Interactive Brokers Review 2018

Interactive Brokers Review

Interactive Brokers Review

It is a well-known fact that online trading is one of the most important industries of the modern era. While you are reading this, many futures, shares and currency pairs are being traded all over the world. If you would like to enter this interesting and dynamic line of work, you’re at the right place. We are here to present to you a very special broker, one of the most important players in the business.

The company’s name is Interactive Brokers (IB), and it was founded back in 1977. This means that they have been in the trading industry for more than 40 years. For the last 20 years or so they have been working with online traders, so we really can say they are among the pioneers of this type of investments. They have clients in every corner of the world, including in the United States.

Sounds good, right?

We opened an account with Interactive Brokers ourselves to see firsthand what they have to offer. After that, we tested out all key features such as monetary transaction methods, account types and trading platforms. Our Interactive Brokers Review is based on our genuine and objective experience so – if you’re looking for a worthy trading partner – reading this article is a must!

How to make an Interactive Brokers Deposit

Let’s begin our Interactive Brokers Review with one thing everyone has to do if they want to participate in the market – account funding. Since it means that you have to send your money somewhere, people are often reluctant about it. To remedy that, a broker has to provide good deposit methods so that all traders can feel safe when depositing.

When we were starting our IB career, we were surprised with their extremely detailed guide through the deposit process. On the website you can find anything you want to know about it, and we’ll mention just key pointers.

First of all, there are many Interactive Broker deposit methods you can use. Basic things such as wire transfers and check (including online bill payment check and retirement check) are available, of course, but there are also some local methods which traders from places like Australia and Canada can use. Of course, you can also use electronic payment methods to make your Interactive Brokers deposit. Second of all, the selection of currencies you can use in trading is also quite vast (Australian Dollar, Czech Krone, Euro, New Zealand Dollar and of course USD, just to name some).

As for the minimum Interactive Brokers deposit you have to make, we have some excellent news. Up until recently, the requirement was 10,000$, but a couple of weeks ago the company’s policy changed. There is now no minimum deposit requirement for Cash Account, i.e. you can deposit as much as you like, whereas you only need 2000$ to open a Margin account. This latter deposit requirement is required by law, so you’re actually getting the best possible deal. But this is just the beginning. What about the withdrawal? That’s next in our Interactive Brokers Review!

Interactive Brokers Direct Deposit

Interactive Brokers Direct Deposit

Interactive Brokers Withdrawal

At one point, you will definitely have to withdraw the money in your account, so in this paragraph we will explain, step by step, how that procedure works.

When you wish to take your money, you should first click ‘Funding’ and then ‘Funding Transfers’ when logged in. In the section under the name ‘Transaction Type’ you will see a list where you can choose the ‘Withdraw’ option. Right after choosing the desired transaction, you will have to choose the currency you would like to use in the ‘Currency List’. After ‘Currency List’ you will see ‘Method List’ where you can choose a withdrawal type. Finally, you have to enter the amount you would like to withdraw.

As you can see, there is nothing complicated with Interactive Brokers withdrawal. The whole process is very intuitive, and it can be completed in just a few minutes. Also, as we can confirm firsthand, it’s also very safe and quick – you will get your money in a few business days, always as promised. This is simply too serious a company to fail at such basic things. We have to say, however, that your Interactive Brokers withdrawal may have a daily limit imposed on it, depending on the security device associated with your account.

Are there any fees to worry about? Read on and find out!

Interactive Brokers Fees

Interactive Brokers fees will depend on where in the world you are. However, before we move on to the nuances, we will say that the withdrawal fees will only be charged after the first withdrawal each month. Therefore, you have once chance to access your money without any additional costs every 30 days, so make the most of them.

Like we said, other Interactive Brokers fees will depend on where you come from. For example, if you want to make a cash deposit, that will carry a 1% fee, but the minimum charge will not be the same in, for example, Sweden and Singapore. Apart from that, you have fees for security transfers, bounced checks, telephone order and many other commissions and charges. Fortunately, it is all thoroughly explained on the broker’s Pricing page, so just head on over there (the link Is right there at the top of the main page of the website) before you make any actions and inform yourself.

Given that this is a US company, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Interactive Brokers fees are just what you’d expect from a broker like that, and actually show how seriously these guys take all of that. We really can’t say that you’re getting ripped off or anything, but charges like that are to be expected given the large amounts IB usually asks their clients to use. So, nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing but rock-solid service. Let’s move now to the account types, shall we?

