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Why are CFDs not permitted in the USA?
Q: Why are CFDs not permitted in the USA?
A: It is interesting to point out that contracts for difference are not currently permitted to by USA residents (and citizens?) due to restrictions by the Securities and Exchange Commission on over-the-counter financial instruments. This is kind of odd given they rule trading in many other markets in the global market place now and replaced much of the need to trade options for leverage, so in part it’s to protect the options market revenues in the USA I guess, and protect them from those ‘evil derivatives that will be the end of the world’, CDO’s are much safer huh. Given the current overreaction on regulations on trading in the USA it’s not expected CFDs will get the green light anytime soon as the leverage provides the potential to stuff up in spectacular fashion if you get it wrong, as in futures.
So why exactly aren’t CFDs available for trading? The main reason why CFD trading is not available to US traders is because it is against US securities law. Over the counter financial instruments, such as CFDs, are heavily regulated through legislation like the Dodd Frank Act and enforced by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). This power was granted under Title Vii of the act when CFDs were defined as either a swap or securities based swap, unless otherwise excluded.
Q: Will CFDs ever be allowed in the USA?
A: Well, in the States you have the exchanges that are protected by the government and who have a very strong lobby there as well, so a private client has to trade a product traded on an exchange. Currently the USA regulatory regime excludes the availability of CFDs. The answer on whether this will change will probably be that if they do not allow CFDs, then the USA exchanges will continue draining liquidity and volume as USA equity trading moves to more favorable centers (for instance Goldman quotes US equity CFDs to some CFD providers out of London but cannot do the same for their USA clients in the States!). This when the USA prides itself on its capitalistic outlook…
Will CFDs Ever be Available to Americans? After the financial collapse of 2008 there has been a great demand for increased market regulation. Given the current regulatory environment in the United States, there are no expectations for CFDs to be available for trading soon. While regulations can always be changed or amended, until that point, CFDs will remain unavailable for US traders.
I won’t start on my tax rat but let me just say that being a USA citizen, and even worse domiciling in the USA (versus a foreign country where you get
80K/year tax exemption), you are truly a slave to the ‘free republic’. They are going to get their money out of you one way or the other…Many people from other countries are shocked and horrified to find this out, including a friend of mine who became a USA citizen (UK expatriate) without realizing he couldn’t (legally) do the tax avoidance scheme he used to do before. He turned 10 shades of white once learning the price to pay for the (apparent) opportunities provided. Since there is no tax benefit USA traders have liquid options and futures markets (the latter of which currently has more favorable tax treatment then any other short-term instrument to my knowledge), contracts for difference are somewhat redundant although I think that the simple fact that revenue is being drained away from their exchanges may eventually lead to changes in their laws to permit CFD trading at some point…
The only exception in the USA is forex trading as there is no regulated exchange there for foreign exchange. So you can actually trade foreign exchange in the States in practically the same way that you can trade them in Europe in terms of the CFD full risk that’s involved in the product. But if you wanted to trade gold, oil, commodities or securities you have to trade them on an exchange in the USA.
Which Forex & CFD Brokers Accept Traders in the USA?
Well over two trillion dollars are traded on the Forex markets every day. Thus, the industry can be seen as the one sector with a truly global scale. Millions of individuals are already involved with this lucrative industry and yet, there are often times when those living in the United States are unable to take advantages of the amenities which are offered. It is therefore a good idea to take a look at a selection of online forex and CFD brokers that cater to American traders.
Zulutrade are a unique social trading platform that allow you to integrate their platform with a variety of brokers. When you sign up for a Zulutrade account (they offer both demo and live accounts) you’ll see an option to setup an account through their platform with brokers that are regulated in the US.
As of the time of writing, there are four brokers on Zulutrade that allow US traders, including FXCM and Forex.com.
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We’ve written more about Zulutrade here, but if you’re looking for a broker that combines the intelligence of social trading with the clout and longevity of some of the largest brokers in the industry, they’re certainly worth considering.
While Easy Forex has offices in both Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, this portal is nonetheless open to traders within the United States. Of particular note is that Meta Trader 4 and Meta Trader 5 are both available in demo accounts although these will only be activated for 30 days (or when a real-time account is opened). Bonus offers, educational materials, account managers and affiliate programmes are all provided through Easy Forex.
This organisation is regulated by the FMRRC (the Russian financial authorities). Easy Forex offers a minimum account size of one dollar and 72 currency pairs are provided. Although scalping is forbidden, standard leverages of up to 1:1000 have allowed this site to be one of the most potentially lucrative in existence. Customer support is available in English and some methods include:
These various choices of client services will enable traders to enjoy the utmost levels of transparency.
VarengoldBank FX is another broker which is open to clients from the United States. Payments and withdrawals can be made through PayPal, with a credit card or by the means of a wire transfer. As this portal has been online since 2008, it is highly respected within the Forex trading community.
It should likewise be noted that VarengoldBank FX employs the Meta Trader 4 platform. This is quite user friendly and is considered to be one of the best in the business. As it is regulated by the German BaFIN, security is never a concern. A minimum deposit of $2,500 dollars is required to open up an account and the maximum size allowed is $25,000 dollars. 37 currency pairs are offered alongside futures, indices, stocks and CFDs. Thus, VarengoldBank FX is also seen as one of the most flexible systems for those who wish to diversify into other sectors.
OANDA has been online since 1997, therefore making it one of the oldest and most trusted brokers currently available. There are a number of advantages provided to Americans who choose this portal. Some that are worth mentioning include ongoing educational materials, managed accounts, PAMM accounts and numerous payment methods (including PayPal). Levels of customer support are also appreciable. These include live online chat, email, phone and an online enquiry form found directly within the site. It is important to mention that OANDA operates within Eastern Standard Time (EST). Mobile trading is a possibility and with no less than 72 currency pairs, OANDA is easily one of the most diverse systems currently in existence. For only one dollar, an account can be activated and trading can subsequently commence.
Global Futures is a Forex broker which has been operational since 1998. As their offices are located within the United States, time differences are not as profound as other international firms. There are a number of free demo platforms to choose from including FOREX Trader Pro, GTS Pro, Turbo Trader 2 and Global Zen Trader. This will enable the client to choose the best system which suits his or her discrete needs. 57 currency pairs can be selected and as this is a browser-based platform, no downloads are required. A minimum deposit of $300 dollars is necessary to open an account. Global Futures also provides one-touch trading, automated executions and the ability to access one’s account from a smartphone. A 1:50 leverage is considered standard for all Forex trades.
ProfiForex is located in the Seychelles and has been in operation since 2020. An impressive 42 currency pairs are available for trading as are CFDs and metals. Standard leverage rates of 1:500 are provided. Other features include mobile trading, one-click executions, pending orders and a trailing stop-loss system. As the Meta Trader 4 platform is employed, many clients will be able to take advantage of the streamlined services that this system has to offer. On a final note, customer support methods include email, telephone, live chat and a help section within their forum.
All of these online Forex and CFD brokers are registered by the proper financial authorities. So, it is clear to see that those in the United States have more possibilities than ever before to take advantage of such a massive market. As a word of caution, there are a growing number of such platforms arising on a monthly basis. Only those which boast a transparent history should be chosen.
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