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IG review: Trade forex and CFDs with a global broker
IG is one of the leading retail forex and CFD providers in the world with a range of flexible trading options.
- Educational resources
- Trade forex and share market CFDs
- Competitive spreads
Not so great for
- Low maximum leverage
IG Markets background
Established in 1974 as IG Index, the company now has offices across 14 countries and boasts more than 170,000 clients worldwide. IG is the world’s, and therefore South Africa’s, largest provider of CFDs and forex. The company’s size and reach is reflected in its parent company, IG Group’s, listing on the London Stock Exchange.
IG Markets is a CFD and forex industry stalwart, with a famous claim of being the first company of its type. This history and experience just adds to IG’s level of trust that clients can expect if you choose to open an account.
What are the key features of IG forex and CFD trading?
Let’s take a look at some of the key features that are likely to influence your final decision around whether an IG forex account is right for you. Take the time to consider the forex trading account features that are most useful to your own trading and go from there.
Ability to trade both CFDs and forex
One of IG’s biggest drawcards is the fact that you’re able to trade both forex and individual stock market CFDs alongside one another, within the same trading platform. Many MT4 only forex brokers only allow you to trade index CFDs, but through IGs online trading platform, you’re able to trade a whole range of company CFDs alongside the forex, indices and commodities markets that every broker offers.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) supported
If trading forex on MT4 is a deciding factor for you, IG customers can also choose to use the world’s most popular forex trading platform instead. Switching between platforms is simple and as you’ll see in the trading platforms section of this review, depending on whether you’re at home or on the go, IG offers a number of platforms to choose between.
Fast execution and out of hours trading
IG guarantees the fast and reliable execution of all trades. Its systems are engineered to cope with a large number of trades in a short period of time, while its trading platforms are designed to cope with large volumes of traffic. Plus, you can also trade outside of standard trading hours on some CFD markets.
In addition to downloadable software and its web-based platform, you can download the IG trading app to your Apple, Android or Windows smartphone or tablet. The popularity of mobile trading apps shows that this is the future of the industry. Traders want to be able to access markets whenever they see opportunity, no matter where they are. IG’s mobile access is seamless across all platforms.
IG offers competitive spreads across all forex currency pairs. EUR/USD for example, has a minimum spread of 0.6 and an average spread of 0.70. If you’re looking to trade some more exotic markets, then download a demo account from IG and further your research into their spreads in live market conditions.
IG is flexible with the amount of leverage that you can access on your trading account. It offers the ability for you to make the choice of leverage you’d like, all the way up to a maximum leverage level when trading forex, of 200:1.
Regulated in South Africa
IG is regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa. With more traders trusting IG with their money than any other broker, IG is regarded as a safe and trusted option for South African forex and CFD traders.
What markets can I trade with an IG forex and CFD account?
An IG forex account opens up access to a whole raft of different markets, across a range of asset classes. Whether it’s forex, CFDs, commodities, indices or something else you’re after, then you can most likely trade it through IG.
Trade forex and CFDs with IG
- Forex. Trade more than 70 forex currency pairs.
- CFDs. Trade more than 8,000 international share CFDs.
- Indices. Trade more than 30 global and local indices, including indices with 24-hour trading such as the South Africa 40, S&P 500 and the FTSE 100.
- Commodities. Access 26 key commodity markets from gold and silver to niche metals and energies.
- Options. Trade on major indices, forex, shares and more.
- Interest rates. Speculate on a range of global interest rate movements.
- Bonds. Hedge against government bond holdings.
- ETPs, ETFs and IPOs. Access exchange traded products, exchange traded funds and initial public offerings.
Trade share market CFDs with IG
While trading South African and international shares via CFDs makes gaining exposure a simple process, if you’re looking to buy and hold physical shares, then you’re going to need to use a separate share trading account.
Trade cryptocurrency CFDs with IG
Trading cryptocurrency CFDs can be attractive. You don’t need your own wallet, and you can also profit by shorting cryptocurrencies ahead of dropping value, instead of just buying with the expectation of price increases.
IG lets you go long or short on bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ethereum (ETH), Ripple and Bitcoin Gold. Some of the markets you can trade include:
You can also leverage your position with a 20% margin requirement on bitcoin and Ethereum, and 40% on Bitcoin Cash.
What trading platforms can I use with an IG forex and CFD account?
IG has a large selection of trading platforms that you’re able to choose between. After registering for a forex and CFD account with IG, you can then gain access to the following:
- IG Trading Platform. The IG trading platform features a range of useful trading tools including trading charts, signals and personalised alerts.