Interactive Brokers Fees

Interactive Brokers Fees

Interactive Brokers Demo Account

If there is something that’s offered to you for free, why wouldn’t you try it? And if that offer can change something you do and upgrade your skills, not doing it would not be advised.

In this paragraph of our Interactive Brokers review we’ll write about the company’s demo account. It’s a feature that IB offers to allow you to practice trading for free. In other words, you will get a free access to the market and virtual money you can trade with. But if the money is fake, it doesn’t mean everything else is fake as well.

If you open your Interactive Brokers demo account, you will enter a trading simulator where you will feel just like if you were trading with real cash and on the real platform. You will be handling real time prices, margins and leverages, and you will be using the very same tools traders use in regular trades.

This option enables you to practice, to adapt to a new trading environment and even to develop your own trading style. Once you start doing trading for real, you won’t have to spend your precious time wondering about all the important options the platform offers because you will have tested everything here.

But obviously, Interactive Brokers demo account is just the introduction to real trading. Stay tuned to learn how that works on this website.

Interactive Brokers Demo

Interactive Brokers Demo

Interactive Brokers Universal Account

As we have already mentioned, trading with Interactive Brokers requires an investment of at least 10,000$. Brokers usually have smaller (or, in some cases, very small) minimum deposits because they want to attract as many traders as possible. Instead of trying to get along with everyone, IB wants to have serious traders by their side. When we say serious we don’t mean necessarily seasoned traders, but the ones who take trading seriously.

The same goes for their accounts. Instead of having many types you can choose from, they offer one account – Universal Account – that can be customized according to your needs. For example, there are many subtypes of Interactive Brokers Universal Account: Individual Account, Joint Account, Individual Retirement Account, etc. Every one of them has its special perks that you can take the advantage of.

Also, you can upgrade your “regular account” (also known as ‘Cash Account’) to a Margin Account. Upgrading is not connected with the broker alone – margin upgrades are subject to a compliance review that shows that a certain trader has certain qualifications (trading volume etc).

As we can see, IB is an extremely flexible broker that offers you many interesting features. In a continuation of our Interactive Brokers review, we’ll write about another feature that you have to know about in-depth – trading platforms. Keep reading!

Interactive Brokers Account Creation

Interactive Brokers Account Creation

Interactive Brokers Trading Platforms

Interactive Brokers decided to put more than one trading platform in their offer, which is good because these platforms differ in their characteristics. Therefore, traders with various styles can find a platform that suits them just right.

Let’s start with Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation (TWS). This platform is designed for traders who like to trade many things at once and for those who like to have many tools in their toolbox – it has a lot of technical tools you can take the advantage of. This trading platform also provides you with a very sophisticated risk management apparatus and it enables you to use multiple charts at once. Generally speaking, this is a very versatile and useful trading platform.

For those who prefer simple interface, Interactive Brokers offer IB WebTrader. This trading platform is HTML based, so you can learn how to deal with it in no time. Even though it’s simple, it’s still very good. It has many charts in its offer as well as some very advanced tools, too. It also provides you with a variety of news that are crucial for fundamental analysis. We would also like to mention that it has a customizable interface which can allow you to immerse yourself into the trading world completely.

But these trading platforms are not the only impressive features this website has to offer. Stay with our Interactive Brokers review to learn more.

Interactive Brokers Platforms

Interactive Brokers Platforms

Other Features

In this paragraph of our Interactive Brokers Review we’ll say a few words on some extra features this broker has in its offer. First of all, there is the Client Portal. Now, Client Portal is a place where you can monitor your account and where you can get access to all the tools you need. It’s very user friendly – its design enables anyone to adapt in just a few clicks. You can keep an eye on crucial information of your account (such as buying power and net liquidation value), plus you can always find out your portfolio’s performance. This is a very interesting, yet basic feature that every trader should use.

Besides that, we would also like to emphasize IBot, Interactive Brokers’ trading bot that can help you with your trades a lot. This nifty little helper even understands voice commands and can deliver all the things you need, such as various data etc. It’s perfect for hands-free traders and for all those who prefer a voice interface.

But that’s not all when it comes to their trading features – we have an additional surprise to show you. If you would like to find out what we’re talking about, just read on!

