Ig.com Review Is IG Broker A Genuine Forex Company

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IG.com Review Visit site

Was at IGMarkets.com. Other websites of this company include IGForex.com, IGI ndex.co.uk.

About IG.com

IG is a forex broker. IG offers the WebTrader and MT4 trading currency platforms. IG.com offer over 100 forex currency pairs, cfds, commodities, stocks, index, gold, silver, oil, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for your personal investment and trading options.

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Broker Details

Minimum Trade Size: 0.01
Maximum Leverage: 200:1
Minimum to Open Live: $250
Established: 1974
Address: Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London, EC4R 2YA, United Kingdom
Contact: [email protected], (44) 207 896 0079
Regional offices:
Regulators: ASIC #AFSL 220440, FSCA #FSP 41393, DFSA #F001780, FCA #195355 / 114059, NFA #0509630
Prohibited countries:

Yes

Yes

Yes

Trading platforms: MT4, IG Web and Mobile Platform, ProRealTime
Web Trading:
Mobile Trading:
ECN:
Currencies: (105+)
Cryptocurrencies: (10+) Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum
CFD: (16000+) Gold, Silver, Stocks, Stock Indexes, Bonds, Bond Indexes, Oil, Other Commodities

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

EAs/Robots:
News Spike Trading:
Scalping:
MAM:
PAMM:
Deposit Methods: Bank Wire, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal
Withdrawal Methods: Bank Wire, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal

Live discussion

Join live discussion of IG.com on our forum

IG.com profile provided by IG Group, May 13, 2020

The world’s No.1 spread betting and CFD provider*

Our vision
We aim to be a global leader in retail trading and investments. With a strong focus on innovation and technology, we put client needs at the heart of everything we do. This enables us to empower informed, decisive, adventurous people to access opportunities in over 15,000 financial markets.

24-hour support
Our highly trained team is available 24 hours a day from 8am on Sunday until 10pm on Friday, and from 9am to 5pm on Saturday UK time.

Powerful technology
Our intuitive platforms and apps are built for speed and security. We offer a fully customisable award-winning web platform, natively designed mobile and tablet apps, as well as a range of advanced third-party tools.

A global leader in online trading
We are the world-leading provider of contracts for difference (CFDs) and financial spread betting, and the UK’s largest retail forex provider.* We also offer execution-only share dealing, along with fully managed investment portfolios. With over 40 years’ experience behind us, we’re perfectly placed to help you make the most of the markets. *Based on revenue excluding FX (from published financial statements, October 2020). Losses can exceed deposits.

IG Review 2020

Summary

Recommended for traders of any experience level looking for an easy-to-use trading platform

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IG was established in the UK in 1974 and is one of the biggest CFD brokers in the world. It is regulated by several bodies globally, including top-tier regulators like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG is considered safe because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials and is overseen by top-tier regulators.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% 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. CFDs are not provided for US clients. Forex trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

IG pros and cons

IG’s web trading platform is well designed, user-friendly and easy to customize. You will also find many useful educational tools to learn. Funding and withdrawing money is easy and there are multiple options.

On the other hand, IG’s trading fees are high for stock CFDs. The product portfolio is limited, in most countries IG offers only CFD and options trading. The phone support has poor quality too.

Pros Cons
• First-class web trading platform • High stock CFD fees
• Superb educational tools • Limited product portfolio
• Great deposit and withdrawal options • Poor phone support
IG main features and highlights
��️ Country of regulation UK, EU, Switzerland, US, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, UAE, Australia, New Zealand
�� Trading fees class Average
�� Inactivity fee charged Yes
�� Withdrawal fee amount $0
�� Minimum deposit $0
�� Time to open an account 1-3 days
�� Deposit with credit card Available
�� Depositing with electronic wallet Available
�� Number of base currencies supported 6
�� Demo account provided Yes
��️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Forex, Options, CFD, Crypto, Equities for UK clients, Robo-advisory service in the UK, IPOs

Gergely Korpos

Author of this review

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

IG review
Fees

IG has low fees for stock index CFD, while forex fees are average to low. There is no fee for withdrawal and the inactivity fee is charged only after 2 years. On the negative side, the stock CFD fees are high.

