Andy Richardson


Andy Richardson is an independent spread trader specializing in short- to medium-term technical strategies. He is the founder of, a website dedicated to free trader education and discussion.

CFDs, Greed and Trading Psychology by Andy Richardson
If you have £10,000 and open a CFD account you will be in a position to place trades worth between £40,000 and £100,000 in underlying equivalent equity. This is because margin requirements of between 10-25% are in effect on most London Stock exchange listed shares. Greedy people do this and use their maximum margin allowance... READ MORE

Contracts for Difference and CFDs Trading in Italy by Andy Richardson
Brokers offering CFDs have opened branches in many European countries, and Italy has a local branch of IG Markets, a worldwide broker headquartered in London. CMC Markets is another large dealer that has spread worldwide, and also has an Italian division. Both of these CFD brokers are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK... READ MORE

How Do Spread Betting Brokers Make Money and Balance Their Books? by Andy Richardson
Spread betting providers are essentially market makers and they make their money from the bid-offer spread. If a market is especially volatile, you may be re-quoted a price but again the price you are quoted is dependent on the market price available... READ MORE

Choosing a CFD Trading Provider - What CFDs Can I Trade? by Andy Richardson
In order to stay competitive, many CFD providers have chosen to compete on the range of products that they offer, and you'll commonly find perhaps 7000 different CFD products available. Which you choose will depend on your view of the various markets... READ MORE

Contracts For Difference and Margin Trading Workings by Andy Richardson
What is a Contract for Difference? CFDs offer you the ability to deal in the price movements of a wide range of financial instruments, such as stocks, without actually owning the underlying asset. Like traditional share dealing, the scope is for speculators to profit from the price moving in their favour, but CFDs give you the potential to profit from both rising and falling markets... READ MORE

Understanding Contracts For Difference, Risk and Leverage by Andy Richardson
Trading contracts for difference on margin means that you are able to take large market positions in relation to the money you have deposited. However, it is important to understand that margin trading magnifies both your profits and your losses... READ MORE

Trading Stock Index Futures Using Spread Betting by Andy Richardson
Many people think that it is risky to trade stock index futures. Is this the case? Well, it can be, if you don't educate yourself first, but if you can put some of your portfolio aside for this type of trading, the advantages really do far outweigh any disadvantages... READ MORE

Price Wars Have Made Spread Betting More Competitive Than Ever by Andy Richardson
The growth in the number of spread betting firms has created a highly competitive industry and this is resulting in ever tighter spreads and a price war between the providers in a bid to remain at the forefront of customers' minds. The spreads and margins at Capital Spreads are extremely competitive and most are found to be better value than some of their bigger competitors thus giving you more opportunity to profit... READ MORE

Making Money Financial Spread Betting by Andy Richardson
All financial spread betting contracts work in basically the same way. There are stock market quotes for the price of a market at some date in the future, for example, the FTSE 100 Index, which are explained in the example below... READ MORE

Why Should I Trade Commodities Using CFDs? by Andy Richardson
I now tend to stick to share trends and commodity trends over 5-10 day periods and it is working out well now. Thing is I greatly enjoy it and it is profitable for me too, it just wasn't initially. I only use a guaranteed account as I don't want to be leveraged... READ MORE

The Golden Stock Market Rule - Stop Chasing Losses and Leaping Into Higher Risk Trades by Andy Richardson
There is one golden rule when involving yourself in the stockmarkets. Stop chasing losses. You should not leap out of one failed trade that revealed a higher level of anticipated risk and leap into another that comes with even higher risk... READ MORE

Spread Betting, CFDs and the Budget CGT Hike From 18% to 28% - Tax Implications by Andy Richardson
The Conservative and the Liberals have just decided to raise the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) from 18% to 28%. This was better than I initially thought although I still think it's too high and should not apply to share buys but I would say that wouldn't I?.. READ MORE

Spread Betting Tax Questions - Who Pays the Taxes? Why is Spread Trading Not Permitted in the USA? by Andy Richardson
But isn't the Inland Revenue losing money by not taxing spread bets? Actually, whilst the actual client doesn't pay tax - so spreadbetters wouldn't pay tax, spread betting firms do pay a levy to the inland revenue which is based on any losses that clients make, so there is tax to pay, it is just that the customer doesn't pay it but providers do... READ MORE

