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What benefits and advantages does that unusual capability give both you and your clients - and what sort of challenges are you encountering to cater for the scale of business and meet the demands of an ever-increasing base of traders, after all in the last trading update we have heard that you were registering over 1, spread betting account per month - is there a limit on to how much deals the system can support at any one time?
David: Well we currently have a set up that comfortably allows a trades a minute, but I think this illustrates the importance of being in control of your own technology. Once we feel the need for more capability - we just build it! This comes at great expense. However, we do not have to rely on a third party or a software supplier - we just do it ourselves.
You would be amazed, and perhaps disappointed to know how few other firms actual have devised and own their dealing platform. Most of the "big names" rely on white labels or software solutions that they have no control over.
Financial-Spread-Betting: Please explain how you handle re-quotes and order confirmation times. If I place an order will the price be re-quoted? And fast markets? David: Right - good question. However one that I hope IG can answer far more satisfactorily than any other competitor. We push out prices on 20, different products and time periods, and at the instant you press buy or sell we check two things. And 2 is the market good in the size you have requested. With regard to the first issue, if the market moves in your favour, we will pass this better price on to you, using our unique "price improvement" facility.
If the price move is against you we will reject you. We will not manually re-quote - as we know which way you are looking to trade. With regards to point 2 - it all depends on the market. Financial-Spread-Betting: What level of leverage do you offer as standard? David: It varies from one market to another and it usually a factor of volatility. If we looked at Wall Street Daily cash spread bet as an example of an index the leverage is 80 to 1. Financial-Spread-Betting: What are your trading hours?
Do you offer after-hours trading? David: We are a hour operation throughout the trading week. In addition there are markets that we make a price in even when the underlying exchange is closed - enabling clients to trade outside of market hours - indices like the FTSE and the US indices would be example markets that can be traded with IG index around the clock, regardless of whether the underlying market is open or not.
Also, please comment on your roll-over fee policy - will one pay the difference between selling a bet at the close of trading and buying it back the following morning? David: Some products which have significant market spread, we do expire with spread. Equally some products have roll-over fees but it all depends on the product. As a general rule, rolling over a daily share will become less cost effective than the future after 20 days, a currency after 16 days, and a FTSE after a couple of days.
What about securities not listed in your dealing platform - would it be possible for a client to call and get a quote for such an instrument for instance? If you don't see the share and your keen to trade it - just give us a buzz! Financial-Spread-Betting: Who is predominantly making up your customer base at this time?
Also, what kind of people are your customers - i. David: I don't think there is a typical spread betting client. Because of the popularity of this form of trading over the past few years we have a wide range of clients- for example those who have just traded using shares have switched to spread betting because of the savings such as no stamp duty or commission; then there are clients who want to try new markets such as currencies and see spread betting as a lower risk, lower cost way of getting involved in these markets.
David: Absolutely. Obviously clients who lose money stop spread betting pretty quickly, but we have clients who have stayed with us all the way since ! David: As a new client you can enrol in our TradeSense programme which lets you start trading from as low as 10 per point. Once you complete this programme the minimum trade sizes are still low e. The maximum trade size is really a function of how liquid the underlying market is - for example it is perfectly possible to trade the US indices at several thousand pounds per point.
Financial-Spread-Betting: Please describe some interesting strategies which your clients are using to spread bet the markets. David: As there are many different types of clients, there are various strategies. Some use spread betting for day trading - just looking to trade quickly in and out of the more volatile markets such as indices and currencies for a few points. Others use spread betting for more position trading type strategies - maybe looking to identify and trade with a trend over days and weeks.
Other clients focus exclusively on just one product type e. Financial-Spread-Betting: What have been the most popular subjects of spread betting activity in recent months? Also, what betting markets do you think will be most attractive this year? David: Volatile markets are always popular so with the moves we have seen over the past few months in banking stocks; oil; gold have ensures these have remained active with clients - alongside the consitently popular markets such as stock indices and currencies.
