Interactive Brokers

3.5
Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers and recommended for traders who prefer a professional trading environment coupled with low fees.
Trading Platform:
MT4, MT5
Max Leverage:
1:888
Instruments:
Stock, ETF, Forex, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures, Crypto
Regulation:
FCA, FINRA
Min. deposit:
$0
Open an account Read full review

Summary

Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers and was established in 1978. It is regulated by several global bodies such as the SEC and FCA. Interactive Brokers is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

For those wondering, is Interactive Brokers safe? You should know that it has a long history of client service, it is regulated by top-tier regulatory bodies, and it discloses its financials. The fact that it is also listed on na stock exchange makes Interactive Brokers safe to trade with.

Interactive Brokers is recommended for traders who prefer a professional trading environment coupled with low fees.

Overall

Pros
  • Wide product portfolio
  • Low fees
  • Quality and diverse research tools
Cons
  • Account funding and withdrawal can only be done through bank transfers
  • Account opening process is complicated
  • The desktop trading platform is cumbersome and not user-friendly

Fees

Pros
  • It features a transparent fee structure
  • It charges low trading fees
Cons
  • They charge inactivity fees

Account Opening

Pros
  • Fully digital experience
  • Most account types do not have a minimum deposit amount
Cons
  • Account opening is slow
  • The process is not user friendly and complicated
  • Unhelpful and confusing messages further smeared the whole account opening experience.

Deposit & Withdrawal

Pros
  • Several account base currencies on offer
  • No charge on the first withdrawal of each month
Cons
  • Slow deposit and withdrawal process that takes at least 3 days to be authorized
  • Credit/Debit card funding is not supported

Mobile Platform

Pros
  • Secure two-step authentication login
  • Reliable search functions
  • Innovative solutions (e.g., chatbot)
Cons
  • Design is not user-friendly

Desktop Platform

Pros
  • A wide array of order types on offer
  • Secure two-step authentication login
  • Price alerts
Cons
  • Disappointing search function
  • Design is not user-friendly

Web Platform

Pros
  • Simple and user-friendly design
  • Two-step login verification
  • Clear fee report
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for workspace and charts)

Markets

Pros
  • Stock
  • Fund
  • ETFs
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Cryptos
  • Futures
  • CFD
Cons
  • None

Research

Pros
  • Great set of analytical and research tools
  • Fundamental data available
  • Good quality news flow
Cons
  • Design is not user-friendly

Customer Service

Pros
  • Efficient service with relevant answers
  • Fast response time
  • Live chat available
Cons
  • Email ticketing is outdated

Education

Pros
  • Quality educational tools
  • Demo account
  • Educational videos and media
Cons
  • Only members can access the courses

Regulation & Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top-tier financial authorities
  • Listed on the stock exchange
  • There is negative balance protection
Cons
  • None

Full Review

Interactive Brokers is among the biggest US based discount brokers and is regulated by top financial authorities. It is ideal for investors that enjoy low-cost trading and professionals who appreciate a fully functioning trading platform – with its complications no less.

It charges low trading fees, delivers a wide range of products, and provides clients with an impressive array of research tools.

You should know that bank transfer is the only provided means for making deposits and withdrawals. The account opening process is also complicated, and its overall design is not user-friendly.

Fees

Interactive Brokers uses a fee system that is transparent and straightforward. It charges low trading fees and high non-trading fees.

Let’s first go through the fess terminology:

Trading Fees occur when you trade (spreads, commissions)
Financing or overnight rates are charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than 24 hours. Leveraged position means that you borrow money from the broker to trade.
Non-trading fees are withdrawal fee or inactivity fee, hidden fees.

To put things in a proper context we compare Interactive Brokers with competing services.

Interactive Brokers fees snapshot
AssetsFee levelFee terms
US stockLow$0.005 per share, min $1, max 0.5% of trade value
EUR/USDHigh0.2 bps * trade value; min $2 per trade
US tech fundHighlesser: $14.95 per transaction; 3% of trade value
Inactivity feeHigh$10 per month if you don’t generate minimum $10 commission

Non-trading fees

Interactive BrokersDegiroXTB
Account feeNoNoNo
Inactivity feeYesNoNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0

These usually comprise of things such as inactivity and withdrawal fees.

Interactive Brokers charge a $10 monthly inactivity fee, which is quite high when compared to other brokers.

