LCG

The London Capital Group, or LCG as it is better known, is publicly listed in London and is one of the most respected CFD and spread betting providers. The broker was established back in 1996 and still manages to stay competitive with tight spreads and very low margin requirements. It offers trade on more than 7,000 instruments across 9 different asset classes, including Forex, shares, commodities, and more.

Over the years, LCG has earned multiple awards and has been named CFD Provider of the Year 2011, Best Online Trading Platform 2012, Forex Innovator of the Year 2015, and many more. The company is registered in the United Kingdom and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which makes it a safe and reliable online broker.

Regulations

LCG has taken measures to ensure the financial security of its clients. It offers negative balance protection, which means that traders cannot lose more money than they have in their accounts. Moreover, certain instruments allow the use of guaranteed stop losses, which, however, will depend on the specific market conditions and may cost additionally. Another important thing to remember is that LCG clients’ funds are kept separate in accordance with the UK regulations.

The broker is fully authorized and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. This means that clients also take advantage of asset protection up to £50,000 through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. London Capital Group Limited also has a subsidiary registered and licensed in Cyprus. Since it is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, it also accepts clients from across Europe. Still, the trading platform is not available to individuals residing in Australia, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States.

Trading Instruments

LCG offers CFDs (contracts for difference) and spread betting trading on a great range of instruments. The company covers more than 7,000 global markets and 9 different asset classes – Forex, shares, indices, commodities, bonds, interest rates, ETFs, and vanilla options.

Forex

With its high liquidity and daily turnover of more than $6 trillion, the foreign exchange market or Forex for short is the world’s largest trading market. It is accessible to everyone 24 hours a day, except for the weekends, and at LCG, traders can diversify their portfolio with not only major and minor currency pairs, but also with less popular options such as Scandinavian, Australasian, and exotic pairs.

LCG does not charge commission and instead, all fees are built in the spread. The platform, however, offers quite appealing Forex trading pricing with spreads as low as 0.8 pips. It also allows clients to close only a portion of their position to have some guaranteed outcome, while the rest of their position could remain open to market fluctuations and potentially become more profitable. Of course, traders at LCG can start with their Forex experience without owning any foreign currency, while the option to use leverage allows increasing the size of the position with only base-level capital.

Shares

Another popular trading instrument at LCG is shares and clients can speculate on some of the leading technological and retail companies in the world such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook. The broker offers CFDs (contracts for difference) on more than 4,000 global shares with spreads as low as 0.10% – this is the additional spread LCG adds to the market ask and subtracts from market bid prices.

In fact, the spread, as well as the margin and margin tiers may vary due to shifting market conditions. The maximum leverage for all shares markets is 1:5 for retail clients and 1:33 for professional clients. Top traded company shares include Barclays, Apple, Facebook, Tesco, Lloyds, and BP plc. Clients can invest in them, speculate and receive dividends payments.

Spot Metals

Traders who choose to register an account at LCG can also trade CFDs on a wide range of precious metals. One of the oldest and most familiar forms of trading, metals remain extremely popular for many traders. The reason is in the high liquidity of the spot metal market – the value of gold and silver is known to fluctuate following major political and economic events. For many people, gold is the perfect safe haven and the most preferred way to hedge against inflation.

The minimum spread is 0.2 for spot gold, while traders can use much higher leverage than the one offered for Forex. The maximum leverage when trading spot gold can reach 1:20 for retail clients and 1:200 for professional traders, while the leverage for silver may be up to 1:10 and 1:100 for retail and professional clients, respectively.

CFDs on Indices

LCG also offers its clients the opportunity to trade some of the most popular indices and rather than dealing in individual company stocks, clients can trade broad market segments. Each of the indices available on the platform includes stocks from multiple companies that represent one particular sector or country.

Among the top traded indices is the FTSE100, which is a share index of the top 100 companies with the highest market cap on the London Stock Exchange. Traders can choose to trade spot indices or futures, and to pick the index they are most familiar with – the US Dollar Index, Dow Jones, Wall Street, US 500, and many more.

ETFs

Probably the most popular method for passive investment is trading exchange-traded funds or ETFs. This is a type of fund that tracks different assets such as shares, commodities, indices or bonds. However, ETFs trade like a common stock.

ETFs gained great popularity among investors in the past few years because they give the opportunity to buy and trade an entire index at a significantly more affordable price. ETFs can be easily bought and sold and they come with lower fees than mutual funds. LCG clients can choose CFDs on more than 500 ETFs, benefiting from low margin requirements and tight spreads, reaching 0.2%.

