Interactive Brokers Review

2.344 · 152 REVIEWS
Updated: Oct 27, 2020 ·  · Is this your company?

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

Interactive Brokers

Other websites of this company include

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+)
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
Forex Peace Army

Let other traders know if this service is worth checking or should be avoided.

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Traders Reviews

Sam ,
United states, USA,
Apr 5, 2012,

First, the auto liquidation is a nightmare they did on my holdings couple of times.
Second, Very poor Customer Service, agree with Steve that they are very rude and unprofessional.
Third, their low commissions is a joke they have hidden fees, etc
After 2 months, couldn’t transfer out my foreign shares to another broker. I am stuck!!
BE CARFUL guys they are stealing money!!! STAY AWAY!!!

  1 trader has found this review helpful
Kenny Goh,
Singapore, Singapore,
Feb 5, 2012,

I've requested for a withdrawal of my funds from my IB account on the 27 January and I received a email notification from IB on 30 January that my IB account has been closed after I withdraw all my funds in the account.

As published in the IB website, I expects to receive my funds within same day to max 3 days upon my withdrawal notification. However, it has been a week and my bank still have not received the remittance.

I called IB on the 3 Feb and the IB staff confirmed that the funds had been remitted and suggested she will put forth a ticket to "investigate" for the delay in remittance. She advise that the ticket has been created and that I will be able to check my message centre online to check on the status. I cannot find the ticket anywhere in my account message centre. I've submitted 2 more tickets to request for the remittance advise on the3 Feb but to date they are still not processed.

I've emailed to them again this morning and filing a complain to FSA and I hope to hear from them soon.

Queensland, Australia,
Jan 14, 2012,

I have read all the reviews and am surprised at the negative experiences here - I was in the process of opening an IB account when I saw all the bad reviews and felt awful, but I have been with IB for a few months now and it has been fine. The customer service responses have been prompt and accurate.

I am not into fancy trades, only dealing with stocks and selling covered options, and I keep well clear of margin issues. Yes, the TWS platform is not simple to deal with but it works OK for me and I have been trading for a number of years over a number of brokers. Here in Australia the commissions other brokers charge are very high and IB is much better in this regard. Their local representative has been prompt and helpful.

I like how I can finally do all that I want to in the one account.

It is not all positive, the opening of the account was unbelieveable with all the documents one had to send in.

Maybe there will be further issues but at this stage it's all been OK, certainly not the worst I have had to deal with.
Arizona, USA,
Jan 5, 2012,

This is by far the worst broker I had ever used, their customers services is a joke. They don't really care about their customers. They overcharged my account, but instead of investigating, they kept avoid answering my question. I had already filed a complaint to the FINRA (inverstor complain organization). They have lots of hidden fee and confusing commission method. You just never know what they are going to charge you next.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
New Jersey, USA,
Dec 14, 2011,

I switched from etrade to interactive broker. I have regreted the move and I am going back. Interface is complicated and just plain ugly. Customer service has limited hours and the people are not the friendliest. They can keep the discount which might not be so good after you consider all the data feeds you have to pay for.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Montevideo, USA,
Dec 10, 2011,

I opened IB more than four years ago and started to trading option spread. Shortly after, I got an assignment on one of my short APPL put option, instead of exercise my long Appl put option, IB randomly liquidated my other holdings, after an hour or so that IB sold so many my other non related positions. My account lost 22% that day just by their liquidations!

My conclusion, they don't care their clients and customers at all. I made over hundreds of complaint calls and got almost no help and see no improvements. Worst services.

Beware: we might liquidate your in the money spread on expiration date. On Friday Dec9, 2011, they liquidated my VISA December week2 100-97.5 debit put spread at market price minutes before closing bell. V closed at 97.19, and I got less than $2.5 price plus paying IB the commissions.
Vancouver, Canada,
Dec 7, 2011,

Interactive Brokers is the WORST broker for customer service. This morning they informed me that they will be taking money out of my account to pay for a non-working, 3 year old, security token that i finally threw out after a year of uselessly, sitting in my desk drawer. This to me is STEALING my money!!

About 3 years ago out of the blue, IB couriered a small plastic security device to me with a letter telling me i had to use the device and instructions on how to do so.

The device died about 1 1/2 years later and i phoned IB. The rep said no problem and couriered out a new device to me. I received the new device shortly and continued on with trading life.
Most recently the second device died and i phoned IB once again. This time i was asked to send the non-working device back and i did so and receive a new security measure shortly after. when i went to use the new system now a card, i was unable to access my account. This was when IB informed me that i needed to send back the device from 3 years prior, that i had just thrown out.

my issues with all this:

at NO time did IB ever communicate to me that the little piece of plastic had to be returned to them otherwise i would be charged, not in the accompanying letter or any email.
when the 2nd device was sent out to me, i did not know and was not required to send back the non-working device in order to have the new replacement and it was business as usual for another 1 1/2 years.

INTERACTIVE BROKERS has ALWAYS been so bad, but now they are also stealing my money!!!
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Texas, USA,
Nov 16, 2011,

I have an institutional account and really like this firm.
My old account was at GSEC and they were essentially high cost.
I would say on balance IB for my experience in the last few months service has been really good, costs are extremely low. They are also upfront about costs and don't screw you on the backend with payment for order flow, hidden fees ,etc.

