Interactive Brokers Review

Read our in-depth forex broker review on Interactive Brokers ✅ Find out how this brokers broker compares to others.
Overall Rating

3/5

Top 5 Forex Brokers
1.
Avatrade
2.
Exness
3.
OctaFX
4.
Tickmill

 Interactive Brokers Review

📅 Year founded

1977

📈 Multiple top-tier regulation

Yes

📍 Headquarters

Greenwich, USA

🌍 Country of regulation

USA / Canada / United Kingdom / Luxembourg / Ireland / Australia / Hong Kong / Singapore / Japan

✅ Regulators

FINRA / SIPC / IIROC / FCA / CSSF / CBI / ASIC / HKSFC / MAS / JFSA

📈 Execution Type

Market Execution

💰 Minimum Deposit

No

🛡️ Negative Balance Protection

Yes

📉 Trading Platforms

IBKR Trader Workstation / IBKR Desktop / IBKR Mobile / IBKR Global Trader / IBKR Client Portal / IBKR API / IBKR IMPACT

 ☪  Islamic account

Yes

📉 Trading Instruments

Forex / Futures / Options / Stocks / ETFs / Security Futures / Mutual Funds / Hedge Funds / Cryptocurrencies / Bonds

📱 Mobile trading

iOS / Android / Windows

💳 Payment Types Accepted

Bank Wire Transfer / Wise

🎮 Demo Account

Yes

 ⓒ Copy Trading

Yes

🎁 Bonus Offer

Refer-a-Friend

💰 Account Currencies

Over 27 account currencies available

📈 Minimum Trade

0.01 Lots

📈 Account Types

PAMM / MAM

📈 Margin Trading

Yes

📈 Trading fees

Low

📈 Inactivity fee

No

💰 Withdrawal fee

Dependant on withdrawal method after one free withdrawal per month

☎ Customer Support

24/6

💰 Max. Leverage

78:1

✔️ Hedging Allowed

Yes

✔️ Scalping Allowed

Yes

💰 Commission

Trading volume dependant

💰 Spreads

From 0.0 pips

💰 Leverage

Flexible

💰 Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)

100 +

🔢 Number of clients

2 100 000 +

🥇 Instruments Offered

8 500 +

📙 Education

IBKR Campus / Trader’s Academy / IBKR Podcasts / IBKR Quant Blog / Webinars

Click here ✅ Open a Trading Account

 

WHAT IS INTERACTIVE BROKERS?

 

Found in 1977, Interactive Brokers is a respectable forex and CFD brokerage firm with its headquarters located in Greenwich, USA. This online broker is regulated by across various jurisdictions in the world including the FINRA, the FCA, ASIC and the JFSA.

Interactive Brokers, offers one of the largest variety of trading instruments to its clients, including forex, futures, options, stocks, ETFs, security futures, mutual funds, hedge funds, cryptocurrencies and bonds.

The broker also offers a variety of its own proprietary trading platforms to its traders, including IBKR Trader Workstation, IBKR Desktop and IBKR Mobile to name a few.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Interactive Brokers is a global multi-asset broker. Their trading platforms offered are some of the most advanced in the industry, and the fees are also affordable. The company has been in existence for more than four decades solidifying their position as one of the best brokers in the industry.

It has witnessed significant international growth over the years, and presently operate in over 200 countries across the world, offering access to over 150 markets. This company serves multiple countries including the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Russia as well as Hungary, Estonia, India and the United Kingdom to name a few.

The brokerage firm has its global headquarters in Greenwich, USA. To help their clients, this platform offers learning, education and research materials as well as the best technology and that is why they can solve client’s problems to deliver the best possible trading experience.

When it comes to trade and market execution, this broker uses the broker-dealer system which offers its users nothing but the best. Because of that, they ensure direct trade execution using direct market access (DMA). They serve all kinds of clients such as institutional and retail customers.

This broker provides an order management system or OMS which makes for quick execution of trades.

 

PROS & CONS

 

PROS

  • Provides advanced and smart order router for its clients.
  • Offers different kinds of assets across the world.
  • Lower cost of trade execution because of mutual fund replicator.
  • Exceptional research and educational tools.
  • Large range of available trading instruments.
  • Provides their own award-winning proprietary platform.
  • Multiple account base currencies are available.
  • Extensive customer support available 24/6.

