IG Review

IG

IG Overview

IG offers the ultimate comprehensive trading package, featuring excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, and an extensive range of tradeable markets.

A trusted multi-asset broker, IG is publicly traded and regulated across the globe. IG simply delivers a fantastic all-around trading experience. For our 2023 Annual Awards, IG won our coveted award for the best overall forex broker.

IG pros & cons

Pros

  • Most trusted in our 2023 Annual Awards.
  • Finished 1st Overall in our 2023 Annual Awards.
  • Finished Best in Class (top 7) for Offering of Investments, Research, Platforms & Tools, Commissions and Fees, Education, Mobile Trading and Professional Trading.
  • Offers options and futures trading in the U.S. and Europe, alongside its forex and CFD trading (and Spread Betting for U.K. clients).

Cons

  • Lacks pre-defined platform layouts
  • MetaTrader offering only offers 76 tradeable instruments

Is IG safe?

IG is publicly traded, does operate a regulated bank, and is authorised by seven tier-1 regulators (high trust), two tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust). IG is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC)Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA)Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – New Zealand, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Offering of investments

The range of markets available to you may vary depending on which of IG’s regulatory entities holds your account. Residents of the U.K., New Zealand, Japan, and the U.S. must choose their respective local IG entity.

Alongside nearly 20,000 CFDs, IG offers exchange-traded securities (non-CFDs) for residents of the U.K. (see our IG U.K. share dealing review), Germany, and Australia to access international stock exchanges. In addition to forex options, IG offers exchange-traded Turbo warrants as part of Spectrum, its Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) in Europe, and listed derivatives in the U.S. via tastytrade. IG Bank in Switzerland is also an option for eligible clients.

Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available at IG through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g., buying Bitcoin). IG does not offer crypto derivatives in the U.K. to retail traders.

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to IG clients.

Commissions and fees

IG’s size allows it to provide scalable execution across the board – regardless of the product being traded. While IG can’t be considered a discount broker, it shines for the active trader pricing available through its Forex Direct accounts, and its ability to execute large orders. Spreads on its main account offering are closer to the industry average in 2021, with spreads averaging 0.828 the majority of the time (23 hours a day) during September 2021.

CFD account average spreads: For both mini and standard-size contracts, typical spreads during the main trading session (22 hours each day from 0000 – 2200 GMT) averaged 0.768 pips for the month of September 2021 – which is slightly better than the industry average. It is worth noting that – just like with most forex brokers – IG’s spreads during low-liquid times can be higher than normal, averaging 0.994 pips when including the remaining hours in the trading day (2100 to 0000 GMT) during the same timeframe as the above September 2021 data.

CFD account active trader rebates: For volume traders who qualify as professionals under EU rules, IG offers pricing discounts via its three-tier active-trader rebate program. In tier one, you can earn a 10% spread rebate if you transact over £50 million worth of forex volume per month. Meanwhile, if you trade over £300 million per month, the rebate jumps to as much as 20%. To put this into a different context, 20% off of 0.76 pips is 0.17 pips, which would result in an all-in cost of just 0.60 pips – a very competitive spread.

DMA account (Forex Direct): For the savviest traders seeking more significant discounts than what is offered in the CFD account, the DMA account is an even better option than the active trader rebates on IG’s spread-only pricing. This commission-based offering, Forex Direct, is available via the DMA account and provides traders access to the L2 Dealer platform. The DMA account requires just a £1,000 minimum and uses a tiered pricing scale based on the trader’s previous month’s trading volume.

DMA account average spreads: With average spreads of 0.165 on the EUR/USD for the 12 weeks ending March 19th, 2019, the all-in spread is 1.3 pips using the base tier of $60 per million for traders that do less than $100 million per month. Traders that do over 1.5 yards (one yard = $1 billion in volume) see their per-side commission drop to $10 per million ($20 round-turn), resulting in an effective spread of 0.365 pips – using the 2019 data.

Mobile trading apps

IG’s mobile app competes with the best in the industry, and comes packed with plenty of features that will satisfy both casual and advanced traders. The charts in IG’s app are arguably my favorite from among all brokers, due to the extensive range of available features.

Apps overview: IG offers two trading apps: the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) app, alongside its own flagship mobile app, IG Trading (also known as IG Forex). There is also the IG Academy app for education, and IG Access for account security – but neither supports trading. The IG Trading app has a well-designed layout that’s teeming with features such as alerts, sentiment readings, and highly advanced charts. Research consists of news headlines from Reuters, signals from Autochartist, and PIA First.

Ease of use: IG’s mobile app does a decent job of balancing ease-of-use with the depth of its available features. Navigating integrated news headlines from Reuters, or switching to market analysis and trading signals is a breeze on IG’s app.

Market research

Research overview: IG’s research tools include streaming news and TV from Reuters, trading signals, in-house broadcasting via IGTV, and an economic calendar and weekly forecast (The Week Ahead series) in video and article format, alongside multiple daily blog updates with market analysis.

Advanced tools include a customizable screener for various asset classes, including CFDs on global stocks, forex. IG’s innovative “Recommended News” section personalizes your content, aiming to tailor headlines based on your account traits. The additional DailyFX content practically doubles the already impressive amount of research provided by IG.

Market news and analysis: IG integrates Autochartist and PIA First into its platform, allowing traders to view trade signals generated by automated pattern recognition and technical analysis. These trading ideas can be conveniently copied with a single click, which pre-populates the trade ticket window. IG also provides multiple daily articles and videos that are posted throughout the trading week.

Education

IG is a leader for its educational content, offering a vast selection of material in a variety of formats, including video, written articles, numerous weekly webinars, and guides from DailyFX. There are educational courses organized by experience level on IG Academy, complete with progress tracking and quizzes. IG also provides a dedicated mobile app for education, and its strong social community of over 64,000 members provides a selection of crowd-sourced articles.

Learning center: Educational content is scattered across its website, its YouTube channel, and its DailyFX offering. DailyFX offers eight trading guides for beginners, five advanced guides, and written materials in a well-designed course that features progress tracking. In addition to educational content, there are seven articles about risk-management from Bollinger Bands, 17 beginner articles, and support is also available for additional languages.

IG Academy: IG Academy features eight courses that are organized by experience level, each containing nearly a dozen chapters. These courses are an interactive experience, with video content, lesson summaries, and quizzes incorporated throughout the coursework. There is also a final quiz where you receive a total score reflecting how many questions were answered correctly.

Videos: In addition to a wealth of archived content and various playlists on its YouTube channels, IG offers its own in-house broadcasting with IGTV. Featuring content such as multiple weekly webinars, weekly podcasts, IGTV is an excellent educational tool. IG staff also cover educational topics in a live format, such is the Technical Analysis Masterclass. Even archived webinars are organized by experience level, making it easy to find what you need quickly.

IG Community: As noted in the research section above, the IG Community produces content that is curated by IG. Some of this content takes the form of educational articles, while some of it has more of a narrative structure, with traders sharing their personal views, as well as their past trading successes and failures.

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