The trading platform took me some time to figure out. But - i can now save a lot by buying at the big instead of the ask - a big difference over time. The trading algos are powerful. There is a learning curve here. I like the culture from the top down at IB. IT it honest and transparent as far as Wall street goes.

FYI - I have not problem ripping apart fraudulent firms with bad service. IB hasn't been like that at all.
joun sort,
Atlanta GA,
Sep 28, 2011,

Advantage- Commission is low
Drawback- Extremely Poor Customer Service. I can keep going and going on this one. But in short they have the worst customer service than any other brokerage firm
  1 trader has found this review helpful
A. Trader,
Aug 29, 2011,

I called them and said I was in Montreal and wanted to drop by their office. (Them: "Why do you want to do that?" Me: "Oh, I just want to look at your operation and make sure you're not a bucket shop." Them: [Embarrassed chuckle]") They went through all kinds of excuses ("it does not enhance our productivity if we just let people come in anytime they want", "we are not in the business of giving tours of our office"), they finally in the end categorically refused to give me their physical business address. Enough said!
Aug 4, 2011,

I have been using interactive brokers for several months and have had nothing but bad experiences with them. I switched from TDameritrade to try and save some money on commissions but this switch has cost me thousands of dollars in lost profit. First they have the most complicated application process that I have ever seen. The delays trying to set up my Roth IRA cost many thousands in lost trade profits. Their system goes down often. One weekend, I logged in to find my account had no postions and no money in it! After freaking out the whole weekend (IB customer service has very limited hours), the account was back to normal come Monday. The system crashed or had some kind of bug, but it cost me my sleep for two nights waiting to be able to talk to someone there.

The system is difficult to use. Expect several months of learning curve. It is difficult to figure out how much margin you have left to make trades. If you go over by $1, they will close out your position with no notice.

If you buy and sell options, do not modify orders, they will kill you with fees.

The straw that broke the camel's back for me is the trade that I entered overnight one night to buy 150 shares of AGQ at the market. I work overnights so I went to bed when I got home, checked my account at night before going in to work and expected to see a $1500 profit for that trade. Well, turns out the trade got cancelled by Interactive Brokers. I called customer service and they said it's because the offer price in pre-market was too high. Well, I didn't put my order in to buy in pre-market. I put it in it buy at market open. They didn't care and had no good explanation. The stock had gapped up at open the follwing day, so IB cost me $3000 in lost profit. If you can't count on your broker to fill market orders, then what good are they?

I would NOT open an account with this broker. Even using Ameritrade with their high commissions, I would have been much further ahead. Also, don't IB for IRA's because they charge a $7 dollar per quarter fee.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Jul 7, 2011,

The customer service ranges from good to bad. It is mediocre on average. The prices are unbeatable, but even this will not prevent me from leaving if they do not learn to be more responsive to requests add new companies from emerging markets within the next few months.
May 18, 2011,

I've been using IB for 2 years now and I can only comment good things about them. I have no issue with money transfers or withdrawals. In fact, I find them to be very prompt and efficient in processing my withdrawal requests (ie, I received my money the next day or a day later upon submission of the withdrawal request). And there's no charge for the 1st withdrawal per month. Customer service wise, I find the support staff are quite helpful and knowledgeable. Most of my queries are answered in a prompt and professional manner.
Rome, Italy,
May 11, 2011,

Their report system is impressive but really complicate to use. Where to find a simply PnL list ? The security is too tight if you consider that the reports are documents not orders. Customer service is impersonal, rude and slow, very slow.
Commissions and fees are really good but IB charge data feeds on many exchanges, and charge many hidden fees, sometimes simply statement adjustments for currency ecc.ecc. Trading forex is not simple with IB and lot of patience is required. TWS in not a forex platform. Their internal servers often are down.
The very bad thing is to wire out. When you ask to withrawal a sort of alarm rings in their rooms, and they do every thing to delay. It really happened to me they keep as pending a wire istruction for two days and after the w/e they call to me simply for asking if I was sure to wire out. I decided to close the account. Nightmare.
IB is good for istitutional investors and money managers, as it covers all exchanges. Not for individual traders.
San Francisco,
Mar 10, 2011,

Interactive Brokers is suck.

The customer service is very unprofessional and rude. Another thing is that, they will try to do everythin they can to deter you from transfer money out of your account. Despite all he security that they set up to log into the system, and even if you are simply transfering the fund into your own bank account, they will keep calling you to verify your transfer.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Feb 10, 2011,

Thanks for your review Andreas - who do you use now?
I did a course where IB was mentioned, and the guy running the course had used IB for a while, but also said that perhaps 1 in 10 prices were not quite right. By that I mean if the quote for a price was 100.25 IB might have it as 100.50, which is fine unless you have an arbitrage strategy. Has anyone else seen this ?

