Interactive Brokers Review
Account Minimum: $0..
Fees: $0.005 per shares for standard platforms, $0 for IBKR Lite
- Trading Experience
- Trading Technology
- Mobile and Emerging Tech
- Range of Offerings
- News and Research
- Help and Customer Service
Why is a broker so popular?
We are going to see what is truly so famous about this broker and if it is as good as the numerous opinions it has on the net say.
But before we will see its basic characteristics.
Interactive Brokers is an American online broker that provides services throughout the world through its numerous subsidiaries and that allows to operate and invest in a wide range of financial products such as: stocks, futures, financial options, forex, investment funds, etc.
We are probably facing the best known broker worldwide, with the permission of eToro, Plus500 and other latest generation brokers. In this sense Interactive Brokers predominates more in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong or Singapore. This is normal since it must be taken into account that CFDs are not allowed in their country of origin, a market that is fully dominated by English and international brokers.
Invest in the world’s leading social trading platform
The regulation of Interactive Brokers is impressive, with one of the best regulatory profiles in the world, and with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hungary, Russia, Japan, China, Canada, India, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
Therefore, the regulation includes the majority of regulatory entities in those countries, including: SEC, FAC, FINRA, FCA, Japanese FSA, ASIC, IIROC or the BSE of India, among others.
Only this gives us a guarantee that we are facing one of the safest brokers in the world.
It is also a broker that has won countless awards for the best broker from Barron´s and other prestigious publications in the sector.
The broker has been around since 1977, beginning a dizzying career that has positioned it as the leading online broker in the global stock and futures markets, also having a presence on the New York Stock Exchange, where it has been listed for years with the ticker IBKR .
Interactive Brokers minimum deposit
The typical profile of this broker is the most professional type of client with a minimum account of USD 10,000. This is what makes it far more inaccessible than other world-class brokers like the ones named above, which typically have minimum deposits of $ 200.
Therefore opening an account is not something that is accessible to everyone.
A significant majority of people who want to invest in the stock market in the world only have a few hundred dollars or euros, or perhaps a few thousand, but not so many have 10 or 20 thousand dollars available to invest. In case you have them, IB Broker is one of the best options.
The deposit methods of this broker are bank transfer and check.
One of the advantages of IB is that deposits can be made in more than 20 currencies.
Opening an account and depositing money with this broker is a process that we can process online from your website. Contrary to other CFDs and Forex brokers, it is a slightly more tedious process but it is necessary due to the regulations of the world equity and futures markets, which require a standard from brokers in these sectors.
Among the data that we must provide are those of our financial capacity, such as savings, assets, trading experience, etc.
After completing the online application, proof of our identity and our tax residence will have to be sent by mail. For the former, an identity document or passport will suffice, and for the latter, a bank invoice, water, electricity, or anything else that shows our residence.
To be able to open a margin account the minimum age requirement is 21 years, while for the cash account you can open an account from 18 years.
Interactive Brokers, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico
This broker is not only popular in Anglo-Saxon, European and Asian countries but also in the increasingly important Spanish-speaking market.
It is a well-known broker, being one of the first to capture the attention of investors more than 15 years ago. In this sense, it is a broker that has set the benchmark for the rest of the sector and many of the oldest and largest investors in the Spanish market are with it.
In recent years, and with the good work of the economies of Mexico and Colombia, more and more investors from those countries are interested in investing in international markets. Interactive Brokers is one of the best options they have, but it is not a broker within the reach of many investors from those countries.
It is also a very popular broker in Argentina, where it is the first option for investors interested in investing in the international markets at the best prices.
To open an account from Argentina or these other countries the procedure is similar to, and it will only be necessary to take into account the specific cases of trust accounts and the like, which as a general rule, and of course, have more requirements.
One of the advantages of this broker is that it allows you to carry out a free trial to be able to use its platform.
Interactive Brokers platform
The Interactive Brokers platform is one of the oldest in the market, and unlike the vast majority of brokers, it is an own and personalized platform.
This platform is the TWS in its desktop mode, but there are also other possibilities to negotiate with the technology of this broker.
Let’s see its main platforms and applications:
- TWS for desktop: the classic IB platform that has evolved a lot over the years but still maintains its classic touch. This platform is quite strong in the implementation of algorithms and has many tools for both simple and complex analysis of the markets.
