Established in the UK, IG Markets is a prominent brokerage that lets you trade CFDs on an easy-to-use online platform. While not strictly a Singapore brokerage, it does offer exposure to Singapore assets like stocks, and there’s a dedicated office and customer service line for Singapore users.
Investors don’t have to worry as IG is regulated by several top bodies, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, and the IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
CFDs (or contracts for difference) enable you to trade based on rising and falling prices of various types of asset without having to buy the actual asset. Still clueless? Here is an easy-to-understand explanation of how CFDs work.
Does it matter whether you buy the asset or not? Not really. It’s not like the asset is going to cuddle you to sleep at night. When we trade, we’re really only interested in the price difference between the time when you buy and sell. CFD trading gives you more flexibility when customising your trades, such as by buying in smaller amounts.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s see how the IG platform measures up.
What is IG Markets?
IG Markets is a brokerage that lets users trade CFDs. The CFDs on offer include forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, shares and commodities.
One of IG’s strengths is that its CFDs cover a very diverse selection of assets. You are not limited to forex, but can also branch out to bonds, options, ETFs and even cryptocurrencies if you’re feeling adventurous.
The platform has some special features such as Knock-Outs, which lets you customise the risk level you’re willing to take on.
And since you’re trading CFDs, you don’t have to put in too much money to get started. But bear in mind that you may make a larger loss than your initial deposit when it comes to CFDs.
IG Markets overview: fees, products, trading platforms
|Trading products||CFDs on Forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, shares, commodities, options, bonds, ETFs|
|Minimum commission fee||0.2 minimum available spread on CFD Indices0.10% on SG CFD stocks and ETFs (min S$10)
$0.02 per share on US CFD stocks and ETFs (min US$10)
|Minimum funding amount||None required but minimum of S$450 if transferring by card|
|Stock Holding Type||Market Maker|
|Trading platforms||IG trading platform available on desktop and mobile|
|Payment method||PayNow, internet bank transfer, credit/debit card|
|Inactivity fee||Yes – S$25 per month after 2 years|
IG also offers access to more specialised automated trading platforms such as MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and ProRealTime but if you’re just a regular trader, IG’s platform will suffice.
Besides, if you’re savvy enough to be on the other platforms, you probably won’t be reading this anyway.
IG Markets commission and trading fees
As with all brokerages, you’ll have to pay a commission for the privilege of using them to trade. The commission is called a “spread”, and it varies depending on what you are trading, how much and market conditions.
Here are some sample spreads from IG:
- 0.6 points for CFDs on key FX pairs like EUR/USD
- 1 point for CFDs on major indices
- 0.3 points for CFDs on Spot Gold
Here are some of IG’s sample spreads for Forex:
|Market||Value per point||Minimum spread||Average spread(00:00-22:00 Mon to Fri)||Average spread (00:00 – 21:00 Mon to Fri)|
As well as some of sample spreads for indices:
|Market||Value of one contract||Minimum spread|
|Singapore Blue Chip||100 SGD||0.1|
|FTSE 100||10 GBP||1|
|Wall Street||10 USD||1.6|
|Australia 200||25 AUD||1|
You have to pay spreads on all CFD trades except shares — shares will attract a commission rather than a spread. As for Singapore shares, you will pay a 0.10% commission with a minimum of S$10.
Here’s a more detailed look at IG’s share commissions:
|Market||Commission per side||Minimum charge (online)|
|US||2 cents per share||10 USD|
How to apply for an IG Markets account?
To sign up for an account, all you have to do is fill in an online form. If you’re a Singapore Citizen or PR, you can sign in to the MyInfo portal using your SingPass and all your details will be automatically filled in.
Setting up an account is free and your funds will be deposited into a segregated bank account.
Once your identity is verified online, you’re ready to transfer money to your account and start trading. The minimum deposit is $450 if you’re making it by credit or debit card and you can simply fund your IG account by bank transfer or Visa/Mastercard debit or credit card.
Standard Chartered bank account holders can also pay by cheque or by using the bill payment function on the Stanchart internet banking platform.
How to invest with IG Markets?
The IG platform is fairly intuitive, so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out even for newbie traders.
Use the Finder to browse markets and assets. Then use the Charts function to research your desired assets. You can also create watchlists so you can monitor your desired markets.
When you’re ready to jump in, you simply place a trade on the platform and wait until it is time to exit the position.
IG’s platform has both desktop and mobile versions, the latter being suitable for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. You can execute trades using the mobile version, but the desktop version is recommended if you need to do heavy duty research.
IG also offers MetaTrader4, which is an advanced platform with more powerful features. It is suitable for those who want to carry out detailed analysis and build trading algorithms. It also offers access to L2dealer and ProRealTime, which are advanced tools.
There’s also an educational section called IG Academy that offers online courses for beginners including how trading works and how to place orders and use leverage. You can also sign up for trading webinars and access IG’s video library, but to do so, you have to sign up for an account first.
Guide to how to use IG Markets
Sign up for an account using your Singpass and verify your account. Your account should be usable within a day or two.
Deposit money into your account by bank transfer or credit card payment.
Open the platform and research your trades using the finder and charting tools. You can also move the different windows around and customise them to your liking.
Place a trade by entering your bet size. You can also set a stop to limit how much you can lose.
Who should use IG Markets?
So, is IG Markets the best trading platform in Singapore? That’s debatable, but it is certainly one of the easier and more intuitive platforms to use, making it a less scary option for beginners who want to get exposure to a wide range of assets through CFDs.
Do note that when it comes to trading CFDs, there is higher potential to make bigger losses due to leverage, where you can lose more than you actually put in.
You can practise with simulations until you feel ready to risk your actual money. And IG’s Knock-Outs feature is particularly useful if you want to make sure you don’t lose too much.
More experienced traders will prefer the access to MetaTrader4 thanks to its abundance of research features or ProRealTime, which is exclusive to IG, for technical analysis and automated trading.
On the downside, if you’re just looking for the cheapest CFD platform in town, IG Markets, while reasonably priced, isn’t the absolute cheapest out there.
Alternative investment brokerages to IG Markets
Here are some other brokerages to consider:
City Index – This CFD platform is not the most elegant, but has all the features you need. Most importantly, the spreads are very competitive.
Saxo Markets – Its SaxoTraderGO is an easy-to-use platform for stocks, ETFs, bonds and mutual funds, and a more powerful one for forex, CFDs and more. Read our review here.
Want more options? Compare other online brokerages here.
Have you tried trading with IG Markets? Share your reviews in the comments!