How do I calculate the Notional Values for a CFD?
When you place a CFD Trade with FXCM, you are using leverage* to control more money than you actually have to put down for the trade (margin). For example, if you place a trade on GER30 (DAX) today – let’s say, for one contract – you only need about 10 euros in margin. However, the GER30 (DAX) is currently at 11, 647 EUR. Then, how much money are you actually controlling? That is when the question of Notional Value comes into play.
Notional Value is the total value of a leveraged asset. Since CFDs are leveraged, when a trader opens a CFD position, FXCM sets aside a portion of the trader’s account equity as a margin deposit. However, margin is only a portion of the amount that is actually controlled. The total amount controlled by the trader is the Notional Value:
Notional Value = (Current Price of Asset * Multiplier) * (Contract Size)
Since FXCM micronizes many of its CFD contracts, it is necessary to use a multiplier in the Notional Value equation. Why is this? This is because some of FXCM’s contracts, GER30 for example, is a fraction of a full futures contract. The service FXCM offers is making the DAX small enough for a retail trader to trade. So, since the GER30 is 1/10 of a full future, we use a multiplier of 0.1.
It is important to note that Notional Value is calculated in the currency of a trader’s account. If a trader’s account currency is different from the CFD denomination, the trader must convert the CFD into their account currency using the current FX rates (see example 3 below).
A trader is long 5 contracts of SPX500. His account is denominated in USD. The BID for SPX500 is 2,270.93. The multiplier for SPX500 is 1. The SPX500 is denominated in USD.
SPX500 Notional Value = (Current Price of SPX500 * Multiplier) * (Contract Size)
SPX500 Notional Value = ($ 2,270.93 * 1) * (5)
SPX500 Notional Value = $ 11,354.65
The trader controls $ 11,354.65 in SPX500
A trader is long 5 contracts of NAS100. His account is denominated in USD. The BID for NAS100 is 5,041.90. The multiplier for NAS100 is 0.1. The NAS100 is denominated in USD.
NAS100 Notional Value = (Current Price of NAS100 * Multiplier) * (Contract Size)
NAS100 Notional Value = ($ 5,041.90 * 0.1) * (5)
NAS100 Notional Value = $ 2,520.95
The trader controls $ 2,520.95 in NAS100
A trader is long 5 contracts of ESP35. His account is denominated in USD. The BID for ESP35 is 9,416.00. The multiplier for ESP35 is 0.1. The ESP35 is denominated in EUR. The rate for EUR/USD is 1.04642.
ESP35 Notional Value = ( (Current Price of ESP35 * Multiplier) * (Contract Size) ) */ (Conversion rate)
ESP35 Notional Value = ( (€ 9,416.00 * 0.1) * (5) ) * (1.04642)
ESP35 Notional Value = $ 4,926.5453
The trader controls $ 4,926.5453 in ESP35
*Leverage can significantly increase profits as well as losses.