CFDs and the Power of Leverage by Andy Richardson
When I started trading CFDs some 8 years ago, I ended up getting carried away and lost the amount I decided to risk. The fact is however that we all have losses and mine was a classic case of being successful in the early stages only to see my profit wiped out after I started increasing my trade sizes... READ MORE

The Ugly Side of Financial Spread Betting by Andy Richardson
Not all speculators grasp the concept that with financial spread betting you aren't actually buying the underlying shares. You have no rights as a spread better and you are merely betting against the house... READ MORE

Do Spread Betting Providers Hedge Client Positions? by Andy Richardson
So am I betting against another trader? Am I betting on which way the market is going? Or am I betting against the spread betting firm? Broadly speaking, spread betting firms make a price to the clients so, in the first instance, it is true that you're betting against the spread betting firm... READ MORE

Is the Spread Betting Industry a Bubble Waiting to Burst? by Andy Richardson
Fifteen years ago there were only two spread betting providers and today now there are some 15 different providers. Is the Spread Betting Industry a Bubble waiting to Burst?.. READ MORE

Why Using Technical Analysis to Trade May Not Be the Smartest Choice by Andy Richardson
If you're a day trader you shouldn't just rely on chartists technical analysis for trading. So many CFD traders use too many complex technical indicators these days that I believe most seem to have lost their way and don't understand that the biggest indicator of them all is simple price action... READ MORE

Spread Betting and Stock Market Astrology by Andy Richardson
It is a fact that the market can be unpredictable but some of its opportunities come round as surely as night follows day - because they are written in the calendar. For instance the likelihood of a stock market rise can vary quite dramatically depending on the day of the month... READ MORE

Spread Betting Strategy - Stripping the Dividend by Andy Richardson
Spread bets give you the advantages of investing in shares without the inconveniences. One of the most sure-fire date-driven strategies is what is known in the hedge fund industry as 'dividend stripping'. The most common idea behind dividend stripping is that the share price drops on the day the dividend is declared by an amount which is similar to but not exactly the same as the dividend... READ MORE

Leverage in Spread Betting is Equivalent to Risk Exposure by Andy Richardson
I use spread betting as a tool in my trading arsenal with good effect. Where people blunder with spread betting is when... READ MORE

Investing Using Spread Betting Doesn't Have to Be Risky! by Andy Richardson
I've been spread betting for a number of years now, and have been doing fine. I'm hopeless at day trading, so I tend to swing trade on longer time spans, be it 3 weeks or 3 months... READ MORE

Is Spread Betting Gambling and If So is Trading CFDs Also Gambling? by Andy Richardson
Spread betting and CFDs are both essentially gambling on the share price movement, and no matter how much some traders and investors try to rubbish spread bets, these products still have their place in the long picture with actual physical share holdings remaining the favourite for the long-term investor. Whether investing or trading there is always the element of speculation involved - none of us know the future regardless of how much technical analysis and research we do... READ MORE

So What is Spread Betting? by Andy Richardson
Some people believe that spread betting is too complex for them to understand, but in reality the concept of spread trading is relatively simple to grasp; what is harder is to consistently get the market direction right. For instance let's take the case of the FTSE 100 which is one of the most popular markets for trading. The spread betting provider may quote a price for the FTSE, for example 5500-5502... READ MORE

Are CFDs Similar to Shares? by Andy Richardson
CFDs are very similar to conventional shares dealing with a few important differences. With a contract for difference you deal based on the actual price of the stock while paying a commission which is computed as a percentage of the value of the market exposure... READ MORE

Tips and Tactics - Guide to Stock Picking Winning Stocks by Andy Richardson
My investment skills are self-evident these days and a knack for picking considerably more winners and losers has stood me in good stead. As with many, it takes time and some hard lessons to become successful at picking winning stocks... READ MORE

Day Trading the USA Markets With Financial Spread Betting by Andy Richardson
The key to trading the USA markets is to use wide stops and only trade when the markets are open. There is no point to trying to trade a system with a 0.5 ATR... READ MORE

Spread Betting - A Risk Environment With No Risk Management by Andy Richardson
Spread betting is betting on stocks or taking 'educated guesses' and gambling at worst. Let's not kid ourselves. I know people who have had problems with gambling and day trading. Make sure your exposure makes sense!.. READ MORE