Withdrawal fees that are different for each currency. 

Interactive Brokers withdrawal fees
CurrencyFee
CHF11
CZK300
DKK30
EUR8
GBP7
HUF6,000
ILS30
NOK50
PLN40
RUB330
SEK50
USD10
ZAR200

Trading Fees

They are usually charged when you make a trade. It can be in the form of commissions or spreads.

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees; hence, it is recommended for frequent trading. It features a transparent fee structure, and customers have the option of selecting from the two types of plans on offer.

  •   Fixed-Rate Plan

Customers are charged a fixed rate (per share or contract) that covers all exchange fees and commissions.

  •   Tiered Price Plan

Fees are charged based on the monthly trading volume so that the more you trade, the lower the commission paid. It also includes clearing, regulatory, and exchange fees. 

We went ahead to test the Fixed Rate Plan and discovered that Interactive Brokers charges a volume-based commission on all trades with a set minimum fee.

Stock Fees

Interactive Brokers charges low stock trading fees.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade

Interactive BrokersDegiroRobinhood
USA$1.0$0.6$0
UK$8.7$2.4$50

 Interactive Brokers charges its stock trading fees on a volume-based model. You are either charged per share or a percentage of each trade’s value, with a preset minimum and maximum amount. Charges on ETF fees are the same as with stock fees.

Interactive Brokers stock fees
MarketCommissionMinMax
North America
US$0.005 / share$11% of the trade value
CanadaCAD 0.01 / shareCAD 10.5% of the trade value
Mexico0.1 % of the trade valueMXN 60No
Europe
UK up to £50,000 trade volume£6.00£6£6
UK more than £50,000 trade volume£6.00 + 0.05% of trade value£6£29
Belgium, France, Xetra, Italy, Netherlands0.1% of the trade value€4€29
Switzerland0.1% of the trade valueCHF 10No
Spain0.1% of the trade value€4No
Austria0.1% of the trade value€4€120
Poland0.1% of the trade valuePLN 15No
Norway, Sweden0.05% of the trade valueNOK/SEK 49No
Portugal0.15% of the trade value€6No
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania0.2% of the trade value€10No
Hungary0.1% of the trade valueHUF 200No
Asia-Pacific
Australia0.08% of the trade valueAUD 6No
Hong Kong0.08% of the trade valueHKD 18No
Japan0.08% of the trade valueJPY 80No
Singapore0.08% of the trade valueSGD 2.5No
India0,01% of the trade valueINR 6INR 20

Forex Fees

Interactive Brokers’ forex fee charges are quite high.

Forex fees of a $20,000 30:1 position open, 1-week-hold, and close
Interactive BrokersXMAxiTrader
EURUSD benchmark fee$17.9$17.1$13.8
EURGBP benchmark fee$13.0$12.2$11.0

 Interactive Brokers charge a commission on all its Forex trades. The system is set up so that the higher the volume of your monthly trade amount, the lower the commission and minimum fee charged.

Monthly traded amountCommissionMin
USD ≤ 1,000,000,0000.20 basis point of the trade value$2.00
USD 1,000,000,001 – 2,000,000,0000.15 basis point of the trade value$1.50
USD 2,000,000,001 – 5,000,000,0000.10 basis point of the trade value$1.25
USD > 5,000,000,0000.08 basis point of the trade value$1.00

Fund Fees

Interactive Brokers has high US mutual funds fees, while their European funds fees are low.

A $2,000 fund buy fees
Interactive BrokersDEGIRO
USA tech fund buy$15.0$10.6
Europe stock fund buy$4.6$10.6

 The funds fees are percentage-based, with a set minimum and maximum amount.

Interactive Brokers fund fees
CountryCommissionMinMax
USLesser of 3% of the trade value or $14.95
US no transaction fee funds0%$0$0.00
Europe0.1% of the trade value€4€29.00

Bond Fees

Interactive Brokers charges very low bond fees. Its fees are cheaper than DEGIRO’s and significantly less expensive than SAXO’s.

Bond fees of a $10,000 trade
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
USA$5.0$91.2
Europe$10.0$91.2$11.5

 The pricing for bond fees is volume-based with a set minimum fee.

