Table of contents:
- 1 IG – The History
- 1.1 How is IG regulated?
- 1.2 Which markets are tradable?
- 1.3 The fees at IG
- 1.4 What are the margin requirements?
- 1.5 Margin rates for retail investors
- 1.6 Margin rates for professional traders
- 1.7 Classification as a professional trader
- 1.8 Slippage
- 1.9 Types of trading with IG (CFD, Options Trading & Barriers)
- 1.10 Opening a CFD account with IG is not complicated and is done in three quick steps
- 1.11 mobile app
- 1.12 How is the deposit and withdrawal made?
- 1.13 What platforms are available at IG?
- 1.14 The demo account at IG
- 1.15 The risk management at IG
- 1.16 The service at IG
- 1.17 The web presence of IG
- 1.18 Conclusion
- 1.19 What are vanilla options?
- 1.20 Is there an inactivity fee?
- 1.21 How is IG regulated?
- 1.22 Is there a demo account?
IG user-ratings: $250
Asset varierity - 10/10
Trading platform - 10/10
Support - 10/10
Fees - 8.5/10
Deposit/Withdrawal - 10/10
Facts about the company:
- Type: Forex, stocks, and CFD Broker
- Regulation: FCA (UK), BaFin (Germany)
- Minimum deposit: $250
- Demo account: Free
- Markets: 17.000+ Forex, CFDs, Indices, Shares, Commodities, Options, Cryptocurrencies, Futures
- Protected funds
- Over 17,000 markets to choose from
- Interactive education offers
- Fast execution
- Real-time price data
- Inactivity fees
IG – The History
The company with the registered name IG Group Holdings Plc. was founded in England in 1974. The original intention of the company was to speculate on gold. At that time, the name of the company was “IG Index”. It was not until eight years later that the company expanded its portfolio and made financial spreading betting possible on the 30 largest companies in its own country that were listed on the British stock index. This gave investors the opportunity to bet on the development of certain share prices. In 1998, IG was then launched as an online platform.
After being listed on the FTSE 250 Stock Index as a publicly-traded company in 2005, the company continued to expand globally year after year and now has a presence in all major European countries. IG Group is now the largest CFD provider in terms of turnover. In 2012, the company combined all global companies (IG Markets and IG Index) under the common name IG.
The IG Group has also been able to significantly expand the number of branches over the years. There are currently already branches in the following cities:
How is IG regulated?
Investment companies are generally subject to the regulation to keep customer funds and own company funds separately. For this reason, IG also keeps deposited client funds separately in segregated trust accounts of regulated banks, where they are clearly identifiable as client property. The reason for this is simply that customer funds and capital contributions, such as shares, cannot be used for corporate purposes and that customers are fully protected in the worst case of insolvency. In addition, the funds are not spread over a single bank, but over several institutions. Important: Deposit protection for customer funds is provided up to an amount of 50,000 British pounds.
IG is regulated by the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This authority is known for its strict guidelines and regulations for customer deposits and investments.
IG is also regulated by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). In order to protect customer deposits, the authority regularly checks that all guidelines are observed.
Which markets are tradable?
IG Group offers a variety of different markets that can be traded. The selection of 17,000 markets offered is constantly being expanded. The following markets, among others, are available for trading:
- Equity CFDs
- Raw materials
- Crypto Currencies
The fees at IG
IG keeps the fee structure transparent and does not demand any hidden costs. In principle, only the spread must be paid for all non-shareholdings. Fees for spreads start at 1 point for leading index markets and 0.8 pips for the main Forex currency pairs. Stock CFDs can be traded online with a commission of 0.05% per transaction.
If you look at the standard commission, for all other markets it starts at just 0.1% per transaction, using the platform itself is free. In addition, if at least four transactions are made per month, “ProRealTime Charts” can also be accessed free of charge. In the event that the desired transactions are not carried out, a fee of $30 must be paid at the end of the month.
What are the margin requirements?
IG has some of the lowest margin requirements in the CFD industry. In general, smaller trade sizes take advantage of high market liquidity. This is why IC offers its clients the opportunity to benefit from very low margin requirements.
In the following, let’s first look at the conditions that the company can offer in terms of margin for retail investors. The most popular markets will be considered. Special margin rates and fees can be looked upon on the IG Group website at any time.
