IG Markets Review

Review

Based on June 2019 figures and on revenue (excluding Forex), IG Markets is the world’s premier CFD and spread betting broker. IG has operated out of the UK since its founding in 1974 and currently serves over 178,000 clients across the globe. It offers four trading platforms from which over 17,000 assets, across eleven categories are available for trade. This broker caters to retail traders, professional clients, and institutional firms. It also offers managed accounts. IG Markets, a component of the FTSE250 (which confirms its fiscal stability), is a signatory of the FX Global Code of Conduct and thus has established itself as a trustworthy brokerage. We were delighted to find during our IG Markets review that this respected broker is one of the only brokerages that can accept traders in the United States, and we were impressed to see that their offerings are highly competitive across the globe.

IG Markets Homepage

IG Markets Highlights
🗺️ Headquarter UK
⚖️ Regulations FCA
💰 Type of broker Market Maker
💰 Minimum Deposit $250
💰 Maximum Leverage N/A
📊 Type of platform MetaTrader 4, Proprietary platform, Web-based, Other
💳 Deposit with credit card Yes
👛 Depositing with wire transfer yes
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Instruments traded ETFs, CFDs, Commodities, Metals, Stocks, Oil, Gold, Indices
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Features

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) provides the regulatory framework for IG Markets LTD and IG Index. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects deposits up to a maximum of £85,000. As outlined in the Client Assets Sourcebook (CASS), client funds are fully segregated from corporate funds. IG Markets is fully compliant with its regulator and operates as a transparent, trustworthy brokerage.

IG Markets LTD is authorized and fully regulated by the FCA.

IG Markets FCA regulation

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IG Markets Fees

This broker derives the majority of its income from mark-ups and commissions on over 17,000 assets. The EUR/USD displays an average cost of 0.75 pips, pricing it in the middle of the market. Overall, IG spreads are neither cheap nor expensive. Commissions for equity CFDs in the UK and the EU are 0.10% per side, with a £10/€10 minimum, while US charges are $0.02 per share but no less than $15. Trades settled over the phone bear a fee of at least £15/€25/$25. IG trading fees for equities remain competitively priced, complementing the excellent trading environment. Trading costs have a direct impact on the profitability of any strategy, but the IG fees are acceptable and strike a fair balance.

Guaranteed stop premiums are charged an additional 0.30% fee for equity CFDs, and an additional 1.2 pips mark-up in the EUR/USD. While each asset comes packed with extra charges, to give credit where due, IG Markets is fully transparent about them. Overnight financing costs may be obtained directly from inside the trading platforms. Additional charges include a direct market access (DMA) fee for select assets, costs related to live price data feeds, ProRealTime Charts of £30 per month, an inactivity fee of £12 per month, a £50 account documentation fee (where applicable), and a 0.50% currency conversion fee. Traders should read and understand all IG fees to avoid confusion, but they are well explained and straightforward.

IG Markets properly explains overnight swap charges with examples.

IG Markets overnight swaps

Guaranteed stop premiums carry comparatively excessive mark-ups.

IG Markets swap premiums

Additional charges may apply, but this broker is transparent about all extra costs.

IG Markets extra services and charges

Per its website, IG Markets does not profit from client losses.

IG Markets business model declaration

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What Can I Trade

Asset selection at IG Markets is excellent, with over 17,000 assets across eleven categories. Pure Forex traders have access to over 80 currency pairs, and 27 commodities provide outstanding diversification opportunities. Eight cryptocurrency pairs and the Crypto 10 Index grant an entry-level introduction to this emerging sector. With over 12,000 equity CFDs and Index CFDs across 26 markets, traders have access to a wide range of trading opportunities. More markets like Bonds, Options, and ETFs complement the outstanding offerings.

The asset selection at IG Markets is outstanding.

IG Markets asset selection

Besides core markets, this broker offers a wide range of additional assets.

IG Markets other market opportunities

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Account Types

Most traders will manage their portfolios from the CFD account type. UK-based clients have the option of a tax-free spread betting account. The minimum deposit for either account type is £250 or a currency equivalent. IG Markets additionally offers more traditional non-leveraged products like share dealing, IG Smart Portfolios, ISAs, and SIPPs. The availability of account types is dependent upon geographical location, and traders may request an upgrade to professional status. Leverage differs based on asset and account classification.