Interactive Brokers bond fees
BondsVolumeCommissionMinMax
US CorporateFace value ≤ 10,0000.1% * face value$1The lesser of $250, 1% of trade value
US TreasuriesFace value ≤ 1,000,0000.02% * face value$5No
EuropeTrade value ≤ 50,0000.1% * trade value€2No
Hong Kong GovernmentTrade value ≤ 15,000,0000.08% * trade valueHKD 18No

Options Fees

Interactive Brokers charge low Options fees.

Stock index options fees of 10 contracts
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
USA$7.0$60.0$6.5
UK$24.7$72.5
Germany$19.4$68.4$10.3

 The Options fees charges are volume-based, per number of contracts.

Interactive Brokers options fees for stock index options
MarketCommissionMin
North America – all options
US, monthy contracts <= 10,000$0.70 / contract$1.0
Canada, monthy contracts <= 10,000CAD 1.25 / contractCAD 1.5
Mexico (AMXL)MXN 25 / contractMXN 25
Europe – index options
UK£1.7 / contract£1.7
Germany€1.5 / contract€1.5
Belgium, France€1.5 / contract€1.5
Italy€3.0 / contract€3.0
Netherlands€1.5 / contract€1.5
NorwayNOK 12 / contractNOK 12
Spain€0.8 / contractNo
SwitzerlandCHF 2.8 / contractCHF 2.8
Asia-Pacific – index options
AustraliaAUD 2.0 / contractAUD 2.0
Hong KongHKD 30 / contractHKD 30
India0.01% of the trade valueINR 6
Japan0.12% of the trade valueJPY 100
Singapore$2.85 / contract$2.85
South Korea0.2% of option valueKRW 1,000

Futures Fees

Interactive Brokers charges relatively low Futures fees. Their fees are similar to DEGIRO’s but far cheaper to Saxo’s Futures fees.

Stock index futures fee of 10 contracts
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
USA$8.5$60.0$6.5
UK$24.7$72.5$30.2
Germany$22.8$68.4$10.3

 Charges on Futures fees are volume-based; per number of contracts traded

Interactive Brokers futures fees for stock index futures
FuturesCommission
North America
USUSD 0.85 / contract
CanadaCAD 2.4 / contract (min CAD 2.4)
MexicoMXN 20 / contract (min MXN 20)
Europe
BelgiumEUR 4.5 / contract (min EUR 4.5)
France, GermanyEUR 2 / contract (min EUR 2)
Italy, Netherlands, SpainEUR 3 / contract (min EUR 3)
SwitzerlandCHF 4 / contract (min EUR 4)
UKGBP 1.7 / contract (min GPB 1.7)
Asia-Pacific
AustraliaAUD 6.25 / contract (min AUD 6.25)
Hong KongHKD 30 / contract (min HKD 30)
JapanJPY 500 / contract (min JPY 500)
SingaporeSGD 4 / contract (min SGD 4)

CFD Trading Fees

Interactive Brokers charges relatively low CFD fees when compared to other competitor brokers.

CFD fees, commission of a $2,000 trade
 Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
USA$1.0$10.0$0.7
UK$4.4$11.6$5.7
Germany$3.4$11.4$5.7

 Interactive Brokers uses a commission-based calculation system for stock and stock index fees, with a preset minimum amount.

Interactive Brokers stock CFD fees
CFDsMonthly traded amountCommissionMin
US share CFDs≤ $300,000$0.005 per share$1.0
European share CFDs≤ €10,000,0000.05%€3.0
Australian share CFDs≤ AUD 10,000,0000.05%AUD 5.0
Hong Kong Share CFDs≤ HKD 300,000,0000.05%HKD 12.0
Japanese Share CFDs≤ 9,000,000,0000.03%JPY 100.0
US 500 index CFD0.005%$1.0
UK 100 index CFD0.005%GBP 1.0
Japan 225 index CFD0.01%JPY 40.0
Forex CFD≤ 1,000,000,0000.20 basis point * trade value$2.0

Crypto Fees

Interactive Brokers allows its customers to trade in cryptos through Futures and ETNs (exchange-traded notes)

  •         Clients can trade on the CME and CBOE exchanges with Bitcoin Futures. They charge a commission on one Bitcoin Futures contract of $10 (CME) and $5 (CBOE), respectively.
  •         Clients can additionally access Bitcoins and Ether ETNs on the Stockholm Exchange. They charge 0.05% on each trade and set the minimum at SEK 49.