The auto liquidation sounds a bit over the top, and all this makes me nervous. Is there anyone else to use out there?
Thompson, Canada,
Jan 17, 2011,

I've been using IB for over a year now. I'm a day-trader and swing-trader. I've been very frustrated with the platform pretty much since I started using it. Besides not being user-friendly, it's very buggy. It crashes at least twice a day. Some days I just give up and quit trading. I've actually lost a lot of money a couple of times because the platform crashed on me. Thanks to the post by Jens in Germany...l was beginning to think I was the only one having these charting/crashing issues. Even after talking to Tech Support I thought I was the only one. I'm going to look into using e-signal for charting with IB. But IB is not all bad...their commissions can't be beat, their execution time is great and I can trade any instrument in any market at any time.
London, U.K.,
Nov 14, 2010,

I was a big fan of IB, their sophisticated trading software and low commissions, until I had the following experience:

In order to benefit from the appreciation of the Chinese yuan, I opened RMB futures long positions on the CME Globex futures market during the course of Spring 2010, which I kept open for months. The yuan appreciated and my position values kept increasing. The Globex RMB market is very illiquid but open for trading 23 hours per day, so at certain times during the day it could happen that there was no bid and/or ask at all. One day when this happened, someone suddenly came in with a bid of 0.14000 USD for the September 2010 contract (at that time, the underlying exchange rate was about 0.14750). Now IB recomputes your positions values 24-7, in near real time, merely based on bid and ask spreads. There was an ask of 0.14787 on the market when the 0.14000 bid came in; therefore IB re-evaluated the position as 0.143935 (based on the mid-price). Despite of me having kept a margin of more than two times of what I was required, this crazy evaluation immediately brought me into margin violation. Within minutes IB started to auto-liquidate my positions at fire-sale prices. Within an hour, the market had become more liquid again, with realistic bids, and my margin was fine again. That day the yuan closed higher, and so did all the yuan futures, but I had lost thousands of dollars due to IB's auto-liquidation of my positions based on a single rogue bid. All this within one hour while I was asleep. I was actually lucky that things came back to normal so quickly, otherwise my whole portfolio might have been wiped out. Needless to say that I never received any compensation and just wasted my time dealing with their customer service in the aftermath of all this.

IB is the only broker that I'm aware of that autoliquidates within minutes (most brokers give you at least a day, and more importantly, calulate your margin based on closing prices). Most people know that, but what they don't know is that IB recomputes your portfolio value purely by taking the mid-point of bid and asks. If you trade illiquid futures, IB is a ticking bomb! There is simply no way one could be expected to provide for an excess liquidity that reflects the kind of intraday price movements reflected by their method of calculation, which is completely prone to manipulation by low bids.
Toronto Canada,
Nov 6, 2010,

I have read numerous reviews on IB. Heres my take. So far customer service has been fine. I have only used it when I absolutely am not able to figure it out myself.......75 cents per option contract compared to 1.25 and a 7 trade fee with TD....Its worth the extra effort. The only problem I had was with Idealpro one night....a trade was decently in the green but I could not close the position. It was locked up. Called Hong Kong and the service person informed me that the problem was with Ideal pro and she would call me personally when the problem had been rectified. She called and sent me an email. Other than that If you are willing to do a little extra work to figure out TWS then you will be happy as I am.


PS also the easiest way for a Canadian to trade the Futures IMO all from one account
Bruno Gideon,
Toronto, Canada,
Oct 9, 2010,

I worked with InteractiveBrokers for several months now and never had a problem. Their customer support is extremely fast in answering questions. They have an outstanding platform like IO have never seenand execute the trades immediately. And their trading fee is the best in the business, as far as I know. I wouldn't have anything to complain - the opposite is true.
Oct 8, 2010,

I find it disappointing that Interactive Broker's (IB) rating is so bad here. In my opinion, this is completely wrong. I think the reason for the bad rating is that most traders are amateurs and IB is not directed at amateurs. It is directed to professionals as they claim on their website. I think that this is true. Now let's move on to the good, the bad and the ugly.

--- THE GOOD ---
I am trading with Interactive Brokers for more than four years now. I am trading full time with them for over a year now. I have become a full time trader at IB through scalping on their IDEALPRO exchange. For forex trading with IB, you must use their IDEALPRO exchange because only then you get tight spreads. IDEALPRO requires an order size of at least 25,000. Their maximum leverage is 1:40. The spread is variable, in EUR/USD this is usually 0.5 - 1.0 pips, other popular pairs about 1.0 to 2.0 pips. As a scalper, I am always working with LIMIT orders. My orders are usually 30 lots (3 million).

And now comes the real cool part: on my limit orders, I usually get positive slippage! Most of the time (about 80%), this is about 0.1 to 0.3 pips. That may not sound much, but on a full round turn (entry and exit) I have usually earned 0.2 to 0.6 extra pips. This is a lot of money in a trade of 30 lots. And there are times when I get even more slippage. I sometimes get 2.0 to 3.0 pips extra. This is a bit rare (of hundred trades, this might happen about four times), but I really love this.

Execution speed is lightning fast. When I transmit an order at the current BID or ASK price, I get a fill immediately.
I have read that some users complain that IB would hunt stops. IB is an ECN so this must not be and definitely is not true. I always protect my position with a stop. It never has been triggered when the market did not really move there. More than once, market has moved extremely near to my stop 0.5 to 1.5 pips, but it had not been triggered then.

IB charges USD 2.50 per USD 100,000 volume half turn. This is a very low commission - I did not find any better offer. For your commission, you get their superior liquidity as I stated above.

Withdrawals are very fast (from 8 hours to three business days). Never had a problem with withdrawing. Funding usually is flawless, but I had bad luck the first time (see the bad).
Their customer staff is always available somewhere in the world. During the asian session, you can even call in Hongkong.
I have found the staff to be polite and helpful.