CFD accounts are the most widely utilized account type.

IG Markets account type

IG Markets also offers traditional products to its traders.

IG Markets traditional products

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IG Markets Trading Platforms

IG Markets focuses on its proprietary webtrader, which is also available as a mobile version and represents the best IG platform for CFD traders. It is fully customizable, provides a very clean and informative deal ticket, and comes equipped with an extensive charting package. IG Live, this broker’s streaming market coverage, is available together with analytics, alerts, and signals. Over 86 million trades were executed in 2019 with an average speed of 0.014 seconds. ProRealTime fully integrates with the webtrader and enables professional traders to automate their trading strategies. It facilitates market analysis with over 100 indicators and presents additional custom indicators. IG Markets claims to be the only UK based broker to offer ProRealTime, and this charting tool is an outstanding enhancement to the IG platform for CFD trading at this broker.

This broker also supports the retail favorite MT4 trading platform. It allows full automation of trading strategies, and IG Markets provides a range of add-ons which are generally required to unload the full functionality of this trading platform. Traders may take advantage of 18 unique indicators beside Autochartist. The L2 Dealer, the IG platform that handles direct market access (DMA) trading, may come at an additional cost for live price feeds. It features improved liquidity and pricing, professional order control, and enhanced trading technology. This broker has done an outstanding job of delivering three distinct trading portals and features one of the best trading platforms UK selections.

IG Client Sentiment

Besides an excellent choice in trading platforms, IG Markets offers clients its IG Client Sentiment Indicator. It displays the long and short positions from IG traders across assets, and it can provide valuable insight into pending trend changes if traders understand how to interpret it. As with most indicators, knowing what they identify about an asset and how to use that information as part of a well-developed trading strategy remains the difference between profits and losses. While the IG sentiment indicator as a stand-alone analysis tool may not deliver results, it can help traders spot divergences between the existing trend and client positioning, which often leads to directional changes in price action.

For example, if the asset is in a corrective phase, but clients start building long positions, it may suggest that a trend reversal is pending. Another example would be a rise in net short trades while the asset extends to the upside. It is important to remember that most of the sentiment data consists of retail activity, which does not guarantee quality data. Therefore, the IG Client Sentiment may also serve as a contrarian indicator. When retail traders are net-long, selling the asset could be a profitable trade. Likewise, when retail is net short, looking to buy positions offers another approach to markets.

It is up to the individual to decide if and how they want to use the IG sentiment indicator, but IG Markets provides it, which can become part of an existing trading strategy. It may assist in narrowing down the list of assets, and given the over 17,000 available at IG Markets, any tool is welcome. Always make sure to not act based on any one indicator or trading signals, but use several non-overlapping ones, like two that identify overbought or oversold conditions, in conjunction to determine your next trade.

The proprietary webtrader is where most traders will manage their portfolios.

IG Markets proprietary webtrader

The ProRealTime upgrade unlocks more advanced features.

IG Markets ProRealTime

An upgraded MT4 trading platform provides an excellent trading experience.

IG Markets Meta Trader 4

Traders may use the L2 Dealer for DMA trading.

IG Markets Dedicated DMA

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Unique Features

Transforming the MT4 trading platform into a powerful trading platform is 18 add-ons that were developed by IG Markets. Without the add-ons, the MT4 would otherwise represent a sub-standard offering. Further supporting automated trading is the VPS service provided in partnership with Beeks. The monthly cost of £50 is excessive, however, placing it out of range for most retail traders. IG Markets does offer it at no charge if the trader's account balance exceeds £5,000.

Adding more value to manual traders is Autochartist, which integrates with the MT4 trading platform. It is an automated chart recognition tool, scanning for trading opportunities, and sending alerts. It assists manual traders in the analytical process, providing them with a broader range of possibilities. IG Markets has gone above and beyond what most other brokers currently provide in order to ensure that its traders operate from a competitive trading environment.

APIs also support advanced trading solutions developed by institutional clients and FinTech companies to connect to IG Market. This broker heavily supports algorithmic trading across all platforms through various applications. Traders who prefer a more traditional approach can take advantage of IG Smart Portfolios, this broker’s managed portfolios.

Over 18 MT4 add-ons transform the trading platform from a sub-standard basic version to a powerful trading portal.

IG Markets MT4 Add Ons

The VPS service provided in partnership with Beeks supports automated trading, but the £50 monthly fee is excessive.

