Ig review

  • Min. Deposit – $50
  • Max. Leverage – 50:1
  • Headquarter – London, UK
  • Products – Forex, Indices, Shares, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Bonds, ETFs, Options

IG founded in 1974 by Stuart Wheeler “as the world’s first spread betting firm,” is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) conglomerate that “empowers informed, decisive, adventurous people to access opportunities in financial markets.”

With over 300,000 clients across five continents, an extensive product catalog, competitive fees, longstanding business operations, and an excellent industry reputation, it is not surprising that IG is a global leader in online trading and currently ranked as the world’s top CFD provider. Given that most established online forex brokers shy away from the U.S. market, due in large part to regulatory requirements, the fact that IG has re-entered this region in 2019 speaks to its commitment to becoming a truly global presence.

IG (U.S.) offers U.S. clients leveraged access to over 80 currency pairs. A well-organized and navigable website with fully­ disclosed services and fees, intuitive platform offerings, an unwavering dedication to client education, and useful research tools coalesce to make IG a clear threat to the other forex brokers in this region. Investopedia’s ranking algorithm factored in these characteristics in recognizing IG as the Best Forex Broker for U.S. Traders in 2020.

Who IG Is for

Globally, IG is for anyone wanting to trade CFDs. In the U.S., it’s for clients who want to trade the foreign exchange markets. It’s as simple as that. To deliver on this successfully, IG has decided to adopt the time-honored adage, “go big or go home” because, well, it can. Low spread costs, emphases on customer service and education, actionable research, and functional user interfaces make this broker well-suited to compete in the online broker market. The ultimate beneficiary of this increased competition should be the American customer who desires to trade retail FX (unless they’re from Arizona or Ohio, where residents are not permitted to open IG accounts).

  • Extensive range of offerings
  • Accepts U.S. clients
  • Emphasis on education and research
  • High stock CFD fees
  • Slow customer support


Globally, IG’s costs (spreads, commissions, and fees) are very competitive, and that holds true for U.S clients, as well.

The spread is how IG makes money, specifically through customer trades that “cross” the bid/ask spread. There is a “commission” charge that comes into play when one is trading CFDs, but it is added to either side of the market spread, and there is an actual commission for every share-CFD trade. Additionally, IG (U.K.) charges a premium for guaranteed stop loss orders that kicks in only if that order is triggered, and there are other extras and third-party charges that are clearly documented on the U.K. website.

The minimum spread for the majors on IG’s U.S. platforms starts at 0.8 pips, and the advertised average spread ranges between 0.9 (EUR/USD, USD/JPY) to 5.4 (GBP/CAD).

As is the norm in the FX industry, clients will be charged swap fees, using tom-next rates, on positions that they hold overnight, which may be subject to currency conversion charges if they trade in a currency other than the account’s base currency. Furthermore, there is an inactivity fee of $12/month if there has been no trading activity for 24 months. There is also a charge of $15 for wire withdrawals. IG provides a transparent and detailed explanation of forex trading costs on its website.

250 units in the base currency is the minimum account deposit globally, which translates to $250 for U.S. accounts and, per CFTC regulations, the highest leverage available to U.S. clients is 50:1. Traders meeting certain volume thresholds are eligible for rebates. There are three rebate tiers, ranging from 5% for at least $100 million in monthly trading volume to 15% for $500+ million in monthly trading volume.

Trade Experience

Globally, IG offers a variety of platform choices and API interfaces, starting with its proprietary web-based offering that is customizable and easy to navigate. This streamlined trading platform is stable and easy to access from any browser, though IG recommends Google Chrome. There is a simplicity to it, especially the U.S. version, that belies its functionality. There aren’t all the bells and whistles that competitor interfaces may offer, but what it lacks in quantity is more than made up for in quality. This, along with the industry standard MT4 (downloadable) platform and functional mobile and tablet applications, comprises IG’s entire online offering to the U.S. customer.

U.K. clients can access what their U.S. counterparts can, and can also upgrade to the downloadable, fee-based ProRealTime advanced charting platform, which is free as long as certain modest monthly trading activity requirements are met. Additionally, technologically savvy clients can attach their own software or a Bloomberg terminal through a well­-developed API interface.

IG (U.K.) also offers clients with larger accounts the capability of trading CFD shares and forex through L2 Dealer, which provides direct market access (DMA) that bypasses IG’s dealing desk. The Forex Direct service on that platform requires that clients have professional designation under ESMA rules. There’s no additional charge for this service other than exchange fees.

The web-­based IG (U.S.) platform features basic risk management tools, including price alerts and stop losses. It also streams Reuters news, and clients can split charts into multiple time frames to facilitate their trading experience. Autochartist, a third-party signals provider, is integrated into the platform.

The interface offers three basic order types with the option of attaching “take profit” and/or “stop loss” orders to them. What is a bit surprising is that neither “trailing stop loss” nor “guaranteed stop loss” orders are available on the web-based platforms.

Market – The simplest order where a trader signals that their trade request should be executed at the prevailing market rate.

Limit – A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point below or above the prevailing market rate depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.

Stop – A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point above or below the prevailing market rate depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.

