What is a CommSec CFD?

A CommSec Contract For Difference (CFD) is a flexible leveraged product that allows you to gain exposure to the price movements of an underlying instrument, such as a share, without actually owning it. The CFD is an over-the-counter (OTC) contract between you and CommSec (as the CFD issuer).
CommSec offers over 7,000 different types of CFDs providing leverage exposure to international shares, global indices, commodities and foreign exchange — plus a market leading platform and real-time banking to fund your account. We also offer real value for money, with CFD trades starting from as little as $10.

How it works

When you trade CFDs, you gain exposure to price movements of a financial instrument without owning it. You may profit when the underlying asset price rises by taking a long position; to profit if the underlying asset price falls, you take a short position.

  • You make a small cash deposit as collateral (Initial Margin).
  • You buy to open a long position or you sell to open a short position.
  • Profits and losses accrue in real time as the market moves.
  • You close your position by selling (if you went long) or buying (if you went short).

Unless you are experienced in derivatives and understand and are comfortable with the risks of investing in CFDs, you should not invest in CFDs.

Click on the links below for some simple scenarios showing how it works:

Benefits

Trade your perspective

CFDs are a flexible product offering profit potential in both rising and falling markets. Most CFDs do not expire, so you can trade them over the time horizon that best suits your view.

Diversify your portfolio

CommSec offers over 7,000 different types of CFDs, giving you the opportunity to diversify your portfolio across asset classes and into global markets, over shares, indices and commodities.

Real-time funds transfer

With real-time funds transfer you can fund your CommSec CFD Account instantly. Meet margin requirements or top up your account to place a trade without waiting for funds to clear.

Protect your portfolio

You can use CFDs to hedge risks in your existing share portfolio — a single stock holding, a diversified portfolio, even foreign exchange exposure.

Small initial outlay

With CFDs you can potentially make higher returns from a smaller initial outlay than investing directly. You may benefit from changes in the underlying asset's price without paying full face value.

Suit your risk profile

Each share CFD represents one share, and you can trade as many or as few as you like. Some index, FX and commodities offer full, mini or micro contracts so you can match your exposure to your profile.

Choice of pricing model

There are two methods of pricing OTC CFDs, Direct Market and Market Maker. CommSec offers both models so that you can choose what best suits your needs.

Large range of conditional orders

CommSec offers a range of conditional order types — stop losses, guaranteed stops and trailing stops — that can help you manage the risks of leveraged trading.

Demo account

If you’re new to CFDs, and want to try out our platform, use the demo account (active for 14 days). With $20,000 in virtual funds1, you can test various strategies and experience trading with no risk.

Risks

Leverage

Leverage can lead to large losses that may exceed your initial investment. CFDs are highly leveraged speculative products that carry significantly greater risks than ungeared investments.

Market forces

Financial markets can move rapidly, and prices depend on a number of factors. In some cases instruments may be suspended from trading. These factors will directly affect a CFDs value.

Interest rate fluctuations

The interest adjustments that apply to your open CFD positions will be affected by fluctuations in the applicable interest rate.

Foreign exchange exposure

When you enter into CFDs whose contract currency is not Australian dollars, you will be subject to foreign exchange rate fluctuations during the term of the CFD.

Gapping

CFDs are subject to the risk of gapping, where the market opens at a significantly different price from the previous close. This means that a position can have moved against you as the market opens.

Calls for additional margin

If the market moves against you or margins increase you may have to provide additional funds at short notice. If you do not, your position may be closed and you will be liable for any resulting loss.

Rates and fees

Market

Currency

Minimum Commission

Commission Rate

Australia

AUD

AUD 10.00

0.10%

UK

GBP

GBP 15.00

0.10%

USA

USD

USD 15.00

2.5 cents per share

France

EUR

EUR 15.00

0.10%

The Netherlands

EUR

EUR 15.00

0.10%

Spain

EUR

EUR 15.00

0.10%

Germany

EUR

EUR 15.00

0.10%

Italy

EUR

EUR 15.00

0.10%

Switzerland

CHF

CHF 15.00

0.10%

Canada

CAD

CAD 15.00

4.0 cents per share

Singapore

SGD

SGD 50.00

0.20%

Hong Kong

HKD

HKD 160.00

0.40%

Japan

JPY

JPY 2400.00

0.10%

CFDs over FX, commodities and indices do not attract a commission, the cost of trading is included in the spread that is offered. CommSec offers competitive spreads on a range of instruments. Please review our Contract Details for minimum spreads.

The ASX data feed fee is $75 for professional users. You can turn off ASX data feed at any time from the account area of the platform. Select data feeds and then deselect the ASX feed. If you have any questions, please contact us on 1300 307 853 or +61 2 9115 2990 (from outside Australia).

For a complete list of potential fees and charges that may apply to your account, please read our Financial Services Guide (PDF).