Pros Cons
• No withdrawal fee • Inactivity fee
• Low index CFD trading fees • High stock CFD fee
IG fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
S&P 500 CFD Low The fees are built into spread, 0.6 is the average spread cost.
Europe 50 CFD Low The fees are built into spread, 1.5 is the average spread cost.
EURUSD Average The fees are built into spread, 0.7 pips is the average spread cost.
Inactivity fee Low $12 per month after 2 years of inactivity

We ranked IG’s fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let’s go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of IG for each asset class.

We also compared IG’s fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, XTB and eToro. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of IG alternatives.

To have a clear overview of IG, let’s start with the trading fees.

IG trading fees

IG trading fees are average. The fee structure is transparent, you’ll easily find information on the website. There are different fee structures for different asset classes:

  • Trading commission for share CFDs, real shares and options
  • All-inclusivespreads for forex, stock index CFDs, commodity CFDs, bond CFDs and even crypto CFDs
  • Administration fee and spreads for Smart Portfolios

We know it’s hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compare brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We have chosen popular instruments within each asset class:

  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50
  • Stock CFDs: Apple and Vodafone
  • Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP

A typical trade means buying a leveraged position, holding it for one week and then selling. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stock index and stock CFDs and $20,000 for the forex transactions. The leverage we used is:

  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs
  • 5:1 for stock CFDs
  • 30:1 for forex

These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers. Let’s see the verdict for IG fees.

CFD fees

IG has mostly average CFD trading fees. Its fees are among the lowest when it comes to index CFD trading, but the stock CFD fees are high.

CFD fees for a $2,000 long position held for one week

IG XTB eToro
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.1 $2.0 $2.4
Europe 50 index CFD fee $1.6 $2.2 $2.7
Apple CFD fee $31.9 $17.9 $6.3
Vodafone CFD fee $25.7 $20.9

Forex fees

IG has average forex fees for EURUSD, GBPUSD and AUDUSD. EURCHF and EURGBP fees are low.

Forex benchmark fees of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week

IG XTB eToro
EURUSD benchmark fee $16.9 $15.0 $19.6
GBPUSD benchmark fee $15.1 $11.1 $16.2
AUDUSD benchmark fee $14.1 $10.0 $12.4
EURCHF benchmark fee $6.9 $6.6 $11.8
EURGBP benchmark fee $11.1 $9.9 $19.9

Real stock fees

IG provides real stocks only for some clients, such as residents of the UK or Australia.

Stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade

IG XTB eToro
US stock $15.0 $10.0 $0.0
UK stock $9.6 $10.0 $0.0
German stock $11.0 $8.8 $0.0

IG charges a commission for trading with real stocks:

IG stock trading fees
Market Commission per trade Minimum fee
UK – 0-2 trades (previous month) £8 £8
UK – 3+ trades (previous month) £3 £3
USA – any number of trades (previous month) with manual currency conversion $0.02 per share $15
USA – 0-2 trades (previous month) with instant currency conversion £10 £10
USA – 3+ trades (previous month) with instant currency conversion Free Free
Ireland
Germany
Netherlands
Belgium
Austria
0.10% €10
Australia 0.10% AUD 10

At IG, your charges depend on how much trades you have made in the previous months. For example, if you have traded UK trades more than three times before, your commissions per trade for UK shares will be £3 instead of £8.

Smart Portfolios

Smart Portfolios are available only for UK residents.

If you invest in IG’s Smart Portfolios, you will pay a ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ fee, consisting of several components: the cost of the underlying ETFs, the management fee and the spread costs:

IG Smart Portfolios fees
Total value of Smart Portfolio £0 – £50,000 £50,000 – £250,000 £250,000 and over
Average ETF costs Avg. 0.14% (range: 0.17-0.19%)
Management fees 0.65% 0.35% 0.10%
Estimated costs of spreads 0.07% 0.07% 0.07%
Total cost of ownership 0.86% 0.56% 0.31%

Options

IG’s options fees are low, although the contract sizes are also smaller compared to regular exchange-traded options.

Options trading is available only in the following countries: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden.

IG options trading fees
Market Commission per contract
GBP £0.1
USD $0.1
EUR €0.1

68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Non-trading fees

It charges no account, deposit, or withdrawal fees. There is also a low inactivity fee of $12 per month, charged after 2 years of inactivity.

