Whether you are looking to buy shares online or access more sophisticated financial instruments like CFDs or spread betting – IG might be the right broker for you. With over 46 years as a respected brokerage firm, the platform actually offers some of the most competitive trading commissions in the space.
But, is IG the right broker for you? This is exactly what we intend on finding out.
In our IG share dealing review, we cover everything you need to know about the UK brokerage site. This includes a full breakdown of the platform’s fees and commissions, tradable instruments, research facilities, supported payments, and regulatory standing.
- 1 What is IG Group?
- 2 What type of assets are available at IG?
- 3 IG Share Dealing Charges, Fees and Commissions
- 4 IG Leverage
- 5 IG Trading Platforms
- 6 Education and Research at IG
- 7 Deposits and Withdrawals
- 8 Is IG Safe?
- 9 How to Get Started IG?
- 10 Step 1: Choose an IG Trading Account
- 11 Step 2: Enter Personal Information
- 12 Step 3: Verify Your Identity
- 13 Step 4: Fund Your IG Share Dealing Account
- 14 Step 5: Start Trading
- 15 IG Share Dealing Pros and Cons
- 16 IG Share Dealing vs eToro
- 17 IG Share Dealing Review – The Verdict
- 18 eToro – Our Number One Recommended UK Stockbroker
- 19 FAQs
What is IG Group?
IG is a globally regulated and award winning stock broker that offers a full range of trading options. At the forefront of this is a fully-fledged share dealing platform that is home to over 10,000 markets. This includes both UK and international exchanges – so it’s super-easy to diversify at IG.
Outside of its core share dealing services, IG offers a plethora of more advanced trading products. This includes a comprehensive CFD (contract-for-difference) department that allows you to enter buy and sell positions at the click of a button.
Leverage facilities are also up for grabs – which maxes out at 1:30 if you are a UK retail trader. On top of conventional CFDs, IG also offers spread betting services to UK traders. Some investors choose IG because of its cost-effective pricing structure, too. This starts at £3 per trade when buying traditional shares.
Other marketplaces – such as forex and CFD trading – is facilitated on a commission-free basis. IG is also popular with UK investors because of its long-standing reputation in the space. For example, the parent company was first launched in 1974, and the platform now boasts over 178,000 active traders. Furthermore, IG is in possession of several regulatory licenses – including that of the Financial Conduct Authorty (FCA).
What type of assets are available at IG?
In order to understand the types of assets available at IG, we need to break down each of its three investment streams – share dealing, CFDs, and spread betting.
IG Share Dealing
If you are looking to invest in shares in the traditional sense – IG is likely to be right up your street. This is because the online broker gives you access to over 10,000 markets, including many of the best shares to buy.
- UK Shares: If you are looking to buy FTSE 100 shares from the comfort of your home, IG has you covered. Not only does this include the London Stock Exchange, but also the AIM. Popular UK shares often purchased at IG include BP, Royal Mail, and HSBC.
- International Shares: IG is very strong when it comes to international shares. In particular, you will be able to buy US-listed companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Apple with ease. Among many others, available markets also include South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
- ETFs: If you want to invest in shares but you don’t know which companies to pick, you will be pleased to know that IG offers heaps of ETFs. In fact, you’ll get to choose from over 2,000 different ETFs from a wide variety of markets.
- Investment Trusts: An additional passive income stream available to you at IG is that of UK investment trusts. At the click of a button, the provider in question will buy and sell shares on your behalf.
Take note, if you invest in companies or ETFs that consist of dividend stocks, then the cash will be reflected in your IG share dealing account once the money has been distributed.
IG CFD Trading
If you class yourself as a seasoned trader, then IG is worth considering. This is because you will have access to thousands of financial instruments. On top of stock CFDs, IG markets also include:
As we cover later, all CFD positions are commission-free at IG, unless you are trading stocks. We should also note that the stock CFD department is much more comprehensive than its traditional share dealing counterpart – with over 16,000 equities at your disposal.
