IG is our top UK broker in 2021 thanks to its brilliant online trading platform. Rates are low, trading tools and research are excellent, and the platform is easy to use.
Top Takeaways for 2021
After reviewing IG, here are our top findings:
- Founded in 1974, IG is publicly traded, has more than 178,000 active clients, and offers share dealing on 19 international exchanges. IG also offers direct SIPP and ISA accounts, an important distinction over competitors that also provide low commissions such as DEGIRO, eToro, and Interactive Brokers.
- IG offers competitive commissions of £3.00 - £8.00 per trade for all types of assets, including shares, ETFs, and trusts. IG provides free trades on U.S. shares for traders that placed three or more trades in the previous month.
- IG offers an excellent trading platform that competes head to head with industry leaders. Mobile is also robust and includes one of the most comprehensive charting packages among all the brokers we tested in 2021.
- Trade more than 12,000 international share CFDs Visit Site
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Commissions & Fees
Share dealing fees: IG markets offer a simple commissions structure. The commission per trade (shares) would be £8 if 0-2 trades were placed in the previous month. If three or more trades were made, the rate is only £3. IG offers free trades on U.S. shares for traders that placed three or more trades in the previous month. The commission for U.S. shares would be £10 if 0-2 trades were placed in the last month.
Custody Fee: IG charges a quarterly custody fee of £24 per quarter on its share dealing and ISA accounts. Any commissions paid during the quarter apply against this charge. Clients are exempt from this fee if they deal three times or more across their IG accounts. Clients are also exempt if they hold at least £15,000 across their IG Smart Portfolio accounts at the end of the quarter.
Market Data: By default, customers receive free delayed market data for available exchanges. To access real-time streaming market data, customers must subscribe to each exchange individually, by paying between a monthly fee per exchange. For example, LSE UK Top of Book market data costs £4.92 per month.
Scenario pricing: When calculating annual share dealing costs, trading frequency and account balance are the two most important factors to consider. Assuming a £30,000 portfolio in a traditional, taxable share dealing account, here are four scenarios of how much IG would cost based on trade frequency:
- 5 deals per year = £96 (£24 quarterly commission - each trade made at £8)
- 12 deals per year = £96 (£8 per trade + £0 in annual custody fees as long as you make 1 trade per month)
- 36 deals per year = £108 (£3 per trade + £0 in annual custody fees as long as you make 8 trades per quarter)
- 120 deals per year = £360 (£3 per trade + £0 in annual custody fees as long as you make 8 trades per quarter)
- 3 fund deals per year = £96 (£24 quarterly commission - each trade made at £8)
IG pricing summary:
|Share Trading: 0-9 Deals/ Month||£3 to £8|
|Share Trading: 10-19 Deals/ Month||£3.00|
|Share Trading: 20+ Deals/ Month||£3.00|
|Annual Custody Fee: £0 - £250,000||£96 (can reduce by trading)|
|Annual Custody Fee: £250K-£500K||96|
|Annual Custody Fee: £500,000 - £1m||96|
|Annual Custody Fee: £1m and over||96|
|ETFs - Fee||£8.00|
|Investment Trusts - Fee||£8.00|
|Telephone Dealing Fee||£40.00|
Platforms & Tools
IG’s share dealing platform offers html5 charts, numerous technical indicators and drawing tools, and excellent usability.
Charting: IG excels at charting. IG offers 19 drawing tools and 30 technical indicators for its platform and mobile app. Charting highlights include the ability to trade directly from the chart, view open orders, add price alerts, display corporate events (e.g., earnings, dividends, splits), and even save custom layouts for future quick access. Users can view up to four different variations of the same chart, using different periods on each chart.
Usability: IG's trading platform shines for its overall usability. Clients can quickly filter shares or ETFs by industry, country of focus, or sector. Setting price alerts is simple, and reading news is also only a click away.
Mobile Trading: IG's Trading apps are user-friendly and offer many of the tools available on the main trading platform. Even better, watch lists and alerts can all be managed from the app and synch with the main platform.