They have an API so you can connect countless of third party software with Interactive Brokers.
If you are a programmer, you could even write your own.
This is really good (see below at the ugly).

IB has a long and good reputation, funds are protected in numerous ways.
Among several security measures, they have a guarantee of up to USD 100,000 in cash.
You may take a look at their website or google for yourself "interactive brokers funds protection":
In my opinion, this should be sufficient for amounts of money far in excess of USD 100,000.

--- THE BAD ---
I remember when I opened the account, this was quite difficult. I needed to send lots of documents, they did not accept my personal id card. In UK the personal id card seems to be worth nothing. A letter from your electricity provider seems to be better. Strange, as it is almost impossible to fake a german personal id card. To fake a letter from the electricity provider you would just need a word processing software. Anyway, I opened an account online and later I talked to their staff. As he wanted to earn something I guess, he suggested to open another account so he can be my manager. I did as he said. I sent the money, but it seemed not to arrive at the account. After weeks of waiting and phoning, I had to file an investigation and it turned out that the money had been funded to the wrong account.

--- THE UGLY ---
The ugly thing about Interactive Brokers is named TWS. Trader Workstation they call it. It is a very powerful software which unfortunately is very difficult to use. It is necessary to practice with it a lot on their paper trading account which is a cool feature. After you have opened your live account, you should open an additional paper trading account for practice. With IB's universal account and TWS you can trade almost everything - futures, stocks, options, forex at dozens of exchanges. You can create complex order baskets on the fly with a hotkey, configure 1-click trading and thousand other advanced things.

The problem with this is that the interface is overwhelmed by too many features. And their programmers seem to be overwhelmed by it too, because the software fequently crashes. I have found out how to avoid this most of the time: do not use their charts. They look ugly anyway. There are a lot of third party vendors who offer good charting with IB. When trading, do not play with their settings dialog. This may lead to crashes too. When you just do your trading with TWS - transmitting, cancelling or changing orders - everything is fine. Having a look at the account window to watch the current profit is also safe.

Funny: while I was writing this, TWS crashed without any message. Thank goodness I was not trading. It is very rare for TWS to crash while you are doing nothing with it.

--- Final Thoughts ---
So why are there so many bad reviews? I guess I know why. Most of the reviewers are not trading for a living. If you are an amateur, you do not have the time and the knowledge to look at the important thing: earning money with trading. You can earn money by trading with IB because they have the lowest commissions I know of and the best liquidity I know of.

This is the crucial point of a brokerage: low commissions, high liquidity.
At this crucial point, Interactive Brokers are the best by far in my opinion.

People who want to open an USD 500 account and blow it up in no time with leverage of 1:100 or more should look elsewhere.

Ugly software? I do not really care about, it is good enough for me. I want to earn money.
When you are serious about trading, then you should take a close look at Interactive Brokers.

So, IB gets five stars from me. They are the best.
Jul 8, 2010,

I am trading with them for a few months, and for standard trading (no news) they have very low spreads and low commissions, so I think they would be very good, except that sometimes my stops are not filled!! So I need to close manually.
There was no disaster, but that is scary.

With regards to trading high vol (for ex news), I tried twice and got slippage twice:

I got a slippage of 15/6 pips on a major move (70pip in 1 minute) .

Slippage of 4 pips on a minor move of around (10 pips then reverse).

May 29, 2010,

I see a lot of negative reactions. However, compared to other brokers in the Netherlands this broker is really superior. Really very very low commissions, superior trading technology. Very easy to trade outside Euronext for low commissions.
John B,
New York City,
May 18, 2010,

IB trades against retail customers, delays quotes by 7-10 seconds so that they may fill orders for the firm at better market prices than those shown to customer, routinely "scalp" retail customer like it is their right just for being in the business. Customer service NEVER gives an adjustment you are entitled to - tell you submit a "ticket" for review by their "committee"
May 13, 2010,

The best of no worlds, and the worst of some.

They offer support for Ninja trader, but that is only possible with a very old version of TWS, which dosn't work properly. Even the new version of TWS is completely terrible and very confusing. It even turns itself off each day, even if you are in the middle of a trade it turns it self off, potentially costing large amounts of money (eg if you run a robotic trading strategy).

There tick data isn't real tick data and there system sometimes goes offline during high trading periods.

They charge a commission for all Forex trades, and then they leave the cash in the foreign currency in your account at the end of the trade, they will not convert it back for you. So you have to go into the terrible TWS application and convert it back using the high spread 'Ideal' platform, with more commissions and even then it dosn't convert it all. The costs for the average trader are high.

Also you find they fill you at different prices, and charge you a seperate commision for each seperate fill and if the fills break up to less than $25,000 each, then they put it back to the high spread 'Ideal' platform.

Support is hit and miss, sometimes its barely OK, sometimes it is non existant.

I don't get how the biggest companies can be so bad yet continue operarting ... I thought competition was suppose to provide us with good products and service ?
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Yusuf Patel,
May 11, 2010,

I have been trying to open a joint account with my wifefor the last one week. I submitted my joint bank statement. They came back to me that they cannot ascertain my wife's identity. Only reason I can think of is that my wife does not have her own credit card. The account opening procedure is very cumbersome and impersonal. After reading the reviews, I have decided not to pursue my application. I am not looking for very cheap commission but value good service.
Apr 15, 2010,

More like 3.5 to give IB their due. Yes, they're haughty and arrogant and don't like simple nagging questions, however they go about their business real well. Deposits/withdrawals are processed real fast. The platform takes getting used to but allows to trade a wild variety of stocks/futures/options/CFDs/forex/etc. (although i can't trade a Korean Won or Indian Rupee or Russian Rouble, e.g.!). One can use the API as well to auto-trade.

