Today we are going to talk about one of the most trustworthy and famous online brokerage services around the world: IG Markets.
In this review we are going to take a look at this top-tier DMA and CFD broker, and rate it at the same time, in order to understand its full potential. Founded in 1974, IG Markets is a publicly traded company and a well-regulated broker as we are going to discuss thoroughly in the next paragraph, with more than 240,000 traders worldwide.
IG: Is It Safe?
To consider a broker trustworthy, it has to be regulated by a financial regulatory body. In the IG case, its safety has been proven by many top-tier regulatory bodies worldwide.
As a matter of fact, IG has many companies across the world and each one of them is being regulated in order to protect their customers in their respective countries. These includes:
- IG Markets Ltd (UK): this company is regulated by the FCA (195355);
- IG Markets Australia: this company is regulated by ASIC (220440) and the New Zealand FMA (FSP18923);
- IG Markets South Africa Ltd: this company is regulated by FSCA (41393);
- IG US LLC: this company is regulated by the NFA (509630);
- IG Asia Pte Ltd (Singapore): this company is regulated by MAS (200510021K);
- IG Limited (UAE): this company is regulated by the DFSA (F001780);
- IG Securities Ltd (Japan): this company is regulated by the JFSA (255);
- IG Bank S.A. (Switzerland): this company is regulated by FINMA as a bank and a securities dealer;
- IG International Limited: this company is regulated by BMA Bermuda (54814).
Moreover, their safety involves also their customer money protection, which have been assured by plenty of protective measures, such as negative balance protection and segregated bank accounts.
Negative balance protection is very important for IG clients, because it enables an automatic block of your funds when your account balance is reaching $0, to prevent it reaching a negative balance. Segregated bank accounts, on the other hand, is a guarantee for the customer in the unlikely case of IG bankruptcy. In that case, liquidators would not be able to reach your funds because your funds and IG money are completely separated in top tier bank accounts. It means that only you, the trader, will be able to touch it.
Plus, there are some insurance protections for certain countries which will result in a consistent refund such as:
- For UK Traders: £85.000;
- For EU Traders: €20.000;
- For Swiss Traders: CHF 100.000.
Remember that in some countries such as Japan, New Zealand, UK and the US you must choose the IG company regulated for your country.
IG accepts customers from over 150 countries but there are some exceptions. As of today, IG does not accept customers based in:
Central African Republic
DR of the Congo
|Wallis and Futuna|
IG: Markets & Assets
IG gives you a vast range of markets and assets where you can safely invest your money depending on which IG entity you choose to sign-up. IG main offer includes:
- Total CFDs: 19,500+
- Total FX pairs: 104
- Shares: CFDs on 17,000+ shares
- Indices: such as FTSE 100, US 500, US Tech 100, Germany 30;
- Cryptocurrencies: CFDs in cryptos such as BTC, ETH, LTC;
- Commodities: wide range of hard and soft commodities such as iron, copper, lead, zinc, nickel or cobalt;
- Interest Rates;
ATTENTION! If you are interested in possessing a cryptocurrency such as bitcoins or ethers, remember that you cannot buy this kind of underlying asset with IG, but only trade cryptocurrencies via CFDs.
IG: Accounts Types & Fees
If you decide to invest in IG, you will have access to more than a variety of accounts and offers which will fit any trading style and technique available in your country. Let’s take a deep insight on each one of these accounts in order to understand their peculiar features.
Prelude: How To Open an IG Account
Opening an IG account is a fully digital process which can be made with very little effort. Minimum deposits are not required for bank transfers, while for credit cards, debit cards and PayPal you will need a €300 minimum deposit.
Online registrations take from 5 to 10 minutes to be completed, while account verification is a little bit slower compared to competitors and takes around 3 business days.
In order to open an account you will have to:
- Enter your: name, email, county of residence, account type.
- Provide your personal details like address and birthdate.
- Provide answers regarding your financial status.
- Provide information regarding your financial knowledge via a short test.
- Provide a proof of identity and verify your ID via: passport (preferred), national ID or driver’s licence.
- Provide a proof of residency and verify it via: bank statements (preferred), utility bills and so on.
This is the perfect choice for trader wannabes who do not want to feel obligated to open a real account to try the IG trading experience. And that is also true for those discouraged traders who want to switch brokers but are not ready to commit to a new one.
The demo account works with a starting balance of $20,000 in virtual cash with the IG Platform and 17,000 markets where you can invest and try your trading strategies without worrying too much about the financial return of your actions.
On the other hand, if you are interested in testing MetaTrader4 and the usage of expert advisors, you can test it out with an IG demo account with a $10,000 virtual balance and more than 80 markets.
IG demo account doesn’t have any limit and does not expire, so you can use it to practice as long as you want.
IG Trading Account
This is the standard choice that everyone makes once they decide to start their financial journey with IG markets. To open it, you will have to make a minimum deposit of $250, which is quite affordable by today’s standards, especially if compared to other brokerage services.
With this account you will have the possibility of investing in more than 17,000 markets and a very competitive spread of 0.6 pips for the FX market. Remember that if you are a UK trader or EU trader, you will have a negative balance protection active on your account.
