IG is a brokerage firm that allows its clients to trade a range of financial markets using leverage via both CFDs and spread betting. The product offerings found in this IG review span multiple asset classes, including commodities, shares, forex, and indices.
Additionally, IG offers more traditional investment options, such as ETFs and shares. The broker also offers managed wealth portfolios.
IG is the shortened version of IG Markets Ltd., which has been in operation since 1974. Those who review IG will find numerous well-earned awards in its history. The company now has 15 sales offices spread across five continents, appealing to clients around the world. Traders who use IG have access to more than 16,000 markets in addition to multiple platforms and educational materials.
- Offers spread betting as a tax-effective option.
- More than 45 years of experience.
- Multiple trading platforms available.
- Trading fees are slightly higher than some competitors’.
What can you trade?
IG Forex Review
Traders looking for an IG forex review should know that the broker offers access to more than 80 forex pairs, including majors, minors, and exotics. Trading of these assets is available via a range of platforms, including MetaTrader 4.
Forex trading on IG for UK clients can be done via CFDs, DMA (Forex Direct), or spread betting. Only professional clients can access DMA trading of forex. There is no commission for forex trading via spread betting or CFDs of FX, but IG has variable commissions for DMA trading.
To help you form your own IG forex review, consider sample margins and spreads. For EUR/USD, retail clients can have leverage of up to 1:30, while professional clients can have leverage up to 1:222. That same pair has minimum spreads of 0.6 with an average spread of 0.70.
IG CFD Review
Any IG CFD review will include a fairly extensive list of assets since most of the assets that are tradeable via the broker are in the form of CFDs. This includes indices, forex, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, options, Digital 100s, interest rates, sectors, ETFs, and bonds.
In most cases, trading CFDs via IG will not require paying commissions. Instead, the broker makes its profits via spreads. As you review IG CFD offerings, you will notice that there is negative balance protection and no stamp duty. It is also possible to offset losses against your profits via tax deductions.
IG Stocks Review
No IG review is complete without mentioning its stock offerings. This broker offers the ability to use a dealing service to directly buy and sell shares or to trade them via CFDs.
There are more than 12,000 international shares available to trade via spread betting or CFDs in the UK. One standout aspect of IG in this respect is that it also offers traditional methods of dealing stocks, a rare offering among CFD brokers. Commissions on UK stocks start at £5. There is even the ability to open a stocks and shares ISA, a strong bonus from this type of broker.
IG ETF Review
In addition to stocks, you will also find ETFs as you review IG. These can be traded in a traditional manner via the dealing service or in the form of CFDs.
For those in the UK who want to diversify their investments with ease, our IG review suggests the IG Smart Portfolios as an option. These are built, monitored, and managed by IG and feature a diversified portfolio of ETFs that is customised to your risk profile and goals.
IG Cryptocurrency Review
Our IG cryptocurrency review team finds it highly convenient that using spread betting or CFDs allows traders to make a profit off of cryptocurrencies without actually owning the digital currency.
In the UK, IG reviews also mention that you can trade cryptocurrencies via spread betting. There is the option to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, EOS, and NEO. A unique point that our IG cryptocurrency review team appreciates is the Crypto 10 index, which lets you broaden your exposure with a single trade.
IG Spread Betting Review
Spread betting is not offered in most global markets, including by IG.
A UK IG review will indicate that you can easily engage in spread betting with this broker if you are in the United Kingdom. In fact, nearly every single asset offered for trading by IG is available as a spread bet instead of a CFD. This includes access to spread betting indices, forex, commodities, shares, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, bonds, interest rates, sectors, options, and digital 100s.
What did our traders think after reviewing the key criteria?
Our traders who reviewed IG found that the broker makes most of its money via spreads, a fact that it notes on its website. IG does also charge several other fees, but those make up a comparatively small portion of its revenue.
Additional fees that any IG UK review should mention include commissions on share CFDs, FX conversion, inactivity fees, and overnight fees. The commissions associated with share dealing apply to selling or buying ETFs or stocks. Depending on trading activity, clients may also have to pay a custody fee quarterly.
Keep in mind that IG offers all of its share prices in your local denomination, GBP. Converting to the base currency you choose is only 0.5 per cent.
The spreads outlined in this IG review are in line with those from other brokers, although the additional fees are worth consideration. As some examples, EUR/USD can have spreads from just 0.6 points, Spot Gold can have a spread as low as 0.3 points, and FTSE 100 and Germany 30 can have spreads as low as 1 point.
For transparency, IG maintains a list of its charges on its website. This page indicates the current spreads and commissions for each asset, divided by asset class for convenience.
