Summary

Short selling is a trading strategy in which you speculate on the decline in the price of a stock or other security. If you'd like to learn about the intricacies of short selling real stocks, be sure to check out this article explaining the short selling of stocks.

Some stockbrokers only allow long position in stocks and ETFs. Others allow short positions only via CFDs on a handful of popular individual stocks. Advanced traders prefer brokers that allow the short selling of real stocks (and not just CFDs) on most stock markets their clients have access to.

Fortunately, clients of IG can short real stocks.

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Short sale at IG
Short selling of real stocks at IG

The number of stock markets a broker provides access to is a good indication for the number of real stocks available for short selling. Note that brokers may not allow short selling on all stock exchanges, therefore the total number of available stock markets may be lower. Financial regulators sometimes restrict short selling. For example when the Covid-19 pandemic engulfed Europe, six European countries implemented temporary bans on short-selling.

IG available stock markets vs competitors
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Stock markets (#) 8 17 17

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79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

You need to have a margin account to be able to open short positions. This type of account usually comes with different requirements than regular trading accounts. For example, in the US, you need a minimum deposit of $2,000 for margin trading. To compare the fees associated with the short selling real stocks, let's take a look at a $2,000 short sale trade.

Fees for a $2,000 short sale at IG vs competitors
IG eToro XTB
US stock $15.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $9.0 $0.0 $0.0
German stock $9.9 $0.0 $0.0

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79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

If none of the brokers above are a good match for you, we recommend our article listing the best brokers for short selling.

Short sale at IG
Short selling of CFDs

As clients of IG can trade CFDs, they can also go short on these assets. In the table below you will find our calculation for shorting some of the most traded CFD assets. This catch-all benchmark includes commissions, spreads and financing costs for all brokers

IG CFD fees for a $2,000 short position held for one week
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S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.6 $3.1 $4.0
Europe 50 index CFD fee $2.3 $3.2 $3.3
Apple CFD fee $32.7 $6.4 $10.1
Vodafone CFD fee $25.2 - $10.6

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79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Short sale at IG
Shorting a currency

At IG, you can trade forex pairs, therefore you can go long or short in any of the currency pairs they offer. In the following table you will find our calculation for shorting the most traded currency pairs. This catch-all benchmark includes commissions, spreads and financing costs for all brokers

IG forex benchmark fees for a $20,000 30:1 short position held for one week
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EURUSD benchmark fee $17.4 $15.6 $15.2
GBPUSD benchmark fee $12.4 $4.5 $10.7
AUDUSD benchmark fee $13.7 $9.6 $10.7
EURCHF benchmark fee $1.3 $12.5 $5.6
EURGBP benchmark fee $16.5 $16.4 $11.1

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79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Author of this article

Gyula Lencsés, CFA

Author of this article

Gyula Lencsés, CFA has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He spent most of his career in the wealth management business as a portfolio manager of mutual funds. He has a trading experience in a wide range of asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, forex and derivatives markets.

Gyula Lencsés, CFA

Head of content

Gyula Lencsés, CFA has more than 10 years of experience in the financial industry. He spent most of his career in the wealth management business as a portfolio manager of mutual funds. He has a trading experience in a wide range of asset classes, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, forex and derivatives markets.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

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