As the popularity of Forex trading has risen locally, so have the brokerage services. How does IG stand out among the new competition? Read below the review of Australia’s leading Forex broker.
IG Markets Review Australia
IG was first founded in 1974, making it one of the world’s oldest Forex brokerage platforms. It’s now the world’s biggest CFD provider by revenue (not counting for FX).
It’s perhaps the most-used Forex broker locally as well. IG is a major global provider that has offices in 13 countries. IG’s Asia-Pacific subsidiary services both Australia and New Zealand. IG is licensed in New Zealand and is regulated by ASIC in Australia.
The company’s main products are CFDs. IG is not a platform for buying and selling assets. IG allows users to trade financial instruments on leverage. That is, profit by speculating the right price movement within any asset market. CFDs are advantageous to investors who want to trade in established and emerging markets both. Additionally, investors can make money without actually owning an asset.
IG facilitates CFD trades across international markets. As of 2019, the broker offered over 15,000 financial instruments to choose from—one of the widest offers by any Forex trading provider. These financial instruments include stocks, indices, commodities, bonds, interest rates, and “exotic” Forex pairs.
IG is unique in that users can even speculate on so-called “grey” IPO instruments like cryptocurrencies and exchange-traded products. Users can invest in shares from Australia, UK, US, Ireland, and Germany. Commission prices for local shares are slightly lower than for international shares.
In 2017, IG partnered up with Qantas. Users can now earn Qantas points by opening a separate account for share trading. Account holders can earn Qantas point by trading. This option is limited to share trading accounts and not for regular margin trading accounts.
Here are some of the IG alternatives:
Latest Services and Fees
IG offers a variety of services associated with a wide range of financial instruments. The nature of the services and fees depend on the asset class, trading platform, and whether the trade is national or international. Market open hours depend on these factors as well.
The core product of IGare is the Forex CFDs. It charges the highest commission for Forex spreads, but this also depends on the type of currency pairing and market trends.
Users who choose Forex Direct Accounts have an advantage. IG doesn’t charge extra fees for these accounts. Commissions are based on market spreads that are fully disclosed. But if you trade more than 500 units, your commission would be higher.
IG charges premium fees if you have a higher spread on a speedy trade platform like MetaTrader4. These marginal trading accounts are spate from share trading accounts. Different commissions apply to the latter.
IG’s market hours depend on the asset class you choose. For example, the markets for the top three indices on the platform do not trade on Sundays. IG gives direct market access to share CFDs. The share market has more flexibility than for marginal trades.
Users can trade either “over the counter” or via direct market access. The latter is only available to traders who activate the “DMA Equities” option on the web-based trading platform. The default trading mode for all platforms is over the counter.
One of the biggest strengths of IG is the trading platform software the company offers. IG offers a number of trading platforms to suit user needs. The platforms are multilingual too.
IG has its own trading platform in addition to a number of third-party options like MetaTrader 4. The software overall is highly user-friendly and intuitive. Platforms are available in desktop, web, and mobile versions.
IG’s in-house core platform is browser-based. So users don’t have to download anything. The platform has a corresponding mobile app that’s perfect for trading on the go. A number of monitoring tools complement the core platform. Users can get alerts instantly too.
In addition, users can get access to popular third-party trading platforms on IG, including, L2 Dealer, ProReal Time, and MetaTrader 4. L2 offers direct market access to Forex traders. IG charges fiat commissions for using L2 based on trade volume.
ProReal Time is recommended for automated trading. It comes with a number of development tools to formulate strategies. MT4 is super popular thanks to its simplicity and customisation options. Plus, all three platforms come with free demos for new users.
License and Regulation
IG holds a derivatives issuer license from New Zealand. It’s not authorised as a financial advisor under ASIC regulations. The company cannot issue advice or recommendations regarding which products to buy or trade on its platform. Therefore, users must be familiar with CFD trading when using IG’s services.
IG is highly trustworthy in that it’s a properly regulated Forex broker. The company is also a member of the Australian CFD & FX Forum, a collection of Forex brokers that addresses concerns regarding client protection and benefits.
Before getting to the downsides, here are the things that make IG great:
- Leading Forex broker in Australia
- Highly trustworthy
- Offers one of the widest arrays of financial assets for CFDs
- Excellent choice of trading platforms
- Great technical tools for trading
- Transparent commissions
There are some downsides as well. Notably, IG’s leverages in Australia aren’t that great. The max level IG offers locally is 200:1. It’s one of the lowest offered by all brokers in Australia.
IG justifies low leverages as a way to counter major losses. IG prefers to offer stop guarantees in volatile markets instead.
The low leverage shouldn’t affect casual traders. But professional traders who want higher leverages might suffer.
Is IG Markets Australia Good or Bad?
IG is the go-to Forex broker for many Australians. The company offers a wide range of financial instruments for CFDs. IG is regulated and highly trustworthy too. Their strongest points include the range of assets and the number of trading platforms on offer.
There are some downsides as described above. IG is generally great for low to mid-volume traders. But some of the features on offer may not satisfy high-rollers. Regardless, IG is one of the best Forex brokers to turn to in Australia.