Financial Glossary






American Depository Receipt. Allows US investors to trade foreign companies listed on non-US stock exchanges.


Amsterdam Stock Exchange.


Austrian Futures and Options Exchange.

After Hours Dealing

Spread Betting Companies may provide a market on different products even when the underlying exchanges have closed. For example, trading on shares listed on the FTSE after it closes at 4.30pm or before it opens next morning.


Alternative Investment Market – a sub-market of the London Exchange used by smaller companies to raise finance.


Someone working for a bank, broker or fund manager whose job it is to study companies and make recommendations to buy or sell


This is where a trader tries to take advantage of a difference in market prices between different exchanges or spread betting companies. By buying with one and selling with another, the trader can guarantee a profit.


Athens Stock Exchange

Ask Price

Also called the Offer Price. The price at which someone can buy.


Buyers and sellers enter bids and offers during fixed time frame (normally five minutes).  One of the most common is the Post Market Auction on the FTSE 100, which happens after the market closes and which decides the official closing price.

Authority to Deal

With written notification and an identity check, you can authorise someone else to spread bet for you.




Bankers Automated Clearing System. Allows electronic fund transfers take place.


When the price of delivery of a commodity gets cheaper as time goes on.  Opposite to Contango.

Base Rate

The official rate at which central banks like the Bank of England or European Central Bank lends to retail banks.

Basis Point

A term relating to short term interest rates – one basis point is equivalent to 0.01%, so if the interest rate goes from 2% to 2.25% it is said to have increased 25 basis points (bps).


An investor who expects a market to decline.  Opposite to Bull.

Bear Market

A market with falling prices. Opposite to Bull Market.

Bet Size

How much you make or lose for every point of movement in the market

Bet Size Factor

The number used to determine the margin required to do a trade. It is multiplied by your stake. For example, if your stake is £5 and the bet size factor is 10 your margin is £50.

Bid Price

The lower of the two prices in the spread. The one at which you “sell”.

Bid-Ask Spread

The difference between the bid price and the offer price. Tight spreads mean you begin to win or lose more quickly. Wider spreads mean trading is more expensive.

Binary Betting

In this bet, there are only two possible outcomes – win or lose. They are a fixed odds bet like in traditional sports betting – in that they pay out either 100% or 0%.  For example, you could bet on the FTSE to be up at the end of the day. If that happens you win, if it doesn’t you lose. The amount you stand to win or lose is known from the outset, in contrast with regular spread betting.

Blue Chip companies

Large, well-established companies, often household names that are conservatively managed.  They form the basis of many pension funds and share portfolios, as they usually considered safe investments. But changes in their share price tend to be slow. ( The “blue chip” is the most valuable one in poker, and that’s where the term comes from.)


Bonds are essentially IOUs from a government or company. These debt securities are issued as a way of raising money. The issuer promises to repay the bond together with a fixed interest amount at some specified point in the future. Bonds are often traded on the bond markets after they have been issued.


Medium term German Government Bond with about 5 years before the final repayment date.


Someone who expects market prices to rise. Opposite to Bear.

Bull Market

A market where prices are rising. Opposite to Bear Market.


You “buy” in anticipation of the market rising. Either when opening a bet, or to close an existing “sell” bet. Also referred to as “going long”, an “up bet”.


Long term German Government Bond – 10 years.



CAC 40

An Index listing 40 of the top companies on the French Stock Exchange


Trader’s jargon referring to the USD/GBP exchange rate.

Call Option

The right, but not the obligation, to buy at a specified price on a future date. A “put” is the opposite of a “call”. There are two types of options – American options and European options, with the main difference being that American options can be exercised any time before expiration, whereas European options can only be exercised on the expiration date.

Capital Gains Tax

Tax on profits made from an asset that has been held for a period of time. It applies to profits made from share dealing. Spread Betting is exempt from CGT.

Carry Trade

A foreign exchange strategy where you borrow a low-interest rate currency, and lend a high interest rate currency with the intention of pocketing from the difference in interest rates. A trader who does this strategy is exposed to movements in the exchange rate of the currencies against him.

