Improved technology and a more significant number of asset classes are offered by Interactive Brokers this year
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In our 2019 review, Interactive Brokers has ranked second overall because of its vast array of tools for advanced investors that track global investing trends. The firm can connect to any global electronic exchange, which means trading futures, equities, and options around the world is easy and straightforward, whether from your mobile device or your desktop. Even though Interactive Brokers is an excellent advisory, new investors may find its extensive capabilities to be overwhelming and distracting, and we recommend that they start trading somewhere else.
- Designed for active traders
- Able to trade in 23 currencies in 120 different markets
- Lowest margin pricing rates
- Data charges and maintenance fees for small accounts
- Traders Workstation is overwhelming for new investors
- No education accounts
- 1 What Was Our Trading experience With Interactive Brokers?
- 2 Trading technology
- 3 Usability
- 4 Mobile and Emerging Technology
- 5 Range of offerings
- 6 News and Research
- 7 Portfolio analysis and reports
- 8 Customer service and help
- 9 Education
- 10 Costs/Fees
What Was Our Trading experience With Interactive Brokers?
Interactive Brokers core offering is the Trader’s Workstation. However, there is also a web-based Client Portal they can be used to access client forums, a market overview tool, portfolio analysis, and several other trading tools. The Client Portal even has a few high-end analytical tools such as global data, customizable watch lists, and scanners. All platforms offer streaming data that is continuously updating. It is also possible to enter orders directly from inside of the matrix display or from a graph inside of the Traders Workstation.
Advanced algorithms allow you to place large orders and access any market through the Traders Workstation. Interactive Brokers has one of the most intelligent order routers in the world and can identify price improvement, maximize possible rebates, and Achieve optimal execution through the use of a specialized rerouting technology. This rerouting technology allows for access to “dark pools” (hidden institutional order flows) that allow for the execution of large orders. Even with option orders with multi-leg requirements are automatically routed, and each leg of a spread is executed independently. There is also an option for the clients to choose their route for the rebates. All order flow payments are returned to the client.
Interactive Brokers is also able to route to several venues using a new order type which they call mid-price order. Mid-price order is a type of floating order which adjusts automatically to the movement of markets and can more quickly fill orders as well as identify price improvement rapidly.
With the inclusion of IBot – an AI-powered digital assistant – Interactive Brokers’ new Client Portal is more accessible and easier to use than previous versions. However, even with these improvements, becoming familiar with the Traders Workstation is a significant time investment.
Mobile and Emerging Technology
Strikes and expiry dates are represented by tiles which you can tap on in the mobile app. This allows for a straightforward interaction when doing options trading where you can compare two potential trades using the Performance Profile tool. Also, a persistent Trade button allows you to send an order quickly. IBot is also included in the mobile app and assists in finding analytical tools and advanced order types.
Range of offerings
With access to 120 global exchanges, a vast inventory of fixed-income products, more than 11,000 mutual funds, and a low-cost robo-advisor service, Interactive Brokers has the broadest range of offerings of any brokerage in the world.
News and Research
The Probability Lab is one of many tools built into the Traders Workstation that options traders will appreciate. The Profitability Lab allows for the comparison of Market Outlook related to current conditions, and it also suggests trading strategies. Beyond that, Interactive Brokers offers free research from noted sources such as Dow Jones, Zacks, Market realist, TipRanks, and many more. Thomas Reuters provides ESG ratings which let you rank and compare companies based on the variables you consider critical. Premium research is also available at a discount.
Portfolio analysis and reports
Curious how a 10% drop would affect your portfolio? Interactive Brokers’ risk Navigator allows you to predict how a certain change in market conditions could affect your holdings.
Beyond that, the Portfolio Analyst service provides an in-depth analysis of all of your financial accounts in one place. The Performance Attribution feature provides a perspective on which market sectors could contribute positively to your portfolio. You’re also able to change benchmarks across more than 230 different variables.
Customer service and help
While the telephone support system causes more irritation than ecstasy, the digital assistant IBot is very helpful, especially on a mobile device as it integrates with voice commands.
Interactive Brokers offers free online courses through their Traders Academy. Topics range from the Traders Workstation for Beginners to advanced strategy and explanations regarding trading algorithms. Traders Academy is available on mobile desktop and all other platforms. Interactive Brokers also hosts around 250 live webinars each year and provide access to nearly 1,000 previously recorded webinars.
Outlooks for the US, Asia-pacific, Europe, and various market sectors along with content on retirement and tax topics are included in the Traders’ Insight blog. Beyond that, clients who want to write their own trading algorithms and model financial markets are given access to the IBKR Quant blog.
Interactive Brokers’ clients can choose between a tiered plan or a fixed rate plan. The tiered plans attempt to minimize the damage of trading for active traders. The fixed rate plan offers $.005 per share and a maximum of $1 per trade. There is a single fee for options trades. Moreover, commissions range from $0.15 per contract to a maximum of $0.70 per contract depending on the volume. You can borrow against any assets you have for any reason, and margin rates are among the lowest in the world.
What you need to know
New investors are probably intimidated by the sheer number of tools available through Interactive Brokers. However, their technology makes the Traders Workstation incredibly powerful for more advanced investors and day traders. One low-cost way to become familiar with the platform is through the robo-advisory service. The wide variety of order types, trading algorithms, and global asset classes available through Interactive Brokers will please frequent traders. If you’re ready to step up to a more robust feature set, consider Interactive Brokers.
Compare Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is a perfect option for the majority of investing styles. Check out our list of the best trading platforms here or read our reviews to see how each of the top ranking brokers compares against each other.
The mission of Business24-7 is to provide comprehensive, unbiased ratings and reviews of online brokers. User experience, the mobile experience, customer service, costs and fees, security, the quality of trade excuse fusions, the products available on their platforms are all part of our six-month evaluation of a brokers platform. The rating scale was based on thousands of data points that have been weighted into the scoring system.
Brokerages were also required to fill out a multi-point survey regarding every aspect of their platform. In-person demonstrations and evaluations were provided by the majority of the online brokers we reviewed.
Stefan Grasic, along with our team of industry experts, conducted our reviews and developed this methodology for ranking what form is used in online investing.