Offering spread betting and contracts for difference on a wide range of trading instruments, IG is currently one of the world’s largest CFD brokers. It gives traders and investors easy access to over 16,000 global markets, competitive fees, as well as excellent and reliable customer support available 24 hours a day.
IG was founded in 1974 as a spread betting company in the UK following the collapse of the Bretton Woods System, a system of rules and regulations that required all major economies to have their currencies pegged to the price of gold. The new business, called IG Index (Investors Gold Index), for the first time, allowed investors in the UK to trade gold as an index rather than buying and owning the physical commodity. In 2000, the company was named IG Group plc and was listed on the London Stock Exchange. Today, IG Markets is authorized to offer CFD trading and other products in the UK, most of Europe, Australia and the US.
IG is the brand name of IG Group plc and its several operating companies. Each of them is registered and regulated in a different part of the world, offering the specific trading and financial products and services that are allowed and regulated locally. Overall, the company has a reputation for being a safe, reliable provider of spread betting and CFDs on financial markets – it is fully regulated in multiple jurisdictions and publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange, which makes it even more trustworthy and transparent. Moreover, the IG site fully discloses all fees and conditions unlike many of its competitors who often hide high commissions and additional fees in the fine print.
The broker is licensed and fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, as well as by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia. It has also received licenses by several local regulators such as the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Germany and the Dubai Financial Services Authority. In the US, IG US LLC is registered in Delaware and headquartered in Chicago. IG is a registered RFED and IB with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and member of the National Futures Association. Residents of Arizona or Ohio cannot open IG US accounts, however.
Trading InstrumentsIG offers spread betting and contracts for difference (CFDs) on a great variety of instruments across 12 asset classes, including Forex, commodities, shared, indices, cryptocurrencies, and more. In total, the broker gives access to more than 16,000 markets from all around the world. However, not all trading instruments are available everywhere – while CFDs are the preferred way to trade in Europe and the UK, for instance, they are not allowed in the US. Instead, IG offers its American clients binary options.
The broker offers great opportunities for Forex trading and its clients can opt for spread betting, CFDs or DMA (Direct Market Access). DMA is a type of Forex execution where traders receive direct access to the physical market and it is available only to professional clients, which is why we will not discuss it any further. The other two alternatives, however, are available to all retail clients of IG – both spread betting and CFDs are a wonderful solution to those who want to benefit from the inherent liquidity of the foreign exchange market.
There are differences between them, as well. First of all, CFDs are financial derivatives, which means that the contracts traded are based on the prices of the underlying asset. The contracts do not expire, except for futures. In contrast, when spread betting on Forex, traders can speculate on the market by betting on various outcomes within a fixed time frame. Moreover, UK-based traders can enjoy tax-free profits. At IG, traders can opt for a wide range of FX pairs, including commonly traded ones like GBP/USD, EUR/USD, USD/CAD, USD/JPY or less popular pairs like EUR/CZK, TRY/JPY, CAD/CHF, etc.
IG also offers its clients to trade indices as either a spread bet or a CFD. Indices are extremely popular instruments and they represent the top traded shares on a particular exchange. They could be bundles of the shares of the top 100 companies in the US or the most successfully traded companies in the German economy.
Overall, indices are easier to trade for most traders as they track the performance of a particular sector of the economy based on a wide variety of events rather than focusing on one particular company. Traders can deal on many different indices at IG, including FTSE 100, which includes the stocks of the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange by market cap, Wall Street, DAX, Australia 200, Dow Jones, NASDAQ, S&P500, Nikkei, and more.
IG clients can profit from either leveraged share trading – CFDs and spread betting, or non-leveraged trade of shares, available through an ISA account (Individual Savings Account) or a share dealing account. Most traders, especially less experienced ones, prefer trading with leverage since they need only a fraction of the value of the asset in order to open a position. However, they should also know that leverage also increases the risk.
Those who can afford more significant deposits and can buy and sell stock without leverage at IG. The broker gives its clients Direct Market Access and allows trading the actual shares rather than only speculating on their prices without actually owning them. Top traded shares at the IG trading platforms are those of Apple, Facebook, Alibaba, Lloyds, BP PLC, and Rio Tinto.
Once again, IG offers spread betting and CFDs on commodities and commodity futures. The broker allows trading on a total of 27 commodities – hard and soft. Hard commodities include various precious metals, oil, and other energy products that have been mined, while soft commodities are typically agricultural ones. Popular commodities are gold, silver, natural gas, crude oil, Brent, wheat, coffee, and sugar.
