General Points

  1. IG Markets offer loads of different products including spread bets (which are tax free for UK tax players) and CFDs. The spread betting product is also quite good. Certainly worth looking at if you are a UK taxpayer.
  2. Over 7000 shares worldwide are offered, plus forex, indices, commodities and options, with margin rates from just 5%-10% on blue-chip shares. IG Markets are continually adding new markets and now offer the offers the main European and Asian indices. In currency pairs, some of its more unusual offerings include ‘a broad range of Scandinavian, Australasian and exotic currency crosses’. In metals, IG offers the usual suspects plus three-month bets on aluminium, lead, nickel, tin and zinc. Recent additions include the Indian ‘nifty fifty’, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Top 40, Taiwan and Tokyo futures, a Singapore (MSCI) tracker, the Toronto Stock Exchange 60 and carbon emissions futures.
  3. IG Markets offers both a web-based and desktop application so you could check trades from any computer.
  4. Dedicated client education through IG’s TradeSense and seminar programmes are also available. They also allow you the possibility to trade in small sizes for the first 6 weeks.
  5. IG runs a ‘hybrid’ model where positions taken by clients may be either ‘synthetic’ (i.e. market maker driven) – established by matching transactions within its global client base – or where positions result in the actual purchase of securities on relevant markets (i.e. Direct Market Access). Direct Market Access offers you the advantage of allowing you direct access to the stock exchange order book and is particularly relevant to short-term traders as it allows more control on the price you get. Here you are placing your trade directly into the market. By doing this NO ONE can manipulate the price you are deciding on! Take the case of a company issuing its quarterly trading update ahead of the opening session, this is likely to lead to a significant move, a DMA trader could look to place an order in the auction so as to get in at the official opening price for the day. This facility is only offered to cfd traders and is not available with the spread betting product.
  6. Normal charts are available for free but if you want to use the advanced charts and the ProScreener you have to either pay monthly fees or give them action – but really it is a fair deal; either pay £30 per month or make 4 trades every month on IG Markets or 2 bets on IG Index for free access (opening and closing a trade on, say, Marks and Spencer counts as two trades) These come with a few nice trading tools for analysis and back testing which are great if you want to test out a new theory you have. For example using the ProScreener from the display list , you can code and scan through thousands of stocks in one second , say for instance you want US stocks with a 60+ RSI and with a share price between $30 – $40, you can code the (ProScreener) using the built-in help and then you search the shares list. For stocks traders this facility is very important. Another example : you can code the screener to search for forex pairs with (10 MA over 21 MA over 50 SMA )…you can use any indicator you want, I’m only given two examples here. Another facility : (Top movers list ) allows you to search for the top movers for any list (FX , US shares…etc) top movers since yesterday, 5 min, 15 min, 30 min, 1 hour…(Up or Down).
  7. There is a fee to access stock exchange prices like the LSE Level 2 prices but this is reimbursed if you trade once in that monthly period (this does vary dependent upon the exchange). The funds are returned at the end of the month.

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