Company Review: Finspreads

A part of the City Index group, Finspreads was launched in 1999 as a spreadbetting provider for retail customers.

At first sight, it may seem puzzling that City Index, a spreadbetting giant, would have launched a separate spreadbetting site. However, Finspreads offers something a little bit different. Here’s what you need to know.

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Finspreads offers a wide range of trading options but they are aimed at the smaller investor who doesn’t have a spare few thousand to waste when learning the markets. With an easy-to-use interface, small stakes and a focus on the basics, Finspreads is targeted specifically at less experienced, amateur investors.

The biggest market Finspreads offers is shares, with one of the best levels of coverage in the market and practically every country covered. Investors can also opt to trade in forex, indices or commodities as well as bonds and interest rates.

Finspreads lacks some of the extra frills and technical wizardry that can be found on other, more complex sites but manages to still offer everything required in a way which novices will be able to follow without too much trouble. Mobile trading is an option with an iPhone app recently launched, while the main software is browser-based and easy to navigate around.

The trading hours are comparable with some of the larger sites – you can trade around the clock from 8pm on Sunday night all the way through to 9.15pm on Friday evening.

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Opening a live trade in the market for the first time can be daunting, especially if you are not able to start out as low as you would like. Finspreads recognises this and provides the option for traders who have just opened an account to trade with an extremely low stake of just 10p for a short period. Even when this introductory phase finishes, stakes are still much lower than can be found elsewhere, with many bets offered from a mere 40p.

And the good news is that the inexperienced trader is not penalised by a wide spread either. On many of the major indices, the spread is just 1, with share spreadbetting starting from 0.20%.

Unfortunately, margin requirements are not quite as universally generous and while the Nasdaq 100 is set at just 20, some of the other indices are as high as 250. The reason for this is the increased risk inherent in a spreadbetting site aimed at the less experienced market.