Our IG review would appreciate if the broker offered more account types. At the very least, an IG forex review will show that you can choose from a retail or professional account, with demo accounts also available.
Retail clients get to take advantage of low spreads and margins, Saturday and Sunday trading for cryptocurrencies and indices, and extended hours for U.S. stocks.
Professional clients must meet at least two of the following three qualifications: (1) averaged at least 10 leverage transactions of significant size per quarter in the past four quarters; (2) having more than €500,000 in their financial instrument profile, which includes cash deposits; and/or (3) at least a year of experience in the financial sector in a professional position that required derivatives knowledge.
Professional accounts receive lower margin requirements but lose the negative balance protection found on retail accounts.
Demo accounts give traders access to £10,000 in virtual funds to test their trading strategies and review IG themselves. The demo gives traders full access, including to the free mobile applications and the IG Academy content.
An IG review also should note the vast range of CFD offerings that the broker has in terms of trading platforms, as there is something for every type of client.
The online IG Trading platform lets you trade with your web browser and does not require any downloads. This feature-filled platform makes it simple to review IG’s CFD offerings, as well as those for other assets. The platform includes multiple timeframes, indicators, drawings, smart settings, risk management tools, and breaking news via Twitter and Reuters.
Traders can also review IG smartphone and tablet applications with their native designs. These mobile platforms let you see live prices without logging in and include 256-bit SSL encryption. They also offer access to exclusive analysis and data for forex, indices, shares, stocks, and more.
Those in search of an IG forex review will likely appreciate the inclusion of MetaTrader 4, a platform known for its ease of trading forex and other asset classes. MT4 for IG offers access to thousands of markets and the ability to go short or long with CFDs or spread betting.
ProRealTime features automated trading and is a web-based charting package. This is also exclusive to IG in the UK. It offers more than 100 indicators, the ability to build algorithms for 24/7 execution, and unlimited timeframes.
Additionally, IG supports L2 dealer for Forex Direct and DMA trading, including drag and drop functionality for trades. For the more technologically inclined traders reading this IG review, you can also connect front-end solutions of your own, including APIs and terminals, to the IG API.
Our IG review finds the broker’s website to be intuitive to use with a professional appearance. The main navigation menu features multiple drop-down menus to make it easier to find offerings. Those looking to review IG’s cryptocurrency, forex, or other offerings should be able to easily find information on the given asset. Our review also appreciates the easy access to investments, the Training Academy, and the search bar. The bottom navigation bar is also useful, although slightly less extensive.
As we examined the support page for our IG review, we appreciated the extensive FAQ section, especially its convenient divisions by categories, such as “Charts” and “Accounts and Statements.” The popular searches listed at the top of the page and the search bar are also very useful touches.
Traders can contact IG via live chat, email, or a 24/5 phone number. There is also the option to fill out a contact form.
One very interesting element of IG support is the community aspect. IG encourages users to seek assistance from others in the community. This is a nice feature that lets traders interact with each other.
Any IG review includes multiple methods of funding a trading account.
Card payments are the quickest method of funding an account, including credit or debit. These methods result in immediate deposits. IG does require users to register their card before making a deposit. You can have five cards on the account at once.
Bank Wire Transfer
Bank transfers are also available. They can take three days to process, but you can speed this up by uploading proof of payment.
IG supports funding via PayPal. The first deposit via this method will link your PayPal to your IG account. You will need to contact the help desk to change this account.
Our IG review finds the IG Academy to be an exceptional offering from the broker. It includes free webinars, seminars, and online courses for all skill levels. The broker also has a Learn to Trade section of its website with additional resources.
Traders can read analysis and news, read about financial events on the economic calendar, explore expert trading strategies and techniques, and more. There are also sections regarding managing risk and a glossary.
Regulation & Deposit Protection
The Financial Conduct Authority authorises and regulates IG under the names IG Markets Ltd and IG Index Ltd. As such, traders can expect their review of IG to show segregated funds and deposit protection of up to £85,000.
In addition to strong IG reviews, the broker has received numerous honours from independent organisations to show its appeal. At the ADVFN International Financial Awards in 2019, the broker earned the title of “Best Spread Betting and CFD Education Tools,” “Best Multi-Platform Provider,” and “Best Finance App.”
At the Online Personal Wealth Awards in 2019, it was honoured with “Best CFD Provider” and “Best Stocks and Shares Provider” awards. At the ForexBrokers.com 2019 Annual Review, IG earned the title of “#1 Overall Broker.” Also in 2019, it was the Investopedia Online Brokers Awards winner for “Best for Forex Trading.”
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.