IG Markets VPS trading

Autochartist assists manual traders in their daily analytics.

IG Markets Autochartist

IG Markets provides APIs to allow advanced third-party trading solutions to connect and operate in the IG infrastructure.

IG Markets API trading

Algorithmic trading fulfills a critical role at IG Markets.

IG Markets Algorithim trading

IG Smart Portfolios leads a range of traditional brokerage services provided.

Invest with IG

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Research and Education

One of the things that most impressed us during this IG Markets review is the company’s research and educational offerings. IG Markets provides research under its news and trade ideas section. Several articles are published during each trading day, covering relevant topics and offering trade ideas to manual traders. This broker also provides IG trading signals directly from inside the trading platforms, divided into technical and fundamental categories. Trading alerts may also be created and sent via e-mail, SMS, or push notification. Traders can also sign-up for specific subscriptions or download reports. While algorithmic trading and automated solutions are the preferred approaches, IG Markets renders an excellent service to manual traders.

News and trade ideas feature several daily articles relevant to the trading day.

IG Markets News and trade ideas

IG trading signals are available directly inside the webtrader.

IG Markets examples of trading signals

Trading alerts are distributed via e-mail, SMS, or push notification.

IG Markets examples of trading alerts

Traders may additionally sign-up for subscriptions or download special reports.

IG Markets trading subscriptions

The IG Academy is the primary portal where this broker focuses on education. It features ten courses and live webinars of between 30 minutes and 60 minutes in length. The quality and attention to detail by IG Markets in its educational section is evident. Coverage of financial events and trading podcasts are equally available, giving new traders more working examples of how financial markets function. A multitude of articles discussing the most critical aspects of trading complements the IG Academy and its outstanding educational service, allowing new traders to enhance their knowledge base before managing their own portfolios in live markets.

New traders have access to a great approach to education at the IG Academy.

IG academy

Podcasts further enhance the quality of auxiliary trading services provided.

IG Markets Podcasts

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Customer Support

Clients have access to customer support 24/5 and may either call directly, send an e-mail, or use the webform. An extensive FAQ section answers the most basic questions, while an online forum is equally available. IG Markets is a well-managed brokerage where customer support is unlikely to be required but is easily accessible if an unexpected situation arises.

IG Markets Customer support

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IG Markets Bonuses and Promotions

IG Markets does not provide bonuses or offer special promotions.

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Opening an Account

An online application handles new account openings swiftly. New accounts require verification per regulatory requirements. A copy of the trader's ID, together with a proof of residency document, will satisfy AML/KYC requirements. The online form needs only a few minutes to complete and represents the standard operating procedure.

IG Markets account opening

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IG Markets Deposits and Withdrawals

Deposit and withdrawal options at IG Markets are limited to bank wires, credit/debit cards, and PayPal. The minimum deposit is £250 or a currency equivalent. While this broker does not levy charges for deposits and withdrawals, third-party fees are generally applicable. A limit of £20,000 every 24 hours is in place for card transactions. For security purposes, IG Markets may ask clients to verify their accounts and source of income. The name on the trading account must match that of the payment processor. This area, with only limited alternatives to funding, represents one of only a few weaknesses at IG Markets.

IG Minimum Deposit

The IG minimum deposit of £250 or a currency equivalent is higher than at many competitors but still considerably low. Traders may start Forex trading with this amount together with leverage, but equity traders require a significantly higher portfolio balance to commence trading. While the ultimate size depends on the preference and trading strategies of the individual, rather than focusing on just the IG minimum deposit, traders should consider a monthly deposit plan to support their trading goals.

One of the most ignored aspects of trading remains portfolio building. IG Markets offers traders all the tools necessary to manage a successful one, and the trading environment is outstanding, but the required capital is solely the responsibility of the trader. Those who seek to earn an additional income from trading or make it their primary source usually dedicate years to grow their account without thinking of making withdrawals. With the IG minimum deposit at £250 or a currency equivalent, many traders from emerging and frontier markets may not be able to commit to multiple ones per year. IG Markets should consider lowering follow-on deposits to support a wider group of traders.

