Online trading has made it possible for a fresh generation of investors to embrace the markets. Novice and advanced traders alike are no longer limited to using legacy brokerage firms controlled by financial institutions, creating a wealth of opportunities for the average investor.
These days, online trading is a fiercely competitive field, and brokers are looking for any advantage they can get to secure more of investors’ funds. One of the latest trends to catch on is zero-commission trading, which has leveled the playing field in some ways for investors to choose.
In this article, we will compare two of the largest online brokers — Forex.com and IG. Both of these brokers are good at what they do and offer similar markets to trade, but they tend to have different areas of strength.
Both Forex.com and IG offer foreign exchange (forex) trading, along with other markets including shares, indices, commodities, futures, options, cryptocurrencies and more.
- 1 Overview of Forex.com & IG
- 2 Forex.com vs. IG
- 3 Fees and Commissions
- 4 Trading Platforms
- 5 Investment Options
- 6 Customer Service
- 7 Security
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 FAQ
Overview of Forex.com & IG
|💰 Account Minimum||$0||£250.00|
|💸 Commission Fees||Forex trading: $0 commission, but spreads apply. Other asset classes may have commissions or fees.||Forex trading: $0 commission, but spreads apply. Other asset classes may have commissions or fees.|
|💼 Investment Options||Forex trading, CFDs, stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, futures, and cryptocurrency.||Forex trading, CFDs, stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, futures, and cryptocurrency.|
|🤖 Robo-Advisor||Not available||Not available|
|📊 Research and Analysis||Daily market analysis, economic calendar, trading signals, and research articles.||Daily market analysis, economic calendar, trading signals, and research articles.|
|📱 Mobile App||Available for iOS and Android devices, with features including customizable charts, real-time quotes, and news alerts.||Available for iOS and Android devices, with features including customizable charts, real-time quotes, and news alerts.|
|🏦 Retirement Accounts||Traditional and Roth IRA accounts available.||Traditional and Roth IRA accounts available.|
|🎓 Educational Resources||Video tutorials, webinars, trading guides, and a trading academy.||Trading courses, webinars, and an IG Academy.|
|📈 Trading Platform||Forex.com Web Trading, Advanced Trading Platform, and MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||IG Trading Platform, L2 Dealer, ProRealTime, and MetaTrader 4 (MT4)|
|📞 Customer Service||24/5 phone and email support, live chat available during trading hours.||24/7 phone and email support, live chat available during trading hours.|
|🌕 Fractional Shares||Not available||Not available|
|🌱 Socially Responsible||Not available||Not available|
|🌎 International Investing||Access to global markets, but availability may vary by country.||Access to global markets, but availability may vary by country.|
|💳 Cash Management||Forex.com offers a cash management account that allows you to earn interest on your uninvested cash.||Not available|
|🔍 Margin Trading||Available for certain asset classes, with margin rates varying by account balance and asset class.||Available for certain asset classes, with margin rates varying by account balance and asset class.|
|⚙️ Options Trading||Available for certain asset classes, with fees and requirements varying by asset class.||Available for certain asset classes, with fees and requirements varying by asset class.|
|₿ Cryptocurrency Trading||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash available for trading.||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash available for trading.|
|🛡️ Account Security||Segregated client funds, 2-factor authentication, and SSL encryption.||Segregated client funds, 2-factor authentication, and SSL encryption.|
|💹 Leverage||Maximum leverage of 50:1 for major currency pairs, and lower leverage for other asset classes.||Maximum leverage of 50:1 for major currency pairs, and lower leverage for other asset classes.|
|⚖ Regulation||Forex.com is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US, and other regulatory bodies in various countries.||IG is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia, and other regulatory bodies in various countries.|
Forex.com vs. IG
Forex.com and IG are both leading online brokers with a global presence, offering a wide range of trading instruments and advanced trading platforms to cater to traders at all levels. Both brokers have strong regulatory frameworks, ensuring a secure trading environment for their clients. As you evaluate your options, it’s essential to consider the specific features and offerings of each broker, along with your trading style and preferences, to determine which platform is the best fit for your needs. This comparison of Forex.com and IG will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the key differences and similarities between the two brokers, helping you make an informed decision.
