Interactive Brokers Review 2022

Interactive Brokers, known as IBKR, founded in the US in 1977 has become one of the most successful online brokers in the world. It is a company that is driven by excellence and innovation, and during its long history has continually shown its commitment to pushing the boundaries of trader usability and experience.

🏆 Mediator Rating
5.86
🗺️ Regulators FCA
💳 Minimum Deposit: 0$
⚖️ Islamic account NO
💰 Payment Methods Bank transfer
🏢 Main Branch: United States
☎ Customer support 24/5
🎮 Demo account yes
🖥 Trading Platforms Proprietary Platform -Web platform

Key Takeaways

  • Interactive Brokers was founded in the US in 1977.

  • Interactive Brokers is listed publicly on the NASDAQ under the trading code IBKR.

  • Interactive Brokers LLC in the US is regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

  • Interactive Brokers UK Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is a participant of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), protecting UK investors up to £85,000.

  • Interactive Brokers Australia Pty. Ltd is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

  • Interactive Brokers Securities Japan Inc. is a member of the Japan Securities Dealers Association (JSDA).

  • Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).

  • Interactive Brokers Singapore Pte. Ltd. is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

  • Interactive Brokers Luxembourg SARL is a member of the Luxembourg Investor Compensation Scheme (Système d’indemnisation des investisseurs, SIIL).

  • The broker offers 600+ investment services, 320+ research services, 450+ technology services, 200+ administrative services, and 40+ business development services.

  • Clients can fund their accounts in one of 24 global currencies.

  • Interactive Brokers offers two account types that are suitable for both retail and professional traders.

  • Interactive Brokers customers can access high-quality research and education materials.

  • Traders can follow and copy the trades of designated top investors on the social trading-enabled platforms.

  • The broker was awarded with the Barron’s “Best Online Broker” prize in 2020.

  • The company has taken professional indemnity insurance through Lloyd's of London.

  • Traders can use one of 13 investment principles to build a more socially conscious Impact Dashboard.

  • IBKR Pro clients can deploy over 100 different order types.

  • IBKR offers unmatched market access with traders able to reach 135 global markets.

 

company_img
Mediator Rating
5.86
Foundation Year:
1977
Main Branch:
United States
Other Branches:
Switzerland, Canada, Hong Kong
Language:
English Japanese Chinese
Hours of Operation:
Market Opening Hours
Location of the Organization:

Overall Summary

Interactive Brokers, known as IBKR, founded in the US in 1977 has become one of the most successful online brokers in the world. It is a company that is driven by excellence and innovation, and during its long history has continually shown its commitment to pushing the boundaries of trader usability and experience.

 

One example of this innovation is the recently introduced Impact Dashboard, which allows traders to create their portfolios in line with their personal values. This means they can choose to avoid investing in companies that support animal testing while investing in other firms with a strong green agenda. This is a snapshot of the way in which this broker listens to trader sentiment and acts upon it while keeping up with the times.

 

Long known for its exceptionally low trading costs, both entry-level account holders and professional account holders enjoy hyper competitive rates with IBKR when compared to the rest of the industry. Besides low spreads and commissions, the broker has introduced several other programs, such as paying interest on loaned shares, that are designed to reward trader behavior with cash in their pocket.

 

IBKR has a truly impressive global reach across 135 world markets. Traders can invest in stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds from the same integrated account. Its multi-currency funding methods give clients the chance to trade in 24 currencies, across 33 countries. Never satisfied, the broker has product-development teams on standby to add new markets as trader demand intensifies.

 

The company has developed a peerless range of technology-driven platforms to serve professional traders and entry-level traders alike. Available on desktop, mobile and Web, clients can use free premium trading tools to spot market opportunities, analyze results, manage their accounts and make better decisions. With as many as 100 order types, including complex algorithmic trading, traders can execute any strategy and view the results instantly on the comprehensive reporting suite.

 

IBKR has developed a range of research and information resources aimed at keeping its clients at the cutting edge of breaking news around products, services, markets and technology. Through regularly flighted Webinars and a packed research page, the broker offers free resources to traders who can watch or read them as they are released or at their own leisure.