 

CONS

  • Does not provide any third party trading platforms, such as MetaTrader4 and 5.
  • Website may be difficult to navigate.

 

TRADING INSTRUMENTS

 

You would like this broker because of the wide range of trading instruments which they make available to their customers. The most popular instruments they have available are the following:

  • Stocks / ETFs.
  • Security futures.
  • Mutual funds.
  • Hedge funds.

Some of these options are discussed below in further detail:

 

Stocks

When it comes to stock this platform, it is possible for traders to trade and hold various stocks. These are generally longer term trades ad allows traders to also receive dividends from the companies they hold stocks in.

Additionally, the system allows for revenue sharing in the form of dividends depending on what stocks are held by traders.

 

Options

The broker also offers options for investment for its clients. Commissions charged by Interactive Brokers on options are some of the lowest in the industry.

 

Futures

Futures are available for investors on this platform. It comes with tradable algorithms which makes it possible to enter and exit trades automatically. This is tailored towards solving your trading objectives and other needs. It can also help traders in managing risk portfolios.

The system also makes it possible for speculating and hedging and this is available in at least thirty financial markets, spread across the Americas, Asia and Europe.

 

Forex

Perhaps the most popular instrument which this broker offers is forex trading. This is also the most liquid trading market in the world, with over $6 trillion USD being traded daily.

Interactive Brokers provides access to over 100 currency pairs, which can be traded in any one of the 27 base currencies that accept. This ensures that the forex offering from this broker is one of the most wide ranging and accessible offerings in the industry.

 

Hedge Funds

This is an interesting offering from Interactive Brokers. They allow you to invest your money with hedge funds from as little as $25 000 USD (most hedge funds require much larger deposits than this) and provide an array of different investment styles and options for you to choose from.

Choose between long term, safe options or short term, high risk-high reward options. It is well worthwhile to visit the broker’s website for more information on this offering.

 

TRADING PLATFORMS

 

The Interactive Brokers make different trading platforms available for its clients. It is a question of choice and preference after considering what each of the platforms has to offer to clients.

These trading platforms are remarkable because they come with different sets of features. They make success possible and the level you can achieve will be entirely down to your own hard work considering all the features you will have at your disposal.

 

IBKR Trader Workstation (TWS)

This is recommended to intermediate and experienced traders as the system is quite in depth and offers a wide range of features. This platform offers access to a superb risk management program, known as The Risk Navigator which helps traders manage their risks. Access all of Interactive Brokers’ instruments from here and gain access to a free demo account in the form of “paper trading”.

The method also makes in-depth analysis and technical research tools available. Some further features are listed below:

  • Paper trading.
  • Real-time monitoring.
  • TWS software.
  • Various trading tools.
  • Fully customisable.
  • Great layouts with all the necessary tools.

 

IBKR Mobile

As an extension of the above, this is also great for traders who want access to their accounts from anywhere in the world. You can also use this App on Android and iOS, including smartphones and tablets.

It is another trading software which this broker makes available to its clients. Both new and experienced customers can comfortably use this on the go.

 

IBKR Desktop

This option is considered to be more accessible and easy to understand for newer traders. Interactive Brokers describe this platform as having “a more streamlined interface”. This would be the beginner alternative to the IBKR TWS platform.

 

IBKR Global

This platform is the more streamlined mobile application. Traders have access to stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and options on this trading platform.

 

Client Portal

This is another trading platform the broker makes available and is mostly for new traders to use. The Client Portal platform is accessible on the web and unlike the platforms listed above, does not require any downloads. It offers a simple interface and allows you to easily trade and manage your account.

It comes with easy-to-use features including some of the following:

  • It offers the ability to check quotes and the ability to place your trade.
  • The possibility to view your balance and statistics.
  • 24/7 support.
  • Fund your account and generate trading reports.

 

IBKR APIs

It is another trading software, and it is readily available for IBKR Pro clients. This system is more advanced, and it makes it easier for investors and traders to use this system to place trades.

It allows trading to be more automated. For third-party software users, you can try this tool. It also offers alternatives which include the Excel API and TWS API.

