With more than 17,000 different markets available to trade, IG is one of the world’s leading online brokers, and their platform is designed to be used by both professional and beginner traders.
- About IG
- Opening an Account
- How Long Does the Account Creation Process Take?
- What’s the Minimum Deposit?
- Identity and Verification
- Can IG Be Trusted?
- Research and Assistance
- Demo Accounts
- Desktop Experience
- IG Trading Platform
- Mobile Experience
- Investment Options
- Commissions and Fees
- Deposits & Withdrawals
- Customer Support
They offer an extensive educational portal, top-notch customer support and competitive fees and commissions.
The purpose of this IG review is to give you an in-depth and impartial look at what this online broker has to offer.
I’ll be covering everything, from the investment options and markets to the payment methods, customer support facilities and more.
I’m going to kick things off with a look at who IG are…
Let’s kick things off with a look at who IG is, and where they operate from.
IG review was last updated in May 2020. Author – Jonathan Mann.
IG was first established back in 1974, meaning it has huge standing in the brokerage world.
It’s also one of the largest CFD brokers on the planet, boasting hundreds of thousands of active registered clients.
It’s regulated in some of the most stringent markets around and the site itself is considered incredibly safe.
IG is listed on the stock exchange, regularly discloses its financial situation publicly and is overseen by top-tier regulators.
The company is also based in the UK, adding even more credibility.
This means that IG operates under incredibly strict rules and regulations, and I have no doubt in my mind that anyone trading there will have a safe and fair trading experience at all times.back to menu ↑
Opening an Account
Opening an account with IG couldn’t be easier, and there are three different types of account for you to open.
I’ll cover these in just a moment. Firstly, let me tell you about how to actually open an account.
Once you land on IG’s website, you simply need to navigate down to the “Open an Account’ section.
You will then be presented with a sign-up form, asking for your full name, email address, username, password, country of residence and account type.
Once you’ve completed all the fields, you’ll be taken to another page where you’re asked some questions about your previous trading experience.
This is a necessary step, as it helps IG to understand what type of trader you are, and what tools you might find useful.
There are three different types of accounts you can open at IG, which I’m going to look at next in this IG review…
Firstly, you’ve got the CFD account.
This allows you to trade contracts for difference and is suitable for hedging.
The CFD account offers access to more than 16,000 different markets, and you’ll find yourself able to trade forex currency pairs, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies and more.
The second type of account you can open at IG is a spread betting account.
This is a profit-free account, thanks to Capital Gains Tax, and like the CFD account, you’ll have access to more than 16,000 different markets.
There are no commissions charged on the spread betting account, you just pay IG’s spread.
The third and final account you can create at IG is the share dealing account.
This allows you to invest in more than 10,000 international stocks and ETFs, and it offers some very competitive commission rates.
It’s also possible to add an ISA or SIPP to your account, even after you’ve already opened it.back to menu ↑
How Long Does the Account Creation Process Take?
Going through the account creation process at IG takes around 10 minutes.
Most of the time is spent answering questions about your trading experience and confirming your email address.
Overall, you should find the whole process to be a simple and smooth one.back to menu ↑
What’s the Minimum Deposit?
The minimum deposit at IG depends on which account type you’re opening. It also varies depending on which country you’re signing up from.
However, most of their accounts allow you to invest from as little as $250.
Professional traders who are looking to deposit more than $10,000 can get in touch with an account specialist to open a professional trading account.back to menu ↑
Identity and Verification
One of the major perks of trading with IG is that they’re usually able to verify your identity automatically.
This means that you often won’t need to submit any verification documents, at least when you create your account.
However, once you cross a certain threshold (either depositing, trading or withdrawing) you will likely need to undergo a more stringent ID check, which will require you to prove your name and address.back to menu ↑
Can IG Be Trusted?
I would go as far as to say that IG is one of the most trustworthy names in the forex/CFD trading industry.
In the UK, they’re overseen and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are notoriously strict with the companies they license.
In Australia, they’re regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
UK traders are covered by default for up to £50,000 through the government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
However, I should point out that there is no additional insurance coverage provided.
The overall security of IG’s site is average, I would say.
They do use encryption technology, but I’d like to see additional security features added to the site to increase the overall security.
I’m happy to say that client funds are segregated at IG, and this allows some peace of mind that your money is protected in case of insolvency.
However, in IG’s terms and conditions, there is some fine print that states they can hold client funds outside of local jurisdictions, which isn’t ideal.
However, again, I don’t have any concerns when it comes to trustworthiness, and I would be perfectly happy trading at IG myself.back to menu ↑
Research and Assistance
There’s nothing I like more than seeing an online broker offering an extensive research and education portal, and Interactive Brokers offers a huge selection of educational tools for you to take advantage of.