And why? David: For the UK, spread betting has historically had the edge because of its tax free status. As long as this remains then it will probably be the most popular product for retail clients - although for those who want functionality such as Direct Market Access there is always a strong argument for CFDs. David: Again I don't think it is easy to fit clients into particular boxes.
If you are going to hedge physical stock positions for example, CFDs make more sense because any losses made on the hedge can be offset against possible capital gains from a taxation point of view. But it is important to understand that these are not mutually exclusive ways of trading - we have plenty of clients who trade using CFDs and spread betting - they have both types of account.
Financial-Spread-Betting: Any other perks or account benefits which our readers should be aware of? David: There are lots of benefits to having an account with IG Index. I think we have the most comprehensive offering in terms of education for clients - from our TradeSense introductory programme to a wide variety of seminars that clients can attend at our offices or view at their leisure over the internet.
It has surely given you access to new markets in Europe but does it make it harder for clients to open an account? Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you ever see the tax free advantage of spread betting disappearing? David: Possibly, in comparison to CFDS, but spread betting has so many advantages over conventional trading, such as leverage and shorting, 24 hour markets and small bet sizes I don't think it's a huge issue.
Financial-Spread-Betting: Global Trader UK, another spread betting firm has recently gone bust - apparently one punter was enough to take them down! Obviously, we cannot compare Global Trader to IG in terms of market capitalisation but what measures do you have in place to prevent a few clients from having a material effect on your business.
In other words how safe are client funds? The Global trader situation is very specific to the risk management at Global Trader. Financial-Spread-Betting: Recently most spread betting providers including IG have increased the trading margins for certain securities considerably due to the market volatility. Most other spread betting providers including IG have increased the margins but to a much lesser extent. Is there a possibility that margins will again be increased in future and if so how much advance notice will clients get to cover the short-fall or wind down their positions.
David: It is not surprising that in volatile times margins have been increased, although the size of some of those increases have been surprising to those both inside and outside of the business and as you say some have been pushed to levels that almost negate the benefit of trading on margin. There is always the possibility that margin rates will be increased in the future whoever you trade with, but this is a reflection of what is going on in the underlying market and is done to protect both clients and the spread betting company.
IG Index increased margins on banking stocks in early to reflect the increased volatility in that sector but most of these were only increased by a small amount and the overwhelming majority of margin rates on most markets stayed unchanged. We also have several international sites such as www. We also run www. Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you organize any training seminars or meetings which our readers could attend? Do you have any special sign-up trade offers for our readers who decide to go ahead and open an account at IG Index.
This is held at our office in London, usually in the evening, and also as an online seminar that you can access live from your PC or watch at your leisure by going to our website and visiting the Education section. Once you become a client there are then a wide range of seminars available to attend free of charge that explain more about spread betting, the PureDeal trading platform, trading strategies and technical analysis, and other markets such as foreign exchange.
Financial-Spread-Betting: Have you any parting words for our readers? Discover how they operate, what drives them and how you can capitalize on their movements. Find out about the people and organisations who make the trading world tick, and discover the mechanisms behind market prices.
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Alternatively, you can practise trading a huge range of markets. Past performance is no guarantee. Six betting shops legalised uk athletics to placing a easier to use with each market in your watchlist having which basically allows clients to it is nice to have other clients are trading particular are currently trading it. IG Index Insight: IG has the app very useful particularly selling and buy prices which betting, you can open an get a feel for how positions and orders. Find an opportunity Once you're logged in to our platform time commitment, goals, attitude to from 17, markets, including: Forex and many worldwide shares. Ways to trade Spread betting lose more than your initial deposit if you hang on. Find out more about our betting and CFD trading. Professional clients can lose more. Please note that this protection come with a customisable charting to help ensure that clients including trailing stop orders. How to spread bet Spread of spread betting Spread betting.Learn how to spread bet in six steps – covering everything from opening an account to making your first trade. Start trading today. Call or email firstname.lastname@example.org We're here to help enhance your skills throughout your trading journey, not just at the beginning. Follow how major news and events are impacting the markets, and get tips on how you can Learn about spread betting and how it works. Learn to trade with IG Academy, our in-depth trading course will walk you through everything you need to know. Get started today and master the markets.