For more information on Crypto Trading, check this Expert’s Guide to Trading Crypto.

Asset Management Fees

Interactive Brokers offer it’s a client an asset management service that’s a mix of a fund and a robo-advisor. They charge brokerage commissions in addition to an annual management fee that ranges from 0.08 to 1.5%, depending on each client’s portfolio.

Finance Rates

These are charges that are made when you hold a leverage position for more than 24 hours. A leverage position/trade means that you borrowed trading money from a broker.

Interactive Brokers has relatively average Financing rates, which are set differently for each asset type.

Interactive Brokers yearly financing rates.
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Apple financing rate5.8%7.1%4.3%
Vodafone financing rate3.9%5.3%2.5%
EURUSD financing rate4.9%15.5%
EURGBP financing rate3.3%6.7%

Account Opening

Interactive Brokers has an entirely digitized account opening process. However, it is slow and quite complicated.

Can You Open an Account?

Interactive Brokers offers its services to customers from all the continents of the world. Everybody can sign up for an Interactive Brokers account. However, countries with unstable economic or political backgrounds (such as North Korea) are excluded. 

What Is The Minimum Deposit at Interactive Brokers?

Interactive Brokers has different minimum deposit amounts for its account types. The minimum deposit amount was lowered from $10,000 to $0 in 2018. Clients looking to open a Margin Account (trading with borrowed money/leverage) still need pay in $2,000.

Account Types

Interactive Brokers offers customers a slew of account types to suit your unique trading needs. There are two broad groups of accounts:

  • Accounts for institutions
  • Accounts for individual traders and investors which feature up to 8 different types
Interactive Brokers account types
Account typesShort description
IndividualsAccount is owned and used by a single individual.
JointAccount is owned and used by two individuals.
TrustAccount is held by a Trustee (separate legal entity) for your benefit.
IRAIndividual retirement account is only available for US clients.
UGMA/UTMAAccount for minor clients. This is only available for US clients, as well.
Friends and family groupAccount for a client group of fewer than 15 members.
Family officeAccount for an individual who is a Family Office Manager.
Small businessAccount for small corporations.

How to Open Your Account

Opening an account with Interactive Brokers is a fully digitized experience; however, the process is overly complicated. Admittedly, US brokers are unable to open accounts instantly due to regulatory reasons. Still, Interactive Brokers has one of the fastest account opening processes among US brokers. It usually takes about 1-2 business days for your account to be fully approved.

You are required to go through a 5-step registration process that takes roughly 30 minutes to complete. The whole registration process was unnecessarily complicated, with confusing messages that ruined what could otherwise have been a pleasant experience.

You will be required to provide and verify your identity and current residence with appropriate documents like;

  •         Identity Verification:  Passport / Diver’s License / National ID
  •         Residency Verification: Diver’s License / Bank statement / Credit card statement / Utility bill / other relevant documents

This identification process is pretty standard and is required by financial companies. In financial jargon, this process is known as KYC (know-your-customer)

Deposit & Withdrawal

Interactive Brokers allows clients to deposit funds with several base currencies. Clients are given one free withdrawal per month; however, bank transfer is the only available method of funds transfer.

Interactive Brokers has 21 different base currencies on offer for its clients. This is a considerably high number when compared to DEGIRO’s 9.

Base currencies vs similar brokers

Interactive BrokersDegiroXTB
Number of base currencies2194

The currency limit is relevant because funding your account in the same currency doesn’t attract a conversion fee from a different currency. Additionally, you pay no conversion fees for trading assets in the same currency as your base currency.

A smart solution to help you save on conversion fees is to open a multi currency bank account. Transferwise or Revolut are good options that offer bank accounts in multiple currencies and at great conversion rates. They also offer cheap and free international bank transfers. You can open an account from your phone in just a couple of minutes.

Deposit options

Interactive BrokersDegiroXTB
Bank transferYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoNoYes
Electronic walletsNoYesYes

Interactive Brokers do not charge any fee for deposits. Funding options are limited since credit/debit cards, and e-wallets are not supported. Clients from the US can additionally use the following funding options;

  •         Check
  •         ACH (automated clearing house) initiated at IB or your bank
  •         Online bill payment
  •         Direct Rollover (for IRA accounts only)
  •         Trustee-to-Trustee (for IRA accounts only)

Bank transfers can take up to 3 business days for complete authorization. Deposits can only be made from sources that are identifiably yours.

