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IG Pro is one of a number of accounts which help investors get around new European restrictions on trading, but is it worth the risk?
The recent European restrictions have had financial spread betting companies finding new ways to keep the revenue coming in. IG Capital’s approach has been to introduce its IG Pro account which allows experienced and professional investors to continue trading financial spreads.
It is a way to get around the rules, but it does not come without risk. So, before choosing an IG Pro Account, you need to be clear about what you’re letting yourself in for.
By opening an IG Pro account, you will not be subject to the ESMA’s restrictions and can continue trading these products as before. In order to do so, you’ll have to be able to answer ‘yes’ to these questions:
- Have you traded leveraged derivatives in significant quantities over the past four quarters?
- Do you have a portfolio size of more than €500 Euros?
- Have you worked in the financial sector, in a professional position requiring a knowledge of the derivatives trading for at least a year?
The rules are there to try and ensure the only people trading in these high-risk instruments are those who understand the risks they are taking. If you do qualify, you will continue trading many of these restricted products such as the Digital 100s, use up to 95% of your share collateral as margin and secure a higher margin on your trades thanks to the greater flexibility this offers. In addition, the account means you will be eligible for a range of additional features open only to professional investors.
Now come the downsides. When you use the professional platform, you forego some of the protections which are normally open to professional clients. There will be no negative balance protection – losses can exceed the balance in your account, and the platform may not go out of its way to use clear and easy to understand language. It will assume a certain level of professionalism on your part and expect you to understand sophisticated terminology. They may also prioritise factors such as speed and likelihood of execution over the best price.
This is something to come into with your eyes open. It allows you continue trading restricted products and to get around new regulations. At the same time, though, this is only a platform for someone who really knows what they are doing and is prepared to accept the risk.
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Tom Cropper is a financial journalist with work which has appeared in titles such as the Guardian, Euromoney and many others.