IG (formerly IG Markets) – Review and rating

IG is one of the world’s leading CFD players. Here you can invest and speculate in CFDs, warrants and options in more than 17,000 different markets. The advantage of IG is above all the range with everything from currencies, indices and stocks to cryptocurrencies and the opportunity to go short or long and invest with leverage.

Briefly about IG

IG has offered trading via their platform for over 45 years and today has about 180,000 users, mainly in Europe. The company is supervised by the German Finanz Dienstleistungasaufsicht and the Deutsche Bundesbank.

At IG, investments are made in CFDs and options, which means that the value of these securities changes in relation to the value of the underlying asset. No trade takes place directly in the specific asset.

Biggest benefits of IG

  1. Regulated and authorized
  2. Over 15,000 different markets
  3. Go short or long
  4. Trade with leverage
  5. Access to foreign markets without high fee

Security

IG is an investment company, which means strict requirements that client funds and the company’s assets are kept separate. This means that the customers’ assets are protected in the event that the company should become insolvent.

Customers’ assets are also protected by the German Deposit Guarantee Act (value up to the equivalent of € 100,000). Another security is that payment can only be made via the method by which the deposit was made. Should someone get over your password, the assets can still not be stolen.

Under the supervision of:

  • (Brittish) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • (German) Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin)
  • (German) Deutsche Bundesbank

Our opinion:
We believe that IG is a very serious player that takes security seriously. With over 40 years in the industry, the supervision of several authorities has given the highest rating.

Registration

Demo Account & Trading Account

Choose between registering Demo Account or Trading Account. With a Demo Account, you can trade with SEK 100,000 in “play money” and learn the various functions that exist in trading. It is also possible to “deposit” more play money so that there never has to be a limit.

Only the name, telephone number and email address are required to open a Demo Account.

If you have never shopped at IG (or a similar service) before, it is recommended that you open a Demo Account first. When you feel safe, a Trading Account can then easily be connected.  

From the Demo Account, the Trading Account can then be opened in a few minutes. You can then switch between these accounts to always have access to the risk-free Demo account when new functions, instruments or markets are to be tested.

To be able to use a Trading Account, you must prove your knowledge in CFD trading. There are three questions to be answered. Because you can do the questions several times (until you have answered all of them correctly) it is easy to do.

Education

Both for you who have long experience and for beginners, there are pedagogical educations in trading. The free online courses can be found via IG Academy and here you can, among other things, learn how options and turbo warrants are structured.

In addition to IG Academy, there is IG Community, which is a forum where both news and forum posts can be found.

Our opinion:
The only disadvantage is that only CFD and the options Barriers and Vanilla can be traded via the Demo Account. In addition to these, trading in Turbo24 is also offered, but only through a Trading Account. Of course, it would have been positive that Turbo24 could also have been tested via the Demo Account first.

Deposit & Withdrawal

Deposit

Deposit can be made with Paypal, bank transfer and card payment. The minimum deposit is SEK 3,000 via Paypal and card payment. In the case of a bank transfer, however, there is no limit.  

Withdrawal

In order for withdrawals to take place, it is required that “all provisions on the prevention of money laundering are met”..

Make sure your account is verified before cash is inserted – to secure that withdrawals can be made without further identification needs to take place.

Withdrawals can usually only be made with the same payment method that the money was deposited with. This from a security perspective. You can not deposit money via Paypal and then request withdrawals to a bank account. This applies up to the amount deposited with the chosen means of payment.

Our opinion:
It is good that they offer deposits and withdrawals via several payment options. However, it would have been desirable to have a lower amount that must at least be deposited if PayPal or card payment is used.

Trading platform

At first glance, their trading platform can be experienced so full of information that it is difficult to get an overview as a beginner. But it does not take many minutes to understand the layout. This is due to the fact that the trading platform is very intuitive where the various choices are made from left to right on the screen (computer mode).

  1. Select category of market (for example stocks or commodities)
  2. Search for markets (for example gold, oil or coffee under raw materials)
  3. Select position (Buy or Sell)

In the example below, the market for cocoa in New York is open and a buy position in CFD is ready to be subscribed.

Risk management tools

There are usually both Stop-Loss (or similar function) and Limit (or similar function). This means that any loss can be limited and gains taken home automatically. There are also price alarms, watch lists, drawing tools and a number of analysis tools.

Our opinion:
We believe that the trading platform is very user-friendly and educational both in terms of order placement and information. Here are also all the tools that are desired, at least by those in our test panel.

Invest in….

