Betting on the Stock Market , Complete Guide

Last updated:

February 18, 2023
betting on the stock market

Betting on stocks going up or down

Betting on the stock market can be a good way for those interested in stock trading and forex trading. The prices of specific stocks can increase or decrease over certain periods. Thus, bettors can use their predictions of where the prices are headed to bet on the future of a specific stock price. Stock market prices can be unpredictable in some cases. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to be familiar with a specific stock’s trajectory and stock trading on the whole before making bets. This article explains what betting on the stock market is, how it works, and what you should keep in mind when making such bets.


Understanding Stock Markets

A stock represents an ownership claim on a certain business. So, when you purchase a stock for company A, you have a specific percentage of ownership of that company. Investors buy these stocks so that they may get returns on their investments by being partial owners of a company. Therefore, when the company is successful, i.e., profiting, then they also gain from it. That said, some investors also buy stocks and sell them quickly. The reason for that is that they buy stocks at relatively low values and then sell them to another investor when the stock value increases.

Investors make all of these stock purchases on stock markets, which are also known as stock exchanges, share markets, or equity markets. Stock markets allow investors to buy shares (which is the measurement of stocks) for various companies. You should note that private companies do not share or sell their stocks on stock exchanges. Therefore, you can only buy stocks for public companies from stock markets. Private companies may choose to sell some or all of their stocks, but that occurs through private interactions with potential buyers.


Top Stock Markets

stock markets to bet

There are many stock markets where users can buy stocks of different businesses around the world. However, here are some of the largest markets at the time this article was written and published.

  • The New York Stock Exchange
  • National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ)
  • Shanghai Stock Exchange
  • Hong Kong Exchange
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange
  • EURONEXT, i.e., European New Exchange Technology

You can look at these different stock markets to learn more about a specific company’s stock prices and their price changes over time. If you want to start betting on the stock market, we recommend that you make it a habit to frequent these markets so that you are familiar with stocks’ trajectories.


Betting on the Stock Market

Now that you have an idea of what a stock market is, we can get to betting on it. Betting sites facilitate betting on stocks going up or down, meaning that you bet on the price increasing or decreasing, respectively.


How to Bet Against the Market

Betting against the market means that you are betting on a stock losing its value. This is also the case if a security loses value. In stock trading, security is an umbrella term that includes all value-holding financial instruments that parties can trade with each other. Thus, some examples of securities are stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, or bonds. How much a security loses its value is crucial for spread betting, but we’ll get to that later.

There are a few ways to bet against the market. You should note that betting against the market is not the same thing as traditional betting, in which you are placing a wager on a specific outcome. Instead, betting against the market involves becoming a stock trader. Nevertheless, the risk involved can be considered a gamble, hence the term. That said, there can be some great rewards to betting against the market if you do your homework and are lucky.


Short Selling

This form of betting is the most common way that investors bet against the market. Here’s how it works.

You borrow shares of stocks from a party (typically a brokerage) and agree to return the shares later. The return date may be set beforehand, depending on your deal. You then sell the borrowed stocks as soon as you borrow them. You will get some money for selling those stocks.

When it’s close to returning the stocks, you can repurchase them. You can also do this whenever you think the stock price is at its lowest. If the price depreciated when you bought back the stocks, there would be a difference in the amount you got when you sold them and the amount you spent. That difference is your profit.


Buying a Put

Buying a put is another way to bet against the market. How it works is that you can pay a put seller a premium to ensure that the stock price stays fixed until an expiration date. This fixed price is called the strike price.

Let’s assume you buy a put stock in company Y when the stock price is lower than the strike price. Thus, you pay $50 for 1,000 shares, and the strike price is $60. You can sell the shares at $60 per share and earn a profit. Let’s assume you paid a $100 premium for the put price. Here’s a calculation of your profit.

[(60 – 50)] x 1,000] – 100 = $9,900

These types of betting are only profitable if you expect the market to fail, i.e., the value of the stocks to decrease. So, you should also buy the stocks when the value is up. If you buy it too late, you may not make sufficient returns through this form of stock trading.

Thus, betting against the market is only done when you expect the market to be failing. If you expect it to improve, then there’s no reason to bet against the market because you will lose money.


Somethings to Consider Before Betting Against a Market

Of course, it can be challenging to determine the outcome of a stock’s price. Therefore, there is a high risk involved in betting against the market. Another reason why someone may reconsider this form of betting is that it involves buying and selling stocks. Therefore, there’s a learning curve with that because it can be a complicated process for beginners. Thus, bettors who have never traded stocks before should learn this activity through first-hand experience before engaging in it so that they can make sound decisions.

