If you prefer to be with a large global CFD broker that is on everyone’s list of the leaders in the industry, then IG Group might be the broker for you. The firm is headquartered in the UK, complies with a host of major regulatory agencies across the globe, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, an extra plus for both safety and transparency reasons.
In recent years, major global forex brokers have had to adapt to an avalanche of new rules and regulations promulgated by regulatory bodies trying to protect the general public from scams and bad business practices. Unfortunately, compliance infrastructures are neither uniform nor consistent in all jurisdictions. Our IG Australia review revealed that this firm has adapted well to the changing forex trading marketplace.
Due to this inconsistent regulatory oversight, IG has had to set up a series of separate operating subsidiaries in a number of global jurisdictions to market its services to prospective customers in compliance with local rules. For residents of Australia and New Zealand, there is now an IG Australia, located at IG.com/au. It is licensed, regulated, in compliance with ASIC regulations, and can provide you with access to thousands of financial markets, some 18,000+ at the last count.
With a large, experienced and well-capitalised broker such as IG, a trader can expect to find the tools, support and educational materials necessary for both beginners and veterans. Add the safety and security of dealing with a publicly traded company that is always on the cutting edge of technology innovation, and you have a potential formula for trading success. In this IG Australia broker review, we will expand upon the service offering of this broker.
Products and Trade Offers
With IG, you are dealing with a trusted broker that has been at the forefront of the forex industry for decades. During that time, it has broadened its portfolio to include other financial instruments, such as shares, ETFs, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and more – indeed, the firm claims to be the number one choice for CFD trading in Australia. No matter what your preference might be, 320,000+ active traders call IG their broker and have access to 18,000+ markets.
With IG Australia, you will primarily trade a variety of instruments with CFDs, though the firm does offer a separate share trading service. It also offers extended trading hours on US-specific stocks and also limited weekend trading in exclusive markets.
When researching our IG Australia broker review, we did notice that trading of CFDs and cryptocurrencies in other IG subsidiaries can be subject to local regulatory restrictions. ASIC has moved in Australia to limit leverage on retail CFD trading, as well as prohibit marketing incentives. It has also standardised margin-close out rules and requires negative balance protection. ASIC is also currently reviewing its position on crypto trading.
There will always be additional trading opportunities for professionals and institutional clients. However, a retail trader will find numerous trading possibilities at IG Australia, supported by a wide range of trading tools and analysis.
Here is a summary of the product options with IG Australia:
- Forex: CFD trading in 80+ major, minor and exotic currency pairs is supported in the world’s largest trading market.
- Indices: CFD trading is available in 80+ global market indices, where it is easy to go long or short for your chosen asset.
- Share CFDs: You may choose from 13,000+ Australian and international stocks, with extended trading hours for specific instruments and better deals for active traders.
- Share direct trading: Direct trading of US and UK shares can be had at zero commission, while a small charge of $5 or 0.05% applies to trades of local Australian shares if you trade 3 times or more in the previous month, otherwise, it is $8 or 0.10% per trade. Extended hours also apply to key US stocks.
- Commodities: CFD trading is supported for a wide range of commodities (oil, gold, etc.), commodity stocks and ETFs, some 35 in number. Direct share and ETF trading is also supported.
- Cryptocurrencies: Without having to own cryptocurrencies directly, you may go long or short on a dozen of the most popular tokens, as well as in a Crypto 10 Index fund.
- Other markets: IG also provides access to CFD trading in thousands of thematic funds offered worldwide, in futures and options, bonds and interest rates, and even direct trading in IPOs with a share trading account. You also have the benefit of trading off hours during the week or on weekends and other more refined mediums where you may trade sectors and volatility.
In summary, you would be hard-pressed to find another broker with a wider array of product offerings in its portfolio than those as outlined in our IG Australia broker review. IG Group is a large, well-capitalised broker, and it strives to be all things to all customers, whether beginners or veterans. IG offers three types of accounts tailored to your needs and not requiring a minimum balance. Demo accounts are also standard. These three account classes are as follows:
- Personal Account: Open a CFD or share trading account in minutes and gain access to a huge range of markets, tight spreads, user-friendly platforms and fast execution. Joint accounts can also be opened.