Margin rates for retail investors
In the case of IG, the terms and conditions of private investors are different from those of professional traders. Let us start with the margin rate for private investors.
Private clients must pay a margin contribution of 20% for the majority of the shares.
Forex trading requires a 3.33% margin for the main currency pairs, except for the AUD/USD pair where the margin is 5%.
For private investors, the margin per contract for indices is usually 5%.
While the margin for gold is set at 5%, 10% is required for most other commodities.
For the tradable cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Co., the margin rate is 50% each for the private investor.
Margin rates for professional traders
Now let’s look at the same listing for professional traders.
Professionally rated traders generally have to pay a margin contribution of only 4.5% for equities.
In Forex trading, the required margin is subject to a certain amount of fluctuation, which varies depending on the currency pair. The margin rate for the EUR/USD, AUD/USD, and EUR/JPY currency pairs is 0.45%, for the GBP/USD currency pair it is 0.90% and for USD/CHF it is 1.35%.
For professional investors, the margin per contract for indices is usually 0.45%.
While the margin for gold is set at 0.63%, most other commodities require about one percent more.
- Crypto Currencies
Differentiation is also made for the tradable cryptocurrencies. While the margin rate for the popular digital currencies Bitcoin and Ethereum is 13.5%, the margin rate for the remaining cryptocurrencies is 22.5%.
Classification as a professional trader
Now the next step is the question of how the classification process to become a professional trader works. For this purpose, IG has formulated a number of questions that can be used to classify investors. The questions look like the following and can be found on the website.
If you, as a potentially interested client, can answer at least two of these questions positively, then there is a chance of being classified as a professional trader.
While slippage effects at stops are of a negative value for the customer, investors benefit from a slippage effect at limits. For this reason, IG offers asymmetric slippage performance so that on average, clients benefit rather than suffer. To this end, IG has published its slippage data from the last quarter. The table below shows the slippage performance of some popular currencies and indices.
|Markets||Stops – no slippage||Negative slippage||Positive slippage|
|AUD / USD||96%||4%||22%|
Types of trading with IG (CFD, Options Trading & Barriers)
IG offers three main types of trading that interested traders can use: Barriers, CFDs and Vanilla Options.
Barriers, or barrier options, provide traders with a way to control the leverage and risk without having to sell the trading object on their own. Barrier Options are leveraged options that close automatically or are “knocked out” when the underlying market price reaches the “knock-out” level selected by the investor. The so-called knock-out level describes the barrier at which the options are automatically closed.
The main difference to vanilla options is that they can only be bought to open a position. In order to be able to trade profitably at both rising and falling prices, there are the options “IG Call” and “IG Put”.
The CFD trading offered is also clearly and flexibly structured. Options and CFDs are two of the two types of leveraged products offered by IG. The range of different markets is diverse and can be traded 24 hours a day. Investors can position themselves long or short.
CFDs include several markets, including the following:
- Forex: long or short, spreads start from 0.6 points for currency pairs such as EUR/USD.
- Indices: The most popular indices, 24 hours a day
- Shares: Over 12,000 international stock markets available
- Commodities: Wide range of metals, energies, and soft commodities; spot gold spreads from 0.3 points
Opening a CFD account with IG is not complicated and is done in three quick steps
At this point, we would like to mention some of the advantages of CFD trading at IG. For example, traders can minimize their risk by taking advantage of the numerous stop and limit orders. Also useful is the research service that IG provides to its clients (regardless of their current level of knowledge).
- Verification: The verification can be done easily from home in a video call.
- Deposit and trading: Now you can deposit directly and start trading or try out the demo account first.
IG also offers its customers the option of trading flexibly via smartphone or tablet using a mobile app. The corresponding app for both Android and Apple devices can be found in the respective store. These offer several advantages for users. First of all, downloading the app is free of charge. The mobile app offers all the functions necessary for trading – new trades can be opened and open options managed at any time.
In addition, the app is optimally tuned for all smartphones and tablets. In addition, updates are provided at regular intervals so that users can improve their trading results in the long term. And the security also leaves nothing to be desired: trading takes place with a secure 256-bit SSL encryption. In addition, thousands of different markets can be traded, including stocks, forex, commodities, and indices.
How is the deposit and withdrawal made?