Financial Spread Betting - If in Doubt, Get Out and Stay Out by Andy Richardson
I've held (firstly Unit Trusts and Investment Trusts) various investments over a 20 year period. Nowadays I hold only shares through spread betting, a lot more work but far more rewarding. When I first got a broker (circa 1993) I remember buying 'this share and that' usually with information taken from 'tip sheets' and newspaper stories... READ MORE

Spread Betting Company Offers and Platforms - Best Product Combination by Andy Richardson
In the last few months I have opened a number of spread betting accounts with different providers to determine which one has the best platform and software and best customer service. Currently the Tradefair and Capital Spreads platforms appear to be the sleekest as they have a very straightforward platform with the opportunity to place very tight stops and limit orders. They also offer very competitive spreads... READ MORE

Does Spread Betting Have an Image Problem? by Andy Richardson
Spread betting may have an image problem that is holding back its acceptance among ordinary investors. People may perceive spread betting for just City high flyers, or they may view it, because it's got the word 'betting', as just gambling... READ MORE

When is the Use of Stop Loss Orders Warranted? by Andy Richardson
Using stop loss orders with your spread betting or CFD trades doesn't really save you money, it actually increases your expected loss on each stock market trade. Come on, please, this is not rocket science here. These are basic mathematical ideas... READ MORE

Technical Arbitrage and Hedging in Sports Spread Betting by Andy Richardson
I'm pretty experienced spread betting the stock markets which is why I'm keen to get my teeth back into trading sports and taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities. Shares are too volatile at the moment and could be for a while for my style of trading. As you can imagine arbitrage spread betting opportunities in sports are scarce these days no matter how good you are at it, because getting decent amounts matched are impossible as spread betting providers keep improving their pricing systems... READ MORE

Taking a Long Spread Bet on Renewables - PV Crystalox Solar PLC by Andy Richardson
six months ago as a value play and made a few quid. We need better more efficient, compact solar panels, the current ones are just huge and bulky and look terrible when bolted onto people's house roofs. Renewable energy isn't going away - far from it, it's just getting going. Taking a long term view how is PVCS going to compete with the developing Chinese competition? Clearly this is not as simple as 'China Cheap, Germany Expensive!'.. READ MORE

Financial Spread Betting in Ireland by Andy Richardson
Spread betting in Ireland enjoys many of the same advantages that it does in the UK. As a result, financial spread betting in Ireland has been on the increase over the past decade... READ MORE

Pitfalls and Uses of Covered Warrants by Andy Richardson
I've started using covered warrants for hedging my long term portfolio. I also use covered warrants to trade longer term trends where exchange traded funds don't offer the gearing or precise securities... READ MORE

Binary Betting Tips and Developing Winning Strategies by Andy Richardson
This part gives you some hints and tips about keeping your wits about you to make the most of your binary betting - and making tax-free gains! Look at what's happening on the markets to get a feel for which bets are most likely to succeed. You can find all the information you need in the newspapers or on news websites... READ MORE

Comparing CMC Markets and Oanda For Currency Trading - Which is Best? by Andy Richardson
I have an account with CMC Markets and also with Oanda - I like the charting platform that CMC Markets uses (interbank fx), and I like the way you can drag the charts around and resize them. I also like the fact that your money (I gather) stays in Australia or the UK according to where you're located, and CMC Markets are big enough that it ought to be safe (they have a separate client trust account)... READ MORE

Spread Betting on Economic Collapse, What to Do? by Andy Richardson
I have been doing a lot of thinking about this since I spread bet for a living. I have just been scanning charts and thought how overbought everything is looking and much of it is getting overpriced... READ MORE

My Stock Market Rantings - Recovery Or Dead Cat Bounce? by Andy Richardson
One really has to question the apparent current strength of the market, which doesn't tally at all with the underlying fundamentals in this recession. On the other hand, whilst risk seems to have diminished somewhat and underlying confidence seems to be returning, the after-tax return on cash is pathetic... READ MORE

Living From Spread Betting and Shares Trading by Andy Richardson
I have acquired a lovely group of friends in the 'real-world', who spread bet for a living. Cycle-man is so called because he has a huge interest in cycles, be they economic, stock market cycles, astrology or whatever. Moving-average man just trades using moving-averages and mining-man spends every spare moment attending seminars on mining and exploratory companies... READ MORE

