FCA Money Protection:
£657.7 million (2020)
FCA (UК), CFTC, NFA (US)
Last Updated: June 8, 2021
FCA Money Protection:
£657.7 million (2020)
FCA (UК), CFTC, NFA (US)
Spread Betting (SB), CFD
0.10% (UK), 2 cents per share (US)
This IG review aims to evaluate the platform’s efficiency as a financial derivatives provider and its viability as a stock brokerage.
IG is one of the most popular UK-based trading platforms. Most consider it to be great for its vast array of tradable assets and low non-trading fees. On the flip side, many criticize it for the high forex and stock CFD fees.
Let’s put all the pros and cons on a scale and see how well IG fares against the competition.
Risk warning: Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
What Is IG?
Let’s start our IG.com review with a bit of history. Founded in 1974, IG was the world’s first spread betting firm. Today, it’s one of the top CFD (contract for differences) providers, counting 239,00 users from five continents.
One thing that separates IG from the rest of the top forex brokers is that it’s present on the US market. In fact, it’s rated as one of the best forex brokers for US traders. Yet, there’s only a CFD option for crypto trading, which is why it’s probably better to look for a crypto exchange elsewhere.
How to Use IG?
Before exploring IG markets and trading options, we should cover the basics, including the account registration process. Here are a couple of tips and pointers.
The key takeaways here are that there’s no setup fee nor an account minimum. The platform charges each trade depending on the spread, which is the main way it remains funded.
Apart from its live accounts, the platform also supports a demo option. This is a useful feature for newbies who want to gain some experience before risking real money or seasoned traders eager to try a particular strategy.
Before you can start IG trading, you need to state your full name, country of residence, email address, user name, and password. The platform will also ask you about your trading background. After providing all the information required, IG will verify your data. The process can take up to a couple of days.
How to start trading?
One of the strongest selling points of IG is the learning resources availability. The platform is also well-designed, and the interface is fully customizable. Thus, our IG review can easily label the platform as beginner-friendly. Some describe it as the CFD alternative to some of the best online stock brokers for beginners.
As we’ve already mentioned, there’s no minimum account requirement, so deposit whatever you’re willing to trade and get right into it. Keep in mind that there’s no withdrawal fee, and the inactivity fee is only charged after two years.
What can you trade?
There is a long list of available assets on this trading platform. The most common options include:
You should also bear in mind that IG US is accepted through the forex market. When taken into consideration just how strict and specific US forex law is, this too sounds like a huge accomplishment.
What tools are available?
The feature that deserves a special mention in our IG.com review is the trade analytics tool. Available to both demo and live account holders, this tool provides users with an overview of their trading history, creates a transparent summary of the total returns and all past fees. What is more, it identifies trading mistakes. This means that traders can use it for educational purposes. Also, the list of educational videos and materials, in general, is quite lengthy.
How does the platform work?
Before going through the steps, we should note that the IG broker can only be used during the hours when the market is active. This, nonetheless, is the case with every other day trading platform.
Placing a trade on IG is fairly simple. In the top right corner of the user interface (on default, since the interface itself is customizable) are three tabs — deal, order, and alert. On the deal tab, you see a graphical representation of the selected asset’s history.
At the top of the card that opens when you click on ‘deal,’ you have the ‘sell’ and ‘buy’ buttons, each with the asset’s current value below. There, you also have the option to set a stop order, as well as a couple of additional parameters. Lastly, once you’ve set the size, stop, and limit on order, all you need to do is click on the ‘place a deal’ button.
This is really all you need to do to use the IG.com trading platform. Still, before placing an order, it’s important to come up with a trading strategy. This is where all the learning tools that IG offers come in handy.
Spreads, commissions, and margins on IG depend on the region and the type of trade. Here are several examples:
- In the US, the commission is $0.02 per share
- The minimum charge for US traders is $15
- The margin required is 10% across all regions
- The commission per side from the UK and EU countries is 10%
- For AUD/USD, EUR/USD, GBP/USD, the value per pip is $10
- The minimum spread is between 0.6 and 0.9, depending on the tradable pair
- The minimum account deposit is $0
- There is no withdrawal fee on IG
Overall, the platform makes money from the IG spreads. Thus, forex and stock CFD trading is a bit more pricey than the industry standard. But the low non-trading fees somewhat make up for this. This is especially true if the volume of trades isn’t particularly high.
