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IG is an award-winning forex and CFD broker serving 310,000+ clients worldwide. This 2022 review covers everything from the firm’s spread betting and trading platforms to commissions, account fees and leverage opportunities. Find out what our experts thought of the IG Group.
IG Overview & History
Originally established in 1974 and formerly IG Index, the company rebranded and is now owned and operated by IG Markets Ltd. The UK-based online brokerage is best known for its CFD trading and financial spread betting services, although in 2014, it also added stockbroking to its list of investing solutions.
In 2000, IG was listed on the London Stock Exchange under IG Group plc. Today, it is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index with offices in 20 countries and clients across five continents. Recent IG Group annual report shows that the company’s net worth is estimated at around £2.9 billion.
Brands under the IG Group Holdings umbrella also include Nadex and IG US, for USA clients. The IG Group also offers business and institutional solutions, plus white label services.
Note, IG operates under a market maker model.
While using IG Markets we found the company offers its own trading platform, as well as alternative third-party providers.
All platforms display market information like share charts, stock prices, margin factors, and working order level. However, other financials like the dividend date of stocks need to be looked up separately online.
Online Trading Platform
The IG Index board and CEO have made sure the proprietary terminal is high quality. As such, it has been recognized as a best in class terminal and has received praise from the industry, including in our own Awards.
The platform is available for spread betting and CFDs. The dashboard is user-friendly, allows for one-click trading, force open positions, deep-dive technical analysis, and comes with risk management tools.
Clients also get access to:
- Streaming Reuters news
- Economic calendar
- IG analyst articles
- Trading signals
Progressive Web App
IG Markets offers a progressive web app (PWA) that is accessible from any device and saves users from having to download software from a third-party app store.
The web-based platform offers an instant view of market prices and spreads while guaranteed stops and limits help keep a handle on profit and loss. The progressive web app is a solid, all-around alternative to the downloadable platform.
ProRealTime is a charting software integrated into IG’s Markets proprietary platform. It is excellent for traders looking to conduct advanced technical analysis, with over 100 volume and other indicators, plus a fully customizable user interface.
ProRealTime also allows for robot automated dealing on advanced charts. Users can build algorithms with the help of creation tools and backtest against 30 years of historical data. Alternatively, investors can use third-party strategies.
IG Index clients can also use the third-party platform – MetaTrader 4 (MT4). The MT4 system is suitable for investors of all experience levels, comes with 18 bespoke app add-ons such as IG Markets VPS, and can be used to trade forex, indices, commodities, and more. The terminal supports over 2,000 indicators including pivot points. It also allows the owner to execute one-click dealing and add trailing stops.
In addition, MT4 is available as a Chrome extension and Window app widget.
Free to download and use, L2 Dealer is a direct market access (DMA) share trading platform. The software has useful monitoring tools, including watchlists and price alerts. The L2 Dealer system also facilitates direct chart investing and comes with price-improvement technology.
Note, the broker does not currently have OCO orders, but it offers limit orders. Advanced tools for IG Markets Java and Python tech-savy investors also include REST and web API.
Customers of IG Index can access a wide array of over 18,000 tradeable assets:
- CFDs – available on multiple markets from equities and currencies to hard and soft commodities
- Shares – share dealing is available on 13,000+ of the world’s largest companies, such as Tesla, Ocado, Blackberry Ltd, and Netflix
- Commodities – 35 ETFs, precious metals, including gold and silver; plus energies, such as brent crude oil and natural gas; and softs like sugar
- Forex – a wide variety of FX pairs, including majors, minors, and exotics like EUR/JPY, USD/JPY, USD/GDP, EUR/CHF, EUR/GBP, GBP/EUR and GBP/USD
- Spread betting – a tax-free derivative, like 5-minute binaries, allows you to speculate on forex, commodities, shares, and more. You can even create Wall Street spread bets
- Indices – speculate on the world’s largest indices, including the US S&P 500, NASDAQ, Dow Jones, Germany’s DAX 40, Hang Seng, VIX index, plus the UK’s FTSE 100 as part of the UK Sectors selection
Also available to trade are bonds, call and put options, futures, interest rates, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH). IG Index also offers after-hours trading. Clients can invest in the DAX and FTSE on Sunday.
In addition, IG Smart Portfolios offer managed portfolios that provide a balance of income, growth and risk to suit each trader’s needs, and combine a diverse asset allocation to achieve that. These are ideal for investors with limited time to research and enter trades.
