IG Markets Review

IG Markets is the largest retail Australian forex broker with strong reviews, a range-of-markets including FX, CFD and share trading, low spreads from the IG Markets ECN forex direct account starting at 0.6 pips for EUR/USD and the choice of trading platforms including MetaTrader 4, L2 Dealer and ProRealTime.

By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Sunday, January 05th, 2020

IG-Markets-Review-Background

‘Top 3’ Strengths Of IG Markets Australia

  1. Australian and overseas stockbroking services
  2. Choice Of The Leading Trading Platforms
  3. Low fees and competitive spreads

‘Top 3’ Weaknesses Of IG Markets Australia

  1. Low leverage of up to 200:1
  2. Average customer service levels
  3. Poor customer reviews

View the full IG review below where each of these strengths and weaknesses is explored further.


Our Rating

The overall rating is based on review by our experts

6.67
Spreads
5 / 10
Leverage
4 / 10
Trading Platform
7 / 10
Risk Management
7 / 10
Range of Markets
10 / 10
Customer Service
7 / 10


IG Offers Low Fee Share Trading

IG is one of the few forex brokers that offer a full range-of-markets including domestic and international share trading. What is unique about IG share trading is that a trader can use the same platform for both currency and stockbroking services. Below highlights a few key features of IG share trading.

Spread Betting1) Stock Exchanges Available

IG share trading gives access to 12,000+ shares from global stock exchanges including the ASX, DOW, NASDAQ and London Stock Exchange. Across these major exchanges, you can start trading not only large companies such as those listed on the S&P 500 can be traded but also many small caps. An IG share trading account has some limitations on stock exchanges such as Germany and Ireland where only large companies can be traded.

IG Market financial services allow traders to buy or sell stock through:

  • Contract for Difference (CFDs)
  • Spread Betting (the spread bets advantage is that profits are tax-free)

2) Share Trading Fees

Brokerage ranges by the stock exchange traded as shown in the table below. Australian share trading is brokerage starts at AUD $8 or 0.1% (whichever is greater). When trading American shares this increases to USD $15 while Germany and Ireland share trading fees are EURO €10 of 0.1% per trade. The share trading fee for the UK is £10 or 0.1% per trade. These fees are for online share trading only with phone trading having increase brokerage. There are also currency conversion fees for overseas share trading which is the best rates plus spreads of 0.5%.

IG Markets Online Share Trading Fees

Share Trading Accounts

To enable stockbroking it’s important to pick a suitable platform when selecting the share trading account. This is discussed in the next section but in summary, there are two options:

  1. Core Platform
  2. L2 Dealer

Selecting either platform during the share trading account sign-up will allow a combination of stockbroking and CFD trading with IG. There is also a market access DMA account to gain direct market prices while paying an extra commission. Overall, most Australian forex brokers do not offer stockbroking services and rather focus on CFD trading. The IG share trading and CMC Markets are presently the larger retail foreign exchange brokers offering these range-of-markets which has led to their popularity over the past decade.

IG Offers The Largest Choice Of Forex Trading Platforms

IG offers a wide range of trading platform options that is superior to forex brokers across forex and CFDs.

Core Platform
Their most popular platform is their own ‘core platform’ which is browser-based spread betting and CFD platform designed for on-the-go FX traders as no downloads are required. This is complemented with mobile apps (iOS and Android) for any device including tablets which integrate with the web-based platform.

IG Markets Australia Core Forex Platform Comparison

There are several monitoring tools including the ability to set limits and stops to close out positions, the ability to ‘tear-off’ prices when you want to close the core platform and the option to have alerts in the form of e-mails or an SMS when prices are reached.

IG Australia Core Features

There are several free tools and features available with the core platform once you become an IG Markets client including streaming of Reuters news which is fully integrated with no delays. Autochartist is another feature that can monitor CFDs and currency markets, alerting clients as to opportunities based on chart patterns. Trading central is also available as a technical analysis tool, providing charting and daily e-mail updates about the financial markets.

IG Trading Core Features

IG Markets Charts can be included for free to provide technical indicators and the ability to trade directly from charts. Another option is ProRealTime which is an advanced charting tool, with a dedicated suite of features. This charting balance has monthly costs but these are not charged when traders actively trade on the platform. Additionally, the IG platforms allow FX traders to create a watchlist with your preferred financial instruments to find them at your fingertips.

IG trader’s toolkit

The most popular feature of the core platform is that it allows IG share trading. This allows you to trade shares across stock exchanges in Australia, USA, Ireland, Germany and the UK. The combined forex and share trading CFD accounts solution mean that IG customers can benefit from an all-in-one financial services solution.

Three Specialist Platforms
For those that prefer to use more popular platforms compared to IG’s platform, three of the most popular options are available for forex trading. The absence of trading Apps is the only major disadvantage that comes with IG’s specialist platforms.

IG Markets Australia Specialist Forex Platforms

1) L2 Dealer

This platform allows an ECN forex broker trader experience with direct access to markets through IG’s Forex Direct which means the broker doesn’t add any additional spreads on currency pairings. Instead, prices are quoted directly with liquidity and major providers with a flat commission placed on volume by IG. This platform is ideal for those forex traders who also want to trader shares worldwide through a CFD broker. As discussed earlier, L2 Dealer is the advanced choice for those looking to trade CFDs and also share trade.

