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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What to know about trading
Trading: what you need to know

How to find the best platform for day traders

Most people do thorough research when searching for a good online broker, but not be sure how to locate the best day trading platform. Learn how to search and find the best day trading platform.

Call 010 500 8624 or email to talk about opening a trading account. We're here 24 hours a day from 9am Saturday to 11pm Friday.

Contact us: 010 500 8624

Call 010 500 8624 or email to talk about opening a trading account. We're here 24 hours a day from 9am Saturday to 11pm Friday.

Contact us: 010 500 8624

What is a day trading platform?

A day trading platform is the technology used to facilitate the trading of financial instruments, enabling positions to be opened and closed within a single day. This trading style is not suitable for people seeking to trade in the longer term.

When trading with us, a fee will be charged to your account for keeping your intraday trade open until the following day.

Note that there’s a difference between an online broker and a trading platform. An online broker provides the platform, while the platform facilitates the trading activity on the financial markets. An online broker like us enables you to open a brokerage account for trading securities in the financial markets.

Our day trading platform will enable you to trade using a popular derivative product – CFDs. Derivatives are leveraged products, meaning you’ll amplify your exposure to the markets. Leverage will magnify profits and losses you make on your day trade – manage your risk carefully.

How to find the best day trading platform

To find the best day trading platform, there are several things to take into consideration. These include your experience as a trader, trading goals, the types of assets you’d like to trade, costs and charges involved and the type of support you’ll be offered.

1. Consider your experience and trading goals

Taking your experience and trading goals into consideration when venturing into day trading will enable you to have clear goals in mind. This will ensure you put in the time to practise and fine-tune your trading style and strategy before you open your first position.

You can use fundamental analysis as part of your trading style or plan to predict market price movements and use technical indicators for your strategy. Your strategy is determined by your preference and your level of risk you’re willing to be exposed to when trading the markets.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll need to choose the trading strategy that suits your preferences. For example, if you choose to use scalping as your day trading strategy, you’d make lots of small trades of the asset you’re trading with the aim of profiting from the little price changes.

Once you’ve chosen your scalping strategy, ensure that you diligently stick to it as one impromptu move may lead to trade that results in a huge loss. Your aim is to make a series of small wins from your trade and benefit from them instead on a few large ones.

You can learn more about trading strategies by visiting out Analyse and learn section on the website or IG Academy. You can also try out these trading strategies by opening a demo account with us and practice with £10,000 (for international accouts) and R1,000,000 (for domestic accounts) in virtual funds in a risk-free real-world environment. Once you have gained your confidence as a trader, you can open a live account with us.

2. Learn key day trading concepts

There are some essential day trading concepts you’ll need to educate yourself on when it comes to the financial markets:

  • Volatility – intraday trading will require that you have the ability to identify if the market price has sufficient movement to present profit-making opportunities. This is known as ‘volatility’, which measures how much an asset’s price moves over a period of time
  • Liquidity – this describes how easy it would be to open or close a position in the markets without the asset’s price being affected. A rising demand for an asset increases its liquidity, meaning you can take or close positions at the price you want. With us, you’ll get deep internal liquidity, giving you access to several buyers and sellers, which will assist with the quick execution on your trade
  • Volume – this provides details on the number of times an asset has been traded over a certain timeframe and is a key indicator of the market’s liquidity. You can trade volume as a strategy to identify entry and exit points in the markets. For instance, a rise in volume when there’s a sharp movement in the market is indicative of the market maintaining that direction in the future

3. Find out about day trading products and assets

CFDs are the main day trading product used. This is a leveraged product that will increase your market exposure at a fraction of the full value of your trade. But while they’ll magnify your profits when the markets move in your favour, they’ll amplify your losses if they move against you.

Carefully manage your risk and only trade using an amount you’re comfortable losing. There are over 17,000* markets you can trade with us.