Their prices fluctuate based on multiple factors, including supply and demand, of course, economic and political events. Usually, their prices also change when there is a change in the price of the US dollar since most commodities are priced in USD. Another factor that influences their value is the weather simply because it has a direct effect on the production of commodities.
Trade on cryptocurrencies works much like regular currency trading – traders simply speculate on the price of the cryptocurrency and profiting when it goes up or down instead of buying the actual cryptocurrency. For many traders, this is a very exciting market – it is relatively new, it is highly volatile, and it sees a huge speculative interest. IG allows spread betting and CFDs on the most widely spread cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, NEO, EOS, and Stellar (XLM).
IG clients can also trade on volatility with an interesting instrument, called options. Options are complicated at first but in the simplest terms, they allow traders to trade on the future value of a market. They are similar to futures but there is one important difference – when buying options, traders have the right but not the obligation to trade if they do not like the price, for instance. With futures, on the other hand, traders are required to complete the trade.
Options are flexible, leveraged financial tools and they can be used for hedging, speculating or simply buying more time to decide whether a trade is profitable or not. IG offers call (the right to buy) and put (the right to sell) options on various asset classes, including Forex, shares, indices, and commodities.
IG offers CFDs and spread bets on exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are investment funds that hold assets and are traded just like stocks. However, they only track the performance of certain indices, stocks, commodities, and futures, and their ownership is divided into shares. ETFs are affordable, convenient to trade, and were specially designed for individual investors.
Those who choose to trade ETFs can experience exposure to multiple markets at a low price and with just a single position. IG clients can choose from more than 6,000 exchange-traded funds and filter them by asset class, performance, country and eligibility for an individual savings account.
In addition to Forex, commodities, shares indices, options, and cryptocurrencies, IG also offers trading on several additional markets. While for many investors, these additional financial instruments represent a good way to diversify their portfolio, for others, they could be the main markets where they make a profit. Being successful in this type of trade, however, requires knowing the fundamentals and having a deeper understanding of the market trends.
For instance, IG offers trading on interest rates, bonds, and industry sectors, which are quite common and most traders should be familiar with them. However, there is one quite interesting market that can be traded and it is called IG Digital 100 – in fact, these are simply binary options but the broker decided to change the name of the instrument in 2017.
This is a trade based on simple yes or no statements and with it, IG clients can speculate on a market event taking place. Those who manage to predict the outcome correctly make a profit, of course. Due to regulatory restrictions introduced in 2018, the Digital 100 instrument, however, is available only to professional clients.
In addition to the standard trade on weekdays, IG also offers its clients trading on select markets during the weekend. This includes Forex, indices, and cryptocurrencies, but each of these trades works differently. Prices on indices and Forex are quoted separately to the weekday prices based on the broker’s prediction on the particular market as a result of the latest economic and political news, client business, etc. The positions on Forex and indices are also separate.
Weekend trading of cryptocurrencies, however, works a bit differently since this market remains open during the weekend anyway. Therefore, clients’ positions on Bitcoin, for instance, will continue to change over the weekend as normal.
PC / MAC
The leading brokerage provides a healthy choice of basic and specialist trading platforms to address the needs of all customers regardless of their level of investment expertise and experience. Traders interested mainly in spread betting and price speculation through contracts for difference are recommended to try the broker’s proprietary web platform.
Clients well-versed in trading can choose from three specialist platforms, namely MetaTrader 4, L2 Dealer, and ProRealTime. Trading on the fly is possible via dedicated mobile apps available on Google Play and the App Store. Continue reading as we walk you through the specifics of all desktop and mobile platforms offered by IG Markets.
IG’s Proprietary Trading Platform
IG clients have a great choice of trading platforms and API interfaces and one of them is IG’s own platform. It is web-based, which means there is no need to download any software. Traders would find it simple and intuitive and it would be easy to use even for first-time clients of IG. It features a nice design, as well as basic risk management tools like stop losses and price alerts. The platform supports several order types, including market, limit, trailing stop, and guaranteed stop orders.
In addition, it is very fast and comes with split charts, customization tools, automated trading options, and various indicators, as well as an integrated live news feed from Reuters and ProRealTime charts. The intuitive and clean interface renders the web platform suitable for all experience levels. However, it is intended predominantly for spread betting, share trading, and price movement speculation.
Users will benefit from a plethora of customization features that enable them to tweak the platform according to their individual needs. They can create multiple workspaces and group them based on markets. Transitioning from light to dark mode, and vice versa, is also possible and so is grouping your most commonly traded markets in designated watchlists. The single-click feature allows users to instantly grasp favorable opportunities as soon as they arise.