Interactive Brokers iBot

Interactive Brokers iBot

Interactive Brokers App

‘Time is money’ – this popular proverb never made more sense than today, and it makes even more sense when we talk about online trading. Why do you think is that so? Well, first of all, these markets we are talking about – stocks, futures, forex, etc. – are very volatile and have big liquidity (forex especially), meaning people are trading all the time. Second of all, prices can be hit by pretty much anything that happens in the world – they can fluctuate in a very short amount of time.

All of that gives you an opportunity to trade all the time. If you have already been trading, you know that reaction can be crucial. One moment a trading opportunity may present itself, but the next minute it could already be gone. That’s why IB has developed a feature that will enable you to react on time.

The feature we’re talking about is Interactive Brokers app (they call it ‘IBKR Mobile’). This mobile platform enables you to handle your account remotely. That means that on your mobile device you can have anything you need to trade. And the best thing is that it’s completely free. We have downloaded it and we can say it’s very fast, reliable and powerful. We would definitely recommend it! All the features of the desktop trading platform are kept, but the interface is slightly changed to suit your mobile devices better. Fortunately, excellent design allows you to find your way around in an instant and make your trade with just a few taps. Without a doubt, Interactive Brokers app is a great feature to have.

In the next paragraph of our Interactive Brokers review we have a special treat for beginners – read on and check it out!

Interactive Brokers Mobile App

Interactive Brokers Mobile App

How to educate yourself about trading?

As we said, if you are a beginner, you definitely don’t want to skip this part. We want to underline as much as possible the importance of education in trading. In addition, like we said, you can practice your skills with IB demo account, which means you’ll definitely be ready when you decide to make your first investment.

Interactive Brokers’ trading education will help you there big time. There are many options you can choose from. For example, you can participate in webinars – you can listen to their professionals talking about trading subjects and you can also ask questions. If you are more into videos, you can check out IB short videos, courses and tours. Furthermore, there is also a section for experienced traders called Trader’s Academy.

But all of that is just the basic part of Interactive Brokers education. They take things a step further with their so-called expert community, which is a place where you can read various blog posts and get all sorts of important information. A very interesting part of this is the traders’ insight page where various authors (all professionals) share their impressions with you. Posts containing loads of data are published regularly here (every day), so you can be sure that you will learn something new. If you’re someone who trades for a living, this part of Interactive Brokers education will be absolutely invaluable to you.

Interactive Brokers Education

Interactive Brokers Education

Interactive Brokers Contact Methods

In the last paragraph of our in-depth analysis we’ll write about the ways you can ask for help if you’re in trouble or if you simply have something that’s not completely clear. In every job, it is important to have a good support system, but this is especially important when you have a job where you have to invest your money.

We have tested Interactive Brokers support team more than once and we can say that they are fast and reliable. This level of professionalism should actually be a standard in the industry. Unfortunately, it isn’t – some brokers’ support teams just want to get rid of you as soon as possible. One more reason why you should stick with these guys.

They are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even YouTube, so you can easily contact them there. Apart from that, they have all the contact methods you can imagine: chat, e-mail, phone… Even IBot can help you with your queries! This actually speeds up the rate at which you get your answers because multiple channels mean that your question will always reach the best person to answer you. What is particularly intriguing is the fact that the company has a place where you can express your wishes about which new features should be added. That’s really a step beyond the usual level of customer support in this industry.

As for the safety, we won’t talk about it too much in this analysis. More information on safety you can find in our Interactive Brokers Scam Test. Here we’ll only mention that they are regulated by many regulatory bodies, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Securities and Exchange Commission being just some of them. Therefore, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Interactive Brokers Review – Conclusion

We can definitely conclude our Interactive Brokers Review on a positive note, and here’s why.

First of all, it’s very easy to become one of IB traders. All monetary transactions – deposit and withdrawal – can be done with ease. As for the accounts, minimum deposit stand at 10,000$ and you can create your own customized account out of the one Universal Account that is offered. There is also the option of switching from Cash Account to Margin Account. In addition, there’s an extra account that’s completely free and that you should definitely try, the IB demo account.

IB trading platforms will offer you a very interesting trading experience. The company has developed a platform for traders who like complex and intricate interfaces (IB Trader Workstation), but there’s also something for those who like to keep it simple (IB Web Trader). These bring some very special features with them too, such as IBot and IB mobile trading platform.

When we add to all of this the fact that this company has an excellent support team, we think that you should wait no more. Open an account with Interactive Brokers and you will find yourself in the world of trading professionals immediately.

Author's overall rating:
Author: Ben Prescott
Updated:

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