Interactive Brokers

5 out of 5

Powered by: Interactive Brokers

At A Glance

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) offers two tiers of service, Lite for casual investors and Pro for more seasoned traders. With sophisticated research and tracking tools, low or no fees, and a robust portfolio of asset classes in 125 markets, IBKR delivers seamless access to global investment.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fractional share trading available
  • Low or no commissions
  • Powerful trading platform
  • Free tools and resources

Cons

  • Can only run on one device at a time
  • Pro users may be charged fees on inactive accounts
  • TWS platform may be challenging to navigate for new investors

Interactive Brokers is best for:

This is testing

Interactive Brokers Key Details

Account minimum

View 100

Stock trading cost

IBKR Lite: unlimited, commission-free trading on

US exchange-listed stocks and ETFs IBKR Pro:

  • Fixed $0.005 per share capped at 1% of trade value
  • Tiered starting at $0.0035 capped at 1% of trade value
  • Volume discount available
Options trading cost

IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro: Starting at $0.65 per contract plus fees

Account fees

IBKR Lite: None

IBKR PRO: Up to $10 per month after subtracting commissions earned on accounts up to 100k

Commission-free ETFs

IBKR Lite: Unlimited commission-free trades on available ETFs

IBKR Pro: 98 commission-free ETFs

Commission-free mutual funds

More than 4,300 no-fee mutual funds

Securities tradable
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Mutual Funds
  • ETFs
  • Futures
  • FOPs
  • Warrants
  • SSFs
  • Forex
  • Metals
Account types
  • Individual and joint taxable accounts
  • Roth, tradition, rollover and SEP IRAs
  • Trusts
  • Cash account
  • Reg T Margin Account
  • Portfolio Margin Account
Fractional shares

Available

Access

IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro:

  • Client Portal trading platform
  • Trader Workstation platform (TWS)
  • IBKR Mobile
  • IBot voice assistant

IBKR Pro:

  • TWS API solutions
  • WebTrader HTML-based trading platform
Customer support
  • Phone: 24/7
  • Live chat: Weekdays 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Email
Promotion
None

Interactive Brokers Review

Our Experts Take
Sarah Pritzker - Spade Business Team
Sarah Pritzker
December 2, 2020

When Interactive Brokers launched IBKR Lite in 2019, the platform went from a world-class platform for advanced, active traders to one with an extensive range of investment offerings for novice traders as well. With unlimited US-listed free stock and ETF trades, no account minimum, and fractional shares, IBKR Lite gives casual investors an insightful, affordable, and powerful way to trade globally.

IBKR Pro traders benefit from low margin rates, extensive product offerings, and the advanced TWS trading platform. This flexible, leading-edge interface gives users trading, research, and analysis tools in one integrated location.

Trading Platform

 Client Portal

This easy-to-use trading platform gives users seamless access to key account metrics and portfolio performance in one place. Track cumulative and monthly returns, view account information in real-time, and manage your orders no matter where you are. Plus, the Client Portal offers IBot integration for text or speech search capabilities, putting quotes, data, and insights at the tips of your fingers. The Quick Trade option lets users place or manage orders and track performance using a variety of advanced tools and services linked to the portal.

Desktop Trader Workstation

For more advanced traders and active investors requiring greater platform power, the IB Trader Workstation (TWS) lets users trade on over 135 markets a single account. This flagship platform hosts advanced algos, trading tools, and analytics, as well as customizable trading layouts for any preference. TWS traders can trade almost anything, anywhere, and in a range of currencies, easily and quickly, from the integrated desktop trading platform.

BKR Mobile App

A powerful pocket-sized version of the desktop trading platform, the IBKR mobile app gives users instant access to advanced research and trading tools, so you can manage your account from any location. The app is secure with pre-purchase authorization and integrated IB Key two-factor security.

  • For IBKR Pro users, IBKR also offers the web-based Web Tracker trading platform and IBKR API Software integration.

Research Tools

IBKR traders can access a broad range of real-time research and investment tools directly from the Client Portal or, for more advanced tools, via TWS. Delivering a wealth of investment information and analysis, IBKR is a powerful platform for investors at any level.

Some of the research tools available include:

Fundamentals Explorer

Available for Client Portal and mobile users, it delivers free global data to all IBKR users from over 30K+ companies and with over 300 data points per company. Fundamental Explorer leverages over 80 news and reporting sources and more than 5.5k TipRanks ratings to give traders all of the data they need to invest wisely.

BIS Research Platform

The Interactive Brokers Information System is a comprehensive news and research add-on for the TWS platform. Users can access a range of subscription data services and enjoy a limited free trial.

Mosaic for Trader Workstation

Research and news can also be accessed on the TWS Mosaic interface. This customizable layout lets users scan assets such as stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds according to pre-specified variables. Newsfeeds from more than 80 companies, third-party research, and charted live data are also available on the Mosaic interface for TWS.

Education Resources

IBKR delivers a range of education resources for traders at any level.

IBKR Student Trading Lab

A unique offering, IBKR’s Student Trading Lab, lets college and high school educators give their students real-world trading experience anywhere in the world.

Traders’ Academy

This comprehensive educational platform offers complimentary courses to help traders and investors learn more about assets, markets, and currencies through IBKR’s leading technology. With video content, written lessons, and quizzes, Traders’ Academy offers immense value to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of investment.

Traders’ Insight

This dedicated news site operated by IBKR delivers up-to-date news, insights, and commentary on global investing and trading.

In addition to these services, IBKR hosts a range of resources on their site, including webinars, blogs, glossaries, FAQs, and more.

Advantages of Interactive Brokers

Variety of investment choices: With an impressive global presence and a wide range of products, including stocks, bonds, options, futures, forex, and more, investors and traders don’t need to look any further. Plus, with low or no commissions and fees on thousands of products, IBKR has a leg up on other online stock brokers.

Proprietary software: IBKR delivers advanced resources and tools, such as SmartRouting Technology, that route trades, surpassing industry standards. The standard Client Portal and TWS platforms feature advanced, customizable monitoring and alerts to keep users ahead of the curve.

Low commissions: Casual investors using IBKR Lite will appreciate free trades with no minimum account requirements. More advanced investors and active traders using IBKR Pro will also enjoy a low commission structure at just $0.005 per share. With a $1 minimum trade commission not exceeding 1% of the trade value, and no additional fees, IBKR is highly attractive. High-volume traders can drive rates even lower with the platform’s tiered commission option, at $0.002 or less per share.

Disadvantages of Interactive Brokers

Not for first-time investors: IBKR is a long-standing online stock broker platform designed for advanced investors. Since the launch of the IBKR Lite membership tier, the platform has become more accessible to novices but can be challenging to navigate. While there’s a wealth of resources available, these are generally targeted to experienced, self-directed traders.

IBKR Pro inactivity fees: This platform is designed for high-volume traders. While IBKR Lite users won’t incur an inactivity penalty, Pro customers with account balances up to $100k must meet a $10 per month minimum in commissions or pay the difference.

Is Interactive Brokers Right for You?

With the recent addition of IBKR Lite, the company is making an effort to bring advanced investment technology to casual traders around the world at a low cost. However, the extensive tools, resources, and options may be overwhelming for new investors. A long-time leader of investment tech for experienced, active traders, Interactive Brokers continues to deliver some of the best functionalities available on the market today. Not all users are ready for advanced algos, thousands of assets to choose from, and complex data analysis, but for seasoned high-volume traders, IBKR is an excellent choice.

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