Been with them for three years and overall happy despite their arrogant service (which i tend to put back in place early in e-conversation).

Oh, and one more thing. IB gives you a very impersonal feeling. Like they would side with the government or any organization or any set of rules much quicker than to take a trader's situation to heart.
Catherine T,
Feb 27, 2010,

I have IB for 3 years , first year I loss around $7000.00 money in market trading (that was OK with with them when we have been loss money") after first year i have made $4000.00 in trading profit , at the 3th year i have made $7000.00 in trading profit then they start sending me several email , asked me for provide the proof of my assess( which they have no problem before ) if i want to continued to have the trading account otherwise they will suspend my account and they will closed my account if i was not sending that information to them.
middle east,
Feb 9, 2010,

if you trade fx you have to be carefull not to put a market order in volatile market,they do not give you the best price but match you with another trader,can be costly!
Jan 14, 2010,

Probably amongst the worse around.
Terrible executions
Diabolicaly bad platform and software
Attrocious and utterly incompetent customer service
Terrible accounting and reporting
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Nov 3, 2009,

This broker is dishonest. IB has the absolute worst possible price executions!!! Couple of times I placed trail stop orders using a straddle strategy and got 50 pips slippage every time!!! One time it took these f*cking geniuses 8 seconds and 45 pips later to finally close my stop order. When I complained they simply said that they are not responsible for anything even if they caused the problem. This is total bull sh*t. Stay away from these idiots. Their customer service is worse than the Soviet bureaucracy. I hate this broker.
Oct 14, 2009,

I transferred all of my money to Options Express a year ago. At the same time, I received the security device for my account. I returned that device immediately because I didn't need it and figured I was done. I received a statement via e-mail constantly from then on...which I didn't look at because I thought they were just showing a $0 balance. I finally decided to look at the statement this past September and couldn't get into the account because I never activated my security device...but they did. I called customer support and they said there was $150 in the account being held for the security device that was not returned. I explained that it was returned a year ago via UPS...I no longer had a tracking number since I don't hold onto those things after a reasonable amount of time. They closed the account, without consent and gave me 45 days to return the device...which I returned a year ago. I have been through many reps...all incompetent and condescending...who sent me through hoops of e-mail me here...invalid e-mail that bounced back to me and said call here...who would send me through the same hoops again. They explained that they could trace my UPS package without a tracking number...When I tried to track my package through UPS a year later, I was told they couldn't do it without a tracking number even if I was the President. Incredibly frustrationg dealing with crooks. They said they didn't care about my $150 since that wouldn't make or break them...I highly doubt that in this economy. Watch out...they are out to screw you any way they can...!!!
  1 trader has found this review helpful
Jul 10, 2009,

My experience with IB (Canada) has been poor. Money oddly was taken from the account and one could never pin down exactly why it was taken out.

I had a problem wite exchange rates between the US and Canadian dollar (I always seemed to come off second best) even though I asked for the account to be in US dollars only. And I could never fully understand how they were adjusting the exchange. They never provided a proper statement.

I called them up and the guy on the help desk, in Montreal I think, simply laughed at me and said I did not understand the concept of exchange rates and I was a fool. To cap it off he had a very strong foreign accent and he was difficult to understand.

I asked for a local Canadian and the guy said he was deeply insulted and hung up the phone. But the saga was not over. He suspended my account for several days - suddenly I needed a special additional password (which I did not have) to get into my own account.

I logged a ticket to get some clarity - and got a very unpleasant email in return from the boss of the person I was talking too stating that I had insulted their help desk and was being punished by having my account suspended. I then asked (via email) if I could close the account.

They refused and this went on for about two weeks before I eventually got access to my own account. I ended up phoning the US office who - of course - said they have nothing to do with the Canadian operation.

There are plenty of other brokers who offer decent service for only marginally more cost. I have moved to another broker and have experienced far better service. What a difference.
  1 trader has found this review helpful
May 28, 2009,

I must agree with most of the negative comments I
Angelos Sideris,
Phoenix Arizona USA,
Apr 30, 2009,

Angelos Sideris
2453 E. Oregon Av. Email
Phoenix Arizona 85016 Telephone 602-283-5754

April 22, 2009

SEC Complaint Center
100 F Street NE,
Washington, D.C. 20549-0213 Fax 703-813-6965

RE: Interactive Brokers


I have had accounts with them for the last five years. Here are some of the things they used to extract moneys out of my Accounts:

Problems with buy and sell orders.

Manipulation of Security price or Volume

I would place a limit order to buy or sell a Security (stock) or a For ex pair. The order would be executed at a price which would be much lower or higher than the bid or the ask at that time, always to my disadvantage This happened hundreds of times. This is not an exaggeration, some times I would do thirty trades per day. The cost of this would be several thousands of dollars over the five year period.

I complained to the Company hundreds of times to no avail. They are great at coming up with reasons and excuses.