- Portal Client: online application to see the global status of the account and operations.
- IBKR for mobile: this is the broker’s iOS or Android mobile application
- IBot: application to use texts and algorithms for both desktop and mobile operations
- IBKR for webtrader: this is the basic platform that can be used with any online internet browser
- PortfolioAnalyst: a free financial analysis and reporting tool that helps to better visualize the entire account from a statistical point of view. Especially suitable for large and complex accounts.
- ProbabilityLab: it is a tool designed for those who work with constant mathematical calculations, such as financial option operators. With this application they obtain probabilistic calculations of their possible operations.
Interactive Brokers Markets
The range of markets is impressive. It covers practically all the markets available worldwide: Shares, futures, options, forex, metals, fixed income, ETFs, investment funds, CFDs , hedge funds, theft of portfolios and EFPs.
In particular, he is a well-known broker in the world of stock investment and similar markets such as funds or ETFs. It has access to 125 world markets, being one of the brokers for individuals with the largest offer.
Another impressive offer from this broker is its access to more than 38,000 global public and corporate bonds, making it a global benchmark for investors in these types of assets.
It is also a broker that offers CFDs on stocks, although it is limited in certain countries such as the United States. This type of trading allows leverage of up to 5: 1 in these markets, and with Interactive Broker you can operate most of the markets available to spot traders, including Europe, North America and Asia.
You can also trade CFDs on indices or Forex, in which case the leverage is higher: up to 20: 1 in indices and 30: 1 in Forex.
Forex at Interactive Brokers
One of the markets that has made this broker most popular is its ECN-type Forex offering, offering ample market liquidity for the most demanding participants.
According to the broker, it has 17 banks and institutions that provide prices for Forex trading.
The available currencies are 22, among which are the main ones of developed countries and even Mexican pesos, with the pairs of that currency such as USDMXN.
A recently introduced product is the operation with robot advisors.
There are currently more than 60 portfolios to choose from and you can start trading with a minimum of $ 1,000.
Annual management fees range from 0.08% to 1.5%.
The interesting thing about this service is that we have the support of serious entities in the investment world. Among the providers we have the same Interactive Brokers, FTSE Rusell, Global X, WisdomTree or State Street Global Advisors.
Interactive Brokers commissions
The Interactive Brokers commission section is quite extensive.
For starters, it is a broker that has maintenance fees that apply according to a series of fairly extensive cases.
As a general rule, these types of commissions are not paid if a minimum of monthly operating commissions is generated at least as large as the minimum to be paid for them.
They are also not paid if the account is more than $ 100,000.
The standard monthly activity fee is $ 10 and it is the one that most small investors pay if they do not trade a minimum per month.
This figure may increase or decrease depending on the case. For example, if the client is under 25, the amount is USD 3 per month.
Interactive Brokers trading fees
The price and commission structure will be different, being able to choose between one fixed and the other by volume. These types of commissions are used for stocks, futures, options and most of the rest of their products.
Let’s see their main commissions:
|<300,000 shares||$ 0.005 x share|
minimum $ 1
|0.0035 USD x share|
|Between 301,000 and 3,000,000||idem||0.002|
|3,000,000 and 20,000,000||idem||0.0015|
|20,000,000 and 100,000,000||idem||0.001|
value in euros
minimum € 4
|Between 1,000,001 and 10,000,000||idem||0.06%|
|Between 10,000,001 and 50,000,000||idem||0.05%|
|Between 50,000,001 and 100,000,000||idem||0.03%|
|Between 100,000,001 and 500,000,000||idem||0.02%|
As we see, the commissions on the shares of the United States are cheaper than the European ones, although the latter continue to have acceptable prices.
The basic commission on traditional options is at least USD 1 per option, although it will vary depending on the price of the premium and the monthly volume traded.
Interactive Brokers Futures Commissions
|Fewer than 1,000 contracts||0.85 USD *||0.85 *|
|Between 1,001 and 10,000||0.85||0.65|
|From 10,001 to 20,000||0.85||0.45|
|More than 20,000||0.85||0.25|
* Including market rates
* There will be contract maintenance fees for the variable plan.
|Less than 1,000||3 (IBEX)0.9 (mini IBEx)|
|Between 1,001 and 10,000||idem||0.60|
|Between 10,001 and 20,000||idem||0.40|
|More than 20,000||idem||0.25|
Commission on Forex
In Forex there will be a minimum commission of 2 USD per lot (4 round-turn). It will be less if we operate higher volume quantities, up to $ 0.80 per lot for more than 5 billion dollars operated per month.