Note, our experts found that IG Index does not offer SPX, but it has the S&P 500, Malaysia 30, France 40, digital 100 binary options, Japanese markets – Nikkei, Canada Index ETF, Germany 30, Norway 25, Euro STOXX 50, and other assets like nickel.
Spreads & Fees
Spreads at IG Index are competitive, starting at 0.165 pips on major forex pairs, such as the EUR/USD. On major indices, such as the FTSE 100, spreads start at 1 point, and on spot gold, spreads from 0.3 pips are available.
There are other trading costs to factor in, starting with overnight rolling over charges. Details of rolling daily prices and rules are subject to change but are available on the broker’s website. An inactivity fee of £12 is also charged to dormant accounts.
The minimum lot size is 0.1 contracts.
IG offers leveraged trading on shares, indices and forex. For retail clients, 1:30 leverage is available on forex while leverage levels on indices and commodities are 1:20.
IG Markets is transparent about the margin call process and leveraged trading options. The website also has a useful margin calculator.
How To Trade On IG
It’s quick and easy to enter a trade on the IG platform:
- Select a market/asset to launch the deal ticket. This will display current buy and sell prices, along with the spread and minimum trade size
- Input your trade parameters, including currency and closing conditions. You can also view your margin levels.
- Head to ‘settings’ to enter force open plus price and fill requirements
- To set a position to open navigate to ‘order’
- To set a price alert head to the ‘alert’ tab
IG Index offers an award-winning mobile app for iPhone, iPad, plus an APK Android app for devices with an operating system of 5.0 or above.
Upon testing, our experts found that full trade management is possible from the mobile app, along with a range of drawing tools, plus an economic calendar and client sentiment indicators. Investors can also set up price alerts and signals by SMS and create personalized watchlists.
For any problems, customer support is available within the mobile app.
Making deposits is simple. Traders can deposit funds via cards (VISA, MasterCard, debit, credit), bank wire transfers, and PayPal. Card and PayPal payments are processed immediately while bank wire transfers can take up to three days.
The minimum deposit required is £250 while the maximum deposit per day is £99,999. With that said, there are no limits for bank transfers.
Withdrawals can be made via credit cards, bank transfer, and PayPal. In terms of how to withdraw funds, navigate to the ‘live accounts’ tab, and then select ‘withdraw’.
IG Index withdrawals to a card take between two and five working days. Withdrawals to PayPal are usually instant while bank transfers are often the same day if processed before midday, but may take up to three days, depending on bank processing details.
The minimum withdrawal is £100.
IG Demo Account
IG offers a free training account. The virtual account lets you test the platform under simulated market conditions. Once you have your desktop login details for the demo account, you can trade on multiple markets, including forex and CFDs, with £10,000 in virtual cash.
Beginners can start backtesting their investing strategies like hedging, learn how to use financial statements, find profitable equity options, implement a tiered margin system, edit positions, and understand how FTSE dividend payments work, among others.
Bonuses & Promotions
IG Index does offer the occasional welcome bonus. Sign-up offers have included free trading capital for making your first deposit.
Currently, there is a a refer a friend bonus scheme, which could see your account credited with £100 when the friend referred makes five qualifying trades.
Note, bonuses at IG Markets usually come with certain requirements around minimum deposits and maximum bet sizes, so check bonus terms and conditions first.
Regulation & Reputation
IG Markets Ltd is licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.
Also, for each regional office, the brokerage is licensed and registered in the country in which it operates. IG US, for example, is fully compliant in the United States.
As for IG’s reputation, it is excellent. The company has proven itself a top competitor for over 47 years – shaping the world of online trading as we know it today.
The brokerage has won numerous awards for its trading platforms, investing technology, outstanding customer support, and more. IG trading analysts are also regularly quoted in the news as a trusted source of market analysis.
Note, negative balance protection is available for investors from the UK and clients are covered up to £85,000 in case of broker insolvency.
IG Index customer reviews often point to the excellent suite of research tools, including an economic calendar, seminars (sometimes live in Geneva and Zurich), webinars, an economic calendar for the week ahead, a glossary of terms, video content, and much more. In addition, the broker offers a customizable screener for different assets, plus trading signals based on pattern recognition technology.