Other times a Security I was trading would be delisted from a major exchange to pink sheets. IB a couple of years ago did not support PINK Sheet orders (on line). I would call and place a limit order for closing out a position for a Security that was trading with a gap of $3.00 or more, the volume was low. IB would place the order as a Market order instead. This of course would cost me several hundreds or thousands of Dollars depending on the case.

Again here they offered no help or remuneration.

Similar things happened with Forex Orders. Trading EURO/USD pair I would place an limit order ONLY TO HAVE THE ORDER EXECUTED SEVERAL PIPS below or above the limit order. When I complained I was told basically tough luck. I think they are pocketing the difference.

Fee misrepresentation

IB misrepresents their Fees.

When I started with IB, there was supposed to be interest paid on cash deposited with them (inactive) They paid money market rates for a while and then they quit. They say they are not paying any interest now. I received no notification of policy change. Moneys lost in nonpayment of interest amounts to a few thousand dollars.

There was supposed to be no maintenance or inactivity fees, well this was changed again without notice. This also amounts to several hundred dollars.

They made it mandatory that you get a security device from them in order to access your account with more security, which was fine, however when I tried to close out one of my accounts that the security device was attached to, I found out that there was a fee attached to the account $40.00 to $120.00. Of course nothing of the kind was mentioned before I signed up for the device, besides the Device issue was never part of the original Agreement when the account was opened.

Here is what I was told that unless you sign up for the Device we are not going to be responsible for the funds deposited in your Account. BLACKMAIL?

Here I am trying to close out the account and trying to take the $$$ out and they will not let me. I called spoke to several people spent a few hours again on the phone and finally I was instructed to mail back the security device and the fee would be waved. I transferred all the funds to the other account except for $40.00 that I could not take out until the security device was returned. I returned the security device. Two weeks passed from the date the device was mailed back and tried to access the account again, take the $40.00 out and close it. To my surprise there was only $10.60 left in the Account.

I called again and spoke to Mark in the Funds and Banking. When I inquired about the shortage of the Funds he said that there were more FEES that absorbed the Money. I explained that I was trying to close out the Account and I had not been able to because of the Device and I was told that after the Device was returned I would have access to the Balance of the Moneyes. He said there were Fees and I should be looking at my Account Statement. ARE THEY THHIEVES OR ARE THEY THIEVES?


I was short a stock which was being purchased by a different private Company for a set price per share. The price of the Stock was very close to the purchase price offer when I sorted it. I was pretty confident that it would not increase above the price by much but if something happened to the deal and the stock price dropped I would make some money. Nothing happened. The price stayed the same so I was not loosing any money. I had done my research and once the deal was consummated my position should be closed out. To my surprise when the deal was consummated IB deducted from account the entire amount of the premium, for instance if I was short 500 shares at $10.00 per share the premium would have been $5,000.00. That was the amount IB deducted from my account. I spend several days on the phoene with them. They were telling me that I was crazy, did not understand how this worked and all kinds of other reasons why the entire premium should be deducted from account as a (divident), that is what they called it. They will do anything to steal your money. Finally they must of decided that I was not going to give up on this and they put the money back in my account. IS THIS WHAT A LICENSE BROKER SUPPOSED TO DO? Trying to DEFRAUD THEIR CLENT EVERY CHANCE THEY GET?

I still have an account with them. I am hoping that there will be an investigation and that I will be able to provide some help while I still have an account there.

The above is only a small part of the thing they have done trying to fraudulently STEAL MONEY from my Accounts.
Apr 15, 2009,

It's now 4 years that I am with IB and generally satisfied as long as I don't have to use their Helpdesk, which is not only useless but also auto-irritating : you start asking help for a minor issue and you end up hating IB if not more. Like so many customer services, they just discourage people to use it in order to keep playing cards and drink beer.
To avoid time loss and anger, I decided to mostly use their chat service : you just have to wait a few minutes (and not a full week) to realise they are not going to help you !
Mar 17, 2009,

The fills are fast and the platform is fine, but the customer service is the worst... and I do mean the worst. Representatives have an attitude and don't take anything you say seriously. Trouble tickets are probably thrown in some corner and forgotten.

Everything people have said about tax issues is true. My 1099 did not match the schedule D they provided. The schedule D did not match the trades for the individual securities (errors were all "small" and they claimed it was rounding error, but no other firm has that problem). The kicker is the trades are not even matching within their trade reports - when I take individual partial executions and add them up, I come up with slightly different numbers than for the whole execution. The whole thing reminds me of a bad movie scam where the crook somehow figures out how to steal fractional pennies and make millions.
Gulf Coast,
Mar 13, 2009,

