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IG Brokers Review

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IG Brokers

IG is a British broker with over 40 years of experience in the FX market. It differs in reliability, fair trading conditions, and low commissions. The company is recommended for cooperation with almost all traders.

Company details

IG was founded in the UK (London) in 1974. The brand belongs to the company of the same name IG Markets Ltd. Its representative offices are located in 14 countries globally, and the number of clients has already reached 195 thousand people. The broker is considered the leading provider of CFDs and has received numerous awards.

Many traders have long entrusted their deposits to this particular broker since all funds go to the accounts of different banks. They are kept separately and are never pooled together with the company’s accounts. The money is not used in the company’s operations, and even if it goes bankrupt, it will not go as compensation to creditors.

Another advantage is the availability of a license from the ASIC regulator. It has been a supervising financial institution operating in Australia since 2001. It has the status of a state regulator, which allows you to trust the work of this organization. 

Regulation

IG is severely regulated in the entire region where it offers its services: 

  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK
  • National Futures Association (NFA) in the USA
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the USA
  • Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany
  • Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in New Zealand
  • Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) in Dubai
  • Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in Switzerland
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in Singapore 
  • Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa
  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia
  • Financial Services Authority (FSA) in Japan

Available markets

The IG markets have assets broken down into different streams of investment. These include CFDs, real stocks, ETFs, options, Turbo24, smart portfolios, and IPOs. 

CFD trading

IG Brokers - CFD trading

IG has thousands of products available for CFD trading, which include:

  • Stock CFDs – trade over 10,000 stock CFDs at leverages of 1:5
  • Forex – 200+ currency pairs to trade on, including major, minor, and exotic pairs
  • Commodity CFDs – invest in 47+ popular commodities, including gold
  • ETF CFDs – 1900+ 
  • Bond CFDs – 13+ bonds you can invest in and make huge profits
  • Stock Index CFDs – trade over 78 world’s most popular indices 
  • Cryptos – 8+ cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH 

Forex

IG is home to over 80 different currency pairs. This includes major and minor currency pairs such as EUR/USD, EUR/JPY, and GBP/USD. Spreads for some pairs can be as low as 0.6 pips, which is very competitive. You can also trade a lot of exotic currencies, although the spreads will be much higher. 

Real stocks and ETFs

IG allows its clients to buy real stocks from over eight major companies globally. The ETF selection is vast, with up to 2,000 ETFs available on the broker. 

These market products are available for clients residing in Australia, Cyprus, Ireland, and the UK. 

Options

Trading options is done on the IG Options trading platform, which is available for clients in the European region. Clients can trade Vanilla or Barrier options types. 

Turbo24

It is an innovative trading product available for clients in the European region. This product is traded through a knock-out strategy that works like leverage in ordinary accounts. 

Smart portfolio

It is a kind of auto-trading service because the share’s ETF portfolios are managed on the broker by BlackRock. IG Smart Portfolio is a product accessible by UK clients only. 

IPO

Investors who love tapping into the markets from the launch or buying shares from companies selling them publicly can participate in IPOs available on IG. 

Account overview

IG Brokers - Account

Clients globally can access the IG trading account, which allows them to trade with high leverages on CFD products. Clients in the US are an exception as their IG trading account only enables them to trade FX products. 

IG trading account

It’s mainly a CFD trading account but clients in the US trade FX only. 

  • Trading instruments – 17,000+ markets
  • Min. deposit – $0
  • Min. trade size – $1/trade (14 days)
  • Trading platforms – all 
  • Inactivity fee – $18/month after 24 months of inactivity
  • Commission – yes
  • Leverage/margin – 0.25% FX and 5% on shares and indices
  • Available to all clients 

Spread betting account

  • Trading instruments – 17,000+ markets
  • Min. deposit – $200
  • Trading platforms – all
  • Inactivity fee – $18/month after 24 months of inactivity
  • Commission – no
  • Margin – 20%
  • Available for UK clients only

IG professional account

It is for European clients who have consistently grown their trading accounts and built their portfolios over time. Eligible clients must meet the qualifying criteria, which involves having a positive answer in at least two of these three questions. 