IG offers several methods of deposit and withdrawal. If you want to fund your account with trading credits, you can choose from the following deposit methods:
- Bank Transfer (takes up to three business days to complete)
- Credit card (Visa- or Mastercard – immediately upon successful payment)
- PayPal (immediately, but only selectable after final account activation)
- Mobile App (Android/Apple – immediately upon successful payment)
All payment methods of deposit are free of charge. In general, it is important to note that when making a deposit, you must state your own name and the IG account number in the reason for payment.
Withdrawals by standard bank transfer are also free of charge. In this way, the money should normally be credited to the account within 24 hours. If the amount is to be paid out to a card, this can take 2-5 days.
What platforms are available at IG?
IG offers a number of different solutions when it comes to choosing which platform to use. In addition to the classic web-based platform, there is also the option of a mobile app for the smartphone or tablet. Furthermore, the use of specialized platforms such as MetaTrader 4, ProRealTime, or L2 Dealer is also possible.
It is worth mentioning here that all platforms have been adapted to the respective end devices in terms of structure and design. The MetaTrader 4 platform is also equipped with 18 free add-ons and indicators, including Autochartist.
The demo account at IG
IG’s demo account offers interested investors the opportunity to try CFD and options trading without risk. Although the demo account is similar to the live account in many ways, there are a few differences. Firstly, orders executed in the demo account are not subject to slippage and interest rate adjustments. In addition, it is not possible to reject trades, unlike the live account. And last but not least, the IG chart packages are not charged to the investor in the demo account.
In the demo account, you can trade with a virtual credit balance of $10,000. In addition, the demo account also gives you access to the IG Academy training courses and you can try out your first strategies without any further risk.
Opening a demo account is very straightforward. Apart from some personal data, all you have to do is enter a user name and a corresponding e-mail address and then you can get started right away.
The risk management at IG
It’s no secret that options and CFDs involve numerous risks. That’s why IG offers our clients certain risk management tools. The website helps them do this by answering a variety of questions about CFDs and risk and providing background information. It also mentions the different risks that can arise during the course of trading. Subsequently, an explanation of potential causes for this is provided and a solution approach, what the affected customer can do in the respective situation, and how he can better protect himself in the future.
The service at IG
It is also worth mentioning the support and service provided to customers by IG. In principle, it is possible to contact customer service at any time if there are any uncertainties. During the time windows from 8:15 am – 10:15 pm during the week and from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm on weekends. Outside these times, English-speaking support is available.
|Support available:||8 am to 10:15 pm 5 days a week and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends|
There is also a six-week introductory program for newcomers, which allows beginners to start trading at a lower risk. It is also possible to trade at reduced minimum trade sizes over a two-week period.
A further service advantage is that the support team offers a platform tour in which the functions of the website are shown and explained to the investor in a one-on-one conversation. Last but not least, there is also the possibility of exchanging views with a service employee via live chat.
The web presence of IG
In the end, I would also like to say something about the clarity and structural design of the IG website. The website is structured in a user-friendly way and allows website visitors to get a quick overview of the services and conditions offered.
In addition, numerous videos have been integrated at various points, which aim to go into specific topics (for example, Barrier Options or Vanilla Options) and explain them briefly and clearly. The design is also discreetly chosen, and as a website visitor, you will not be overwhelmed by too much text.
Online Broker IG offers a wide range of tradable products with fair trading conditions. IG is versatile and strictly regulated, among others by BaFin and FCA. Client funds and capital contributions are generally kept separate from business assets, which makes it possible to safeguard them.
Support is available at all times, and there is also a beginner-friendly induction program and general support service. The demo account also offers a wide range of training opportunities, including access to the so-called IG Academy.
Most asked questions:
What are vanilla options?
A vanilla option is a financial product in the form of a contract. It gives the investor the right (but not the obligation) to buy or sell an underlying asset at a fixed price (strike price) on a specific date. For the purchase of a vanilla option, a premium is charged, which represents the trader’s total risk.
Is there an inactivity fee?
Yes, there is a fee charged when being inactive for more than 24 month in a row. If that’s the case a fee of $12 or a equivalent currency is charged automatically.
How is IG regulated?
IG is double regulated by institutions based in Germany and the United Kingdom. According to this, IG is regulated by the British FCA and the German BaFin – both are well-known and serious regulation institutions.
Is there a demo account?
Yes, traders can trade risk-free with a demo account. Every trader who opens up a live account gets automatically access to a demo account. But also as a non client it is possible to open up a demo account for fee.