IG provides home-­grown mobile apps for iOS and Android that can also be loaded on tablets. Basic features include customized watchlists, price alerts, and technical charting. The indicator list is adequate but omitted from the menu structure, reducing accessibility. The Trade menu lacks sophisticated conditional orders but U.K. clients can place guaranteed stop losses. All apps lack customization but they offer Face & Touch ID security and are more advanced than the industry ­standard MT4 mobile app.

The IG Community site has active forums and numerous trade picks through forum entries and blog posts. @IGSquawk on X (formerly Twitter) contains thousands of tweets from IG dealers sharing news and client sentiment. There’s no dedicated or third-party social platform and the broker site contains no client positioning data for CFDs, forex, or spread bets. However, IG Client Sentiment at DailyFX.Com provides useful forex positioning data, updated in real­-time. It would be beneficial to clients if this information was integrated into the broker site.

Market and products

Globally, IG has built a comprehensive catalog that numbers over 17,000+ markets. Futures and options are available on many instruments and clients will never have a problem finding something to trade. IG (U.K.) offers:

  • Forex
  • Indices
  • Shares
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Options



IG Markets Limited (IGM) and IG Index Limited (IGI), incorporated in England and Wales, are separately licensed as investment firms by the FCA. In terms of the licences they hold, IGM and IGI may deal as principal or agent, and execute orders for a range of derivatives and securities. IGM may offer discretionary management services to professional and retail clients.


Incorporated in Germany, IG Europe GmbH (IGE) has a regulatory licence from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and Deutsche Bundesbank. This licence enables IGE to offer a direct service to our EU clients. It permits the same execution and dealing on financial markets as the licence held by IGM, but doesn’t permit IGE to offer discretionary management services.

Spectrum MTF Operator GmbH is authorised by BaFin and regulated as a multilateral trading facility (MTF) under MiFID. As such, it’s licensed to provide a trading venue for on-exchange leveraged trading products. Spectrum currently offers a 24/5 market for leveraged turbo warrants (Turbo24) which cover equities, indices, forex and commodities.

BrightPool Limited is an investment firm authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec). As such, it acts as a multi-asset market-making service provider, offering investment and ancillary services.


Incorporated in Switzerland, IG Bank SA (IGB) is authorised as a bank and securities dealer by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The licence it holds permits the trading of bilateral non-tradable contracts for difference (CFDs) and other tailor-made derivatives on foreign exchange, equities, indices, precious metals, commodities and other underlying markets through one or more online platforms.


IG Limited, incorporated in Dubai, is licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to arrange deals in investments, providing custody and directly deal in investments as a principal in a range of investment types. Dealing in investments as a principal is limited to deals undertaken on a matched principal basis only.

South Africa

IG Markets South Africa Limited, incorporated within England and Wales, has a branch regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and is registered as an authorised financial services provider in South Africa. This permits the intermediary to offer (execution-only) services and non-automated advice on derivatives contracts on a variety of markets.


IG Asia Pte Ltd (IGA) is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). It holds a Capital Markets Services licence under the Securities and Futures Act to deal in capital market products that are over-the-counter derivatives contracts on a variety of markets. As an Exempt Financial Adviser under the Financial Advisers Act, IGA is also permitted to issue analytic reports on investment products such as over-the-counter derivatives contracts and units in collective investment schemes.


IG Securities Ltd is regulated by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA) for Securities and Currencies, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for Hard Commodities, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) for Soft Commodities. It has a licence to execute orders for derivatives contracts held for the financial instruments referenced above.

Australia and New Zealand

IGM is regulated in Australia by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) under an Australian Financial Services Licence. This licence allows the provision of general advice and dealing in derivatives, foreign exchange contracts and securities. It also allows IGM to make a market for derivatives and foreign exchange contracts, and to carry out custodial or depository services other than investor-directed portfolio services to retail and wholesale clients.

In New Zealand, IGM is regulated by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) under a derivative issuers licence, covering a variety of derivative contracts.

Customer Service

IG customer service is available through a toll-free (U.K.) phone number from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 10 p.m. on Friday. Both prospective and active clients can talk to a company representative through live chat that’s available when the platform is open. E­mail, social media, and a comprehensive FAQ round out above average contact options. If all else fails, a well-­documented customer complaint procedure should assist in grievance resolution. Online customer support is available in several languages, which enhances IG’s appeal to a broader client base. The broker also runs satellite offices to support licensed operations in several regions.


IG’s educational tools are superior to any of the other online brokers that Investopedia has researched. An extensive trader’s library, spearheaded by the impressive “IG Academy,” will get beginners up to speed quickly while seasoned practitioners will find advanced trading strategy articles quite useful. A healthy roster of online webinars covers “topics from platform walk-through to upcoming trade opportunities.”

IG Academy’s course is designed to cover material for people at different stages of the trading spectrum, and it succeeds in delivering on this ambition. Clients can also access courses and articles through the handy IG Academy mobile app. It is odd that DailyFX.com, which IG purchased in 2016, is poorly integrated with the broker site, except for the live seminar section, and it’s possible that prospective clients won’t realize this excellent resource exists. An efficient search function and a comprehensive glossary enhance the value that IG’s educational portfolio offers the client.