Note* There are no mobile trading apps supported by the L2 Dealer platform.

2) ProReal Time

This platform is ideal for forex traders who specialise in automated trading. The platform allows traders to build strategies using their development tools or you can code from scratch. Other options include the ability to import strategies from other traders or 3rd parties and back-test it across 30 years of data. There is no need to be active on the platform for the tool to trade on your behalf.

Spread Betting Mobile Apps3) MetaTrader 4

This has been a new addition to IG based on the platforms popularity and the fact most Australian forex brokers offer MT4. This platform’s popularity is due to the simplicity of the platform, the ability to customise it to your needs and its fast execution speeds. With the MetaTrader 4 platform, you have the advantage to trade forex currency pairs or spread betting on additional thousands of markets on the go with IG’s mobile trading applications.

The three advanced platforms and the core platform offer free demo accounts. This allows forex traders to try the platforms risk-free and test out IG’s customer service to make sure it suits their needs before trading with real money. You can read more on the comprehensive platform guide.

Trading Platform Execution Speed

IG’s technology focuses on stability, speed and achieving improved pricing within the forex trading market. IG’s pricing model is also able to fill 98.3% of their market orders within 0.014 seconds across all trading platforms including the spread bets. At IG, retail investors can profit from consistent liquidity and advanced dealing options that ensure forex traders will always get the desired exchange rate with zero slippage on 89% of your trades.

The table below gives an in-depth view of IG’s slippage performance (based on data from October 2019).

IG FX Slippage 2020

To minimise slippage caused by delays their systems have been built at scale achieving:

  1. 25+ million orders
  2. 40,000 daily users from desktop devices
  3. 43,000 daily users from mobile devices

IG markets also source its forex market quotes directly from the worlds largest global exchanges and banks. In turbulent markets, their price improvement technology may give you a superior price to that quoted when available. This has resulted in 1.8 million points of positive slippage to clients, which is equivalent to nearly £3.3 million that were passed on to IG traders.

IG Markets Positive Slippage

A real positive of IG is that unlike many other forex online brokers, all their client’s funds are not used for hedging. This means that all funds which include net running, unrealised profits are held for their clients in the major banks which is above and beyond AFSL requirements. This combined with their technology has led them to win several awards including the Online Personal Wealth Awards in 2015.

Open a demo account >>Visit IG >>

What Fees Does IG Markets Offers?

In the month leading up to 31/04/2019 the spreads across the three major forex spreads are:

IG Spreads 20191) IG Forex Spreads

When trading on the IG core platform the standard spreads shown to the right applies, which change depending on the currency pairing and market conditions.

The spreads shown are the major fee charged by IG, with other fees applying if you want guaranteed stops (which ensure you can’t lose more on a trade than the amount set) and fees if you hold a currency pairing overnight. On the right shows the average spread over 12 weeks to May 2019.

MetaTrader Spreads With IG2) MetaTrader 4 Forex Spreads

Those who choose to use the MetaTrader 4 platform have different spreads which are shown to the right. While minimum spreads are similar to the core platform, the average spreads are higher. The averages shown to the right are over for the 12 weeks ending 31st May 2019.

There is, therefore, a premium fee that traders must pay (through higher spreads) that applies when adopting the MetaTrader 4 platform.

Forex Direct IG Australia Review3) Forex Direct Account

An option available for IG traders is the adoption of the forex direct account with full market transparency. This means that there are no additional fees placed on spreads, with the actual spreads of the market quoted through the platform.

Naturally, IG needs to have some fees which come in the form of commission which is based by the volume of the round trade (ie the two trades for any currency pairing). Unless you trade <500 these are high compared to Pepperstone, and IC Markets.

The Forex direct account is also termed an ECN forex broker as traders have direct market access with raw costs. This can help open up opportunities such as trading with FIX API.

So What IG Account Should I Choose?

Forex Direct has overall the lowest spreads but commissions can be high for traders who have low volumes. For such traders it’s recommended to view the Australian forex broker comparison table. Otherwise, IG offers good value for high volume traders.

IG Offers Poor Leverage Levels

IG markets offer a maximum leverage of 200:1 which is one of the lowest levels of the Australian brokers. However, there are leverage limits imposed for EU-based retail clients, where forex traders can trade with a maximum leverage of 30:1, which complies with the ESMA regulations.

IG Markets Guaranteed StopsWhat this highlights is that IG doesn’t want it’s traders to a have leveraged currency positions which can lead to magnified profits or losses. They even offer guaranteed stops to further help reduce risk in volatile markets.

While lower spreads and guaranteed stops may be great for many beginner and intermediate traders, some more sophisticated traders may require higher leverage. These traders may wish to consider other fx broker shown on our Australian forex broker comparison table. It should be noted that losing your money is a real possibility even with leverage of 200:1. It’s important to understand the change of losing your money and going into negative balance which is also a possibility in extreme volatility.

