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IG Review 2022 - The Good and the Bad

By Stefano Treviso , Updated on: Nov 23 2022.

IG in a Nutshell

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79% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

🏛 Regulators ASIC, FCA, NFA, ADGM, FINMA, MAS, FFAJ, FSCA.
💳 Minimum Deposit ($) 0
💰 Payment Methods Credit Card, Debit Card, Bank Transfer, PayPal.
💵 Base Currencies 6 - AUD, EUR, GBP, HKD, SGD, USD.
📚 Assets Offered

🔹 Stocks 🔹 Stock CFDs 🔹 Currency CFDs 🔹 Commodities CFDs 🔹 Indices CFDs 🔹 ETFs 🔹 ETF CFDs 🔹 Crypto CFDs 🔹 Bond CFDs

💪 Retail Leverage 1:30
💪 Pro Leverage 1:500
✍ Custom Leverage No
🎲 Deleveraged Trading No
🎓 Demo Account Yes
💰 Commissions

Yes, they charge depending on the client’s account base currency and exchange location of the shares being traded. For example, for some clients US shares can have a minimum charge of $10 in-and-out.

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IG in 60 seconds

  • Publicly traded company on LSX, founded in 1974 and holding 8 financial licenses
  • More than 15,000 different financial instruments to trade
  • Comprehensive platform offering with their own proprietary platform, ProRealTime and L2 dealer platforms

IG is a global broker established in 1974 that holds 10 reputable financial licenses and provides CFD trading on stocks, commodities, ETFs, indices, cryptocurrencies, bonds, futures, options along with real stocks through their share dealing account.

IG Full Review

Here’s what we’ll talk about during our review: 

Is IG Safe?

Founded in 1974 and considered a major player in the financial services industry, IG is a very safe and reputable broker that holds the following financial licenses:

  • ASIC (Australia)
  • FCA (United Kingdom)
  • NFA (United States)
  • ADGM (United Arab Emirates)
  • FINMA (Switzerland)
  • MAS (Singapore)
  • FFAJ (Japan)
  • FSCA (South Africa)

On top of having one of the best high reputation license counts out there, IG is also a publicly traded company in LSX (London Stock Exchange), which makes them subject to a great amount of inspections and regulatory requirements.

Financial
Licenses

Regulation

Regulated

Top-tier Licenses

7

Other Licenses

1

Provided by
TheTradingBible.com

Learn More

Being a company of global proportions, IG is definitely a broker we consider safe and reliable.

IG Minimum Deposit and Withdrawal

IG's minimum deposit varies as follows:

  •  No minimum deposit for bank transfers
  • $300 for credit cards, debit cards or electronic wallets

It's very important to consider that these numbers are not the same in all countries. For example, IG's website indicates that their minimum deposit for the United Arab Emirates is 20,000 AED which equals roughly 5,400 USD. The best is to always check their available payment methods and minimum deposit amounts in your own client dashboard.

IG accepts the following payment methods:

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Bank Transfer
  • PayPal

Always bear in mind that not all payment methods are available in all locations and you must always check the availability with IG itself.

IG supports the following base currencies:

  • Australian Dollar
  • Euro
  • Great British Pound
  • Hong Kong Dollar
  • Singapore Dollar
  • United States Dollar

It is important to point out that when your base currency is different from the one of the assets you're trading, you'll always get charged by converting currencies. The majority of small to medium retail brokers usually don't do this or pass this cost somewhere else but IG always lets you see a full breakdown of each currency conversion required for your trading activity.

IG Account Types

IG does not offer the traditional account variations based on spreads or commissions. Their offer is simply based on your location and availability due to regulatory restrictions, for example: in the U.S you won't be able to trade CFDs, in the U.K you won't be able to trade cryptocurrency CFDs. 

Overall, all of IG's customers get access to open real or demo accounts with no major distinctions between them beyond asset availability.

IG Client Area

In the image above, you can see how the IG client management area works.

Users are able to open several real or demo accounts and efficiently launch the desired platform at their convenience.

