Spread betting comes of age

Spread betting grew strongly in popularity in the years after the global financial crisis, as high volatility and low expectations of steady capital gains saw traders look for alternative ways to make money.

The number of people placing at least one spread bet a year – or using contracts for difference (CFDs), a similar instrument – peaked at more than 100,000 in 2012, according to research firm Investments Trends.

Given that stocks have recently begun performing more consistently – the FTSE 100 was up a healthy 14% last year – one might have [...]

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