IG Markets is Australia’s largest retail forex trading provider* with their popularity driven by:
– Transparent low spreads
– Minimal slippage rates by industry standards
– Unique trading platform and charting options
– They have strong customer service reputation
What Fees Does IG Markets Offers?
IG Markets offers three forex broker accounts each which have different spreads and commissions associated with them.
1) IG CFDs On Forex Account
For beginner traders IG Markets allows forex trading through ‘Contracts For Difference’ also know as CFDs. CFDs allows forex brokers to trade with leverage across the leading currency pairings with the ability to trade short or long.
The table for the right shows the minimum and average spreads for the four weeks ending 7/01/2016. The spreads are the main charges that are applicable for this account with no commissions charged.
2) MetaTrader 4 Account
For intermediate traders or those who are familiar with MetaTrader 4 (MT4), the worlds most popular platform this account may suit you. Our IG Markets Trading review found that MT4 has ultra-fast trading, virtual private servers and no third party bridges.
The fees on MT4 are the highest of the three based on the average spread published by IG Markets in 2015 (shown on the right) so choosing this option will be more for the advantages of the platform, not the currency trading fees associated with it.
3) Forex Direct Account
Forex direct allows forex trading at market prices, with traders having access to liquidity from the worlds largest currency providers. The fees for these accounts are largely based on commissions that are fixed based on the trading amount as shown to the right.
The positive of having commissions that are fixed is the spreads which are variable are ‘market rates’ which as the table to the right (based on October 2015) highlights, are significantly lower than the MT4 or standard CFD forex account that IG Markets offers.
Other advantages of a forex direct account is that trade speeds are superior due to IG’s infrastructure within the Equinix LD4 facility.
You can also automate your forex trading using the FIX API or web based training API with no dealing desk intervention.
Which IG Account Has The Lowest Fees?
Overall, our IG trading review found that the forex direct account is superior as the lower spreads of the account with outweigh in more scenario the commissions charged. The account also sources forex rates from top global banks & exchanges maximising value when forex trading. Read more about the platform options online.
Execution Rates And Slippage
IG markets is one of the few forex brokers that publish their slippage rates online with the table to the right the percentage of orders filled without slippage as of the 28th of March, 2016.
Our IG trading review rated the execution speeds strongly due to 99% of trades been processed within 0.10 seconds worldwide. Their worldwide system can also cope in turbulent markets when turnover increases exponentially. Just on a daily basis their platform receives over 40,000 web users and roughly the same number of mobile users. In fact, between October 2015 – December 2015 over 20 million orders were processed through IG.
Another feature that helps ensure the best price is achieved in turbulent markets is through IG trading pricing improvement technology. This ensures that orders are not filled at level worse than a forex trader requested. Also, if the market moves against a trader, an order will be requested to be resubmitted rather than filled at the worse price. If on the other hand, the market moves in your favour with a better price available when you make a trade, the trader will get that price.
Trading Platforms Available
There are two sets of options that our IG trading review found forex traders can adopt.
1) Core IG trading platforms
IG’s main platform is browser based for desktop users and downloadable apps for mobile users. The key strengths of the core platforms is the ability to customise the forex platform’s layout which can be saved for traders preferences. Advanced users can add DMA prices, trailing stops, advanced charts and multiple deal tickets. Other standard features like one-click trading and the ability to trade directly from charts also exists. Share CFDs trading is another option with the core platform.
The core platforms all include Reuters news with the ability to get stories and newsflashes without delay. Autochartist can also be installed, which monitors the market and informs forex traders to charting patterns that could yield an opportunity. Finally, ‘Trading Central’ is offered, a technical analysis centre that provides charts, daily e-mails and updates for forex traders.
2) Specialist IG trading platforms
IG also offers the more mainstream platforms including MetaTrader 4 (MT4), the most popular forex trading platform in the world. It should be noted that if you want to use the MT4 platform you must open an MetaTrader 4 account which IG which has higher fees as highlighted above.
L2 Dealer also allows index trading across all major share indices which can be pegged to the Australian dollar.
So How Does IG Platforms Stack Up?
It’s to be commended that IG offers so many forex platforms to it’s traders. That said, it only offers one of the two popular forex platforms (MT4) and not cTrader. Additionally, if you do choose MT4, you don’t get low spreads offered for the core platform which was viewed as a negative. Overall, if your happy with the core platform, IG is worthwhile but if your looking for a mainstream platform, you should consider your options.
Both the core platform and MT4 have IG trading demo options to try them before committing to a live account.
Leverage IG Trading Review
Leverage (IG markets margin rates) are critical when forex trading to the relatively small movements within currency markets. The forex broker offers 200:1 leverage also know as a 0.5 margin rate which is one of the lowest rates within Australia.
This lower leverage rate may exclude some forex traders who have a high risk appetite. On the plus side, lower leverage may be ideal for those new to forex trading or risk adverse traders. Another feature that IG offers risk adverse traders is guaranteed stops. An an extra fee, an normal ‘stop loss’ order can be guaranteed making sure you can’t lose more than a set amount on a trade, even in a highly turbulent market where slippage may occur.
IG is one of the few forex brokers to offer support 24 hours a day which includes their Melbourne call centre duration Australian trading hours. There are is also good education options including seminars held across Australia, pre-recorded and live webinars. There are also tools to help trade from free data, commentary and economic calendars for live traders.
One of the key strengths noted in our IG trading review was the popularity and reputation of the broker. As mentioned at the start, they are the largest retail broker based on their Australian subsidiary ‘IG Markets Limited’ which is Australian regulated which includes meeting training requirements and segregating client accounts.
Funding options are limited with IG Markets and include three options (each which have different fees):
a) Credit Cards
Visa and Mastercard (not AMEX) are accepted when IG trading with funds transferred immediately but a fee of 1.5% charged.
b) Debit Cards
Visa debit is accepted with instant transfer of funds and a 0.5% fee applied. Mastercard debit is also instant and has no fees applied.
BPay has no costs associated but it can take up to two working days for funds to be transferred.
IG Trading Review Conclusion
Our IG Trading review found the forex broker offered the best best value to traders looking for a low to medium risk traders, looking for low fees and happy to use the brokers standard platform. IG is not suitable for high risk traders as they only offer a leverage of 200:1 and those looking to use a mainstream platform may want to view our fx comparison tables due to IG’s limited options and extra trading fees associated with them. Overall though, for most mainstream Australian forex trader IG offers great value and excellent customer service relative to competitors.
*November 2014 FX Report. Popularity by primary retail relationships.
Compare IG forex trading features to the other forex brokers in Australia.
Reviewed by Justin Grossbard