Cash Call

A demand from the spread-betting company that an investor deposit more money to cover the exposure to a bet that is losing. Also known as a Margin Call.

Cash Price

Also known as Spot price. The current market price of the actual physical commodity or share for immediate delivery. Usually called cash price in share dealing and spot price in currency or commodity dealing.


Chicago Board of Trade


(or Contract for Difference) A leveraged share trading product similar to spread betting, but without the tax-free advantages.


Clearing House Automated Payment System. A UK payment system where funds can be sent to a bank account on the same business day.


Visual representations of raw data. Investors can spot trends to help them make more informed decisions about a company or a market.


Someone who engages in technical analysis of markets using charts.


Ending a trade and crystallising the profit or loss. You close a “buy” bet by selling, and vice versa.

Closing Price

The price at which the bet was ended. May also refer to the price of the last transaction in a day’s trading session.


When the cash price for immediate delivery is lower than the price for a future date. This is normally this case in commodity trading. Opposite to “Backwardation”

Contingent Order

An order which is to be triggered only if another one is executed first. It’s used as a way of managing the risk associated with a bet. An if/when proposition, sometimes called an “if done” order.

Contract Note

A document sent, usually by email, to confirm a trade.

Contact Month

The month in which a futures trade must be settled.

Controlled Risk Bet

A bet where the maximum loss is limited in advance. That is a bet with a guaranteed stop loss.


Physical goods such as oil or coffee which are bought and sold in regular commerce. Soft

commodities like soya, coffee are grown, and hard commodities like gold or oil are extracted through mining. Many commodities are traded on the financial markets.


Commodity Exchange Inc (New York)


Chicago Mercantile Exchange

Credit Account

An investment account where the trader is given credit terms without the need to cover margins. Only offered by some companies, at their discretion based on the financial status of the client and proof of funds.

Credit Limit

The total loss a credit account holder can run up, before the spread betting company issues a margin call, i.e. insists on extra funds being deposited.

Crude Oil

Unrefined petroleum. One of the most important and liquid markets in the world.


Coffee, Sugar, Cocoa Exchange (New York )


Also known as Forex/FX or Foreign Exchange. The markets are traded in pairings of two separate currencies eg USD/GBP or EUR/USD. When you make a buy trade you expect the first currency to rise in value compared to the other one.

Currency cross

The exchange rate between two currencies.

Cut and Reverse

Closing an open position and opening a new position at the same time. Also called overclosure.



Daily Bet

Bets which are settled on the day they are made. Usually against the price at the end of the day’s trading.

Daily Settlement

The official closing price for a particular market on a certain day.

Day Trader

A trader who buys and sells the same security multiple times during the same trading day.


Germany’s main stock exchange, made up of 30 largest listed German companies


The initial amount of money that needs to be paid into a trading account to make a trade – covers the margin but not the limit of what can be lost.

Deposit Account

A trading account to which no credit is extended. Sufficient funds must be in the account to meet stake and margin requirements before bets can be opened.


A financial instrument that derives its value from an underlying security like a commodity or share. Spread betting is a derivative product. Others include CFDs, futures and options.

Differential Markets

Some firms will offer bets on the difference in price between markets, such as Wall St vs FTSE.


The amount by which a price for one instrument is less than that of an almost identical instrument. For example, airline shares in Europe could be trading at discount to airline shares in the US because of supply and demand differences between Irish and US investors. The term is also used in Forex markets to describe how much forward currency rates are less than spot rates.


The portion of a company’s profit that is distributed among its shareholders, normally on a regular basis. Dividends are generally not paid on spread betting, but the original spread bet price will be lower by the amount of the dividend to compensate the buyer of the spread bet.


Dow Jones Industrial Average, reflects the performance of the top US blue chip stocks.

Down Bet

A bet that a price will fall. Also known as a “sell bet”, or “going short”.


A price pattern characterized by a series of lower highs and lower lows.

