Numerous brokers have become very popular in the last few years, and Interactive Brokers LLC often shines the light. A good choice for international trading, the broker has a lot to offer. But should you give it a try? Is Interactive Brokers safe? Read our review of Interactive Brokers to find out more.
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If you are an active trader looking to trade stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and options in the US and global markets, then Interactive Brokers may be just what you are looking for. It is the perfect choice for those looking for an all-in-one broker, one that not only deals with trades and investments but also offers money management and exit accounts.
Before deciding on an online broker, you need to learn as much as possible about their background. In this Interactive Brokers review, we’ve gathered some essential information about them.
Who are Interactive Brokers?
Interactive Brokers also referred to as IKBR, is a brokerage company that started in 1977, under the lead of Thomas Peterffy. Its main HQ is in Connecticut, namely Greenwich, but it has offices in more than 15 countries.
The broker targets both institutional (legal entities) clients and private traders. It gives all its users access to clearing and trades on a wide range of popular market assets.
Currently, Interactive Brokers has more than 2,000 employees and holds customer equity that is worth more than $200 billion.
Interactive brokers - Advantages & Disadvantages
Unlike other online brokers, Interactive brokers offers active traders a wide selection of investments to choose from. These investments go on an international scale, making this broker the perfect choice for global day traders. If they want more than the average Forex trade, Interactive Brokers have more opportunities for them.
The tools and research materials are also very handy and detailed. Not only can they help a novice trader find their way around Forex, but they can get the benefit of experienced traders. This way, they can keep up to date with the latest information.
From the Interactive brokers opinions we’ve gathered, traders liked the fact that trading fees are low compared to other Forex brokers. Even if you are a trader on a budget, you will have an easier way to make gains with this broker.
The Interactive brokers website is difficult to navigate, and not intuitive. There are many learning curves in using the platform. Plus, streaming data will only work on one device at a time. Therefore, if you are logged in to your computer, you also cannot access it from your phone.
Moreover, opening an account with Interactive brokers is quite complicated. With most brokers, it takes a minute, or a few hours at most. However, for Interactive Brokers, it may take you up to three days to open your account.
Given the proliferation of Interactive Brokers on an international scale, safety is a major concern. European Union clients have negative balance protection, protected if they trade with CFDs, Forex, and non-US futures or stock index options. Negative balance protection goes all the way up to £85,000 (or equivalent in other currencies).
Despite the fact that Interactive Brokers is considered an American one, disputes are resolved in one of a number of countries, depending on the specific assets that caused the conflict.
Regulators from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, India, Japan, and Hong Kong will study the problem and make a decision. Each country has its own rules of procedure, as well as unique financial protection amounts. For example, in Great Britain, it is £50,000. And the USA guarantees reimbursement of up to $500,000.
Broker Interactive Brokers has created several types of trading platforms for trading its clients at once:
Trader Workstation (TWS) - this trading platform has the most advanced and multitasking environment for managing transactions, and also allows you to engage in in-depth analytics and tracking account movements (its additional bonuses are: the presence of news integrated into the system, the availability of a wide range of trading tools for fundamental analysis and risk management functions). Interactive Brokers customers can make trades from their client portal for casual trades or use the Interactive Brokers' Desktop Trader Workstation for advanced trading.;
IBKR WebTrader is a complete web-based trading interface (browser-based platform) that is not as complex as the desktop version described above. This interactive brokers platform is best suited for newcomers to trading and new users of this broker (it is in no way inferior in terms of creating deals, but lacks a large part of the analytical tools);
IBKR Mobile and IBot are options for mobile trading via phones or tablets running IOS and Android operating systems. Interactive Brokers provides maximum freedom of choice and a unique trading experience that is not limited by the time and place of the trader.
Interactive Brokers' mobile trading application is fully featured and almost as good as computer software. And many consider it even more convenient and modern than the project's web terminal.
By downloading the application on Android or IOS, the user gets a high degree of account security and the ability to use fingerprints to log in, access to account data, portfolio, news, market information, scanner functions and other features. Also available is a simple search for assets and familiarization with such data as: market statistics, charts, news about the asset, other fundamental information;
The application has convenient functionality for placing orders: by market, stop, stop limit, trailing stop, market by closing and opening, limit by closing and opening; and a wide range of functions that make mobile trading almost as convenient as its counterpart on a computer.
Interactive Brokers offer different types of accounts, depending on your trading options. In this Interactive Brokers review, we’ve mentioned two types of accounts: accounts for individual investors, and accounts for institutions. You can find many types of accounts, from individual and joint accounts to trust accounts, IRAs, small businesses, advisors and money managers.
Once you have selected the type of ownership you require, you can choose whether you require a Cash, Margin Reg, Margin or Portfolio account. Everyone has features that everyone can enjoy, depending on their trading options. Moreover, you can decide if you need a Lite account or a Pro account.
