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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)

Forex.com US

Forex.com US Review
Trader's rating 4.8
Editor's rating 5

 

Trading Accounts & Conditions

 

Account type Min. deposit Min. trade size Max. leverage Average Spreads
Standard $50 0.01 1:50 1.4 pips 

 

Leading US broker Forex.com offers a single account type on several trading platforms. The broker provides commission-free trading with variable spreads and the option to use micro lots.

 

In addition, Forex.com offers swap-free accounts to investors of Islamic belief, as well as free demo ones for 30 days after sign up.

 

 

Forex.com (US) Advantages

 

Regulated in the US and other countries

Forex.com belongs to the Gain Capital group. Gain Capital meets high standards of corporate governance, financial reporting and disclosure. The parent company of the major FX brand Forex.com, GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:GCAP)  is a registered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).

 

Besides, its subsidiaries are properly licensed in the countries of their operation: 

 

Company Country Regulation
GAIN Capital Group, LLC USA NFA, CFTC
Forex.com UK Limited UK FCA
GAIN Capital FOREX.com Australia Pty Limited Australia  ASIC
Forex.com Canada Limited Canada  ILLROC
GAIN Capital Group (Hong Kong) Limited  Hong Kong SFC
GAIN Capital Japan Ltd.  Japan FFAJ

 

Apart from Forex.com, Gain Capital Group is operating the brands City Index, GTX, Gain Capital, FinSpreads, and others.

 

The largest broker in the US

Not only that Forex.com is regulated in the United States, but it is actually the largest forex broker in the country. After FXCM has left the US market, Forex.com became the undeniable leading provider of financial services in the US.

 

Actually, a very few brokers have remained active on the strictly regulated US market: Oanda, Interactive Brokers, and TD Ameritrade.

 

Competitive spreads

Forex.com offers commission-free trading with variable spreads, the average ones on EUR/USD amounting to 1.4 pips, which is a rather competitive pricing. By comparison, the cost of trading at Oanda, another US broker, is exactly the same.

 

Low minimum investment required

In order to open an account with Forex.com, one has to invest just $50. Almost everyone can afford such an investment.

 

Several top-notch trading platforms available

Leading US broker Forex.com offers a single account type on several trading platforms. The broker provides commission-free trading with variable spreads and the option to use micro lots.

 

Actually, this piece of trading software is as sophisticated and customizable as the MT4. Its professional-grade trading tools include top-notch interactive charting with more than 100 predefined indicators, as well as the option to create some of your own. There are also a number of Integrated trading strategies, which are also customizable. Besides, users can code their own trading strategies (in C++), there is a back-testing excel tool available, and signals trading. Here is a snapshot of the platform:

 

Click on the image to zoom-in.

 

Some of the new functionalities of the platform after a recent update include powerful charts with integrated one-click trading, smart trade ticket with advanced risk management option, pre-defined and customizable layouts, and more. 

   

Various payment methods, fast withdrawals

Yet another thing we like about Forex.com (US) is the fact that it support several convenient payment methods, and namelY Debit Card, Wire Transfer, ACH and Checks. What is even more important from a client's point of view, withdrawals are processed pretty fast – within 48 hours.

 

Bonuses available

Last but not least, Forex.com (US) offers cash rebates for high volume traders. The latter are able to get rebates up to $10 per million traded. 

 

 

Forex.com (US) Disadvantages

 

Leverage capped to 1:50

Actually, this is not a weak side of the broker itself, but a legal requirement in the US. Brokers operating in the country are not allowed to provide leverage of more than 1:50, and Forex.com simply complies with the regulatory requirements. 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Forex.com (US) is the largest US broker and one of the few actively operating in the country. A market leader offering trading in more than 80 forex pairs and CFDs, it has serviced over 200,000 customers globally.

 

The US broker is a part of the Gain Capital group – a leading forex brokerage with global presence. All members of the Gain Capital family are duly regulated by the respective governmental agencies, including Forex.com (US). It is registered with the CFTC and a member of NFA. US regulation is one of the strictest, which is a good thing in terms of investor protection, however some of the rules imposed are considered too restrictive.

 

For example, Brokers registered with the NFA are required to maintain a net capital of at least $20 million to guarantee customers’ positions, which is the highest minimum capital requirement worldwide. Moreover, hedging is not allowed and leverage is limited to 1:50, as we already mentioned above.

 

Now, let’s sum up the strong and weak sides of Forex.com (US):

 

Pros Cons
A global leading broker Leverage capped at 1:50
Solid regulation  
Competitive spreads, commission-free  
Several trading platforms, including MT4  
Low min. deposit required  

 

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