Interactive Brokers Review

2.344 · 152 REVIEWS
Updated: Oct 5, 2020 · InteractiveBrokers.com  · Is this your company?

InteractiveBrokers is a stock broker. Interactive Brokers offers TWS web and mobile trading platform. InteractiveBrokers.com offers stocks, futures, options, ETFs, forex, CDs, bonds etc. for your personal investment and trading options.

Interactive Brokers

Other websites of this company include www.interactivebrokers.co.uk

Broker Details

Minimum Trade Size: 0.25
Maximum Leverage: 40:1
Minimum to Open Live: $25,000
Established: 1978
Address: One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT 06830, United States
Contact: Unknown
Regional offices:
Regulators: ASIC #AFSL: 453554, IIROC #, SFC #, SEBI #INZ000217730, CSSF #, FCA #208159, FINRA #, SEC #
Prohibited countries: Unknown
Trading platforms: TWS
Web Trading: Unknown
Mobile Trading: Unknown
Currencies: (20+)
Cryptocurrencies:
CFD: (4890+) Gold, Silver, Stocks, Stock Indexes, Bonds, Oil, Other Commodities
Deposit Methods: Bank Wire, ACH (Automated Clearing House), BPAY, Check, Direct Debit, Local Bank Deposits, Transfer from Existing Broker
Withdrawal Methods: Bank Wire, ACH (Automated Clearing House), BACS (Bankers' Automated Clearing Services), Check, Direct Debit, EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), GIRO (General Interbank Recurring Order), SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area)

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2.344 · 152 REVIEWS
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Traders Reviews

Rick,
Canada,
Sep 7, 2006,
Guest

Executions are quick. They don't run your stops (at least I haven't seen evidence of it yet) like a lot of other brokers I've seen. For the most part they appear to be honest, though, granted, I've only been using them since May of '06. I've heard people say they don't help you--that they're support is terrible--but every time I have an issue I go through the problem ticket, which is quicker than an email, and I get a prompt answer (usually less than 24 hours). The spreads on forex are usually equal to or better than Oanda, though they do widen a bit (briefly) during news events, and not by as much as Oanda, who seem to be the benchmark in this game. The software platform takes some getting used to but how many forex brokers do you know where you can trade every other financial instrument conceivable from the same platform?!
 
Ian Mc,
NZ,
Sep 11, 2006,
Guest

For Forex trading, you dont get ( as at Sep 2006) by trade profit a loss calculations live. Spreads on majors are the best out there. However trading the Crosses of the majors is not as clear as MT4 platform. They way they handle Forex Swap is a bit more confusing than standard fix brokers. You trade either large forex contract (IDEALPROD) or small contract. To conclude ok for position trading forex, not so good for intraday trading. Purely as the platform is not as good as MT4.
 
kz,
NYC,
Oct 19, 2006,
Guest

PROS: Great on costs (.2 pip) and usually the tighest spreads. Low cost stock and option trading too. Fast and easy withdrawals, not a hassle like some other brokers (mbtrading - can only fax in request, no electronic) CONS: Worst customer service ever. I was once chatting to a rep because my charts weren't working, and after he said lemme check something, he never came back. I didn't terminate the session for like 30+minutes -got NOTHING. I gave it awful ratings, and sent it in, no response. They also respond rather rudely and dismissively to any kind of problems or complaints. SCAM: Though they have the tightest spreads, some of those spreads I have to say are fake (maybe to scare you into taking the opposite position/closing or to make themselves look better, I don't know) because sometimes I see the quote and I send a limit order but doesn't get filled. Sometimes the quote gets even better by .5 pip or something and still no fill. Or I send limit orders ahead of time and the quote comes up, but no fill. Another thing, on margin calls: if you deal with IDEALPRO you get nice spreads, but IDEAL has awful spreads, but you have to trade larger lots to trade on PRO. If you get a margin call, they close positions using IDEAL, and they will steal about 10pips from you. I had them cover 19,000+ euros, just a few euros under the minimum (20,000), so they could use their IDEAL system and steal 10 pips. And it wasn't even necessary to cover 19,000+ to bring the margin above 5%. Bottom line: they don't care about you and treat you like c***, but will give you low cost service. And be careful of some of the fishiness
 
Manuel Perez,
Texas,
Oct 20, 2006,
Guest

I have used IB for a couple of months for stocks and options very successfully. However, I wanted to move to forex to trade after work. Their platform is good as I said for stocks and options, but forex is totally another monster. 1-You have to decide if you are going to use IDEALPRO or IDEAL. 2-You have to learn how to place an order for this market 3-No P&L tracking for forex. 4-As soon as your position is bought it just vanishes from the order book. You have to quickly go to the trades done in the day to keep a log of the execution price and be able to calculate your P&L. 5-There is no such thing as a lot. You buy/sell money with a minimum of $25K for IDEALPRO. Very hard to get out of a position, as you sell back your long position and there will be a remainder of the currency pair in your account. If you want to convert back to USD, then you have to use IDEAL, which is more money you waste in the process. 6-Their support is good for stocks, but they don't explain you how to do forex. You have to figure it out from some links they have on their website, which leave more questions than answers. Overall. I like and will continue with IB for stocks, but I will be fishing for another broker for forex. Ah, last comment. Their chart software sucks! You will have to find another package like Quotetracker if you are serious about doing stocks or forex.
 
