Since 1974, IG has been leading the way and innovating top class online trading and investment strategies all over the globe. Today, it is a worldwide business and has established a physical presence with approximately 150,000 active clients in 15 countries. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has a long-standing reputation of being the best stock broker and fore runner in spread betting. But, is IG good? Our stock broker comparison and review of IG certainly puts things in a better perspective.
- Universal access markets all over world
- Around-the-clock customer support
- faster, clearer & intelligent trading
- Unbeatable execution and pricing
- 1. Stock Trading Offer: IG’s Product Offering and Stock Trading Services
- 2. Stock Exchanges and Trading Centers: Smooth access to a wide range of markets
- 3. Trading Conditions: Clear-cut and Transparent Charges
- 4. Trading Platform: Plain and Simple Design Packed with Innovative Features
- 5. Usability of the Website: Fast, Effective and Result-oriented
- 6. Customer support: Impeccable accessibility and relevant help
- 7. Methods of Payment: A Focus on Fee Structure and Funding
- 8. Additional Offers: Advantages of the Demo Account
- 9. Regulation and Deposit Protection: What Does the Platform do With Your Money?
- 10. Awards: International recognition makes a difference
- 11. Is IG Worth it?
Trader Rating Total
Stock Trading Offer: IG’s Product Offering and Stock Trading Services
The most essential aspect you will observe in this IG brokerage review is that this platform’s product offering is probably the largest in the entire industry. This platform delivers financial transparency and complete financial disclosure. They support as many as 10,000 market instruments on a global scale. This includes spread betting, CFDs, spot forex, and stock trading services.
The platform also owns the North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex) that specialises in spreads and binary options. Having been in the stock trading business for over 40 years, IG provides total access to a wide line of products such as individual equities, forex, stock indices, bonds, stock sectors, cryptocurrencies, commodities, as well as interest rates on various kinds of professional-grade web and mobile-based trading platforms.
Owing to its size, IG is able to provide some of the lowest spreads and commissions in the industry. With the help of IG, you can:
- Contemplate on the price movements in the market with tax-free profits and no stamp duty to pay on your returns.
- Trade over 90 FX pairs via CFDs or spread betting as well as access key markets such as EUR/USD and AUD/USD from just 0.6 pts.
- Purchase, sell contracts and trade wherever you are with an assortment of risk management tools
Stock Exchanges and Trading Centers: Smooth access to a wide range of markets
IG stock trading lets you trade CFDs from over 15,000 markets from across the globe. The easy access to worldwide stock exchanges opens a whole range of trading opportunities. Traders can trade shares, indices, forex and commodities. It is possible to reach new markets, thanks to the live prices from notable stock exchanges, such as FTSE 100, Wall Street, Germany 30, Spot Gold, and US Light Crude. It allows traders to expand their portfolio in a seamless manner.
With the direct access to global stock markets, traders can also enjoy trading in their own currency. This makes it very convenient for traders as they don’t have to bother with currency exchange rate. This also ensures traders don’t lose money while trading in stocks, forex and commodities in another currency or denomination.
IG boasts a completely integrated MetaTrader4 to offer traders peace of mind due to reliability and speed. Developed by MetaQuotes in 2005, this platform is mainly used for forex trading, but it can also be used for trading indices and commodities through CFDs or spread betting. The platform is completely configurable and can be used by traders to develop Expert Advisors, which monitor as well as trade on behalf of the trader.
- Access to globally renowned stock markets
- Direct access to shares traded in Wall Street, FTSE 100, Spot FX and Germany 30
- Allows convenient trading through mobile apps
Trading Conditions: Clear-cut and Transparent Charges
A review of IG brings to light the fact that the platform is clear about their charges. IG keeps it users abreast on all the fees that are incurred during the trading process. Like most brokers, IG takes a fee from the spread which is, simply put, the difference between the buy and sell price of an instrument. Opening an account also requires you to pay £250 ($300) as a first-time deposit.
Users generally must pay a certain amount as commission for share dealing – particularly when you purchase or sell stocks or ETFs. In addition to this, a quarterly custody fee also exists. This fee usually depends upon your trading activity. The prices of shares are provided in the form of local denominations while the fee charged to convert to your chosen base currency is 0.3%. When you first begin trading with IG, you can enjoy reduced minimums for six weeks (UK share CFDs) and two weeks (for all other CFDs and spread betting).