Forex.com is a leading online broker known for providing services in forex and CFD trading. With a strong presence globally and a reputation for offering a variety of trading instruments, Forex.com is an ideal choice for traders who seek a reliable and user-friendly platform.
- Wide range of trading instruments: Forex.com offers a diverse selection of trading instruments, including forex pairs, indices, shares, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
- Competitive pricing: Forex.com offers tight spreads and low fees, making it a cost-effective option for various types of traders.
- Advanced trading platforms: Forex.com provides powerful and user-friendly trading platforms, including MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and its proprietary Advanced Trading Platform.
- Excellent educational resources: Forex.com offers a comprehensive suite of educational resources, including video tutorials, articles, and webinars, catering to traders of all levels.
- Strong regulatory framework: Forex.com is regulated in multiple jurisdictions, including the US (NFA and CFTC), the UK (FCA), and Australia (ASIC), ensuring a high level of security and protection for its clients.
- Limited product offering for US clients: Forex.com’s range of tradable instruments is somewhat restricted for US-based clients due to regulatory limitations.
- No social trading features: Forex.com does not offer social trading, which might be a drawback for traders who prefer to learn from and follow other successful traders.
Forex.com is a reputable broker with a strong regulatory framework and a wide range of trading instruments. It is an excellent choice for traders who value competitive pricing, advanced trading platforms, and comprehensive educational resources. However, for US-based clients and those interested in social trading, the platform might not be the best fit.
IG is a leading global online broker with a long-standing reputation for providing excellent trading services in forex, CFDs, and spread betting. With over 40 years of experience, IG offers an extensive range of trading products and innovative trading platforms for traders at all levels.
- Extensive product offering: IG boasts a vast range of trading instruments, including forex, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and options.
- Award-winning trading platforms: IG offers its proprietary trading platform, as well as MetaTrader 4, ProRealTime, and L2 Dealer, catering to the needs of different trading styles.
- Low fees and tight spreads: IG offers competitive pricing, with tight spreads and low fees, making it a cost-effective choice for traders.
- Excellent customer support: IG provides top-notch customer support, including 24/5 phone support, live chat, and email support, ensuring a seamless trading experience.
- Strong regulatory framework: IG is regulated in several jurisdictions, such as the UK (FCA), Australia (ASIC), and the US (CFTC and NFA), providing a secure environment for its clients.
- Inactivity fee: IG charges an inactivity fee for accounts that have not traded within a specific timeframe, which may be a drawback for some traders.
- Complex pricing structure: IG’s tiered pricing structure may be confusing for new traders or those who trade in smaller volumes.
IG is an industry-leading broker that offers a comprehensive range of trading instruments and advanced trading platforms, backed by a strong regulatory framework.
Fees and Commissions
Fees and commissions are how brokers like Forex.com and IG make money. But not all brokers have the same fee model, and it’s not unusual for them to update their pricing from time to time to stay competitive.
Commissions are what brokers charge for transacting on their platform, the most common of which is a trading commission. Each time you trade an asset, like stocks or options, the broker charges you this fee.
Forex brokers charge spreads, which represents the difference between their sell and buy rates. Spreads can narrow or widen based on a number of factors, including the asset itself, time of the trade, market liquidity or overall economic conditions. The tighter the spread, the more of the profit a trader can keep for themselves. Spreads that are too wide can be a deal-breaker for traders.
Generally speaking, fees are what brokerages charge for the services they offer, whether it’s proprietary research or sophisticated tools to help you make trading decisions. Users might also get hit with fees for the maintenance of their account or for staying inactive for a number of consecutive months.
Forex.com has three different types of accounts: standard, commission and pro. They charge no commissions on standard accounts but do charge commissions on the other two types. Forex.com says these are “low variable spreads plus a flat $5 commission” per 100,000 lot. This fee is charged at the time of trade execution. Pro accounts have access to variable commissions tied to the volume of trading.