Withdrawal fees and options

Interactive BrokersDegiroXTB
Bank TransferYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoNoYes
Electronic walletsNoNoYes
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0

Interactive brokers offer its client one free withdrawal per month and only charges fees on subsequent withdrawals. Clients outside the US can only withdraw money through bank transfer, while US-based clients can use ACH transfer and check.

Interactive Brokers claim that withdrawals made before the daily cut-off time get sent instantly. You can only make withdrawals to accounts in your name, and there’s a $50,000 daily withdrawal limit if you don’t have a Secure Login System.

Web Trading Platform

Interactive Brokers has a fully functional web trading platform that’s simple and user-friendly. On the flip side, it is not easily customizable.

Trading online at Interactive Brokers can be done with either the Webtrader or Client Portal. For the review, we tested the Client Portal, which is the more user-friendly of the two options. It has multiple language selections that can be changed within the platform. You can operate the platform in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese.

Interactive Brokers platforms to choose from
Trading platformScoreAvailable
Web4 / 5 starsYes
Mobile4 / 5 starsYes
Desktop3 / 5 starsYes

 Look and Feel

Interactive Brokers’ Client Portal platform is simple and very user-friendly, even for a total beginner. However, it is difficult to customize.

Login and Security

The platform features a two-step authentication login that ensures your account is safe and secured.

Search Functions

The search function is pretty standard and easy to use. You can find information on your preferred asset by typing in its name in the Search tab.

Placing Orders

Customers can only make use of the following order types:

  •         Market
  •         Limit
  •         Stop
  •         Stop limit

The more sophisticated order types are not available. If you’d like to learn more about the different types, read our expert guide.

Alerts and Notifications

Interactive Brokers’ Client Portal lets you set alerts and notifications according to your preferences. However, the client can only set their alerts on the chatbot, which isn’t very intuitive.

Portfolio and Fee Reports

Interactive Brokers have a transparent portfolio, and fees report that shows your trading history and payment history.

Mobile Trading Platform

Interactive Brokers has a top-of-the-line mobile trading platform with lots of functions and a reliable chatbot. However, the platform is not very user-friendly and could use a few improvements.

The Interactive Brokers mobile trading platform is available to both Android and IOS users. The mobile platform supports the same wide array of languages as the web trading platform.

Look and Feel

The mobile trading platform offers a more compact experience when compared to the web platform. However, it lags far behind in its design and user-friendliness in relation to other competitors’ platforms.

Login and Security

The mobile app supports fingerprint sensor technology so that it provides an extra layer of personalized security.

Search Function

The search button is easily found on the top and delivers a better experience than its web platform variant. You can further customize your search to filter according to stocks, futures, options, warrants, and CFDs.

 Placing Orders

The Interactive Brokers mobile trading platform features advanced functionality with several order types to suit client needs.

Special Feature (Chatbot)

The chatbot is a rather innovative feature on the mobile platform. It allows for quick access to essential information as well as executing orders on positions. It has proven to be a convenient addition to a functioning design. It even understands basic commands like “buy 1 Apple share”.

Desktop Trading Platform

Interactive Brokers caters to its clients who prefer a desktop platform trading experience. It comes equipped with several customizable options as well as other advanced features and execution functions. Sadly, however, it is not very user-friendly and is more suited to advanced traders.

The Interactive Brokers’ desktop platform – the TWS – is advanced and offers many powerful features for all trading needs. The platform also supports the chatbot functions as well as several languages to serve most clients.

Look and Feel

 The TWS is the most advanced trading platform we’ve ever tested. It is just perfect for advanced and professional traders and has reliable, customizable options.

Login and Security

It features a secure two-step authentication login system that is top-of-the-line.

Search Functions

In the whole of Interactive brokers platform capabilities, the search functionality is the only part the fails to impress. The search results are unstructured and clogged with many irrelevant components.

The chatbot has proven to be a capable solution to the shortcomings of the search function. It offers precise execution of commands and queries.

Placing Orders

The order functions are commendable and come with many options that can satisfy even the most advanced and professional traders.

  •         Market
  •         Limit
  •         Stop
  •         Stop limit
  •         Market on open
  •         Market on close
  •         Trailing stop
  •         Trailing stop limit
  •         Bracket
  •         Discretionary
  •         Forex hedge

If you’d like to know more about the different order types on offer, read this quick guide on all things orders.

