In Jan 2021 we updated our IG Trading Platform review focusing on the different platform options IG Markets Australia offers traders.
There are four IG Trading Platform options for forex trading including: – The core web-based and app-based platform – L2 Dealer utilising a ‘forex direct’ account – ProRealTime with automated trading – MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
Our IG trading platform review below looks at these four platforms and their associated fees to discuss which option best suits your trading style and needs.
The default platform for IG markets is their core platform with a 99.96% up-time. This platform has won a host of awards over the years, including The Stockies Awards in a public poll two years ago.
The core forex trading platform for desktop devices is browser-based with no downloads required. The platform focuses on flexibility when forex trading, with the ability to adjust windows and chart layouts to suit your needs. The desktop platform also includes free streaming Reuters news to get the latest market information live.
There is a range of features ensuring you don’t need to stare at your screen all day including:
The IG platform offers the standards order types for CFD trading and spread betting. IG clients can speculate on the price movement of over 17,000 financial instruments (forex, shares, indices, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, etc.) using market orders, limit orders, and stop-loss orders.
An additional guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) is available to fully protect the retail investor accounts. The GSLO guarantees no slippage when you trade CFDs or spread bets. With the share dealing platform, traders can open and close positions from multiple points, including watchlist, charts and the deal ticket.
Key navigation features include a ‘finder’ allows forex traders to search for the assets they are focused on, as well as the ability to browse financial products. Watch-lists can also be set up or pre-loaded focuses on areas such as past trades for easy access any-where, any-time.
The core platform also offers a trading app across Android, Apple (iOS) and Windows products. These applications won the ‘best mobile app and tablet app 2014’ by Money Week and the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2020.
The key feature of the IG mobile trading platform is that the design remains native across all devices that are updated periodically. They are all free to download and use a 256-bit SSL encryption, allowing you to trade with confidence. You don’t even need to login to your account to see elements such as live prices, which is critical for those on-the-go.
Two key tools that can be incorporated into the core platform are:
This free feature for IG clients is a pattern recognition tool. When forex trading the tool monitors the market and alerts traders when opportunities exist. This can help eliminate guesswork & subjectivity when making a chart analysis not only for forex but also shares, indices and even metals. This can help remove the time-consuming and complicated task of analysing charts for patterns. Visual and/or audit pattern alerts can be set, allowing traders to do other tasks while this feature is active.
This is another free tool that is active on the web-based platform. It provided technical analysis articles, charts, and alerts. Traders receive independent analysis via e-mail across USA, Asian and European markets. It also provides traders information on upcoming events, broker ratings and the top performers before the markets open.
The core-platform is ideal for those new to forex trading or those with time constraints who need easy to load platforms while they are on-the-go. The platform is free across all devices with no downloads required for the desktop version.
L2 Dealer is IG Trading Platform DMA (also known as an ECN forex broker platform) with direct market access to forex liquidity markets with no dealer desk intervention. L2 is downloadable and created for advanced traders unlike the core trading platform with increased complexity and control.
L2 Dealer has arguably the lowest forex fees of the platforms offered by IG with heavily reduced spreads and instead of flat commissions charged based on turnover. It provides institutional-grade forex from twelve global large banks. The platform has smart order-routing, ensuring the best price is automatically sources from a number of trading venues.
It also has the fastest execution speeds of the IG platforms as it utilises the Equinix LD4 facility in the UK. This connects the IG server to the deepest liquidity currency pools. The platform displays order books by individual exchange or in a consolidated view across aggregated windows.
Other key benefits of L2 Dealer is that the option of automatic trading utilising their web-based API or FIX API. The API can be used with Excel (VBA), Java, .NET, and any programming language that supports HTTP.
L2 Dealer can have data usage fees in certain circumstances, but for active traders, these fees are rebated making it free of charge.
ProRealTime is a leading web-based package that has automated trading integration. The platform has 100+ indicators inbuilt that covers volatility to prices.
The key point of differentiation is the interface which has won awards due to the customisation layout options and the ability to set and trade directly from charts. This also includes real-time tick-by-tick charting.
The tool’s automation allows traders to build strategies utilisation their assisted creation tools. Traders can also code from scratch or import strategies from third parties with back-testing ability against 30+ years of historic data.
The costs of ProRealTime is $40 a month unless a trader makes four trades in a calendar month, in which case a rebate for the full amount is provided by IG Markets.
