IG is an industry-leading broker with over 16,000 tradable assets, impressive educational material and research tools, and competitive rates.
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In January 2019, IG re-established its operations in the US, and launched IG US, on a mission to offer U.S traders more than their current limited competition does. This came after the company took DailyFX and Nadex under its U.S division, IG Group LLC.
IG US currently offers only forex trading, but the company’s entry into the US market has already caused quite a stir due to its low-fees and powerful tools.
In response to the expansion, senior executives at IG in London said,
“We are particularly excited by the potential opportunity here. We’ve seen early positive signs and believe in our brand, high levels of customer service, and tighter spreads. As discussed, the US FX market has been historically underserved with 3 providers in the retail margin FX market before IG entered – we estimate there are 90,000 active margin FX traders in the US.”
IG is now available across five continents, including availability in the United States, and holds huge potential for the coming year, and beyond.
- Regulation: Authorized and regulated by the CFTC and NFA in the US, the FCA in the UK, and more globally
- Minimum Deposit: $250 for US traders, £250 for UK traders
- Trading Fees: Yes
- Demo Account: Yes
- Asset Coverage: CFD, forex, indices, options, cryptocurrency, commodities
- Best For: Advanced traders, and market professionals
- Commissions & Fees: 7/10
- Investment Selection: 8.5/10
- Account Options & Features: 9.5/10
- Usability: 8/10
- Educational Resources: 10/10
- Customer Service: 9/10
- Overall: 9/10
Investor Warning: Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a HIGH LEVEL OF RISK, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. You could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
What is IG: A Global Leader in Forex
IG is a London-based trading and investments provider and is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 250.
When IG was founded in 1974 the company was the first of its kind, and has been at the forefront since with its award-winning platforms and quality services. Today, IG serves 178,000 (and counting) clients around the world.
The trading and investments provider has a strong customer commitment and has built its tools and services to help traders make profitable, not to mention educated, trades.
As a show of their commitment, the broker has signed up to the FX Global Code of Conduct, which helps to ensure best practice in the industry.
Traders around the world have chosen IG as their number one trusted broker, placing them at the top of the board in world rankings for spread betting and CFD trading.
IG not only places a premium on the security of clients’ funds, which we’ll discuss later in more detail, they are also authorized and regulated by the FCA in the U.K.
The company boasts a couple of reputable awards and is widely seen as one of the top overall forex brokers across the globe.
On the downside, the company does charge a high stock CFD fee and a steep monthly fee after two years of inactivity, but all fees are clear and transparent.
Some traders may not appreciate the lack of a social/trading platform available, especially newer traders to the game who would benefit most from its features.
That said, the company potentially makes up for this with its IG Community, in addition to the excellent educational material offered and support offered.
While IG is available globally; regulations, protections, services, and products offered vary from country to country.
Non-UK/non-European traders will not be subject to UK and EU protections, such as negative balance protection. Traders in the US currently only have access to Forex.
Now, let’s get into the guts of things. Here is our IG Review for 2020.
- Advanced web trading platform
- Impressive educational material & research tools
- Guaranteed stop losses
- Over 16,000 markets
- Competitive rates
- High stock CFD fee
- Steep inactivity fees after 2 years
- No copy/social trading platform
Is IG Regulated?
IG is considered safe, and is regulated by major financial governing bodies, including the FCA in the UK.
IG is regulated across the globe by several top financial authorities.
Regulators include; the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, BaFin and Deutsche Bundesbank in the EU, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the US, and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia.
Traders in the U.K will be protected for up to £85,000 through a Deposit Compensation Scheme (FSCS) although additional insurance is not provided.
See the table below to view all of IG’s regulators, supervisors, and authorities by country.
Average spread EUR/USD standard
All-in cost EUR/USD - active
Minimum initial deposit
Total currency pairs
Social / copy trading?
How IG Protects Your Money
IG Protects your money through a number of secure ways including:
- Holding clients money in a segregated bank account
- Separating clients’ money and assets from IG’s money and assets.