IG non-trading fees

IG XTB eToro
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes No Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $25

IG review
Account opening

IG’s account opening is seamless and fully digital. There is no minimum deposit for bank transfers and a low, $300 minimum deposit for credit/debit cards and PayPal. On the other hand, account verification takes around 3 business days, which is slower than at some other brokers.

Pros Cons
• Fully digital • Slower account opening
• Low minimum deposit
• No minimum deposit for bank transfer

Can you open an account?

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68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

If you are from the US, you can use only IG’s forex trading, and not its CFD trading.

Minimum deposit

The required IG minimum deposit is $0 for bank transfers and $300 for credit/debit cards and PayPal.

Account types

The country of your residency determines which account type you can open. In most countries, you can trade only with forex, CFDs and options.

IG account types

Some small countries, like Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, etc.

Countries Products
All countries, except below Forex, CFD
Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden Forex, CFD, Options
Equity** , forex, CFD
USA Forex

*There are also tax-efficient accounts, such as ISA and SIPP.

**You will need to open a second account for stock trading.

How to open your account

IG has a straightforward and fully digital account opening process. The online registration takes only 5-10 minutes, but the account verification can take a bit longer. Our account was verified after 3 business days.

The 5 steps of IG account opening:

  1. Enter your name, email address, country of residence and select your account type.
  2. Provide some personal details, like your date of birth and address.
  3. Answer a few questions about your financial and employment status.
  4. Provide information about your financial knowledge and fill out a short test.
  5. Verify your ID and residency. You can upload a national ID, passport or driver’s license for verifying your ID. Utility bills and bank statements are accepted for residency verification.

IG review
Deposit and withdrawal

IG offers free and fast deposit and withdrawal. There are various options for funding your account, including traditional methods such as bank wire and credit card funding, as well as PayPal.

Pros Cons
• Credit/Debit card available None
• Free withdrawal
• No deposit fee

Account base currencies

At IG, you can choose from 6 base currencies. The available base currencies are USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, SGD, HKD . This currency selection is better than at IG competitors.

Base currencies at IG vs similar brokers

IG XTB eToro
Number of base currencies 6 4 1

When you open an account, you cannot select your account base currency. You can change the currency of your account only if you write an email to IG’s Customer Service. It would better if you could select your account base currency at the beginning of the account opening process.

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your account base currency, you don’t have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Deposit fees and options

IG charges no deposit fees. In addition to bank transfer, you can also deposit money via credit/debit cards and PayPal.

In case of bank card deposit, IG accepts:

  • Debit cards: Maestro, Visa, Electron, MasterCard
  • Credit cards: Visa, Mastercard
  • Major prepaid cards
IG deposit options
IG XTB eToro
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

IG withdrawal fees and options

IG doesn’t charge any withdrawal fee. This is a great offer, especially compared to eToro, where withdrawals carry a high, $25 fee.

IG withdrawal fees and options

IG XTB eToro
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes No Yes
Electronic wallets No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $25

How long does it take to withdraw money from IG? We tested the debit card withdrawal and it took 2 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from IG?

  1. Log in to your ‘My IG’ account.
  2. Select the account you wish to withdraw the money from.
  3. Click on the three dots menu on the right side.
  4. Go to ‘Withdraw Funds.’
  5. Select the withdrawal method you prefer.
  6. Enter the withdrawal amount.
  7. Initiate the withdrawal.

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IG review
Web trading platform

IG’s web trading platform is great for both beginners and professional traders. It is easy to use, has all the necessary functions and can be customized.

Pros Cons
• User-friendly None
• Clear fee report
• Two-step (safer) login
IG platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 5.0 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4.5 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop No

You can use IG’s trading platform or MetaTrader 4, a third-party trading platform. In this review, we tested IG’s own trading platform.

The web trading platform is available only in English.

Look and feel

The IG trading platform is one of the most intuitive and well-designed web trading platforms we have seen.

You can easily customize the trading platform. The flexible design allows you to move windows around and save layouts. You can create watchlists and there is also a one-click trading feature.

Login and security

You can easily set up two-step authentication. You have to download the ‘IG Authentication’ app on your mobile and activate the two-factor authentication.