The Markets Look Ahead, But What Happens When Logic and Common Sense Get Thrown Out of the Window? by Andy Richardson Is the recession over? A good friend who sadly lost quite a lot of money on the banks amongst other things and who has only shown a very passing interest in using stop loss orders...etc has recently started chatting more happily about his portfolio and has been topping up. I sincerely hope it works for him but I'd rather take this as a sign to start selling some positions and tightening stops... READ MORE

Formula 1 Motor Racing & My Rantings For Spread Betting Motor Racing Enthusiasts by Andy Richardson
I am currently using Sporting Index, SpreadEx, Extrabet (IG linked), and Betfair for my sports spread betting racing Formula 1 plays. I'm getting bored of all the time wasting financial tittle tattle going on in the world. So, I try to watch as many F1 as possible... READ MORE

Spread Betting Gains and the Tax Man by Andy Richardson
My accountant makes me show my spread betting gains but I have never paid any tax on them even if for the past three years these have been large amounts. She does my accounts with an ex-tax inspector and when I queried him about my spread betting winnings (don't call them earnings), he couldn't see any court making you pay tax on them, imagine the losses people could claim for because more lose on spread betting... READ MORE

How to Profit From the Stock Market by Listening to Fund Managers and Market Oracles by Andy Richardson
Seeing the closing in financials in the US, I guess that many people have been closing their shorts but should we call that a bottom and get ready to ride a rally? I for one remain cautious, I still think there is a bump or two ahead. Yes, I believe the banks will lead the way but is 'all' the bad news out yet? Not only that but I think the market is turning on a sixpence. We've seen 5% rises and falls within weeks on every stock market in the world. No one anywhere has any idea whether this is a brief respite from a bear market or the start of a bull market... READ MORE

Stamp Duty Cuts on Property to End the Housing Crisis by Andy Richardson
People won't trade up or start buying houses until they feel secure in their jobs. The focus therefore needs to be on job creation and job retention but a cut in stamp duty could provide the necessary push to get people switching houses... READ MORE

Which Stocks to Invest In a Recession? by Andy Richardson
The recession is clearly on us and clearly there are sections of our community which are badly hit by the credit crunch, debt, redundancy, and negative equity - and falling interest rates. But equally, there are sections which don't seem to be impacted in the slightest. See it for yourself, and have a good time in the process... READ MORE

Sports Spread Betting - Don't Ask Me For a Tip! by Andy Richardson
I'm having a bad run on the sports spread betting front. If you need to know which way a game will go, just ask me what I predict. The certain outcome will be the exact opposite... READ MORE

Spreadbetting Systems, Courses & Trainers Exposed - Claiming to Turn 100 Into 50,000 in 6 Months by Andy Richardson
Type 'trading system', 'trading course', 'stock market tipsters' on any search engine and you SHOULD find documentation of trading successes. From this you can extrapolate successful periods, trends or years of vendor's trading. If the trading experience/success of the system author is not as advertised, there is a case for the FSA to investigate and possibly prosecute... READ MORE

Spread Betting is Not Bad - But Getting Trapped in a Share Down Spike and Averaging Down is Bad! by Andy Richardson
I often hear traders commenting on boards on what a 'bad' thing spread betting is, as though it was somehow morally reprehensible. I say nonsense! People should listen to themselves and the things that they say and understand how outrageous they sound... READ MORE

Trading Systems For Profitable Spread Betting by Andy Richardson
So many spread betters think they understand the basics but actually have no clue. You can use a trading system where you lose 7 out of every 10 trades and still make money but 90% of traders can't understand this and it isn't an odd coincidence that 90% of spread betters fail. Now there are a few basics a person needs to become successful... READ MORE

The Secrets of Good (& Bad) Spread Trading - When Time Really Means Money For Spread Betting! by Andy Richardson
Spread betting is one of those leveraged products that allows you the dream of huge financial success without having a vast capital to begin with. Unfortunately the reality is a little different and while you can win big you can lose in glorious style too when spread trading... READ MORE

Using Technical Analysis and Fundamental Analysis to Profit From Spread Betting by Andy Richardson
If you are a beginner or very new to trading I would suggest: Do as much research as you can. Think of it as an investment in your education. Otherwise you will lose money if launch into the markets before you are prepared and make sure you fully understand the instrument (market) and vehicle (broker) before you place a trade. Research, fundamental or technical analysis whichever system you use... READ MORE

