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Interactive Brokers Review | Fees, Pros, Cons [2021]

Interactive Brokers Review 2021
Jordan
Major
Updated: 18 Nov, 2021
28 mins read

In this review, we will explore Interactive Brokers, one of the world’s largest and most recognized online brokers. We will focus on the features, products, and services available to the average investor using an individual account. Investing in stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and ETFs at minimal cost through a single integrated account is available, all while leveraging cutting-edge technology and trading tools to trade faster and more efficiently.

Introduction

Interactive Brokers (also known as “IBKR” or “IB”) is a financial services company that was incorporated as a U.S. broker-dealer in 1993. The firm provides a simplified approach to brokerage services that focuses on broad market access, low prices, and outstanding transaction execution. Clients from over 200 countries and territories can invest in global exchange markets in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.

Founded by Thomas Peterffy in 1977 when he purchased a seat on the American Stock Exchange as an independent market maker, it was until many years later, in 1993, that the broker’s electronic network and trade execution services were available to customers.

Today it is one of the world’s biggest online brokers, completing millions of trades every day with customers able to facilitate trades via the broker with stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, and funds on 135 different markets from a single integrated account. Not to mention that residents and institutions in the United States now have access to cryptocurrency trading via the broker.

The platform claims to “take your investing to the next level,” it does this by enabling customers from all over the world the opportunity to invest at the most competitive rates. Indeed, clients from over 200 countries and territories use Interactive Brokers to invest internationally in numerous assets and commodities on offer from a single integrated account.

Finally, the broker is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, and has offices across North America, Europe, and Asia. In total, IBKR employs over 2,100 people and is a publicly-traded corporation that trades on the Nasdaq under the ticker (NASDAQ: IBKR).


Why investors choose Interactive Brokers

In general, investors and traders alike choose Interactive Brokers since it provides several account types to its customers, including individual, joint, retirement, trust, family, and institutional. As previously mentioned, we will mainly look at the facilities, products, and tools accessible to the ordinary investor while utilizing an individual account.

Interactive Brokers is often considered one of the best options available for professional investors, day traders, and anybody serious about stock trading. Not only because the IB Trader workstation is one of the most complete systems available for researching, monitoring, and making investments but also for the following reasons:

  • The firm’s Impact Dashboard enables users to examine assets through the perspective of socially responsible investment (SRI);
  • Commissions and fees charged by Interactive Brokers are competitive, and the company offers some lowest margin trading rates in the online broker industry;
  • Interactive Brokers considers itself the professional’s gateway to the world’s markets, giving access to 135 overseas markets in 33 countries;
  • Users can invest in and trade various options that include practically every major asset class denominated in multiple currencies by funding their accounts in 23 different currencies, all with market data available 24 hours a day, six days a week;
  • A powerful trading platform to execute trades quickly and efficiently, commonly used by institutional investors and skilled traders;
  • The broker introduced additional products, services, and educational material targeted at less active traders to extend its appeal.

Interactive Brokers Products & Services

Customers of Interactive Brokers may make use of, as well as buy, sell, or even hold, a range of various financial products and services, including the following investment offerings:

  • Stocks;
  • ETFs;
  • Mutual Funds;
  • Bonds;
  • Options;
  • Futures;
  • Forex;
  • International Markets;
  • Penny Stocks;
  • Cryptocurrency;
  • Fractional Shares;
  • Cash Management Services.

Below we will discuss the services in place in order to take advantage of these offerings.

Investors’ Marketplace

Using IBKR investors marketplace, customers can locate a service provider or market their business to over 200 nations and territories, including categories such as:

  • Hedge Fund Marketplace: Hedge Funds utilizing IBKR as their prime broker may offer their funds to IBKR customers who are accredited investors, or qualified purchasers. Furthermore, IBKR customers may use the Marketplace to research or invest in Hedge Funds;
  • Advisor & Broker Marketplace: IBKR customers may access your advisory, brokerage, or wealth management services via the Marketplace. Also, IBKR customers may research and locate these service providers and access hundreds of adviser portfolios, including Smart Beta portfolios from Interactive Advisors, on the Marketplace;
  • Technology Marketplace: Find and hire third-party software developers and programming consultants to help you configure Trader Workstation (TWS) or leverage APIs to build bespoke trading apps. Third-party software providers and programming experts may advertise to IBKR customers in the firm’s Marketplace;
  • Research Marketplace: Find third-party, institutional-quality research suppliers and use Trader Workstation to obtain the information. Subscribing to a news feed or contacting an educational source may also help you better grasp markets, goods, and technology. You may promote your study to IBKR customers via the Marketplace;
  • Administrators Marketplace: Accountants, auditors, and compliance experts from more than 200 professional services businesses may be found here.