 

The following funding costs apply on any CFD position held overnight:

 

Underlying Asset Class

Overnight Funding Charge

$AUD denominated shares/indices/ETFs*

30 day Bank Bill Swap Rate +/- 2.5%

Foreign shares/indices/ETFs

The relevant interbank rate +/- 2.5%

$AUD denominated commodities (excluding gold and silver)

30 day Bank Bill Swap Rate +/- 2.5%

Non-$AUD denominated commodities (excluding gold and silver)

The relevant interbank rate +/- 2.5%

Gold and silver

The relevant 'tom-next' rate

Foreign Exchange (mini/micro contracts)

The relevant 'tom-next' rate + admin charge of 0.8%

Foreign Exchange (standard contracts)

The relevant 'tom-next' rate + admin charge of 0.3%

* For A$1-denominated CFDs and mini/micro contracts the fee is 30 Day Bank Bill Rate +/- 3%

When your position is closed, any foreign currency profit and loss will be converted to your base currency (Australian dollar) before being applied to your account. Conversions are made at a rate not worse than 0.3% from the mid-price.

Where you short a share CFD position, you will incur a borrowing charge. CommSec also incurs a charge when our counterparty opens a hedging trade in respect of the same share in the Underlying Market, and we will pass the charge onto you with no mark-up.

A Limited Risk CFD Account will require a Guaranteed Stop Loss (GSL) to be placed on all trades; starts from just 0.3%* of the underlying transaction value if triggered.

A Trader CFD Account does not require a GSL to be placed on trades. If you choose to set up a GSL, the fees will generally start from 0.3%* of the underlying transaction value if triggered.

*Fee will start ‘from’ 0.3%, for the exact fee, please refer to the trading platform.

There is no charge for use of the CommSec CFD Trading Platform; however, if you choose to subscribe to live market data charges will apply as detailed on the platform at the time you subscribe.

Please note: The ASX data feed fee is $75 for professional users. You can turn off ASX data feed at any time from the account area of the platform. Select data feeds and then deselect the ASX feed. If you have any questions, please contact us on 1300 307 853 or +61 2 9115 2990 (from outside Australia).

Try our CFD Platform

 

Sign up for a free CommSec CFDs Demo account to see our platform in action and practice trading CFDs in a risk-free environment.

Get started

To trade CFDs with CommSec, you must demonstrate eligibility and need a CommSec Share Trading Account that settles to an acceptable bank account.

CommSec offers two types of CFD accounts:

- Limited Risk Account

- Trader Account

When you open a Limited Risk Account, all your positions need to have a Guaranteed Stop Loss. This means that if there is a sudden market move, your loss will be limited to the initial deposit required to open the trade*.

The Trader Account allows you to open positions with or without a Guaranteed Stop Loss. If you choose not to set a Guaranteed Stop Loss, your maximum potential loss could exceed the initial deposit required. Additional eligibility criteria apply for Trader Accounts.

 

CommSec offers two types of CFD accounts:

- Limited Risk Account

- Trader Account

When you open a Limited Risk Account, all your positions need to have a Guaranteed Stop Loss. This means that if there is a sudden market move, your loss will be limited to the initial deposit required to open the trade*.

The Trader Account allows you to open positions with or without a Guaranteed Stop Loss. If you choose not to set a Guaranteed Stop Loss, your maximum potential loss could exceed the initial deposit required. Additional eligibility criteria apply for Trader Accounts.

 

CommSec offers two types of CFD accounts:

- Limited Risk Account

- Trader Account

When you open a Limited Risk Account, all your positions need to have a Guaranteed Stop Loss. This means that if there is a sudden market move, your loss will be limited to the initial deposit required to open the trade*.

The Trader Account allows you to open positions with or without a Guaranteed Stop Loss. If you choose not to set a Guaranteed Stop Loss, your maximum potential loss could exceed the initial deposit required. Additional eligibility criteria apply for Trader Accounts.

 

CommSec offers two types of CFD accounts:

- Limited Risk Account

- Trader Account

When you open a Limited Risk Account, all your positions need to have a Guaranteed Stop Loss. This means that if there is a sudden market move, your loss will be limited to the initial deposit required to open the trade*.

The Trader Account allows you to open positions with or without a Guaranteed Stop Loss. If you choose not to set a Guaranteed Stop Loss, your maximum potential loss could exceed the initial deposit required. Additional eligibility criteria apply for Trader Accounts.

 

CommSec offers two types of CFD accounts:

- Limited Risk Account

- Trader Account

When you open a Limited Risk Account, all your positions need to have a Guaranteed Stop Loss. This means that if there is a sudden market move, your loss will be limited to the initial deposit required to open the trade*.

The Trader Account allows you to open positions with or without a Guaranteed Stop Loss. If you choose not to set a Guaranteed Stop Loss, your maximum potential loss could exceed the initial deposit required. Additional eligibility criteria apply for Trader Accounts.