In case of card deposits, there is a minimum of £250 for every transaction. In case of bank transfers, you can easily transfer funds of up to £30,000 per transaction. This is subject to the daily or monthly withdrawal limits of your bank account.
- No hidden charges – a hallmark of a trustworthy company
- £250 ($300) first-time deposit required when opening up a new account
- A minimum fee of £250 for any given transaction
Trading Platform: Plain and Simple Design Packed with Innovative Features
IG has had a steady flow and continues to garner a fair share of industry praise owing to its proprietary web-based trading platform. An IG stock trading review brings to conclusion the fact that both the platform’s trading features, as well as accompanying features, are the smoothest in functioning are equipped with admirable features.
While opening, closing and editing individual, as well as aggregate, positions can be conducted in a swifter way that is with just a few clicks, you can opt from a light or dark platform theme. Workspaces can also be customised so that they are in sync with your trading. IG also comes with a mobile trading platform that is just as great as the web platform.
To safeguard confidential information for security purposes, the most up-to-date encryption technology is used. IG offers a faster, smarter and clearer way to trade through the help of the web browser. IG’s online trading platform offers:
- Smart settings that help you retain information with regards to stop values and deal sizes. This helps you trade in a better way
- Split charts that help users keep a watchful eye on the market from many timeframes all at once
- Users also obtain breaking news via Twitter and Reuters. This gives an idea about the stocks that are trending among IG clients
Usability of the Website: Fast, Effective and Result-oriented
Opening an IG brokerage account helps you experience the enhanced performance of the web platform. The new and improved IG platform ensures better usability. As a result, you obtain the most recent updates, news and Twitter feeds all in real time. The platform also helps you obtain quicker deals, all with one click execution from lists. In addition to this, users get price change alerts and customisable themes that help enhance their user experience.
IG’s platform is easy to use to such an extent that even beginners can get the hang of it in a short-space of time. Login and security and placing orders can be conducted in a hassle-free way although placing orders via phone falls on the slightly higher side of things.
- The web-based platform supports Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge and Safari (which is for Mac only)
- Their new charts are designed using HTML5 technology. This does away with the necessity for Java and Adobe Flash Player. (However, you will require Java to make use of ProRealTime charts)
- Automatic trading and execution ensures user can design and put into practice their own set of strategies
Customer support: Impeccable accessibility and relevant help
It has been observed that IG provides excellent customer support and service. This platform also possesses many awards to its credit owing to excellent performance. You can look forward to rapid and prompt responses to queries and questions put forth in a variety of different languages. Gaining access to customer services through the help of live chat, Twitter, phone support as well as email is seamless. Although these are the primary access methods, you can also visit one of the 17 convenient office locations in major cities around the world.
IG was accredited the ‘Best Investor Education 2015-Shares Awards’. The platform was awarded with this honour owing to its impeccable standard set for training and support materials. The platform also possesses a dedicated team of experts who provide one-to-one guidance and help to new clients.
Besides this, IG maintains a good investor community and comes with an extensive database of FAQs. Because of this, clients can communicate and support each other. The customer service channels are fast, productive and friendly. The FAQs consider all kinds of queries while the search engine is admirable.
- Rapid response customer service including a dedicated team of experts for one-to-one guidance
- 17 office locations based in major cities worldwide
- Opportunity to find answers without having to contact customer support via a large FAQ section
Methods of Payment: A Focus on Fee Structure and Funding
A review of IG showed that you can fund your IG account in two ways. This can be done through your debit/credit card or via electronic transfer. To understand how you can deposit funds you need to log into My IG and click ‘add funds’. This should be done next to the account you want to deposit into. You can also deposit funds via electronic funds transfer (bank transfer).
To do this, you need to quote your IG account/username as a reference. This ensures your request can be processed rapidly. IG does not accept cash, third party or cheque deposits. In case of margin call payments, IG persuades you to inform them about the payment through the ‘Send proof of Payment’ facility in My IG. This feature can be found under ‘payments’ or ‘Live Accounts’ tab. The duration of the card payments and other method s of payment are as follows:
- For credit cards, the execution time is instant deposit via My IG. The cost is 2.1% transaction fee charge for Visa and MasterCard.