No transaction Fee ETFs

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as a rapidly expanding area of the financial products universe, are ideally suited for adopting a wide range of investing strategies for IBKR clients. They cover a variety of investing subjects, including stocks, fixed income, and alternative investments. 

Clients can create a core allocation using ETFs, diversify current portfolios, or apply new strategies by combining them together. By the same token, the platform supports ETFs in the context of options trading and short selling.

Commission Rebate Program

Over 150 ETFs are included in Interactive Brokers’ “fee waived” no transaction fee program, which reimburses IBKR Pro customers for fees paid on ETF shares held for at least 30 days, whereas clients of IBKR Lite never pay any commissions on ETFs.

Bonds Marketplace

The Bond Marketplace offers a broad range of global fixed-income securities.

  • IBKR does not charge any mark-ups or built-in spreads, and its commissions on bonds are minimal and transparent;
  • There are over one million bonds on the worldwide market, including a complete universe of US government securities, including 25,674 corporate bonds, 1,034,521 municipal bonds, 19,170 certificates of deposit, and non-US sovereign bonds, as well as fixed income futures and fixed income options;
  • Utilize the broker’s Bond Search tool to compare the yields on offer. You may check availability by maturity, yield, and quality or compare pricing to your broker’s. Enter an appropriate maturity date range for corporate bonds and click [View Results];
  • Clients of IBKR may trade directly with one another by putting bids and offers and negotiating trades online. Market data from IBKR customers will include non-marketable limit orders that are either equal to or above the current best quotation on the market.

Mutual Funds Marketplace

IBKR offers one of the biggest Mutual Fund Marketplaces globally, including funds from companies like Allianz, American Funds, BlackRock, Fidelity, among many others. In addition, the marketplace does not provide proprietary funds; therefore, there is no conflict of interest.

Overall, there are over 40,000 funds from 400 fund families accessible to residents across the globe, including over 7,700 funds with no transaction fees. Moreover, the broker provides the Mutual Fund Inventory Search Tool, allowing customers to find funds based on their location, commission paid, fund type, and the fund family.

Generally, Mutual funds are offered with no custody fees and low, transparent commissions. Inside the United States, the lesser of $14.95 or 3% of trade value, whilst outside the United States, the lesser of €4.95 or the comparable currency.

Short Securities Availability

An automated, self-service tool, the Securities Loan Borrow (SLB) system allows customers to look for shortable securities from inside the Client Portal account management platform of IBKR. Throughout the day, the system is updated so the shortable search tool may be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • View available quantities, lender count, and the current indicative borrow rate (the rate at which dealers in the Securities Lending/Borrowing Market are ready to trade today);
  • You may look at historical indicative borrowing rates;
  • Shortable securities may be found using the symbol and exchange, as well as the ISIN or CUSIP number. Additionally, you may search for shortable bonds based on their credit rating;
  • Upload a text file containing a bulk request to search for the availability of many shortable securities simultaneously;
  • Download shortable securities listings that have been produced and organized by each nation.

Cash Management 

In contrast to other brokers that have separate bank accounts from which you must move money back and forth, IBKR’s cash management is integrated into your broker account, saving you time and money. This implies that you may always borrow money at the lowest possible interest rate without having to worry about transferring money beforehand.

IBKR customers in the United States may quickly transfer money between their IBKR account and a bank account using Automated Clearinghouse (ACH). Whatsmore, clients can deposit funds easily by signing up for automatic payroll deposits or deposit checks using the mobile app.