The model is fully ECN and there will be a minimum trading size of 25,000 USD.
Commission on CFDs
Interactive Brokers provides CFDs trading on stocks and indices.
The commissions will basically be:
- $ 0.0050 per United States share, with a minimum of $ 1 per order for volumes of less than 300,000 shares during the month.
- The previous commission will go down as we raise the volume to reach 0.0030 USD for volumes higher than 100,000,000 per month.
- 0.05% in CFDs of European stocks with a minimum of 3 EUR for volumes less than 10,000,000 in EUR per month.
- It will drop to 0.02% for volumes over 100,000,000 EUR per month.
Interactive Brokers reviews
This is undoubtedly one of the best brokers in the world aimed at professional clients and large portfolios.
Due to the variety of products, history, reputation, and prices, few brokers in this category can offer a set as good as Interactive Brokers.
The opinions that we can find are varied. From people who love him to those who hate him. The reasons for the latter are several, but usually include the fact of the platform, the TWS, which is not to the liking of many people, as it is somewhat difficult.
For example, we can find good ratings on brokerage industry reference pages, such as stockbrokers, with 4 out of 5 possible stars.
We can even see the ranking of trade2win, the most popular trading forum in the “English” area and CFDs, where it is ranked 14th out of 59 brokers. As we can see there, the negative opinions are as many as the positive ones, finding complaints regarding customer service, which we have seen in more places, but at the same time there are people who say that customer service is good. So who to believe?
We can also see how Elitetrader , the most popular blog in the «yanki» sphere, talks a lot about Interactive Brokers, being one of the most popular threads the one to compare it with TradeStation , one of its most staunch competitors.
In fact, Tradestation has always been one of the alternatives presented to IB by Spanish traders.
Of course , we can also find countless opinions about this broker on the Spanish website Rankia , where the opinions are also disparate.
Interactive Brokers review
Obviously, this broker is aimed at large clients.
Likewise, the fact that they give us 10,000 USD as a minimum deposit should not be seen as wrong, as the truth is that for many of the investment products they offer, such as futures or the Forex ECN with orders of 1/4 lot , it is better to do it with amounts like that or greater.
The only negative point relatively, is that the platform is not very liked by some people, who find it somewhat complicated. This is something that I have been able to corroborate on an ongoing basis, since it is certainly not an intuitive platform with which to learn how to make it easy to operate. So it can be a bit complicated for some who want to trade futures and Forex but find it easier on other more classic platforms of those products, such as Metatrader 4 or NinjaTrader.. However, I think this point is not so important and what really matters in the case of a client of this broker is that they look at it as a long-term investment. In other words, if you keep your account at IB, in the end you will learn the perfect use of the platform and you will forget about the initial headaches.
In recent years there has been some improvement even with lower commissions in some European equity markets, which is always fine. In addition, this is something that a priori seems difficult to achieve for one of the cheapest brokers on the market, but Interactive Brokers always surprise us.
It is a broker that stands out above all in the operation of stocks and stock products.
As for Forex and futures, it has some very good products, but here is the handicap that specialist brokers in those sectors have more solid products. This is really important in the Forex market, where the world standard is the Metatrader, and that is why the best investors in that market try to choose brokers with that platform.
Otherwise, there is not much to say.
This is a well known broker in the world market and has a prestige that few brokers can boast of. Without a doubt this is one of the main options for those who want to invest seriously and have important accounts, of several tens of thousands of dollars.
Advantages and disadvantages of Interactive Brokers
- Country: USA
- Regulation: SEC, NFA, FCA, IIROC, ASIC, FSA (Japan)
- Markets: stocks, futures, options, Forex, funds, CFDs, warrants, bonds
- Type: ECN, DMA, stocks and DMA futures
- Minimum deposit: 10,000 USD
- Deposit method: transfer, check
- Platform: WTS, WebTrader
- Spread: 0.3 EURUSD
- Commissions: 2 USD per lot in Forex, 0.85 futures, variable shares
For more information, visit the website .