Standard: EUR/USD spread as low as 1.0. Variable spreads and zero commissions.
Commission: EUR/USD spread as low as 0.2. Low variable spreads plus $5 per 100k.
Pro: STP execution for high-volume traders (100k minimum) is 0.1. Level 2 pricing plus commission starting at $80 per million.
Forex.com stock trading commissions start at 1.8 cents. For CFDs, you may be charged a nightly finance charge if you hold a position overnight. Forex conversion fees may apply for trading from one currency to another. These fees are roughly 0.5% from the market rate at the time of conversion. Forex.com charges users a $15 inactivity fee each month if there’s no trading for 12 months.
Opening an account on IG is free. IG on forex trading charges no funding fee unless you keep your position overnight. In that case, IG charges what it describes as a “small fee” to cover the cost of borrowed funds. IG’s currency conversion charge is 0.5%.
IG’s forex spreads vary and are based on market liquidity. The more liquid the markets are, the narrower the spread, the lowest of which being 0.8 pips. IG charges its own spread on top of the market spread as its trading fee. Spread charges also apply to CFD trades. Commissions vary based on the country of the asset. IG charges a monthly $12 inactivity fee for accounts that are inactive for two years or more.
Traders tend to complain more about the spreads on Forex.com than they do about IG. Based on user feedback and the information provided by each broker, IG comes out on top when it comes to pricing.
Trading platforms are the software systems that are offered by online brokerages. This platform is where trades are executed and accounts are monitored, so a user’s comfort level with this system is extremely important.
It’s not uncommon for a trading platform to harness the capabilities of outside software to improve the trading experience, like TradingView for charts. This platform is where traders will access real-time quotes on assets and even receive news updates. Some of the deciding factors should be the user interface/ease of navigation, features and fees.
In addition to its own trading platform, Forex.com also offers third-party platforms for users to access, including MetaTrader versions 4 and 5 (MT4 and MT5). Both platforms can be accessed on the web, mobile and desktop. However, there are differences, too.
Forex.com’s native platform offers features like access to all of its markets, performance and analytics, price alerts and unique SMART signals. It can be used with any one of its trio of accounts — Standard, Commission or Pro. Forex.com’s markets include 82 forex trading pairs as well as gold and silver.
In addition, Forex.com boasts a number of different trading tools for charting, including TradingView charts, drawing tools, indicators and more. The platform can support multiple order types, single-click trading, price alerts and tailored watch lists. Users seem to like the Forex.com mobile app.
One of the selling features of MetaTrader platforms is access to expert advisors (EAs). These EAs are automated trading strategies that can be customized to your preferences. MetaTrader is available with a Standard account on Forex.com.
On charting, MetaTrader on Forex.com has countless indicators, some of which are free and others that are paid. Its features include multiple order types, single-click trading, tailored watchlists and more. MetaTrader also offers many of the same features that Forex.com does, including advanced charting.
IG has an online trading platform as well as mobile. In addition to its own platform, IG supports MT4 as a specialist platform. Its native platform is web-based, without the need for any downloads. It’s browser based, free to access and offers Reuters news updates. Its tools include watchlists, price alerts, orders and more. Traders can choose between IG charts or Autochartist. Order types include take-profits, stop-losses, market orders and OCO.
MetaTrader 4 on IG does require a download. It’s good for forex specialists and has advanced charting capabilities. Order types include market orders, limits, stops, stop-loss and take profit.
As for the user-friendliness of each platform, it comes down to preference. Traders like Forex.com for its simple interface. Traders have also said that the IG platform is user-friendly and easy to use. However, not everyone is impressed.
Complaints about Forex.com’s user interface include claims that it is clunky, with some users saying they have to repeatedly place their trading signal lines and that when pulling up another currency to trade it can be laggy.
On IG, happy users like the functionality that this platform has to offer, suggesting it could be a good choice for beginner traders. They’ve said it’s streamlined and easy to operate. One reviewer suggested the ability to lock in open positions with others because they can easily get confused with others. The mobile app has most of the functionality as the web version.
