Online brokers have democratized the investing experience. The combination of easy access from a mobile phone or laptop plus low minimums and fees opened the doors to investing for the masses. At the same time, online brokers created a new issue: the best choice to invest with? While individual needs and experiences vary, it is possible to examine a broker’s features, offers, and fees, compare them, and use the conclusion to make an informed investment decision.
In that spirit, this article looks at two popular online brokers, IG Group and Trading 212. Our goals are to deliver an honest, informed opinion of which broker wins the head-to-head challenge and give our readers the best opportunity to invest and trade successfully.
- 1 Online Broker Types
- 2 Picking the Right Online Broker
- 3 IG Group vs. Trading 212
- 4 Other Potential Charges
- 5 A Look at IG Group and Trading 212 Customer Support
- 6 Conclusion
Online Broker Types
Before we tackle the spicy question of who comes out on top when it’s “IG Group vs. Trading 212,” let’s look at the current state of online brokers.
When looking at online brokers, it is essential to remember that they aren’t all designed and structured in the same way and don’t all target the same investor niche. Understanding the main types of online brokers is critical, which will help you narrow down your choices of where to trade.
The primary choice is between full-service brokers, discount brokers, and hybrid brokers. Here are the key features of each.
- Discount Brokers – A discount broker takes a minimalist approach to services to cut fees. This style of online broker is a good choice for more experienced traders.
- Full-Service Brokers – Full-service brokers are aimed at traders and investors who desire or require more guidance. The broker category charges a higher fee on average but adds things like educational resources, financial advice, trading research, and investing and trading portfolio management.
- Hybrid Brokers – As the name suggests, hybrid brokers are a middle road between discount and full-service brokers. They add some services and features beyond the discount broker choice but not approaching what is offered by a full-service broker. This category can be a wise choice for intermediate traders who are moving towards complete self-managment of their financial efforts.
Picking the Right Online Broker
Certain factors boost an online broker’s value. Understanding these qualities can help make your decision about where to trade and invest simpler.
Compare Investment Products
Not every online broker puts the same emphasis on trading products. Some have a wide selection of stocks, EFTs, and mutual funds, and others lean into cryptocurrencies or Forex. The online broker you pick should have a robust choice of the assets you are most interested in. Having other products you want to explore further down your road of financial progress is a bonus. With broad choices available, you have room to grow should you choose to expand your portfolio’s focus.
Look Closely at Fees & Commissions
To have the best chance of building a profit with a broker, fees and commissions must be reasonable. Prices and commissions accumulate rapidly, so you will want to work with a broker that is transparent in this area. Keeping these expenses low can be critical to investing and trading success.
Confirm the Broker is Regulated
Using an unregulated online broker can be a hazardous business. You could gamble with your hard-earned money and assets should a surprise problem arise. While the regulatory body can vary depending on where you are or where the broker is, determining which they should have is easy. The SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) are two of the most common and trustworthy. Both present time-tested, strict rules that aim to protect investors. Chances are no problems will occur, but if they do, your chances of getting legal relief skyrocket with regulated brokers.
Check the Quality of a Broker’s Customer Support
Trading is serious business. If you run into an issue using an online broker, the quality of its customer support becomes critical. It is wise to do due diligence and answer the following questions. When is support available? How can you contact them? Phone? Chat? Email? How does past customer online feedback rate the broker’s support?
Access to a knowledgeable customer support team can save you time and energy and prevent headaches. Few things are worse when it comes to online trading than dealing with an unmotivated or incompetent support agent.
Dig Into the Broker’s Online Reviews
A reputable online broker should have a large number of reviews of their services available for you to review. Many trading-focused websites focus on the subject. Absolute trust can’t be placed on every online review, but when viewed in large numbers, a feel for the broker and its services should be manageable. If your choice is between two or a few brokers, comparing their online feedback is undoubtedly an intelligent investment in time.
Consider if the Online Broker is Geared Towards Your Experience Level
A critical factor to remember when looking at an online broker is if they are focused on traders with a certain level of knowledge and experience. Make an honest assessment of your expertise and experience, and then be sure that the brokers you are considering has your level of trading in mind. In the future, as your needs grow, you can always switch brokers for a better fit.
