IG has 313,000 clients worldwide and operates sales offices in 17 countries. The broker was set up in 1974, originally as a spread betting broker. Making it the oldest retail broker still on the market. In fact, the company invented the concept of spread betting. Spread betting was later regulated in the EU as CFDs.
IG International, Part of IG Group, is regulated by the following financial regulatory bodies.
All of the above regulatory bodies are top tier and require high standards of transparency, trust and accountability. IG is also a signatory of the FX Global Code of conduct.
IG makes most of its commissions through the bid offer spread, measured in pips. This means their bid and offer prices are slightly wider than where the market is currently trading. For CFDs share trading, this broker will charge a commission as a percentage of your trade size, instead of widening the bid offer spread. Minimum fees apply. When trading shares you will be charged 0.10% for Euro and UK shares with a minimum of €10 and £10 respectively.
You may also incur platform fees unless you are a frequent trader and overnight fees on all products.
The table below shows the minimum spreads for each of the major forex pairs as listed on the IG website and compares them against the industry average.
Note: Spreads are variable and can change depending on the time of day and market conditions. For information purposes only.
IG offers lower than average spreads on 6 of the main FX pairs out of 7. From the table above we can see that GBP/USD and AUD/USD are the most competitive, with 0.9 pips and 0.6 pips against an industry average of 1.4 and 1.0 pips respectively. These spreads are very low, if you are going to focus on the main FX pairs you’ll see your trading costs positively affected with this broker.
IG offers access to multiple online platforms and mobile apps. The online solutions offered are the proprietary IG platform accessible directly from your web browser, the MetaTrader MT4, and the ProRealTime platforms. The latter comes at a cost of $30 per month unless you trade at least 4 times a month and those trades are considered valuable.
For share traders, they also have a dedicated platform called L2dealer, with Direct Market Access (DMA) which shows you the depth of the market. That is to say, you can see at what prices all the bids and offers are placed with their volumes.
For mobile trading with this broker, you can use the MT4 app for iOS or Android as well as a proprietary based mobile solution. The latter known as Progressive Web App (PWA) allows you to use a browser based mobile shortcut to access the app without visiting a third-party app store. The PWA solution helps avoid delays that incur with the traditional app store review process.
Benefits of the IG PWA include:
IG has catered for the need for sophisticated charting and management tools online as well as mobile. The iOS and Android platforms they offer are valid alternatives to stay on top of your trading and manage risk or positions on the go.
In this section, IG earns top points through its online academy that offers online courses and online live webinars. The courses & webinars are grouped under Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Subject titles go from introducing the Financial Markets to Understanding Risk & Reward. The live webinars are also available for viewing at a later time through the Live Sessions library.
Online courses include the following titles among others:
Among the subject matters for live webinars you’ll find:
Research is another strong point for IG. On their browser based platform, you will see a live feed of news headlines from top financial market news providers such as Reuters and Bloomberg. Under the Analyse and Learn tab they have a full array of tools to help the decision making and learning processes. There’s also a section on Trade Ideas, with articles on the latest market moves and trader sentiment. They also have live TV with live comments on various financial markets throughout the day.
This aspect of their service is not as immediate and easy to access as some other brokers. However, they do also have a dedicated forum with posts that deal with matters ranging from charting problems in MT4 to EUA carbon price history. For more immediate responses they also have staff connected to Twitter in four different accounts each covering a different aspect of broker support.
You can speak to support via:
We like the full service offered by this broker, as it is very complete with valid options for trading platforms, online and web based, with strong educational material and in-depth research and live news feeds. There are also professional accounts available that offer lower margin requirements and for UK residents allows you to trade their full list of cryptocurrencies. This seems a broker that would be user friendly for a new trader just as much as it would be a comprehensive solution for a seasoned professional.
70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.