For traders interested in the expert advisors that MetaTrader is famous for, Forex.com offers version 4 and 5 while IG only supports MT4. If TradingView and its technical analysis capabilities are a must have for you, then the Forex.com native platform is probably the way to go. However, IG offers a wide breadth of research in addition to Reuters news updates. So if these features are important to you, then you might want to go with IG.
The investment options that a broker has to offer can make or break your experience. Before signing up, you’ll want to be sure that they support the types of assets you’d like to trade. As for Forex.com and IG, they both support a similar lineup of assets, so you probably won’t be disappointed on this front with either provider.
On Forex.com, there’s no shortage of markets to trade. This trading platform offers trading in the following asset classes:
- Forex: Trade forex across some of the most popular markets. Several account types support forex trading including Standard, MT4, MT5, DMA and Commission. Forex.com offers execution on over 80 currency pairs. Trade around the clock, speculate on rising and falling markets use leverage based on your risk/return profile.
- Stocks: Access to more than 5,500 global stocks. Users can go long or short on leading companies and trade pre-market or after hours on leading U.S. shares. Trade equity CFDs to speculate on the rise and fall of share prices or gain exposure to a broader sector so you don’t have to bet on individual stocks.
- Commodities: Access to the commodities markets including oil. Trade oil and gas volatility including U.K. crude oil on fixed spreads. Go long or short on U.S. or U.K. crude oil. Speculate on more than 10 spot and futures commodities which in addition to oil include corn, coffee, cotton, cocoa and more.
- Cryptocurrencies: Supports cryptocurrency markets as CFDs across leading coins including bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and XRP. Go long or short on cryptos without owning the underlying asset. Shorting is only available on bitcoin or Ethereum. You can also trade cryptos on MetaTrader 5.
IG’s trading platform similarly boasts various asset classes from which to choose.
- Forex: IG supports more than 80 forex trading pairs. Trade forex as CFDs or direct. Go long or short and trade around the clock. Choose from a variety of platforms including a web platform, MT4, L2 dealer or mobile apps.
- Shares: IG offers shares trading as CFDs on over 17,000 international stocks. This platform also offers leveraged trading products and extended hours trading on more than 90 U.S. stocks. You can trade on margin.
- Commodities: Trade commodities including metals, energy and agriculture markets. This platform supports nearly three-dozen commodities as well as commodity stocks and ETFs. Speculate on commodity spot prices. Commodities at spot or futures prices are available as CFDs.
- Crypto: IG supports cryptocurrency trading as CFDs, so you won’t own the underlying asset but you won’t need a crypto wallet, either. This platform also has a crypto index and supports nearly a dozen major cryptocurrencies as CFDs.
Both Forex.com and IG have a competitive variety of assets to trade and they seem to only be expanding their offerings over time. So if either platform doesn’t support an asset you want to trade today, give it time and they might include it sooner than later. Both offer high-quality assets from global markets and no shortage of trading pairs on the forex front.
If owning cryptocurrency assets directly is important to you, IG has more assets to offer from this category. It also supports trading in more stocks vs. Forex.com. We go with IG on investment assets.
Customer service is one of the major deciding factors for an online brokerage firm. When you have questions about your account, can’t access your account or are surprised by fees, you are going to want answers sooner than later. While the two brokers we are discussing today both have multiple ways to contact them, users have had different experiences with them. So let’s find out which one comes out on top for customer service: Forex.com or IG.
Forex.com offers a number of different ways to reach them. Their support hours are 3pm GMT Sunday to 10pm GMT Friday. For users based in the U.S., you can call the Forex.com support team at either (908) 731-0750 or toll free at (877) 367-3946. You can also reach the customer support team via the live chat feature on the website. And reach a live agent by typing “agent” in the chat bot.
IG is usually open 24 hours a day, from 6pm on Sunday until 5pm on Friday evening (EST). However, they might have shorter hours on major U.S. holidays. IG is a member of the Institute of Customer Service.
