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Interactivebrokers.com

Discussion in 'Vendors, Brokers and Product Reviews' started by StockJock-e, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. StockJock-e

    StockJock-e Brew Master
    Staff Member

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    When ever a trader from outside the US asks of there is a serious broker to recommend, IB usually fits the bill. They have access to multiple international stock markets and a great interface for active traders.

    Source: http://www.stockbrokers.com/review/interactivebrokers

    Interactive Brokers Review
    The content portion of this Review was completed on February 17th, 2015 in conjunction with the 2015 Broker Review.

    Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is known primarily for two key elements: international investing and highly competitive commission rates. While there are some catches to its competitive commissions offering, which will be broken down in the review below, the broker is worth close consideration.

    By presenting a portal through which clients can trade on more than 100 market centers in 24 countries, and deal in stocks, options, ETFs, futures, forex, and bonds, Interactive Brokers has something to offer any seasoned investor who has at least $10,000 ($110,000 for portfolio margin accounts).

    Commissions & Fees

    All investors want competitive commissions, and active traders are no exception. With this in mind, and because Interactive Brokers caters particularly for hyperactive traders and institutions, keeping commissions low is their No. 1 priority.

    Starting with margin rates, Interactive Brokers offers the lowest rates in the industry. Rates vary from 1.60% down to a staggering 1.15% for clients who hold more than $1 million with the brokerage. New clients should be aware of the miscellaneous fees and minimums with Interactive Brokers. In a nutshell, spend at least $30 in commissions each month and you are in the clear; otherwise, charges for inactivity can reach up to $20 or more. A full breakdown can be found on the Commissions & Fees tab in the navigation menu above this review.

    Stock trades run at $.005 per share with the flat-rate structure ($1 minimum). Alternatively, the Cost Plus structure, which starts at $.0035 per share, can be used, but does not cover exchange, regulatory, clearing, and transaction costs. Some math will reveal that for small order sizes, i.e., several hundred shares, Interactive Brokers is a fantastic deal. Trade several thousand shares or more though, and Interactive Brokers quickly becomes pricey.

    Options are $.70 per contract with no minimums, and active options traders will enjoy that exercise and assignments that are practically free.

    Customer Service

    One noticeable weak spot in Interactive Brokers’ offering is its customer service. During our testing, we found support to be consistently poor, both via phone and email.

    During phone testing for this review, we were connected to a rep within one minute several times, one call took several minutes to connect, and another took multiple attempts that ended in failure. Once connected, reps had different levels of experience and courteousness. For example, on only one occasion were we ever asked if we had any further questions before concluding the call.

    When it came to email support, the experience was inconsistent. In testing for this year’s review, one of our email tests received a response within an hour, but for two others it took more than two days to receive a response. Responses were also all over the board, with one receiving our highest marks and most of the others being good or just ok.

    Additionally, 24-hour support should not be confused with 24/7. Phone support is not available on Saturdays. Furthermore, phone support hours are not 24 hours a day. When we inspected the website, we discovered that the hours of operation depend on your regional location.

    Platforms & Tools

    The flagship platform Interactive Brokers offers is its Trader Workstation (TWS). The platform is set up to trade everything under the sun, including global assets, and to be used by those with ample market experience. New traders beware: This platform is not built for you. Instead, we recommend using the HTML browser-based IB WebTrader or Mosaic within TWS.

    Because Interactive Brokers supports so many investment types and international currencies, the broker had to rethink order and watch list management. What they came up with, which by no means is easy to adjust to, is truly a work of art. The best way to describe it is to think of an Excel workbook. Columns are optional data fields (160 to be exact), and rows can be any security imaginable. Everything streams seamlessly and trades can be made straight from it.
     
  2. Onepoint272

    Onepoint272 Well-Known Member

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    Is there anybody out there using IB? I'm considering moving some funds into an IB account. I downloaded the demo earlier in the week and it displayed charts fine, albeit timeframe selection is confusing. Last night and today though, Saturday, all I get on the charts is "Attempting to retrieve data". :(

    Any IB users out there?
     
  3. henrick

    henrick New Member

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    I have the same problem. Any solution about "Attempting to retrieve data" ? thank you
     
  4. Onepoint272

    Onepoint272 Well-Known Member

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    No, sorry, I gave up on IB for the time being. I may try again some time, so please keep notes on this thread if you get a resolution. Thanks and good luck. By the way, I believe AnotherDevilsAdvocate is using IB.
     
  5. T0rm3nted

    T0rm3nted Moderator
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