Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Compare trading and investment accounts

Choosing between opening a trading or investment account can be difficult for beginners. Compare the best trading accounts in the UK and find the one that suits your goals and risk appetite.

Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com to talk about opening a trading account.

Contact us 0800 195 3100

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Call 0800 409 6789 or email helpdesk.uk@ig.com if you have any questions about trading or investing. We're available 24/7 between 8am Saturday and 10pm Friday.

Contact us 0800 409 6789

Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com to talk about opening a trading account.

Contact us 0800 195 3100

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Call 0800 409 6789 or email helpdesk.uk@ig.com if you have any questions about trading or investing. We're available 24/7 between 8am Saturday and 10pm Friday.

Contact us 0800 409 6789

Compare our trading accounts

IG Spread betting account

With our spread betting account, you’ll trade assets by betting a certain amount per point of movement. You’ll go long (buy) if you think the instrument’s price will rise or go short (sell) if you think it’ll fall.

When spread betting, you don’t own any assets outright, your profits are tax-free, and there’s no stamp duty or commission payable.1 You also have more control over your position size, and you can bet in your chosen currency. Plus, there are more than 18,000+ markets available to trade when you open a spread betting account with us.

Note that spread bets are leveraged, which means you can trade for the full value of the position with just your deposit. When trading on leverage, your profits and losses are magnified. That means you stand to gain or lose more than what you put down to open the position. You’ll have to take necessary steps to manage your risk.

IG CFD trading account

With our CFD trading account, you’ll also speculate on rising and falling asset prices in over 18,000+ markets. However, your profit or loss will be the difference between the position’s opening and closing price.

When trading CFDs (short for contracts for difference), you can offset losses against profits for your capital gains tax (CGT) liabilities.1 This is why many traders use CFDs to hedge their positions. Other reasons why this is a popular account type is that you won’t pay any stamp duty1 and you can get direct market access (DMA).2

CFD trading also enables you to get exposure of the full value of the position with just a fraction of the total sum by using leverage. Both your potential profit and loss will be amplified. You’ll need to use risk management strategies and only put down what you can afford to lose.

IG Spread betting IG CFD trading
Account type Trading account Trading account
What is it? Derivatives trading. Staking an amount of money per point of movement in a financial market Derivatives trading. Exchanging the difference in price from the point the position is opened to the point it’s closed
Is it leveraged? Yes, spread betting accounts are leveraged trading accounts. To take a position without leverage, you’d use a share dealing account Yes, CFD accounts are leveraged trading accounts. To take a position without leverage, you’d use a share dealing account
Do I pay tax? You won’t pay capital gains tax (CGT) or stamp duty1 You won’t pay stamp duty, but you will pay CGT. However, losses can be offset as a tax deduction for CGT1
What are the charges? Spread betting is always commission-free. Your charge is a spread on all markets and overnight fees on spot trading (no overnight fees on futures and forwards). See our full trading costs A spread on all markets except shares. We charge a commission on share CFDs, but no spread. Overnight fees apply on spot trading (no overnight fees on futures). See our full trading costs
What markets and assets can I trade? 18,000++ markets including shares, indices, forex, commodities and more 18,000+ markets including shares, indices, forex, commodities and more
How can I trade? You can trade on the spot (cash), and with futures (called forwards in some markets) and options You can trade on the spot (cash) and with futures and options. You can only trade share, ETF, forex and oil futures (or forwards) with a spread betting account
Can it be used for hedging? Yes Yes
How does dealing work? You control the size of your deal by choosing the amount you want to bet per point of movement You control the number of contracts or shares you want to trade, but each contract has a fixed value
What currency will I trade in? You choose the currency you want to trade in for any market eg if you have an account in GBP, it’ll always trade pounds per point You will deal in the market’s base currency
What platforms can I trade with? Our online trading platform, our trading app, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or ProRealTime Our online trading platform, our trading app, MT4, ProRealTime or L2 Dealer (for DMA)
Can I trade with direct market access (DMA)? No Yes
What are the risks? Spread betting is leveraged, so you put up a percentage of the trade size to open a position. When trading on leverage, your profit and loss is based on the full position size, so your profits or losses will be amplified. This is why it’s essential to manage your risk CFD trading is leveraged, so you put up a percentage of the trade size to open a position. Again, your profit and loss is based on the full position size, so you could gain or lose a lot more than your initial deposit. This is why it’s so important to manage your risk

Compare our investment accounts

IG Share dealing

Our share dealing account enables you to buy and own stocks outright. The aim is to buy assets and sell them at a higher price for a profit. You can also make money as a shareholder of the company by receiving dividends (if granted). Plus, you’ll have shareholder voting rights.