Vanilla Options

Vanilla options or simply options are a powerful financial instrument that can be incorporated in every trading strategy. Options are versatile and reduce the overall risk, which is why many traders use them to hedge against other positions. But what exactly are vanilla options? These financial derivative contracts allow the holder to buy or sell an underlying asset at a predetermined price within a given time frame. There is no obligation, however, and the risk is low. Common examples are straddles, strangles, call spreads, and ratio call spreads.

Trading Platforms

LCG provides professional traders and investors with fast and smooth trading platforms that run seamlessly on desktops and mobile devices. LCG Trader is the proprietary platform of the London Capital Group and it is relatively easy to use, providing clients with a comprehensive range of statistics and data charts, as well as news and analysis that would be useful to every trader. In addition, it features 70 top technical indicators.

The LCG Trader now comes with an updated design and improved functionality. It has great charts and clients can easily trade with a single click directly from the charts. It is also easy to double up or reverse open positions. Clients can set notifications and price alerts, customize the charts, and use the convenient market tree and watchlist. The platform also offers technical reports by TradingCentral and full mobile integration.

Another option is to use MetaTrader 4 (MT4), which is one of the world’s most widely used trading platforms. Most traders are familiar with MT4 – it is customizable, flexible, and relatively easy to use. The charts are adjustable and come with pre-packaged technical indicators. Traders can choose to download the MT4 Desktop Terminal, use the MT4 WebTrader, or opt for the downloadable MultiTerminal, which allows simultaneous trading on multiple MT4 accounts. Of course, the MT4 app is also available for iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded directly from the LCG website.

Payment Methods

LCG clients can enjoy free and fast payments via several different banking methods, while when registering an account, they can choose from the following currencies – USD, EUR, GBP, or CHF. There is no minimum deposit needed to start trading and users simply need to fund their account with a sufficient amount that would cover the margin requirement for the particular trade.

The broker accepts deposits via bank transfer and pays out via the same method, too. Both transactions usually take at least one working day to clear and are free of charge. Traders can also choose to deposit through a debit or credit card – almost all major cards are accepted, except for American Express and some Visa Electron cards. Depositing via a debit card is free but when the transfer is done using a credit card, a processing fee of 2% of the transferred amount is charged. Withdrawal via Visa and Mastercard are completely free and processed within 24 hours.

The other payment option is e-wallets and currently, LCG accepts Skrill (Moneybookers) and Neteller. Deposits and withdrawals using these digital wallets are secure, free of charge, and incredibly fast – traders can request a withdrawal to their e-wallet and receive their money the next day.

Account Types

London Capital Group offers several types of accounts, each catering to a specific group of traders. The accounts available are Standard, ECN, and Islamic accounts and each of them comes with its advantages and weaknesses. Additionally, the broker can open corporate, foreign currency or a joint account but the requirements and perks may vary across deposit levels and countries. New LCG clients can try the CFDs platform by registering an account in Demo mode.

ECN Account

Many traders prefer registering an Electronic Communication Account (ECN) at LCG for several reasons. First and foremost, the ECN account is favored by day traders but it is a great option for many people because it features very low spreads and low pricing overall compared to the other types of accounts. In fact, trade here starts from 0 pips and there are no requotes.

The ECN account directly connects traders with the market and there are no market makers involved – the direct link with liquidity providers is important for many traders. Also, orders are executed very quickly, which is an obvious advantage. However, traders should know that there are a few requirements to be eligible for an ECN account at LCG – the minimum deposit amount is $10,000.

Standard (Classic) Account

This is the account type that would suit most traders who are just starting with LCG. Clients who choose to open a standard account will trade at spreads that are a little higher than those in the ECN account. There is no commission and no hidden fees overall. Moreover, there is no requirement for the minimum deposit that should be made into the account.

Another important thing to consider is that those who decide to open a Demo Account will receive only the Standard type of account and will not be able to test the additional benefits of the ECN account, for instance.

Islamic Account

Last, but not least, LCG has prepared a special type of account that suits traders following the Muslim faith and even Sharia law. The differences from the ECN account are not huge, however, and there are just a couple of things clients should be aware of. Most notably, the Islamic Account at LCG implies no swap or rollover interest on overnight positions. This is why these accounts are also known as no-swap accounts.

Support

The online CFD broker offers fast and responsive customer support, which is crucial whenever clients experience any problem with a trade, with the software, or when they encounter a technical issue. They can contact the support team during working hours – from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. U.K. time.

The LCG website is available in multiple languages, namely English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, and Malay.

Conclusion

LCG is a safe, reliable broker that would be suitable for most traders and individual investors since it offers competitive spreads, a wide variety of markets and assets to choose from, as well as user-friendly and highly customizable trading platforms. It does not offer the lowest prices but it is certainly better than most options available to European and UK-based traders.