Alerts and Notifications

The platform allows you to set and customize your alerts and notifications as desired. You can choose to be notified by email, SMS, or pop up notifications. You can also select to get notified of trade execution, price changes, and daily profit/loss margins.

Portfolio and Fee Reports

The portfolio and fee reports are transparent and all right.

Markets

Interactive Brokers offer the largest and most diverse trading markets for its clients.

Markets & Products General

Interactive BrokersDegiroXTB
StockYesYesYes
ETFYesYesYes
ForexYesNoYes
FundYesYesNo
BondYesYesNo
OptionsYesYesNo
FuturesYesYesNo
CfdYesYesYes
CryptoYesYesYes

Interactive Brokers offers its clients access to all product types, from options to stocks. Its ETF, stock, and bond coverage are pleasantly high while its CFDs and FX currency pairs are the only slightly lesser ones. Clients can also make use of the asset management service, which is a merge of social trading and robo advisory.

Stocks & ETFs

Interactive Brokers grants access to all the major stock markets – such as LSE or NYSE – plus the minor ones like the Polish market too. It also offers a wide range of penny stocks and more than 20,000 ETFs. Interactive Brokers have the most robust package for trading markets.

Interactive BrokersXTBDegiro
Stock Markets741732
ETFs2000018315400

Forex

Interactive Brokers offers one of the most extensive currency pair options for trading clients.

Currency pairs
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Currency pairs (#)105182

Fund

Interactive Brokers offers a large number of fund providers, from the major ones like BlackRock to the smaller ones too.

Fund providers
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Fund providers (#)20068

Bonds

Interactive Brokers give access to over 100,000 bonds – including corporate and government bonds – for clients to trade with. Their bond package covers a broader range when compared to the competitor brokers.

Bonds
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Bonds (#)110,00038,0001,000

Options

The options on offer with Interactive Brokers are also impressive in their coverage. You can readily find the biggest option markets like CME or CBOE, and even the smaller markets such as Mexican Derivatives Exchange or Korea Stock Exchange.

Options markets
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Options markets (#)45513

Futures

Interactive Brokers offers its clients the chance to trade massively on Futures with access to 36 markets. It offers more than its competitor brokers.

Futures markets
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Futures markets (#)362312

CFDs

CFDs are a high-risk market that leads to most investors losing money rapidly on leverages. As much as 62% of retail investor accounts fall victim and lose funds to the volatile nature of the CFD trading market. We advise that you seriously consider your CFD trading experience before venturing into this market. Interactive Brokers have a relatively average offering on CFD stocks for trade.

CFDs
Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Stock index CFDs (#)5,9008,900900
Stock CFDs (#)1329

Crypto

Interactive Brokers allows its clients to trade in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Futures, and Ether ETNs. Bitcoin Futures are available on the CBOE and CME exchanges. Additionally, you can trade Bitcoin and Ether ETNs on the Swedish stock exchange.

If you’d like to know more about trading crypto, check out this Expert Crypto guide.

Asset Management Service

Interactive Brokers offers an asset management service that lets you copy the trades made by professional portfolio managers. You can select your ideal portfolio manager from an extensive list and make the same trades as the expert. The minimum amount for investment portfolios is $5,000.

Research

Interactive Brokers has powerful research tools that are handy for even the most seasoned investors. However, the design is not user-friendly and is overly complicated.

There is an abundance of third-party providers to choose from, and the quality of the research is not bad at all.

Recommendations

Third-parties provide recommendations, and most can be used for free. You can also make use of paid research on a wide range of topics.

Fundamental Data

Interactive Brokers provide their clients with comprehensive fundamental data on all companies. You can easily view the income statement and dividend calendar.

Charting

There are over 100 technical indicators that traders can use in charting investments. The features are almost endless; however, the design is not user-friendly. There are a couple of other unique technical tools worth mentioning. They are:

  •         Mutual fund and ETF replicator
  •         Stock/ETF benchmarker
  •         Volatility lab
  •         Option probability lab
  •         Portfolio performance analyzer (VaR, Sharpe, etc.)

News Feed

The news is provided by third parties, and you can also gain informative insights into markets through the daily summary. You can quickly access trending news, latest recommendations from top analysts, as well as economic and earnings calendars.