Search functions

You can search for products in the sidebar on the left. It works as you would expect. You can also browse available investment options by typing manually or browsing through the asset class categories.

Placing orders

You can choose from many order types:

  • Market order
  • Limit order
  • Stop-loss order
  • Trailing stop order
  • Guaranteed stop order

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good ’til canceled (GTC)
  • Good ’til date (GTD)

Alerts and notifications

Alerts and notification are all available, they can be set if you go to ‘MyIG,’ then ‘Settings,’ and click on ‘Communication Preferences.’

You can choose from multiple alert and trade/deal notifications:

  • price alert (prices reach an important level)
  • indicator alert (technical tools reach an important level)
  • economic alert (big economic announcements)
  • automated or manual deal opening/closing
  • automated or manual position editing

Portfolio and fee reports

IG provides clear portfolio and fee reports. The main performance and status of your account is available on the dashboard of your live account. By opening the menu on the right, you can see the ‘History’ tab where you can check all the costs and returns on past trades.

Visit web platform page
68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IG review
Mobile trading platform

The IG mobile trading platform is easy to use and has great functionalities. On the down side, there is no two-step authentication.

Pros Cons
• User-friendly • No two-step (safer) login
• Good search function • No Touch/Face ID login
• Good variety of order types

You can use both IG’s own mobile trading platform and the MetaTrader 4 platform. They are available for both iOS and Android devices.

In this review, we tested IG’s own platform on an Android device.

The mobile platform is available only in English.

Look and feel

The IG mobile platform is very intuitive, similarly to the web trading platform. You can easily find all available features.

The design is OK, nothing great, and not as good as the web trading platform.

Login and security

You can use only a one-step login. A two-step login would be safer.

You can’t use fingerprint or Face ID authentication either. Providing this feature would be more convenient.

Search functions

The search functions are the same as at the web trading platform. When searching, the assets are categorized.

Placing orders

You can use the same order types and order time limits as the ones on the web trading platform.

Alerts and notifications

The mobile platform’s alerts function is not as extensive as the web trading platform’s. You can set only price alerts.

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68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IG review
Desktop trading platform

IG’s in-house developed trading platform has no desktop version. If you prefer a desktop-based platform, you can use only MetaTrader 4.

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68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IG review
Markets and products

At IG, most clients can only trade with CFDs, forex and options. There are literally thousands of CFDs available to trade. Residents in the UK and some other countries can also trade with real shares. Other popular assets, like mutual funds or bonds, are not available.

IG is primarily a CFD and forex broker. US clients can only trade with forex products.

You can also trade with stocks if you are from one of the few countries where this is provided, like the UK.

To learn more about CFDs, read our CFD trading tips.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% 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. CFDs are not provided for US clients. Forex trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

Whether you wish to trade CFDs of currency pairs, stock indices, stocks, ETFs, commodities, bonds, futures or cryptos, you will find an extraordinarily wide selection of products at IG. This stands out compared to the product range of its main competitors.

IG XTB eToro
Currency pairs (#) 95 49 47
Stock index CFDs (#) 68 42 13
Stock CFDs (#) 10,500 1,700 1,900
ETF CFDs (#) 1,900 103 145
Commodity CFDs (#) 47 18 6
Bond CFDs (#) 13 3
Cryptos (#) 8 25 17

You can’t change the default leverage level of the products. This is a drawback, as we believe this is an important factor you should be in control of.

Changing the leverage manually is a very useful feature when you want to lower the risk of your trade. For example, instead of trading with 5:1 leverage, only trade with 2:1 leverage in case of stock CFDs. Be careful with forex and CFD trading, since the pre-set leverage levels are high.

Real stocks and ETFs

You can trade with stocks if you are from:

  • UK
  • Ireland
  • Malta
  • Cyprus
  • Australia
  • Some smaller countries, like Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, etc.

IG gives you access to an average number of markets compared to other primarily CFD brokers.

IG XTB eToro
Stock markets (#) 8 17 16
ETFs (#) 2,000 170 145

Options

Options trading is available only in the following countries: Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden.

At IG you can trade with

  • equity index
  • forex and
  • commodity options.

The most popular equity indexes, forex pairs, and commodities are all available.

