Review of Interactive Brokers (4.1)

In our series of reviews of brokers and trading platforms, we have now come to review the popular broker Interactive Brokers. 

They were founded back in 1993 and are therefore one of the very old players in the industry. They are by far the most widely used platform in the US and are also the largest brokers in the United States, measured on a daily basis.

In the review, we evaluate them on the following parameters:

  • Security
  • Product selection
  • Trading platforms
  • Trading costs
  • Charting package
  • Customer service
  • Demo account
  • Bonuses

About Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is an American broker specializing in electronic trading of financial instruments. They offer their service to both retail clients, hedge funds, and major institutions. Interactive Brokers has a large product range and several trading platforms to choose from.

Interactive brokers have their headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut, United States, but also have offices around the world, including Zug, Switzerland.

To be allowed to trade with them, you must deposit at least $ 10,000 and you must be at least 21 years old. They themselves write that their target groups are active and professional traders, and therefore they demand a number of requirements for their customers.

Security at Interactive Brokers

As said, Interactive Brokers is an American broker and they are therefore regulated under the US Financial Supervisory Authority SEC, FINRA, NYSE and FCA. This means that there are kept a close eye on them. It also means that if Interactive Brokers were to go bankrupt, you’re secured up to $ 500,000 of your funds. One’s money is therefore in very safe hands, which is very positive. However, it is possible to lose more than what has been deposited in the account, and that draws a little down.

Products at Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers have a wide range of products and cover all serious markets. Here’s what they offer of products to their customers:

  • Shares (both in terms of CFD contracts and real shares)
  • Commodities
  • Forex
  • Stock indices
  • Options
  • Bonds
  • Futures
  • ETFs

As you can see from the above, Interactive Brokers covers most markets. Most daytraders needs should be plentifully covered in the above.

Trading platforms at Interactive Brokers

They offer two platforms to trade through.

One can be downloaded – and one can be accessed via their website. The first is called Trader Workstation and the web-based platform is called IB WebTrader. We have looked into their desktop platform.

The design is somewhat outdated in our opinion. The platform itself is also not very intuitive. However, there are good opportunities to customize it to one’s own needs. For example, you can create hotkeys, which can be quite useful if you trade very frequently. It is also possible to access their platform via smartphone and tablet.

Trading costs at Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers do not – as the other brokers, we have reported – exclusively use spreads. Here too, a commission is applied, which makes it a little harder to calculate the total trade costs accurately. In general, one can say that the bigger the size you trade, the cheaper it will be. We have looked at their CFD prices, where you pay a permanent commission. Here is the price of a minimum order of the two major stock indices, DAX 30 and Dow Jones 30.

  • DAX: 53, – kr in commission.
  • Dow Jones: 91, – kr in commission.

For Forex, there is a difference in how much you pay in commission, depending on how much you trade. Below is a table showing how much you pay according to one’s trading volume per month.

The charting package as a work tool

The trader workstation’s charting package is great to work with. It is, of course, individual and subjective – as with design – what you prefer. However, I think the design is somewhat obsolete and might require an update.

One can choose to view the price either as a candlestick graph, Heiken Ashi graph or as a bar graph. We miss a bit to see the price as a Renko graph.

 

There are a lot of good indicators built-in and it is possible to adjust and customize them. The drawing tools are also alright, and there are shortcut keys, which make it easy to delete lines and undo changes.

In addition, it is also possible to trade directly through the chart, which is a really nice feature.

Customer Service at Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers offers support by phone 24/5. Otherwise, you can contact them by e-mail. You can also chat with them online if you are a customer. All in all, it’s great that you can contact them at all times of the day in the weekdays. It is clearly a plus.

Demo account at Interactive Brokers

They offer a demo account like most other brokers. At the demo account, you have the opportunity to test the two platforms and get used to them. As far as we can read ourselves on their website, there is no time limit on the demo account, which of course is positive.

Interactive Brokers do not offer bonuses

They do not offer any kind of bonuses. Neither sign-up bonus or anything else. We see that as a positive thing since a bonus typically is quite difficult to realize and therefore typically harms more than it benefits especially new daytraders.

Overall Rating of Interactive Brokers 

So, we have now come to the overall rating of Interactive Brokers.

  • Security – 4 points
  • Product range – 5 points
  • Trading platform – 3.5 points
  • Trading costs – 4 points
  • Charting package – 3.5 points
  • Customer service – 4 points
  • Demo account – 4 points
  • Bonus – 5 points.

Overall Rating: 4.1 out of 5.

Interactive Brokers is definitely a remarkable broker that exudes quality and seriousness. One’s money is in good hands, but one can lose more than one’s deposit. They have a reasonably large product range that is satisfactory. Trade costs are also okay, but they can be a little hard to understand, as commissions vary depending on how much you trade. Their customer support is also in the top. In general, we can say that Interactive Brokers is a good and solid broker.

>> You can sign up for Interactive Brokers here <<

Disclaimer: We do not receive any payment for this review. All ratings and attitudes in this article are as objective as possible and are not produced in collaboration with Interactive Brokers. Interactive Brokers are neither advertisers nor sponsors at DaytraderLand.com. If you sign up for the Interactive Brokers trading platform through the above affiliate link, the writer will receive a smaller commission from Interactive Brokers as part of their affiliate program.

Comments to the review?

What are your experiences with Interactive Brokers?

We would like to receive comments with your own experiences from Interactive Brokers – good and bad. Thanks!

Gustav Mejlvang

Gustav Mejlvang is experienced day trader particular interested in trading algorithms, strategy development and software.

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