Trading from an underfunded account is one of the main reasons why between 70% to 85% of retail traders operate portfolios at a loss. Misleading marketing campaigns about combining small deposits with high leverage create, intended to lure new retail traders out of any deposit amount, drive many new account openings under a misconception. The IG minimum deposit ranks this broker in the middle of the pack. While some canceled deposit requirements, other brokers have it between £2,000 and £10,000, making IG Markets an affordable entry with a competitive trading environment. Those who genuinely want to build their portfolio but cannot afford £250 every month may opt for quarterly, semi-annual, or annual deposits. Creating and executing a plan remains paramount to the success of traders.

IG Markets deposits and withdrawals

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General Information

Company Information

  • Broker's Name : IG Markets
  • Headquarters : United Kingdom
  • Regulation : FCA

Account Information

  • Type of Broker : Market Maker
  • U.S. Clients Allowed :
  • Minimum Deposit : $250
  • Maximum Leverage : N/A
  • Commissions / Spreads : Both
  • Account 1 : CFD
  • Account 2 : Spread Betting
  • Account 3 : Share Dealing
  • Account 4 : ISA/SIPP
  • Demo Account :
  • Islamic Account :
  • Segregated Account :
  • Managed Accounts :
  • Deposit Options :
  • Withdrawal Options :

Instruments Traded

  • ETFs :
  • CFDs :
  • Commodities :
  • Metals :
  • Stocks :
  • Oil :
  • Gold :
  • Binary Options :
  • Indices :

Trading Platforms

  • Type of Platform : MetaTrader 4, Proprietary platform, Web-based, Other
    • Platform Languages :
      • English
    • OS Compatibility :
      • Windows
      • Mobile
      • Web
      • iPhone
      • iPad
  • Trading Signals :
  • Charting Package :
  • Market Analysis :
  • Chart Trading :
  • Automated Trading :
  • Scalping :
  • Hedging :
  • Mobile Alerts :
  • E-mail Alerts :
  • Trailing Stops :
  • Guaranteed Stop Loss :
  • Guaranteed Limit Orders :
  • Guaranteed Execution :
  • One-click Execution :
  • OCO Orders :
  • Interest on Margin :
  • Web-based Trading :
  • Mobile Trading :

Customer Support

    • Website Languages :
      • English
      • Portuguese
      • Russian
      • Chinese
      • Japanese
      • German
      • French
      • Italian
      • Spanish
      • Swedish
  • Support Hours : 24/5
  • E-mail Support :
  • SMS Support :
  • Chat :

Pros and Cons

  • Wide Choice of Investments
  • Demo Account
  • Good Support System
  • Only One Trading Account
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FAQ

Is IG trading legit?

This broker is a publicly listed company, publishes its financials, and is regulated by the FCA, where it remains fully compliant. IG is one of the most trustworthy brokerages on the market today.

Is IG a good broker?

Established in 1974, IG established itself as a market leader in CFD trading and spread betting, offering over 17,000 assets across eleven categories. As such, IG ranks at the top of brokers as evident with over 178,000 clients across the globe.

What type of broker is IG?

IG is primarily a CFD broker and spread betting provider, but additionally offers more traditional services like non-leveraged share dealing, portfolio management, ISAs, and SIPPs.

Is IG Forex a market maker?

Yes, the market maker model is the primary execution model. Direct market access (DMA) is available for select assets.

What leverage does IG offer?

Leverage is asset dependent with 1:200 for professional traders the maximum leverage listed. Leverage for most retail traders will be limited to 1:30.

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Summary

IG Markets is one of the more superior brokers operating in today's financial markets. In operation since 1974, its decades of experience become evident through the products and services it provides. Asset selection is exceptional, and automated trading is fully supported. Comparatively, IG Market's pricing environment is only average and clearly an area where this broker can improve.

New traders have access to the IG Academy, an excellent educational platform created by this broker. Research and market commentary is available daily, providing fresh trading ideas and perspectives on global financial markets. Trading signals are accessible from inside the trading platform. IG Markets claims to be the sole UK broker to offer ProRealTime Charts. It also grants an extensive upgrade package to the MT4 trading platform.

The overall trading environment is excellent, bolstered by a series of auxiliary trading services. Deposit and withdrawal options are limited, however, with only the most basic offerings; this is another area where IG Markets needs to improve. Besides offering CFD trading and spread betting, non-leveraged traditional brokerage services complement an outstanding product portfolio. IG Markets deserves a prime consideration from new traders through to seasoned professionals and on to institutional clients.

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