Guide to investing in IBEX 35

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Did you know that it is possible to invest in IBEX35? On this page we explain how and also offer you our list of the best brokers to buy IBEX 35 shares as well as to trade the Ibex 35 index online via CFDs. All the brokers you will find are regulated by international bodies. Check them out!

The IBEX35 is the Spanish stock market index par excellence and includes the shares of the main Spanish companies. When it comes to investing in this stock market index, there are several options:

Buy IBEX 35 shares

This is the most traditional form of stock market investment and involves the acquisition of shares in one or more of the companies that form part of the IBEX. The performance of our investment will be determined by changes in the share price of the companies we have chosen and which form part of our portfolio of shares.

It should be noted that acquiring securities such as shares of Ibex companies is a type of investment that is generally made for the long term. Those who opt for this type of investment will have two options: buying IBEX 35 shares in cash (real shares) and trading CFDs on IBEX 35 shares.

IBEX35 Live Stock Brokers

To buy real shares of IBEX companies we can use a traditional broker or bank but we also have the option of using an online broker. Below you can find a list of online brokers that offer real shares of Spanish companies.

CFD Service. Up to 80.6% of traders lose money.

By buying IBEX35 shares with any of these brokers you will become the owner of the underlying assets and even receive dividends. For more details on buying shares online you can consult our guide on how to buy shares online.

CFD Brokers on IBEX35 shares

The second option for investing in IBEX35 shares online are Contracts for Difference on Spanish company shares. Below you can see a selection of brokers that offer this type of instrument.

Equity CFDs are derivative products that can be traded online. They are complex instruments that you should be aware of before investing in them due to the risk of capital loss, which is increased if you use leverage. CFDs allow you to open short positions, which is explained later in this guide.

When trading CFDs on IBEX35 companies, our objective is to predict the evolution of the share price (either positive or negative). If our prediction is correct, we will be able to generate profits or losses if not.

IBEX35 index CFD brokers

Another option when it comes to investing in the IBEX is to do so through contracts for difference on the price of the index. This is the list that our team has made of brokers that offer CFDs on IBEX 35.

The operation of this type of financial product is similar to the previous point. Our objective will be to predict the evolution of the price of the index over a given period and we will open our position accordingly.

If our prediction is correct we can make a profit or a loss if it is not. As always, we must bear in mind the risk of losing money quickly that CFDs carry.

Having seen our broker lists, we will now go on to detail more information about the Spanish IBEX 35 stock index and the companies included in it.

What is the IBEX 35?

The IBEX 35 is the main Spanish stock market index and is made up of the 35 companies with the highest liquidity, trading and frequency of trading of those listed on the four stock exchanges in Spain, which are those of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao. The Ibex is managed by BME or Bolsas y Mercados Españoles.

The Ibex 35 was created in January 1992 and, like other indices such as the S&P 500 or the Nikkei, it is a weighted stock market index. This means that the shares of the most important companies that form part of the Ibex 35 have more weight when it comes to influencing its value and, to make the adjustment, a formula is used that we will detail later on.

Another characteristic of the Ibex is the fact that it is an index composed of companies from different sectors. Therefore, it can be said that what the Ibex 35 measures is the situation of the Spanish stock market and is therefore used as an indicator of the Spanish economy.

How does the IBEX 35 work?

In the IBEX35 index, share prices are weighted by market capitalisation, which means that the larger components have a greater impact on the value movements of the index compared to the smaller ones. The term Ibex 35 stands for “Iberian Index 35”.

It includes the 35 stocks with the highest capitalisation, trading frequency and trading of the Madrid Stock Exchange General Index. The number of companies grouped in the Ibex does not vary and is always 35. The Technical Advisory Committee is in charge of reviewing which companies are to form part of the index. Company entries and exits can occur up to twice a year in January and July.

When trading the Ibex35 online, it is useful to know how the value of the index is calculated, as this can make the arduous task of predicting fluctuations in its value much easier. Therefore, below we include the formula used to calculate the value of the Ibex 35.