Another factor that can hamper getting into this activity is that you may have put in a good amount of money in stocks to start making worthwhile benefits.

You should not forget when betting against the stock market that traders may be subject to stamp duty and taxes. Even if you bet on the price of stocks increasing, you may be subject to capital gains tax.


Understanding Spread Betting

What is spread betting trading? Spread betting is actually quite different from betting against the market because it does not involve owning any stocks. Therefore, it may be a more approachable option for some bettors. You should note that is not the case in all situations.

So, spread betting is betting on the change in the price of a specific company’s stock. Thus, you can bet on the price going up or down. This form of betting is not about getting one of two outcomes, i.e., a win or a loss. Instead, it’s about how accurate your wager is to the actual outcome.

Points become a crucial factor in spread betting. A point is a value that measures how much the price of stocks changes. Let’s consider this example to understand it in greater detail.


Example to Explain Spread Betting

The price of the stock of company X is $100. Now, bettors can bet on the price increasing or decreasing. Let’s assume that you make a bet that the price increases over a specific period.

The betting website may choose to set the point at one cent. Therefore, you will pay an amount for every price change in cents. So, the value of one point may be set at $1 at every point (a change of 1 cent in the stock price). This system is similar to betting odds. Therefore, the price for the change is set, and some betting sites may offer different odds (price for a point change).

Let’s assume that you bet the price will increase, which happens after a specific period. So, the price increases from $100 to $105. So, the bet captured 500 points (because there are 500 cents in $5). That means the profit is 500 multiplied by $1, which equals $500.

Interested bettors can start spread betting without owning any stocks or securities. It can be a useful option for bettors who don’t want to start owning and trading stocks on the stock market. Something to consider is that some betting sites may keep the spread significant. Therefore, you may need to spend a lot of money to get returns that are worthwhile. Also, the United Kingdom and other countries do not charge taxes on profits made from spread betting.


Quick Questions and Answers

Below are some quick questions and answers about betting on the stock market.


Can you bet on the Dow Jones?

It’s rare to find platforms that allow you to bet on the Dow Jones. The Dow Jones Index is a platform that allows you to see whether stock markets will go up or down. However, some platforms like Betonline do offer prop bets on it. Prop bets are bets on specific occurrences during a given period.

For example, it has a bet on the final digit of Dow Jones at a specific time. Here’s a screenshot of it.



Can you bet on the forex market?

Yes, you can bet on the forex market. It’s the same as spread betting, which allows you to bet on prices going up or down.


What does it mean for a price to go up or down in terms of stock?

A price going up means the stock value increases, meaning it will sell for more money on the stock market. A price going down means the stock value decreases, meaning it will sell for less money on the stock market.


What is betting against a stock called?

It can be referred to as specific types of bets against the market. So, short selling or buying a put are examples of terms used for betting against a stock.


Do I need to be a stock trader to bet on the stock market?

Yes and no. You have to be a stock trader to bet against the stock market. So, you need to be a trader to start short selling or buying puts. However, you don’t need to be one when spread betting on the stock market. Betting on a stock price increasing or decreasing is open to everyone who wants to make money. That said, it can be a good idea to know about the stock you want to bet on and some relevant stock market trends before betting. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what direction a specific company’s stocks are headed, allowing you to make betting decisions that can be positive for you.


What’s one difference between stock traders and stock market bettors?

In most cases, stock traders or investors need the price of the stocks they own to increase for them to make a profit. For example, they will make a return if they sell a stock at a higher value than the buying price. At the same time, stockholders will earn more returns when the company does well. It may take some time to get a return on their investment.

On the other hand, stock market bettors don’t need the price of a company’s stocks to increase to get returns. They can bet on the price decreasing and win bets when the price decreases.

So, one notable difference between stock traders and stock market bettors is their versatility in making money.


Should I consider betting against the market?

As mentioned above, betting against the market requires being a stock trader and knowing the market’s direction. So, you can try it if you are familiar with stock trading.

In addition to that, betting against the market can often require spending large sums of money in order to get returns that are worth it. If you’d rather not take such risks, you can consider other forms of betting, such as sports betting or betting on the weather.


Final Thoughts

Betting on the stock market can benefit those who own and don’t own any stock shares. That said, the type of betting is significantly different. One may appeal to some more than the other simply because of their own preferences and experiences. However, in some cases, spread betting may be a lower-risk option than betting against a stock.




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