  • Have you engaged in trading leverages in high volume in the last four quarters?
  • Does your financial instrument portfolio, like cash, stocks, shares, mutual funds, trading accounts, etc., exceed $500k?
  • Have you worked as a professional in a formal financial sector requiring you to trade derivatives for over a year? 

A professional account will give you access to superior features and pro services from the IG team. However, some benefits are cut out once you join as a professional client. For example, you’ll no longer be under the negative balance protection offered to retail clients. 

Share dealing account

This account is only for UK clients. It provides access to financial instruments like ETFs, shares, etc. When opening a share dealing account, a client will be expected to choose between the sub-accounts of the main account. 

These sub-accounts are:

  • Stocks & Shares ISA – it allows you to invest and get returns without paying any taxes. You can invest up to £20,000. 
  • Smart portfolio – invest a minimum of £500 and build a portfolio according to your goals through the smart portfolio tool. 
  • A standard share dealing account allows you to trade global shares and ETFs at no commission for US shares and a £3 commission on UK shares. 

How to open an account?

How to open an account?

Step 1. Choose a trading account 

First of all, you must open an account. Unlike other brokers in this area, you need to determine the type of trading account you want to open. Your options include a CFD/FX account, spread-betting, or general dealing account. 

Step 2. Enter personal information

After you select your preferred account type, IG will ask you to enter some personal information:

  • Full name 
  • Nationality 
  • Home address 
  • Date of Birth 
  • National tax number 
  • Employment information 
  • Contact details 

You will also need to choose a strong password and then verify your email address. Since IG offers a range of sophisticated investment products, the broker also needs to ask you a few questions about your previous trading experience. 

Step 3. Download the ID and proof of address

IG is a highly regulated broker with trading licenses in several jurisdictions. As such, you will need to upload some identification documents before you can deposit funds. 

This includes: 

  • Passport, driver’s license, or National ID 
  • Proof of address

Step 4. Fund your account

The last step you need to take before trading on IG is to deposit funds. You can choose debit/credit card or bank transfer. The first one is more convenient since crediting takes place instantly. If you choose bank transfer, settlement may take several days. 

Step 5. Trade once you have a fully funded IG account, you can start trading

As a side note, if you decide you want to open a complex account, you can do so through the main dashboard. For example, if you have opened a CFD account, but you also need access to a spread betting brokerage system, submit a request. 

Deposit and withdrawals

IG accepts six base currencies for withdrawals and deposits. These are USD, EUR, AUD, HKD, GBP, and SGD. 

Deposit

Accepted deposit methods include:

  • Bank Wire Transfer
  • E-wallets
  • Debit cards like Visa, Maestro, MasterCard
  • Credit cards like Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Withdrawals

You can withdraw your funds through bank transfer, e-wallets, credit cards, and debit cards. IG collects no withdrawal fee. 

Trading fees

IG offers thousands of financial products, so it can be quite challenging to understand its fee structure. IG’s transparency on the fee structure lets clients know what they are dealing with and their paying charges as they trade on IG. 

Share dealing charges

IG’s share dealing account charges a flat-rate fee of £8 for every investment made in UK shares. This means that no matter the amount you invest in shares, the charge will be the same. A person investing £200 and another investing £200,000 will pay the same amount in costs. 

When you compare with other UK stockbrokers like eToro, you’ll notice that IG is quite expensive because eToro charges no commissions to buy or sell shares. 

Trading international shares have a different fee structure. For example, buying US shares will cost £10 for the first three trades in a month. If you’re an active trader, you enjoy zero commissions after the first three trades. However, this status can change as it resets every month. 

CFD & spread betting fees

IG charges no commissions on CFDs, except stock CFDs, where the commission varies in percentage. The charge applied for CFD trading is the market spread. 