The spreads for this IG trading platform are the same as IG Markets core platform with spreads starting at 0.6 pips for EUR/USD and AUD/USD and an average spread of 1.0 pips.
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex platform with a light package that can be downloaded for a desktop and associated apps for apple and android devices.
The popularity of MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is due to the speed of execution and no third-party bridges. The IG trading platform has tight spreads with IG markets across 70 CFDs and a virtual private server. Below shows the spreads of major pairings which are higher than forex direct.
Two extra add-ons are:
1) Trading Central
You can attach different levels & strategies to MT4 with the ability to display technical analysis for different time-frames. Commentary can be given for selected markets along with price alerts at no extra cost.
This tool provides detailed pattern recognition to find emerging trends within the currency market. Patterns such as Trend Change, Fibonacci and Breakout Strength can be activated and enhanced indicators can identify market direction and trends.
Overall, MT4 isn’t a core platform of IG Markets with n ECN forex broker options provided. The tool is ideal for those already used to MT4 from a past forex broker, but for those new to trading, another platform is recommended.
The leverage you can trade with will be determined by the IG subsidiary you are trading with. The broker operates in 10 different financial hubs around the world:
The highest leverage offered by the broker is via IG’s Dubai and US branches, where traders can use leverage of 50:1, while the rest of IG’s subsidiaries are restricted to 30:1 or less.
The lower leverage offered by IG is ideal for new traders as it limits their exposure to the market. More experienced forex brokers though may require higher leverage to implement their forex strategies when forex trading.
Other ways to manage exposure to the market include:
Overall, leverage enhances the risks when forex trading so, make sure the level matches your risk appetite and if trading with IG, consider their guaranteed stop feature.
While there are four platforms offered by IG Markets, only two are recommended when forex trading. The first is the core trading platform for beginner traders, which has cross-device platforms and a strong web-based desktop platform. The second recommended platform is L2, which is suitable for more experienced traders due to being an ECN platform. This means that there are no dealing desks, lower spreads and faster execution speeds. The remaining two platforms are only suggested for those used to the software packages or features, but other forex trading brokers offer stronger features across these two options. Check out the advantages of IG Markets when compared to easyMarkets to learn more.
Note: Brokers are constantly looking to improve their services, brokers offerings and policies might have changed since this review was written. Please validate the information on the site with the IG Trading website before purchasing any products from this broker.
IG offers a full suite of trading platforms that caters to the trading needs of a wider client base:
Check out the most comprehensive IG Markets Review compiled by our team of experts at Compare Forex Brokers.
MetaTrader 4 is by far the best forex trading platforms in Australia. MetaTrader 5 and cTrader are also extremely popular among Australian retail traders. This list of the 10 Best Australian Forex Brokers regulated by the ASIC reveals why Pepperstone has the best forex trading platform.
For beginners, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is an easy-to-navigate trading platform, which is a great fit for the retail crowd. MT4 is also the most common FX trading platform offered by brokers. The biggest MT4 brokers are Pepperstone, IC Markets, IG Markets and FxPro.
IG Markets’ parent company IG Group is a Fintech company listed on the London Stock Exchange and part of the FTSE 250 index. Established in 1974 and headquartered in the heart of London, the world’s largest financial centre. IG is a legitimate brokerage trading firm that follows the regulatory guidelines imposed by six tier-one financial agencies.
Note* Since IG Group is a publicly listed company, all its financial statements can be viewed on their website at IG.com.
In the United States, IG US LLC is a member of NFA and a registered REFD with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In the UK, two entities, IG Markets Ltd and IG Index Ltd are licensed and authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In Australia, IG Australia Pty Ltd abides by the regulatory frameworks imposed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Opening a live trading account with IG Markets is easy and fast with a few personal details. To start trading with IG, you need to make a minimum deposit of USD 300 or 300 units of the account base currency. Funding is allowed in USD, GBP and EUR with the most popular payment options (credit/debit cards, bank transfers, and PayPal).
If you’re new to online trading, IG Markets allows you to open a risk-free demo account once you submit IG’s online application directly from IG.COM. The demo account features the same functionalities of the live account, including the same number of financial markets, technical tools and charting package. IG community is also at your disposal to learn from more experienced traders, while the live webinars will keep you updated with the latest market trends.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.