InteractiveBrokers is an established international brokerage. It is fully regulated by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), and the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission). It also boasts full regulation in Canada, courtesy of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, as well as membership of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. In the UK, this forex brokerage trades under InteractiveBrokers UK Limited and is fully regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) with registration #208159. InteractiveBrokers is also regulated in Hong Kong, Japan, India, and Australia. It holds full licensing from each of the regulatory authorities in the said countries.
IBKR – Interactive Brokers – boasts many reasons why traders should consider its services over other brokers. These include lower costs and higher revenue streams, access to the global financial markets, top-tier trading technology and trading platforms, integrated investment management options, access to a global investors marketplace, in-depth educational resources, and the trust and credibility of this reputable brand. Over the years, InteractiveBrokers has won multiple awards including the following:
- 2018 Best Online Brokers – Barron’s
- Best Mobile Application of 2018 with the HFM Technology Awards
- 2018 winner of #1 Commissions & Fees, Offering of Investments, Active Trading, and International Trading at the Stock Brokers Annual Review
- 2018 Winner of the Best Trading Platform Overall at the Fund Technology and WSL Awards
This brokerage and its affiliates have equity capital of more than $6 billion, making them the largest US electronic broker with 695,000+ daily trades.
There are several account types listed at InteractiveBrokers, including trader and investor accounts (friends and family advisor, small business, individual investor or trader, and family office). These are geared towards individuals, families, or small and medium businesses. Institution accounts are also available, and they are ideal for institutions. They include the following account options: proprietary trading group, money manager, hedge fund or mutual fund, registered investment advisor, incentive plan administration, or introducing broker (IB). For details of each of these account types, simply click here.
Trading Platform/ software
The trading platforms at InteractiveBrokers are ideally suited to forex traders. It is possible to enhance your trading activity and maximize your efficiency with any of the six trading platforms available. These include the desktop TWS which is suitable for traders who want to dabble in all the financial instruments available at the broker. This includes a demo account option as well.
QuickTrade is a good choice for casual traders or part-time traders. You can dabble in forex, commodities, indices, or stocks at your leisure and even check your account balance in the process.
IBKR Mobile is another trading platform which allows for full mobile functionality on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. If you are the type of trader who wants to trade forex on the go, this is the platform to use.
IB APIs are ideally suited to investors who craft their own software. It is best suited to experienced traders with a keen understanding of trading software, programs, and language.
IB WebTrader is ideal for traders who require an intuitive user interface from behind a firewall. It is a web-based trading platform which operates in much the same way as the desktop platform.
IBot is a mobile and desktop-based trading platform for experienced traders. It utilizes chat and voice functionality which understands natural language and acts accordingly. You can even try this on Facebook messenger.
The graphic below indicates what types of financial instruments you can trade on each of the platforms:
InteractiveBrokers offers multiple safe and secure deposit and withdrawal options for traders. To deposit funds into your IB account, it is necessary to complete a deposit notification from the account management section. Once you have logged into your account, you will be required to choose the transfer & pay option and then choose transfer funds. Deposit options include bank wires, checks, online bill payment checks, automatic clearinghouse, Canadian electronic funds transfer, direct rollover of IRA accounts, trustee to trustee, and others.
There is a wide range of product listings at IB, including stocks, options, futures, FOP’s, ETFs, warrants, structured products, SSFs, Forex, metals, indices, bonds, funds, and CFDs. Forex trading is conducted through the Ideal Pro Market Center, and the trading hours are from Sunday through Friday from 5:15 PM through 5 PM Eastern Time. There are also new products available to traders, notably equities which are listed on site. There are currently 22 trading currencies available including USD, GBP, AUD, DKK, EUR, CNH, CHF, CAD, NZD, PLN, SEK, ZAR, and KRW. Spreads from as low as 0.08 to 0.20 basis points are available and quotes are priced in 0.01 of a PIP
At the time of our review, we did not find information on bonuses offered through InteractiveBrokers. However, there are transaction-based referral benefits and flat-fee-based referral benefits.
By clicking on the Contact Us option from the menu bar in the top right, you will be redirected to client services. The client services centers are available across Asia, Europe, and America. 24/5 customer support services are available via telephone at any of the regional client service centers. The contact number for the United Kingdom is +44-207-710-5695. It operates between 3 AM and 12 noon Monday through Friday USA time. Chat functionality is also available 24 hours a day from Monday through Friday and between 1 PM and 7 PM US ET on Sundays.
Customer support also offers an email service through the Client Services Center. Other options include uploading documents, faxing, or sending mail through postal services. Any questions, queries, or complaints related to the Interactive Brokers Debit MasterCard® can be directed at the international telephone number at 1 (801) 559-2140. Customer support offers a detailed knowledge base of self-populating answers and a host of questions too. Full social media functionality is available on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
Like any major trading brokerage, InteractiveBrokers prides itself on safe and secure operations. This company is fully regulated by multiple authorities in the UK, US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company has $6 billion in equity capital and the company has generated positive earnings for 20+ years. Interactive Brokers has a BBB + rating and is rated with a positive outlook by S&Ps. The full range of safety and security procedures, protocols, and protections is listed on site.
Investor protection, account protection SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) guarantees funds up to $500,000 with a cash supplement of $250,000 through Lloyds of London. In terms of login protection and privacy, 2-factor authentication protocols are in place by SMS mobile phone messaging and free physical security devices (or IB keys) are also available.
Ease of Use
InteractiveBrokers is one of the most trusted names in the world. The website is user-friendly, and there are multiple platforms for casual traders and investors, experienced traders and investors, and institutional traders and investors. User-friendliness is assured, and customer support is on hand to assist with any issues that come up.
InteractiveBrokers is one of the heavy hitters in global trading and investment. Its sheer size, and scope of operations dwarfs the competition, and yet it retains a user-friendly nature for the casual traders too.