Deutsche Borse

Germany’s main securities market, including the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.




European Central Bank

Economic Indicators

Statistics and data showing trends in the economy, issued by governments or agencies. Traders use them to try to predict which direction the economy in general is heading. They include employment rates, GDP, Auto Sales, etc…


Electronic Fund Transfer. Usually required for larger margin or cash calls.


Earnings per Share. It’s a ratio used to compare stocks


Ordinary shares in a company. Also called Stocks in the US.


European Derivatives Exchange, based in Frankfurt


The 3 month European interest rate. Short for Euro Interbank Offered Rate. This is the rate at which large prime banks borrow and lend to themselves in the Euro currency.


Shares that are traded the day after the most recent dividend has been paid. Shares will normally drop in value on the ex-dividend date by the value of the dividend.

Expiry date

The date a spread bet ends. The bet is automatically closed and settled on this date unless the investor closes it beforehand, or instructs the company to roll it over to the next period. Also known as the Expiration date.


How much your portfolio is invested in a particular sector or market as a portion of your overall capital.



False Break Out

A breakout that turned out to be temporary. For example, if the Euro trades between $1.21 and $1.25 for some months, and then one day rises above $1.25, before quickly falling back down to below $1.25 again.

Fast Market

A market with abnormally high levels of trading causing prices to change rapidly. Can cause a delay in electronic updating.

Federal Reserve

The Fed is the central bank of the US.


To execute an order.


Financial Instrument Exchange, New York


Foreign Exchange of FX. The exchange rate between two currencies.


Financial Services Authority. The government appointed body that regulates all financial trading and spread betting in the UK.


The “footsie” is the leading securities exchange in the UK. The indices are maintained by the Financial Times and London Stock Exchange.

FTSE 100

An index of the top 100 largest and most widely-traded companies listed in the UK. It includes blue chip, household names such as Boots, BP, Tesco, Vodafone. These are the most widely owned securities, and the index is used as an economic indicator.

FTSE 250

An index of the next largest 250 companies by market capitalisation. The “mid-250” is an indicator of medium-sized companies.

FTSE 350

An index combining both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 – The biggest 350 listed companies in the UK by market capitalisation.

FTSE All Share

An index covering over 800 shares and representing 98% of UK market value.


A contract to buy or sell for a fixed price at some date in the future. The price of a futures contract will be different from the cash price to reflect the value of any interest foregone by the delayed payment of the cash, and also any dividends that are due to be paid before the expiration date.




When a market opens or trades at a price away from the previously traded price without trading at intervening prices. When a client has specified an order at an intervening price, the market is said to have gapped through. Also known as slippage, it can often happen at times of high volatility. Guaranteed Stops can protect the spread bettor from gapping.


The ability to make large profits or losses from a small initial outlay.  A position with high gearing stands to make or lose a large amount from a small outlay. It can also refer to the ratio of a company’s borrowing to its assets – a highly-geared company has high ratio of borrowing relative to its assets.


UK Government Bonds


Good for the Day orders. If they are not filled, they will be cancelled at the end of the business day.


Good Till Cancelled. An order that is valid until it has been filled or cancelled.

Grey Markets

Betting on the value of a share before trading begins on a stock market – for example some spread bet companies offer trading on the price of an IPO before it has officially started to trade.

Guaranteed Stop

A stop-loss order that guarantees you will close the bet at the specified price if the price hits that level, or if the price gaps through that level.  It works the same as a regular stop loss order, but guarantees an exit price for your trade, protecting against slippage or gapping. It protects against an unexpected and rapid movement in price. While non-guaranteed stops are free, spread betting companies will generally charge a fee for guaranteed stop losses.



Hang Seng Index

The index of the 33 largest companies on Hong Kong stock exchange.


Reducing the risk in one market by taking an offsetting position in another market.  For example, if you hold shares in companies whose earnings are in dollars, you could hedge your dollar risk by making a spread bet that the dollar would fall. Any fall in value of the companies’ earnings caused by the fall in the dollar would be offset by your winnings on the spread bet. Other hedging strategies used by traders include hedging individual share positions (such as a long position in Vodafone) against an index (short FTSE).