 

The broker is a darling of the awards ceremonies and is proud to display its litany of awards. The IBKR Website contains a separate page devoted to its list of accolades. With prestigious awards, such as Barron's 2020 “Best Online Broker,” to mention only one, the broker has much good news to report.

 

IBKR is regulated by six premier regulators around the world. It is regulated by FINRA, the SEC and the CFTC in the US. It is also authorized and regulated by the ASIC in Australia, the FCA in the UK as well as maintaining compliant regulation in other developed countries like Japan, Singapore, Luxembourg and Ireland.

 

The company features two account types aimed at opposite ends of the market. The IBKR Lite Account is targeted at casual traders and features unlimited no-commission equity trades on many of its assets. By contrast, IBKR Pro is the professional account that is an advanced platform featuring severely low-margin rates and an attractive $0 account minimum. These two accounts are the entry points to access the vast world of features and tools available to IBKR clients.

 

Pros

  • Robust global regulation.
  • Competitive low margin rates.
  • Vast market access.
  • Fractional share trading offered.
  • Excellent platforms for traders of all experience levels.
  • Smart order router to optimize trades.
  • Strong research and tools.
  • Lowest financing rates in the industry.
  • Interest paid to traders for share lending.

Cons

  • IBKR Lite customers cannot use the smart order router.
  • Small or inactive accounts generate substantial fees.
  • Website is busy and overly detailed.
  • Inactivity fees on IBKR Pro are present.
  • Multiple sign-in on different devices is not allowed.
  • Account financing methods heavily favor North American traders.
  • Does not have a good FOREX product.
  • Limited cryptocurrency wallet.

 

Who Is Interactive Brokers Good For?

IBKR is the ideal fit for high-grade institutional investors and elite traders. With a slate of advanced and responsive tools and products that push the limits of the trader experience, elite traders need not look any further than this broker for unmatched market access, product choice and support. In terms of market access, it is worth noting up front that IBKR does not have a strong FOREX product. In saying that, it is not a broker with a lopsided approach that favors one type of trader over another. Having introduced a range of new products and attractive pricing to stimulate less active traders, it can expect that its array of education resources, helpful services and competitive pricing will turn casual traders into those more serious.

 

As mentioned before, IBKR has also moved to position itself with another type of trader – the socially responsible investor. Using its Impact Dashboard, traders can align their investment criteria to 13 principles drawn from examples like clean air and water, LGBTQ inclusion and gender equality. Investors can tag practices they find objectionable, such as animal testing and greenhouse emissions, and the broker will automatically allow them to swerve these investments. Further, the broker has a global outlook and welcomes traders from as many as 218 countries and territories around the world. It is truly a global broker that does not insert barriers to entry for traders living in countries far removed from the global financial centers of the world. That said, clients will soon find that many of the broker’s functions and terminology have been created with the North American trader in mind.

 

Here are some key factors to consider when investing with IBKR:

Pros Explained

IBKR has developed an outstanding order execution engine. It tracks and analyzes market changes in real time and re-routes traders' orders to optimize their chances of price improvement. The broker offers unmatched market access with traders able to reach 135 global markets. This is almost unheard of in the industry and is a testament to the way the company has continued to focus on product development over the years.

 

With competitive rates and advanced trading platforms, clients of all levels will find little to complain about. The broker package is rounded off with strong regulation, good customer service, attractive client promotions and detailed educational and research resources.

 

Cons Explained

Most of the cons related to this broker lie at product level and do not take away from the overall strength of their offering. For example, traders can only operate on their accounts on one device at a time. Logging on to a new device will interrupt your current session, and you will be offered a choice of which device on which to continue trading. In the age of “always-on” multi-device living, this is a drawback.

 

IBKR Lite Account holders cannot use the mobile application, or any of the advanced Application Programming Interfaces (API) that dovetail to the IBKR trading engine. IBKR Pro accounts that lie unused are subject to inactivity fees and data charges. As far as interest payments to clients, only traders with significant account balances can get rewarded with meaningful interest amounts.

 

Is Interactive Brokers Safe?