 

CommSec offers two types of CFD accounts:

- Limited Risk Account

- Trader Account

When you open a Limited Risk Account, all your positions need to have a Guaranteed Stop Loss. This means that if there is a sudden market move, your loss will be limited to the initial deposit required to open the trade*.

The Trader Account allows you to open positions with or without a Guaranteed Stop Loss. If you choose not to set a Guaranteed Stop Loss, your maximum potential loss could exceed the initial deposit required. Additional eligibility criteria apply for Trader Accounts.

 

Eligibility Criteria**

For both accounts you must:

  • - Demonstrate trading experience (10 derivative trades or 20 equity trades in the last year)
  • - Have an acceptable Commonwealth Bank (CBA) bank account to arrange for CFD deposits and withdrawals
  • - Be an Australian resident
 
For a Limited Risk Account, you must:
  • - Successfully pass the ‘Limited Risk Account’ knowledge assessment in the application form
  • - Be employed and/or earning an income
  • - Provide evidence of liquid assets*** of $20k or more
  • - Declare net assets value of $50k or more

Eligibility Criteria**

For a Trader Account, you must:

  • - Successfully pass the ‘Trader Account’ knowledge assessment in the application form
  • - Provide evidence of minimum gross income of $75k p.a.
  • - Provide evidence of liquid assets*** of $50k or more
  • - Demonstrate ability to meet existing commitments, including living and borrowing expenses
  • Other fees or charges may apply to positions with a Guaranteed Stop Loss, e.g. overnight funding costs and currency movements. 
  • ** Other criteria may apply based on account and application type. This assessment does not constitute advice. Consider the PDS before making any decisions.
  • *** Liquid assets include cash, shares and managed funds.

Already have a CommSec Share Trading Account?

Login to CommSec below and follow the prompts to add CommSec CFDs to your list of accounts.

Please ensure that you have one of the acceptable bank accounts to use for settlement.

Don't have a CommSec Share Trading Account?

To trade CFDs you first need to open a CommSec Share Trading Account that settles to one of the acceptable bank accounts.

Use our CommSec cash account for settlement

Join now >

Use your own approved acceptable bank account

Join now >

Trade CFDs on the go with our CFDs App

Frequently asked questions

With CommSec's CFD Trading Platform you can trade online or via the CommSec App where and when it suits you. You can use our advanced technology  to analyse global markets and take a position with the confidence that fast execution and platform stability brings.

The minimum amount that you need to place a trade with CommSec CFDs is the Initial Margin value. This is depending on the underlying asset class where it can be as low as the Initial Margin value of one contract.

To open your CFD Account you require a minimum initial deposit of AUD $5,000. There is no ongoing minimum balance.

CommSec only accepts cash as collateral for CommSec CFDs. You can make a deposit to your account via our real-time funds transfer feature.

If your account goes into margin call you will have until 2pm the following business day to deposit additional collateral. There are times when the market is moving rapidly where you may be required to provide additional collateral earlier; CommSec will notify you if this is the case.

If at any time your collateral drops to 50% or less of the minimum required your positions will be automatically closed without reference to you. You should always monitor your positions to prevent this occurring.

Financial Services Guide

The Financial Services Guide ("FSG") provides information about Commonwealth Securities to help you decide whether to use the financial services we offer.

Download the Financial Services Guide

Product Disclosure Statement

This document outlines how the product operates; overview, benefits, risks and complete costs. It also provides details about the application process and next steps.

Download the Product Disclosure Statement

Other Forms & Brochures

For all other forms & brochures regarding other financial services we offer.

If you are looking for administrative forms, please login and proceed to Support > Forms & Downloads.

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Important Information

1 Demo Account: The $20,000 of virtual money is only for demonstration purposes, does not have any real value and is not redeemable for cash or any other alternative offer.

2 To be eligible, you must trade online, be CHESS Participant Sponsored with CommSec and settle your trades through either a Commonwealth Direct Investment Account (CDIA) or a CommSec Margin Loan.

The information on this site has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial or taxation situation or needs of any particular individual. For this reason, any individual should, before acting on the information on this site, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regards to the individual’s objectives, financial or taxation situation and needs, and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
There are a number of risks associated with this product, please carefully consider the information provided in the CommSec CFDs Product Disclosure Statement and Hedging Policy. A Product Disclosure Statement for CommSec CFDs issued by Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399 AFSL 238814 is available from www.commsec.com.au and should be considered before making any decision about the product. Fees and charges apply.

 

Disclaimer

This site is directed and available to and for the benefit of Australian residents only. © Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399 AFSL 238814 ("CommSec") is a wholly owned, but non guaranteed, subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945 and both entities are incorporated in Australia with limited liability.

By clicking on the "Download the CommSec App" buttons above, you will be directed to itunes.apple.com or play.google.com. These sites are not affiliated with CommSec and may offer a different Privacy Policy and level of security.

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