTrader which will make it easier for you to carry out trades.
I think the main issue that I have with CoreTrader is the fact that you have limited ability to change the look of your trading window.
However, honestly, when you are spread betting you do not need that much customisation.
There are very few tools that you can use. You will have a list of the financial products you can trade, and you have some basic charting. That is it.
With CoreTrader, you have limited ability to set up price alerts. You can also view limited historical data.
You will need to use some other service at the same time if you want full information to ensure that you make even better spread bets.
CoreTrader is available through your browser, although you can also download a fully functional mobile app to your device if you fancy doing a bit of spread betting ‘on the go’.
If you are trading CFDs, then you will be using MetaTrader 4 as your trading platform.
If you have been trading for a while, then you will know that MetaTrader 4 is the ‘industry standard’ for both beginner and experienced traders alike. This is down to the charting functionality that MetaTrader 4 boasts.
However, do bear in mind that you can’t access MetaTrader 4 through your web browser. You will need to download additional software on your computer, and the system requirements for this are a bit on the higher side.
The fees for MetaTrader 4 are $1.50 per lot, with a minimum order of 0.01 per lot. So, the fees are pretty affordable for most people, and this does make Core Spreads one of the cheaper places to trade CFDs online.
I really do wish that MetaTrader 4 allowed spread betting, because it is a lot better than CoreTrader, particularly when it comes to customisability.
Deposit and withdrawals
You can deposit into your Core Spreads account using a debit or credit card. You can also deposit using bank transfer, although do bear in mind that it will take a few days for that to land in your trading account.
There is no minimum amount for either deposits or withdrawals.
One of the things that I love about Core Spreads, and something that I wish other brokers did, is the fact that you are able to withdraw cash from your account whenever you wish. You do not need to hit an arbitrary limit.
If you feel like you are done with Spread Betting, or don’t want to use Core Spreads any more, then you can withdraw all the money in your account. It doesn’t matter how little or how much is sitting in it.
I have no real complaints about Core Spreads deposit and withdrawal methods. They offer more options than most other spread betting websites.
Monday to Friday, Core Spreads customer support is available 24 hours a day. They are not open at the weekends.
You have a wealth of ways to get in touch with them, and they are always more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Before I wrote this review, I looked at a few other reviews of Core Spreads and person after person seem to complain that when they ‘win’ too much with their spread bets, their account was closed down.
Remember; companies like Core Spreads want people to lose. It is how they make their money.So, I feel like once you start making a decent sum of cash with Core Spreads, you may want to upgrade to a ‘better’ product, or at least trade shares properly, rather than spread betting.
Worth using Core Spreads?
If you are interested in spread betting, then sure.
However, the vast majority of people are not interested in spread betting.
It isn’t proper ‘trading’, and the amount of cash that you can make is low compared to the amount of money you are likely to lose.
Yes, Core Spreads does have tax advantages in the United Kingdom, but even then, it is probably not going to be worth taking advantage of them.
Of course, if you have weighed up the pros and cons of spread betting and you really want a brilliant site to use, then I doubt that you are going to find anything better than Core Spreads out there, and it is going to be 100% worth using.