Is IG a good choice for South Africans? This IG review will show
IG is one of the oldest brokerages that is still successfully operating on the Forex market. The broker was established in 1974 and is offering Forex and CFDs trading ever since. In this IG review, I will discuss the broker and its features to help you decide if this company is the right choice for you.
The biggest advantage of trading with IG is that it is an established broker and has a wide range of trading instruments. Including over 90 currency pairs, 10.500 stock CFDs, 1.900 ETF CFDs and more. The minimum deposit with the broker is ZAR 4430, leverage 1:200, the spreads are tight but there is commission added. The payment methods are really poor as you can deposit the funds only via Credit/Debit card and bank transfer. The withdrawal takes up to 24 hours.
IG broker overview
As mentioned above IG FX brokerage has a long history of being on the trading market. Let’s have a quick view of it. IG Index was established in 1974 in the UK and was providing financial derivatives such as spread betting. Later on, it was renamed as IG Group and expanded it’s services to Australia once the country’s financial services regulations were changed. IG broker is operated by IG Markets Limited which is part of IG group. IG is authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). The license number that the broker provides on its website is legit. Hence I can already answer the question about IG scam. There is none, but is it a good choice for traders? We shall see.
The broker is offering its service worldwide, excluding the United States. As the broker itself reports it is presented on over 15,000 markets and has 195,000 customers worldwide. According to the website the broker has received several awards, among them is an award of the best overall personal wealth provider and the award for the best trading support. Both of the awards are from the “Online Personal Wealth Awards 2018.” As I am very skeptical when it comes to the awards in the Forex industry I checked the validity of it. I confirm that the broker has truly received the awards, however, I want you to know that IG is one of the annual sponsors of the Online Personal Wealth Awards. With this, I need to ask the question can IG be trusted?
The fact that IG is one of the oldest Forex brokerages is reflected on the website. It is very poorly designed and has technical issues that could have been solved easily. If I did not know anything about IG and had to make a judgment based on the website only I would definitely stay away from it. The website looks very unattractive and at the same time is not practical. It gives the impression that the broker has a website just for the sake of having a website. The navigation is not bad, however, the information is displayed in a very unpractical way. When the broker claims to have clients from various countries I always check what languages they offer. I did the same when making this IG.com review and was not very satisfied. If you are even able to find the button for languages it shows only several languages such as Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and some others, the button can redirect you to the page that shows countries to choose yours, when you choose it some of them have language like Japanese and Chinese available, for most of the countries, content is still only available in English. Once you review the websites in other languages some of the content is still not available, which reduces IG rating for me a bit. The broker has social accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Youtube. There the broker is more modern and very active.
What IG has to offer
IG showcases itself as one of the biggest providers of CFDs. The customers can trade with several asset classes and the overall number of it looks really impressive. Here’s what the broker offers to trade:
- Currency pairs, over a hundred currency pairs that are categorized into major, minor, Australasian, Scandinavian, exotic and emerging currency pairs.
- CFDs on indices from popular markets, North and Central American, European, Asian and South African markets.
- CFDs on commodities such as energy, metals, and softs.
- CFDs on shares of the companies worldwide
- CFDs on other markets such as IPO grey markets, interest rates, bonds and more.
Spreads & leverage
As the broker offers a wide selection of trading instruments the spreads vary as well. The lowest I could find for major currency pairs was from 0.6 pips. As for the IG leverage, the maximum a trader can have is 1:200 which is average on the market.
IG has a relatively high minimum deposit which is ZAR 4430. One can deposit funds only with Debit or Credit card and bank transfers. The choice of payment methods is really poor since in the digital era there are a lot of other payment methods that traders use, this decreases the IG rating a bit. The transactions via Debit/Credit cards are executed instantly, the international bank transfers, however, take up to three business days. The broker itself recommends using a Debit card over a Credit card since the last one is subject to the commission – 1% for Visa and 0.5 % charge for MasterCard.
To withdraw funds from your account you will need to simply choose the withdrawal option from your account. IG withdrawal takes approximately 24 hours and you can withdraw a maximum of $35,000 every 24 hours.
The broker is charging commissions on stock CFDs. As the broker explains, when trading with stock CFDs, customers trade at the real market price, instead of attaching it to the broker’s own spread. IG Commissions are charged when a customer opens and closes the position. The commission is 0.10 % for those trading in Australia, Euro ( Belgium, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Span) and the UK. In the US the commission is 2 cents per share. The commission for overnight funding with IG is 2.5%.
IG account types
Unfortunately, the IG account types are not well defined on the website. All I could find was that the broker offers a Personal account, SMSF account, and corporate account. As the broker claims there is no minimum balance required on the account, it takes less than five minutes to register and there is no obligation to fund or trade. However, the IG inactivity fee is applied quarterly, every three months the broker charges $50. The fee applies only to the IG share trading account and is not applicable for CFD accounts. For CFD account inactivity fee is only applied after two years and is $18 per month.
- The personal account is for individual traders, the broker promises fast execution, free research tools and spreads from 0.4 pips, however, I could not find such tight spreads on the assets displayed on the website.
- SMSF account is a self-managed account and those who want to open it should ensure to have liquid assets in excess of $1 million.
- The corporate account is for corporate and institutional clients and comes with superior technical support.
There is also an IG demo account available with $20,000 virtual funds. Those who get the demo account also get access to the exclusive educational content on the IG academy.
IG trading platform
IG offers several trading platforms to its customers: Online trading platform, MT4, trading apps, and advanced trading platform. MetaTrader 4 is one of the most commonly used trading platforms. IG trading apps enable trading on iPhone, Ipad, Android mobile, and Android tablets. The online trading platform gives customers the possibility to trade without any software, it comes with smart settings, indicators, and the possibility to use multiple timeframes.
IG might have some of the best trading platforms, but their customer support is a disappointment. It is only available via support email and phone call. The broker has to phone the number indicated on the website, one for existing and one for new customers. As expected the email communication goes slow and takes hours which is not very optimal for the traders. Overall IG opinion about the support is that it is not optimized for today’s standards. As the trader might have an urgent question or some issue that needs to be solved immediately it is always good to have an online chat available.
Is IG legit?
As IG is one of the oldest brokers providing Forex and CFD trading, it is hard to say that the broker is not legit. It is compatible with the regulations and has proved that it is a reliable brokerage over its years of existing. Hence, if you still have a question – can IG be trusted – I can surely say that yes it is a trustworthy broker. However, I would not suggest trading with them. Being assured that the broker is not a fraud is one thing, another thing is if the broker is good for you.
The IG broker was the frontier of the Forex industry years ago, but it wasn’t able to keep up with the rest of the competition. It does not have well-designed accounts for new traders, has a poor choice of the payment methods and most importantly lacks immediate support. Moreover, the broker charges commissions. The IG scam is not possible, but the broker is mostly for high budget traders who have several years of trading experience. If you are not one of those and are searching for a modern broker that is not that complicated and has well-designed services for every kind of customer I would suggest not to make your choice on IG and find a better broker for your trading career.
[RICH_REVIEWS_SNIPPET category=”page”] [RICH_REVIEWS_SHOW category=”page”] [RICH_REVIEWS_FORM]