IG (ig.com) is one of the most established brokers in the industry. It began its operations in 1974, as a vehicle that helped individuals speculate on the price of gold. It was the first spread-betting company in the world at the time.
Since then, IG has retained its market-leading role in the space of spread-betting and CFD’s. IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON: IGG). It is a member of the FTSE 250 and has a market capitalization of around £2 billion.
The company offers an extremely wide range of products, covering well over 15,000 markets across multiple asset classes. Those include Forex, CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, bonds, cryptocurrencies, options, interest rates and more. As of its latest annual report ending May 31, 2019, IG has around 130,000 active clients globally. It also processes around 350,000 transactions every day, across all of its entities.
IG is regulated by top tier regulators, such as ASIC (Australia) and FCA (UK).
In this IG broker review:
- IG at a glance
- Asset coverage
- Account types
- Opening an account
- Deposit and withdrawal
- Spreads, commissions, and fees
- Trading platforms
- Mobile trading
- Additional tools
- Customer support
- Additional info
IG at a glance
|Regulation||Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)|
|Asset Coverage||Forex, CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, bonds, cryptocurrencies, options, interest rates and more|
|Trading Platforms||IG Web trader, MetaTrader 4|
|Minimum Initial Deposit||No minimum by bank, $450 by card|
|Leverage||Up to 200:1, however for most EU countries it’s up to 1:30|
IG Asset Coverage
IG covers more than 15,000 markets, including several asset classes. They are Forex, CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, bonds, cryptocurrencies, options, interest rates and more. You may need to qualify in order to be able to trade some instruments. However, IG stands out of the competition as one of the most all-around companies in asset coverage. For example, it covers around 100 different Forex pairs, 50 commodities and more than 10,000 stock CFDs.
IG Account types
Account type is determined by your location and your choice of instruments. You can select to trade spreads, CFD’s, shares, or all of them. IG serves clients across five continents, and you can open an account from virtually anywhere. There are a few exceptions, however, for example, Canada, or Poland. US clients can only use IG’s Forex trading services, but do not have access to trading CFD’s.
In terms of leverage, it does vary significantly depending on your country of residence. Below is a list of different leverages available for different countries:
The good news for beginners is that there is no minimum deposit for bank transfers. For debit/credit cards, the minimum deposit is $450 for most EU countries.
For all accounts, IG sends out emails if your equity falls below 99% of the required margin. If you do not deposit more money into your account and your equity falls below 75%, a second email is sent out. Finally, if your equity falls below 50% the required margin, IG will start to automatically close your positions.
Opening an account at IG
Opening an account with IG is pretty straightforward. It is a fully digitalized process that takes up to 15 minutes to complete. During the application you will need to provide the following:
- Your personal details: name, date of birth, address, etc.
- Which products you want to trade (CFD’s, spread betting or shares)
- Your financial status – how much you earn, your savings, etc.
- Your trading experience
After submitting this information you will be asked to provide additional documentation:
- Verify your ID by photos of either your passport, drivers license or national ID
- Verify your residency by uploading your most recent utility bill or bank statement
After you’ve submitted all the necessary information, your account will go through a verification process. It can take up to 3 days to complete. However, in most cases, it’s done within the same or during the next business day.
Deposit and withdrawal at IG
The good thing about IG is that deposits and withdrawals are free. This is a very good competitive proposal, compared to other brokers. The catch is, however, that the broker passes on the bank fees on debit/credit card deposits, which can amount to 1-3%.
As with many other brokers, deposits can be made using many different options:
- Bank transfer
- Credit/Debit card
Withdrawal, as mentioned is free. The available options are the same as for deposits. However, Paypal is not available as a withdrawal option.
Spreads, Commissions, and Fees at IG
For all CFD’s, except shares, IG charges no commissions. Hence, the only trading fee is the spread. Moreover, the spreads are competitive and are in the top tier compared to other brokers. For example, the average spread of EURUSD is only 0.7 pips. The average spread on light crude US oil is 2.8.
IG Trading Platforms
IG offers 2 platforms for most EU-based clients. Their Web-based platform, or MetaTrader 4. Platforms are available across different devices.