The news section was particularly useful for predicting IG Index live prices in the UK during the Bitcoin forking, the Swiss franc firming against other currencies, UK general elections, Brexit, the EU referendum, and other political events.
With a broker of this size, the IG client sentiment is also a powerful feature, even for contrarians. Finally, IG Markets supports DailyFX, a blog-based news website that provides trend insights, amongst other features.
Overall, traders have a wealth of learning resources to help increase revenues and minimize losses.
Note, Real Vision TV and Research services have now been discontinued.
IG Markets offers different retail trading accounts depending on the markets clients wish to trade:
- CFD trading account
- Share dealing account
- Spread betting account
- IG Smart Portfolio account
- Stocks and shares ISA account
- IG Smart ISA Portfolio account
Each account comes with full access to trading platforms, plus free market data, learning resources, and around-the-clock support.
IG Smart Portfolios offer traders a route into simplified managed funds. Just like with the other accounts, charges apply, so make sure you read the user agreement thoroughly.
There is also a professional VIP account that allows for greater levels of leverage in exchange for less regulatory protection. To qualify for a professional premium account, you must have placed 40 significantly leveraged trades per quarter for the last four quarters, have a portfolio exceeding £50,000, plus have a minimum of two years of professional derivatives trading experience. In addition, the broker also offers a limited risk account on request.
- Range of assets – There are over 18,000 assets to choose from, which makes this brokerage great for day traders who are just beginning as well as seasoned investors
- Established – IG is an LSE-listed company with a transparent financial history and a great deal of experience providing high-class trading services
- Education – The website home page offers various IG Index educational materials such as an extensive library of training and support on how to day trade successfully. This makes it an excellent broker for beginners
- Trading tools – Users have access to a comprehensive range of charts, market news, client sentiment data, and analysis tools. Investors also have access to an impressive range of technical indicators
However when we used IG, we did find a few drawbacks:
- Inactivity charge
- No live chat support
- No social copy trading platform
IG Index trading hours run 24 hours a day from 23:00 GMT Sunday (21:00 for forex) until 22:00 GMT on a Friday. For opening and closing times for markets that don’t operate around the clock, such as shares and indices, see the ‘market info’ tab in the deal ticket.
Opening hours are reduced over UK and US bank holidays. The broker is not open on Christmas (no Xmas trading hours available), New Year’s Day, and Easter Good Friday. Also, if these bank holidays fall on a Monday, IG may not open the Sunday night prior.
Note, IG has a good track record of keeping users up to date with any change to their trading hours on their website.
IG Index’s customer support team is available around the clock from 08:00 GMT Saturday to 22:00 GMT Friday.
You can contact the team if you want to know the IG Index slippage factor, verify your nationality or have any issues related to the app not working.
Help is available in multiple languages via:
- Email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone contact number – 0800 195 3100
- Twitter – @IGClientHelp
There is also excellent peer support accessible via the Community portal. Users will find forums, blogs, tutorial videos, and webinars. IG’s online trading community is among the most extensive we have seen, with help available on a whole host of issues, including if the website is down or if charts are not working/experience an outage. Information on how to close an account and key terms and conditions are explained too. There is also a clear complaints process to ensure users can get issues resolved properly.
Keep up with the latest IG news through the broker’s social media channels:
IG Index’s London headquarters (head office) address is Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London, United Kingdom, postcode EC4R 2YA.
Other IG Group locations include Hong Kong, Netherlands, Bermuda, South Africa, Singapore and Australia.
The company uses industry-standard security protocols to keep client information safe, including 256-bit SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption. There is also the option for two-factor authentication at the login stage.
Combined with robust regulatory oversight, we’re comfortable that IG is not a scam or rigged, but a secure, legitimate and trustworthy broker with great results.
The broker also complies with the procedures imposed by the Financial Ombudsman by having a complaints form on their website.
Is IG Index Best For Day Trading?
IG is certainly one of the best online brokers on the market. With over 18,000 assets, superb customer support, and a comprehensive suite of trading tools, the firm is an excellent option for both beginners and experienced traders.
When compared to its main competitors, IG Index vs FXCM, Saxo Bank, CMC Markets, ETX Capital, Plus500, and Interactive Brokers, in our IG Group Limited review, we have highlighted how the company differs from its competition through its low spreads and high-quality educational materials.
IG Group accepts traders from Australia, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Qatar and most other countries.
Traders can not use IG Group from Canada, Belgium.