CFD Trading leverage

It should be noticed that leverage products can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit. Losing your money is a real possibility due to leverage so it’s critical to understand the risks and consider a demo account before trading real money. Once trading features like stop losses should be considered to help contain risk elements leverage exposes a trader to.

IG Customer Service Is Not Award Winning

IG markets Australia offer locally based customer service 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday. The IG Group also support customer service if a trader is overseas. IG offer support over the phone, via e-mail or even through their handle on twitter. An investment trends report found IG has strong customer support but awarded the winner in 2015, 2016 and 2017 to Pepperstone. To reach the full Pepperstone report including these awards click here.

Training

While customer service may not be the best in the industry, they do have a solid training offering. This includes free in-person seminar which is also held live through webinars. They also have an IG academy app which is free for traders with information on forex, shares, commodities and indices and how traders can capitalise from both rises and falls in financial markets. The app also helps develop a trading plan, explains leverage and ways to manage risks.

IG Academy App

IG Has Poor Reviews

IG is an internationally renowned broker (under IG Group) and they are extensively reviewed on the web. Their international arms are all run independently of the main arm in the United Kingdom. In Australia, there are over 500 IG broker reviews on 3rd party review site Trust Pilot with an average score of  7.8/10 – ‎2,187 reviews. In comparison their competitors have:

Another Australian review website (Product Review) has an even more negative review history with 21 reviews to date that are only a single star. The key concern stated in IG reviews were hidden subscription fees, IT issues with their trading platform performance.

IG Customer Reviews 2019

It’s strongly worth going over the review of IG and considering some of the other brokers such as Pepperstone who have won several awards based on customer reviews and surveys.

IG Markets Australia Review Conclusion

IG is the most popular retail foreign exchange forex broker and their all-in-one offering of forex, CFD, spread betting and share trading is why traders choose the broker. Compare Forex Brokers recommends IG for high volume traders (who attract a lower commission) with a low-risk appetite.

IG Markets South AfricaThe forex broker is not suitable for:

  • Those new to currency trading (try EasyMarkets who offer minimum balance protection and Trade Cancellation).
  • Those looking for high leverage (try IC Markets who offer 500:1 leverage)
  • Small to medium volume traders looking for low spreads fees (try Pepperstone who offer the Razor ECN account)

Additional IG Information

When opening an account four core funding options exist for currency traders:

  1. Credit Cards – Mastercard and Visa can be used to fund IG markets live account with a 0.5% charge applicable respectively 1.0% fee for Visa credit card.
  2. Debit Cards – No charge applies to MasterCard debit card funding and Visa debit cards. This funding option offers instant deposit feature.
  3. bPay – No costs are incurred through bPay but funds can take two working days before they are cleared.
  4. PayPal Account – As an alternative online payment solution, FX traders can fund their live account through PayPal.

IG Minimum Deposit

The minimum deposit to start online trading or spread betting with IG Markets is $450 or the equivalent in your local currency. All client funds as discussed earlier are segregated into a separate bank account as per AFSL regulations. Clients of IG Markets can fund their trading accounts in any of the following currencies: USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, and HKD. IG clients must be aware that an inactivity fee of $18 will be levied on all trading accounts that have no trading activity for 24 consecutive months.

Forex segregated accountsAbout IG Group

IG Group is a worldwide global leader in online multi-asset trading headquartered in the City of London, UK. IG clients and possible customers can reach the UK-based broker at its head office address: Cannon Bridge House 25 Dowgate Hill London EC4R 2YA. The company is also listed on the London Stock Exchange LSE and is included in the FTSE 250 Index.

IG Markets Spread Betting

IG is truly an international forex broker with over 45 years of experience in the financial markets. For our IG Markets Review, we assessed if the brand can serve clients from around the world. Our team of industry experts found that IG has a remarkable global presence through its 16 offices (including UK, USA, Australia, Singapore and Europe) spread all around the globe and across five continents.

Spread Bets vs Trading CFDs

If you’re considering spread betting and having the option to trade at the same time CFDs, IG Markets is among the fewest online brokers offering both leveraged products. IG clients can open spread bets CFD trading in both market directions (long and short) across more than 16,000 financial instruments. The most popular markets that can be traded with the CFD accounts include currency pairs, shares, cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ethereum), ETFs and much more.

Largest Retail Foreign Exchange Brokers

IG Markets Review – License and Regulation

Why choose IG MarketsEstablished in 1974, IG Markets is trusted by over 178,500 worldwide retail investors. IG Group is subject to strict standards and operates under the norms imposed by tire-one regulatory bodies, including:

  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia
  • Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa
  • Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in New Zealand
  • National Futures Association (NFA) in the USA

The table below outlines all the regulatory bodies that supervise IG trading activities.

Authorization and Regulation Online Trading

Additionally, trading CFDs on IG.com come with extra peace of mind as IG Markets also abides by the leading principles of the FX Global Code of Conduct. The online brokers that have signed the FX code created by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) are required to offer a fair trading environment.

To visit the IG Markets website, click the button below.

Open a demo account >>Visit IG >>

Compare IG To Other FX Brokers With Our 'Head To Head' Comparison Tables