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IG

IG Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 4.6

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads
Standard  $0 0.1 1:200** 0.6 pips 
DMA  $0 0.1 1:200 0.2 pips + commission $3-$5*

*commission is calculated per standard lot per side and is based on trading volume

**The IG branch in Singapore offers maximum leverage of 1:50.

 

IG offers spread betting and CFD services with the same spreads. CFD accounts are two types – Standard & DMA. The Standard one is commission-free, while the DMA account provides lower spreads, as prices are offered by liquidity providers, plus a variable commission, based on the client’s order size.

 

The broker does not offer micro lots for trade (0.01 lots), so some traders may find it difficult to manage the risks associated with high-volume trading.

 

The Company

 

Founded in London in 1974, IG (formerly IG Index) is a pioneer broker, that actually created the concept of financial spread betting. Furthermore, IG was the first spread betting firm to introduce online dealing in 1998.

 

Currently, the group of companies offers wide range of products for online trade, available on a selection of platforms: contracts for difference (CFDs) on currency pairs, indices, commodities, stocks, financial spread betting (in the UK and Ireland), as well as binary options. In 2014 the broker also introduced execution-only stockbroking in the UK and Ireland, later rolling it out to the Netherlands and Germany.

               

The IG Group also owns the North America Derivatives Exchange (Nadex), the premier and largest regulated online US exchange, offering binary options and spreads.

 

In addition, the group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 250. In fact, it is currently the largest forex broker listed on the LSE in terms of market capitalization.

 

Its UK head office is located in the heart of the City of London, and the group has sales offices in 15 other countries. 

 

IG is a trading name of IG Markets Ltd. and IG Index Ltd, authorized and regulated by UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). For binary bets IG Index Ltd. is also licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission.

 

Security of Funds

 

UK’s financial watchdog is famous for applying strict requirements to brokerage firms. Licensed companies are required to comply with certain rules and procedures covering client funds, order execution, minimum capital requirement of  €730 000 , regular report filing, etc. 

 

In relation to security of clients` funds, we would also like mention that FCA-regulated brokers fall under the umbrella of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects consumers up to £50,000 per person, in case the company goes bankrupt.

 

Except got the two abovementioned firms, the IG Group has units regulated by the respective authorities in a number of countries.

 

Countries of regulation Regulator
UK  FCA
Germany  BaFin
Switzerland  FINMA
Australia  ASIC
New Zealand FMA
UAE  DFSA
Japan  JFSA
Singapore  MAS

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum Initial Deposit

Clients of IG are not required to deposit a certain initial amount in order to open an account with IG, however they have to fund their accounts in order to initiate a trade. For instance, in order to buy 1 lot GBP/USD (1 contract is £100,000 and the margin rate is 0.5%), one has to deposit at least £500.

 

Average Spreads & Commissions

IG offers competitive low spreads, averaged to 0.6 pips on EUR/USD on commission-free accounts, and even less on DMA ones (which involve a commission). Such pricing is really good, as we find most brokers offer spreads within the range of 1.0 – 1.5 pips.

 

In comparison, FxPro offers average spreads as low as 0.4 pips on the EUR/USD for its cTrader accounts and charges $4.5 per lot. For further information, you may also check out the real-time spreads of 15 major brokers here.

 

Leverage

The maximum leverage levels offered by IG are up 1:200, which is considered average. Yet, many FCA-regulated brokers provide higher leverage ratios: FxPro, for instance, offers leverage up to 1:500.

 

We would like to remind traders that higher leverage involves higher risk, not only the probability of multiplied profits earned on a small deposit. It is a double-sided coin.

 

Trading Platforms

 

This broker offers a selection of robust platforms: its proprietary IG platform, web-based ProRealTime, a special DMA platform – L2 Dealer, as well as the industry’s standard MetaTrader 4 (MT4).

 

 

The web-based ProRealTime has customisable layout and is equipped with several charting packages, Over 100 indicators covering everything from price to volatility, automated trade options and extensive historical data.

 

For those who want full market depth with Direct Market Access (DMA) for FX, share dealing and equity CFDs, IG offers the downloadable L2 Dealer platform. It provides greater liquidity on shares trading through access to primary exchanges, market makers, brokers and MTF dark pools. With L2 Dealer, traders can place basket trades using the Excel-compatible 'Watchlist Pro' function, autotrade by using algorithms they have created in Excel and to make well-informed decisions due to the market-linked news feeds and live charts.

 

In addition, traders who are used to the good old MetaTrader 4, are able to use it with IG.

 

Methods of Payment

 

IG UK`s clients are able to make deposits and withdrawals via credit/debit cards or wire transfer. Popular e-wallets, such as BPay, China UnionPay and Paypal, are also available as payment methods with this broker.