- Complying with strict regulatory requirements when handling client money
Client funds are held in a segregated bank account, which reduces client risk if anything were to happen to the bank. However, funds may be held outside of local jurisdiction, which does increase the potential for risk.
IG does operate a counterpart dealing desk, which could raise the potential for a conflict of interest, but the company does have a conflict policy which should help.
In addition, IG’s order management system does have measures to ensure the price never goes above what you requested, and stop-losses are provided for extra charge, along with negative balance protection for traders in the E.U.
However, IG does not offer client money protection for traders in the U.S.
Risk Management Technology
To give you a rundown of IG’s range of risk management technology; they’re easy to apply, and when fully utilized, traders can be safeguarded against the risks of leveraged trading.
Tools to help minimise risk include free price alerts of market movements which are pretty handy when the market changes so quickly, and their trailing stops lock in potential profits.
IG Costs, Charges & How They Work
IG’s costs are transparent and competitive. Traders can trade spreads averaging 0.75 pips for popular Forex pairs like EUR/USD.
IG’s fees, commissions, and spreads are highly competitive with spreads averaging at 0.75 pips, and all fees are built into the spread. Outside of market hours though can result in higher costs for spreads and indices. How this fee and others are calculated is clearly outlined in the company’s fees section.
For example, the U.S 500 spread can increase from 0.4 pips during trading hours, to 0.9 pips after the CME and NYSE closing hours.
IG does make an effort to offset this with its stop-loss premium of 0.4 that remains the same throughout market trading hours.
How IG Offers the Best Price
IG works to offer traders a competitive price through their order management system. This feature ensures to never fill you at a level worse than your request. If prices do not fluctuate when you order, then your order will be implemented at your requested level.
However, if market prices change, as they often do in milliseconds, then IG’s equipment intuitively works in the client’s favour. A market change in your favour will result in the system working to offer a better price.
Alternatively, if the market changes in a way that would be a disadvantage to you, the order will be immediately rejected and you’ll be asked to fill your order again – a win, win!
Over 16,000 Markets: Forex, CFDs, Options, & More
Largely popular for trading forex, CFDs, and options, the firm offers over 16,000 markets to choose from, and thousands of CFDs. Traders in the UK can trade real shares, while some assets like mutual funds and bonds are not offered.
The sheer amount of tradable assets offered by IG really is worth highlighting.
Although IG US offers forex only, U.K traders will have access to a huge range of over 16,000 markets including indices, shares, forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, to name a few. Fees that come along with spread bets and CFD trading are generally the same, with some exceptions, all of which are clear and transparent, including tax implications.
Futures and options contracts can be bought and sold on most instruments, and with such a selection, you might go short on an option, but you’ll never be short of options – dad joke.
Moving on, IG accommodates futures and spot traders by allowing most commodities to be traded on both the spot market and with futures contracts. While more exotic and minor currency pairs are covered, too.
Traders can take advantage of the competitive rebate program offered for higher volume forex trades, in addition to volume discounts for UK share traders.
There are no tiered accounts offered, aside from the retail and professional account options, but the account listings are impressive overall, with IG Smart Portfolios and an institutional site.
A total of six cryptocurrencies are available to trade, although Bitcoin has a high 40 pips spread. Just keep in mind – IG does not currently offer cryptocurrency trading to US clients.
Direct Market Access with Advanced Trading Tools
IG offers access to forex and shares markets with L2 Dealer, a Direct Market Access (DMA) platform that you can download with the click of a button. However, L2 Dealer is not available to US-based clients.
This platform allows you to easily customize trades with order books and link charts. Though shares DMA is recommended for advanced traders looking to trade with algorithms, and participate in pre and post-market auctions.
IG US: A Breath of Fresh Air for US Forex Traders
Throughout our review, we’ve mentioned the differences between IG’s global offerings and its US business. The long and short of it is that IG US only offers forex trading – but it is still a strong contender in the US forex market that deserves your attention. IG US is regulated by the CFTC and the NFA.