The IBKR Debit Mastercard

With the addition of an IBKR Debit Mastercard, you’ll be able to borrow against your broker account at competitive margin rates without monthly minimums or late penalties. Using the IBKR Debit Mastercard allows you to access your account money everywhere a Debit Mastercard is accepted.

Interactive brokers debit Mastercard. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Bill pay

Using the service Bill Pay to effortlessly pay cash to vendors such the IRS, mobile providers, and cable companies. Any vendor, such as your dentist or doctor, may receive payments from us by check if your payee isn’t available electronically. If you don’t have enough unused funds in your account, you may borrow at the lowest possible interest rates.

Trading platforms

IBKR has built four distinct trading platforms:

  1. Client Portal;
  2. Trader Workstation;
  3. IBKR Mobile;
  4. IBKR APIs.

Each of these platforms offers its own unique set of advantages to clients, which we shall discuss in more depth below.

IBKR Trading Platforms. Source: interactivebrokers.com

1. Client Portal

In addition to monitoring quotes and conducting trades, the firm’s online client portal provides access to viewing account balances, profit and loss statements, key performance metrics, financing, reporting, among other functions.

2. Trader Workstation (TWS) API

Trader Workstation is a desktop platform created specifically for active traders and investors that trade numerous products and want a high level of functionality, speed, and power.

The IB Trader Workstation, developed by market makers enables traders, investors, and institutions to perform the core trades on more than 135 markets around the world in stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds all via a single integrated account.

IBKR Trader Workstation (TWS) API. Source: interactivebrokers.com

When it comes to automating your trading techniques, requesting market data, and keeping track of your balance and portfolio in real-time, the TWS API provides a simple but effective interface. Construct your own trading application, or integrate your existing application with TWS to use their sophisticated trading features.

Under one window, you’ll have immediate access to TWS trading and order management tools, such as real-time quotes, technical research, and analysis, thus increasing the speed and efficiency of your trading activities.

With the use of TWS, users may additionally take advantage of the following trading benefits:

  • Utilizee interactive, customisable charts that support research and trendlines;
  • View real-time news for a specified topic;
  • Modify market scanners with gradients, lines, and bars to make it easier to identify trends and patterns;
  • Create unique market scanners by combining numerous Watchlists to examine groups of instruments at the same time;
  • Attached orders, such as bracket, stop limit, profit taker, One Cancels Other, beta, FX order, and pair hedging orders, may be created straight from the Orders panel, saving you time and effort.

TWS Mosaic

Mosaic provides a single, personalized workspace with quick access to trading, order management, charting, watchlists, and portfolio management tools.

Classic TWS

Order input from bid and ask prices is simple and fast with Classic TWS, which displays the order row right under the Market Data row. Traders who want more powerful tools and algorithms can rely on the classic TWS platform.

3. IBRK mobile

The IBKR mobile app has all the features you need, including trading tools that you may carry around in your pocket. This enables clients to complete complex order types to trade stocks, futures, options, futures options, currency, and more from anywhere in the world at any time. 

IBKR mobile app. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Furthermore, users can obtain quotes and research on a higher level as IBKR Mobile gives the same market-moving information as the broker’s powerful desktop TWS trading platform, thanks to more than 50 data columns and access to institutional-level research.

Using easy and creative trading tools, such as the Option Spreads grid and the Order Entry Wheel, the broker redefines mobile trading and makes it easier to trade on the move. 

Watch the video: IBKR Mobile Order Entry Wheel

Additionally, IBKR Mobile allows you to pre-authorize significant transactions safely and securely. Thus, you can prevent fraudulent card activity by notifying the broker several minutes before making a transaction worth $1,000 or more with your Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard. The pre-authorization is straightforward and only takes a few seconds using the IBKR mobile app.

From your iOS or Android device, you may easily trade and manage your IBKR account while on the road (tablet or smartphone), and users can download the application from the App Store or Google Play

4. IBKR APIs

The company offers different application programming interfaces (APIs), one of which is a straightforward Excel API and another which is a powerful industrial quality FIX API, so there is something for customers of all levels of experience and competence. The broker’s TWS API is well-supported, and there are various examples to assist you in getting started.

To trade, monitor, and manage your IBKR account, you may make use of the broker’s advanced REST API. The Client Portal API facilitates straightforward integration and allows you to access account and sub-account data, as well as FYI messages and other information from the Client Portal.