You can choose from two option types:

  • Vanilla options
  • Barrier options

68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IG Smart Portfolio

IG Smart Portfolio is available only in the UK. IG Smart Portfolios are iShares ETF portfolios managed by BlackRock. This is basically a robo-advisory service, e.g. automatically managed low-cost portfolios.

If you prefer to buy shares in IPOs, you can do it with IG. An IPO is an initial public offering, or stock market launch, where a company’s shares are sold to the general public for the first time.

There are two ways to participate in IPOs at IG:

  • IPO Grey Market – this allows you to open long/short positions before the IPO happens
  • After IPO – this allows you to place orders after the IPO happens

Turbo24

IG also offers an innovative product, called Turbo24. Currently, it is available for clients in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.

Turbo24s are exchange-traded products that can be traded 24/5.

When you place an order, you have to enter a knock-out level, which is the price level where your position will be liquidated. Selecting the knock-out level works like selecting your leverage because you have to fund your position up to the knock-out level. If you choose a lower knock-out level, you’ll use higher leverage, while a higher knock-out level means lower leverage.

Visit turbo24 trading

68% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IG Review

IG offers an excellent fit for both small traders and market professionals

Investopedia is committed to rigorous editorial standards to provide our readers with the best advice and recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we reviewed. Learn more about our methodology and review process.

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: Minimum of 0.6 pips for EUR/USD
  • Bestfor: Forex Trading

Disclosure

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Professional clients can lose more than they deposit. All trading involves risk.

IG Group was founded in 1974 and is currently ranked as the world’s top CFD provider. Their extensive product catalog and competitive fees aren’t surprising, given longstanding business operations and an excellent industry reputation. IG recently entered the U.S. market and will be competing with two other major players that are already solidly entrenched in the U.S.

IG currently ranks in the following category:

A well­ organized and easy-­to-­navigate website contains fully­ disclosed services and fees, unlike competitors who often hide the bad stuff in fine print. The broker is working hard to upgrade qualified retail clients to a professional designation that allows higher leverage and direct market access (DMA) to the forex interbank system.

Industry standard MetaTrader 4 (Windows and Mac)

Guaranteed stop losses

Thousands of markets

May incur exchange and subscription fees

Dormant account fees

Retail clients can’t trade forex on interbank

No copy/social trading platform

Trust

The broker is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K. and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia. U.K. traders have broker default protection up to GBP 50,000 through Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) but no additional insurance coverage is provided. Site encryption is average.

Client funds are segregated from company funds, reducing the potential for misuse, but the fine print says they can hold funds outside local jurisdictions, increasing risk in case of a bank default. They operate a counterparty dealing desk, raising conflict of interest issues, but higher-end clients can trade directly with the interbank system through a dedicated platform. They provide guaranteed stop-losses for an additional fee while negative balance protection is now mandated under ESMA rules.

Desktop Experience

IG offers an excellent variety of platform choices and API interfaces, starting with the industry standard MetaTrader 4. No MetaTrader 5 is available but clients can upgrade to the ProRealTime advanced charting platform for free as long as they meet modest monthly trading activity requirements. The web-­based IG Trading platform features basic risk management tools, including price alerts and stop-losses. It also streams Reuters news and ProRealTime charts, including the ability to split charts into multiple time frames.

Higher-end clients can attach their own software or a Bloomberg terminal through a well­-developed API interface. They can also trade CFD shares and forex through L2 Dealer, which provides direct market access (DMA) that bypasses IG’s dealing desk. Forex Direct service on that platform requires that clients have professional designation under ESMA rules. There’s no additional charge for this service other than exchange fees.

Mobile Experience

IG provides home­grown mobile apps for iOS and Android that can also be loaded on tablets. Basic features include customized watchlists, price alerts, and technical charting. The indicator list is comprehensive but omitted from the menu structure, reducing accessibility. The Trade menu lacks sophisticated conditional orders but clients can place trailing and guaranteed stop-losses. A useful signals “menu” features third-party buy and sell signals. All apps lack customization but they offer Face ID and Touch ID security and are more advanced than the industry ­standard MT 4 mobile.

Research Tools and Insights

IG operates the DailyFX.com website, providing comprehensive news, research, and an educational portal with in-house analysts and hundreds of market topics that include intermediate technical and fundamental analysis. Real-­time news is produced in-house and covers major currency pairs. Multiple live webinars build trading skills, highlight key events, and identify news catalysts. A Trading Strategies section presents short-­term buy and sell signals, analyst picks, pivot points, and a host of technical data.