IG Mobile App
In terms of apps, IG offers a great mobile app and web-based trading platform. The mobile IG app is called MetaTrader 4 (MT4), and the customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The app is available on both iOS and Android. The mobile presence of IG is, therefore, widespread among speculative traders across the globe.
For personal computer users, MetaTrader 4 also offers apps for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. At the moment, the app is only available in English.
IG Customer Service
No IG review would be comprehensive without covering the platform’s customer support options and its reps’ helpfulness.
IG has an excellent automatic response and FAQ page system, which can help you resolve the most common issues.
Also, the trading platform has offices in all the major regions where its services are available. Support is available in multiple languages, and you can reach the assistance team via email and even social media.
In the UK, phone-based customer service is available 24 hours a day, toll-free. The working hours are from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 10 p.m. on Friday. The availability of phone-based customer service is available 24/5 in the US, as well. Despite its proclaimed functionality, users often describe IG’s customer support as slow.
To make this IG.com trading review complete, it’s vital to provide a decent reference point. Here are several IG alternatives for this purpose.
IG.com vs Forex.com
When comparing these two platforms’ credibility, it’s important to mention that IG is 25 years older than its counterpart and that it possesses more Tier-1 licenses (6 against 4). Both of these platforms offer cryptocurrency (CFD) trading. But IG forex seems more formidable than Forex.com, as it supports more trading pairs. Most importantly, Forex.com lacks social trading/copy-trading options, which are available on IG.com.
IG.com vs eToro
When compared to IG, eToro is a relatively new industry player. Namely, the company was founded in 2007. Another difference in credibility comes from the fact that IG.com is a publicly traded company, unlike eToro. IG as a forex broker offers more pairs than eToro (104 compared to 47). Still, when it comes to cryptocurrency trading, eToro offers physical and CFD options, while IG.com offers only CFD. In terms of funding, eToro supports Skrill, whereas IG doesn’t.
IG.com vs Trading212
Even though IG.com only charges inactivity fees after two years, Trading212 has no inactivity fees of any kind. Still, Trading212 doesn’t offer trading in commodities, and it has fewer stocks on the offer (CFD) than IG. This is where the IG index is clearly superior, with 8,000 offered stocks against Trading212’s 1,500. The biggest advantage of Trading212 is in the number of forex pairs available. It’s also worth mentioning that Trading212 has no social trading option.
IG.com is a beginner-friendly day trading platform with a long list of supported assets and low non-trading fees.
Most users, however, are interested in an IG forex review. Non-US-based brokers avoid the States due to the complex forex regulations, which is already enough to put IG.com ahead in this game. Moreover, not many platforms can compare to IG.com in terms of the number of tradable currencies. Unlike some of its competitors, IG.com also offers commodities. Overall, it’s a trading platform worth checking out.
Just bear in mind that CFDs involve high risk. Make sure you understand this trading strategy well and invest only as much money as you can afford to lose. It’s a good idea to give the IG demo account a try and gain some experience before beginning your live trading journey.
- Superior educational tools
- Accepts US-based clients
- Inactivity fee charged after two years
- No minimum deposit requirement
- Free withdrawal
- High CFD and forex fees
- High financing rate
- Slow customer service
- High stock CFD trading fees
How to trade on IG.com?
To trade on IG.com, you need to first open a market and its deal ticket. Then you enter a bet size, choose a currency, and define close conditions and net exposure. An important thing to note is that there is no minimum deposit required. You can start trading with whatever amount you want.
Is my money safe with IG?
According to all available evidence, all funds are safe with IG. The platform stores all money and assets in a segregated client bank. The platform is also regulated by the FCA, which gives it an additional layer of legitimacy and trustworthiness.
Is IG commission free?
IG trading isn’t free. Commissions depend on several factors, including the asset traded, the respective market, and the user’s region. The platform has no set-up, minimum deposit, and withdrawal fees, though.
Is IG share trading safe?
Yes, top-tier regulators oversee IG, making it a safe share trading option. The platform itself uses 256-bit SSL encryption, which is the industry standard amongst high-end trading platforms.
How to change leverage in IG.com USA?
The leverage factor is related to two things – bet size and margin amount. To increase the leverage, you should up the bet size to the point where the trade’s margin requirement is maxed out. And vice versa — if you lower the bet size to the platform minimum, the leverage will go down. As noted earlier in our IG review, spread bets and CFDs involve a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Keep this in mind when using the platform.