IG US offers clients over 80 forex pairs, divided into six categories – Major pairs, Minor pairs, Australasian, Scandinavian, Exotic, and Emerging Markets. Although IG US lacks crypto, CFDs, and futures, that’s still quite a wide array of possibilities.
The brokerage offers an average spread of 0.9 pips, which is significantly lower than the industry standard, and it also offers rebates for high-volume traders.
Although IG US lacks a DMA platform, both the online platform and MT4 offer a crisp and highly-customizable trading experience. IG is also the only forex broker available in the US that offers ProRealTime – a powerful piece of charting software that allows you to keep track of more than 100 indicators.
A demo account option is also available, allowing you to more easily get acquainted with the brokerage’s platforms. Although it is currently focusing solely on spot forex trading, IG US’s blend of competitive pricing, powerful research tools, and comprehensive, customizable platforms seems to be a winning combination.
IG US currently isn’t available to residents of Arizona and Ohio.
Intuitive IG Trading Platforms
IG offers platform choices to suit web, mobile, iPad, tablet and MetaTrader4 users, on both iOS and Android.
Get integrated access to a leading charting package by upgrading to ProRealTime advanced charting platform for free once you meet IG’s reasonable trading activity requirements.
If you’re a non-U.S client, all platforms will give you access to over 16,000 markets, allow you to customize your dealing to suit your style and preferences, and don’t require any downloads. US-based clients can only trade forex – but the platforms are no less impressive in this regard.
- No need to download any software
- Create and edit watchlists
- Stay up to date with real-time Reuters news
- One-Click dealing
- Launch ProRealTime Charts
The web based trading platform features include; over 100 technical indicators, the ability to deal directly from charts, flexibility for all markets, price improvement technology, and more.
In terms of safety again, IG has you covered with its risk management tools, such as price alerts and stop losses, as mentioned above, while enabling you to stay up to date on market events with Reuters news, and ProRealTime charts.
Although the platform is suitable for beginners, due to its ease-of-use, clear design, and one-click dealing. It also caters to professional traders who enjoy trading CFDs and forex by offering L2 Dealer. This tool gives direct market access that bypasses IG’s dealing desk, includes all the functions needed, and is super easy to customize.
The platform overall is intuitive, with a flexible design that allows you to move windows about to suit your preferences, save layouts, and edit columns.
The platforms array of order types include;
- Market order
- Stop-loss order
- Limit order
- Trailing stop order
- Guaranteed stop order
You can also avail of its Good ‘til cancelled (GTC) and Good ‘til date (GTD) options.
Alerts and notifications will help you never miss a beat. Set an alert or notification to keep you on top of your game by simply going to MyIG, Settings and then clicking on Communication Preferences – just don’t get too carried away!
Advanced and Beginner Friendly Experience
The web experience overall is easy-to-navigate, provides intuitive tools to help you navigate the market, and is complex enough to cater to professional traders. If you’re a beginner, then this platform will grow with you.
Trade On-The-Go with the IG App
IG offers a mobile app that has all the basic features needed when you’re on the go, and let’s face it, apps are useful for anytime really.
You’ll have access to price alerts, watchlists and technical charting, though they are not customizable. It’s well laid out and a convenient option when you just want to stay on top of things, or develop your trading skills (which we’ll get to in a bit), but it does lack complex conditional orders.
In terms of security, the app offers both touch, and face login recognition features, which are more advanced than others available in the industry.
The IG Academy, Orientation, & Helping Traders Stay in School
Credit to IG, the company has put an emphasis on educating customers and potential customers in a variety of ways, helping to give them the best chance of success with minimal risk.
IG offers the following educational resources to help you grow on your journey:
- Demo account
- Platform tutorial videos
- General educational videos
- Live sessions
Let’s start by discussing the DailyFX Forex University, a platform offering an impressive list of well laid out, clear and informative material for all levels from beginner and intermediate, all the way through advanced, and experts.