  • Turbo warrants
  • Barriers
  • CFD
  • Vanilla-options
  • ETF

At IG.com, trading can take place in over 15,000 markets. This is mainly in the following categories:

  • Cryptocurrency
  • Currencies
  • Index
  • Options
  • Raw materials
  • Bonds
  • Interest
  • Grey market (Take position before IPO)

Our opinion:
All in one place – that’s the big advantage of IG. Here it is possible to take positions in most markets and with several different investment options. Very positive range.

Customer service

Do you have questions about opening an account or a specific function? Contact can take place all days of the week.

Expect customer service to call, after a Trading Account has been opened, to hear if you have any questions. Take the opportunity to ask if you can get an overview of, for example, CFD trading if you do not already feel safe.

Our opinion:
We sent a couple of emails with different questions to customer service and received a response within 24 hours to all emails. They were very helpful and answered both simple factual questions and explained pedagogically how we would solve the problems we encountered. Very good support!We were also called just five minutes after the Trading Account was created and talked for about 30 minutes about different investment options with them.

Trade with leverage

An advantage of options and CFDs is that trading takes place with leverage. In the foreign exchange market, it is a “must” because the movements are so extremely small. By having a large leverage, minimal price changes can still create a high return, or loss.

In short, leverage means that risk / chance increases by a fixed multiple. If the leverage is X5, this means that a price change of 1% affects the value of, for example, a CFD contract by 5%.

The advantages are that more markets are opened up (for example the foreign exchange market) and that greater returns can be created with less capital.

The disadvantages are that the lever multiplier is not clearly visible and that it is not always selectable.

Click on “information” in the same box as the trade. Open the “Security requirements” tab and look at the required margin. The picture below is from currency trading and the margin is 3.33%, which means a leverage of X30.

On CFD, leverage is always fixed. When trading options and Turbo24, it is possible to choose the level of leverage.

Our opinion:
Leverage is a double-edged sword. There are several advantages but at the same time leverage can attract investments with very high risks. We see leverage as something positive based on the fact that it opens up more opportunities. On the other hand, investment must always be made at the level of risk that can be managed.

We see that the leverage is locked in CFDs as negative. For example, the lever is locked to X2 on cryptocurrencies. A market with extreme volatility where price changes between 5 – 15% over a day are not uncommon.

Costs at IG

At IG.com, no purchase or sale fee is paid. The cost that arises consists of spreads and any costs associated with the specific trading instrument.

CFD

When trading in CFDs, this can be done with “Cash” or “Forward”. Cash has the best spread, but then you instead have to pay interest per day as the contract is open. The interest rate is equivalent to about 2.5% on an annual basis. If “Forward” is chosen instead, no interest is paid, but then it is instead a slightly worse spread.

Our opinion:
We recommend beginners to only trade with CFDs. The cost is clear and consists mainly of spreads. Options have a more complex cost structure.

Other people’s reviews / opinions about IG

Trustpilot – rating 4/5

Of the more than 2,500 reviews submitted on Trustpilot, the vast majority (74%) have the rating Excellent or Good about IG. Among other things, the support, the offer and the user-friendliness are highlighted as positive factors. Average rating 4 out of 5.

”IG offers by far the best trading service in the UK in my opinion. The platform is fast and accurate, while assistance is always available to help you with any queries you may have. Their whole team are both knowledgeable and extremely helpful.” / Opinion January 25th 2020.

Brookerchooser – rating 4,5/5

Brookerchooser gives IG.com a total rating of 4.5 out of 5. The highest ratings are given on Education, Trading Platform and Deposit / Withdrawal. The worst rating (3 out of 5) is given to Fees, Markets and Products.

Recommended for traders of any experience level looking for an easy-to-use trading platform”

Forexbrokers.com – rating 5/5

Forexbrokers gives IG first place in a comparison of 30 different trading platforms for currency trading. High ratings are given, among other things, for security and its trading platform.

”IG offers traders an extensive list of tradeable products, excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, and competitive rates. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG the best overall broker in 2020.”

Disadvantages of IG

  • Complicated instruments

As a beginner, investing in CFDs and options can be complex. There is therefore a risk that investments are made in instruments where the person does not have full knowledge of the level of risk.

  • Some markets with very high risk

With leverage on all trades, investment can take place at a very high level of risk. For the uninitiated, it can be perceived that the risk is not as high as it actually is. This is especially true in some markets.

Summary

IG offers a secure and user-friendly trading platform for investments in CFDs and options in over 15,000 markets.

In most markets, it is possible to go short or long and set limit levels for loss / profit. Trading is done exclusively with leverage which is fixed on CFD and selectable on the options.

With a Demo Account and training materials, we see IG as a good platform for both beginners and professionals. But as with any investment, it is important to understand what you are investing in and its risks. This is especially true when the leverage can be up to X100..

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