But although knowing how it works may seem too technical, it is necessary to familiarise oneself with the details of this index and the weighting by market capitalisation. By means of this calculation method, the shares of the companies with the largest market capitalisation have the greatest weight in the total value of the Ibex.

Thus, the value of the stocks of Telefónica, BBVA, Banco Santander, Inditex, Repsol and Iberdrola represents around 65% of the index total. This means that a rise or fall in the share price of any of these companies will generally have a significant impact on the IBEX35 share price.

Another fact to bear in mind is when the Ibex 35 opens (9:00) and when it closes (17:30). Trading hours are between 9:00 and 17:30, while the opening auction hours are from 8:30 to 9:00 and the closing auction hours are from 17:30 to 17:35. No orders are traded during the two auction hours, and only additions, modifications and cancellations can be made.

List of companies that make up the ibex 35

The decision as to who is included in the Ibex 35 is taken by a Technical Advisory Committee appointed by the Board of Directors of the Stock Exchange Companies. This committee meets every quarter and twice a year (January and July) evaluates the list of companies included in the index.

This is the updated list of companies listed on the Ibex:

AccionaBanco SabadellCie AutomotiveGrifolsMerlin Properties
AcerinoxBanco SantanderColonialIAGPharmamar
ACSBankiaEnagasIberdrolaElectricity Grid
AenaBBVAEndesaIndraRepsol
AlmirallBankinterFerrovialInditexSolaria
AmadeusCaixaBankSiemens GamesaMapfreTelefónica
ArcelorMittalCellnexNaturgyMeliáViscofan

The Technical Advisory Committee is composed of 5 to 9 financial experts and its functions include verifying the correct functioning of the index and deciding which companies enter or leave the index, among others.

The criteria that determine which company enters the IBEX 35 are as follows:

  • Average eligible capitalisation greater than 0.3% of the Ibex during the control period.
  • Liquidity factors such as the volume traded in euro or the quality of the volume.
  • Presence of significant stability and sustained growth.

However, none of the above is a sine qua non requirement as the Committee reserves the right to include in the Ibex35 any security which, while not meeting the above requirements, possesses characteristics that favour its inclusion.

How to invest in Ibex 35?

As mentioned above, there are a multitude of variants when deciding where to invest in the IBEX 35 and each has a number of unique characteristics which we will detail below:

Buy IBEX 35 shares:

  • CFDs on IBEX 35: When trading Contracts for Difference or CFDs on the IBEX 35 the profitability of an investment depends on the variation of the price of the index and this variation must coincide with the direction of the position we have taken. Most online brokers offer the possibility of trading the IBEX35 with CFDs. One of the advantages of using this investment method is that it allows you to make a small initial investment and generate short-term profitability, especially if you decide to use leverage (although this carries risks).
  • CFDs on ETFs: EFTs, or in their full name Exchange Traded Funds, are exchange-traded funds traded on secondary securities markets that represent a proportional ownership over a portfolio of securities investments that in turn replicate a specific index. By trading ETFs with CFDs we can diversify our investment without the need for a large initial investment. When trading ETFs without leverage, we benefit from the absence of interest or maturity dates.
  • CFDs on IBEX 35 Futures: Futures are used to invest indirectly in various financial instruments, including the Ibex and other stock market indices. Futures allow us to take advantage of both upward and downward movements in the price of the indices. The invested capital required to purchase the future is a fraction of the total investment and is determined by the contract’s collateral. If leverage is used, investors have the possibility of multiplying their investment, although leverage carries risks and should be used with caution.

As we can see, the rise of online trading and brokers has increased the possibilities of choice when it comes to making investments. A clear example is that they allow indirect trading on indices such as the Ibex or the Dow Jones and speculate on the evolution of their prices. In addition, by investing in indices with online brokers we usually benefit from low commissions and the possibility of investing smaller amounts than those required to purchase packages of shares.