Although the course material is comprehensive, its structure and clear language makes it an exciting possibility for learning. Each section is almost playful, bringing a bit of fun to the sections with titles including Orientation (Welcome to Class) for beginners, Meet Your Subjects with a list of forex pairs, and How to Stay in School (Risk Management). This touch of humour and simplicity is rare in an industry that can get very technical and complex.
The articles themselves continue this theme; Forex Jargon, is a piece that helps beginners to navigate the basics of going long or short in forex, in a refreshingly light-hearted way.
IG.com’s own IG Academy, stands by itself as an industry-leading educational platform, bringing its own quality material to the table. This platform discusses the concepts behind CFDs and spread betting, in addition to forex trading.
The IG Academy includes step-by-step courses allowing you to go at your own pace, and provide learning opportunities through video, interactive exercises. You can even test your knowledge by taking one of their quizzes.
View IG’s webinar archive to watch sessions that you missed on topics including, Geopolitical Risks Affecting the Market, and Cross Market Weekly Outlook. Or, check out IG’s webinar calendar to see all their upcoming sessions, and join one that takes your fancy.
IG’s material is overall a bit broader than DailyFX Forex University’s, but is equally as educational, with varying levels of complexity to suit traders at different stages in their trading journey.
The IG Academy app is a handy number that enables traders to continue developing their knowledge when out and about. What’s a more productive way to spend your coffee break, or public commute, as opposed to scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the 100th time. We’ve all been there, but time is precious, so try to use yours wisely.
The education overall comes across as not just manageable, and doable, but fun and exciting. What more can we ask for, ey?
Research Tools, Insights & Independent Analysis
IG offers a range of intuitive research tools including all the good stuff like, Reuters news feed, three types of alerts, an economic calendar, and real-time charts. This also includes IG’s own expert analysts, and more market topics than you’ll ever need, covering both technical and fundamental analysis.
Watch a live webinar to get some trading secrets from the pros, stay informed about important events, and identify news catalysts. The Trading Strategies section lays out some buy and sell signals, pivot points, analyst picks, and a collection of technical data, all to help you conduct high level research.
IG provides over 25 charting tools that are easy to edit, and allow you to mark important economic events simply. Stay informed with quickly changing markets with the brokers real time news feed, powered by Reuters.
An IG Community & IGTV
Another important research tool that might quickly become a part of your army is the IG Community, an innovative and progressive forum for IG traders.
Share your thoughts, or listen to others’ ideas or experiences in an environment with like-minded people on active forums and blogs.
A highlight within the IG community is IG’s professional IGTV. This platform also hosts shows that have already been shown live on IGTV, with several editions published daily, and all on demand. Watch this station first thing to get the latest updates on major events, and chart analysis.
IG does not provide a copy/social platform, which is an obvious downfall of the company, and with traders becoming more and more social savvy, this element should certainly be something to consider building in the near future. If this is a priority for you then multi-asset trading platform eToro puts a focus on copy-trading with its CopyTrader platform.
IG also has no client positioning data for CFDs, forex, or spread bets, but it is worth noting that traders can access forex positioning data within the IG Client Sentiment at DailyFX.com.
IG also provides access to professional and institutional services. Traders signing up for a professional account will be provided with account features not available to retail clients. IG does note though, you will lose certain investor protections with these accounts.
Helpful Support 24 Hours
IG’s customer service team provides helpful answers, and are available 24 hours on live chat. More detailed answers can be gotten through email, and any calls made were quickly answered.
UK traders will be treated to a personal service after signing up with IG. This is to help ensure that new clients are comfortable using the products on offer. The customer service team are friendly and helpful and can be accessed through:
- Live Chat
- Social Media
A toll-free phone number is provided for UK traders who need some answers or assistance. The customer service team is accessible 7 days a week.
For a quicker and more convenient method of contact you can send the team a message through the live chat on their website. If you’d like some questions answered before signing up, this is an ideal solution. For more regularly asked questions there is a detailed FAQs page you can read through at the end of this article.