The brokers trading APIs are utilized not just by individuals but also:

  • Leading Hedge Funds;
  • Proprietary Trading Firms;
  • Introducing Brokers;
  • Investment Advisors;
  • Third-party software developers;

Whatsmore, Trading API Solutions from Interactive Brokers enable customers to create bespoke trading apps and automate any step of the trading process from start to finish. Users may also incorporate trading into their current apps and front-ends. In addition, there are various other advantages, such as:

  • Create software for commercial trading operations;
  • Gain access to 135 different markets in 33 different countries to trade stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds;
  • Use IB SmartRoutingSM to get the best firm stock, option, and combination pricing available at the moment of your order.

Trading features

Among the other products and trading features available on IBKR’s trading platforms are tools such as the OptionTrader and Probability Lab, which allow for simple single-leg option trading and more complex multi-leg option trading.

On top of financial tools, including FXTrader for foreign currency trading, there is a Mutual Fund/ETF Replicator to help you quickly locate lower-cost ETF alternatives to well-known mutual funds, not to mention fixed income screeners for corporate, municipal, and agency bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs) in addition to other features available.

Crucially, the broker aims to provide its customers with additional services and products that will improve their trading experience. 

By way of illustration, customers who want an investment strategy specifically tailored to their needs and customized have access to over 30 algorithms, including the broker’s Accumulate/Distribute Algo. Moreover, customizable logic assists you in filling large-volume orders while also reacting to market circumstances depending on your criteria. 

Watch the video: Accumulate/Distribute Algo

Over and above that, the company’s “what-if portfolio scenarios” enable you to get a comprehensive understanding of the situation before making a purchase or sale. While the firm’s professional-caliber IB Risk NavigatorSM identifies exposure across asset classes around the world, allowing you to monitor and alter your holdings as required.

Interactive Brokers Fees (IBKR Lite vs. IBKR Pro)

Interactive Brokers has established a reputation for offering low fees and commissions. They offer individual investors two different accounts depending on their goals and experience with investing in general, IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro.

The former, IBKR Lite, offers retail customers zero commissions on transactions on publicly traded stocks and ETFs in the United States, no account minimums, and no inactivity fees. Investors who are just getting started with trading will find IBKR Lite to be a more user-friendly platform.

On the other hand, IBKR Pro is the IBKR Plan designed for skilled investors and busy traders. Clients of IBKR Pro have access to the IB SmartRoutingSM technology, which gives a $0.47 per 100 share price improvement above the market average compared to the industry.

IBKR Lite vs. IBKR Pro. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Watch the video: IBKR Lite vs. IBKR Pro Offerings

Since it caters more towards professional and institutional investors, IBKR Pro charges commissions, with both fixed and tiered pricing options available to customers. 

For stocks listed in the United States, Interactive Brokers charges three different forms of commissions subject to a set pricing structure which is detailed below:

  1. Tiered: The firm has a modest broker commission, which reduces in proportion to volume, as well as exchange, regulatory, and clearing costs. For under 300,000 shares, there is an IB commission per share of $0.0035 for all U.S. stocks, ETFs, ETPs, and warrants, while there is a minimum per order of $0.35 and a maximum of 1.0% of the trade value.
  2. Fixed: Share prices are set at $0.005 per share, and shares are traded with a $1.00 minimum and a maximum of 1% of the total transaction value; all exchange and regulatory fees are included in the price. Transaction costs on US stocks, ETFs, and warrants are passed on to the stock buyer on all sales.
  3. Free: This means zero commission for U.S. stock trading. Zero commission trading for US-listed stocks and ETFs for citizens of the United States who have individual, Joint, IRA, or qualified Trust accounts. Additionally, there are no activity fees or account minimums. Fixed-Rate Pricing will be applied to stocks and ETFs that are not publicly traded in the United States.