Hedge Fund

A professionally managed pooled investment vehicle.  Hedge funds are privately owned, and generally charge a management fee of 2% and 20% of any profits. Hedge funds are potentially very volatile as they often heavily leveraged.


Hong Kong Futures Exchange.




An arithmetic indicator representing the total value of stocks of a country or a sector, and reflecting the overall movements in price of a market. For example, the Dow Jones or FTSE are Indices.

Index futures

A futures contract on an index in the futures market.

Indicative Price

A quote that is not a firm dealing price, used for information purposes only. There is no obligation for the spread betting company to honour an indicative quote or price.

In the Money Option

This is where the strike price is below the current level for a call, or above the current level for a put. If the option were to expire immediately then the owner of the option would be “in the money” because there would be a value to his option.

Interest Rate

The cost of borrowing or financing a position expressed as a percentage of the total sum.

Interbank Rates

Foreign exchange rates at which large international banks lend to each other

Intraday Bets

A bet opened and closed during the course of one trading day.


International Money Markets


Initial Margin Requirement. The amount of money required to be in a trading account before the bet can be made.  Also known as notional trading requirement (NTR). It varies from company to company and market to market, and covers the minimum potential loss as required by the spread betting company.


International Petroleum Exchange, London


Initial Public Offering. The offering of a company’s shares prior to its market debut.






Last Trading Day

The last day on which you can open or close a bet in a market. This can differ from the expiry date. Also known as the Last Dealing Day.

Last Dealing Time

The latest time on the last day that you can open or close a bet in a market.


Also known as Gearing. It’s the degree to which you are exposed in the underlying market based on the initial outlay. Spread betting is by it’s nature a leveraged product – profits or losses can be multiples of the initial deposit.


London Interbank Bid Rate. The rate at which one London banks are willing to pay for deposits to each other.


London Interbank Offer Rate. The rate at which London banks lend to each other.


London International Financial Futures Exchange

Limited Risk

A bet which has a strictly limited maximum loss.

Limit Order

An order to buy or sell a product when it hits a certain, more favourable price. It is used to secure a specified profit or loss.

Limit Up or Down

The maximum or minimum price a product is permitted to trade at by some exchanges during one day of trading.

Liquid/Illiquid Market

A liquid market has enough trade on both the supply and demand sides for trading to occur without affecting prices dramatically. In an illiquid market, a small amount of business often moves prices by a disproportionate amount, leading to wide spreads.

Long Position

Going Long means you buy in anticipation of the market rising in price.

Lot size

A lot is the minimum number of contracts that can be traded in a futures or options exchange.


London Metal Exchange


London Stock Exchange




The amount of money required by spread betting companies to be in a client’s account to keep their positions open after a price moves adversely against them. Sometimes called variation margin.

Margin Call

When a company requests more money be lodged when the market moves against you.

Margin Trading

Where you can open a position by just putting down a fraction of your total exposure. In effect, the spread betting company is lending you the money until the outcome is known.

Market Capitalisation

The market value of a company. The total number of shares multiplied by the share price.

Market Hours

The normal opening hours for a market. Can vary depending on market and local timings. Usually 8.00am to 4.30pm. Although some indices and shares may trade 7.00am to 5.00pm. They set a start and end date for one day trading.

Market Maker

Companies that quote a two-way spread in relation to securities. They set the price of stocks and shares.

Market Order

An order that opens your position at the current market price.

MIB 30

Italian stock market index

Mid Price

The average of the bid and offer prices.

Minimum Trade Requirement

The lowest amount required on deposit or credit to fund a trade or maintain an open position. Also known as notional trading requirement.

MOC order

Market on Close. An order to cover the spread bet on close.

Market on Open order

An order to trade at the opening price of a market.


Milan Stock Exchange




One of the world’s most important indices, featuring 100 of the largest US high tech firms. Short for “National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System”.