IG Trading Fees

IG charges several types of fees such as:

  • Overnight fees on leveraged positions
  • In-and-out commissions on of specific asset classes
  • Spreads
  • Currency conversion fees

Let's go through a small preview of the most important ones:

Spreads

Here's how IG's average spreads compare to similar competitors:

Asset IG CMC Markets Trading 212
EUR/USD SpreadDynamic - From 0.9 PipsDynamic - From 0.7 PipsDynamic - From 1.4 Pips
SP500 SpreadDynamic - From 150 PipsFrom 60 PipsDynamic - From 166 Pips
Gold SpreadDynamic - From 50 PipsFrom 30 PipsDynamic - From 30 Pips
TSLA SpreadDynamic - From $1.03Dynamic - Market SpreadDynamic - From $0.6
XLK SpreadDynamic - From 0 PipsDynamic - Market SpreadUnavailable
BTC SpreadDynamic - From $1.03UnavailableUnavailable

Commissions & Fees

Here's how IG's commissions compare to similar competitors:

IGCMC MarketsTrading 212
Commissions

Yes, they charge depending on the client’s account base currency and exchange location of the shares being traded. For example, for some clients US shares can have a minimum charge of $10 in-and-out.

Yes and they vary per share exchange location. For U.S shares, there is a minimum $10 in-and-out commission. 

None

IG Available Assets

Here's how IG's asset offering compares to similar competitors:

Asset IG CMC Markets Trading 212
Stocks10000010000
Stock CFDs10000101691526
Currency Pairs000
Currency Pair CFDs210330179
Commodities000
Commodities CFDs3712425
Indices000
Indices CFDs769535
ETFs200001800
ETF CFDs2000108450
Cryptocurrencies000
Cryptocurrency CFDs15180
Bonds000
Bond CFDs19550
Options000
Option CFDs000
Futures000
Future CFDs0100

IG Trading Platforms

IG has a comprehensive platform offering. Here are their available choices:

  • IG's Trading Platform (Available on IOS devices, Android Devices and Web version)
  • ProRealTime
  • L2 Dealer
  • MetaTrader 4

Since our review is mostly focused on retail investors and not institutional professionals, we will be covering IG's Trading platform only. 

IG Mobile Trading Platform

IG's mobile platform is simple, powerful and easy to use. Let's go over a few of its areas:

Mobile Home

When entering the platform, you'll see the Watchlists area where you'll be able to create your own lists or check out the ones they prepared for you.

IG Mobile Home - Watchlists

A nice touch is that all the available space is well used on the platform and each instrument comes with their buy / sell prices along with the change of the day in price / percentage. 

If you've ever had the opportunity to use other platforms, you'll notice that most times they simply provide you with a huge list of stocks or assets and sometimes a search glass to find whatever asset you're looking for.

IG Mobile Watchlist Filters

IG's platform has a custom section that will allow you to filter through assets based on several parameters, for example "show me only stocks that are in the US 500 index, or stocks that are only from Germany".

Asset View

When touching any asset, you'll land on the asset view. Here you'll be able to quickly see the asset's price along with some important features such as charting tools, setting alerts, news, market info and add it to any of your watchlists.

IG Asset View

We're really wondering why they decided to not place a small preview chart of the asset's price here. There's definitely a lot of unused space but if we try to reverse-engineer IG's thought process, most likely they didn't want anything decorative but rather useful.

Order Placement

If you click on the buy / sell buttons or on the trade option, you'll land on the order placement panel. Notice on the top there are 3 options: deal, order and chart.

  • Deal is for executing instant orders (market orders)
  • Order is for creating pending orders (limit orders)
  • Chart is to view their proprietary trading charts

 

IG Mobile Asset View

If there is one thing we would like you to remember about IG is always check the "contract specifications" for any asset you're planning on trading.

IG decided to use a very technical standard notation for their financial instruments where many times their quantification is set based on a standard contract size. For example: 1 contract of a cryptocurrency could mean 100 units, 1,000 units, etc.