IG Spread Betting
IG is also an industry leader when it comes to spread betting facilities. In fact, you will have access to over 17,000 financial instruments – all of which can be traded on margin. The most notable factor about spread betting at IG is that unlike share dealing and CFDs – none of your profits will be liable for capital gains tax or stamp duty.
With tens of thousands of financial products across several investment classes, understanding the fee structure at IG can be challenging. As such, we once again need to separate its share dealing service with that of its wider IG share trading platform.
IG Share Dealing Charges
In a nutshell, IG charges an entry-level rate of £8 when investing in UK shares. This is charged when you buy shares at the platform, and again when you sell them. As a flat fee, it makes no difference how much you invest – so you will always pay the same.
For example, whether you buy £100, £500, or £20,000 worth of UK shares, you will always pay £8. The only exception to this rule is if you placed three or more trades in the previous month. If you did, then your flat fee is reduced to £3.
For example, if you placed one buy order and two sell orders, then this would give you access to the cheaper rate. Now, if you decide that you want access to the US markets, then you will pay a standard commission of £10 at IG. You will, however, also need to take a 0.5% currency conversion fee into account.
IG CFD and Spread Betting Fees
When it comes to CFD trading and spread betting, our IG share dealing review found that the broker operates a completely different pricing model. First and foremost, unless you are looking to trade stocks, you will not pay any commissions. You will, however, still need to take the spread into account – which we cover shortly.
If you want to trade stock CFDs, the commission is based on a variable percentage. This is multiplied by the amount that you trade. The specific commission rate is dependent on the exchange that you wish to target – and will always come with a minimum.
To give you an idea of how much you should expect to pay when trading stocks at IG, check out the examples below.
- If you wish to trade shares that are listed in the UK or EU – then you will be charged a commission of 0.10%. As such, a £20,000 trade would amount to a commission of £20. However, each trade comes with a minimum commission of £10. This means that you will pay £10 per trade unless the value of the order is higher than £10,000.
- If you wish to trade shares that are listed in the US, then you will pay a commission of 2 cents share. For example, if you buy 1,000 shares in total, your commission would amount to $20. Once again, a minimum commission is in play – which amounts to $15 in the case of US stock CFDs.
Other markets carry different commission models, so be sure to check this out before taking the plunge.
Unless you are looking to invest in traditional shares on a long-term basis, the spread should also have a major say in whether or not you join a broker. In the case of IG, the platform actually offers some of the tightest spreads in the space. When you factor in the commission-free offering on all non-stock CFDs, this makes the broker even more appealing.
To give you an idea of just how competitive its spreads are, check out the examples listed below:
- Indices: 0.1 pips
- Cryptocurrencies 0.2 pips
- Commodities 0.3 pips
- Forex 0.6 pips
Take note, spreads can fluctuate throughout the trading day at IG like most brokers. In fact, the spreads listed above are ‘minimums’ that you will find during standard market hours. As such, there is every chance that you will be accustomed to a wider spread.
There are several non-trading fees that you also need to take into account.
At IG, this includes:
- Overnight Financing Fees: If you plan to trade with leverage, then you will need to pay overnight financing fees. This is charged for each day that you keep the position open. At IG, the specific interest rate is dependent on the financial instrument that you are trading.
- Inactivity Fees: Like most brokers, IG charges an inactivity fee. Fortunately, this only comes into play when you fail to use your account for two years. Thereon, you will pay $12 per month until your account balance goes to zero.
- Credit Card Fees: If you decide to fund your IG account with a credit card, additional fees will apply. This stands at 0.5% and 1% when using Visa and MasterCard, respectively.
Leverage is available at IG when using its CFD trading and spread betting facilities. Unless you are a professional trader, it will come as no surprise to learn that your limits will mirror that of ESMA regulations.