IBKR is a low-risk trading option. It has powerful regulation in several major territories. Its US office is a member of the SIPC, the SEC, and the CFTC. In the UK, the broker is authorized by the FCA. Its Luxembourg office is regulated by the CSSF. In Ireland, the broker is regulated by the CBI. Moreover, it is regulated by the ASIC in Australia. Its Japan affiliate is a member of the JSDA, while it is regulated by the MAS in Singapore.

 

Keeping all these memberships compliant and current is a testament to the broker’s ongoing commitment to maintaining investor fund safety. As part of this regulation, the broker is a member of the Luxembourg Investor Compensation Scheme (SIIL) and it is also a signatory to the FSCS as per FCA rules.

 

For US clients, IBKR has registered for SIPC-mandated additional insurance. The broker has engaged with Lloyd's of London to provide this. Each trading account is insured up to $150 million. Qualifying clients who receive even further protection will get coverage up to $180 million. Traders can also get $2,500,000 of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance on designated cash amounts.

 

In terms of platform security, the broker has been keeping up with the trends in online account safeguards. It offers mobile users the chance to log in with facial or fingerprint biometric recognition. Traders will become accustomed to this type of two-factor authentications before getting account access. IBKR even offers a proprietary mobile application called Mobile Key that keeps trader biometric details and passwords as an extra layer of protection.

 

Traders should be aware that in 2020, the US-based FINRA fined IBKR $15 million for failing to uphold its anti-money laundering (AML) program. Additionally, the SEC and the CFTC initiated punitive actions toward the broker to the tune of $11.5 million for the same AML failures. The broker cooperated fully with the regulators, settled its fines, and announced its intention to improve its AML program to the required standards.

 

Trading Account Information

The Currency of the Calculation
USD
Minimum Deposit:
0$
Segregated Accounts
yes
Payment Methods
Bank transfer
Americans Accepted
yes
Available Markets
Forex-Commodities-Stocks-Indices
Trial Period
30 يوم

Offering of Investments

IBKR offers its client peerless access to the global marketplace. Never satisfied with standing still, the broker installs new products in response to customer sentiment. With active product development teams, traders can enjoy new electronic exchanges at a rate faster than any other broker. Traders can do all this from a single integrated account. As broad as the broker’s access is, at the time of writing, the only form of cryptocurrency trading it provided was with Bitcoin futures.

 

Stocks/Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF): Clients can trade stocks on over 80 global markets, using the lowest financing rates in the industry. Traders can enjoy fractional shares that allow them to invest in the shares of their choice no matter the share price. The broker promises $0 commissions, or, at the very least, extremely low commissions on this product.

 

Options: With ultra-low commissions from $0.15 to $0.65 per contract, clients can trade options on over 30 global markets. Advanced trading tools like an Options Strategy Builder allows traders to create complex combination orders in quick time. They can also use the Options Strategy Lab to create potentially lucrative stock and option combinations based on market variables like volatility. Other innovative tools include the Probability Lab and the Volatility Lab that are designed to assist traders make the most information-rich decisions.

 

Futures: Clients can trade global futures with commissions as low as $0.25 to $0.85 per contract. With market access spanning over 30 worldwide centers, clients can trade futures in agriculture, currencies, energy and more. With unique trading tools like the ComboTrader, clients can create their own combination of order strategies or select from a range of templates.

 

Spot Currencies: With the benefit of low interbank rates, clients can trade global currencies with spreads as low as 0.1pips. Featuring deep liquidity and instantaneous quotes from some of the world's biggest FOREX dealers, traders will find good value in this asset class. As usual, the broker has installed high-grade tools, such as FXTrader, which is a powerful interface where traders can view dynamic quotes, fluctuating indicators, and trading volumes.

 

US Spot Gold: Clients can access US Spot Gold and benefit from transparent commissions and competitive micro-pricing per ounce. IBKR gives clients access to the Loco London Bullion Market, where they can trade on the over the counter (OTC) market for gold and silver. Another interesting product in this asset class involves traders requesting physical delivery of approved quantities of real gold.