There are more than 13,000+ shares, 2000 funds, and several UK IPOs for you to invest in. You can invest via a share dealing account from zero commission3, with super-fast execution and out-of-hours trading on US stocks.

IG Smart Portfolios

Our Smart Portfolios are investment accounts managed by our in-house experts. You’ll get exposure to different global markets that are tailored to your preferred risk appetite. Our diversified portfolios are managed by experts with a proven track record. But it's important to remember that past performances do not guarantee future result.

Invest in ETFs across global stock markets that include property, gold, bonds and more. Our Smart Portfolios offer lower fees than competitors and have beaten benchmark returns4.

IG Share dealing IG Smart Portfolios
Account type Investment account Investment account
What is it? Self-directed investing in company shares, ETFs and investment trusts Fully managed investing in a broadly diversified portfolio of ETFs
Is it leveraged? No, you buy and own shares, and put up the full value of any trade No, you own the ETF shares in your portfolio and your deposits are invested into the markets for you
Can I get an Individual Savings Account (ISA) account? Yes, open a share dealing account first, then you can add an ISA later to get up to £20,000 tax-free per year Yes, open a Smart Portfolio account first, then you can add an ISA later to get up to £20,000 tax-free per year
What are the charges? Main charge is commission per share – from £0 for US shares if you place three or more trades in the previous calendar month and £3 for UK shares.3 FX fee is 0.5% on foreign shares. See all share dealing charges 0.5% management fee, plus fund and transaction costs. Average total cost of 0.72%. See all Smart Portfolio costs
What markets and assets can I invest in? 12,000+ shares, 2000+ ETFs and a number of investment trusts Our in-house experts will invest in a diverse and balanced portfolio of ETFs on your behalf that include shares, bonds, and commodities
Will I receive shareholder privileges and dividends? Yes, if the company offers them No
What currency will I trade in? You’ll invest in the share’s local currency. Our foreign exchange fee is just 0.5% Pound sterling (GBP)
What platforms can I trade with? Our online trading platform, Our trading app, L2 Dealer (DMA) Our online trading platform, Our trading app
What are the risks? The value of investments can rise or fall, so you could get back less than you put in. However, the risk is lower than when trading on leverage The value of investments can rise or fall, so you could get back less than you put in. However, the risk is lower than when trading on leverage

Compare our trading and investment account vs other brokers

Our trading brokers have a wealth of knowledge on several global markets and have a proven track record of good returns. We’ll give you the best round-the-clock support on using different accounts on our platform.

Established in 1974, we’re the UK broker that offers the longest trading hours. Plus, you can find more than 18,000+ markets to trade on the best platform in the world.2 Whichever market you want to trade or invest, you’ll pay very competitive fees to get exposure.

Check out how our brokers compare to others in the UK5:

