Since being founded as a spread betting business in 1974, IG (Investors Gold) has grown to become a reputable online trading platform, offering over 15,000 products across a variety of asset classes. The UK-based company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and holds a position on the FTSE 250 Index.
According to its annual report for 2019, IG is used by almost 130,000 clients around the world and processes over 350,000 transactions per day. The broker's collection of financial derivatives includes indices, bonds, commodities, contracts for difference on shares, forex, and stockbroking as of 2014.
IG further expanded on their offerings in 2017 when they added Smart Portfolios and seven popular CFD cryptocurrency pairs. The broker’s popularity and wide range of offerings make it a compelling choice among aspiring traders and professionals alike. Let’s take a look at whether IG should be your trading platform of choice.
IG scores 98% with us, there is no doubt it is a trusted platform to trade on. Founded in 1974, trading and regulated all over the world it offers a great platform/software extensive products, great market research, good software and competitive rates/costs. We love it and give it a 98% approval rating.
Being a longstanding, publicly-traded company that is authorized by a number of top-tier regulators, IG is widely considered one of the safest trading platforms on the market. In addition to its licenses from six tier-1 regulators and three tier-2 regulators, IG also operates a regulated bank.
Some regulators that IG is authorized by include the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Financial Conduct Authority, Japanese Financial Services Authority, and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, as well as some tier-2 regulators.
The size and reputation of the company, as well as the fact that it discloses its financials, further adds to IG’s high trust levels among traders and broker ratings websites. As per industry standards, you’ll need to supply a form of identification and proof of address when opening your account on IG.
Several deposit options are available, including bank transfers, credit/debit card and popular payment processors such as Neteller, PayPal, Webmoney, and Skrill. You have the option of downloading the IG Authentication app to implement two-factor authentication for improved account security.
IG allows you to make deposits in a number of currencies including the Euro, pound, dollar, and a few minor currencies. Making a deposit with the same currency as your bank account will help you avoid currency conversion fees. Credit/debit card deposits are instant, while it can take up to three business days for bank transfers to process.
You can use all the above-mentioned deposit methods to withdraw your funds, bar PayPal. IG has the upper hand over competitors by not charging withdrawal fees. For US stocks, its fee terms are 2 cents per share with a $15 minimum. EURUSD fees are low, with a spread cost of 0.75 pips.
After two years of inactivity, IG charges an inactivity fee to the equivalent of just over $14,50, which is comparatively low. Trading smaller amounts on IG subjects you to relatively high fees, but traders benefit from better transparency and lower financing rates than most other brokers.
The minimum deposit for card payments is $250 in the U.S. For bank transfers, there is no minimum deposit. Active trader and VIP discounts are available. IG also has Forex Direct, a commission-based offering for professional volume traders with low minimums and highly competitive rates.
Minimum initial deposit
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard
0.75 (as of Q4 18)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active
0.363 (as of Mar 16)
Active Trader or VIP Discounts
One of the biggest reasons for IG’s popularity is its excellent trading platforms and tools. While the broker lacks a desktop platform, its web-based interface is regarded second-to-none when it comes to design and functionality. It’s suitable for both beginners and experienced traders and is highly customizable.
While there aren’t any pre-made templates upon which to build your first layout, creating a versatile and streamlined setup is a fairly simple process. You can easily add more workspaces and customize tabs by dragging and resizing them to your liking. The search feature works as expected, allowing you to quickly browse through available options.
You can either type in your search query manually or look through the asset class categories. There are various shortcuts that provide access to order dialogue windows and trading tickets. There are a total of 22 indicators to choose from and you can set an alert on any one of them.
If you require more advanced charting, there’s the ProRealTime premium charting application, which features close to 100 IG-provided indicators. Bear in mind that it costs around $40 per month if you make less than four trades per calendar period. IG also offers MetaTrader4, an alternative platform that is popular for its highly customizable interface.
You can open an account in almost every country, some notable exceptions include Canada & Poland. Check out the graphic below for a full list.
In a six-week service test conducted by ForexBrokers in partnership with Customerwise, IG was rated five stars for customer service, giving the broker the number one spot in their rankings. Average connection times were reportedly less than one minute during the phone tests.
Traders can reach out to IG via telephone, email or through their live chat service, which is available 24/7. Their representatives are knowledgeable, helpful and well-prepared to take on any queries you might have. Overall, IG offers a satisfactory customer service experience.
IG offers a wide range of market research and educational material from a number of providers, both in-house and from reputable third-parties. Starting off, you have access to a demo account, as well as educational videos, online courses, webinars, and a trading glossary. This makes IG a suitable platform for beginners who still need to learn before trading.
Most of these tools are available through IG Academy, a free-to-use resource that also offers live sessions and in-person seminars. Back on their platform, you’ll have access to an Economic Calendar, as well as news streaming from Reuters. There are also customizable screeners for asset classes such as forex, cryptocurrencies, and global stock CFDs.
Users can view trade signals that are generated by technical analysis and pattern recognition through PIA First and AutoChartist, which are integrated into the platform. Additional research features include daily market commentary, forex news from top-tier resources, social trading, and a sentiment tool for currency pairs.
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In addition to their web-based platform, IG offers a mobile trading app that is suitable for both casual traders and professionals alike. Available on both Android and iOS, IG’s mobile app includes everything from sentiment readings to market information watch lists to alerts to an economic calendar, all packed into an intuitive and streamlined layout.
A variety of technical indicators and drawing tools are available on the app through IG’s charting function. These indicators are automatically saved so that they’ll reappear every time you log back in. You can trade both CFDs and forex through the app and a forex calendar is available with upcoming economic news.
While perhaps not the most attractive in terms of design, its reliability, intuitive user interface, and powerful feature set make IG’s app a worthwhile companion to keep track of your trading activities on-the-go.
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IG is a clear winner in many departments. The platform is secure, easy to use, and offers both competitive rates and a range of powerful research tools and educational material to help you get the most out of every dollar you invest. In its current state, IG is easy to praise and difficult to fault.The broker will likely remain a market leader for years to come, making it a reliable platform to carry out your trading activities both now and in the future. Whether you’re just starting off or you’re looking for a better platform to continue your professional trading career, IG is most definitely a considerable option
Jack Morgan is the senior broker tester at Financeeo. Bringing more than 20 years experience from the online broker industry. Jack has spent many hours rigorously testing brokers.