Interactive Brokers Review

Phone support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a. Disclosures IB's Tiered commission models are not intended to be a direct pass-through of exchange and third-party fees and rebates. TD Ameritrade recently completed an acquisition of Scottrade , which will provide option traders with another level of flexibility as well. Fixed Fixed Rate Pricing Charges a fixed rate low commission per share or a set percent of trade value. The AI race is on. Options contracts can be based on a wide variety of underlying securities, however, and many different types of orders can be placed, which makes them more versatile than stocks. Day traders Penny stock traders Forex traders.

INTERACTIVE BROKERS LLC is a member NYSE - FINRA - SIPC and regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Headquarters: One Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, CT USA INTERACTIVE BROKERS CANADA INC.

Who's it for?

To be frank, Interactive Brokers is really only for advanced traders and institutions. Beginner and even intermediate traders, steer clear.

Minimum deposit for Interactive Brokers: Interactive Brokers touts the absolute lowest margin rates in the industry. Here are the breakdowns, straight from the website:. Interactive Brokers never offers promotions for customers in the United States.

There is no limit to the number of referral bonuses current customers can receive. Trader Workstation equals a module-based desktop platform that looks like the console for flying a commercial airliner, with a spread of alerts, watchlists a mile long and customizable account dashboards. Its charting offers historical trades, alerts, trading off charts, comparisons and index overlays. It offers research options not nearly as robust as some platforms offer, however as well as risk management tools.

QuickTrade and WebTrader are two more platforms which are, happily for some, less complicated. Some math will reveal that for small order sizes, i. Trade several thousand shares or more though, and Interactive Brokers quickly becomes pricey. Like tiered equity trades, per contract fees tier down as total contracts traded increases 10, per month is the first threshold.

New and casual investors should be aware of the miscellaneous fees and minimums charged by Interactive Brokers. While far lower than the minimum spend required at say Lightspeed, it is still something to keep in mind. A full breakdown can be found on the fees and features page. The flagship platform Interactive Brokers offers is its Trader Workstation TWS , which has been set up to trade everything under the sun, including global assets, and is designed to be used by traders with ample market experience.

The default experience is called Mosaic, while clients also have access to view what is called Classic TWS the original version of the platform. Because Interactive Brokers supports so many asset classes, it had to rethink its position and watch list management. What they came up with, which takes some getting used to, is extremely efficient. Type in any stock symbol and you will see a summary of available securities. Watch lists can include anything from equities to individual options contracts, futures, forex, warrants, you name it.

I preferred the Mosaic view, although I know many long-term clients prefer the Classic view. Watch lists can have up to different columns, and to say they are fully customizable is truly an understatement. No broker offers an experience like TWS.

Beyond learning how to effectively build watch lists, I found only one usability disadvantage that comes from supporting so many investment types, and that is pulling up quotes or trading securities. Even typing in AAPL for Apple yields a slew of possible matches, which can be overwhelming for non-professionals.

Turning to charting, technical traders will find nearly everything they need. One hundred and twenty one different studies are available to be added to any chart, and customizations cover every possible option.

Note though, while optional indicators are impressive, TWS still trails the and offered by TradeStation and TD Ameritrade thinkorswim , respectively.

Out of all the tools on TWS, I found the charts to have the most user-friendly interface. Considering the depth of functionality, I was surprised to find only nine tools for mark ups. While the basics are present — trendlines, notes, zooming, Fibonacci, etc. Pickiness aside, the charts on TWS have all the core functionality required to succeed: There is no question TWS is built for professional trading as there are, for example, a staggering 63 different order types available for clients to use, by far the most in the industry.

Alongside charts, TWS is also home to a variety of other tools not covered in this review. In , Interactive Brokers added a handful of new useful tools and features that stand out: Portfolio information, orders, quotes, and more are all supported. The AI race is on. Rounding out the new TWS features offered in is a new Layouts Library, which provides less seasoned traders access to 24 unique, pre-built layouts. Also on the ease of use front, fonts for each window can now be resized.

Fidelity also offers free webinars and online classes through its online learning center for traders that prefer a more structured educational environment. For a more personal touch, customers can attend seminars in person at more than branch locations explaining how to navigate the platform. OptionsHouse currently offers traders premium-quality tools without the premium price tag.

According to a customer service rep, the long-term plan is to have the OptionsHouse platform replace E-Trade Pro as the premium service, but for now, it is free for all E-Trade users. OptionsHouse is the perfect combination of speed, quality, tools, and navigation capabilities. The platform offers virtual trading for testing strategies. The option chain screen provides access to customizable real-time streaming option chains with up to 30 columns.

The strategySEEK tool allows users to scan market data and identify potential trading strategies. E-Trade currently offers clients two free mobile apps. For advanced traders, the OptionsHouse app has a wide range of professional-grade trading tools which make complex options trading a breeze, including customizable options chains and 4-legged spreads.

This publicly listed discount broker, which is in existence for over four decades, is service-intensive, offering intuitive and powerful investment tools. Especially, with equity investing, a flat fee is charged, with the firm claiming that it charges no trade minimum, no data fees, and no platform fees. Though it is pricier than many other discount brokers, what tilts the scales in its favor is its well-rounded service offerings and the quality and value it offers its clients.

E-Trade is best known for its user-friendly browser, desktop and mobile trading platforms and its extensive research and educational information. If investors are on the hunt for a bargain broker, Ally Invest could be the one. With low commissions across the board, Ally Invest formerly TradeKing stops potential investors in their tracks with its especially low mutual fund commissions. Launched in , it is supported by its parent tastytrade, an online financial content network.

Tastyworks, which offers low-cost options, is a niche player in the options trading arena. Fidelity's customized market research for individual investors is unmatched. Fidelity is best for experienced traders willing to make a minimum 36 trades per quarter. Benzinga is a fast-growing, dynamic and innovative financial media outlet that empowers investors with high-quality, unique content.

Login Email Password Forgot your password? Best Options Broker Trading Platform. Wayne Duggan Contributor, Benzinga September 10, Contents [ Hide ].

Open an account securely through Ally Investment's website. Best For Options traders Advanced and hands-on investors Investors who look for competitive pricing relative to other brokerages. Open an account securely through Tastyworks's website. Best For Beginner investors Advanced traders Investors who want portfolio-building advice.

Open an account securely through TD Ameritrade's website. Best For Day traders Penny stock traders Forex traders.

Quick Facts

Feb 19,  · Overall, Interactive Brokers unquestionably reigns supreme in the category of commissions and fees. Because Interactive Brokers’ core clientele are professional traders and institutions, it is critical for the company to provide the lowest commissions schedule available/5. Jan 02,  · Interactive Brokers is known for international trade capabilities, low commissions and its trading platform. It's a favorite among active traders. Interactive Brokers was created for active or advanced Arielle O'Shea & James Royal. Interactive Brokers as an options broker. Interactive Brokers is designed with the active trader in mind. Its commission schedule favors active options traders, as well as those who hold options until exercise or assignment, as it doesn't charge a fee for either event.