The main index in Japan, made up of 225 stocks in the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Notional Trading Requirement

Same as Minimum Trade Requirement or Initial Margin requirement. The amount of money needed on deposit to fund a leveraged position or keep open an existing losing position.

Nominal Value

The face value of share or stock as opposed to its market value.


New York Board of Trade


New York Cotton Exchange


New York Futures Exchange


New York Mercantile Exchange


New York Stock Exchange


Offer Price

The cost in spread betting of buying or going long. The higher price of the spread quote. See Bid Price.

OCO (One Cancels Other)

Two orders in one market, one of which is cancelled when the other is traded.


London Securities and Derivatives Exchange

Open Positions

Bets that are currently active across a trading portfolio.

Open Trade Equity (OTE)

Unrealised profit or loss in an open bet.

OTE Inclusion Rate

The proportion of OTE which can be used to finance a future or current bet.


A contract giving you the right, but not obligation, to buy or sell a commodity or security at a given price within a certain time.


The command issued to open or close a bet, either immediately or at some other point in the future. For example, a spread bettor might place an order to sell if prices rise to a certain level.

Orders Aware Margins

A way of setting margin requirements that take into account active stop orders.

Ordinary Stop Loss

Used to minimize losses, this is an order to close the bet at a certain level to prevent sudden big losses.


Osaka Securities Exchange

Over trading

Opening and closing too many bets in a short period of time.



Par Value

The face value of a security, usually a bond. Can also refer to when a security trades at a price of 100.

Pairs trading

A hedging strategy where a trader goes long and short on a pair of instruments in the same or similar sector to minimise the loss or guarantee a profit no matter how the market moves. For example, going long Tesco and short Vodafone.

Partial Closing

Closing a portion of an open bet by making an opposing one. It locks in some of the profit or loss while leaving some of the bet open.


Percentage in Points. Also called “per point” or a tick. In foreign Exchange trading it is usually the fourth decimal point (0.0001) and the smallest point by which the currency moves.  In spread betting, it’s the size of the movement you are betting on relative to its starting position.


The difference in price between an asset’s value when it is trading across different exchanges or spread betting companies.

Pull an Order

Cancel an Order

Put or Put Option

The right, but not obligation, to sell shares at a fixed price, known as the strike, within a certain period.




The prices at which traders can buy or sell a particular financial instrument.

Quarterly Bets

A spread bet which rolls over to the end of three month periods – March, June, September, December.



Range Trading

Markets often trade within a certain price range. Range trading is a trading strategy where you buy when the market is trading at the lower end of the range, and sell at the higher end.

Real Time

A computer system which shows the most up-to-date data is said to be operating in real time. A real-time quote gives the most recent price of a security. Opposite to a delayed quote


When the price starts to recover.


Two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth as measured by a country’s GDP.

Reduced Spreads

Smaller gaps between buy and sell price


A price level that an asset supposedly struggles to break through. Technical nalysts will identify resistance levels – their charts might show that a share never rises above $3.60 or falls below $2.50. Then the resistance level is $3.60 and the support level is $2.50. It often happens because when it gets to near $3.60 investors tend to sell, or close their bets.

Retail Investor

Small individual investors using money from their personal accounts.

Rights Issue

Existing shareholders are given the opportunity to buy more shares in the company before they are offered to the public.

Risk Management

Protecting a trading account from incurring large losses when the market moves against the positions held. Risk management tools include stops and limit orders.


Return on Capital Employed. A ratio that shows the profitability of a company’s investment.

Rolling Daily Bet

A spread bet that closes at the end of one day’s trading and opens again at an almost identical price the next day. The difference in prices will be due to interest carrying costs, dividends and other corporate actions.


Where a position that is due to expire is transferred into the next available expiry date. It usually incurs a small charge.

Running Profit/Loss

How your bets are doing. How much the positions in your account would be worth if you closed everything at the current market prices.