Bob (AZ), said, "The biggest scam of all is that you after you close a trade, you often are stuck with foreign currency in your account (what they call non-base currency) and then you have to convert that money to your base currency. So, for example, if you live in the US, after you close a trade, you may have JPY in your account instead of USD. Then they hit you for a commission and a HUGE spread to convert the JPY to USD. In the meantime, your account is subject to fluctuations in the Yen until you close out the non-base currency this second time." This is absolutely true; and, from my experience with I-B, there is no way around having to manually convert the non-base currency back to whatever your chosen base currency happens to be. For me, this is the one big issue that I have with I-B. In fact, upon getting to know the FX Trader platform and learning how to set it up optimally so trading is second nature and co-natural, it does meet and even surpass many of the other platforms that are provided for forex trading...even MT4 (if you don't mind the inability to use EAs). In any case, the currency conversion issue, imo, leaves the trader with one choice: take the risk of losing money when the conversion is done or pay a small $30.00 commission to ensure that the trade will not result in a loss of any great consequence. Essentially, the problem is in having to deal with two different trading platforms. One is called "Ideal" and the other is called "Ideal Pro." Ideal Pro is recommended for reasons that are sound when you are trading in larger currency units than 25,000. The "Ideal" platform is primarily meant to be used when converting smaller than 25,000 units back to your base currency. However, if you have large residuals of foreign currency in your account after having closed the trade from the FX Trader or from the ChartTrader and then go into your account to convert the currency back to base, beware of converting the residual from within the account Market Value section. If an attempt to convert the residual from within the Market Value section of your account is conducted and there is more than 25,000 currency units remaining that you want to convert, it is better to place a manual trade on the Trader Work Station to offset the position because you will then be using the "Ideal Pro" platform instead of the "Ideal" platform when converting larger residuals. Remember, the Ideal Pro platform is for non-base currency units that are greater than 25,000 (USD - if USD is your base). So long as the amount remaining in foreign currency is not equivalent to USD$25,000, it is safe to close the residual from within the Account section, otherwise, play it safe and either call the trade desk and place the trade through the rep or place the trade manually on the TWS using IDEAl PRO. After a couple of wide-spread loses from having not known these finer details, it is my opinion that it might be better to just hold the non-base currency until you are no longer trading it and use the trade desk to place an 'insurance' trade; that is, a trade that is placed by one of I-Bs own reps who can ensure that the trade will not cause a massive reduction in your account. This does sound complicated and confusing, but once it is understood that you are dealing with two different trading platforms that are intended for different currency unit sizes, it becomes better understood as to what needs to be done to protect your interest and your account.
Jan 27, 2009,

They aren't a forex broker, they are futures and equities, and consider forex secondary. They give you a program called FX Trader, but its part of there main program, so orders go back forth between the two. It gets confusing, and is a bit confusing to use. Margins are extremely high, and they raise them whenever they wan't to protect themselves. Oh yeah they will charge you interest in the currency that your buying or selling and come end of the month they will do a regular fx transfer to cover the expenses. The spread and conversion ratio is poor, and by the way customer service is poor to nonexistent.
Jan 9, 2009,

Their customer service is the horrible and their fills are even worse.

After trading for a week with IB, I experienced negative slippage on over 75% of my limit orders and almost 100% of my stops. This was in rather slow moving market conditions. After taking 3.5 pips of slippage on my breakeven+1 stop this morning, I called it quits.

These guys are a joke. Out of 30+ trades, I had positive slippage once and negative slippage every trade either on the limit fill, stop, or break even.

Not to mention they part out orders. Multiple times they parted out my 100k stop order into multiple small orders, charging me multiple commissions for each order. They cannot tell me there wasn't at least 100k at that price point to fill me if they are a true ECN and not just another bucket shop.

If I didn't use Ninja as a front end, I would never have opened an IB account. Their reputation is horrible.
United Arab Emirates (UAE),
Dec 26, 2008,

I had almost 3 years of experience with them in Stocks (2002-2004). Their platform is OK apart from charting, which I didn't need as I relied on other tools. Their prices were the best.

However, their customer support have attitude. That was even very apparent when I tried to open a FOREX account early 2005. I had to discuss with them the documents that I should send and the customer support were so rude and they even ignored my posts.

As you may see, they do not support Live Chat except for clients. Yes, I remember something very important. They can easily put you in a mess with respect to tax calculations. Their reporting system sucks! (again until 2005's experience).

Dec 14, 2008,

Many of the comments here about Interactive Broker
Oct 30, 2008,

I can't say IB is all bad. I'm sure their futures service is great. But I did have one situation happen recently that I find extremely distasteful and hints at dishonesty regarding a forex order. I had been testing their service and normally use Ideal Pro. But only needed to place a stop for 20,000 at .6688 in AUDUSD on this particular occasion. Therefore the order was defaulted to their regular retail service which normally has just a little larger spreads. The market incidently did go to my stop price and touched it a couple times and I then instantly received a fill at .6631. Of course it was around 12:30 AM EST when action is very slow, so I knew instantly it was a mistake or so I thought. To bring this too a conclusion, they have turned down my request for compensation. So there is thievery even in so called good companies. Just be careful and only use the IdeaPro and trust this never happens to you because a 50 pip plus slippage in a slow market is just so wrong. Hopefully they will have a heart change and correct my account based on principle alone. Then I will modify this post
Oct 29, 2008,

Interactive Brokers customer service sucks. I talked to Sylvain regarding the trading issues I had and he says, I cannot waste time on this and says Good bye and hang up. No way to reach supervisor or anything. I will not recommend this to anymore.
Sep 22, 2008,