The broker also offers the industry-standard MetaTrader 4 (MT4), which can be downloaded on Windows and Mac. It is also available on mobile devices and can be installed for free from the App Store and Google Play. To use it, traders simply need to log in with their IG account credentials. MT4 features a great variety of add-ons and indicators and through its convenient interface, clients can download additional indicators or even create their own.
Of course, the platform also includes the Autochartist feature and Expert Advisors that monitor the markets for trading opportunities based on preset parameters. The Advisors send notifications as soon as they spot favorable market conditions and you can even program them to automatically execute trades on your behalf.
It is important to point out that the MT4 platform facilitates trading only with specific financial instruments at IG Market, including currency pairs, stock indices, and hard commodities like precious metals and crude oil. It supports market, take profit, stop loss, stop, and limit orders. It gives you the flexibility to trade directly from charts and provides you with access to automated trading strategies. No exchange fees or additional costs are associated with using MT4.
IG clients can also upgrade to ProRealTime, which features state-of-the-art tools for technical analysis. Mainly intended for technical chart users, ProRealTime offers tons of useful monitoring features, including TopMovers and ProScreener. The platform provides IG traders with access to a superb range of markets, more than 16,000 to be precise.
ProRealTime is intended to make algorithmic trading as simple as possible. Traders can create custom technical indicators to test new trading strategies in the platform’s programming language ProBuilder, which is considerably easier to learn compared to MetaTrader 4’s MQL4, for example. This can help customers fine-tune their own trading algorithms from the ground up and use them for automated trading so that they never miss out on favorable opportunities even if they cannot constantly monitor the markets themselves.
ProRealTime is packed with features that facilitate advanced technical analysis. It comes with dozens of technical indicators and allows traders to open positions directly from charts. Various customization options are available. Traders can tweak the colors of their charts and set personalized trading hours.
Best of all, the platform is completely free to use. New retail customers of IG markets are entitled to free access for their first month but this period extends to three months for professional traders. Clients can then continue using ProRealTime at no cost on condition they place at least four orders each month.
L2 Dealer is intended for traders who insist on having direct access to the markets. The platform supports leveraged trading with stocks and currency pairs through contracts for difference, allowing clients to interact directly with the order books of the world’s biggest stock exchanges, including the London Stock Exchange. As traders have access to the full order books, they can see all bids and offers other participants have made in a given market.
This highly advanced platform also facilitates market sentiment comparison, enabling traders to adequately estimate whether fellow market participants are presently being bearish or bullish. Armed with this information, IG customers can make better-informed trading decisions and improve their overall results.
Another beneficial aspect of using L2 Dealer is that it enables traders to retain their full anonymity when taking positions. Clients can divide large-volume positions into tranches to conceal their actual size and prevent them from impacting the market prices. Last but not least, L2 Dealer supports a varied assortment of sophisticated order types but these differ, depending on which exchanges IG customers are trading on.
Mobile Trading Apps
The mobile version of the IG trading platform is available for both iOS and Android and can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play. The trading apps allow spread betting and CFD trading on a wide range of markets, including forex, shares, indices, and commodities. The mobile application is noticeably less customizable than the web-based platform but there are price alerts, stop-losses, customized watchlists, Face ID and Touch ID security.
But this award-winning app has more benefits to offer. Clients who venture to install it can have their peace of mind where privacy is concerned as all sensitive data is encrypted in transit with 256-bit SSL. The app gives you access to 28 technical indicators, including Fibonacci retracements and Bollinger Bands. It enables you to stay ahead of the latest market trends with customizable interactive charts. Mobile traders can take advantage of advanced order types like “good till date” and “good till canceled”. The apps are compatible with portable devices running on iOS 15.0 and Android 7.0.
IG accepts several different payment methods and currencies but unfortunately, the broker does not disclose this information openly on its website. New users would need to contact the support before opening an IG account if they wish to register it in a minor currency. Apart from that, major currencies, including USD, GBP, and EUR can be registered as a base currency of the IG account.
Along with bank transfers, IG clients can use credit and debit cards to make deposits and request withdrawals from their accounts. Major card brands like Visa, Maestro, Discover, and Mastercard are accepted. Another popular banking method for online trading is the digital wallet PayPal – it is similar to a real, physical wallet, but rather than storing cash, it links directly to your bank account or credit/debit card.
If you intend to trade with leverage, the broker will prompt you to complete a brief questionnaire after you set up your live account. You must provide correct answers to all questions in order to pass the test and proceed to fund your live balance. There is a short training course for the uninitiated that will familiarize them with the particulars of leveraged trading. Once you pass the test, you must send your documents for verification before you can gain access to the cashier and deposit.