Commissions

Fixed 

FixedMinimum per orderMaximum per order
$0.005 per share $1.001.0% of trade value 

Tiered

Volume per monthFee per shareMinimum per orderMaximum per order
≤ 300,000 Shares$0.0035$0.351.0% of trade value
300,001 – 3,000,000 $0.002$0.351.0% of trade value
3,000,001 – 20,000,000 $0.0015$0.351.0% of trade value
20,000,001 – 100,000,000 $0.001$0.351.0% of trade value
> 100,000,000 Shares$0.0005$0.351.0% of trade value

Note: Investors who execute a high volume of trades each month may take advantage of the firm’s tiered pricing approach, which reduces the charge as your overall trading volume increases. Interactive Brokers employs both fixed and tiered commission structures for various assets such as options, bonds, currency, and mutual funds.

Below is an image of a stock order ticket where depending on your account, you will be charged a certain fee per share. Furthermore, because of the many features available on the platform, users must consider a range of financial variables.

IBKR Order ticket. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Margin Trading 

In order to improve your purchasing power, you may use the cash or assets in your account as leverage. Margin trading with IBKR enables users to get the lowest interest rates on market margin loans available from any broker. At any moment, you may borrow money against your margin account and return the loan according to your own timetable.

Note: Investors are urged to become familiar with the risks associated with margin trading. Margin borrowing is only appropriate for experienced investors with a high-risk tolerance. 

For IBKR Lite, they impose a fixed 2.6 percent fee to fund all types of margin trades. Margin interest rates vary from 0.75% to 1.6% based on the amount of money borrowed by IBKR Pro customers; bigger transactions have a lower rate.

Interest Rates

Clients can earn interest at the current market rate on your unspent cash balances in their securities accounts, which accrues and is payable daily. 

For instance, client accounts are entitled to earn credit interest on long-term cash balances that have been settled. Those accounts that have a Net Asset Value (NAV) of at least $100,000 (or equivalent) are entitled to receive interest at the full rate that is applicable to their situation. While accounts with a NAV of less than $100,000 earn interest at rates proportionate to the account’s size. 

For example, an account with a NAV of $50,000 gets credit interest at a rate equivalent to one-half the rate given by IBKR to accounts having a NAV of $100,000 or more.

Cryptocurrency trading

Cryptocurrency futures are available on the same integrated platform that allows users to trade stocks, options, futures, spot currencies, bonds, funds, among others.

The commission fee is from 0.12% – 0.18% using Paxos on Interactive Brokers’ platform to trade crypto. There is also a $1.75 minimum per order (although the minimum is limited to 1% of transaction value). 

Using the commission above, if you buy $1,000 in cryptocurrency, the total cost will be 0.18%, with no spread or markup charge, and thus the entire cost of the trade will be $1.80

Whatsmore while trading cryptos, clients have some benefits such as:

  • Low commissions – 0.12% to 0.18% of transaction value;
  • No additional spreads, markups, or custodial charges;
  • Access the crypto markets with ease with IBKR’s professional-grade desktop software, as well as its innovative mobile and online platforms;
  • The execution and safekeeping of cryptocurrency transactions are managed by the reputable Paxos Trust Company, which utilizes military-grade security to safeguard your crypto assets.

Interactive Brokers Deposit Options

When it comes to financing your account, Interactive Brokers provides a variety of options that are both flexible and easy.

For customers wanting to deposit funds in the United States, there are a number of options available, including:

  • Direct ACH Transfer from your Bank: Set up a one-time connection with your bank or request that your employer deposits your paycheck into your IBKR account. After initial setup, trade within one business day or less. This is Free, IBKR does not have a limit, but your bank may have one.
  • Connect Your Bank via ACH: This approach is completely Free; however, you are restricted to a total of $100,000 each seven-day period. The initial deposits can be traded after four business days, whereas subsequent deposits may be made accessible immediately after the first deposit (depending on tenure, deposit history, and account balance). Otherwise, it will be four business days before trading.
  • Bank Wire: Trade in as little as one business day or less, depending on your bank. Fees are determined by your bank, although in general, fees are charged. There are two steps: the first involves notifying IBKR of each deposit in accordance with its procedures, while the second, you will need to contact your bank to arrange for a wire transfer. There are no limits on the amount.
  • Online Bill Pay: You may begin trading anywhere from one to six business days, depending on your bank. Fees are decided by your bank, but generally are Free.  Completed in two steps: first, notify IBKR of each deposit, then send the deposit via the bank’s bill payment app. Limits will be determined by your bank.
  • Mail a Check: Sending a paper check is the slowest method of all funding options. Nevertheless, customers can start trading six days after the check arrives. Your bank establishes fees; however, they are often non-existent. It is your responsibility to notify the broker of each deposit and then write a check to IBKR; your banking institution, not IBKR, sets the limits.