- Corporate and Trust Accounts: For corporate and institutional clients, this account has access to the firm’s powerful technology, portfolio of products, and special features designed for heavy trading.
- Self-Managed Super Fund: The SMSF account is designed specifically for your personal CFD or share trading objectives. There are no restrictions for share trading, but to trade CFDs, minimum assets in excess of $1 million are required.
Opening an account with IG Australia is quick and straightforward. As required by international law, you will need to submit personally identifiable information in order to trade. It is worth noting that ASIC limits leverage to 30:1 for retail clients for major currency pairs and lower for other assets. However, IG does provide a Pro account whereby traders are not subject to these retail restrictions. As such, Pro clients will not be afforded the same investor protections as a retail client.
New rules also prevent rewards or gifts that might induce new clients to trade CFDs. CFD margin close-outs can occur if your margin position reaches 50% of your total equity, but negative balance protection also applies for individual retail accounts.
- Recognised leader in the forex and CFD trading industry
- Heavily regulated in several jurisdictions across the globe, including ASIC
- Extensive portfolio of 18,000+ markets to choose from
- CFDs and Share trading on the same platform
- MetaTrader and proprietary trading platform options available
- Broad-based research and educational materials
- Several deposit and withdrawal options with no fees
- Desktop and mobile apps available
- Trade forex pairs via CFDs only
- Fees and commissions for retail traders are competitive but could be lower
- Customer service chat feature could be quicker
- No copy-trading service option at this time
Commissions and Fee Charges
IG Australia is not trying to be a low-cost provider. It delivers a quality service and charges competitive spreads and fees, but you will be able to find lower costs elsewhere. Low-cost service providers, however, will cut in other areas to support lower fees, so there is a trade-off. IG does strive for transparency on all fees via links on its website.
The popular EUR/USD pair can trade as low as 0.6 pips but may average just over that figure. Other fees may vary depending upon the exchange you access. IG makes its money on spread revenue and, to a small extent, on the net of CFD trading losses. However, there are also minor overnight fees, guaranteed stop premiums, and margin interest. IG also has an inactivity fee on CFD accounts, which does not come into action until after 24 months (it abolished the inactivity fee on share trading accounts earlier this year). However, at the time of writing, there have been discussions at IG about abolishing this fee for CFD clients.
What Others Say
In our IG Australia review, it was difficult to find any industry reviewers who were critical of the services provided by IG Group. Here are just a few of the favourable comments that you can find on the internet:
- ForexTraders.com: “If you crave the biggest, brightest and best broker out there, then you must consider IG. Their history and track record are exemplary of a brokerage operation that prides itself on excellence, innovation, and performance efficiency, day in and day out. After you include reliability, ample regulatory supervision, financial transparency, and access to 10,000 tradable instruments, it would be difficult to find another choice that could measure up in as many categories as does the IG Group.”
- FXEmpire.com: “If you’re serious about trading the world’s financial markets using the best tools in the business, then IG could be for you. Being one of the safest and most regulated brokers in the world, the offering is aimed at professionals and institutions. But, IG makes it super easy for beginners to access the markets like a professional.”
- BrokerChooser.com: “IG is one of the biggest and most reliable CFD brokers worldwide. It is regulated by several financial authorities around the world, and IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange. IG has one of the best web trading platforms BrokerChooser has tested. The deposit and withdrawal conditions are great. You can also expand your knowledge with great educational materials.”
IG has a dedicated team of professionals to support your needs. Contact is easy through live chat, phone, email and Twitter nearly 24/7, except for a few hours on Saturday. IG is a large broker with 330,000+ active clients every day. As a result, response times can be slow, but the information provided is always professional from a team of experts. IG also provides access to its IG Community of traders, where ideas and support can be exchanged online in real-time.