Spread Betting - What is It, Why Traders Do it and How to Use it to Short the Markets by Andy Richardson
Spread betting has come of age since the early 1990's at the same time as the advent of tax-free betting, credit accounts, one-to-one exchange betting and Asian handicaps. It is a powerful tool for the experienced - potentially very profitable and thrilling, but potentially also dangerously expensive... READ MORE

Spread Betting Silver, Gold and Other Metals by Andy Richardson
In the early days I opened a few positions...things went well. Then I increased my positions, and having read up a little more, I put stops in place. Then two things happened:.. READ MORE

Winning Tips For Spread Betters by Andy Richardson
I have been trading futures, options and equities for many years. As well as trading my own money I have traded money for banks and I have been a broker for private clients. Over the years I have been fascinated to discover the difference between winners and losers in this business... READ MORE

The Bear Market - What To Do When The FTSE is Diving by Andy Richardson
So the big question is this: what do you invest in when the bear market takes hold of the ftse? The obvious thing is, I'm afraid, to sell everything and hold a cash position. There are those who do spread-betting instead of share-dealing, and to them, it doesn't matter whether the trend is bull or bear: they can profit from both easily. They just need to know which is in command... READ MORE

Choosing a Spread Betting Provider - IG Index, CMC Markets or Cantor? by Andy Richardson
Choosing a spread betting provider will depend to some extent on your personal preferences. In particular, these preferences will impact on the weightings you assign to the main criteria including range of markets, tightness of spreads, general functionality, quality of trade execution... etc... READ MORE

The Daily Journey of an Experienced Day Trader by Andy Richardson
A diary of an interesting day trader who is prepared to share his ups and downs - I don't sit in front of a pc screen; I just leave the screen on with a live index chart and some indicators. I glance at it when passing by now and then... READ MORE

Space Between the Ears - Diary of a Spreadbetter by Andy Richardson
My trading day. I don't sit in front of a pc screen; I just leave the screen on with a live index chart and some indicators. I glance at it when passing by now and then. If I see indications of a worthwhile move about to happen, I play. Otherwise I wander off... READ MORE

Contracts for Difference - Are the Dominoes Toppling? by Andy Richardson
Since they burst onto the trading scene in the UK a few short years ago, Contracts For Difference (CFD's) have revolutionised the way that Private Traders can now trade. Advances in technology have allowed the average private trader to have at his fingertips trading resources that were previously only available to the professional trader... READ MORE

Winning Tips and Trading Strategies for Trading Contracts for Difference by Andy Richardson
Contracts For Difference have now become so popular that analysts have suggested that a large percentage of the UK stock market turnover is now attributable to CFDs. The growth has also spread beyond the UK, to Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Switzerland, with many markets being added each month... READ MORE

Spread Betting The Indices Can Look A Little Like Bruce Forsyth's Audience Calling "Higher, Higher!" by Andy Richardson
Spread betting and CFDs are derivatives that allow you to go long (buy) or short (sell) and short-selling is a key advantage of these instruments. Spread betting the indices can look a little like Bruce Forsyth's audience calling "Higher, higher!" or "Lower, lower!" when his giant playing cards are turned over... READ MORE

Spread Betting Slowly Evolving Towards Mainstream by Andy Richardson
The advantage of spread betting, as opposed to buying shares, is that it offers one of the simplest ways to bet on markets moving downwards, as they have in recent months. Moreover, bets are free of stamp duty, while any gains are not subject to capital gains tax (CGT)... READ MORE

Spread Betting - A Tool That Could Make All the Difference by Andy Richardson
Spread betting offers investors an opportunity of making gains from stocks whose share prices are falling. One of the key appeals of spread betting is that, as a margin product, it enables traders to gear up their investments. And because, as a margin product, traders could potentially lose a multiple of their initial stake, good money management is essential... READ MORE

Want to Beat the Market? Then Spread Your Bets - Financial Spread Betting by Andy Richardson
Spread betting is a tax free, cost effective alternative to traditional share trading. It allows you to speculate on the movement of stocks and shares without using a stockbroker, therefore you do not have to pay commission or fees. UK residents benefit further still because your profits do not incur Capital Gains and Income Tax. In this way you can sell or buy to maximise profits in volatile markets... READ MORE