Customer Service

Interactive Brokers has an active customer service that provides clients with relevant answers to queries. There are several communication channels options, such as email, live chat, and phone.

Clients can enjoy their outstanding customer service in multiple languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian. The service has improved a lot from previous years, and problems are now resolved with prompt speed and answers.

Communication channels like email, live chat all respond with reasonable speed, and the service provided is great. However, the design of the message center (Inquiry Response Center) still leaves something to be desired.

Education

Interactive Brokers provides its clients with top-quality educational tools in the form of paper account, videos, webinars, and a glossary.

Interactive Brokers provides the following learning sources:

  •         Paper account
  •         Demo account
  •         Educational videos
  •         Platform tutorial videos
  •         Webinars
  •         Online courses
  •         Glossary and more

Clients can use the paper/demo accounts to get familiar with the platform’s many functions. You can also select from the online courses based on your trading skills. The glossary does an excellent job of helping with identifying new and technical trading words.

Safety

Interactive Brokers is a US-based broker that is regulated by several top-tier financial regulators like the FCA and SEC. It is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

If you’re wondering, is Interactive Brokers safe? We advise that you evaluate two key factors: what is the broker’s background; and how you are protected if something goes wrong.

Background

Interactive Brokers is a US-based trading company that was founded in 1978 and had since been serving clients across the globe. It has a stable banking background and is regulated by top-tier financial authorities in the US, such as the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and FCA. It also publishes its financial statements regularly.

Protection

You must pay close attention to the investor protection amount that your broker can provide. The regulator is an equally important factor that must be considered when selecting your desired broker. The investor protection amount and corresponding regulator differ from one broker to another.

Interactive Brokers legal entities
Country of clientsProtection amountRegulatorLegal entity
European countries*£85,000Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited
USA$500,000 ($250,000 cash limit)Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)Interactive Brokers LLC
CanadaNot transparentInvestment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)Interactive Brokers Canada Inc.
AustraliaNo protectionAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)Interactive Brokers Australia PTY LTD
IndiaNo protectionSecurities and Exchange Board of India (BSE)Interactive Brokers (India) PVT. LTD.
JapanNo protectionFinancial Services Agency (FSA)Interactive Brokers Securities Japan Inc.
Hong KongNo protectionHong Kong Securities and Futures CommissionInteractive Brokers Hong Kong Limited

 

Interactive Brokers is an international body that operates through 7 different entities for its global reach. This is important because clients from different countries can belong to separate entities and hence are subject to varying amounts of protection.

Clients from Europe for example, have a rather complicated investor protection amount the clients are eligible for;

  •         Investors trading in stocks, bonds, funds, and US stock index options are protected by the US investor protection ($500,000 – cash limit of $250,000)
  •         Investors trading with forex, CFDs, futures, and non-US stock index options are protected by the FCA’s £85,000 protection limit.

The whole system is transparent and considered to be safe. Interactive Brokers also provides negative balance protection for its customers.

What Other Review-sites and Customers Say About Interactive Brokers

To provide you with a more context about this broker, we will take a look at what other traders have to say about TD Ameritrade. Keep in mind that the reviews – by their nature – are subjective, yet the overall sentiment should be clear and straightforward.

Forex Peace Army   2.6/5.0

Interactive Brokers has an overall rating of 2.6 on the FPA website. Most customers complain about issues regarding several hidden fees and the unreliable service of its desktop trading platform.

Trustpilot   2.6/5.0

Interactive Brokers has a 4.0 customer rating score on the Trustpilot review website. Several customers complain about the old desktop trading platform and the many undisclosed charges that are attached to each trade.

Glassdoor   3.6/5.0

The highly trusted employee review website, Glassdoor, scores Interactive Brokers an overall rating of 3.3. Most employees applaud the working environment, while others say that they’d appreciate a more relaxed and accommodating work experience.

Interactive Brokers Brief Overview

?️ Country of regulationUK, USA, India, Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong
? Trading fees classLow
? Inactivity fee chargedYes
? Withdrawal fee amount$0
? Minimum deposit$0
? Time to open an account1-3 days
? Deposit with credit cardNot available
? Depositing with electronic walletNot available
? Number of base currencies supported21
? Demo account providedYes
?️ Products offeredStock, ETF, Forex, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures, CFD, Crypto

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