Expiries explained

All spread bets have a fixed timescale, from just minutes (in the case of digital 100s) up to several months, or even theoretically years.

The fixed date and time when your bet will end is known as its expiry. This is the maximum time until which you can hold your position, though you can choose to close it before it expires. 

Bets fall into three categories according to their expiries.

An expiry represents the maximum time you can keep a position open without incurring extra costs

Daily bets

Daily bets (which may have a different name depending on your provider) will remain open for as long as you want them to. You may also see them referred to as daily funded bets, or DFBs. They are given a nominal expiry date at some distant point in the future, but you are free to close your position at any time before this (as long as the market is open for trading). For example, IG offers a daily bet on the FTSE which is currently set to expire in April 2029.

If you want to keep a daily bet open overnight, most providers will charge you a fee for doing so. These are called financing costs or overnight funding charges. So, for each day your position remains open, you’ll accrue additional costs, which means daily bets are generally used to speculate on short-term market movements only. 

Digital 100s

Digital 100s are another type of short-term bet. Expiries can be within only a few minutes in some cases, up to a maximum of about a month, so they are often used to take advantage of transitory opportunities. Digital 100s can be closed at any time before expiry when the market is open, and no overnight funding charges apply.

Quarterly bets 

Quarterly bets are bets that expire at a specified date before the end of a given quarter. However, just like a daily bet or digital 100, you can close your position at any point before expiry if the market is open. You can roll quarterly bets into the following quarter if you let your provider know in advance, although there may be a charge for this.

The cost of keeping a quarterly bet running to its expiry date is factored into its quoted price. This is why the price for quarterly bets will typically differ from the underlying market value, and why the spreads on quarterly bets are often wider than daily bets. For this reason they are generally used for longer-term positions

Subscribe to 'The week ahead' newsletter

A look ahead to the major events, economic releases and company news expected next week.