For those unaware, this stands at::
- Cryptocurrencies: 1:2
- Stocks: 1:5
- Non-Major Indices and Non-Gold Commodities: 1:10
- Major Indices, Gold and Minor Currencies: 1:20
- Major Currencies: 1:30
If you are classed as a professional trader (which you will need to verify through documentation), IG offers leverage facilities of up to 1:200.
IG Trading Platforms
While this section won’t be of interest if you are simply looking to buy shares, it will if you want to actively trade on a short-term basis. After all, having access to a trusted and speedy platform is crucial when engaging in day or swing trading.
So, IG gives you two options in this respect.
- If you want to trade via the IG website through your standard web browser, then you can use the broker’s in-house platform. This offers everything you need to navigate your way through the Wild West of short-term trading.
- Alternatively, IG also allows you to access your IG trading account via MetaTrader4 (MT4). This can be downloaded to your desktop device, and comes with the added benefit of being able to implement automated systems and robots.
Whichever of the two trading platforms you go for, both come jam-packed with advanced trading tools and features.
- Dozens of technical indicators
- Chart customization tools
- Average execution speed of 0.0014 seconds
- Heaps of market orders
- Pricing alerts and triggers
IG Share Dealing App
If you want the option of placing buy and sell orders on the move, IG also offers an investment app. This is available on both Android and iOS devices, albeit, the features that you have access to will vary depending on the respective operating system. For example, pricing alerts are not available on iOS devices, but they are on Android.
The iOS app also falls short when it comes to funding your account. This is because you can deposit and withdraw funds via the Android app, but not on iOS. You are, however, free to trade on both versions of the IG share dealing app. This means that you can place last-minute buy and sell positions at the click of a button.
Education and Research at IG
Our IG share dealing review found that the education and research department at IG is nothing short of comprehensive. Regarding the former, you will have access to lots of user-friendly IG trading guides and key explained on widely used terms. There is also a regular podcast undertaken by selected in-house traders, which is great for gauging the viewpoints of a seasoned investor.
In terms of research and analytics, this includes:
- Economic calendar
- Special economic reports
- Trade analytic tools
- Financial events
- Trading ideas
- Market insights
Most importantly, the IG platform updates its fundamental news department as and when an important development surfaces. Whether this is related to a specific stock, currency pair, or index – IG has you covered.
Deposits and Withdrawals
When it comes to depositing and withdrawing funds at IG, you have several options to choose from.
- Debit cards
- Credit cards
- Bank transfer
While debit card deposits are always free, this isn’t the case with credit cards. As noted earlier, there is a 1% charge for Visa and 0.5% charge for MasterCard. Both debit/credit card payments are instant, while bank transfers can take a number of days. IG has a minimum deposit in place of £250.
Is IG Safe?
In terms of safety, our IG review found this broker is as strong and stable as it comes. Firstly, the broker was launched back in 1974, so you are using a provider that has built a trusted track record than now exceeds four decades. Similarly, the platform is home to over 178,000 active traders, which in itself is a good sign.
When it comes to licensing, once again IG excels. At the forefront of this is its license with the FCA.
On top of its strong regulatory standing in the UK, IG is also licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This ensures that the broker has regulatory oversight on three fronts.
Additionally, we should also note that IG’s parent company is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has a current market capitalization of just over £3 billion, and interestingly – the stocks are up 17% in the first 6 months of 2020.
How to Get Started IG?
If you’re keen to start trading with IG today, we are now going to show you the steps required.
Step 1: Choose an IG Trading Account
You will first need to visit the IG homepage an elect to open an account. You will then be asked what type of account you wish to open. Your options include a:
- Share dealing account
- CFD trading account
- Spread betting account
You can, however, select as many account types that you wish. As such, feel free to select all three.
Step 2: Enter Personal Information
Once you have selected your preferred account type(s), you will then need to enter some personal information.
As is standard practice in the online brokerage scene, this includes your:
- Full name
- Home address
- Date of birth
- National insurance number
- Contact details
If you selected a CFD or spread betting account, you will be asked a range of additional questions. This will centre on your historical trading experience and understanding of risk.