Most of these resources are free too, which allows you to learn more about trading and how markets work, without needing to open up your wallet or purse.
Below, I’m going to be taking a look at some of the different educational tools available at Interactive Brokers:
Trader’s Academy: The Trader’s Academy is Interactive Brokers’ comprehensive online trading course, and it’s designed to take you from a complete beginner to an experienced, competent trader.
The Academy comprises some 48 different courses, and this ensures it covers everything, from navigating the forex market to understanding CFDs and how they work.
It even helps you put together trading plans and gives expert guidance on how to use leverage effectively.
Best of all, the Trader’s Academy is available to access from all your devices, and you can access it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Webinars: The second part of Interactive Brokers’ educational platform is their dedicated webinar section.
Personally, I’m a big fan of webinars as they allow you to learn in a non-textbook-like style, and you’ll be listening to actual speakers giving their advice and opinions in a video format.
What I really liked to see at Interactive Brokers is that they offer what are known as interactive webinars.
This means you can follow along with them online, and they also make their full collection of past webinars available too, so you can search through all of their previous presentations and choose the ones that cover what you’d like to learn.
Trader’s Insight Blog: Interactive Brokers also publish a (near) daily blog, called the Trader’s Insight Blog.
This is where you’ll find information about breaking news relating to trading and financial markets, and they often publish in-depth pieces around topics like changing markets, the economy and more.
It’s well-worth checking out from time to time, especially if you’re planning on trading on a regular basis.
The final thing I’d like to point out is that Interactive Brokers also offer a trading newsletter.
This is sent out via email, and there are currently more than 10,000 active subscribers, so it’s clear they’re providing valuable content.
I’d recommend you join the newsletter, as you’ll get sent special offers, trading tips and more.back to menu ↑
I was pleased to see that IG offers all traders (both new and old) the ability to place trades via a demo account.
This account can be opened in just a couple of minutes, and you don’t need to verify any of your personal details before you’re able to start trading.
I should point out, however, that you won’t be able to access the IG Community with a demo account, as this is only made available to those who are making real money, active trades.
I feel it’s something to point out, as it’s a pretty big part of IG’s platform as a whole.back to menu ↑
Like most online brokers, IG offers more than one trading platform for you to use.
The two main ones on offer are IG’s own proprietary trading platform and MetaTrader4.
I’ll give you a short overview of both of these below.back to menu ↑
MetaTrader4 has long been seen as the industry leader in the online trading world, and this third-party piece of software is used by millions of traders every week.
It’s built and maintained by a company called MetaQuotes, who also have produced MetaTrader5 – a more advanced albeit less popular trading platform.
MetaTrader4 is designed to appeal to all types of traders, and its cutting-edge server technology ensures that trades are executed within milliseconds.
It also allows for a relatively decent level of customization, meaning you’ll find yourself able to move things around, such as tabs, to fit your personal preferences.
The trading platform also comes packed with a number of useful trading tools.
For instance, you’ll find yourself able to take advantage of a number of technical analysis indicators and charts – both of which are used regularly by advanced, professional traders.
There’s also some limited functionality for developing your own trading bots, although I think it’s fair to say that MetaTrader5 is a far more superior platform when it comes to programming your own automation.back to menu ↑
IG Trading Platform
IG’s proprietary trading platform is, I feel, incredibly well made.
It’s very common for online brokers to develop their own trading platform just for the sake of it, but it just doesn’t feel like that’s the case with IG.
I’d go as far as saying it’s one of the best-looking and well-designed trading platforms I’ve come across, bar perhaps MetaTrader4.
IG’s trading platform comes packed with customization options, which is extremely useful if you’re looking to change things around to suit your personal preferences.
For example, you can easily and quickly move windows around, and there’s also the ability to create watchlists.
I also like the one-click trading feature, although I’d strongly advise that you only utilize this when you have a good feel for how the platform works, as it’s easy to mis-click and accidently make trades if you don’t know what you’re doing.back to menu ↑
If you’re looking to trade from your mobile device, you’ll be pleased to learn that you can do so, using both IG’s trading platform app and the MetaTrader4 app.
Both apps are free to download and offer a comprehensive trading experience.
Once the apps have been installed on your device, it’s simply a case of logging into your account, after which you’ll be able to start trading.
I should also point out that it’s possible to create an account from the mobile apps if you’re a new trader.back to menu ↑
IG has one of the biggest selections of investment options I’ve come across in recent years, and I think it’s fair to say they’re right up there among other industry leaders.