IBKR Traders’ Academy

In general, the broker has made an effort to extend its appeal by releasing additional products, services, and instructional material geared for less active traders and investors.

Overall, customers and the general public may benefit from IBKR’s wide choice of educational programs for investors. For instance, the broker offers a well-defined and comprehensive curriculum via the IBKR Traders Academy, which is accessible online and on-demand.

For those working in the financial sector, as well as investors and students interested in learning more about IBKR’s trading platforms and their many asset classes, markets, currencies, and features, the broker created the Traders Academy.

IBKR Traders’ Academy. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Nonetheless, the company provides various instructional resources that consumers may employ to achieve their financial goals.

  • IBKR Campus: Learn all you need to know about trading, financial markets, and IBKR’s trading tools. Improve your comprehension of the markets and stay on top of current developments by following these lessons.
  • Traders’ Insight: The principles and skills of financial trading are covered in free online courses designed for active traders, investors, instructors, and students. Lessons that make use of their award-winning trading tools, in addition to the notes and quizzes that are offered, to assist reinforce each lesson.
  • IBKR Quant Blog: The IBKR Quant Blog is aimed at quantitative professionals and covers a variety of programming languages in depth.
  • Webinars: Interactive Brokers provides FREE trading webinars that are presented by prominent financial services organizations and research sources from around the world. Watching, listening, and asking questions during live events on trading, international finance, and current developments in the stock market are all options for participants. Furthermore, you can select from a list of subjects to see previously recorded events.
  • Student Trading Lab: Teachers from throughout the globe utilize the IBKR Student Trading Lab to augment classroom learning. Students obtain a free paper trading account with all trading tools from the IBKR Student Trading Lab. In addition to trading currencies, students may also trade stocks, options, futures, and bonds on the US stock market.
  • Short Videos: As a new trader, you may rapidly learn about Trader Workstation, TWS trading tools, and Account Management features via the broker’s short video tutorials.

Market News

Clients of Interactive Brokers have access to a plethora of free and paid market research and financial news sources available. Users with demo accounts may also use research services, which are provided without the need for an account application to be authorized or funds to be allocated. 

IBKR Security

IBKR is a reliable service that you can depend on and put your confidence in. The firm’s robust capital position, conservative balance sheet, and automatic risk controls are all geared to safeguard IBKR and its customers from suffering substantial trading losses.

Notably, IBKR is listed on the Nasdaq, one of the biggest stock exchanges around the world. In addition, the broker has over $10 billion in equity capital with 76.5% privately held. Not to mention that the firm has over $6.2 billion in excess of regulatory requirements.

In terms of securing the brokerage, there are firewalls, 128-bit encryption, two-factor authentication, and mobile security measures at Interactive Brokers to safeguard your account.

It’s also worth mentioning that 1.54 million clients have an account with Interactive Brokers, with a $2.26 million daily average in revenue from trades.

IBKR security. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Lastly, Interactive Brokers is also a member of NYSE – FINRA – SIPC and regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Note: To learn more about IBKR security be sure to read our comprehensive ‘Is Interactive Brokers safe?‘ guide.

How to open Interactive Brokers account (step-by-step)

First and foremost, for looking to have access to all of Interactive Brokers platforms, the opportunity to experiment with strategies, exchanges, and order types and experience the benefits of having an IBKR account by gaining immediate access to all of its platforms and tools.

Customers can try the broker’s platforms risk-free and compare their commissions, margins, and cheap financing costs to those of their existing broker. In order to start your free trial, follow the steps below.

Step 1: In order to begin making an account, go to Interactivebrokers.com and select Free Trial at the top of your screen.


IBKR free trial home screen. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Step 2: Following this, you will be taken to a screen where you enter your email address, username, password, country and then select [Create Account].