Platform Features and Tools
Our IG Australia broker review found that IG has won several awards for its services and technology over the years. The broker takes a great deal of pride in its proprietary web trading platform, which was up and running well before MetaTrader and MT4 became household names. You may find IG’s platform a faster and smarter way to trade, but IG also supports the MetaTrader family of products.
IG’s proprietary system does provide a smarter and quicker trading experience with average execution speeds of 0.014 seconds. Overall, the IG platforms handled more than 86 million trades in FY19 and have been enhanced to deal with much higher volumes. All trading platforms, whether proprietary or MetaTrader, provide full-feature sets, including alerts, order format options, detailed charts, and instant overviews of key trading information. Free demo systems provide a convenient way to try out each platform.
If you prefer mobile trading, our IG Australia review found that the broker also has an award-winning mobile app with customer accolades that range from “superb” to “user-friendly” to “simply awesome”. Touted as Australia’s best trading app, IG’s in-house trading application for mobile devices has full functionality, access to all asset offerings, and provides the ability to react quickly to price alerts and trading signals. The app has won several awards and is available for both Apple and Android devices.
IG supports automated trading, but only through third-party services or through EAs on the MT4 platform. For its proprietary platform, the automated capability is provided by ProRealTime, which provides an interface that can be customised. Currently, IG does not offer copy trading as an option, but it does have access to several thematic ETFs where Robo Trading is incorporated into the fund’s mode of operation.
Research and Learning Section
IG Australia provides a wealth of information under its ‘Analyse and Learn’ tab on its website, designed for both the experienced trader and those new to trading. There is also a companion support area on YouTube (click here). From a variety of materials, traders can easily expand their knowledge base, get tips from experts, and raise their trading skills to the next level. These materials are enhanced by news and analysis, which can prepare you for the day’s trades or an upcoming economic event. There are also numerous trade ideas and strategy tips.
Our IG Australia review revealed that this entity supports clients from both Australia and New Zealand. Its operating entity in the region is IG Australia Pty Ltd, and it has an office in Melbourne. It is licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). Full licensing details and address are available on the firm’s website. Outside of Australia, IG operating entities are in compliance with 10 other regulatory bodies, including the FCA in the UK, the FMA in New Zealand, the CFTC in the US, and MAS in Singapore.
IG Australia complies with capital adequacy standards, and all client deposits are segregated in separate bank accounts under strict custodial trust arrangements. Assets are similarly held with approved custodians. All trading and personal information are encrypted, but in the case of insolvency, there is no protective compensation plan in place for Australian and New Zealand residents. Your safety stems from segregation rules and from IG being a publicly traded firm on the London Stock Exchange, where strict transparency provides additional protection.
Global CFD and share broker giant
If you want to deal with a large, well-capitalised, heavily regulated broker that has more than two decades of experience (in Australia, 48 years of experience globally) and is recognised as a major leader in the industry, then trading with IG Australia may be your one-stop shop for trading. Whether you are a beginner, a veteran, an institution or a high-net-worth individual, IG has something for everyone, even premium benefits for its best clients, by invitation only. A key point that our IG Australia broker review needs to make clear is that trading CFDs is high risk, as noted in the disclaimer.
The broker’s proprietary trading platform has won many awards, but MetaTrader fans are also catered for. The primary trading vehicle is a CFD, though a share trading account offers direct investment and traditional trading on selected asset groups. You will not find traditional forex trading at IG, and although fees for retail traders are competitive, IG is not a low-cost provider. It is, however, an excellent and trustworthy broker. Free demos with $20,000 in virtual funds are available, if and when you wish to try them out.
TRADING DISCLAIMERCFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly with leverage. You do not own or have any interest in the underlying asset. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Please consider the Margin Trading Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), Risk Disclosure Notice and Target Market Determination before entering into any CFD transaction with us.
The value of shares, ETFs, and ETCs bought through an IG share trading account can fall as well as rise, which could mean getting back less than you originally put in. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks and take care to manage your exposure (Source: IG)