Interactive Brokers Review

Read our full Interactive Brokers review below.

 

WHAT IS INTERACTIVE BROKERS?

Found in 1977, Interactive Brokers is a respectable forex and CFD brokerage firm with its headquarters located in Greenwich, CT. This online broker is regulated by SEC in the US and the UK’s FCA

At Interactive Brokers, clients can trade a range of trading instruments, such as Stocks, Options, Futures, Forex, Metals, and several others.

The broker also offers a variety of trading platforms to its traders, including Client Portal, Desktop TWS, IBKR WebTrader, and IBKR APIs.

 

INTRODUCTION

Interactive Brokers is a global multi-asset broker. The trading platform is one of the most advanced in the industry, and the fees are also affordable. The company has been in existence for more than four decades and they are reckoned as one of the best in the industry.

It has witnessed internal growth over the years, and presently they have more than 125 markets destination across the world. This company serves multiple countries including the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Russia as well as Hungary, Estonia, India, and the United Kingdom among other countries.

The brokerage firm has its global headquarters in Greenwich and the global presence, and the wonderful support mean that it offers people what they want in terms of online trade. 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 and deliver the best trading experience.

When it comes to trade and market execution, this broker uses the broker-dealer which offers to its users nothing but the best. Because of that, they ensure direct trade execution using direct access. 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 the trade.

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
  • Reliable research and educational tools
  • Affordable trade fees

Cons

  • Difficult to navigate website
  • The system does not allow for multiple data streaming

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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:

*Forex

*Options

*Stocks

*Futures
*Precious metals

When it comes to stock this platform makes it possible for traders to trade and hold various stocks. You hold stock just as you can buy the same. You can make gains when you trade on stocks. This means that you buy at a cheaper amount and sell when the value appreciates.

Besides, the system has a program on the ground which is meant for revenue sharing and certain benefits are accruing to that.

Options

The broker also offers options for investment for its clients. This one is very interesting because the commission is much lower than what you get elsewhere. Besides, the system makes for schedules that customers can easily customize.

Futures

Futures are available for investors under this platform. It comes with tradable algorithms which makes it possible to enter trade and exit trade. 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 and is spread across the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The future contracts are available in the following areas and they include:

*Fixed income

*Single stock

*Metals

*Energy

*Soft commodity

*Currency

*Agriculture

Forex

Perhaps the most popular instrument which this broker offers is forex trading. This is on the interbank trading arrangement quotes. This is transparent and it is not associated with any hidden spreads or price and there are no markups when you trade forex on this platform.

Most importantly this provider makes trades available at tight spreads and liquidity and this is substantial enough and they carry this out through its 17 foreign exchange dealers. In fact, this broker is considered the largest all over the world.

Here is the face of the foreign exchange market they offer, and they are as follows:

*ECN market structure

*Currency conversion and cash forex

*A multi-asset displays

*23 trading currencies

*Overnight position rolls automated

*Fx traders

*Safe and secure trading environment

Metals

Precious metals like gold trading are easy and simple with this platform. The price is affordable since the spread is low and this means that traders can easily make gains here.

TRADING PLATFORMS

The Interactive Brokers makes different trading platforms available for its clients. It is a question of choice 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. The level of success here depends on your level of experience and that is all.

Client Portal

This is one of the trading platforms they make available, and this is mostly for new traders to use. It comes with the best features and here are some of the features that set this one apart and they include the following.

*It offers the ability to check quotes and the ability to place your trade.

*The possibility to view your balance

*Convenience to use

*24/7 support

*Fund your account and make your reports

Desktop TWS

This is another trading platform, and this is more versatile than the first because it is good for traders and investors. It makes all the IBKR offerings. Moreover, it is perfect for traders of high volume, and if you want to trade globally, this is perfect for you.

The method also makes available in-depth analysis and technical research as well as risk analysis using the trading tools. It also comes with the most wonderful features such as

*Paper trading

*Real-time monitoring

*Tws software

*Various trading tools

*Fully customizable

*Great layouts with all the necessary tools

*IBKR Mobile

This is also great for traders and you can have access to your account when you want. You can also use this on android and iOS as well as 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 one and you can use it right on the go.

IBKR WebTrader

It is another trading platform that is available for traders and users can trade this with IBKR Pro. The model is the only web-based and comes with the same functionality that you get from the other software. It comes with a better interface and it offers the ability to work behind a firewall.

Whether you are a trader or an investor you can use this one without difficulty.

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 play.

It makes 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.

ACCOUNT TYPES

Furthermore, this makes for different account types. You can choose the account type that is more convenient for you. This account also includes the integration of investment management and this makes it easier for traders to borrow, spend as well as earn. Furthermore, they provide you with an account to invest in across the world.

These account types are meant to satisfy the yearning and aspirations of individual traders. The specific account types which this broker offers include the following:

*Individual

*Joint Trust

*IRA

*UGMA/UTMA

The provider also makes it easier for their clients to select from the various services they offer which include the following:

*IBKR PRO

*IBKR LITE

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT

To open an account with this platform is not that easy because it is complicated. The account opening process is also digitalized, and it is an interactive process. It involves five stages of the registration procedure.

Here are some of the processes you must undergo to open an account with the system, and they include the following:

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


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

DEMO ACCOUNT

The system does offer a demo account and it is known as a trial account. This is the account you need to practice mastering how the system works. To get the trial account is not difficult but you must provide the necessary information required from you such as your email address

  • You are entitled to a virtual account of one million dollars
  • 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 such as those already reviewed above.


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 if this provider is also making this opportunity possible. You must copy only experienced and expert traders.

