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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.
Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders an extensive list of tradeable products, excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, and competitive rates. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG the best overall broker in 2020.
Top Takeaways for 2020
After spending five months testing 30 of the best forex brokers for our 4th Annual Review, here are our top findings on IG:
Founded in 1974, IG is publicly traded (LON: IGG) and regulated in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading. All jurisdictions considered, IG ranks as the most trusted forex and CFDs broker in our 2020 Review.
Our testing found that IG is the ultimate forex broker, finishing 1st Overall in our 2020 ranking. Alongside finishing first for Platforms & Tools and Research, IG finished Best in Class (top 7) for Offering of Investments (17,000+ tradeable instruments), Commissions & Fees, Education, Mobile Trading, Professional Trading, and Cryptocurrency Trading.
While IG also offers MetaTrader along with premium MT4 add-ons from FX Blue, only 76 tradeable instruments are available. No question, IG’s flagship platform is the better choice between the two.
FeatureIGOverall 5 Stars Trust Score99Offering of Investments 5 Stars Commissions & Fees 5 Stars Platform & Tools 5 Stars Research 5 Stars Mobile Trading 4.5 Stars Customer Service 4 Stars Education 4.5 Stars
Is IG Safe?
IG is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 99 out of 99. IG is a publicly traded company, operates a regulated bank, and is authorised by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), three tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust). IG is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Learn more about Trust Score.
FeatureIGYear Founded1974Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes Bank Yes Tier-1 Licenses6Tier-2 Licenses3Tier-3 Licenses1Trust Score99
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to IG clients.
FeatureIGForex: Spot Trading Yes Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)93CFDs – Total Offered17535Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Cryptocurrency traded as actual No Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes
Commissions & Fees
IG uses its size to provide traders competitive pricing across the board, regardless of the product you trade, and shines for its active trader pricing available through its Forex Direct accounts.
Average spreads: For mini and standard size contracts, minimum spreads on the EUR/USD were 0.6 pips, and average spreads were 0.73 pips, for the four weeks ending November 22nd, 2019.
Active traders: For volume traders who qualify as professionals under EU rules, IG has even more competitive rates on its commission-based offering, Forex Direct. Forex Direct is offered on IG’s L2 Dealer platform, requires only a £1,000 minimum, and uses a tiered pricing scale based on the trader’s previous month’s trading volume.
Execution method: Forex Direct streams from interbank liquidity providers where IG acts as an agency broker – and doesn’t add on any additional spread. Instead, IG adds a commission to each trade you make (similar to FXCM’s agency execution and other brokers with commission-based pricing).
FeatureIGMinimum Initial Deposit£250.00Average Spread EUR/USD – Standard0.7 (as of May 19)All-in Cost EUR/USD – Active0.363 (as of Mar 16)Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes
Platforms & Tools
All in all, IG provides an excellent offering of trading platforms and tools. The functionality is widespread and serves traders of all experience levels.
Flagship platform: IG’s main trading platform is its proprietary web-based platform. Usability is at the heart of the experience. For example, charts open from nearly any view where live market prices or streaming bid/ask rates are shown. However, IG’s default layout in its web-based platform is partially empty, requiring the user to customize the platform without a default selection of pre-templated workspaces available to choose.
Charting: The default charts within the platform feature advanced functionality, such as the ability to add an alert on a specific indicator, with a total of 28 studies available to select.
Additional platforms: In addition to its web-based platform, IG offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform and its L2 Dealer platform where Forex Direct and Direct Market Access (DMA) are available for share trading.
ProRealTime charts: More advanced charting with nearly 100 indicators is provided by IG via the ProRealTime premium charting, which is available as a standalone Java application. ProRealTime costs £30 per month unless your make at least four trades during each calendar period.
IG provides traders an excellent selection of quality market research from both in-house and third-party providers. For example, premium research includes Real Vision TV for traders who deposit at least $500, and Real Vision research is available for those with $5000 or more at IG.
Content: On its trading platform, IG offers streaming news from Reuters and research in the form of an Economic Calendar, and streaming video content, all nicely organized across numerous categories. IG’s research tools include a customizable screener for various asset classes, including CFDs on global stocks, forex, and cryptocurrencies.