This means that just because you see the number "1" on your buy order, it doesn't mean that this is the exact quantity of what you're buying, it could mean 1 contract, 1 share, etc.

While it is true that this language is correct, we definitely would appreciate a more simplified terminology to also welcome beginners with more simplicity in their platform.

Portfolio

IG's mobile portfolio is simple and well organised. At a glance you'll be able to see your orders, active positions and closed ones. 

IG Mobile Portfolio

If you touch any of your positions you'll land on a window similar to the "trade" or "asset view" as we call it. On this window you'll be able to:

  • Close your position
  • Edit your position
  • View a very useful chart with your entry, exit, SL or TP levels visually plotted
  • Set alerts
  • See the market info for the traded asset
  • Add it to your watchlist

The top feature here is definitely the way they integrated the visual elements to show you your open position on a chart.

News

To find news on IG's mobile platform you need to go to the account option on the bottom right corner of your lower menu.

Being honest, we don't see the point of placing news on the "account" option instead of building a "hub" or "dashboard" at the home of the app where users can simply browse all the available features.

IG Mobile News

The good thing about IG is that they provide you with highly reputable news sources such as Reuters. On the bottom of the screen you'll also notice that you can sort your news based on asset classes which can be extremely useful if you're only interested in currency news for example.

Charting Tools

IG uses their own proprietary charting tools. What we can say after testing them is that they're smooth, responsive and fast.

IG Mobile Charting Tools

Mobile Account Section

Usually we don't go through the settings of each platform as this is very personal for each user but in this case we decided to do it just because IG placed some important tools inside of it.

IG Mobile Account Section

In your account section you'll be able to quickly understand your financial position, manage your settings and also view two important trading-related features:

  • News from Reuters
  • Trading Signals

While it does make sense to have a users' financial position on the "account" section we also believe that the one thing missing on IG's platform to make it more user friendly is a "dashboard" section at the beginning where several tools are available in a more easier and relevant format.

IG Web Trading Platform

Nowadays mobile platforms are pretty much similar with the only difference being some of them are well-made and others are not. In the end and for the majority of cases, the range of tasks a user can accomplish on all mobile platforms are pretty much the same so the real battle belongs to web or desktop-based platforms and here's where IG definitely takes the lead against the majority of brokers out there.

IG's web trading platform is well-designed, fast, simple, configurable and useful in every single area they created. Let's go over a few of its areas:

Web Home

When logging in to IG's web platform you'll land on the main area of your own workspace with a default layout.

This means that you'll be able to configure multiple views for your platform as per your own requirements and easily switch between them using the top-left corner selector.

IG Web Dashboard

A good example of the advantage of having multiple workspaces is being able to configure one for trading a particular commodity and another one to trade currencies with the right tools, indicators and news that are relevant for your trading requirements.

IG Workspace selector

On IG's platform, the main menu is located on the left side of your screen. It's very easy to simply view asset lists that you're interested in, your own watchlists, manage your portfolio or access the available trading tools with a simple click.

IG Web Popular Markets

As you can see in the image above, this is a simple watchlist created by IG to showcase popular assets. The interesting thing is that you have an option on the top right corner of the white window to add it to your workspace. This means that you could simply choose to create a custom watchlist to monitor your favourite assets and keep it on your home by customising the layout of your platform.

Asset View

When you click on the left menu on a particular asset class, let's say shares in this example, you'll open a full asset list with filters to sort through the whole list.

If you click on any particular instrument, the view will extend itself to the right side to show you many important things about each asset in a very compact format.

IG Shares View

Our favourite feature from IG's asset view is that they actually allow users to choose from different contracts of the same asset (which in reality is how it should be done but many brokers don't).

To give you a little bit of background on this issue which IG properly solves, let's talk about OIL - US Crude commodity. Many trading platforms will simply show you "OIL" and the issue is that you don't know if you're trading the spot price, a specific future contract with an expiry date or some synthetic product.

IG gives users access to specifically selecting their desired contract and instrument from a small dropdown menu at the top of each asset window. 