*IG Group’s total markets

These are the four assets that are most popular among our traders:

  • Stock market indices – these indices track the performance of company stocks within the financial markets. Index trading is popular highly liquid and will enable you to support your judgement based on the stock market’s historical data. Note that past performance doesn’t guarantee future outcomes
  • Shares – you’ll trade shares of individual stocks. If you decide to venture into day trading on stocks, you must be wary about the liquidity and volatility of shares in the financial market. For instance, trading an entire index will include all the shares within it (the index), meaning trading individual stocks is likely to carry more risk. It’s important to perform solid fundamental and technical analysis before you trade company shares
  • Forex – this market will enable you to trade currencies. When trading forex, you’ll always be trading a currency pair. For example, GBP/USD measures the exchange rate between the pound and the dollar. You’ll either take a position on the pound increasing against the dollar, or the dollar increasing against the pound. Forex is the largest and most liquid market in the world with trillions of trades taking place per day
  • Commodities – you can also trade on raw physical commodities such as oil and gold. When you predict on the price movement of the underlying asset, you’ll do this at a fraction of the full value of the physical commodity. But you won’t take physical ownership of the commodity

These four popular markets are not an exhaustive list. With us, you can also trade ETFs, interest rates, bonds and many more. When trading with us, you’ll get access to key indices and forex pairs 24/7, including at the weekend. You’ll also have exposure to trading US stocks out-of-hours. Other online brokers might not offer you the same access to extended hours on their day trading platforms.

Note that there are 10 hours of no trading, depending on the asset class being traded. For more details refer to the section on when can you trade out-of-hours.

4. Compare day trading brokers’ costs and fees

There are costs and fees associated with day trading platforms. It’s important to compare these to determine how much the overall cost of your trade will be. An online brokerage like us will provide a full disclosure of the costs and charges associated with your day trade.

Some of the costs and charges you can expect to incur when day trading with us will include the spread. Overnight fees are charged when you keep your position on the spot markets open until the following day.1 Note that overnight fees are not applicable when open positions on futures and options are not closed on the same day since these have a set expiry date.

5. Day trading platform features to look out for

Our day trading platform offers these features and tools:

  • Execution speed. The speed at which the platform executes your trade is essential, especially since markets operate in real-time. When trading with us, you’ll get access to a platform that can execute orders in just 0.027 seconds.2
  • Deep liquidity. Your aim should be to find a platform that makes it easy to open and close a position at market price. The platform should also enable you to buy and sell without having a negative impact on the price of the asset you’re trading. You’ll have access to deep liquidity with numerous buyers and sellers available on the financial markets when you trade with us
  • Order fill. Your broker’s platform should have the capacity to successfully complete executing your order to trade assets. This is provided the asset hasn’t reached its expiry, there’s sufficient trading volumes on the market and it’s within trading hours. We’ll offer you the best order fill with over 99% of orders being filled at the requested price 3
  • Proactive. The best trading platform4 will send you trading alerts when, for instance, your trade reaches the price levels you’ve set. You can also view charts with indicators showing market price movements in real-time. With a trading platform like ours, you can set up trading signals via Signal Centre and Autochartist and receive actionable signals for buying and selling
  • Engaging. It’ll also enable you to take control of your trading by enabling you to set stops and limits, including guaranteed stops on your open position to prevent losing more money than you bargained for. This is what you can achieve when trading on our trading platform
  • Real-time interaction. The trading platform you choose should market events in real-time and feed back to its users so they can make trades synonymous to what’s happening on the ground. With us, you’ll receive in-platform news, videos, analyst articles and social media for instant reaction to the markets

6. Find out how easy it is to deposit and withdraw money

With us, you can deposit funds into your account and withdraw as you wish – for free. You also don’t need a minimum deposit to start trading on your open account.** This isn’t always the case with other online brokers – always do your due diligence.

You can deposit funds at a click of the ‘add funds’ button via our web trading platform or mobile app. You’ll then choose the payment method of your choice. Funds can be deposited using a credit card, debit card or electronic bank transfer in your name – no third-party funds will be accepted.

There’s no minimum or maximum deposit amount when making electronic bank transfers. A minimum of R4,000 is required to be deposited into your trading account when depositing via a credit or debit card.** Once there are funds in your account, you can start opening positions on your open CFD trading accounts.

You can access more information on how to fund your account here.