 

Bonds: Traders can access an enormous marketplace featuring one million bonds around the world. They can use the Bond Search tool to analyze yields by market. They can also trade with IBKR clients by placing bids and offers and negotiating online to execute trades.

 

Mutual Funds: With an enormous selection of 40,000+ funds available to worldwide clients, traders can invest in thousands of funds with zero transaction fees. They can also use the free Mutual Fund Search tool to help them find the best funds

 

Hedge Funds: Sophisticated investors can browse available hedge funds via a password-protected area on the broker’s Website. IBKR reminds traders that investment in a hedge fund is speculative and involves a high degree of risk. Only advanced investors with a high-risk tolerance must take part.

 

Advantages of Trading

Maximum Lift
1:50
The Least Contract
0.01
Currency Pairs
100+ Currency Pairs
Accept Scalping
yes
Hedge Available?
yes
The Price Difference
NA
Trailing Stop?
not
Free from Usury?
NO111
Trading Platforms
Proprietary Platform -Web platform
Regulators
FCA
Media Type:
STP

 

Account Types

IBKR gives traders the choice between two account types:

 

IBKR Lite: This account is for entry-level retail traders and allows them to trade with $0 commissions on US-listed stock and ETF trades. There are no account minimums and no inactivity fees. Clients on this plan will also pay low commissions on futures, FOREX, bonds, and funds from a single integrated account.

 

IBKR Pro: The professional account is meant for sophisticated investors and active traders. Clients who use this account get the benefit of the IB SmartRoutingSM system, which provides $0.47 per 100 shares price improvement against the rest of the industry.

 

No matter with which account you start trading, it opens a world of possibility as you immediately get access to IBKR’s Client Portal. This intuitive interface contains all the tools and features you need to manage your account. The well-designed page offers a sleek and simple account overview. Traders will get important metrics like account balances and portfolio performance. They will also have visibility of completed transactions, notifications, and top news items.

 

Both accounts have excellent amenities. One example is portfolio margining, a system where IBKR shares the revenue from its stock loan program equally with the trader who loaned the stock. Another example is that traders can earn interest on their account balance. The first $10,000 in an account does not earn interest, but after that, US-based clients who have in excess of $100,000 stashed away, will receive 0.63% interest. Anything over $100,000 stands to gain 1.05% interest. This mainly applies to the IBKR Pro account as IBKR Lite clients earn just 0.05% on their cash balances over $10,000.

 

Order Types

IBKR Pro clients can deploy over 100 different order types. This is a sophisticated trader’s paradise, as the vast array of order types are designed to limit risk, increase execution speed, generate price improvement, and generally just squeeze every inch of optimization from trades. All order types are stress tested and underpinned by advanced technology, and the broker has even supplemented its own order types with a range of third-party algorithmic order types.

 

Traders will need to do plenty of research, as each order type has its own dedicated explanatory page on the broker’s Website, as well as a detailed user guide. Order types can be deployed on the Client Portal or on the IBKR Pro advanced trading interface, Trader Workstation (TWS). Some examples of the many order types are Conditional, Fill or Kill, and Limit if Touched.

 

The broker’s order execution engine tracks market changes to instantaneously re-route orders as per instruction to achieve maximum optimization. The order routing algorithms are constantly searching for efficiencies in execution speeds while weeding out potential execution blockages caused by large institutional orders. It is a highly specialized system of moving parts that works tirelessly and in real time for the benefit of the trader.

 

Account Opening

IBKR will ask new clients to fill in several electronic forms before getting started. As usual, you will have to provide valid identification documents. Once the account is opened, which is done without making a deposit, traders can access their Client Portal, which opens access to the broker’s tools and features. If the account is not activated within 90 days of opening, it will close automatically.

 

Demo Account

The broker offers a free trial of its accounts, where traders can compare commissions, margins, and other charges against their incumbent broker. Traders can access all IBKR platforms with the free trial, as well as try out strategies to test products, orders, and exchanges. It is an attractive deal, as traders get access to all the broker’s superior trading tools, such as Probability Lab, Volatility Lab, Option Strategy Lab, Charts, Market Scanner, Portfolio Builder and the IB Risk Navigator. Switching to a live account once the trader is ready is a simple process.