Unlike many of the online brokers I review, IG don’t specialize in forex currency pairs – although it is a big part of their offering.
They offer all major currency pairs, and you’ll also find a selection of minor pairs too.
There’s also a small selection of exotic pairs, although I wasn’t able to find a huge selection of these.
It’s IG’s CFD trading investment options that offer the biggest choice for investors, and they offer some 13,000+ different CFDs for you to trade, putting them above almost all other online brokers by a long mile.
You’ll find a total of 68 different stock index CFDs, and when it comes to regular stock CFDs, you’ll be able to access over 10,500.
There are also some 1,900 ETF CFDs, all of which can be traded by accounts of all types.
When it comes to commodity CFDs, IG offers 47, and there are 13 bond CFDs.
They’ve also recently added cryptocurrencies to their platform, and you’ll find 8 to choose from – these include Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, the commissions for trading cryptos are quite high, and this is likely to be a turnoff to some of the traders putting through larger volumes of money.
If you’re from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania or Sweden you’ll also be able to trade options.
You can choose to trade equity indexes, forex currency pairs and commodity options. You also get to choose between two different types of options: Vanilla options and Barrier options.back to menu ↑
Commissions and Fees
As a general rule of thumb, IG offers relatively low fees when it comes to stock index CFDs.
Their forex trading fees are also relatively low, although they’re not the lowest I’ve seen.
Stock CFD fees are quite high, especially when compared to other leading online brokers.
Below, you can view a chart showing some of the various fees associated with different accounts at IG.
The only other fee to be aware of is the account inactivity fee.
However, I was pleased to see that IG only begins charging an inactivity fee after 2 years.
This is charged when you haven’t deposited any money or placed any real trades within that period.
The inactivity fee varies depending on the type of account you hold with IG.back to menu ↑
Deposits & Withdrawals
Like all online brokers, IG offers a wide variety of payment methods for you to make deposits and withdrawals with.
There are no fees attached to any of their deposit methods, although you may be charged by your payment source.
For example, some credit card providers will charge a fee when making payments to an online brokerage platform.
There are three main payment methods offered for both deposits and withdrawals. The first is debit and credit cards. IG accepts all major debit and credit cards, including VISA, MasterCard and Maestro.
They also offer PayPal, which I’m happy to see.
It’s quite rare to see online brokers offering PayPal, as the EWallet company is very strict about which companies it allows to use its platform, but as IG is UK-based, clearly, there’s no issues in doing so.
You can also make deposits and withdrawals by making a direct bank transfer.
However, bank transfers are not instant, and they can take up to three business days to process. All other deposits are credited to your account instantly.
When it comes to withdrawals, IG are pretty quick, and they aim to process all cash out requests within 48 hours.
However, in my experience it’s usually quite a bit faster than this, and it’s not uncommon for them to process withdrawals on a same-day basis.
They do not charge any fees to make withdrawals, and once they’ve processed a request you can expect to see money land in your debit/credit card account within 1-5 working days.
PayPal withdrawals are instant, and bank transfer withdrawals can take up to 5 working days to appear back in your account.back to menu ↑
Like all reputable online brokers, IG offers customer support for all clients, both new and old.
They prefer that you contact their customer support team by phone, and they operate a toll-free UK number that is open between the hours of 8am to 10pm Saturday through Friday.
They also offer live chat support directly through their website.
This is actually my preferred way of getting in touch with the online broker’s customer support team, as it connects you with a trained customer support agent in a matter of seconds, without you needing to pick up the phone.
I should also point out that live chat is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also send an email to IG’s customer support team, although I found the response times to be a little disappointing, as you could find yourself waiting up to 24 hours for a response.
They also maintain a presence on social media and will be happy to answer generic questions on Facebook.
However, they won’t be able to help with any account-specific requests or problems.back to menu ↑
IG is one of the biggest online brokers on the planet, and for good reason.
With hundreds of thousands of active traders, it’s not hard to see why they’ve won numerous awards, and their solid, state-of-the-art trading platform allows traders of all levels to trade forex currency pairs and CFDs.
I really like how IG are themselves listed on the London Stock Exchange, and I feel that this provides an added layer of security.
Deposits and withdrawals at IG are also incredibly simple and straightforward.
I like that there are no fees/charges attached to any of the payment methods, and for the most part, deposits are credited to your account instantly.
The only real drawback to the brokerage is that the stock CFD fees are quite high. Other than that, I can’t really find any faults with the online broker.
- Low spreads
- Diversity of trading tools
- Diversity of forex and CFD instruments
- Reliable forex broker
- Fast account opening
- Good for Pros
- Good for beginners
- Great support
- MT5 is missing
Details: IG Review
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