 

IBKR IMPACT

This is a newly introduced App available on iOS and Android systems, that allows traders to invest in companies that share their values. Important information is available on companies and allows traders to make an impact with companies they are aligned with.

 

ACCOUNT TYPES

 

Interactive Brokers makes multiple account types available depending on the aspirations and the goals of traders. For more information, it is advisable to go look at the broker’s website and decide on what account type is best suited for you and your needs.

The individual account are probably going to be most applicable to new traders reading this review so it is advised that you focus your attentions there. It is also interesting to note that Interactive Brokers offers interest if you have readily available USD cash balances in your account.

This offers two trading account options, namely the IBKR Pro and the IBKR Lite. The Pro version offers lower spreads and higher commissions, as well as requiring a higher minimum deposit, whereas the Lite version offers higher spreads but lower commissions as well as not requiring a minimum deposit.

 

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT

 

To open an account with this platform is fairly straightforward but there are a lot of documents required, due to their strict regulatory measures.

Here are some of the processes you must undergo to open an account with the system:

  • Provide your personal information.
  • Regulatory information.
  • General disclosures.
  • Funding of the account.
  • Finding out the application status.
  • Uploading of the necessary documentation.

When you finished with that registration process, it is time to verify your identity and you will need proof of your residence. Certain documents in addition to the above are required to prove this.

 

DEMO ACCOUNT

 

The system does offer a demo account and it is known as “paper trading”. This is the account you need to practice mastering how the system works or test new strategies that you may want to implement.

  • Demo accounts are loaded with $1 000 000 USD in virtual trading currency.
  • It allows you to learn about their tools as well as the services they provide.
  • This trial account is available in all the trading platforms they make available to you.

 

SOCIAL TRADING AND COPY TRADING

 

Social trading is one of the ways brokers are helping traders to profit by making it possible for them to copy other traders and gain from their wealth of experience.

Several brokers do provide this, and it is not surprising that this broker is also making this opportunity possible. They offer TWS Scale Trader Algo, a unique copy trading  / automated trading system as well as Capitalise.ai which is an artificial intelligence system that trades for you. These innovations are two more great reasons to consider Interactive Brokers as your broker of choice.

 

COMMISSIONS & FEES

 

Commissions charged by Interactive Brokers varies between countries and the trading instruments you choose to trade.

For example, US citizens do not pay commissions on US stocks. Commissions are generally fixed across contract prices except in forex, where commissions are charged depending on the trader’s trading volume. In this case, the more you trade, the less commission you pay according to a tiered system available on the broker’s website.

It must be said, although the structure is complicated, the fees are not very high.

Further additional charges include:

  • After one free withdrawal a month, there may be withdrawal fees applicable.
  • Swap-fees (except on Islamic accounts).

 

LEVERAGE

 

The broker provides margin rate calculations on their website, rather than maximum leverage available to clients. For example, on forex pairs, a margin rate of around 5% is required, meaning if you trade $100 000 worth of USD, you require $5 000 USD in your trading account. However, various areas of jurisdiction could have variations on this.

The leverage offered depends on several factors and these include the chosen trading instrument as well as the country where the instrument is available. It also depends on the regulators of the country you are situated in.

 

WITHDRAWALS AND DEPOSITS

 

Interactive Brokers unfortunately does not offer a wide range of withdrawal or deposit methods.

The broker only allows for bank wire transfers and Wise payments.

Unfortunately, the company does not use credit and debit card options. In the same way, ePayment wallets are not supported here. They also prohibit payments emanating from third parties. It must be said that this is one area that the broker could improve on, as more payment options would also make their services more accessible.

When it comes to withdrawal, they also offer a unique method where the first withdrawal you make for the month is completely free. Other withdrawals you will make for the month will be charged depending on your country of residence and withdrawal method used.

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE

 

Another area in which this broker is doing very well is in customer service. You can contact them through various different means.

Some of the following contact methods are available with this broker:

  • E-mail, where you ca expect a reply within 1 business day.
  • Phone support which is available 24/5 when markets are open.
  • Chat room, where you will chat to a live representative, also available during market hours.
  • Online forum where you can submit your questions on the website and wait to hear back from a client representative.