 

Leverage

Leverage rates with this broker are mandated by the regulator that governs the trader’s area. Leverage depends on the asset class being traded and the country in which the account is held. For example, FCA-regulated clients are permitted a maximum leverage of 1:30 on FOREX while traders operating in Australia will fall in line with the ASIC’s maximum leverage on FOREX of 1:400.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Traders should know that this broker supports many funding types with which North American traders will be familiar. Global traders will not have as many options to make deposits and withdrawals. That said, all traders can fund their accounts in one of 24 currencies and trade products through one integrated account.

 

Deposits

The different types of deposit methods are as follows:

 

  • Bank Wire.

  • US Automated Clearing House (ACH) (Transfer Initiated at IBKR).

  • Check.

  • Online Bill Payment.

  • BPAY (For Australia clients).

  • Direct Deposit.

  • IBKR Mobile Check Deposit.

  • Canadian Bill Payment.

  • Canadian Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

  • Direct Rollover.

  • Trustee-to-Trustee.

  • Late Rollover.

  • Employee/Employer SEP Contribution.

  • Recharacterization.

  • Roth IRA Conversion.

 

Withdrawals

To make a withdrawal, clients will need to complete a withdrawal request on the Transfer Funds page in Client Portal. Traders can make one free withdrawal every month, with fees coming due for additional requests thereafter. The withdrawal section comes with a range of caveats that can be accessed from the withdrawals page. The broker makes it clear that in accordance with its improved AML program, certain types of cross border withdrawals are no longer allowed. Here are the withdrawal methods supported:

 

  • Bank Wire Transfer.

  • US Automated Clearing House (ACH) (Transfer Initiated at IBKR).

  • Direct Debit/Electronic Money Transfer.

  • Check.

  • Canadian Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

  • Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA).

  • BACS/GIRO/ACH.

 

Customer Service

Traders can access a 24/5 phone line with callback service. They can also choose to chat online with a human agent. IBKR has recently rolled out an intelligent AI-powered IBot that normally directs customers to online FAQs and resources. The resource section is well-stocked and answers a range of questions as varied as “Where can I find my Tax forms?” “Why am I paying interest?” and "How do I update my address?

 

Commissions and Fees

With such an exhaustive basket of products, it comes as no surprise that IBKR’s pricing is complicated. Not only does the broker have a separate rate card for each of its eight primary asset classes, but each of these is split into tiered and fixed pricing, which differs by region. Traders are advised to study the rate card closely to understand what they are going to pay.

 

Common consensus is that IBKR has typically been one of the lowest-priced large brokers with commissions of $0 and razor-thin spreads. However, as more brokers have followed suit and cut their own commissions, IBKR has fallen back into the pack.

 

The broker still advertises that its tiered plans offer great value as they feature low broker commissions that go lower still based on trading volume. It advertises its fixed plans as charging a single flat fee per contract that includes all commissions and all exchange, regulatory and other third-party fees. The broker goes to great lengths to incentivize high trade volumes.

 

To see this type of tiered rating in action, clients who trade up to 300,000 shares a month can pay $0.0035 per share, which is significantly lower than the entry level $0.005 per share. Depending on the trading volume, rates can go as low as $0.0005 per share for clients who trade more than 100 million shares a month.

 

  1. than engage in a price war with rivals, IBKR seeks to remind traders that there are other ways to reduce costs beyond the pure rate. Examples of this are its price optimizing tools, such as IB SmartRoutingSM, which hunts for the most advantageous combination prices on every order so that it can immediately execute them for the trader’s price benefit.

 

Another price optimization method is the stock loan program, which is appealing to traders as the stock held in traders’ accounts is loaned to a hedge fund, or even other traders, with the intention of shorting the stock for a profit. IBKR shares the revenue from this exercise equally with traders as an incentive.

 

Another interesting aspect is that of portfolio margining. Qualifying traders can lower the amount of margin required based on the overall risk calculated. This allows elite traders with hedged portfolios to gain an advantage from the lower requirements and greater leverage. IBKR uses its real time margin tool to allow traders to monitor their accounts at any time.