Trading signals: IG also integrates AutoChartist and PIA First into its platform, allowing traders to view trade signals generated by automated pattern-recognition and technical analysis.
Dedicated blog: IG powers DailyFX, a blog-style news website that supports IG clients with educational and news content, as well as various research tools.
IG’s mobile app competes with the best in the industry as the app comes packed with plenty of features that will satisfy both casual and advanced traders.
Tools: IG’s mobile app includes features such as alerts, sentiment readings, an economic calendar, and watch lists, including detailed market information for each instrument, all packed within a well-designed layout.
Charting: The charting function within IG’s mobile app is loaded with 28 technical indicators and drawing tools. Any indicators added to a chart are automatically saved and reappear with each subsequent login and when switching symbols.
Research: In the IG Mobile app, research is limited to news content and signals from AutoChartist, which, fortunately, has been nicely integrated into the user experience.
MetaTrader: MetaTrader is also available for traders who prefer the MT4 mobile app.
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2020 Review, 330 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
Average Connection Time:
Average Net Promoter Score: 7.7 / 10
Average Professionalism Score: 8.2 / 10
Overall Score: 8.17 / 10
th (23 brokers)
Retail forex and CFD traders who want trusted access to nearly every market will find that IG is a fantastic choice. Whether you invest in exchange-traded securities across multiple international exchanges or want to trade forex, IG offers over 17,000 tradeable assets. IG finished Best in Class across an impressive ten categories in 2020, including Offering of Investments, Commissions & Fees, Platform & Tools (1st), Research (1st), Education, Mobile Trading, Professional Trading, Crypto Trading, Trust Score (1st), and Overall (1st).
IG also offers powerful research tools and competitive spreads, making it a market leader and our top broker for 2020.
As an early pioneer in offering contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread betting, IG was founded in 1974 and has grown to be a global leader in the online trading industry. IG is a London-based public company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 250 (LON: IGG).
IG offers traders access to trade over 17,000 products across multiple asset classes, including forex, CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, bonds, cryptocurrencies, and provides access to other global markets, including exchange-traded shares through its regulated offerings.
As of its Annual report for the financial year ending May 31st, 2019, IG services nearly 130,000 active clients globally, processing around 350,000 transactions each day, across its regulated entities in the UK and internationally. Read more on Wikipedia about IG.
IG Trading Features
FeatureIGVirtual Trading (Demo) Yes Proprietary Platform Yes Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes Web Platform Yes Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No cTrader No Charting – Indicators / Studies (Total)28Charting – Drawing Tools (Total)19Charting – Trade From Chart Yes Watchlists – Total Fields14Order Type – Trailing Stop Yes
IG Research Features
FeatureIGDaily Market Commentary Yes Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes Weekly Webinars Yes AutoChartist Yes Trading Central (Recognia) No Delkos Research No Social Sentiment – Currency Pairs Yes Economic Calendar Yes
IG Mobile App Features
FeatureIGAndroid App Yes Apple iOS App Yes Trading – Forex Yes Trading – CFDs Yes Alerts – Basic Fields Yes Watch List Yes Watch List Syncing Yes Charting – Indicators / Studies28Charting – Draw Trend Lines Yes Charting – Trend Lines Moveable Yes Charting – Multiple Time Frames Yes Charting – Drawings Autosave Yes Forex Calendar Yes
In 2017, IG launched Smart Portfolios as its first move into the managed investment space, as well as seven CFD cryptocurrency pairs including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.
In 2018, IG obtained a Forex Dealer Member license in the US, marking its major milestone for the year.
IG also offers exchange-traded securities (non-CFDs) for residents of the UK (read our IG UK share dealing review), Germany, and Australia to access international stock exchanges.
2020 Review Methodology
For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers over a five month time period. Each broker was graded on 105 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
“There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses.” Learn more.
About the author: Steven Hatzakis
Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
I’m a professional writer with more than 10 years of experience. I’ve written for both online and offline publications, including Forbes, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur. I specialize in writing about cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and the future of money. In addition to my writing, I’m also an active investor in the crypto space.