 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

 

When you are choosing a broker, one of the key factors to consider is the issue of security and safety.

One of the factors that the team at Brokersuggest.com is always on the lookout for is the regulatory bodies which a broker must adhere to. Interactive Brokers is regulated across a range of jurisdictions and must therefore comply to a whole host of regulatory bodies including FINRA, the FCA and the JFSA. These are some of the best and most well respected regulatory bodies in the world. They are also regulated by a host of other entities too, all mentioned in the table above.

In addition to this, client funds are also kept segregated from the broker’s funds, meaning that your funds will never be used in the day-to-day operations of the broker and in the unlikely event of bankruptcy, your funds will be protected.

As the broker is regulated in the United Kingdom, they also have a compensation scheme that means clients funds are protected up to GBP 85 000.

 

PROMOTIONS

 

The company does offer a Refer-a-Friend programme where you can get commission of up to $1 000 USD when you refer friends to this broker and they end up opening an account with them. The amount you are entitled to is of course subject to further T & C’S.

Other than the above program mentioned, there aren’t any deposit bonuses or such available at this time.

 

RESEARCH

 

If you want to do well with this kind of broker, you must research the market before you make your investment. The ability to research is one of the things you will gain from this platform.

It has to be said, Interactive Brokers offers some of the best and widest ranging research tools to its customers.

Some research tools available to clients include the following:

  • Real-time analysis.
  • In-depth reports.
  • Model portfolios.
  • Volatility lab.
  • Charting tools.
  • ETF replicators.
  • Probability lab.
  • Economic calendar.
  • TWS Scale Trader Algo which can be a valuable research tool if used correctly.
  • ai which can also give traders great indicates of market trends.

 

EDUCATION

 

Another important feature provided by brokers is their educational offering. Interactive Brokers has gone above and beyond the industry standard, providing some of the best educational material available.

 

IBKR Campus

This is an educational site where traders can spend hours learning more about the market and picking up skills through in depth features under the available tabs, such as:

  • Quant blogs.
  • Student Trading Lab.

Further educational features on the broker’s website include the Trader’s Academy, Trader’s Insights, IBKR Podcasts and many more features which you are encouraged to check out here.

These educational tools are required by beginner traders and it offers step by step extensive material. It aids them in their journey to become very successful traders. These tools can also be used by experienced traders to sharpen their skills, as you can always learn something new.

 

GLOBAL AWARDS

 

Interactive Brokers have won several international awards over their long existence as a broker in the trading industry. Some of their most recent wards include the following:

  • Best Online Broker (2024) – BrokerChooser.
  • #1 in Professional Trading (2024) – StockBrokers.com.
  • Best Online Broker (2023) – BrokerChooser.
  • Best Broker for Advanced Trading Options (2023) – Investopedia.
  • Best Multi-Asset Broker (2023) – TradingView.
  • Best Global Broker Overall (2023) – Investing in the Web.
  • Best Broker for International Trading (2022) – Investopedia.
  • Best Online Broker (2022) – Barron’s.
  • Best in Class Overall (2021) – StockBrokers.com.
  • Best Online Broker for Bonds (2021) – Global Fintech Awards.

These are only some of the featured awards that the broker has won recently, boasting over 38 awards in the past 4 years alone! Clearly, a well-respected and highly thought of broker.

 

SAFE OR SCAM?

 

The broker is one of the safest in the world today. It offers a very transparent system, and it is regulated by numerous regulatory agencies from different parts of the world.

These regulators ensure that they do not deviate from the rules and this is good for the safety of your investment. This broker is not a scam. It is real and verifiable. Their existence for over 4 decades proves that their reputation in the industry is not simply a fluke.

The creators of the system are well known, and they can be reached at any time.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Interactive Brokers is one of, if not the most reputable broker in the world today. It operates in most parts of the world and is highly regulated. This is good for the safety and security of its investors.

They provide the largest number of market instruments and provide the most wonderful trading platforms. This company comes with everything you need, and it is highly rated across the world.

From the above review, it is clear that any list of top brokers must include Interactive Brokers and the team at Brokersuggest.com can emphatically say that this is a highly recommended broker.

 

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