Deposits on Interactive Brokers can only be made through traditional banking methods such as wire transfer, check, and other similar methods. There is no option to get financing through credit or debit card unless you are in the United States. Also, you cannot use eWallets while accessing your Interactive Brokers account.
Interactive Brokers usually have no minimum deposit, so you can deposit as little as $1 if you decide you want to have some money in your account. However, there is an exception to this rule if you have a trading margin.
In that case, the minimum is $2,000. When you are trading margin trading, you are essentially trading borrowed cash (leverage). That's why you need to have some funds there, prepared.
Although deposits cannot be made through eWallets, you can use this method for withdrawals. For example, if you want to withdraw from PayPal, you have this option. Wire transfers to your bank are also very common.
Also, even though your account cannot be funded from a debit card, you can withdraw this way instead. The service has its own debit card which you can withdraw from. Any ATM can be used for this type of process.
Interactive Trading comes with a demo account - or as they call it, a Paper Trading Account. This account contains $1,000,000 worth of virtual money, which you can use to try out the services provided by the brokers. You may try to simulate trades, and decide whether or not this is the right choice for your purposes.
The mobile version also has Read Only mode, an alternative to the demo account. This method will not allow you to place any trades but will allow you to check the interface without making any payments.
Opening an account
If, after reading this Interactive Brokers review, you are satisfied, all that remains is:
Go to the main page of the site;
Click on the item "open an account";
Complete and submit an application in the name of the company.
Unlike offshore or completely illegal projects, the procedure will take a long amount of time - 2-3 weeks. On the other hand, some users advise to top up the account in order to speed up the application process. But there is no official confirmation of this.
Unlike other brokers, Interactive Brokers offers crypto trading. At the moment, you can only trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
While other crypto exchanges and brokers charge trading fees as high as 2.00% of trade value or more, and add spreads or markups to the cryptocurrency price, cryptocurrency trading with Paxos on Interactive Brokers’ platform has a low commission of just 0.12% to 0.18% of trade value1 with a USD 1.75 minimum per order (but the minimum is subject to a cap of 1% of trade value). Plus, there are no added spreads, markups, or custody fees.
It should be noted that Interactive Brokers does not charge a custody fee. For the Interactive Brokers rating, that might be a plus. There is also no minimum deposit; the deposit does not have to have a specific value. This means that the deposit fee actually remains at 0 euros - regardless of whether you have invested €100 euros or €1,000.
When it comes to order fees, you have the option of choosing from two fee models. You can opt for the tiered model, but you can also choose the fixed price model. The Interactive Brokers experience shows that you have to clarify for yourself in advance which type you are or how you trade - the decision should be based on which variant you choose.
With the tiered model, the order fee varies according to the trading volume. In the end, the higher the order volume, the lower the Interactive Brokers fee. For less than €50,000, the Interactive Brokers fee is €1.25 or 0.05% of the trade value.
The minimum order fee remains below €300,000 euros at $0.35 or 1% on the US stock exchanges.
If you opt for the fixed price model, you have to pay an order fee of €4 or 0.10% of the trade value. The maximum Interactive Brokers fee is €99 on XETRA. $1 order fee or $0.005 per share or a maximum of 1% of the trading value is due on US stock exchanges.
Interactive Brokers Commissions and Fee that should also be considered may be the foreign exchange commission. The minimum fee is $2 or a margin of 0.002%. There are no dividend fees. It does not include exchange and regulatory fees.
The Interactive Brokers charges that are incurred when using the services reduce the profit, but are customary in the industry and not extremely high.
If difficulties arise, you will want to contact the customer support. It is therefore important to clarify in advance whether there is any customer support available at all. That is also the reason why the Interactive Brokers review also takes a look at customer support.
The employees are available via live chat, for example. If you have problems with the trading platform or have questions about your account, you can get in here at any time and then describe your problem or ask your question. The Interactive Brokers testimonials show that the employees are making an effort.
In addition to live chat, there is also the option of contacting Interactive Brokers by email. According to the Interactive Brokers opinions, you have to be patient for up to 24 hours before you receive an answer.
Is Interactive Brokers legit? Interactive Brokers are regulated by some significant financial authorities, making it a reliable application. The principal authorities under which it is registered are the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Still wondering if you should trade with brokerage firm after reading this Interactive Brokers review? This broker looks more than reliable. Interactive Brokers is a globally renowned broker with a reputation for excellence and regulatory control in the world's leading economies. What else is needed for someone who wants to enter the trading sphere as safely as possible? 99% of the platforms operating in the marketplace fall short of Interactive Brokers' standards of operation.
Interactive Brokers may still need a few improvements, but overall, it's a very reliable trading platform. It has many products to offer, reliable educational resources, and is perfect for both beginners and high level Forex traders alike. With its low fees and multiple benefits, this broker is well worth a try.
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