The tightest spreads on IG start from 0.6 pips on FX CFDs,  0.3 pips on commodity CFDs, 0.2 pips on cryptocurrency CFDs, and 0.1 pips on index CFDs. These spreads keep fluctuating according to the prevailing market conditions. 

For clients trading on a spread betting account, the charges apply as spreads for every spread bet on the CFD products. A client is expected to trade a minimum bet of £1 for Forex and FTSE 100. 

Leverage and margin trading

All asset classes available on IG can be traded on margin. This means that you can trade with a larger amount than you have in your account. The maximum leverage available on IG is 200: 1. This means a $100 account balance will allow you to place a buy/sell order up to $20,000.

Non-trading fees

  • Inactivity fee

IG charges $18 every month after two years of inactivity on your account. 

  • Overnight charges

Leveraged positions held overnight attract a financing fee depending on the products you are trading. 

  • Deposit fee

Credit card deposits incur a charge of 0.5% to 1% of the amount. 

Platform and features

IG Brokers - Platform and features

IG has a core trading platform available on the web, mobile app, and desktop. Other third-party platforms like MT4 offer customers an opportunity to trade with the most powerful trading tools in the market. Let’s look at the features of the core trading platforms. 

IG Brokers - Platform

IG Desktop trading platform

  • Fast execution of 0.014s averagely
  • Four time frames
  • 28 indicators and 19 drawings for in-depth technical analysis
  • Instant trading
  • Integrated real-time news from Twitter, Reuters
  • 256-bit SSL encryption for safe money transactions
  • Suitable for all traders
  • Market products available – CFDs
  • Charts – AutoChartist, IG Charts, ProRealTime access

Mobile App trading platform

  • Interactive price charts with zoom and scroll features
  • 28 technical indicators
  • Trading signals on email and SMS
  • Alerts for market events
  • 17,000+ markets
  • 256-bit SSL encryption technology
  • Suitable for all traders
  • Market products available – CFDs
  • IG mobile charts

IG Web trading platform

  • Browser-based 
  • 28 technical indicators for analysis
  • 17,000+ markets
  • Suitable for all traders
  • Market products available – CFDs
  • Charts – none

Other third-party trading platforms include:

MT4

  • Accessibility – Desktop and Mobile
  • Suitable for – FX traders
  • Tradable products – Forex, commodities & indices
  • Charts – advanced MT4 charts
  • Available market products – CFDs
  • Auto trading
  • Platform add-ons – 18 bespoke apps + Autochartist

ProRealTime

  • Accessibility – desktop only
  • Suitable for – technical chart users
  • Tradable products – all available products
  • Charts – advanced ProRealTime charts
  • Available market products – CFDs
  • Auto trading
  • Platform add-ons – import indicators

L2 Dealer

  • Accessibility – desktop only
  • Suitable for – advanced shares traders
  • Tradable products – DMA FX and shares, commodities, OTC Forex, & Indices
  • Charts – ProRealTime access
  • Available market products – CFDs
  • Platform add-ons – Bloomberg, FIX API
  • Minimum balance – $2,000

Features

IG has many features and add-ons in different account types to ensure traders enjoy a seamless trading experience:

  • Technical indicators

There are dozens of technical indicators on both trading platforms. 

  • News-flow

IG gives you access to critical news as it comes up. 

  • Trading ideas

IG’s internal analyst team will post a weird trading idea that you should consider. This is not trading advice but simply an overview of some potential trading opportunities. 

  • Fully customizable charts

You can easily customize your screen charts in IG The only downside to IG’s research department is that it does not publish fundamental data such as employment data or monthly oil production. 

Pros and cons

ProsCons
Over 17,000 tradable assets

Resources and tools for a comprehensive learning

Offers FX, CFDs, spread betting, and dealing services

Very competitive spreads for most asset classes

Highly regulated

Quickly deposit funds from debit/credit card or bank account

Complete mobile application 
The account opening process takes longer than other online brokers

The basic research department is weak

High commissions for CFDs on shares

High spreads 
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