Step 3: Verify Your Identity
IG is a heavily regulated broker, meaning that it will need to verify your identity. In order to do this quickly, simply upload the following two documents:
- Copy of your passport or driver’s license
- Copy of a recent utility bill or bank account statement
Once you have uploaded the above documents, your account restrictions will be lifted.
You will now need to deposit some funds. As noted earlier, you can choose from a debit/credit card or bank account transfer. Don’t forget, credit card deposits are charged at 0.5% or 1%, depending on whether you are using MasterCard or Visa.
Step 5: Start Trading
As soon as your IG share dealing account has been funded, you start trading straight away. You will, however, need to decide which trading platform you wish to utilize.
If opting for MT4, you will first need to download the software to your desktop device. Alternatively, if you want to trade via the IG website, no download or installation is required.
Make no mistake about it that IG is certainly one of the best online platforms offering share dealing services to UK investors as of 2020. However, it is important to first assess whether other, more favourable options exist. At the forefront of this is eToro, who has since attracted over 12 million traders to its platform.
So how do the two compare?
Well, in terms of pricing, IG is reasonably competitive at £3 per trade. But, unless you are able to place at least three orders a month, you will pay £8. At the other end of the spectrum – and irrespective of how many times you trade, eToro allows you to buy shares on a commission-free basis. This rings true whether you buy UK or international stocks.
|Charge per Trade||Annual Fee||Inactivity Fee||Deposit/Withdrawal Fees|
|IG||£3 on UK shares, or £8 if less than three orders in previous month||£24 per quarter if less than three orders in quarter||£0||£0|
|eToro||£0||£0||£8 per month (after one year)||£4 per withdrawal|
On the flip side, it must be noted thatIG offers significantly more choice in the shares department – with more than 10,000 traditional equities to choose from. At eToro, this stands at over 800. With that said, eToro does offer most FTSE 100, NASDAQ, and NYSE companies – which are the most popular with UK investors.
Finally, with both brokers holding licenses with the FCA – there is little to differentiate IG and eToro when it comes to safety.
It comes as no surprise to learn that IG is now home to over 178,000 active traders – as the platform really does cover most bases. Whether you are looking to invest in traditional shares, trade CFDs, or benefit from tax-free spread betting facilities – you won’t be disappointed at IG.
On top of a super-strong reputation and regulatory standing, IG is also popular because of its competitive pricing model. For example, shares can be bought from just £3, and other than stocks – all CFD financial instruments are commission-free. The final icing on the cake is the comprehensiveness of the broker’s education and research department.
However – and as we briefly covered above, you might find that eToro is further ahead of the curve than IG. This is because you can buy shares without paying a single penny in commission, and the platform is more suited to first-time investors. Moreover, eToro offers more in the way of passive income features – as you get to choose from ETFs and CopyTrading portfolios.
As such, eToro makes the cut for us – so you can get started with an instant share purchase by clicking on the link below!
eToro – Our Number One Recommended UK Stockbroker
Is IG safe?
Yes, IG is one of the established brokers in the UK trading scene. Launched in 1974, the platform is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and MAS. This ensures that you are able to invest and trade in a safe and secure online environment.
What are the IG share dealing fees?
IG has a somewhat complex pricing model, not least because it offers over 17,000 financial markets. With that said, shares can be purchased from just £3, and non-stock CFDs are commission-free.
What shares can you buy at IG?
In its traditional share dealing department, IG offers over 10,000 equities. This includes the London Stock Exchange and AIM in the UK. You will also have access to heaps of international markets.
What trading platforms does IG offers?
IG offers its own in-house trading platform that can be accessed via your standard web browser. You can also access your IG account via MT4, or through an iOS/Android mobile app.
What is the minimum deposit at IG?
If you're based in the UK, you will need to deposit at least £250 to get started at IG.