IG Group vs. Trading 212
There are plenty of online brokers to trade with. Two of the most popular are IG Group and Trading 212. Both online brokers offer diverse assets and innovative technology and are appropriate for serious traders. Despite these similarities, IG Group and Trading 212 also have apparent differences.
When compared, one of the brokers will likely meet your individual needs more than the other. Let’s explore what they share, what makes each broker unique, and compare features and services, all in the hopes of helping traders make a more informed choice about where to trade and invest.
IG Group and Trading 212 are based in the UK and abide by the United Kingdom’s stringent financial regulations, guaranteeing traders a certain amount of peace of mind and confidence. For the most part, they use the latest technology, which allows trades to be made quickly and accurately. IG Group allows accounts to be opened without a deposit, while Trading 212 requires only a $1, which makes getting started with either broker simple and easy, free from any large deposits.
IG Group has been active for over four decades and can be accurately considered a “traditional” broker with a moderate amount of entry-level features. For traders with more experience, IG Group’s services shine with a long list of features open for advanced trading. The broker’s platforms all receive top feedback, including its mobile platform. The focus on making IG Group a user-friendly place to trade is clear, a spirit that also carries over into its industry-standard fee and commission structure.
Trading 212 aims towards being a low-fee, easy-to-use broker, clearly accomplishing both goals. The number of assets and trading products available on its platform are limited, but for new traders, this may have a certain appeal. The Trading 212 web platform has received continuous positive feedback, but its mobile platform has been reported to need work, causing some traders significant frustration.
- Top-level research, analysis, and educational material
- Advanced online trading tools
- An extensive list of financial products
- World-class mobile app
- Regulated by trustworthy institutions
- Extensive client webinars
- Easy to use web platform
- Zero commission trades
- Option to trade on fractional shares
- Over 10,000 stocks and ETFs can be dealt with Trading 212
IG Group Drawbacks
- US clients face significantly more risks
- Copy trading is not available
- High share-CFD charges
- Retirement research is limited
Trading 212 Drawbacks
- No funds, trusts, or government bonds
- Mobile app needs better reviews
- Minimal research resources
- Transfer fees can be high
- No Minimum Deposit fee
- Share Trading varies, lower than the industry average
- Annual Custody Fee: $100
- Minimum Deposit: $1
- No Share Trading fee
- No Annual Custody fee
Other Potential Charges
Both online brokers should be looked at closely for other potential fees. Additional fees can add up by accessing optional features (IG Group offers expanded analysis for a charge, for example). Prices can sometimes change or vary but should always be clear and transparent. Both brokers are above board and have received positive feedback for having clear charges.
A Look at IG Group and Trading 212 Customer Support
Do IG Group and Trading 212 take customer support seriously? The excellent news is that both platforms have invested enthusiastically in this critical area. Some brokers need help with support. IG Group and Trading 212 are not on that list.
IG Group delivers 24/7 support by phone, chat, and email. Users can turn to an active IG Group forum for answers and an extensive FAQ section. IG Group sets a high bar when it comes to customer support. The broker provides multiple contact phone lines for different countries the platform is popular in to ensure clients get the highest level of service possible.
Trading 212 has first-class live chat support and phone and email support options. Its team can help in a long list of languages, including English, Turkish, Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Polish, Serbian, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish, Romanian, and Czech, with more languages added regularly.
Where you are in your trading journey will play a significant role in which online trading platform, IG Group or Trading 212, is best for you, and, to be fair, both are good choices. With all things considered, IG Group edges out Trading 212 in a head-to-head comparison. An exception may exist for the new trader. In tof hat case, jumping on board and getting going with Trading 212 can be more accessible and smoother. At the same time, IG Group holds the lead regarding the features and services offered to more experienced traders.
Always take a first-hand look at brokers before working with them. Remember, all trading and investing come with significant risk. Your needs and situation are unique, and knowledge is power. Your best choice, whether IG Group, Trading 212, or one of the many other first-class brokers active today, is an individual one. We wish you all of the success in the world!
Fintech-Insight is dedicated to delivering unbiased and dependable insights into cryptocurrency, finance, trading, and stocks. However, we must clarify that we don't offer financial advice, and we strongly recommend users to perform their own research and due diligence.