Interactive Brokers Review
ABOUT INTERACTIVE BROKERS
Interactive Brokers is an online trading platform offering an extensive range of US-based and global trading opportunities for individual and institutional investors. It is most suitable for active and professional traders.
Interactive Brokers was founded in 1977 by Thomas Peterffy, who began trading equity options as a member of the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). Peterffy went on to form T.P. & Co., the first company to use computer-generated financial balanced sheets in 1978.
The brokerage, which has its headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut, provides low-cost investing, multiple trading platforms, retirement, cash management products, etc. It currently manages more than $8.5 billion in equity capital, and it conducts more than 1,832,000 trades per day. The broker provides trading access to more than 135 markets in 33 countries around the world, allowing clients to invest in stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, currencies, and bonds.
INTERACTIVE BROKERS REGULATIONS
Interactive Brokers is low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 94 out of 99. The broker is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including top-tier regulators like the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
As a registered Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), Interactive brokers are bound by the Commodity Exchange Act and rules promulgated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the National Futures Association (NFA), and other community exchanges in which the brokerage remain members.
Interactive Brokers is also a registered U.S broker-dealer, and as such subjected by the rules and regulations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and other rules enacted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and other regulatory bodies of which they remain members.
PLATFORMS AND TOOLS
Trader Work Station (TWS)
The main platform Interactive Brokers offers is the desktop-based Trader Workstation (TWS), which allows traders, investors, and institutions to trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, and funds on over 100 markets from a single account. The TWS is mainly designed for professional investors and is one of the best trading platforms in the industry.
- Professional tools: Trading tools within TWS includes Options Strategy Lab, Volatility Lab, Risk Navigator, Market Scanner, Strategy Builder, etc.
- IBot: Also available on the platform, IBot is a mobile feature that uses a foundation of artificial intelligence to quickly serve customer requests via chat or voice in the iPhone app. It gives information about a variety of things such as; portfolio information, orders, quotes, and more.
For less experienced traders, Interactive Brokers offers the Portal platform through its website. The Client Portal allows traders access to all the tools and features they need to monitor and manage their accounts. The Interactive Brokers Client Portal comes with forex charts (16 optional indicators), forex news headlines and related economic calendar events, trading, and even syncing watch lists.
MetaTrader and other third-party platforms
Interactive Brokers does not directly offer MetaTrader. To access third-party platforms such as MT4, traders must understand code and utilize APIs. API options include the FIX protocol, REST API, or Python, which all connect third-party platforms programmatically to TWS.
INTERACTIVE BROKERS’ LATEST AWARDS
Interactive Brokers have won many awards in the industry because of their quite impeccable services and long-standing commitment to their clients. Some of the awards include:
- 2018 – Best in Class for Platforms and Tools (Stockbrokers Annual Review)
- 2018 – Best in Class for Mobile Trading (ForexBrokers Awards)
- 2019 – Best Prime Broker, Technology (European Hedge Fund Services Awards)
- 2019 – Best Application for Mobile/Remote Working (HFM Technology)
- 2020 – Top 10 for serving Active Traders (Handelsblatt Awards Germany)
- 2020 – Best International Share Trading Account (Australian Finder Awards)
INTERACTIVE BROKERS EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
IBKR offers several resources for education, including its Traders’ Academy Portal, IBKR Quant blog, and Traders’ University. It also provides users with video tutorials on how the TWS works, a YouTube channel, webinars, and other pieces of information and courses related to trading. There is, however, little information about Forex and CFDs on the site.
Interactive Brokers offers the widest array of third-party research (23 providers), nine of which directly cover forex news and research in their content. The research is not the easiest to navigate (it isn’t centralized), and it isn’t all free, but it’s thorough, and it’s there for traders who know where to look.
Contact is available 24/7 via phone, e-mail, and mail and has a very quick response time.
INTERACTIVE BROKERS TRADING INFORMATION
Interactive Brokers primarily serves institutional investors and sophisticated, active traders around the globe. The company continues to introduce new products, education resources, and services aimed at investors who are not as active. Making the experience less intimidating for newer or less active investors is still a work in progress for the firm. In addition to unparalleled market access, IBKR has layered on a staggering array of tools that can meet almost every conceivable trading need.
Some of the features include;
- Trader Workstation— Interactive Brokers’ super-fast platform allows users to trade stocks, options, futures, funds, and even forex from one account.
- Mosaic— This completely customizable workspace includes features such as charts, watchlists, and market scanners.
- IBot— IBot is a text-based interface that provides a streamlined, no-nonsense way to create and submit trade orders.
- FYI Notifications— Interactive Brokers will send you a real-time notification ahead of market events that could affect your portfolio.
- No-Fee Mutual Funds— With Interactive Brokers, you can trade more than 4,300 transaction-fee–free mutual funds.
Interactive Brokers also have the IBKR mobile app. It is basically a Trader Workstation on the go and has two versions; IBKR Lite and Pro. It is equipped with advanced trading shortcuts, over 400 data columns, charting, an unmatched range of tradable securities, and ridiculously low margin rates. Presets set up on TWS are available from the mobile app.
INTERACTIVE BROKERS CUSTOMER SERVICE
Interactive Brokers customer support is up 6 days every week for 24 hours each day. Clients can reach the support unit via phone (with call back services), emails, and online chat support with a human agent. They also have A.I.-powered IBot, which directs customers to FAQs and educational resources. These services are available on the website and trading platforms.