Is IG Markets Regulated? IG Markets Licensing and Regulation
One of the largest brokers in the world, IG Markets has about 14 offices that are spread over at total of five continents. The broker is currently servicing more than 185,000 active clients all over the world and is owned and operated by IG Markets Ltd. The broker was launched in 1974 as a vehicle for enabling individual retail investors to speculate on the price of gold. It was the first financial-spread betting company in the world and since then, it has retained the title of market leader. The headquarters of IG Markets are located in the United Kingdom and it is registered as a business in the country with license number 04008957. While IG Markets offers its services all over the world, there are some areas that are not included such as the United States and Belgium.
They do not provide their services to any country or jurisdiction where the use or distribution would be contrary to local regulation and law.
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Regulation and Reputation
When you are looking for an online brokerage to deal with, it is a given that the most important factors would be reputation and regulation. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom licenses and regulates IG Markets. Furthermore, they are licensed and registered in every country where they have established their offices. For instance, they are supervised by the ACIS in Australia and the FSB in South Africa. Some other countries where they have their representative office include Dubai, Luxemborg, Tokyo, Italy, Spain, France, Geneva, Singapore, Ireland and Germany. The primary regulatory agencies of all these regions are responsible for regulating IG Markets.
As far as the reputation of IG is concerned, it definitely doesn’t fall short in this regard either. For over 40 years, the company has been working in this market and has definitely proven itself to be the best. It has succeeded in shaping the world of online brokerage by playing the role of the top competitor and has taken home a number of top awards in different areas such as their technology, trading platforms, outstanding customer support and lots more. Winning these awards and constantly making innovations has allowed IG Markets to maintain and boost their reputation in the industry.
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Assets and Markets
Both standard as well as direct market access (ECN) accounts can be found at IG Markets, which give traders the option of investing in commodities, Forex, shares, CFDs, interest rates, Bitcoins, futures, bonds, options, indices, shares and other ETFs. Furthermore, when traders decide to open a trading account on IG Markets, they will also be able to participate in the world of spread betting. This is essentially like forex trading, but is tax-free, which makes it quite worthwhile. There are no stamp duties or taxes imposed on spread betting in the UK, which makes it an excellent option for investors who are in search of cost-effective trading solutions.
Other than traditional markets, you can also use IG Markets for binary options trading and it can be used for making fixed profits by betting in the direction of trends. An initial deposit of $300 or its equivalent in other currencies is required for making an account on IG Markets. Unfortunately, no IG bonus is offered for now other than the refer-a-friend bonus, which is a rewards-based points system and requires you to refer friends to IG. You can redeem these reward points for electronics and gifts or other promotional materials given by IG through their seasonal promotions and offers.
The fact that no deposit bonuses are available doesn’t come off as a surprise because of its regulatory status as the bonus terms and conditions can often create a horde of complications in the broker-client relationship.
Two types of trading accounts are offered by IG Markets to its traders in order to keep things simple and uncomplicated. There is also a live demo account that can be used by beginners and newbies for testing the software as well as the trading platform. A standard account is offered for the everyday trader whereas there is a more premium account available for high net worth traders. The minimum trading amount for a standard account is $1 whereas the maximum is $300. Apart from these two accounts, a DMA account can also be opened by smart traders, which can be used for trading market depth through the use of algorithms. Moreover, this provides traders with the option of participating in pre-market and post-market auctions.
Commission and Fees
A simple fee and commissions structure has been adopted by IG Markets. If the number of trades in a month fall between the range of 0 and 9, the commission charged on every trade in £8. The commission is reduced to £5 if more than 10 trades are made in a month. The rate is also reduced to £5 for clients who have more than one account on IG Markets such as for share dealing, Smart Portfolio, CFD, FSB etc. A quarterly custody fee is also charged by the broker, which is about £24 per quarter and it is applicable on its ISA and share dealing accounts. Any commissions that have been paid during the quarter will automatically be applied against this charge.
If traders deal three times or more across multiple accounts, they will not be charged anything and the same is true for those who have more than £15,000 worth of assets in their IG Smart Portfolio accounts when the quarter ends. Overall, the share dealing rates charged by IG are less than those of its close competitors.
