Our IG CFD Trading Review found the broker based in Australia had a dominant market-share domestically due to their offering having:
1) The widest choice of trading platforms and apps for traders
2) Strong support and training for all trader levels
3) Competitive spreads and commissions (depending on the trading platform selected)
4) A wide range of CFD markets
5) Risk management tools including guaranteed stops for Australian traders
IG Have The Best Forex Trading Platform (CFD Platform) Choice
Most brokers in Australia only have one or two CFD trading platforms. Our IG CFD trading review though noted that they have three platforms including the best forex trading platform, MetaTrader 4 (MT4). Below we go through each of the platforms offered.
1) IG’s Propriety Web-Based Platform
The most popular trading platform for IG customers is their web-based platform. This award-winning platform doesn’t require any downloads onto your computer which is ideal for those that trader on-the-go or within their workplace.
They are complemented by a full range of apps designed specifically for each device from Android to Windows. The apps are 256-bit SSL secure, free and update regularly to ensure they suit the latest operating versions.
The key strength of IG’s trading platform is that it’s fast, doesn’t require downloads, has in-built Reuters news that streams for free and charting tools that can include ProRealTime access. Something discussed lower is that this platform also allows Forex Direct which most call ‘ECN trading’ helping keep trading fees lower.
2) MetaTrader 4 Forex Trading Platform
MT4 is considered the best currency trading platform based on worldwide popularity, easy of use and execution speeds. IG only recently offered MT4 to Australian forex traders and in 2016 lowered the spreads related to this platform.
The key benefits of MT4 is the ability to implement automated trading with the ability to build algorithms, back-test them and import expert advisors (EAs). There are also advanced charting features which can help identify trades and then trade directly from charts.
Below shows the MT4 mobile suits which includes apps for iPhone and Android devices. Just note that if your a windows phone use that you won’t be able to use MetaTrader 4 and should consider another forex trading platform offered by IG.
As highlighted about, MT4 primarily is a forex trading platform. CFDs that can be traded therefore are limited to forex markets, Indices, Gold and Silver.
3) L2 Dealer
L2 (also know as level 2) is designed for intermediate to advanced traders only who are looking for ‘Direct Market Access’ (DMA) trading. This allows direct trading with major equity exchanges to increase flexibility and transparency compared to trading ‘over-the-counter’. The trading platform was originally designed by IG for it’s own traders who need a downloadable package with sophisticated tools.
The main feature of L2 is the improved pricing and liquidity. As a DMA trader, there is direct access to a range of exchanges maximising market depth. This includes MTF dark pools, market makers and of course primary exchanges. Order books display this assortment of markets either individually or in aggregated windows. There is also smart order-routing to ensure you automatically get the best price across the trading venues.
Another key feature is the advanced order control. Traders can choose from different order types ranging from execute and eliminate, pegged, fill or kill and good for auction. There is also an ‘Iceberg’ facility to break larger orders across smaller tranches.
Finally, our IG CFD Trading review found their is efficient, optimised share trading through the platform. This means there is no re-quotes with a user-customised DMA interface. Excel can also be utilised to make algorithms that automatically trade on the market.
Get DMA and trade share CFDs within the market spread. Drag and drop trades into order books and link charts and news feeds to your main window.
IG Have The Best Support And Training Facilities
Our IG CFD trading review gave the broker the top score when it came to both training and support and is the most likely factor to their dominance in Australia.
Our IG Review that compared the top forex brokers including Plus500, IC Markets and easyMarkets and the support offered through the trading platforms found IG was the only one offering support on Sunday. Most brokers are 24 hours during the weekdays only (when currency markets are open). IG though has support over the weekend, including Sunday afternoon/evening when you can trade on indices prior to the market opening.
There in a number of ways to contact IG from their 1800 number, local number, e-mail ticketing option or you can even tweet them at @IGClientHelp. There is also a live chat option when available if you visit the IG website which can provide support quickly for those who need fast advice without phone support.
IG has several training options for every trading level. Our IG CFD trading review in fact, gave maximum score in this area. The raining begins when a trader first opens an account with the option of joining the ‘introduction program’. This program help build a traders confidence with the forex trading platform trade size and CFD commission increasing week as shown below. This is complemented by a fee educational guide and personal platform tour.
As traders gain experience, there are regular live webinars on a range of topics complemented by in-demand webinars and guides. There are also in-person seminars held across Australia on location. Just ask your account manager to inform you when the next session(s) will be held in your area. Some sessions and guides also come out for high volume, expert traders by invitation only.
IG Has Competitive Spreads Across Some Trading Platforms
Our IG CFD trading review found the broker is unique with different spreads and commissions depending on the trading platform selected. For example, the best forex trading platform based on popularity is MetaTrader 4 with the average AUD/USD spread of 1.49 as of the 31/7/2016. Now compare this to what is considered the best forex trading platform for beginners (their web based platform) and the average AUD/USD spread is 0.87 via CFDs. Then their is the L2 trading platform which has a Direct Market Access model with AUD/USD spreads of 0.263 plus commissions.
Based on this, our IG CFD trading review findings are:
- If your a beginner and want to use the web-based IG trading platform, the spreads offered are competitive. There are some CFD and forex brokers that offer slightly lower fees but with beginner traders generally having lower volumes and frequency, it will lead to a negligible price difference.
- If your an intermediate trader and want to use MetaTrader 4 (MT4), the spreads offered are not competitive. Forex brokers like Pepperstone and AxiTrader that offer MT4 offer lower spreads and some other features (such as no negative balance protection) which make them better value. View our best forex broker platform table and you can compare IG to these other forex and CFD brokers.
- If your an expert higher frequency trader and want to use L2 trader, the spreads are competitive. This is based on the trader utilising the DMA feature which makes the forex trading platform essentially an ECN broker. Also, if you trade frequently, you can get up to A$1 rebate per contract further increasing the competitiveness of the broker.
Make sure you always consider the best forex trading platform for you first, before you make the decision to sign-up with IG to make sure you have the right forex and CFD trading provider to meet your needs and budget.
IG Has The Widest Range Of Markets
As one of the largest CFD brokers in the world, IG has the ability to to offer the most comprehensive suite of financial products in Australia. Our IG CFD Trading review found they offer:
- Share Trading (New) from $8 a trade for Australian shares and $10 USD for overseas shares
- CFD trading across:
- Forex trading with the ability of placing guaranteed stops and to trade on exotic currencies
- Binary options and Bitcoin
The fact that IG offers this both within Australia on for overseas markets means that Australian traders don’t need multiple brokers to fulfil their trading needs.
IG CFD Trading Review Conclusion
IG has a very strong value proposition within the Australian market making them the most popular retail CFD broker. Our IG CFD trading review versus CMC Markets and Saxo Capital Markets found their key strengths was the number of CFD and forex trading platforms available, their customer service, spreads and range of financial products offered. They also have strong support and training available for new and experienced CFD traders. The only negative found in this review revolved around MetaTrader 4 which incurred spreads higher than other leading forex brokers. If your attached to MetaTrader 4, then you may want to choose another broker. If your happy with using IG’s web based trading platform of L2 dealer, then IG is a smart choice when trading financial markets.