Plus500 vs IG Markets

In this article, we will compare two brokers. The first, Plus500, has been in operation since 2008 and is currently headquartered in Israel; it touts commission-free trading as its major selling point. The second broker is IG Markets, a UK-based powerhouse in operation since 1974. The former has over 200,000 traders and offers more than 2,000 assets; on the negative side, it unfortunately lacks a research and education component. The vast majority of Plus500's retail traders, 76.4%% to be precise, manage a losing portfolio. The latter established itself as a trusted broker and a prime choice; it offers its clients over 17,000 assets across eleven sectors and has a research and education component that well complements this broker's core trading environment. 76.0% of its retail traders operate their portfolio at a loss.

In this Plus500 vs IG Markets guide, we cover what you should know about each platform to help you make an informed decision on which is best for you. We take a look at:

Feature Plus500 (visit site) IG Markets (visit site)
Headquarter: Israel UK
Regulation :
FCA, CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FSA, MAS FCA
Type of Broker:
Market Maker Market Maker
U.S. Clients Allowed:
Minimum Deposit:
£100 $250
Maximum Leverage:
EU - 1:30/ASIC - 1:300 1:30
Commissions / Spreads:
Spreads commission, Spreads
Account 1:
CFD CFD
Account 2:
Professional Professional
Account 3:
Share Dealing
Account 4:
ISA/SIPP
Demo Account:
Islamic Account:
Segregated Account:
Managed Accounts:
Institutional Accounts:
Website Languages:
  • English
  • 31+
  • English
  • 11+
Support Hours:
24/7 24/5
E-mail Support:
SMS Support:
Chat:
Broker Offers:
76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Features and Platforms

Plus500

This broker makes the claim that its founding team has a background in technology; unfortunately, that technological background fails to be apparent in the proprietary trading platform. Essential features are missing, and automated trading is not supported. Because it is the sole option available, clients manage their portfolios at a distinct disadvantage. The shortfalls explain the absence of a proper introduction for a sub-standard trading platform, available as a desktop version, webtrader, or mobile version.

Diminishing the appeal of Plus500 further, in particular as it applies to new retail traders (which represent the core market for this broker), is the lack of research and education. While isolated articles are available, proper educational content is unavailable. This broker opted to focus on the core trading environment, where it only succeeded in providing below-average service. Plus500 does have an excellent marketing team, clearly the primary asset of Plus500, as evident in this broker's growth and popularity among new traders with a preference to trade from mobile devices.

Plus500 has an excellent marketing team but that is not an accurate metric for a successful brokerage.

marketing team at Plus500

IG Markets

The proprietary trading platform is available as a webtrader or mobile version. It is packed with an extensive charting package that includes analytics, alerts, signals, and IG Live. ProRealTime, an automated trading tool, integrates fully with the webtrader. The MT4 trading platform is additionally provided, enhanced by 18 custom indicators, and Autochartist. Share dealing is available though the L2 Dealer. A VPS service complements the extensive support for automated trading solutions, alongside several APIs.

A more traditional approach to trading is available in the IG Smart Portfolios, a managed portfolio service. Excellent in-house research provides a valuable service to manual traders seeking new trading ideas. The IG Academy caters to new traders with quality content, while podcasts enhance auxiliary trading services. IG Markets serves traders across the financial spectrum with a very competitive offering.

IG Markets offers clients a highly competitive product and services portfolio.

competitive services at IG Markets

Feature Plus500 IG Markets
Type of Platform: Proprietary trading platform Proprietary trading platform, MT4, L2 Dealer
Platform Languages:
  • English
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
  • English
OS Compatibility:
  • Windows
  • Mobile
  • Web
  • Mobile
  • Web
Trading Signals:
Charting Package:
Market Analysis:
Chart Trading:
Automated Trading:
Scalping:
Hedging:
Mobile Alerts:
Trailing Stops:
Guaranteed Stop Loss:
One-click Execution:
Interest on Margin:
Web-based Trading:
Mobile Trading:

Available Markets

Plus500 provides over 2,000 CFDs across seven categories. It provides its clients with an acceptable choice from among 60 currency pairs, 43 commodities, and 14 cryptocurrencies. Passive investing is introduced via 189 ETFs, while the overall selection allows traders good cross-asset diversification. IG Markets maintains over 17,000 assets across nine classes for notably broader market coverage. With 80 currency pairs, 27 commodities, and eight cryptocurrency pairs, traders have ample trading opportunities. Equity exposure consists of more than 12,000 equity and index CFDs across 26 markets. Bonds, options, and ETFs complete the outstanding asset selection.

