"68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money."
Are you considering using IG as your online trading platform? If so, you may want to check out my review below.
After trying the service for myself, I’ve created a review that includes my experience with using the service.
I found that it was an ideal space for novice traders to gain experience.
However, is it as great for beginners as the company claims?
There are also plenty of features that expert investors make use of.
By the end of this IG review, you’ll be feeling more assured about whether IG is the right trading platform for you.
Introduction to IG
IG has been in the investment industry for nearly 50 years.
It’s a British organisation that has gained over 313,000 users around the globe. Clients have access to a wealth of international financial markets – 18,000 to be specific.
In addition to this, IG is well-known as being one of the most notable providers of CFDs. Users also praise the company for its low fees.
The company is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) which gives users peace of mind.
I also liked how the company is regulated around the world by regulatory bodies in Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, Cyprus, and more.
IG offers features designed for everyone from complete beginners to the most experienced traders.
So, let’s take a look at the service in more detail.
What Products Are Available?
Whilst browsing through the products, I was impressed with the available variety.
Here’s a rundown of the products that IG offers:
- Interest rates
- Industry sectors
The most experienced traders can make use of this product selection.
This is especially since they can use these products to invest in an incredible range of 18,000+ markets around the globe.
IG also offers Smart Portfolios. These are fantastic for beginner traders. These portfolios provide you with a cost-effective and managed way to access commodities, stocks, and bonds.
Since there are so many products available, it can become overwhelming for novice traders. Smart Portfolios get you started so that you can learn as you trade. There is a total of 5 Smart Portfolios to choose from.
I tried them out for myself and found that they were excellent for saving time. This also makes them great for experienced traders who are looking for ways to save time and trade.
I liked how a questionnaire is provided before you get to create a Smart Portfolio. The questions are designed to evaluate your tolerance for risk to assign you a portfolio that matches your needs.
The fees for IG’s Smart Portfolio feature are competitive. Here’s a breakdown of Smart Portfolios’ costs.
Investment amounts up to £50,000:
- 0.50% management fee
- 0.13% average funds cost
- 0.09% transaction costs
- 0.72% annual cost
Investment amounts of more than £50,000:
- Zero management fee
- 0.13% average funds cost
- 0.09% transaction costs
- 0.22% annual cost
IG offer a Share Dealing product that helps investors diversify their portfolios. This product is recommended for more experienced traders.
You can use this product via the General Investment Account. This provides you with access to Forex trading and CFDs, as well as spread betting and deal shares. There are both leveraged and unleveraged options available to choose from.
Stocks and Shares ISA
One of the most talked about features of IG is its Stocks and Shares ISA. This provides you with the ability to access Share Dealing and Smart Portfolios. Share Dealing is best for a more hands-on approach. Smart Portfolios are ideal for a hands-off investment strategy.
You can use the allowance of your ISA for both Smart Portfolio and Share dealing accounts. This is a fantastic feature for giving users lots of options when it comes to investing. The annual ISA allowance for the tax year 2023/2024 is £20,000.
What comes with the Share Dealing ISA?
You’re able to trade in more than 13,000 EFTs and stocks around the world. You can also benefit from international trading with the 0.5% foreign exchange fee.
In addition to this, trading three times a month grants you the ability to buy shares in the UK with commissions of £3.
If you trade two times in a month, the commissions are £8 for both shares.
What comes with the IG Smart Portfolio ISA?
You can benefit from a portfolio that’s completely managed for you. This makes it super convenient to trade without having to micromanage.
You’re given access to lots of global markets. Users also like how they’re not limited to the number of portfolios that can be made in the wrapper.
The Smart Portfolio is designed to be specifically tailored to your needs, based on your questionnaire answers. Furthermore, there are no commission fees. You only pay for portfolio management fees.
I also liked how you can withdraw your funds whenever you like. This is an ideal way to decrease your ISA annual allowance.
Those who would like the flexibility of accessing their ISA funds at any time may make use of this feature.
Furthermore, you can easily transfer existing ISA funds to the IG Stocks and Shares ISA. Transfers that are made electronically are free. Paper transfers incur a fee and can take up to two weeks.
Is IG Expensive?
You can open an account and maintain funds in an account free of charge. However, you’ll be charged an inactivity fee if you don’t make a minimum of three trades each quarter. The inactivity charge is £24 for each quarter you don’t trade.
Spread fees are the difference between the price you buy and sell an asset for. IG takes this difference as profit. The amount of spread fees that they take varies according to the type of asset you’re trading with.
There are some other fees to keep in mind, including overnight fees. These are fees that you’ll be charged for maintaining a trade position from 10 PM onwards. Margin fees can apply if you choose to trade using leverage.
There are also advanced features that need to be paid for. These include charting which may only be useful for more advanced traders.
Dealing via the phone is expensive. It can cost anywhere from £40 to £50 according to the assets you’re buying and selling.
I liked how IG made sure to display all of the fees. This makes their pricing transparent so you know exactly how much trades are costing you.
IG Platform & Mobile App
My experience using IG’s desktop platform was great. The navigation was simple and the design layout options made it intuitive and fun. I appreciated how they created the site with customisable features.
For example, you can customise your watchlists and implement trading tactics with a single click. I also liked how you have access to guaranteed stop orders, stop-loss orders, limit orders, trailing stop orders, and market orders.
These features let you automate your trading experience and only buy or sell at the exact prices you desire.
Not to mention, IG has a two-factor authentication feature when logging in. This reassured me knowing that my account was secure.
As far as the IG app goes, I was pleasantly surprised. Oftentimes, apps for trading platforms are filled with bugs and the views aren’t easy to view on a mobile phone.
