trading

Trading Glossary

At Trade Nation, we have removed as much of the unnecessary jargon from trading as possible. We want to keep things simple, but some things we just can’t change.

Here’s a handy list of some of the terminology that you may find helpful:

 

Account balance

This is the cash that you have on your account. These are your funds before the ‘open position P/L’ and ‘current margin’ are added or subtracted.

Account valuation

This would be the funds on your account if all your positions were closed. This is your ‘account balance’ plus ‘realised profits’ minus ‘realised losses’.

Available funds

These are the unencumbered funds on your account. They are calculated by summing together your ‘account balance’ and ‘open position P/L’ and subtracting the ‘current margin’. Available funds can be withdrawn or used to open new positions.

Base currency (FX)

When quoting currency pairs, the base currency is the first of the pair. In the EUR/USD currency pair, for instance, EUR is the base currency while USD is the ‘quote’ currency.

Basis of expiry

Trades on futures contracts have a specific date and time when they expire. Rolling trades are rolled over each night showing the original price traded.

Bid

The price at which you, the customer, will open a sell trade.

Bid/Offer

The published sell/buy prices. You sell at the bid and buy at the offer. The difference between the two is the spread’.

Buy Limit

An order to buy at the limit price or better. A buy limit is placed below the current market price

Buy stop

An order to buy (on stop) above where the market is trading. A stop order becomes a market order once the underlying instrument trades at the stop level. A market order must be executed at the next available price.

Bearish

Where a market is falling, or sentiment is negative.

Bullish

Where a market is rising, or sentiment is positive.

Commission

The charge made when you open and close a CFD on certain individual equities (company shares).

Commodities

Such as gold, silver, base metals like copper and zinc and energy products such as crude oil.

Contract note

Notification we send you whenever you place a trade with us.

Contract size

Is the standardized, deliverable quantity of a stock, commodity, or other financial instrument that underlies a futures or options contract.

Currency pair

Refers to a pair of currencies traded against each other in the Forex market.

Current margin

This is the cumulative initial margin requirement for all open positions on your account. See also: ‘initial margin’ and ‘standard margin’.

Current spread

The spread (the charge that you pay to trade with us) is fixed for specific trading sessions. The ‘current spread’ tells you what the spread is for that session.

Deposit required

This is the initial margin required for each open position on your account. Also known as ‘initial margin’, ‘standard margin’ and ‘current margin’.

Derivatives

Trading product that is derived from an underlying asset class, such as a spread trade or CFD.

Dividend

A share of profit distributed by a company to its shareholders.

Dividend adjustment

The cash adjustment applied to your account to reflect the change in the price of a product after the dividend has been paid (affects shares and stock indices).

Ex-dividend

The date at which a share trades without the value of its dividend.

Expiries

Futures contracts have a specific date and time when they expire.

Fibonacci retracement

A technical indicator which uses a mathematical sequence to calculate areas of market support or resistance. The theory suggests that markets retrace a pre-determined amount before continuing their original trajectory.

Fill

The price at which your trade is executed.

Fixed spread

A spread that doesn’t increase when markets get volatile.

Forex

Foreign exchange (or FX for short). The trading of one currency against another.

Futures

Contracts that have a fixed expiry date and on which no overnight funding is applicable.

Fundamental analysis

A method of analysing the effect of economic, societal, or political factors on the possible price movement of a product.

Gapping

When the price of an instrument moves quickly between two distanced prices without trading at any price in between. See also ‘slippage’.

Going long

Opening a buy position.

Going short

Opening a sell position.

GTC

An order that is “good-till-cancelled”

Guaranteed stop charge

This is the amount we charge you for guaranteeing that there will be no slippage or gapping on your stop-loss order. The charge is only applied if you request a guaranteed stop.

Guaranteed stop distance

This is the minimum distance allowed between the opening level of a trade and its related guaranteed stop.

Hedged

Simultaneously holding a long and a short position in the same market

Hedging

This is a button found on the ‘deal’ and ‘order’ ticket and under the ‘Opening Orders’ tab on the Trade Nation platform. Ticking this box will allow a new “sell” trade NOT to close an open “buy” trade and vice-versa. Without this box ticked, the default is for trades in opposite directions to close off against each other.

If d. limit

Stands for ‘if done limit’. This is a contingent order. It is tied to another order which must be actioned first before the limit is added. For instance, buy £5 of UK 100 at a limit of 7,050. If done, sell £5 at a limit of 7,100’.

If d. stop

Stands for ‘if done stop’. This is a contingent order. It is tied to another order which must be actioned first before the stop is added. For instance, ‘buy £5 of UK 100 at a limit of 7,050. If done, sell £5 at 7,000 on stop’.

Indices

A hypothetical portfolio of investment holdings which represents a segment of the financial market. For example, the US500 Index represents 500 of the largest shares in the US as measured by their market capitalization.

Initial margin

The minimum deposit required in your account to place a trade. It is a percentage applied to the value of a contract (price multiplied by trade size). Also known as ‘standard margin’ and ‘current margin’.

Instrument

A tradable financial market, such as a stock index, commodity, currency pair or individual equity.

Limit order

A pending order used to buy a market below its current trading price or sell a market above its current trading price. See also ‘Take’ Profit and ‘Buy Limit’.