S&P 500

Standard and Poor’s American Stock Market Index comprised of the 500 biggest companies on the New York Stock Exchange.


South African Futures Exchange


You sell a market if you think it will fall. A bet that the price will go down. Also called going short, or a down bet.

Settlement Price

The price at which a position is closed, determining your profit or loss.


Stock Electronic Trading Service – allows access to trading on stock markets without physical presence


Sydney Futures Exchange


A unit of ownership of a company, also known as equities or stocks.

Short position/Shorting

Selling in anticipation of a falling market. To go short means to sell. Having a down bet in the hope of making a profit from falling prices. One of the big advantages of spread betting over trading in a regular brokerage account.

Short Sterling

The three month interest rate contract traded on the London exchange. Most spread betting companies offer bets on this rate.


Singapore Exchange


This refers to the difference between where a stop loss order was placed, and the price where it was possible to fill the order. Sometimes prices fall quickly and never trade at the exact price where the stop loss was placed.


Special Opening Quotation. The settlement price mechanism on some US futures.


Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange.


The market price for a commodity or other financial instrument for immediate delivery. The opposite is a futures price, where the market price quoted represents the price for delivery on the expiration date.


The difference between the buy and sell price.


The amount of money you are betting per pip/point movement.

Stop Loss

An instruction to deal if the price moves against you, usually used to prevent big losses due to sudden price movements.  It sets a price at which the position will be closed to protect you. It’s very important for spread betting that stop losses are used properly.

Strike Price

The price at which the holder of an option can buy or sell the underlying asset.

Support Level

A price at which a share supposedly never trades below, because investors tend to start buying when it falls to near that price. The support level will be judged by analysts. Opposite of resistance.



When one company takes control of the majority of another company’s voting shares.


Treasury bonds with a maturity date of more than ten years

Technical Analysis

An attempt to forecast price movements by looking at and analysing data, including historical trends on pricing charts, and using the analysis to make smarter bets.


The minimum incremental price movement of a market.

Trading Resources

The total available capital of an investor in his account, including cash balance, available credit, open profit or loss positions and initial margin.

Trading Tools

Charts, news reports, and other tools used to assist predict price movements.

Trading Range

Where the price range is bound by a higher and lower price band, usually when there is little news.

Trailing Stops

Special Stop Loss orders available from some spread bet companies, where the stop orders move automatically if the price moves in your favour, locking in your gains and keeping your position open.


Tokyo Stock Exchange – the world’s second largest securities exchange and operator of the main Japanese indices.



Underlying Markets

The actual markets from where the price of a spread bet is derived.

Up bet

Another term for a long position – where you buy in anticipation of a rising market, and make money from the price of an instrument going up.

Universal Stock Futures

Futures contracts on individual shares, traded on Euronext and LIFFE.



Variation Margin

The money on deposit with a spread-betting company that is currently being withheld to cover losses on a position above and beyond the initial margin.

Virtual Trading

Some spread betting companies have demonstration accounts where you can spread bet without risking real money. They use the same trading platforms and tools so bettors can practice and get used to how everything works before investing.


The extent to which prices swing up and down over time.  Higher volatility means bigger returns and bigger potential losses. A market that has seen a lot of movement in prices recently is said to be highly volatile, whereas a market where prices have not changed much at all has low volatility.



Wall Street

The street in New York where the NYSE is located. When someone refers to Wall Street they usually mean all financial institutions in New York including stock exchanges and banks.

Waived Deposit limit/NTR

This is where the spread betting company effectively advances you credit. Clients can open or maintain postions without putting money on deposit. They can keep all positions open as long as they stay within the Waived Notional Trading Requirement limit.

Watch List

A list of markets selected for special surveillance

Wireless Dealing

The ability to trade remotely via mobile phones, smartphones, or PDAs

Working order

An order that remains open, and has yet to be filled or closed



Year End

The notional end date of a company’s trading year, when the accounting books are closed.


The rate of return on investment.



Zero Coupon Bond

A bond that pays no interest but is bought at a price lower than the face value.