I've experienced 2 suspicious activities with IB Canada.
First - IB's failure to execute stop loss orders during overnight trading on Aug 21-08. When I complained, 2 IB Canada representatives (Evan & Sylvain) acknowledged receipt of my stop loss request but suggested that it was my fault it didn't get executed because I was trading "after hours". I also pointed out that the stop was actually hit at 1:15am but the position was still open at 7:00 am... lots of time to execute even in a fast market. This cost me $475.
Second - Somehow two positions opened around 30 minutes after midnight on Sep 3-08 while I was in bed sleeping on vacation. When I returned from vacation on Sep 11-08 and opened TWS to do some trading I was alarmed to see these positions. I immediately closed both positions and contacted IB Canada. After being on hold for 20 minutes, Carlo checked the audit trail for these trades and acknowledged that there was something inconsistent, but refused to tell me what that was, instead he said he would call me back... which of course didn't happen. This mysterious trade cost me $2,020.
FYI - since Aug 21-08, I've been performing a print screen of my account and portfolio page each day so that the date and time are visible and on Sep 2-08 there were no open positions or limit orders showing on the IB trading page.
I filed a complaint with CFTC Enforcement who responded by stating that IB Canada is not registered with the CFTC. They also suggested that I file a complaint with the National Futures Association (NFA) which I did but have not had any response from them as of this writing.
I have instructed IB Canada to close my account and transfer my remaining equity back into my bank account. I have been an IB Canada customer for over 2 years and can honestly say that I've never experienced a service work so hard at not providing customer support or mitigation... good bye and good riddance !
Jul 31, 2008,


I have been using this company for at least 8 years. There is no execution issue, commission issue, spread or other problem. They have wide range of service around the world in just one platform is wonderful.
So keep it up IB on these.

However the issue they need to fix is the platform, and the chart capabilities. If they can let us use MT4 or better chart platform. It will be the best place to trade, so I give it 4 stars.

Jun 11, 2008,

Best forex broker i've ever used. I hated them and their platform for ages when I demoed it, then after looking into it and getting to grips with it and using it live, it allows you to do far more than any other broker, many order types and an excellent api, for order entry/and or automated trading. Spreads and execution on IDEALPRO are the best ive seen anywhere, and commisions are cheap, (the only cheaper ive seen is dukascopy, but they are forex only, and i havent traded live), slippage is normal for this market, spreads widen around news but not by much, and only for briefly, and if you use limit orders like you should, then you can eliminate slippage most of the time. The other MAJOR plus is that you can trade anything else on the planet with extremely good commissions. (plus ive been filled perfectly during nfp everytime so far (limit orders)) I agree that their customer service is appalling, and their trading desk is terrible, but what do you expect for forex on the cheap? Definately not for newbies and you really need to know what your doing. Ill agree that the spreads on ideal are appalling but youve got to give then some credit, it is for small amounts, and the spread is much less on there than a normal bank would give you for a currency transaction of that size. And if youve got a large, enough account and understand how their forex system works, you can open and close a position on ideal pro to take into account the smaller amount you wish to change, depending on the size of the amount, it might just be worthwhile to leave it be till you accumulate a big enough profit (or loss lol). Plus they pay interest on cash balances which accumulates daily. As for gbpjpy spread, its normally three ticks plus half a tick commision on idealpro, best ive seen anywhere else. Havent tried withdrawing money from them yet but will do soon, ill check back in to let you know how it goes. Their commission structure means that to get the cheapest spread you need to be trading full lots, so if you're daytrading and experienced you wont have any problems, but with a smaller account size the odds are against you anyways.

To be honest im amazed at how good theyve been, apart from the awful reps. Not for newbies.
Jun 4, 2008,

cheap - but you pay for what you get

system has gone down loads of times and could not get through to close a trade! - used them mainly for options. go with a decent broker a pay a tad more to make you life easier

2 stars IB,
shiow slkt,
May 26, 2008,

i trade stock, option n fx. i just realsie, IB unable to made adusment/amendment.edit/add for stop, limit and/or trail - i though i haven't able to figure up how to use their feature. i send an ticket asking them?IB, and to my surprise, they told me IB platfrom do not allow adjustment/edit/amend/add and/or changes on open position! This is most basic feature and they say they do not have this feature allow so - I wonder if the answer given is correct or the person answer my question have limited knowledge in their own platfrom. I wonder, because I tested their stop, trail and limit on demo account, it was very shocking to learn that price has way past my stop and my stop was not trigger at all. Example, my open is at $1 and stop at $0.50 and limit at $2 - the price went down to $0.38 and yet my stop was not trigger and I questin them, they say, I had place wrong instruction that's why not trigger, they claim I should lpace limit out at $0.50 instead stop! This answer ponder me, if is they don't have proper knowledge or I am actually wrong. But of-course, I know I am right, as I been trading and been always using stop, trail and limit, never once my other broker trading platfrom fail me or I was wrong to understand to use this stop, trail and limit.

If anyone with IB, have info on IB's open position for if able to do adjustment/add/amend/edit whatsoever information would be appreciate, otherwise, I will close this stupic trading platfrom. Although I find they are good as they have all the product I want to trade and low commission.

Thanks and regards,
Ah Phui,
May 9, 2008,

My expereince with them so far is terrible. I opened an account in AUD, then later found out I should have opened in USD or CAN becuase I want to trade in stocks from those countries.

No-one in customer service knew any of this; they have had USD55k of my money for some weeks and I still cannot trade.

Send them a Service Ticket and after more than a full working day , no one has even botherred to read it.

My guess is that they are using minimum wage customer service personnel with no product knowledge.

IB has been a huge waste of my time.

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.