- Web-based platform. IG’s online trading platform enables you to trade via your web browser, and customise your theme. Open and close your positions in a few clicks, view split charts and signal analysis, set up trading alerts and receive breaking news via Reuters and Twitter. The web-based platform supports Google Chrome (recommended), Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11 and Safari (Mac only).
- Mobile trading apps. Trade on the go with IG’s trading apps, free to download and featuring native designs across all major mobile and tablet devices. Access market data and analysis and live prices before logging in.
- MetaTrader 4 (MT4). The most popular forex trading platform in the world, popular among traders for its fast execution, automated trading, customisable interface and enhanced trading tools. The IG version of MT4 comes with 18 free bespoke add-ons and indicators. Plus, you can access your account via the MT4 app on both Android and iPhone. Simply request access to MT4 in your client portal.
- Advanced platforms. Advanced traders can register for L2 Dealer, IG’s downloadable DMA (Direct Market Access) platform. Get direct access to share market CFDs and forex currency pairs. This is for professional traders only and is only available via specific request.
What account types are available from IG Markets?
There are two ways to access forex markets with IG:
- CFDs. CFDs allow you to trade using leverage and don’t require you to pay a commission to open a position. Think of this as your standard retail trading account option, accessible through the IG trading platform or MT4.
- L2 Dealer. This is IG’s direct market access service. L2 Dealer is available to professional traders by request only. It allows you to buy and sell CFDs priced directly from Currenex liquidity pool spreads.
What customer support options are available from IG Markets?
If you ever have a question about your IG account or about a specific trade, 24-hour customer support is available from Monday to Friday. Phone, email, live chat and Twitter customer support options are all offered. Alternatively, you can search IG’s extensive online help centre to see if your question has already been answered.
IG also offers a number of online educational resources and information to help you make better trading decisions. These include forex trading education pages, webinars and in-depth guides. There’s even an IG Academy app, available from Google Play or the Apple App Store, that provides engaging step-by-step courses that teach you how to trade.
What are the spreads and fees on an IG forex account like?
The spreads on an IG forex and CFD trading account are highly competitive.
- Spread. The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price on a trade. This varies between products, but as an example the minimum spread applied on the forex EUR/USD currency pair is 0.6 pips. When trading with Forex Direct (direct to market) traders can access tighter spreads, from 0.142 pips for EUR/USD.
- Margin. The margin is the amount needed for you to open a trade. IG margins start from just 5% of the trade value.
- Commission. All IG CFDs are commission free, except shares CFDs which vary. The commission charged on South African shares CFDs is 0.20% (R100 minimum) for online trades.
- FX currency exchange rates. When you trade a market that is denominated in a currency other than your local currency you pay an FX conversion, or exchange rate. IG offers a standard FX conversion rate of 0.5%.
What are the account funding options on an IG forex and CFD account?
The quickest way to deposit funds into your IG account is via debit or credit card (Visa or Mastercard). You can also instantly deposit funds using PayPal. Though keep in mind that you will need to use an FNB account to send funds to your PayPal account in South Africa.
While BPAY is another accepted payment method, funds will however take on average two business days to clear. The charges for the different funding methods are outlined below.
|Debit card||Free (Visa & Mastercard)|
|Credit card||1% (Visa) & 0.5% (Mastercard)|
If you’re funding your account via bank transfer or BPAY, then there is no minimum deposit required to open an IG forex account.
If you’re using a debit card or PayPal however, then the minimum deposit required to fund your account is R4000.
What are the pros and cons of trading on an IG forex account?
- Competitive spreads. With spreads starting from 0.6 pips, IG forex trading offers a competitively priced option for investors.
- Educational resources. If you’re new to trading or you simply want to increase your trading knowledge, IG offers an extensive range of educational resources plus a free demo account.
- Flexible forex trading. There are two ways to trade forex with IG: through forex CFDs and through the provider’s direct market access service.
- Access over 15,000 markets. Access over 17,000 global markets including 70 currency pairs.
- 24-hour customer support. IG offers customer support to its clients 24 hours a day, from Monday to Friday.
- Can be risky. CFDs are complex financial products and traders are at high-risk of losing all of or more than their initial investment.
How do I open an IG forex trading account?
It’s completely free to open a forex and CFD trading account with IG. The online application process takes around five minutes and there is no obligation to fund your account or place any trades. You will need to:
- Provide your name
- Enter your email address
- Create a username and password
- Specify your country of residence
- Specify whether you want to trade CFDs, forex or both
IG will work as quickly as possible to approve your application and once your account is open you can fund your account and start trading when you’re ready.
IG forex trading frequently asked questions?
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