Feature Plus500 IG Markets
ETFs:
CFDs:
Commodities:
Metals:
Stocks:
Oil:
Gold:
Binary Options:
Indices:
Cryptocurrencies:

Typical Spreads and Fees

Plus500 lists the EUR/USD with a spread of 0.6 pips, which is below the 0.75 pips at IG Markets. The former advertises commission-free equity CFD trading, but spreads are generally higher. The latter levies a commission of 0.10% per side with a £10/€10 minimum for UK and EU CFDs, while US CFDs are charged $0.02 per share but no less than $15 per deal ticket. Phone trading carries an additional fee of £15/€25/$25. Both brokers are market makers, profiting from trading losses of clients where they act as the counterparty.

While swap rates on leveraged overnight positions apply, reports indicate more excessive charges at Plus500. Both brokers pass corporate actions, such as dividends and mergers, on to clients’ portfolios. Third-party processing fees exist, with internal costs generally waived. Plus500 levies a monthly inactivity fee of $10 and a 0.3% currency conversion cost. IG Markets has a number of additional fees but remains fully transparent about them. These fees include charges for guaranteed stop orders, direct market access (DMA), live price data feeds, a £30 monthly fee for ProRealTime Charts, a £12 monthly inactivity fee, a £50 account documentation fee, and a 0.50% currency conversion charge.

Plus500 offers commission-free trading; its revenue stream is subsidized with higher spreads.

commission free trading at Plus500

IG Markets carries numerous trading costs but is transparent about them.

trading costs disclosed IG markets

Security and Trust

Plus500 and IG Markets are primarily regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Traders are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), up to a maximum of £85,000 in the event of default, while accounts are fully segregated. Both maintain a listing on the London Stock Exchange, with IG Markets being a constituent of the FTSE250. Plus500 has an additional five regulators providing oversight in select jurisdictions.

In 2012, the FCA fined Plus500 for inaccurate transaction reporting. It was also determined that the broker misled investors and did not accurately disclose its exposure to client portfolios. The 2017 annual report to shareholders confirmed there were no profits or losses from client trading activity between 2015 and 2017. A February 2019 revision of the annual report uncovered a $103 million loss for 2017.

IG Markets is a signatory of the FX Global Code of Conduct and established itself as a trustworthy brokerage with a clean regulatory track record. Traders may have complete confidence that they operate their portfolios in a secure trading environment.

Plus500 operates under a well-regulated environment, but the FCA levied a fine in 2012. They also mislead investors about its exposure to client portfolios.

risk disclosure at Plus500

IG Markets represents an example of a well-regulated and properly executed global brokerage.

well regulated trustworthy IG Markets

Plus500 vs IG Markets – Verdict

Plus500 focuses on core services, where it execution is below average. The absence of a proper trading platform, lack of support for automated trading solutions, and an unacceptable collection of marketing-inspired educational content are notable. Research is not offered. This brokerage has a history of fines, deception, and dishonesty. On the plus side, the broker does provide clients with an acceptable asset selection.

IG Markets has a remarkable track record; it provides traders with access to over 17,000 assets from three distinct trading platforms, and offers sound research as well as education. While a regrettable list of trading costs is present, IG Markets remains fully transparent. Automated trading solutions and manual traders will find the proper combination of products and services at IG Markets.

The verdict is that clients across the financial spectrum will find a far superior portfolio at IG Markets, while Plus500 is distinctly inferior.

Read full Plus500 Review