IG eToro Trading 212 CMC Markets Plus500 Hargreaves Lansdowne AJ Bell
Accounts Spread betting, CFD trading, share dealing, Smart Portfolios One account for CFD trading and share dealing CFD trading, share dealing Spread betting, CFD trading CFD trading only Share dealing only Share dealing only
Trading and investing Both Both Both Trading only Trading only Investing only Investing only
Markets to trade and invest in More than 18,000+ markets including shares, bonds, ETFs, IPOs, indices, forex, commodities, and more More than 2000 markets More than 10,000 markets More than 11,000 markets More than 2000 markets More than 2000 markets More than 2000 markets
Trading hours 24/7 trading on certain major indices and forex pairs, plus after hours trading on stocks No 24/7 trading or after hours trading on stocks No 24/7 trading, but after hours stock trading is available No 24/7 trading or after hours trading on stocks No 24/7 trading or after hours trading on stocks No 24/7 trading or after hours trading on stocks No 24/7 trading or after hours trading on stocks
Trading platforms Web, app, L2 Dealer, MT4, ProRealTime Web and app only Web and app only Web, app, MT4 Web and app only Web and app only Web and app only
Educational resources IG Academy, news and strategies from in-house analysts and Reuters, community forum, free trading signals and more Academy and news from in-house analysts Community forum, self-help centre News from in-house analysts News from in-house analysts Tutorial videos, webinars, downloadable educational material, news from in-house analysts News from in-house analysts
HQ UK Israel Estonia UK Israel UK UK
Customer service 24/7 telephone support in the UK, plus 24/7 email and Twitter support No telephone support, Live chat available or email support, Monday to Friday. No telephone support, 24/7 live chat or email. Telephone or email support, Monday to Friday No telephone support, 24/7 email, live chat available including WhatsApp. Telephone support Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm and Saturday, 9.30am to 12.30pm Telephone or live chat support available, Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm

How to choose the right trading account for you

  • Do you want to be self-directed or passive?

If you choose the self-directed approach, you’ll personally execute your trades and investment, speculating on market prices based on your trading plan and strategy. You can trade or invest using the self-directed approach for more flexibility and control.

With the passive approach, you’ll take long-term positions, buying and holding stock portfolios managed by experts, and earning possible profits from dividends, rent and interest.

  • What markets and assets do you want to trade?

There are several markets that you can trade, including forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, bonds, ETFs, options, futures and so much more.

You can trade all of them using a spread betting or CFD account and also invest in company stocks using a share dealing account.

  • What level of risk can you accept?

With us, you can customise the level of risk that you’re comfortable with when you deal in Smart Portfolios.

Investing in ETFs using Smart Portfolios can also enable you to diversify your exposure across a range of assets, companies, geographies, and sectors. While investing in shares carries greater risk given, you’re getting exposure to individual companies, it is important to compare your risk and reward ratio before you invest with a share dealing account.

When it comes to trading derivatives such as spread bets and CFDs, there’s more risk involved due to these being leveraged products. When you trade on leverage, you put up a faction of money as a deposit to get exposure to the full position size. This deposit is called your margin.

At a margin requirement of 20% - common when trading shares, your leverage ratio is 1:5. So, a 1% movement in the market price would result in a 5% change to your position. While leverage brings down your initial outlay, note that your profits and losses could substantially outweigh your margin deposit. It’s important to take steps to manage your risk to prevent major losses.

FAQs

What's the best trading account for me?

The best trading account for you depends on what your financial goals are and the trading plan you’ll employ. You can choose to speculate on derivatives like spread bets or open a CFDs to get exposure to the price movement of an underlying asset. You can also opt for a share dealing account to invest in stocks and funds while also earning dividends (provided the company grants this).

What trading account is best for beginners?

Beginners can start with a brief walkthrough of what each trading account has to offer by checking out our learning material on IG Academy. You can practise all you have learnt from the educational resources on our risk-free environment when you create a demo account.

Your account will be credited with £10,000 virtual funds to practise your trading strategies, learn how to manage your risk before you open a live account.

Is it safe to open a trading account?

Yes, it is safe to open a trading account, but do your due diligence before you create one. You need to make sure that your broker is regulated and that the account type is right for you.

We’re a FTSE 250 listed company on the London Stock Exchange that’s authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We offer a number of accounts, with varying levels of risk that you can customise to your preference.

What should I bear in mind before opening a trading account?

Before opening a trading account, you should become familiar with the markets and assets you want to trade. You must also have a good grasp of the costs involved, the platform quality, available customer service channels, and the risks involved in trading.

Try these next

Learn the difference between spread betting and CFD trading

Create a trading account to get exposure to over 17,000 markets

Practise trading on a risk-free environment when you open a demo account

1 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.
2 Best trading platform as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards and Professional Trader Awards 2021.
3 Trade in your share dealing account three or more times in the previous month to qualify for our best commission rates. Please note published rates are valid
up to £25,000 notional value. See our full list of share dealing charges and fees.
4 Best trading app as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2021.
5 As of March 2022.