IG Limited Risk Account
This account is quite similar to the aforementioned account, with the same features including a vast range of low-risk markets and the possibility of using stop loss. The main difference stands for those traders which are not based in the EU or UK will be enhanced with a negative balance protection for their accounts.
This account is available for all international traders but US residents.
IG Spread Betting Account
Starting from the 17,000 assets available with IG Markets, you can spread betting of the Forex market with a competitive:
- 6 pips for Forex markets;
- 3 pips (and up) on commodities;
- 1 pips for other markets.
Plus, you can also have the chance of using leverage up to 30:1 to maximize your profits (or losses, if you’re not careful).
This is a trading account available for UK and Irish residents only.
IG Options Trading Account
This account will enable you to choose option types to trade with such as vanilla options and barrier options available on commodities, indices and FX.
IG Options trading account is available for EU residents only.
IG Turbo24 Trading Account
This account enables you to trade through a turbo warrant, a feature based on physical assets which is available only for traders based in:
IG Share Dealing Account
This is a stockbroking account type which will allow you to trade on stocks starting from a convenient $3 commission on trades over more than 10,000 shares.
This account is available for Australian residents only and will allow them to trade in UK/US shares with CFDs.
IG Markets Swap-Free Account (aka Islamic Account)
IG Markets offers a swap-free account compliant with Sharia law available for those traders registered under the UAE Dubai based IG entity.
IG Markets Professional Account
To open this account you must be an EU or UK resident and meet two (at least) of the following requirements to be elect as a pro-trader, which means to have:
- An average of 10 significant size transactions completed per quarter in the past year;
- A €500,000+ financial instrument portfolio;
- A relevant financial experience such as working at least for one year in the sector on derivatives trading and so on.
If you meet two of the aforementioned conditions, you will become an IG pro-trader and have access to Digital100 binary options and to a 222:1 leverage for FX trading.
ATTENTION! This account does not offer a negative balance protection for obvious reasons.
IG: Platforms Available and Financial Tools
IG has a vast selection of trading platforms from which we can choose from, plus many interesting financial tools and features.
IG Markets Webtrader
IG Markets Webtrader is a proprietary web-based platform which includes an incredible vast selection of features . These include many charts that can be opened and viewed next to any bid/ask rates or live market prices. There are 5 default charts which feature 30 optional studies and many more advanced functionalities such as alerts on one of the indicators available and much more. Trading tools will enable you to do in-depth analysis with more than 28 indicators, including Bollinger Bands, MACD and RSI, plus 19 drawings.
With all that being said, this is a quite appealing and easy-going trading platform provided by the brokers and it is indicated for every kind of trader regardless of their entry-level.
This ever-green trading platform is still one of the best options as a 3rd party platform to choose from today and it is well trusted and renowned among the trader community.
This platform allows you to trade in many markets including commodities, indices and Forex in many customizable ways while still being quite user-friendly. MT4 is also famous for letting you use their expert advisors, which are trading programs written in MetaQuotes language (MQL4) and are used to monitor and trade financial markets thanks to the use of advanced algorithms.
MT4 trading platform is available for both MAC and Windows, though you cannot use MT4 webtrader with an IG trading account.
IG Markets L2 Dealer
Designed precisely for stockbroking purposes, L2 Dealer platform also provides many assets to trade with it. Add-on premium services can be bought as well, but you cannot use any form of automated trading or the web-trader version.
IG Markets ProRealTime Platform
Available via webtrader only, this service offers you an advanced chart analysis software enhanced with +100 indicators and many automated strategies available. Traders can also build algorithms using assisted creation tools, or code them from scratch as they prefer.
IG Markets Mobile App
Last but not least, there is the proprietary trading platform for mobile empowered by IG tech available for both Android and IOS. It works exactly as the webtrader platform and it also has its same functions, with some useful additional features such as its famous autochartist feature.
Despite the fact of being an award-winning app though, there are still some concerns regarding the difficulty of using this app for newcomers. This app may seem difficult to use at a first glance for newbie traders and this may scare them, plus we noticed that they are still charging an entry-level fee when buying stocks.
IG Markets: Educational Features and the IG Academy
IG Markets really shines when we speak about its education tools, which are way superior to any other broker analysed until now.
All of those tools are gathered in the IG Academy, a place where beginners will be able to jumpstart in the trading world, while old-timers traders will find many features useful to enrich their investing strategies.
In the IG academy you will find:
- Step-by-step courses;
- Live sessions;
- Tutorial & Educational Videos;
- Interactive Exercises;
Additionally, there is also the chance of using a mobile app to have access to IG Academy whenever and wherever you want.
IG Markets: To Conclude21
IG Markets have shown to be one of the biggest and most relevant brokers active today, with a solid trader base on an international scale.
Despite the fact of having a not-friendly user trading app, there are many trading platforms to choose from and even more educational tools to use in order to achieve a greater trading knowledge. As a matter of fact, nobody can compete with the IG Academy and its educational materials.
The bad news arrives when we speak about CFDs/stocks fees, which are higher if compared to those offered by other brokers, and product portfolios may change enormously from country to country, with most countries limited to CFDs, options and FX.
With all that being said, in our opinion IG Markets remains one of the best, well-rounded regulated brokers available where you can invest your money, and it is definitely worth a try.