There are a total of three options given to traders for funding their account on IG Markets. The first option is bank transfer, which should come from an account of the same name that’s being used on your IG investment account. The funds will be transferred without any extra charges or fee, but the transaction will take at least three days to complete. Debit or credit cards can also be used for funding your account, but there is a minimum deposit applicable in this case, which is $300 or its equivalent in other currencies. The accepted debit cards include Visa-Delta, Maestro, Electron and Solo. European debit card funding doesn’t incur any charges whereas a 1.5 percent fee is applied to non-European ones. The accepted credit cards are Visa and MasterCard and a transfer fee of 1.5 percent is applied in this case as well. The last funding option is PayPal, which also has a 1.5 percent fee and a minimum deposit requirement.
There are two options provided when you want to withdraw funds from your account on IG Markets. You can choose bank transfer, which will take three business days. A withdrawal fee of £15 is applicable in the case of international transfers. A same day sterling payment can be made in the UK, CHAPS, and this will also cost £15. Credit and debit cards can also be used for withdrawal, but these transactions will take three to five business days. The minimum amount that you can withdraw is $150 or its equivalent in other currencies.
Platform and Tools
One of the most impressive features of the IG online trading account are the IG trading platforms and tools. The competition and demands from the spread-betting along with the short-term trading strategies that are used by the spread-betting community have made it necessary to provide increasingly advanced and complex trading platforms and tools. IG Markets have their own proprietary web-based trading platform, which has been recognized as the best in its league. It has received considerable praise and appreciation from the industry. This web-based platform is boasts advanced monitoring tools and customizable layouts. It is also quite user-friendly and can be navigated with ease. For traders who are new to the market and don’t wish to use IG Markets’ proprietary platform, there is the option of using the popular MetaTrader 4 series.
There are advanced trading tools available that can be incredibly useful for traders. There are pop-up charts that enable traders to access 21 technical indicators and all of these have a number of parameters that can be adjusted. In addition, there are nine drawing tools that can be used, which include Fibonacci extensions and retracements and trend lines that can be customized. Layout customization is also an option, as mentioned above, and you can also add calendar events. The technical analysis that you can get through these tools is one of the most impressive as compared to other competitors in this arena.
However, an important thing that should be noted is that there are a ton of other tools available on the platform that cannot be found on others. Not only can you set price alerts, but you can also set them on a number of indicators and customize them even further. You can also opt for economic calendar alerts. These alerts can be shown on the platform or can also be sent to you via email or mobile push. As opposed to other platforms, IG Markets is quite flexible in dealing with previous trades, current orders and open positions. You can view working orders and open positions on the chart whereas new orders can be executed directly from there instead of having to go to the account section.
Last, but definitely not the least, IG Markets also has access to technical analysis research and trading tools from a third party. They are provided by Trading Central and Auto Chartist. The former provides technical analysis report whereas the latter provides automated charting patterns and trading signals.
If web-based platforms are not suitable for you, IG Markets give you the option of downloading a mobile app on your Android or iOS smartphone. You can also find a dedicated IG Markets app for your iPad. A separate education app has also been developed by IG by the name of IG Academy. All these apps provided by IG are extremely user-friendly and provide traders with access to a number of tools that are given on the desktop trading platform. Furthermore, you can manage alerts and watch lists from your device and can synchronize it with the desktop version.
There is another great extra feature, which has turned out to be quite impressive. You can get direct access to the IG Community where discussions can be held with other traders. Also, it is considered a wonderful way of sharing ideas on a mobile app and helps traders in keeping up with the news.
The educational content that’s provided by IG Markets is quite impressive. It is different from the others in the way that it is focused more on a macroeconomic and broader trading outlook instead of the usual microeconomic analysis and individual stocks. As mentioned above, a separate education app has been developed by IG, which can be downloaded on your smartphones. Here, you will be able to access courses that guide you on every step of the way and start from basic trading. You can also find those on intermediate trading and the educational offerings begin with ‘Introduction to the financial markets’. Other than this, you can also find ‘The basics of technical analysis’ and even in-depth courses such as ‘Planning and Risk Management’.
All of these courses are divided in modules and traders can keep track of the courses and modules they have covered. Traders who are new are offered a personalized and individual walk through the trading platform and are shown how to conduct a trade. Traders can also gain access to a number of in-person webinars and seminars and there is also a 30-minute webinar held every Monday. Plus, there are also educational videos that are arranged by topic.
In the area of customer support, IG tends to excel and has received numerous awards for it. The direct support options that can be found are email, live chat, social media and telephone. Due to multiple support options, traders can expect to get quick responses in a number of languages.
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