The UK customer service team was helpful, and calls made to the number provided were swiftly answered quickly. Questions that require more comprehensive answers can be received through email.
IG US is a member of the Institute of Customer Service, which recognizes the company’s “drive to consistently deliver world class support.”
Traders in the U.S can access the team through the 24 hour chat too, or fill out a contact form available on the site.
Alternatively, younger traders can get some speedy advice on social media, including by tweeting or messaging their Twitter, @IGClientHelp.
Overview of Where IG Could Improve
Okay so, we’ve highlighted the benefits of IG’s products and services, as well as some areas where they could improve.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the company’s downfalls to help you make the best decision for your needs.
Firstly, the company charges a high fee for stock CFDs, and a steep monthly inactivity charge after two years, but once you’re aware of the (clearly outlined) fees, you are better equipped to make informed decisions.
Secondly, and probably more devastatingly (slight exaggeration) is, the broker does not provide a fully integrated social/copy trading platform. However, it does offer ways that you can reap some of the benefits of social trading, including through their IG Community, a platform where you can share your own, and listen to others’ advice, thoughts, and ideas.
If social trading is a priority for you, there are other brokers you can check out that focus particularly on social trading, such as eToro.
Lastly, if you are a trader in the U.S, then you will only have access to forex, and the 16,000 plus market offerings will not apply to you. IG US is a forex broker only – great for forex traders, but not so great for traders looking to trade more than this.
All About IG Accounts
IG’s account opening is seamless and fully digital. There is a minimum deposit (depending on the currency / country) if you pay by credit/debit card or Paypal.
IG requires a minimum deposit (depending on the currency/country) if you pay by credit/debit card or Paypal. Funding by card in the U.K will require a minimum deposit of £250, and all deposit and withdrawal fees are free.
U.S traders funding by card will need a minimum deposit of $250.
Deposit and withdrawal fees vary depending on your country of residence but are free in the U.K, and U.S, apart from a withdrawal by wire fee in the U.S, which is $25.
The available account types are dependent on the country you are in. Generally, forex, CFDs, and options are tradable in most countries.
US traders can open forex trading accounts, demo trading accounts, as well as joint accounts. If you want to use the MT4 platform, you will also have to open a separate account. Keep in mind, however, that joint accounts are not available for MT4.
US traders have one account option only, while UK traders can choose between an IG trading account, and a professional account.
Tax-efficient accounts are available, like ISA and SIPP. Also, if you would like to trade stocks, then a second account is required.
How to Open an Account
Interested traders can open an IG account in minutes. An application can be processed in 3 easy steps including;
- Fill out a form
- Get instant verification
- Fund your account to start trading
Verification may take a couple days to come through.
However, if you would prefer to get a feel for the platform and develop your spread betting and CFD trading skills, you can sign up for IG’s demo account at the IG US website.
IG is Well-Rounded & Consistently Ranks High
IG is a leading broker for good reason, their competitive fees, wide range of trading assets, intuitive platforms, and clear and comprehensive educational material all combine to create a customer favorite.
A variety of advanced platforms are available to suit everyone’s needs, including an app, and an IG Community to help you share your ideas and thoughts with like-minded people.
Although IG falls short with its lack of either a dedicated or third party copy-trading platform, IG consistently ranks number 1 in top broker reviews ahead of major competitors such as FXCM, Oanda, and CMC Markets. This makes IG a more well-rounded choice.
The broker is considered safe, clients are well protected, and the company does work to help minimize risk by providing guaranteed stop-losses in the majority of markets for U.K traders.
The professional and institutional services offered are of high-quality, and the broker’s DMA allows traders to bypass the dealing desk, helping to implement more efficient trades.
If you’re looking for low spreads, a wide range of instruments, up-to-date news, industry-leading research tools and education, then IG might be your go-to. While US residents won’t be able to take advantage of such a wide range of investment offerings, IG US offers a mix of low fees and powerful platforms that forex traders will find quite appealing.
IG Group and the Competition
See how IG Group compares to the leading Forex brokers by reading one of the reviews below.