IG trading tools:
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Drawing Tools||19|
|Charting - Notes||Yes|
|Charting - Display Corporate Events||Yes|
|Charting - Stock Overlays||Yes|
|Charting - Index Overlays||Yes|
IG's screening, technical analysis, and social / community research are all robust. Standard quote pages have the following research segments: company news, client sentiment, trading activity, news and analysis, share price data, broker ratings, fundamentals, financials, and events, amongst others.
Social analysis: Some of IG's research data is unique to IG and quite useful. When researching a share, IG shows what percentage of customers bought or sold that share in the last week. IG also shows what other positions clients own and what percentage of IG client accounts are bullish or bearish on the underlying stock.
IG Community: IG Community lets clients with live accounts discuss trading and markets together through blog posts and forums.
Market Screener: The Market Screener can screen individual stocks by 34 optional fundamental data points (e.g., market cap or dividend yield), 26 different countries, 28 indexes, and ten sectors.
IGTV: IG Live is a video presented three times a day – at 7.30 am, 10.30 am, and at 4.00 pm – and offers a pre-open bulletin, live charting analysis, and a look ahead. Subject matter includes interviews with CEOs, market insights, technical analysis, and broader education, all available in an extensive video library. There are also sections for Trade of the Week, The Week Ahead, and Morning Call, all accessible via regular email alerts.
|Research - Shares||Yes|
|Research - CFDs||Yes|
|Research - Funds||Yes|
|Fund Research - Research Reports||No|
|Research - ETFs||Yes|
|Research - Bonds||No|
|Portfolio Allocation Breakdown||No|
Offering of Investments
IG enables investors to trade over 12,000 shares across 19 international exchanges, ETFs, investment trusts, and funds. In addition to traditional share dealing accounts, SIPP and ISA accounts are also offered, which is an essential distinction over competitors such as DEGIRO, FinecoBank, and Interactive Brokers.
IG also offers five smart portfolios, fully managed portfolios with different risk appetites (conservative, moderate, etc.). These portfolios only charge 0.50% a year and provide exposure to a wide range of markets.
IG offering of investments:
|Bonds - Corporate||No|
|Bonds - Government (Gilts)||No|
IG offers education through IG Academy, which traders can access through the IG website or IG Academy mobile app. IG Academy has online trading courses that cover all levels of trading and take between 20-85 minutes to complete. Live sessions are offered every weekday, including weekly webinars.
In addition to IG Academy, there are several articles dedicated to trading strategies, which can be useful for traders at any skill level.
|Has Education - Share Trading||Yes|
|Has Education - Funds||No|
|Has Education - Retirement||No|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
IG provides a brilliant share dealing experience with competitive UK commission rates and no commissions on U.S. stocks for semi-frequent traders. IG has a host of desirable features, including an exceptional charting package, flexible trading tools, and a user-friendly mobile app. All of these features combine to make IG our top broker, and an excellent choice for anyone seeking cheap trades in a SIPP/ISA account.
IG is a member of the FTSE 250 with a market capitalization of over £3.1 billion. IG is a truly global business with a physical presence in 14 countries and more than 178,000 active clients. The company has always been at the forefront of innovation, including the establishment of the first online trading service back in 1998 and offering the first iPhone app in 2008.
For the 2020 UK.StockBrokers.com Review we assessed, rated, and ranked nine UK share dealers. Each broker was graded on 46 different variables and, in total, over 12,000 words of research were produced. Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test and our team.
About the author: Steve Miley With 25 years of experience in institutional financial markets, Steve has won multiple Technical Analyst Magazine awards, including "Best Independent Fixed Income" and "Best FX Research." Alongside StockBrokers.com, Steve is the founder of The Market Chartist where he provides market research for institutional clients.
About the author: Blain Reinkensmeyer As Head of Research at StockBrokers.com, Blain Reinkensmeyer has 18 years of trading experience with over 1,000 trades placed during that time. Referenced as a leading expert on the US online brokerage industry, Blain has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.