Founded in 1977, this broker has been operating for quite some time. The traders that use this broker are usually traders with some experience, that know what they want and need. That being said, traders who do not have many years of trading experience can also benefit from using this broker because of the many trading tools and educational products that try to guide you and help you learn and become a better trader.
Topics talked about in this review:
When opening a trading account with this broker the minimum required account balance is generally US$10,000. It can be as low as US$3,000 if you are 26 years age or younger. Or if you are a ‘resident’ of India trading with an IB India account, it can be as low as US$2,000.
They do have a monthly activity fee, called the Minimum Required Monthly Commission. This can be as low as US$3 or can rise to US$20 when you fall under a certain customer type. Again with the younger and Indian residents in the cheapest segment of this scale. So, you generally pay this fee only if your account is stagnant or if you trade very rarely. And as long as you trade enough and rack up a high enough amount of commissions that you would build up anyway, then you don’t have to pay this fee.
Commissions with them are generally paid in a cost plus, flat rate or a variant of these two pricing schedules. You can choose the way you pay these commissions, so this way you can adjust it to the way you trade. If you know what you want and need, you can adjust this to be in your favor. Overall this broker offers commission fees that are some of the lowest available.
Research, News and Market Data is offered for additional fees. These feeds stream right in to their trading platform software, where you can view and act on them.
Desktop trading, with their Trader Workstation (TWS), is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. Probably the most important thing, this software is very stable. This software allows you to initiate your trades, monitor your trades, see all pending trades, set alerts and view charts and news. The main view of this software looks like a spreadsheet and is very easy to interpret. All important information of each individual trade is condensed into one line. You can customize the interface to your liking and preferences.
Their mobile trading apps are available for pretty much every mobile device. They support iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Blackberry and MobileTrader, which is a mobile version of their web trading solution.
iPad app screenshot:
iPhone app screenshot:
These apps contain pretty much all the features from the desktop trading software. You can view, manage and make trades. Although mobile devices are very convenient to trade on the go or keep an eye on your trades when you are away from your desk, I have the experience that they are more prone to losing a connection and not showing live numbers any more.
Web trading from your browser with ‘WebTrader’ is also a very convenient and light weight way of interacting with Interactive Brokers. It has the convenience of being able to work from behind a firewall without changing any technical settings and there are no software downloads necessary. Again, like the desktop trading software, the interface is customizable to your liking and new tab pages with specific data and symbol information are easy to create.
The number of products on offer is very large and from exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. They offer Stocks, Options, Futures, FOPs, ETFs, Warrants, Structured Products, SSFs, Forex, Metals, Indices, Bonds, Funds and CFDs. Their lists of products and exchanges from which you can trade these products are very impressive and they offer probably anything you could and want to trade.
This broker has a wide range of apps and educational products to help you trading with them and with trading in general.
Their Webinars, Courses, Tours and Documentation are all of outstanding quality. They teach you how to use their systems, how trading stocks, options and forex works in depth. And tells you how their applications work inside out.
The Apps, tools and widgets they have on offer vary wildly. There are apps that explain how their products work, but there is also a traders calendar that lists the complete schedule of trading holidays and expiration dates for all asset types on all exchanges around the globe. And an options calculator, an options strategy widget that visually explains options strategies and a Traders’ University Courses app that will try to help beginning traders learn to trade and advanced traders to trader better.
Traders’ Calendar app screenshot:
Traders’ University app screenshot:
Options Calculator app screenshot:
The trader’s glossary and a list with all exchanges from around the world will help you get more familiar with the trading world. Looking for a specific word from the trading lingo you are not familiar with? Or are you trying to find the history behind a specific exchange in a specific part of the world? You can look them up with these educational tools.
All in all this broker is one of the best ones out there. Be sure to give them a look if you are looking for a broker.