R.P.,
Hawaii,
Oct 21, 2006,
Guest

They sure have an elaborate and impressive platform. And if you want to be able to trade every kind of financial instrument, then they would be worth considering. I even think IB would be OK for Forex, but NOT During news announcements. I executed a trade upon news announcment, and the market moved 30 pips and a full 4 seconds, before I got filled. I ended up losing 1 pip, when I realistically couuld have made 20+. They were professional and did the research to tell me that the banks simply rejected my order multiple times, until it was finally executed after 4 seconds. They are very technologically advanced, and I may even still use them, esp for automated trading, based on technicals, but I surely Will Not use them for trading around the news.
 
Timur,
Switzerland,
Jan 3, 2007,
Guest

Started August 2006. I do only daily scalping without problem, meaning that their quotes are really following market big moves quite well and spread is 90% 1 or 2 pips on the main pairs. I would recommend it to anyone
 
brian,
new york,
Feb 28, 2007,
Guest

traded forex with them for months. while their platform is among the best and spreads are among the tightest, their rollover policy is a complete joke. go to their website and see how they calculate daily rollovers and interest accruals. I can trade $million lots and the rollover rates wouldnt be as good as fxcm, oanda's basic rollover for customers. Using IDEALPRO, i was being charged interest on a long 500k aud/jpy position n short 300k chf/jpy position! ridiculous!
 
arie stokrat,
australia,
Apr 16, 2007,
Guest

Overall, I found the platform, customer service and execution (fills) were quite good from this broker, however, a couple of points to consider, especially for newbies. Commissions are unlikely to make scalping highly profitable (or for example, when trading with Rob Grespi's Kingforex signal service) and secondly, this broker does not provide the opportunity to trade micro or mini lots to beginners, so I would see this as a disadvantage too.
 
nc,
Texas,
Apr 24, 2007,
Guest

I have had an IB account for several years, trading options lightly. I decided to get into fx trading and started using their simulated trading account before committing real money to the market. If the simulated trading works like their real trading, it's terrible. I did several trades, and closed them out, but the program still shows some odd residual amounts in the account - like $1.80 margin used, and small amounts of currencies that cannot be entered through the platform. To handle that, I tried to reset the account to $10,000 several times to restart (specific to simulated trading, of course) and had results ranging from no effect, to having $193,000 in the account. Talking with customer service and tech service had no effect. They had no answers - just that they would "look into it". I would call customer service and get routed to tech services, who would route me back to customer service and be told that tech service would take care of it. When I complained, their attitude was that it was no problem, since it was only a paper trading account. They didn't understand that it undermined confidence in their system. The interface is just too clunky and complicated to work with. They have good spreads on all pairs, and in my experience, fast execution. The fixed 50:1 margin is too limited. For stock and option trading they are very good, with cheap commissions and good executions. I was satisfied with that part of their service. For forex, they have a ways to go before I will trade live with them.
 
Alan,
USA,
May 2, 2007,
Guest

Terrible customer service. Lots of condescension and sarcasm, and NO SERVICE.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum deposit for Interactive Brokers?

There is no minimum deposit required by InteractiveBrokers for both IBRK LITE and IBRK PRO.

How much does Interactive Brokers charge per trade?

InteractiveBrokers charges a tiered commission based on the combined Monthly Trade Value of Spot Forex trades.

Monthly Trade Value: USD<= 1,000,000,000
Commissions: 0.20 *0.0001 * Trade Value
Minimum per order: USD 0.20

Monthly Trade Value: USD 1,000,000,001 - 2,000,000,000
Commissions: 0.15 *0.0001 * Trade Value
Minimum per order: USD 0.15

Monthly Trade Value: USD 2,000,000,001 - 5,000,000,000
Commissions: 0.10 *0.0001 * Trade Value
Minimum per order: USD 0.125

Monthly Trade Value: USD > 5,000,000,000
Commissions: 0.08 *0.0001 * Trade Value
Minimum per order: USD 0.10

Does Interactive Brokers charge a dormant account fee (inactivity fee)?

Whether Interactive Brokers charges a monthly inactivity fee or not depends on the account type.

  • IBKR Pro Accounts:

IBKR Pro accounts are subject to a monthly activity fee of USD 10 (USD 20 if the account balance is USD 2,000 or below).
If any fee, withdrawal, transfer or adverse market move reduces the account balance to USD 0, the account will be automatically closed.

  • IBKR Lite Accounts:

IBKR Lite accounts, however, are not subject to a monthly minimum activity fee.

What is IBKR Lite in Interactive Brokers?

IBKR Lite is an IBKR pricing plan that boasts below features.

  • Unlimited, commission-free trading in US listed stock and ETFs
  • Access to global markets
  • Trading via Client Portal, IBKR Mobile and Trader Workstation (TWS)
  • No account minimums and no inactivity fees.

Who is eligible for Interactive Brokers' IBKR Lite?

The IBKR Lite is offered with some restrictions. See the explanations below.

  • To direct US clients
  • Any client of an Introducing Broker (not omnibus brokers)
  • Direct accounts have to be natural person (i.e. cannot be Legal Entity, Org, etc.).
  • For standalone trust accounts, all trustees/beneficiaries on the account must be natural persons.
  • For trust accounts that are under an advisor, the trustees/beneficiaries may be legal entities.