I found IG’s app incredibly functional and easy to use. I liked how they include biometrics for authenticating you as the user. I used Face ID on my iPhone to log in to my IG account. This is a great security feature that means only I have access to the account.
The search functions on the app are great for finding exactly what you need. You can also place orders via the mobile app which was handy for letting me automate my trades on the go.
If you were interested in trading on a mobile phone, I can highly recommend IG’s iOS app.
Resources & Research Tools
IG provided a good range of research tools, especially considering how it’s a low-cost trading platform. I appreciated how the platform includes a range of research tools for beginners and expert traders.
You can easily keep up to date with the latest in the world of global trading markets via the articles that IG posts. I took a look through the articles and noticed they have a selection of topics for novice and expert traders.
These articles can be handy for helping beginner traders learn about the basics of trading. It’s also a great resource for learning about the newest developments so that you can stay on top of the market.
The IG Academy takes things a step further. This academy comes with webinars, seminars, and online courses that teach you everything there is to know about trading. You can navigate the IG Academy according to your experience level.
For example, beginners can choose the ‘Beginner’ course to learn the fundamentals. This includes topics about how trading works and introductions to the different financial markets.
More experienced traders can benefit from the courses that include strategies on using leverage, orders, and execution.
However, most experienced traders make more use of the online forum that’s available. This includes a community of close to 80,000 investors who you can interact with.
It’s a fantastic place to ask questions and share your knowledge with other traders.
How to Open an IG Account
To start with, you can open an IG Demo account. This account grants you access to the site’s trading features in a hands-on manner without you spending any money.
I found this to be an excellent way to familiarise yourself with the platform and to test out its features, from top to bottom.
You can then decide whether to create an account and start trading with real money. The process of opening an IG account is quick and hassle-free.
Here’s how to open an IG account online:
- On the home page, look in the top right corner and click ‘Open a Live Account’.
- Enter your name, email address, country of residence, and the account type you want to open. You can select one or both of the IG Smart Portfolio or Share Dealing account options.
- You have the option to create a SIPP and/or an ISA once your account is opened.
When opening an ISA, you’ll need to invest at least £500 to start. You can open the Share Dealing ISA for free.
Withdrawing funds once you’ve opened your account is super easy. Simply click ‘Withdraw Funds’ and choose your withdrawal method.
You must deposit at least £250 when using PayPal or credit/debit cards. I found that there wasn’t a minimum deposit when sending funds via bank transfer.
IG Customer Support
Customer support is a crucial aspect to consider before you choose an online trading platform. I was glad to find that IG’s customer support is of a high standard.
It has a 24-hour customer support team available which means you can receive help at any time of the day or night. This is ideal for night traders.
However, the only time that IG’s customer support isn’t available is from 10 PM on Friday until 8 AM on Saturday.
I liked how there are several options to contact customer support. This includes a phone number, email address, live chat feature, and Twitter.
Receiving help on Twitter isn’t available on the weekend. Accessing the live chat feature wasn’t always the easiest. However, whenever it was working, the staff were always helpful.
I also received a courtesy call after opening my account, which was a surprise. They asked me if I needed help with anything or if I had any questions. This is an excellent level of service that made me feel as though the company values its users.
In addition to the customer support options, IG has an extensive FAQ section. This is filled with tons of questions and answers which I found useful. This is a quick way to find answers to questions before resorting to contacting the customer support team.
Whilst IG is an all-around great option, there are some alternatives to consider that may suit your specific needs better.
Here’s a quick look at some of the top IG alternatives:
eToro: This platform is ideal for traders who want a more prominent social aspect of trading. It’s fantastic for copying the strategies of other experienced traders and learning from the best. However, customer support is lacking, especially when compared with IG.
Trading212: Those who are looking for a simple interface with CFD and equity options may prefer what Trading212 has to offer. Although, the product range is more limited compared to IG.
XTB: The deposit and withdrawal process available with XTB is fast and hassle-free. It’s also an ideal choice for traders interested in investing in CFDs and Forex. The portfolio of products is mostly focused on CFDs which lacks the variety and flexibility that comes with IG.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent IG Academy for beginners
- Smart Portfolios for beginners and hands-off trading
- Extensive range of markets to invest in
- Intuitive website platform and mobile app
- Excellent customer support
- May not be best for investors who don’t trade frequently
IG Review – Final Thoughts
The vast range of investment options, account choices, competitive fees, and customer support make IG worth considering for investors of any level.
My overall experience trading with IG was fantastic. The amount of resources available makes it a great starting point for beginners. There’s also the option to utilise the more advanced features which makes it good for veteran investors too.
After reading through my review, I hope that you’re left with a better understanding of what IG has to offer. Be sure to consider the available features, as well as the pros and cons before making a decision.
Is IG safe?
Yes, IG is generally considered a safe platform for trading and investing. The company is authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as a stockbroker, which adds a layer of regulatory oversight and protection for customers. One key safety feature is that all client funds are held in segregated bank accounts under trustee arrangements. This means that in the event of IG facing financial difficulties, the risk of losing money is minimal since client funds are kept separate from the company’s own funds.
Furthermore, IG’s listing on the London Stock Exchange and its regulatory oversight from the FCA contributes to its reputation as a safe and reliable company.
Who owns IG trading?
IG Group Holdings plc is the owner of IG. IG Group Holdings plc is a publicly traded company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Is IG good for beginners?
Yes, IG is beginner-friendly with its user-friendly interface and educational resources. They provide tutorials, webinars, and a demo account for practice.