 

Platforms and Tools

The broker’s Client Portal allows traders of all experience levels to gain a comprehensive overview of their account status. Traders can trade through the Client Portal and do not expressly require an additional interface. However, as IBKR attracts large numbers of sophisticated traders, it developed its desktop Trader Workstation, which is a tool far beyond the level of the Client Portal. In fact, the Trader Workstation is the jewel in the IBKR crown and is rightly regarded as one of the premier advanced trading tools on the market.

 

Trader Workstation

This platform allows retail traders and institutional investors to trade stocks options, futures, FOREX, bonds and funds from over 100 global markets from the same account. The platform is filled with helpful tools, such as the powerful Account Summary that carries real-time details of all current positions.

 

Traders can use the Order Entry window to quickly create orders and execute them. The Order Monitor feature will track and manage pending orders and list filled and cancelled orders. Traders can get access to additional tools, such as interactive, customizable charts and streaming news filtered by subject.

 

The workspace is customizable to suit trader preferences. Traders can align workspaces with news feeds that carry updates from premier services, such as Reuters and Dow Jones. They can also get real-time global market data on selected exchanges.

 

The platform has a powerful risk management suite of tools, where traders can get the benefit of class-leading risk-assessment technology that keeps them a step ahead of dynamic market shifts. Using the IB Risk NavigatorSM, a real-time market-risk management platform, traders can get a quantifiable measure of their exposure across several asset classes around the globe.
 

IBKR APIs

Clients can use IBKR APIs to create their own bespoke trading applications that allow them to integrate their front-end applications with a backend that is aligned with their interests and trading emphasis. Perfect for individuals and institutions alike, clients can use the TWS API to build their own trading application or connect their custom application to TWS.

 

Mobile Trading

The IBKR mobile app gives clients the tools they need to manage their accounts from wherever they may be. It offers many of the features of the desktop TWS, but naturally limits access to the most advanced features to preserve mobile trading speed. The mobile app allows traders to spend securely through its suite of robust pre-authorization steps. This involves advising IBKR before making any transaction above $1,000. The mobile app has the added security of a two-factor authentication that involves fingerprint and facial identification available on select devices.


Research and Development

The broker’s powerful research tools are contained under the IBKR Campus. Traders can enhance their understanding of the markets and stay abreast of market-shaping events. The broker has curated a powerful set of research tools that contain the following items:

 

IBKR Webinars: Clients can watch and listen to expertly hosted Webinars to learn about topical market-influencing events. The Webinars are free, and the back catalog can be accessed at any time.

 

Traders' Insight: This is a deeply insightful blog series featuring market commentary and features created by up to 100 expert contributors. As an extra bonus, the company’s Chief Strategist offers regular insightful market updates and commentary.

 

The IBKR Quant Blog: This is a powerful and impactful information service that suits professionals and elite traders who have an interest in programming. Topics under discussion are frequently high-grade subjects that include machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT) and a host of other futuristic technologies. Discussions also include coding language and programming.

 

IBKR Short Videos: This is a vast selection of short videos and interactive material that gives new traders, in particular, powerful insight on the broker’s range of tools and facilities.

 

Education

As expected, the educational section is just as detailed, with a classroom setting that is designed to give traders real-world experience. The IBKR Student Trading Lab allows educators to combine subjects like finance or computer science using trading as a practical backdrop.

 

The IBKR Student Trading Lab is available free of charge. Students get a paper-trading account loaded with a full barrel of trading tools. Using $1,000,000 in paper trading capital, students can trade the full range of asset classes the broker offers. The program is so popular that over 600 schools in more than 60 countries make use of it.

 

Final Thoughts

IBKR has put in a lot of work to create a comprehensive overall offering that has something for every kind of trader. As a well-regulated broker, it takes care of the basics to make sure it is well-run and that trader funds are protected.

 

It uses technology as the backbone of its service offering, to the extent that its more advanced tools and features can even intimidate many beginner traders. That said, sophisticated traders will look no further to find a partner that is as focused on eking every drop of optimization by using every available technology.