**The minimum amount for a card payment is R4,000 and there is no minimum for an electronic bank transfer. The minimum deposit is shown on the payment screen when you go to process the payment

7. Check out the broker’s customer support

With us, you’ll have a responsive customer support team to field your queries. Our client services team is available to give you a one-on-one walk through our platform to set up your account, if you need it.

You’ll also have access to 24-hour4 live support for assistance from our trading experts. You can reach us either via phone call, email or X (formerly Twitter).

8. Learn about the broker’s day trading platforms

Familiarise yourself with your online broker’s day trading platform to determine if it suits your needs as a trader. Some brokers might offer a web platform or only synchronise with third-party tools like MetaTrader 4 (MT4).

With our award-winning platform5, you can access and place your day trade via our web or mobile app. You’ll also get access to our L2 Dealer and DMA platform as well as MT4 and exclusive access to ProRealTime with us.

What’s the best day trading platform and broker for you?

There are various aspects to take into consideration when choosing a day trading account and online broker like us. An online broker like us facilitates the trades in the financial market, while a day trading platform is the technology used to facilitate the buying and selling of those assets.

When you choose an online broker, you’ll consider the type of trading accounts you like to use, markets and assets you’d like to trade and the costs and charges of your trade. When choosing an online trading platform, you might find it useful to consider the ease of trade when using the technology and the overall customer experience.

Trade on our award-winning platform5

  • Trade with us, the No.1 CFD provider 6
  • Receive a one-on-one walk through when opening an account with us and access to 24/5 telephonic support from service desk
  • Get exposure to 17,000* markets that include indices, shares, forex, commodities and more. No other online broker offers more markets than us
  • Get access to markets out-of-hours and on weekends, which enables you to trade for longer (not available on all markets). We have the longest trading hours available

*IG Group’s total markets

Make use of our educational tools

  • Enhance your trading knowledge using free training material on IG Academy
  • Open a demo account to put your theoretical knowledge into practise with virtual funds in a risk-free environment
  • Get access to IG Live to receive the latest market news and analysis from our industry experts
  • Be part of the peer-learning experience through our community forum with more than 42,770 members (as of June 2023)

How to start day trading with us

  1. Fill in a form. We’ll ask you a few questions about your trading knowledge. This will ensure that we give you the best experience on our platform
  2. Get verification. We’ll usually be able to verify you within five minutes
  3. Fund your account and start trading. Once you’ve deposited money into your account, you’ll be able to start trading. You can withdraw money from your account as and when you wish – for free


What are the legal and tax rules around day trading?

It’s important to remember that day trading requires time and commitment, and trading on leverage is risky.

Ensure you understand how leveraged products like CFDs are taxed before trading with them. For instance, when trading CFDs you’ll be liable to pay capital gains tax,7 but these can be used to offset losses.

How much money do you need to start day trading?

With us, you won’t be required to have a minimum deposit.** But, if you’re trading leveraged products, ensure you understand how they work and use our risk management tools. You’ll need to deposit enough funds in your account in case the market turns against you once you open your trade.

**The minimum amount for a card payment is R4,000, and there is no minimum for an electronic bank transfer. The minimum deposit is shown on the payment screen when you go to process the payment

How safe is my money with day trading brokers?

Your money is safe when you trade with us as your online broker since you’ll be trading with a FTSE 250 company. IG Markets South Africa Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (in South Africa) as an over-the-counter derivative provider and an authorised financial services provider. IG Markets Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (in the UK).

The regulatory bodies require the firms they supervise to hold client funds in accounts separate to their own.

Ensure you do your due diligence and verify if the day trading broker you’re considering is fully regulated, as is required of all brokers.

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1 Overnight funding is the charge you pay for keeping cash CFD trades open past 10pm UK time (international times may vary); we'll make an interest adjustment to your account to reflect the cost of funding your position. Learn more about how overnight funding is calculated
2 Based on IG Group's OTC data for Jun – Aug 2023
3 Based on IG Group's OTC data for Jun – Aug 2023
4 We're here 24 hours a day from 9am Saturday to 11pm Friday
5 Best Finance App, Best Multi-Platform Provider and Best Platform for the Active Trader as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2024.
6 Based on revenue (published financial statements, 2022).
7 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.