Established in 1974, IG in now the world’s largest CFDs retail share trading and forex broker. IG Markets Australia trades under AFSL 220440 with our IG review finding the broker’s five core strengths are their:
- Four forex trading platforms including MT4
- Fast Execution Speeds
- Low spreads and fees through their DMA
- Plethora of tradable services including shares
- Outstanding customer service
1) IG Offers Four Of The Best Forex Trading Platforms
IG Australia offers the worlds best forex trading platform based on popularity – MetaTrader 4 (MT4). The forex broker also offers three other platforms including it’s own propriety web based software for CFD trading on financial markets including currencies.
Comparing the best forex trading platforms IG offers there is:
a) MetaTrader 4
– Lightning fast execution with no third-party bridges
– 70+ currency markets available with tight spreads
– The ability to use a virtual private server
– EAs available which can be active even when offline
– Add-on availability including Auto-chartist
b) L2 Trader
– The ability to trade shares through CFDs without dealer intervention
– Integration with forex direct (DMA) providing direct liquidity trading
– Smart order routing to source the best price automatically
– Wide range of order types such as fire or kill, pegged and eliminate
– The ability to trade off algorithms created on Microsoft excel
– Individual exchange order books displayed individually or aggregated
c) IG’s Proprietary Platform
– No need to download software as the platform is browser based for PCs
– Apps across all mobile/tablet platforms including windows phone
– The ability to stream news from Reuters for free
– Full market depth available through forex direct (DMA)
– The ability to make ‘one click’ trading or to trade from charts
Overall, providing the best forex trading platforms (MT4) resulted in near top marks which was only slightly downgraded due cTrader also not been offered for forex trading. Those looking for forex, binary options and share trading should choose the IG proprietary platform option.
2) IG Markets Australia Execution Speeds Are Some Of The Fastest Globally
Poor forex broker speeds leading to slippage and poor prices are a common issue within currency markets. IG markets Australia addresses these cfd trading issues three ways as shown in the diagram below.
a) Speed of Execution
The market size of IG Markets Australia makes their systems the largest globally. 25+ millions cfd trading orders occurred over January to April 2016 with on average 40,000 web and more than double that on mobile each month. This impressive technology processes 99% of trades in under 0.10 seconds. This technology is also backed by never giving a worse price than what is shown on the streaming quotes.
b) Price Improvement
Our IG markets review found that they accept forex trading deals at the price requested within a tolerance. If the market moved too much, rather than allow slippage (like most brokers) they ask the trader to resubmit the order. Alternatively if an improved price occurs when cfd trading, this can be passed onto the trader.
c) Sourcing Better Prices
IG Australia gets their prices from multiple trading venues for both currency markets and shares. Currency markets sources include the major banks, hedge funds and other liquidity funds.
The three factors above factors help address speed issues although some advanced traders may have concerns with the speed of their DMA through international servers with third party providers like equinix having servers located closer to exchanges.
3) IG Markets Australia Offers Some Of The Lowest Spreads
IG reviews differ when it comes to spreads because unlike other brokers they differ by forex trading platform. These tables were updated on the 17/04/2017 based on updated spreads information provided on the IG website.
In 2017 the spreads for those trading through IG’s propriety forex trading platform averaged 0.75 for AUD/USD with a minimum of 0.6.
Those IG traders who prefer the MetaTrader 4 forex platform receive different spreads although the AUD/USD spreads were relatively similar at 0.75 average and 0.6 minimum.
A third option IG accounts available is Direct Market (DMA) available through either the main IG trading platform or L2 Dealer. What you can see is that DMA offers the lowest spreads BUT commission are available based on the size of the trader. Most advanced traders prefer this solutions (also known as an ECN forex trading) as you know the exact spreads of the markets.
As mentioned, IG markets reviews differ when it comes to spread betting. Their main platform standard spreads are very competitive but their MT4 spreads are poorer then other providers as shown on our trading platform comparison table. Their DMA spreads are standard compared to other ECN forex brokers both within Australia and worldwide.