IG web-based trading platform
I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to use the IG web-based platform. Everything is extremely intuitive and easy to follow. You can easily choose your desired instrument by either browsing the categories or using the search bar. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, press on it, and a chart will appear.
From here, you can add the chart to your workspace and work with it from there. Alternatively, you can quickly make an order by pressing “buy” or “sell”. An additional window opens, and you can make a new order here.
Working with graphs is in some ways even better than MetaTrader 4. For example, you can easily drag the timeline below to where you want it to be. This is easier to do than in MetaTrader 4. I was also pleasantly surprised to find tick data available on this web-based platform.
In terms of indicators, you can choose from 28 different ones, all of which are fully customizable. For example, I chose the MACD indicator and was able to customize it with ease:
Additionally, not only can you set price alarms, but you can also set custom alarms on indicators, which is a very useful feature. Moreover, you can select and add dates of various events, such as the Fed Funds Rate Decision to the graph.
IG also offers MetaTrader 4 as one of the platform options. MetaTrader 4 was designed specifically for Forex traders and has been out for quite a while now. It allows trading on 9 different timeframes, has 30 built-in indicators, and a very large database of free custom indicators. It is the most widely used version of MetaTrader. MT4 uses MQL4 (MetaQuotes Language 4) for its programming and algorithmic trading needs, and a very large database of ready-made scripts are available in the MT4 community.
Mobile Trading with IG
IG also offers mobile trading apps for iPhone and Android to go along with their main web-based trading platform. I even found it slightly more convenient than MetaTrader 4 mobile app. Everything just seems to flow in the right order.
The quotes manager is pretty simple, also showing you the H/L values.
The main menu is pretty straightforward. Press “find markets”, search for your instrument of liking, and open a graph.
Graphs are extremely user-friendly and nice looking. Intervals are identical to the desktop version of the web-based platform, and also includes tick data.
New orders are easy to place from just one single window. You will find all of the main features you need for placing a new order:
IG offers a range of educational and research resources available to everyone from its Learn to Trade section. Those include news and trade ideas, strategy and planning, managing risk, financial events and a glossary of trading terms.
In the news and trade ideas section, you will find timely articles on the most recent and most important developments happening in the markets. From news commentary to fundamental analysis, to technical analysis, you will find a lot to read about to broaden your perspective.
The strategy and planning section also provides interesting articles on various strategy-related topics, such as: “Going vegan: how to invest in veganism”, “World’s most famous traders”, “Currency wars explained”, and more.
Managing your risk section includes advice on how to manage your risk and leverage. You will find infographics, tables and written advice on how to manage your risk and lose less.
The financial events section provides useful information on key events in the market, such as Brexit, Opec meetings, Fed meetings, etc. You will mostly find the most crucial and basic information you need as a trader in order to be aware of what’s happening in the markets in general and how to go about trading the major headlines.
For those interested in video content IG also provides valuable lessons on trading. They are separated into different levels: basic, intermediate and advanced. A total of 8 topics are available as of today.
As with most leading brokers, you can contact IG in 3 different ways: phone, email, and chat. However, what is different is that their support is generally available 24/7 rather than 24/5. This is a very useful feature and makes IG excel compared to its competitors.
IG is a winner of multiple awards, including Best Multi-Platform Provider in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 by ADVFN Awards; Best Spread Betting Provider in 2016, 2017, 2018 by Online Personal Wealth Awards; and Best Overall Personal Wealth Provider in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 by Online Personal Wealth Awards.
- There are no IG bonuses and promotions for traders opening accounts.
- Options trading is available only to customers in specific locations.
IG is one of the most established and reliable brokers out there. Having started its business in 1974 it has remained a market-leading broker to this day. It is part of LSE and is a very safe broker. Additionally, it offers competitive pricing, an extremely wide range of instruments, and a great proprietary web-based trading platform. The one drawback to IG is that some information is available on different pages which are based on your residency. Other than that, the broker is suited for all kinds of traders, beginners, intermediate or advanced level.
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Below you will find our rating scores for this broker. The scores are based on Tradimo’s own analysis and comparison to other brokers presented on the market.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Founded in 1974
- Over 15,000 markets
- Great selection of trading platforms
- Tight spreads