As Australia’s largest retail forex broker provider*, IG Markets Australia offers:
- Fast Execution Speeds
- The choice between four forex platforms
- Low forex spreads and commissions
- Minimal slippage rates by industry standards
- Outstanding 24/5 customer service
- The ability to trade on other financial markets
Execution Speed And Price Improvement Technology Of IG
IG’s technology focuses on stability, speed and achieving improved pricing within forex trading market. 99% of their traders are processed within 0.10 seconds across the world leading to low slippage as show to the right in December 2015.
To minimise slippage caused by delays their systems have been built at scale achieving:
- 25+ millions orders between January to April 2016
- 40,000 daily users from desktop devices
- 43,000 daily users from mobile devices
IG markets Australia also sources forex markets directly from the worlds largest global exchanges and banks. In turbulent markets their price improvement technology may give you a superior price to that quoted when available. This has saved approximately $100M for clients since January 2013.
A real positive of IG is that unlike many other Australian forex brokers, all their client’s funds are not used for hedging. This means that all funds which include net running, unrealised profits is held for their clients in the major banks which is above and beyond AFSL requirements. This combined with their technology has led them to win several awards including the Online Personal Wealth Awards in 2015.
What Trading Platforms Does IG Markets Australia Offer?
IG offers the most trading platform options of the Australian forex brokers across forex and CFDs.
Their most popular platform is their own ‘core platform’ which is browser based which is perfect for those on-the-go as no downloads are required. This is complemented with apps for any device including tablets which integrate with the web-based platform.
There are a number of monitoring tools including the ability to set limits and stops to close out positions, the ability to ‘tear off’ prices when you want to close the core platform and the option to have alerts in the form of e-mails or an SMS when prices are reached.
There are a number of free tools and features available with the core platform once you become an IG Markets Australia client including streaming of Reuters news which is full integrated with no delays. Autochartist is another feature that can monitor CFDs and currency markets, alerting clients as to opportunities based on charting patterns. Trading central is also available as a technical analysis tool, providing charting and daily e-mail updates about the financial markets.
IG Markets Australia Charts can be included for free to provide technical indicators and the ability to trade directly from charts. Another option is ProRealTime which is an advanced charting tool, with a dedicated suits of features. This charting balance has monthly costs but these are refused when traders actively trade on the platform.
Three Specialist Platforms
For those that prefer to use more popular platforms compared to IG’s platform, three of the most popular options are available for forex trading.
1) L2 Dealer
This platform allows an ECN forex broker trader experience with direct access to markets through IG’s Forex Direct which means the broker doesn’t add any additional spreads on currency pairings. Instead, prices are quoted directly with liquidity and major providers with a flat commission placed on volume by IG. This platform is ideal for those forex traders who also want to trader shares worldwide through CFDs.
2) ProReal Time
This platform is ideal for forex traders who specialise in automated trading. The platform allows traders to build strategies using their development tools or you can code from scratch. Other options include the ability to import strategies from other traders or 3rd parties and back-test it across 30 years of data. There is no need to be active on the platform in order for the tool to trade on your behalf.
3) MetaTrader 4
This has been a new addition to IG based on the platforms popularity and the fact most Australian forex brokers offer MT4. This platform’s popularity is due to the simplicity of the platform, ability to customise it to your needs and it’s fast execution speeds.
The three advanced platforms and the core platform offer free demo accounts. This allows Australians to try the platforms risk-free and test out IG’s customer service to make sure it suits their needs before trading real money.
What Fees Does IG Markets Offers?
In the month leading up to 12/05/2016 the spreads across the three major forex spreads are:
1) IG Forex Spreads
When trading on the IG core platform the standard spreads shown to the right apply which change depending on the currency pairing and market conditions.
The spreads show are the major fee charged by IG, with other fees applying if you want guaranteed stops (which ensure you can’t lose more on a trade than the amount set) and fees if you hold a currency pairing overnight.
2) MetaTrader 4 Forex Spreads
Those who choose to use the MetaTrader 4 platform have different spreads which are shown to the right. While minimum spreads are similar to the core platform, the average spreads across May 2016 are higher.
There is therefore a premium fee that traders must pay (through higher spreads) that applies to adopting MetaTrader 4.
3) Forex Direct Account
An option available for IG traders is the adoption of the forex direct account with full market transparency. This means that there are no additional fees placed on spreads, with the actual spreads of the market quoted through the platform.
Naturally, IG needs to have some fees which come in the form of commission which are based by the volume of the round trade (ie the two trades for any currency pairing).
The Forex direct account is also know as an ECN forex broker as traders trade direct with the market with raw costs. This can help open up opportunities such as trading with FIX API.
So What IG Account Should I Choose?
While the Forex Direct Account has flat commissions, our research found that in most scenarios traders will often have lower fees when the lower spreads are taken into consideration. Which IG account you choose should be based on your level of trading expertise and risk profile.
IG Offers Lower Leverage Levels Compared To Other Australian Forex Brokers
IG markets Australia offers a maximum leverage of 200:1 which is one of the lowest levels of the Australian brokers.
What this highlights is that IG doesn’t want it’s traders to a have leveraged currency positions which can lead to magnified profits or losses. They even offer guaranteed stops to further help reduce risk in volatile markets.
While lower spreads and guaranteed stops may be great for many beginner and intermediate traders, there are more sophisticated traders who may require higher leverage. These traders may wish to consider other traders shown on our Australian forex broker comparison table.
IG markets Australia offer locally based customer service 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday. They offer support over the phone, via e-mail or even through their handle on twitter.
They offer one of the leading customer education offerings which includes free in-person seminar which are also held live through webinars. They also have an IG academy app which is free for traders with information on forex, shares, commodities and indices and how traders can capitalise from both rises and falls in financial markets. The app also helps develop a trading plan, explains leverage and ways to manage risks.
Three core funding options exist for currency traders:
i) Credit Cards
Mastercard and Visa can be used to fund IG markets Australia account with a 1.5% charge applicable.
ii) Debit Cards
No charge applies to MasterCard debit card funding but visa debit cards incur a 0.5% fee.
No costs are incurred through bPay but funds can take two working days before they are cleared.
All client funds as discussed earlier are segregated into a separate bank account as per AFSL regulations.
IG are an internationally renowned broker and the they are extensively reviewed on the web. Their international arms are all run independently of the main arm in the United Kingdom. In Australia there are over 500 IG broker reviews on 3rd party review site Trust Pilot. Like with all large companies, there are some disenfranchised customers who have left critical feedback. However, the broker scores an overwhelmingly positive score of 7.2 out of 10. Not bad for a company with 506 reviews.
IG Markets Australia Review Conclusion
IG is the most popular Australian forex broker for good reason with their great range of platforms, fast execution speeds and outstanding customer service. The largest limitations of the broker is their relatively low leverage of 200:1 and spreads on some platforms. If you require high leverage or want to use the MetaTrader 4 and want low spreads, then we suggest you review our Australian forex broker comparison table. If though, your looking of moderate leverage and are happy to use the other platforms provided such as the ‘core platform’ then IG markets Australia is an excellent option especially for IG CFD Trading and worth opening an account with.
*November 2014 FX Report. Popularity by primary retail relationships.