 

Conclusion

 

Being part of a large international group with more than 40 years of experience in the industry, IG is a reliable and well-regulated broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in wide range of financial instruments on several platforms. To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to IG:

 

Pros Cons
Regulated in multiple jurisdictions No micro lots available  
Competitive tight spreads Limited payment methods
No minimum initial deposit required  
Wide range of trading instruments & platforms  
Part of a large publicly listed group with more than 40 years of experience  

                                

Headquarters: 

Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London EC4R 2YA

Country: United Kingdom

Regulated by: 

FCA (UK)

Binance

Binance Review
Trader's rating 1.8
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed Not available 0.10%

 

Binance is a crypto currency exchange, focused mainly on the Chinese market. Of course, you could still use it, if you are based elsewhere.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Binance China N/A

 

Binance is a relatively new Chinese company, created by experienced professionals in the cryptocurrency space. The most recognizable name behind this project is that of Changpeng Zhao, former CTO at OKCoin.

 

Binance was created after attracting funds via an ICO (Initial Coin Offering – creating a new digital asset, backed by the project). The BNB tokens can now be traded on the exchange, or used as a method of paying your trading fees, which will reduce them by 50%. Additionally a small portion of the coin has to be paid to the company to cast your vote in the community poll, which determines which altcoin will be added to the exchange next.

 

That being said, whenever a new coin is added, Binance holds some kind of promotional distribution to existing clients. Usually it involves tracking the biggest holders of the new asset and rewarding them with extra coins. While these can not be taken as a guaranteed means of attaining more altcoins, they do raise attention towards the new tradign product.

 

Given its brief history, it is not surprising that Binance has not yet been hacked. That being said, the most obvious issue with this exchange is the fact it operates in China. Given the recent moves by the local authorities, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them register in a different country.

 

The English user reviews on Binance, while few, are fairly positive. Again, we must reiterate this is still a very new company, at the time of writing of this review.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Binance offers a substantial number of coins, which are traded mostly against Bitcoin and Ethereum. On the other side the two major coins are also paird with USDT (US Dollar Tether a digital asset, backed by US dollars, which aims to keep a 1:1 price ratio). The list of coins available at Bitnancie includes, but is not limited to (especially since new ones are added frequently): BTC, ETH, LTC, BCC, OMG, IOTA, ICN, MCO, SALT, KNC, CTRm SNLS, FUN, BQX, XVG, ZRX and BQX.

 

Minimum initial deposit

Binance does not provide information on the minimum deposit amount. As we cover mostly forex brokers, we are used to companies stating this information openly. The need for a minimum deposit level is associated with the legal costs of opening an account, which may exceed the potential commissions you will make with a broker, if you are trading too small. That being said several companies don’t have a required minimum, like the FCA-regulated industry leaders at IG

 

Leverage

Margin trading is not available at Binance. For those of you who are not familiar with the trading world – this is a system which allows you to trade with more money than you actually have in your account. Your balance is then used as a guarantee to maintain your position open. As an example, forex brokers require very little in collateral, in order to maintain massive positions. The so called leverage ratios can go as high as 1:500 or more. For instance, XM offers 1:888 in leverage.

 

That being said the cryptocurrency space is a lot more volatile, hence the need for lower ratios. Exchanges and forex brokers alike, rarely offer more than 1:20 in leverage.

 

Fees

The fee structure at Binance is simple to understand, but more importantly very competitive in the current environment. There is a flat 0.10% fee on all trading. Other exchanges often separate clients based on their trading volume and the way they enter/exit a transaction (traders who provide liquidity to the exchange usually get some benefits).

On the other hand forex brokers incorporate the costs of trading in the spread. While comparing them is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, we have made a side-by-side review of both services here.

 

Trading platform

 

Binance’s trading platform is web-based. Furthermore it offers two distinct trading layouts, a more simple one and a “Pro” version. Visually it reminds us a lot of the platform provided by Bitstamp. Here is how the “standard platform” looks:

 

 

The order book is placed on the left and more interestingly is arranged vertically. While being a bit avant-garde, this is by no means unique. The tape is on the bottom right, with a news feed placed directly above it. Overall, the presentation seems enjoyable. The “Pro” version, on the other hand looks like this:

 

 

This reminds us a lot of Bitstamp’s platform. The positioning of the order book and tape is a bit more convenient, with them being grouped up. The charting package also seems a bit more sophisticated, but it’s not even close to the forex industry standard which we have grown accustomed to, MetaTrader4 (MT4)

 

Methods of payment

 

Binance is one of the exchanges which doesn't accepts fiat currency payments and focuses only on the digital side of things. Clients can deposit and withdraw the coins supported at the exchange.

 

Conclusion

 

Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange, created by a former key member of OKCoin. While the company mostly focuses on the Chinese market, everybody is welcome. That being said, they do not accept fiat money deposits. The amount of coins available for trading is relatively high and still growing, but there are other exchanges offering the more exotic ones. The major issue we have with Binance is that the project hasn’t been around long enough to actually prove itself. Here are the pros and cons of this exchange:

 

Pros  Cons
Founded by industry veterans New company
Some altcoins included  Based in China (may have issues with regulators)
More assets being added constantly Does not accept (fiat) money transfers
Competitive commissions  
Relatively nice trading platform  

 

Forex
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