4) IG Markets Is More Than Just A Forex Broker
One of the biggest advantages of IG is that in addition to 97 currency pairs been available to trade, there are other financial products including:
- 1,985 Australian shares
- 9,072 international shares
This means that Australian traders don’t need multiple providers for services like share trading with IG offering an ‘all-in-one’ solution. There is also no minimum deposit required by IG which is another handy feature when trading multiple financial products.
5) IG Markets Review Of Customer Service & Reputation
Our IG review provided the forex broker with the maximum score in this category based on:
i) Market Size
The IG Group not only is Australia’s largest CFD provider by revenue, they are the largest worldwide based on a September 2015 Investment Trends report. The IG Group has offices in 17 countries and over 135,000 clients worldwide. They are a FTSE 250 company with over 1,000 staff.
ii) Australian Regulation
The group is regulated and authorised by the Australian and Investment Commission. This means that all funds are held in a segregated bank account. Unlike some other brokers, these segregated funds are not used for hedging purposes. IG Markets Ltd also segregates net realised profits which is superior to Australian commission requirements as of May 2015. IG markets ltd also doesn’t speculate on the market through their forex trading platform or have exposure to corporate debt. They also meet the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulations. It’s these safeguards that lead IG markets reviews to be strong within currency trading circles.
iii) Call Centre
The IG Australia call centre is open 24 hours a day when the markets are open (from Monday to Friday). One added feature that most other forex brokers don’t have is that the call centre is also open from 9:00am to 5:00pm UK time on the weekend as well.
Traders can contact IG Australia by calling them, e-mailing or even live chat on the IG.com site. Our IG markets review calls found the call centre extremely knowledgeable with no wait times and no attempt to cross-sell any products during interactions.
iv) Range Of Markets
Unlike most other forex brokers, IG Markets Australia offers a plethora of financial products. Within this site there is an IG index review which allows traders to speculate solely on world stock-market index such as the FTSE 100. As these indices only move small amounts the IG index also provider leverage to increase the profits or losses of movements. In 2017 share trading was also added to the list of markets offered. The share trading costs start at $8 for ASX shares, $10USD for USA shares and £10 for UK shares.
Our IG review also viewed the broker favourably as it offers commodities, bitcoin and even binary options trading. It’s critical that clients understand the risks, especially with binary options prior to trading. IG binaries have tools to help manage risk which should be understood prior to testing out this form of trading.
A final area that IG Markets Australia excels in is their training. There are both online and offline seminars not just for beginner traders but experienced currency traders looking to improve their skills. They have online webinars and CFD trading guides including easy to understand videos. This had led to many positive IG markets reviews over the past decade.
The Largest IG Review Negative Is Low Leverage Available
Arguably the weakest offering by IG markets Australia is their leverage. While most other Australian regulated forex brokers offer between 400:1 to 500:1 leverage, IG Australia only offers 200:1.
What this effectively means is that you need more capital to trade large volume on currency markets. For example, at 500:1 a deposit of $1,000 can lead to up to $500,000 to be traded on currency markets. The lower 200:1 will only allow $200,000 to be traded from the same deposit. Leverage is critical for all currency traders due to the relatively small movements of currency markets and can increase profits and losses. The added risk that high leverage brings to CFD trading may be the reason why IG markets Australia chooses to limit leverage to 200:1 which in countries like USA and Japan is considered high. It can only be a factor for experienced traders who require high leverage for their trading strategies.
Collectively, the lower leverage should only be a negative if you have a high risk appetite, use currency trading software or are an expert on trading markets. For the 90% of other traders the 200:1 leverage rate is suitable for their needs. If you want to view higher leveraged brokers, view the broker comparison table.
Overall IG Review Summary
IG has become the worlds largest CFD trader for good reason with outstanding technology, a good range of forex trading platforms as well as strong customers service and training facilities. The only negative found related to spreads if your considering their MT4 platform and their low leverage levels for expert forex traders. If your considering the standard IG platform or L2 dealer and your happy with the maximum leverage of 200:1 then IG is the forex broker for you.
IG is the largest CFDs and forex broker in Australia with the option of four trading platforms and range of financial products.
Reviewed by Justin Grossbard