The minimum deposit amount is $50 and the maximum amount is capped at $50,000 per credit card transaction. Debit card deposits should not exceed $99,999 per single transaction. Clients who wish to process larger amounts to their live balance should use bank transfers where no maximum deposit limits are in place. The downside is that bank transfers are definitely a slower deposit option.
Card and e-wallet deposits are typically instant, whereas deposits via bank transfer usually take up to 3 days to process. The processing time for withdrawals varies depending on the payment method. Withdrawals to debit and credit cards, for instance, require 2 to 5 business days to clear, while withdrawing via bank transfers may take up to 3 business days for the funds to be released from your balance.
Clients can withdraw up to $25,000 every 24 hours when using cards but bank transfer withdrawals are not associated with any maximum limits. As for the minimum you can cash out, it starts at $150 unless your balance has dropped below this amount, in which case you can withdraw it entirely.
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IG offers several major types of accounts and before opening a live one, clients are advised to register a demo account. This way, they will have the opportunity to try the IG trading platform, see all trading instruments and markets, and try out various analytical tools. Live accounts are available for retail and professional trading, with each type having its own specifications.
After conducting some research, our team established that IG Markets used to offer swap-free and interest-free accounts to customers based in Dubai but unfortunately, this is no longer the case. It is our understanding that the brokerage discontinued Islamic accounts sometime in 2021. Joint accounts are available for CFD trading only.
The broker offers Smart Portfolios to investors from Germany and the UK. These Smart Portfolios are invested in iShares ETFs from BlackRock, one of the largest asset management corporations in the world. Along with this standard investment account, IG clients can also apply for a tax-efficient stocks and shares ISA (Individual Savings Account) or SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension).
Beginner traders will be given instant access to the trading platform along with a demo balance of $20,000. Demo accounts are not subject to slippage, interest, and dividend adjustments – to see all costs, trading tools, and functionalities, clients must opt for a live account. Inexperienced traders who set up demo accounts can quickly hone their skills as the broker provides them with access to valuable educational materials in the IG Academy. IG Markets does not charge demo account holders for using chart packages, either.
Each customer who creates a live account is automatically granted access to a demo account as well. You can easily switch from live to demo trading from your account’s dashboard (My IG). Demo accounts are available for CFD trading, options, turbo warrants, and spread betting.
The leading brokerage caters to experienced traders with a unified live account where they can add separate accounts for spreads betting, trading with contracts for difference, turbo warrants, and options trading. During the registration process, IG will prompt you to fill out a brief questionnaire to evaluate your expertise in trading with high-risk derivatives like options and contracts for difference.
You cannot proceed with the registration if you fail during the questionnaire stage and must answer all questions correctly to pass the IG test. The next step typically involves account verification, during which stage you must send your documents as proof of identity and payment method. Then you can top up your balance with one of the methods we discussed earlier and you can start pursuing favorable market opportunities.
Similarly to demo users, you can add accounts for spread betting, CFDs, turbos, and options trading from the My IG dashboard, the point being there is no need to register separately for each type. Live account holders should keep in mind that IG Markets charges inactivity fees on dormant accounts. Traders who remain inactive for 24 successive months incur monthly rolling charges of $18.
IG Markets provides customers with the option to register two types of corporate accounts. Institutional accounts are suitable for brokerage firms, hedge funds, proprietary trading houses, banks, and professional traders. This account type ensures deeper liquidity and allows account holders to trade over 16,000 markets professionally.
Retail corporate accounts are also available, allowing clients to invest in the financial markets through a corporate structure. This type offers efficient risk management, exhaustive educational materials, sharper spreads, and round-the-clock technical support. The application process involves downloading and filling out the designated form from the broker’s website and emailing it to email@example.com.
The customer support service is one of the strongest sides of IG. Unlike most brokers, it offers 24/7 support – after all, it allows trading on weekends, too. The site’s interface and the support are available in several languages, including English, Spanish, and German. Of course, there are not as many local support teams as there are regional IG platforms.
Clients can open dedicated IG websites for most of Europe – UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Russia, and Romania, as well as for the United States, Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
The support can be contacted via the 24/7 Live Chat or by phone. The broker offers phone lines for the UK (0800 195 3100), Australia (1800 601 799), New Zealand (0800 442 150), and many more. The international phone is +61 (3) 9860 1799. Clients can also send their queries at one of the several email addresses available – it is firstname.lastname@example.org for new clients from the UK, for instance.
IG is an excellent choice for novices and professionals who look for competitive pricing, a good variety of trading platforms, and tons of markets. It is one of the largest and most reputable CFD brokers right now, offering access to over 16,000 markets and providing its clients with the highest levels of online security. Overall, IG is among the best options for those who look for a safe, reliable, and accessible broker with good pricing and high-quality trading platforms.