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Spread Bet Broker Review

Who is better - IG Index or FinSpreads?

For my own spread bet trading I use both IG Index and FinSpreads. So which one is better?

It depends on what you want to trade and how much capital you have. This page offers a detailed review of the 2 brokers.

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Both use browser-based software. This means it is not necessary to install any software on to your computer, instead everything is run through your browser (which is the software used to view internet sites).

In effect starting up the software is as simple as going to their website and logging on.

As for ease of use, IG's product is slightly more intuitive and the dealing platform is larger (on your screen) whereas FinSpreads software opens a new and independent window which cannot be resized.

And the winner is: IG Index

Important: Use the latest browser version

If you want the best performance out of your spread betting platform make sure you're using the latest version of your browser software.

Personally I use Firefox but Google's Chrome browser is also excellent. As for Microsoft's dreadful Internet Explorer, I suggest you dump it.

Online Connections
The quality of your connection to a spread bet broker always depends on 2 factors –-
  1. Your own internet connection, and
  2. How strong and stable the spread bet servers are

I use BT Business Broadband which is traditionally far more stable than their standard residential service and I probably lose my connection 2-3 times a year at the most.

As for my connection to both IG and FinSpreads I haven't witnessed a breakdown in over 6 months.

And the winner is: A draw, both platforms (assuming your internet connection is good) are rock solid which means both companies must have invested a lot in their infrastructure. This is always a good sign of a quality company.

Even if you don't use charts to trade with they're useful to see where the market has been either on an intraday basis or over several days, weeks or even months.

IG charts are excellent and again over the last 6 months they've never gone down on me. Use them to chart from 1 second to monthly bars plus add moving averages, trend lines and all the other common technical indicators.

However, the same can't be said for the charts that FinSpreads offer. A good word to describe them would be cranky.

And the winner is: It's not even a contest. IG Index wins by a long way.

Bid-Offer spreads
Some bid-offer spreads are tighter with IG and others with Finspreads, it just depends on what you want to trade. This is why I think it's an advantage to have 2 spread bet brokers, especially as it doesn't cost you any extra money.

Having said that, if you just want to trade the big, popular markets such as the FTSE, Dow or EUR/USD, you'll find that the 2 brokers quote the same bid-offer difference and it is usually extremely tight, ie 1 point for the stock indexes and 2 for FX.

Warning: Be careful with other spread bet brokers that make a big song and dance about even tighter spreads or even no spreads. There's no free lunch in the financial markets and these companies will probably try to get their money back using all sorts of subtle tricks.

And the winner is: It's a draw unless you want to trade either smaller markets or strange ones such as Rough Rice. In such a case go with IG Index because they have a larger range of markets.

Trading size
Finspreads minimum trade size is usually 50p whereas IG's ranges from 50p to several pounds depending on the contract.

The clear winner for most traders, especially those just starting out is therefore Finspreads. Believe me 50p a point is more than enough to risk for many traders and whereas this sum might seem like a small trade tremendous profits can still be earned.

For example, I'm in email correspondence with somebody called Brian S. and he's been able to parlay an initial £250 stake into over £750 over a year by trading at 50p a point (I've seen his statements), so you don't need to trade in large sizes in order to make large percentage gains on your account.

Don't forget the old saying in the markets –which directly relates to the size of your trade -

There are old traders and there are bold traders but there are very few old and bold traders.....

And the winner is: Finspreads beats IG Index hands down for new traders because of the 50p minimum bet.

Range of markets
IG clearly has a wider range of markets but this is only relevant if you want to trade them. For example, if you're interested in Belgian or Finnish stocks then go with IG. But if you want to trade UK markets and the big global ones (Commodities, FX etc) then both companies have the same range.

IG also offer the best range of Binary Bets. Personally I don't use Binary Bets but if I did then IG has no peers.

And the winner is: IG Index edges it especially for stocks, both UK and foreign.

IG Index has been around for over 30 years and FinSpreads for over 20. So we're talking mature companies here and in the finance world that's generally who we want to be dealing with.

And the winner is: IG Index edges it but it's close.

Ease of account opening
Any spread bet firm that makes it hard to open an account is slitting its own throat so the account opening process of both IG and Finspreads is both easy and slick.

And the winner is: It's a draw

Help Guides
IG and Finspreads offer excellent help guides both online, and in their welcoming pack. Any trader new to the game can learn a lot from these so get studying.

And the winner is: It's another draw.

Customer Service
I don't call my brokers that much as I have little need to but whenever I do they both pick up within a few rings and are knowledgeable and helpful.

Customer service is big in the spread betting world and both companies surpass themselves.

Tip for new traders - Don't be afraid to call your broker asking what you think might be a stupid question. Perhaps it is, but if it saves you from losing money was it really that stupid or was it smart? I vote smart every time.

And the winner is: Yet another draw

Special deals for new clients
Finspreads blows IG Index away when it comes to new clients because it offers the ability to trade at just 10p a point for the first 2 months and that's an incredible advantage.

I go into far more detail about how to learn using 10p a point in this free guide - How to Learn to Spread Bet and Prosper.

And the winner is: Finspreads because of their 10p minimum bet for the first 2 months of trading. Excellent for learning the ropes.

Folks, you must understand that one of the secrets to trading is learning from your mistakes. The trick therefore is to trade small amounts of money when starting out so the mistakes made won't cost you much. Trade larger size at your peril.

The overall winner
On the scores above you have to go with IG Index but as I've indicated before it really does depend on what you're interested in trading and how much you want to risk.

I'd therefore say that for experienced traders who have a minimum of £2,000 to deposit then go with IG Index, but for those just starting out with perhaps less than £1,000 to deposit the ability to bet 50p a point minimum (versus IG's £1) makes Finspreads the clear winner.

To get more information on these spread bet brokers please see their websites -

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