- For debit cards, the execution time is instant deposit via My IG. There is no cost incurred for Visa and MasterCard.
- In case of payments via PayPal, instant deposit via My Account is possible. There is a 1% cost charge.
Additional Offers: Advantages of the Demo Account
A review of IG shows that first-time users can create a demo trading account at any time, free of charge. This helps them get a better understanding and feel of IG’s platform. Besides IG stock trading, users can also gain educational knowledge. The platform helps you enrol for courses, watch seminars and sign up for webinars. You can even download the IG Academy app. Reading short descriptions of how tools and indicators work helps you comprehend and understand the functions in a better way.
It also works to enhance your spread betting and stock broking skills. Opening a demo account could help you to:
- Familiarise yourself with how the deal ticket functions. This also includes applying stops and limits, tracking profit and loss as well as checking out margin requirements
- Take a look at your past activity. This includes details of your previous demo trades. This assists in giving you an idea of the strategies that worked and those that didn’t
- Get in touch with market data and news feeds in an improvised manner. The platform’s advanced and most recent market data helps in planning out a strategy as well as identifying trading opportunities
Regulation and Deposit Protection: What Does the Platform do With Your Money?
IG is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA comes with stringent regulatory requirements known as the client assets rules and client money rules. This governs what and how IG conducts operations. Investment firms, like IG, are required to keep client money and assets apart from their own resources.
When you deposit money in an IG brokerage account, your money is held in different bank accounts under trustee arrangements. This assures its users that the cash is still withdrawable should the company encounter any financial issues. This makes certain that IG and its creditors do not have any liens or charges over it. IG is debt-free and comes with sizeable capital reserves and liquidity. They are considerably in access of regulatory requirements. This helps IG safeguard the funds of clients.
- IG only makes use of its own funds for hedging. It does not pass segregated client money through hedging counterparties
- All of the money put in by clients is held in segregated client bank accounts in approved AA rated top tier banks
- The platform also segregates net unrealised profits. These profits are above and beyond ASIC requirements. IG also does not commence speculative positions in the market
Awards: International recognition makes a difference
Numerous global bodies have recognised IG spread betting, as being one of the most effective ways to manage a global investment portfolio. The website has collected a long list of awards for spread betting, which can be risky and cause traders to lose money.
The IG Index platform is an award-winning platform that makes trading quick and convenient. From 2010 to 2014, it won the Investors Chronicle & Financial Times Investment Awards, which it also won in 2008 for best spread betting provider. In 2013, it was the recipient of MoneyAM Awards for Best Investor Education, and then won for three consecutive years (from 2009 to 2011) the What Investment Magazine Awards. In 2012 and 2013, it was honoured with Shares Magazine Awards for the Best Forex Trading Tools. It also won the UK Forex Awards for the Best Forex Trading Tools in 2012. Its mobile spread betting app has been widely praised for its features and ease of trading. It was awarded the World Finance Telecoms Award in 2010. In 2010, the Sunday Times App List described IG’s mobile app as an indispensible tool for spread betting.
- Praised for offering traders efficient and convenient online trading platforms
- Countless awards for spread betting, IG Index and mobile trading platforms
- Award-winning mobile and web-based tools and platform
Is IG Worth it?
You may be wondering ‘is IG good for your trading and wealth-building requirements?’. The answer depends on your individualistic preference. While the platform can have its share of drawbacks, for instance, there is no way to automatically liquidate your positions once your account balance reaches a certain point, and clients with an account balance of less than £5,000 must pay a monthly fee of £50 for VPS, it comes with its share of perks too.
The platform offers you the flexibility to automate your trading and bypass IG. This ensures you can head straight to the market makers and even utilise your own third-party trading platform. Based on our analysis, IG scores well owing to the fact that it is compatible with all kinds of traders. In addition to this, it takes into account a wide range of financial markets such as forex, commodities, stock indices, stock equities and individual equities among others.
- Lower fees for frequent traders
- professional trading software
- Extensive trading offer
- Shares can be used as margin
- No saving plans