Education

The DailyFX Forex University is impressive, with course-based materials covering a comprehensive variety of forex and technical topics. The IG site has its own educational resources through IG Academy, covering CFDs and spread betting in addition to forex trading. The material is broader in nature but equally useful, with segmentation between beginner, intermediate, and advanced topics. Clients can also access courses and articles through the handy IG Academy mobile app. It’s odd that broker site integration with DailyFX.com is poor—except for the live seminar section, and it’s possible that prospective clients won’t realize this excellent resource exists.

Special Features

The IG Community site has active forums and numerous trade picks through forum entries and blog posts. @IGSquawk on Twitter contains over 18­ thousand tweets from IG dealers sharing news and client sentiment. There’s no dedicated or third-party social platform, unlike many competitors, and the broker site contains no client positioning data for CFDs, forex, or spread bets. However, IG Client Sentiment at DailyFX.Com provides useful forex positioning data, updated in real­-time. It would be beneficial to clients if this information was integrated into the broker site.

Guaranteed stop-losses are available for most markets, lowering catastrophic risk, but the order requires a modest fee in addition to spreads and/or commissions. The broker also offers a variety of professional and institutional services, well above the industry average. Professionals will appreciate direct market access (DMA) that bypasses the dealing desk while accounts at all levels can invest for the long term through IG Smart Portfolios, an account basket that includes savings and retirement programs as well as low­-fee ETFs.

Investment Products

IG has built a comprehensive catalog of shares, currency pairs, indices, and commodities. Fees for CFDs and spread bets are identical in most cases, but there are exceptions. Futures and options are available on many instruments and clients will never have a problem finding something to trade. Coverage includes exotic and minor currency pairs while many commodities can be traded through spot markets or futures contracts. Differences between CFDs and spread betting, including tax implications, are clearly documented.

£250 is the minimum account deposit. They offer an aggressive rebate program for large forex volume as well as volume discounts for U.K. share traders. Margin and overnight lending rates are competitive. Accounts get charged steep monthly fees after two years of inactivity. The broker offers no fixed spreads or trading account tiers through the main site, other than retail vs. professional designation, but IG Smart Portfolios and a dedicated institutional site round out an impressive account listing.

They now offer six cryptocurrencies, traded as spread bets or CFDs, but Bitcoin’s high 40­-point spread could deter potential clients.

Commissions and Fees

Commissions, spreads, and fees are very competitive, with the EUR/USD average spread at 0.75 pips. They charge higher spreads on shares and indices during off-market hours and placing trades in those dead periods can be expensive. For example, the fee for a U.S. ­500 spread bet rises from 0.4 points during U.S. market hours to 0.9 points after the CME and NYSE close. This is partially offset by a minor 0.4­ point guaranteed stop-loss premium that doesn’t fluctuate during the market day.

Customer Support

IG customer service is available through a toll-free (U.K.) phone number from 8 a.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Friday. Both prospective and active clients can talk to a company representative through live chat that’s available 24 hours per day. Three random contacts with this service were promptly answered. E­mail, social media, and a comprehensive FAQ round out above average contact options. If all else fails, a well-­documented customer complaint procedure should assist in grievance resolution.

What You Need to Know

IG offers an excellent fit for both small traders and market professionals, with competitive spreads, thousands of trading instruments, and a state-­of-­the-­art news, research, and educational portal. Clients can choose from an impressive variety of platform choices and easily upgrade as their accounts build equity. Despite major positives, client profitability rates need to be watched because recent data places the broker slightly below industry average.

Compare IG

Those interested in forex trading can find an excellent solution with IG. See how they compare against other online brokers we reviewed.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of six months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting over 3,000 data points that we weighed into our star scoring system.

In addition, every broker we surveyed was required to fill out a 320-point survey about all aspects of their platform that we used in our testing. Many of the online brokers we evaluated provided us with in-person demonstrations of their platforms at our offices.

Our team of industry experts, led by Theresa W. Carey, conducted our reviews and developed this best-in-industry methodology for ranking online investing platforms for users at all levels. Click here to read our full methodology.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
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