FREE trial create username and password. Source:interactivebrokers.com

Step 3: Next, to try out the Client Portal dashboard, you can log in using the exact details. Alternatively, you may download the Trader Workstation, which also offers a demo version to practice first of all.

Log in to Client Portal. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Step 4: After logging in to the client portal you will be taken to your account dashboard from here you will be able to deposit, withdraw, trade on top of utilizing numerous other features.

Client Portal Dashboard. Source: interactivebrokers.com

Customer Support 

Most customers or prospective clients looking for support can generally solve their issue by browsing through the FAQs to solve the query; if the issue is not solved using many of IBKR’s information resources, then clients can use some of the methods listed below.

Phone

IBKR offers 24-hour client assistance via regional Client Services Centers in America, Europe, and Asia. While an agent is always available to help, solutions may frequently be discovered faster and without a phone call through IBKR’s website and Knowledge Base.

IBot

In addition, the broker has an IBot service that uses artificial intelligence to answer inquiries in simple English. The IBot can assist clients in discovering answers quickly and easily on the website and trading platforms, saving waiting times.

Chat

IBKR provides online chat for existing customers. If you are a current or newly authorized customer, you may access chat by clicking the “Support” menu option in their Client Portal. 

FAQ page. Source: interactivebrokers.com

In order to find out more about the platform, check out Interactive Broker’s social channels FacebookTwitter, LinkedInYouTube, and Instagram.

IBKR Pros & Cons

Pros 

  • Available across the globe in 33 countries, 23 currencies, and access to multiple asset classes in 135 markets;
  • Extensive range of investment offerings, including stocks, cryptos, ETFs, options, Futures, Warrants, CFDs, Bonds, commodities, and forex.
  • Low fees and commissions;
  • A powerful platform that’s filled with practical tools;
  • Trades are executed promptly;
  • Competitive margin rates;
  • A solid collection of educational and research resources

Cons

  • The number of tools and services may be overwhelming for a novice investor simply looking at investing in some Blue-Chip stocks;
  • Complex tiered pricing plans;

Conclusion

On the whole, our verdict is that IBKR is a solid option for professional traders and skilled, active traders who wish to use a robust array of tools and worldwide access to a diverse selection of assets. 

Considering the fact that you can trade multiple different assets from a single integrated account is something that many brokers don’t offer. Besides that, Interactive Brokers services, tools, and technology offered to invest and trade in them are extensive. 

Furthermore, IBKR is working to make its technology more accessible to the general public, with its plethora of helpful tools and education information to aim to reduce the intimidation for many prospective investors. 

Even if their flagship IBKR Pro platform is a touch overwhelming for novices, Interactive Brokers still offers comparatively straightforward and easy-to-use mobile and web-based alternatives.

Finally, for those investors who have outgrown the capabilities provided by their current broker or who anticipate doing so in the near future, Interactive Brokers may be a sensible alternative to help you take your trading to the next level.


FAQs about Interactive Brokers

Is Margin available on IBKR Lite?

As with Pro accounts, Lite accounts have access to the same level of leverage and the ability to short stocks as the Pro accounts. A Lite account has just one distinction from a Pro account: The borrowing rate for margin loans is 1% higher with Lite accounts.

Is Interactive Brokers safe?

Yes, client securities accounts at Interactive Brokers are covered up to $500,000 by SIPC (with a cash sub-limit of $250,000). Lloyd’s of London also provides $30 million in investment asset coverage and $900,000 in cash coverage. 

Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners?

Many beneficial features are available to traders via Interactive Brokers. A diverse choice of stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and other financial products are available for trading on the platform. IBKR Lite is geared at novice and retail investors, while IBKR Pro is aimed at more sophisticated traders.

Can you trade Cryptocurrency with Interactive Brokers?

purchase and sale of a variety of cryptos, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Costs vary from 0.12% to 0.18% of trading volume, with the particular price determined by monthly volume, and there are no additional spreads, markups, or custody fees.

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Jordan Major
Author

Jordan is an investor and market analyst. He's passionate about stocks, ETFs, blockchain, and digital assets. At Finbold.com, he delves into the technicalities to obtain future trends for new market traders and gives insights into user-friendly platforms for beginners.

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