 

Its vast range of asset classes will have something for everyone, except for highly motivated FOREX traders, who will find its FOREX basket light. Its fees are competitive enough at the low end, without being market leading any longer, but its highly incentivized fees for volume traders will please active and highly liquid traders.

 

Its customer service desk is adequate and is ably supported by a detailed FAQ section. While only having two main trading account types, this is enough to keep clients happy as they can trade the full asset class basket from this integrated account. The broker’s research and educational section is well-stocked and expertly curated, leaving nothing behind.

 

In totality, the broker has few weaknesses. It has taken the time to develop a powerful range of tools and features to cater for almost every kind of trader out there. It continues to grow and innovate on the back of its continued global success.

 

Conclusion

Interactive Brokers is well loved by sophisticated traders for good reason. Armed with an array of class-leading solutions, the broker ticks all the boxes for which an ambitious trader could look. IBKR is well-regulated, keeps clients’ funds safe, and has good global coverage.

 

It has vast market access and powerful account types and platforms to make the most of this impressive market access. For those traders in need of some pointers, they will find an endless array of resources in video and written format that allow them to upskill to where they need to be.

 

With competitive fees and attractive incentives for regular traders, there is a reason for every type of trader to try their hand with this broker. Clients will not be disappointed with the excellent range of options, nor the feeling of being a client of an institution that is continually trying to improve.

 

Interactive Brokers in Brief

Interactive Brokers offers a comprehensive set of features that will suit the expert trader and institutional investor. It has highly developed, market-leading tools and a vast array of choice within its product basket. Professional traders, especially, will feel at home with the extensive range of quality products on offer.

 

Review Methodology

The team at Arincen collected more than 120 pieces of data covering in excess of 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:

  1. Companies’ Websites.

  2. Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.

  3. A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise.

We have identified 12 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets etc.

Afterward we validated the data by:

  1. Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.

  2. Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and past experience.

The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including taking into account different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems, e.g., Apple, Samsung etc.

To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%.

Interactive Brokers FAQs

 

  • Where is this broker regulated?

IBKR is regulated by the SIPC, the SEC and the CFTC in the US. In the UK, the broker is authorized by the FCA. Its Luxembourg office is regulated by the CSSF. In Australia, it is regulated by the ASIC. Its Japan affiliate is a member of the JSDA, while it is also regulated by the MAS in Singapore.

  • In what other ways does this broker protect me?

The broker is a member of the SIIL and it is also a signatory to the FSCS as per FCA rules. This entitles affected customers to compensation of £85,000 in the event of broker insolvency. For US clients, IBKR has registered for SIPC-mandated additional insurance. Each trading account is insured up to $150 million. Traders can also get $2,500,000 of FDIC insurance on designated cash amounts.

  • Which countries does this broker serve?

IBKR has a global reach across 135 world markets, including the US.



 

  • Does this broker offer Cryptocurrency trading?

IKBR has a small cryptocurrency wallet. At the time of writing, the only form of cryptocurrency trading it provided was Bitcoin futures.

  • Does this broker provide any extra offerings?

At the time of researching this review, this broker did not offer any bonuses or promotions.

  • How do I fund my account?

The different types of deposit and withdrawal methods are as follows: bank wire, US Automated Clearing House (ACH) (Transfer Initiated at IBKR), check, Online Bill Payment, BPAY (For Australia clients), direct deposit, IBKR Mobile Check Deposit, Canadian Bill Payment, Canadian Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), direct rollover, Trustee-to-Trustee, Late Rollover, Employee/Employer SEP Contribution, Recharacterization, Roth IRA Conversion. The full list, containing location-specific terms and conditions, is available on the broker’s Website.

  • Which trading platforms does this broker offer?

The broker offers traders access to its proprietary Trader Workstation.

  • How can I access customer service?

Traders can access a 24/5 phone line with call-back service. They can also choose to chat online with a human agent. IBKR has also recently rolled out an intelligent AI-powered IBot that normally directs customers to online FAQs and resources.

 

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