IG Web Contracts Selection

At the top right corner of the asset view (when fully expanded) you'll notice 4 small tabs that read: Deal, Order, Alert and Info. 

As we mentioned before on the Mobile platform - Order Placement section of our review, IG uses very specific standards to define contract sizes and specifications so the most important thing any trader should always do is opening the "info" tab on each asset to properly understand the requirements.

IG Asset Web info

A very nice touch is also explaining properly the margin requirements on leveraged positions. The reason for this is that margin requirements can change based on the quantity of the asset that you choose to trade.

For example, in the above image we can see that 1 contract of BTC means 1 BTC. We can also see on the margin requirements that if we were to trade 60 or more BTCs, we would require a 75% margin to open and maintain our position.

Order Placement

Placing an order on IG's web trading platform is also a very easy task that can be accomplished by selecting either the "deal" tab or the "order" tab on the top right side of the asset view.

IG Web Visual Order Placement

The best feature of IG's order placement panel is their visual representation of your trade in real-time. This means that all the parameters for your order will be visible on the chart and it even gets better. If you drag up or down any of the visual guidelines on the chart, you'll be able to adjust your order.

News

IG did not choose to save any costs when it comes to financial news. They will provide you with news from the world's most reputable sources such as Reuters along with constant exposure to news created by their own team, live TV and many other excellent pieces of information.

IG Web News

To complement their amazing news offer, IG also decided to implement filters for traders to view relevant news to them as per their type or asset class.

IG Research and Analysis Tools

IG provides a few research and analysis tools such as trading signals or an economic calendar that serve as an entry-level complement for their whole offering. In our opinion, while it's still nice to have these tools, they are no match for a proper research platform like TradingView.

The most relevant of the tools is definitely IG's signals. These are delivered on a constant basis and powered by Autochartist and serve as an indicator of potential entry and exit points for several asset classes.

IG Web Signals

The cool thing about IG is that they included a "Copy to order" button that allows traders to quickly copy the order's parameters and execute it.

With regards to the accuracy of trading signals, we can't tell you how good they are or not but what we can tell you for sure is that at TheTradingBible.com we don't like trading signals, regardless if they come from the most reputable source in the world or not.

An important point to consider about these tools is that we're currently only reviewing the offering from IG's proprietary trading platform designed for the majority of traders. IG also provides other platforms with more specialised research tools that serve the high demands of technical analysts but at least when it comes to these platforms, we definitely feel that more beginner friendly research tools can be created. 

IG Educational Tools

IG provides the following educational tools:

  • Online courses
  • Trading Guides
  • Webinars
  • Seminars
  • Live sessions

Their educational offering is one of the oldest ones and most well-known around and their content is definitely useful and packed with highly valuable information.

Verdict

IG is one the world's most well-known brokers. We consider it to be one of the safest choices out there and their whole product offering is also amongst the best ones. With more than 15,000+ financial instruments, professional and customisable platforms with great features such as visual 1-click trading, IG caters to the best traders out there.

IG has few issues which mostly boil down to them exposing their product to the right audience. Here's what we don't like:

  • Complicated contract specifications for several assets
  • Expensive commissions for low volume traders

If you are a professional trader and you also trade in high volumes, IG is one of the best choices available for you. On the other hand, if you're a beginner and you also trade with low amounts, IG can turn out to be quite costly for you. Here's an example:

If you buy 1 share of any US company that costs $50, you'll pay a commission of $10 when entering the trade and $10 when exiting your trade. That's a total of $20 in commissions for a trade size of $50.

This means that if you were to expect profitability, you'd need your share to grow more than 40% just to offset the cost you had in commissions.

In other commission-free platforms, you'd be getting a trade with most likely higher spreads but still much easier to offset than a $20 amount for a $50 trade value.

Bottom line, if you're not planning to trade with a decent sized capital and with a serious and professional intent, don't bother trying IG as it won't be a profitable endeavour for you. On the other hand, if you're deeply involved in trading, you're looking for safety, regulation, great asset offering and market spreads with a configurable professional platform, IG can be a great choice for you.

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