Trade CFDs on IBEX35 in short position

Let’s take as an example that our forecast on the Ibex35 is bearish, i.e. we believe that the Spanish stock market index is going to go down. By using CFD on Ibex 35 we can open a short position. If when the contract expires our forecasts are fulfilled, we will have generated profits corresponding to the difference between the purchase price and the sale price, minus commissions and possible dividends if any. The main difference between CFDs and futures is that futures do not have an expiry date.

Trading short positions is the order of the day and, in the case of indices, allows for trading and profit generation even when financial instability shakes the markets. In times of crisis, as seen in the COVID-19 crisis, indices tend to decline and short positions allow traders to profit from this.

Advantages of trading IBEX 35 with CFDs

Online brokers that allow you to trade the Ibex 35 usually offer the possibility to trade Contracts for Difference. The main advantages of trading this Spanish index with CFDs are:

  • Possibility of using leverage, although this entails risks
  • Contracts for Difference have no maturity and have the same liquidity as the underlying asset.
  • Benefit from movements in IBEX values
  • The value of the IBEX 35 or any other stock market index cannot fall to zero.
  • They are suitable for small and medium investments
  • Possibility of short-term profit

Recommendations for trading the IBEX 35

Contracts for Difference or CFDs allow us to speculate on the future direction in which the price of the traded asset will move. CFD trading does not involve buying and selling of assets, but rather a contract between two parties to exchange the difference between the entry price and exit price of the adjacent asset chosen.

The IBEX35 is not an asset and therefore CFDs allow us to trade based on its value and the movement of its price.

If we use CFDs to trade the Ibex, we can take bullish or bearish positions on the value of the index. In the case of a bullish bet, for each point that the price moves towards the position we have taken, we will earn a multiple over the number of contracts purchased. If we have opted for a bearish position, each point in favour of our position will earn us a multiple over the number of contracts sold. When the value of the IBEX 35 moves in the opposite direction to our prediction, a loss equivalent to the two previous cases will be generated.

A highly recommended option is to use CFDs with a part of the capital to be invested, as this reduces the risk that contracts for difference generate. Let’s say we have an initial capital of 5,000 EUR. If we make a deposit of half of it, we can use the remaining 2,500 EUR to buy a CFD on the IBEX 35 with leverage x2. Thanks to the leverage our potential profit is that of an initial investment of EUR 5,000. In the worst case scenario, which involves losing the entire CFD investment, we will still retain part of the initial capital.

Finally, it is worth noting that it is not always advisable to invest in companies that enter the IBEX 35. In fact, a famous Spanish analyst named José L. Carpatos claims that it is the companies that exit an index that often perform more positively on the stock market. This conclusion is the result of a thorough study carried out and which concludes that companies that enter the Ibex have a high percentage of probability of falling on the stock market (up to 65%).

Summary: Investing in IBEX 35 online

The IBEX 35 is the main Spanish stock market index and is often used as a benchmark for the state of the Spanish economy. It is a weighted index in which the shares of the most important companies have the most weight when it comes to affecting their share price. It includes 35 Spanish companies from various sectors.

It is possible to buy shares of IBEX 35 companies in the traditional way but, especially if our initial capital is not very large, trading the Ibex online we will find more options. One of the most common is to trade the Ibex with CFDs, as this allows us to speculate on movements in the value of the index, generating profits whether its value rises or falls.

If we choose leverage as an investment strategy in Ibex35 with CFDs, we can multiply our profits even if our investment is not very high. This carries risks such as the risk of losing the total invested capital, so the use of a correct strategy is of vital importance.

In order to anticipate movements in the value of the index, we will have to keep abreast of current Spanish and European economic and political events that could affect the index. When drawing up our investment strategy, we will have to take into account the particularities of the Ibex 35, among which we will mention: that 6 of the 35 companies included in the index represent around 65% of its total value and that historically the companies included in the index are not the ones that perform best in the stock market in the short term.

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