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)|
|FCA, CySEC, ASIC, FSCA, FSA, MAS||FCA|
Type of Broker:
|Market Maker||Market Maker|
U.S. Clients Allowed:
|EU - 1:30/ASIC - 1:300||1:30|
Commissions / Spreads:
76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Features and Platforms
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.
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.
|Type of Platform:||Proprietary trading platform||Proprietary trading platform, MT4, L2 Dealer|
Guaranteed Stop Loss:
Interest on Margin:
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.
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.
IG Markets carries numerous trading costs but is transparent about them.
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.
IG Markets represents an example of a well-regulated and properly executed global brokerage.
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.
Which is the more reliable broker?
Plus500 has a regulatory fine from the FCA in its books and misled investors about its exposure to client portfolios. It does implement a reliable technology infrastructure, and since launching in 2008, Plus500 established a trustworthy relationship that led to a public listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2018. IG Markets, a leader in the brokerage industry since 1974, maintains an excellent regulatory track record, deploys superior technology, granting it an edge over Plus500.
Does Plus500 or IG Markets offer lower pricing?
Both brokers offer a minimum spread of 0.6 pips on the EUR/USD. While Plus500 ads commission-free CFD trading, IG Markets charges a commission of 0.10% or $0.02 per share, depending on the asset, but the mark-up is lower compared to Plus500. IG Markets has more fees given its significantly broader product and services portfolio, but not all fees apply to all traders. While it is possible to achieve a lower pricing environment over Plus500, it differs on an asset by asset basis, while Plus500 maintains an edge.
Which trading platform is better: Plus500 or IG Markets?
Plus500 cannot compete with IG Markets in trading platform choices and quality. It only allows traders its sub-standard proprietary trading platform, which lacks core features. IG Markets provides clients with an excellent choice consisting of an advanced proprietary trading platform, MT4, ProRealTime, and L2 Dealer, its dedicated DMA alternative.
How many Forex pairs and CFDs are available to trade?
Plus500 offers Forex traders 60 currency pairs, which is bested by 80 Forex pairs available at IG Markets. The overall asset selection of more than 2,000 CFDs remains excellent for most traders, but it is no match for more than 17,000 granted at IG Markets.