You can reach IG in a number of different ways, including on social media. One option is Twitter when you can tweet the IG team your queries about products, markets or the trading platform. You can reach the IG trading team by phone at the local number in your jurisdiction. In the U.S., this number is (312) 981-0498. You can also reach the IG customer service team by email at [email protected]. They say most of their complaints can be dealt with at this level.
Forex.com receives a good amount of positive reviews from users on customer service. In some instances, customer service reps have been described as helpful, patient and friendly.
One area of frustration among Forex.com users is accounts being closed seemingly abruptly. In some of these instances, users may not be aware that accounts with a zero balance get closed out if there is no activity for 12 months. Some IG customers have also complained of sudden account closures. Another complaint on Forex.com has been that the spreads are too high to actually earn a profit.
On IG, user experiences vary based on Trustpilot reviews. Some users say that they have experienced “excellent” customer service, while others complain that IG “really really really needs to improve its customer service,” saying there’s been poor training among the team members. This particular user had problems withdrawing funds from their account and was frustrated after hearing different things from different IG customer service representatives.
Forex.com customer service reps appear to be more reachable, so we will go with Forex.com on customer service.
Both Forex.com and IG have solid track records when it comes to security. Both brokers operate in multiple jurisdictions and are overseen by major regulators, including the CFTC in the U.S. and the FCA in the U.K. IG is headquartered in London but also operates in nearly 20 other countries. Forex.com operates in nearly two-dozen countries across five different continents.
Both Forex.com and IG handle large trade volumes, including for professional investors. As a result, you should feel comfortable using either platform from a security perspective. There have been no notable security breaches to speak of in recent history. Nevertheless, each broker has its own security reputation, so let’s take a look at some of the distinctions between them.
Forex.com’s parent company, StoneX, is publicly traded on the Nasdaq. StoneX has more than $9.8 billion in assets and boasts an operating history of over 100 years. With hundreds of thousands of users globally, Forex.com is considered a trusted broker by many.
IG is listed in London and boasts over 313,000 active traders. It’s also one of the biggest brokers out there, and is considered trustworthy by the industry.
On either trading platform, you can bet on the spreads and trade CFDs, so you don’t have to own the underlying asset. This is particularly useful with cryptocurrency assets, the custody of which has proven to be challenging for many people.
On the negative side, IG users have complained about accounts being blocked with no apparent explanation. Users have complained about hidden charges. Users have also complained that IG’s demo platform is not up to snuff.
Forex.com users also have complaints, one of which includes having been locked out of an account. Another complaint has been that the Forex.com mobile app freezes during times of high market volatility. One Forex.com user said their account was closed due to inactivity and a balance near zero. The problem with these situations is that Forex.com doesn’t appear to provide any warning to users that they’re in the danger zone of being locked out.
Both Forex.com and IG are regulated brokers that are trustworthy. Each broker has hundreds of thousands of traders using the platforms. When it comes to security, both Forex.com and IG score equally on this important feature.
Both Forex.com and IG are reputable brokers with strong regulatory frameworks, competitive pricing, and advanced trading platforms. While Forex.com excels in offering a wide range of trading instruments and comprehensive educational resources, IG stands out for its extensive product offering and award-winning trading platforms. Ultimately, the choice between Forex.com and IG depends on your individual preferences and trading goals. You may want to consider factors such as product offerings, platform features, pricing structures, and customer support when making your decision. Regardless of which broker you choose, you’ll be working with a well-regarded platform that can support your trading journey.
What is the process to open an account on Forex.com?
You must submit an application. Be prepared to provide some personal details so they can verify your identity. If you’re not quite ready, you can start with a demo account. On IG, you’re automatically given a demo account when you open an account.
How do I access MetaTrader on Forex.com or IG?
On either platform, you download a link to install MetaTrader. You should remove any prior MetaTrader software first so it doesn’t interfere with the latest version.
Why am I having trouble withdrawing my funds on IG?
It could be that IG hasn’t verified your funding source yet. The broker must to do this to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations. Reach out to IG’s customer service by email or phone to find out next steps.
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