COMMISSIONS & FEES

Traders are subject to trading requirements when they place their trades. When certain trading criteria are not met, there would be fees charged for that.

If in the calendar month that the equity of a trader is more than one hundred dollars, then there will be no fees.

This system charges a complex fee system or structure, and this is a system where a trader who has ten thousand dollars would be allowed to pay a certain fee upfront. This is regarded as commission for the first eight months.

The broker does not require clients to pay a maintenance fee. The fee structure as said before can be confusing. Depending on the type of account you are operating, there would be a minimum amount required as a fee.

The provider also does demand commissions and that is based on enhanced network connections which include the FIX CTCI as well as VPS.

The system also makes for annual financing rates and this is not high compared to what you get elsewhere. There are several other fees they charge which you must take note of and they include the following:

*Stock loan

*Cash movement

*Trading fees

*Corporate actions and dividend processing

*Security transfer fees

*Prime brokerage

*Interactive brokers debit Mastercard

*Account maintenance and reporting fees

*Exposure fee for the high-risk accounts and so on.

LEVERAGE

The broker does also provide margin rates, and this cuts across to all kinds of customers. However, various areas of jurisdiction could have variations about this.

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

WITHDRAWALS AND DEPOSITS

Most importantly Interactive Brokers offer different ways of depositing and withdrawing money from the system. Here are some of the methods they make available to you and they include the following:

*Cheques including retirement cheques

*Bank wire

*ACH

*Online bill payment cheques

*Canadian electronic funds transfer

*AUD bill payment or BPAY

*Direct Rollover IRA

*Trustee to Trustee

Unfortunately, the company does not use credit and debit card options. In the same way, the E Payment wallets are not supported here. They prohibit payments emanating from third parties.

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.

When it comes to withdrawals, the only method the company is supporting is the bank transfer option. However, clients within the US are allowed cheques withdrawal.

Fees charged after that first withdrawal varies since it depends on several factors which include the currency that withdrawal is made, as well as the method used for that withdrawal. If there is a cheque withdrawal, it will attack a fee of $4.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Another area in which this broker is doing very well is in customer service. You can contact them through different means. The broker makes available direct customer support through the Contact Us section of the platform.

Individual and institutions have different means of contacting them when the needs for that arises. For individuals, they are required to search the website for answers to some of the things that might bother them.

If they cannot get explanations for the things that are bothering them, then there are alternatives available to them which they can also try to resolve all the issues and they include the following:

*Ask IBot FAQ

*Upload fax or post

*Chat using their chat platform

*You can use your telephone to contact them

*You can also contact them through their email channel.

In the same way, institutions can contact the support department and to do that, they must select the appropriate area of jurisdiction and when that is done, the institution would receive contact details with how you are going to contact them.

The assistance you receive will depend on the management office.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

When you are choosing a broker one of the key factors to consider is the issue of security and safety. Security and safety have to do with your investment.

Nobody would like to invest where there would be no return on his or her investment. Because of that, you will look for a regulated broker. Choosing the Interactive Broker is one of the things you can do because your investment is safe and secured for several reasons.

You would be happy to note that this broker is regulated from all over the world which includes FINRA, SEC, NYSE, FCA, ASIC as well as IIROC. Other regulatory agencies are in control of this broker.

This is good news; you do not have to exercise any fear about the safety of your investment because it is one hundred percent safe and there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Because of the regulations, the company separated its funds from those of its customers. Since they are in a segregated account, it is not easy for the company to lay hands on the individual funds to solve their office problems.

Furthermore, the broker belongs to a compensation scheme that facilitates the eligibility of members to receive payment. This scheme would intervene on behalf of customers should the broker face liquidation or insolvency.

This broker is well trusted, and they are the most reputable financial institution that you can rely on today. The safety of your funds is one hundred percent guaranteed.

CASHBACK

The company does offer incentives like cashback from time to time. If you are a customer, you would get notification of such cash back or other incentives when they are available.

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 can derive from this platform.

Besides, they make available tools that can assist you in deciding the market and making the decision of where to invest your money. One of the tools it makes available is TheLeadingEdge and this offers the following to its investors

*Real-time analysis

*In-depth Reports

*It makes available model portfolios which you can check

The system also makes available fundamental data, and this is available in any of the trading platforms that you want to use it. Besides, the company makes available other research tools that can help investors take investment decisions and they include the following:

*Volatility lab

*Charting tools

*Mutual fund

*ETF replicators

*Probability lab

*Economic calendar

*Newsfeed

EDUCATION

Most importantly, this platform prepares its clients by offering them a lot of educational tools that can guide them. They have important tools which include online courses they organize from time to time, webinar and demo account which they can use to learn the trade and how the market works.

Besides, there are news as well as extensive glossary and tutorial videos that guide clients in using the system. They also do make available videos that contain educational content.

These educational tools are required by beginner traders and it offers step by step extensive material. It aids them and makes them become very successful traders.

GLOBAL AWARDS

This company has won several awards over the years. The awards include the following best broker-dealer client software:

*Best futures trading broker

*Platform and research

*Best broker for low investing costing

*Several stockbrokers.com awards

PROMOTIONS

If you visit the website, you can see the promotions available and when they make them available. This is one of the ways of attracting new customers and rewarding customers as well

CONTESTS

There can be contests from time to time. The contests can help new traders and prizes are won during such contests. If you want to partake you should be checking from time to time.

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. You can visit their back office and have an interaction with them.

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

CONCLUSION

Interactive Brokers is the most reputable broker in the world today. It operates in most parts of the world and it 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.