Leverage

Allows traders to gain exposure to a market with only a small initial investment, which magnifies the potential profit or loss.

Liquidity

Is a measure of the volume of trades in a marketplace and is a good indication of whether transactions can be executed easily or not.

Long position

An open position where you want the market to rise in price.

Margin auto close

This may happen if your ‘account valuation’ falls to, or below, a set percentage of your ‘current margin’. In this situation we may automatically close some or all of your positions.

Margin call

Is when we inform you that you have insufficient funds in your account to support your open positions. To remedy this, you must deposit additional funds or reduce your market exposure by closing one or more of your open positions.

Margin requirement

This is the combination of ‘initial margin’ and ‘variation margin’. Also referred to as ‘margin required’.

Market expiry

This is the specific date and time when a futures contract expires. ‘Rolling’ markets have no set expiry. See also ‘futures’ for further details.

Market order

An order to buy or sell immediately at the price currently available in the market. This is an order without a price limit.

Minimum quantity

This is the minimum trade size per tradable unit for a market. For instance, the tradable unit on the UK 100 is 1, and the minimum quantity is 0.50. So, the smallest trade you can place on the UK 100 is 0.50 for each 1-point move. Also referred to as ‘min trade’.

Min trade

See ‘minimum quantity’.

Offer

The price at which you as a customer can buy.

Open position

A position that is live in your account. That is, subject to giving you a profit or a loss.

Open position P/L

This shows your running profit, or loss, from all positions that are open on your account. Also known as ‘open P/L’.

Order

A pending order to open or close a trade at a specific price in a specific amount.

Overnight funding

A charge levied on the amount that you have “borrowed” to finance your trade.

Percent positions are funded

This is your ‘account valuation’ divided by ‘deposit required’. If this percentage falls below 100% your account is ‘underfunded’ and is on a ‘margin call’. You should send additional funds and/or reduce your open positions.

Point

Point is the measurement by which you track the increase or decrease in value of the product you are trading. i.e. US30 Rolling Cash moved from 28900 to 28901 – a 1-point increase. Also referred to as ‘pip’ or ‘tick’.

Price alert

You can set price alerts for all our financial products on the trading platform. We will inform you if your chosen price alert is triggered.

Profit/Loss

Also referred to as ‘p&l’. This represents the valuation of an open position or the result of a closed trade.

Position

Refers to a trade or number of trades that are currently active. Also referred to as ‘open position’.

Product

The market that you’re trading. The product can be a Forex pair (such as EUR/GBP), an individual equity (like Netflix), a stock index (Wall Street 30) or a commodity (gold or crude oil, for instance).

Quote

The sell and buy price of an instrument e.g. the quote on the UK 100 is 7152.2 – 7152.6

Quote currency

The second currency in a currency pair. In EUR/USD, the quote currency is the USD while the EUR is the base currency.

Realised P&L

The actual realised profit or loss of a closed trade. This is visible in your account history.

Running P&L

The real time valuation of an open position. Also referred to as ‘open P/L’.

Rolling markets

These have no fixed expiry date. Once opened, they continue to run until physically closed. They are subject to an ‘overnight funding’ charge.

Rollover

A request to “roll” a futures position from one expiring contact to a later contract. The original position is closed while a position of the same size is simultaneously opened in the next available contract.

Sell stop

An order to sell (on stop) below where the market is trading.

Short position

An open position where you look to profit from the market falling in price.

Slippage

The difference between your requested price and the price at which you are filled. See also ‘gapping’.

Spread

The difference between the price at which you can buy and the price at which you can sell. The spread is the charge that you pay to trade with us and is fixed for specific trading sessions. See also ‘current spread’.

Standard margin

The minimum deposit required in your account to place a trade. It is a percentage applied to the value of a contract (price multiplied by trade size). Also known as ‘initial margin’ and ‘current margin’.

Stop loss

An order that you set to close a position at a requested price to help manage your risk. A sell-stop is an order to sell below the current trading price. A buy-stop is an order to buy above the prevailing trading price. Once a financial instrument trades at the stop price, the stop becomes a market order and must be executed at the next available price.

Take-profit

An order or trade designed or executed to take a profit by closing a position.

Technical analysis

A way of determining the price direction of a financial instrument by studying charts and applying technical indicators such as the Relative Strength Index (RSI).

Tick

See ‘point’.

Trade per

This is the minimum price fluctuation for a market. If you buy £10 of a market with a ‘trade per’ of 1, then you will make or lose £10 for every 1 point it moves.

Tradable unit

See ‘trade per’.

Trading hours

These are the times when markets are open for trading.

Trailing stop

A stop order that follows the price of an open position by a set distance.

Underfunded account

Your account is underfunded when the ‘account valuation’ divided by the ‘deposit required’ falls below 100%. See ‘percent positions are funded’.

Underlying market

The market from which our prices are derived.

Variable spread

A spread that will increase when markets become volatile.

Variation margin

This is margin required on open positions in addition to initial or standard margin. This would be required if open position valuations have fallen below their opening levels and there are insufficient funds on the account.

Volatility

A measure of the range of price change that a financial instrument experiences over a given period.


Financial spread trading comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how spread trading works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.