Interactive Brokers Review
Multiple brokers have received a lot of popularity in the past few years, and the light often shines on Interactive Brokers. A good option for international trading, the broker has quite a lot to offer. But should you give it a go? How safe is it? Read our Interactive Brokers review to find out more.
Who Is Interactive Brokers For?
If you are an active trader looking to place a more sophisticated trade on U.S. and global markets, then Interactive Brokers may be exactly what you are looking for. It is the perfect choice for those who are looking for an all-in-one broker, one that not only handles trades and investments but also offers cash management and retirement accounts.
Things We Like
What we liked most is the fact that, unlike other brokers, you have a wide selection of investments to choose from. These investments go on an international scale, making this broker the perfect choice for global day traders. If they want more than the average Forex trade, Interactive Brokers has more opportunities for them.
The tools and research materials are also highly convenient and detailed. Not only can they help a beginner trader learn their way around Forex, but they can also benefit experienced traders. This way, they can be kept up to speed with the newest information.
We also liked the fact that the trading fees are low when compared to other Forex brokers. Even if you are a trader on a budget, you’ll have an easier way of making gains with this broker.
Things We Don’t Like
We didn’t particularly like the fact that the website is fairly difficult to navigate, and not that intuitive. There is quite a bit of a learning curve in using the platform. Plus, the streaming data will only work on a single device at a time. Therefore, if you are logged in on your computer, you cannot access it from your phone as well.
Moreover, we did not like the fact that it’s fairly complicated to open an account. With most brokers, it takes minutes, or a couple of hours at most. However, with Interactive Brokers, it may take up to three days for you to open your account.
Pros / Cons
- Over 7,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds
- Large investment selection
- Strong research and tools
- Website is difficult to navigate
- Complicated to open an account
Safety and Regulation
Before deciding on a broker, you need to learn as much about their background as you possibly can. Here is some essential information that we gathered about them.
Who Is Interactive Brokers?
Interactive Brokers also referred to as IKBR, is a brokerage company that started in 1977, under the lead of Thomas Peterffy. Its main HQ is in Connecticut, namely Greenwich, but it has offices in more than 15 countries. Currently, the company has more than 2,000 employees and holds customer equity that is worth more than $200 billion.
Is Interactive Brokers Regulated?
Interactive Brokers is regulated by several notable financial authorities, making it a trustworthy application. The main authorities that it is registered under are the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Is Interactive Brokers Safe?
Considering that Interactive Brokers spreads on an international scale, safety is a matter of great concern. Clients from the European Union have negative balance protection, protecting them if they trade with CFDs, Forex, and non-US futures or stock index options. The negative balance protection goes all the way up to £85,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies).
Countries It Accepts Clients From
Interactive Brokers is a global broker platform, which means that it accepts clients from all over the world. It’s open to brokers from 218 countries, including the United States. The only countries that are excluded from this are those with an unstable economic or political background (i.e., North Korea).
Considering that the platform was founded in 1977, Interactive Brokers won quite a fair number of awards. It was the Best Broker for Advanced Traders, as well as the Best Broker for Interactive Trading. Many of its awards were given as a result of its global availability and the multitude of products offered.
Range of Offerings and Products
Compared to other Forex brokers, Interactive Brokers offers a wide range of products, including but not limited to:
- Stocks (short and long)
- Mutual funds
- Penny stocks
- Futures options
- Single stock futures
- Single and multi-legged options
- Interactive Advisors and Robo-Advisors
- Forex (115 trading pairs in 23 currencies)
- Fractional shares
Interactive Brokers also offers cryptocurrencies, but at the moment, it is only limited to Bitcoin.
The company features multiple trading platforms which you may take full advantage of. These platforms include:
- The Client Portal
- IBKR APIs
- IKBR App
- Trader Workstation
The web trading platform is user-friendly and offers you a clear fee report. You also have a two-step login option, which is much safer and protects your account. While browsing, you may choose whether you want to use the Web Trader or the Client Portal.
The platform can be accessed in different languages: English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Russian, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Slovakian. The search functions are very easy to use and overall, highly intuitive.
The same thing applies to the mobile platform. It’s simpler compared to others from the competition, but at the same time, it is very easy to use. The search options are very easy to use, and you may also set notifications for you to receive on your phone.
Interactive Brokers offers various types of accounts, depending on your trading preferences. Each type falls into two groups: accounts for individual investors, and accounts for institutions. You may go for many account types, from individual and joint accounts to trust, IRA, small business, advisor, and money manager accounts.
Once you select the type of ownership that you desire, you may choose whether you want a Cash, Reg T Margin, Margin, or Portfolio account. Each has features that every individual can enjoy, depending on their trading preferences. Moreover, you may decide whether you want a Lite account or a Pro account.
Deposits on Interactive Brokers can only be made through traditional banking methods such as wire transfer, check, and other similar methods. There is no option for funding via a credit or debit card unless you are in the United States. Also, you cannot use eWallets when finding your Interactive Brokers account.
Interactive Brokers typically have no minimum deposit, so you may deposit as little as $1 if you decide you want to have some money in your account. However, there is an exception to this rule if you are trading margin.
In that case, the minimum becomes $2,000. When you are trading margin, you are basically trading borrowed cash (leverage). This is why you need to have some funds there, prepared.
While deposits cannot be made via eWallets, you can use this method for withdrawals. For example, if you wish to make a withdrawal on PayPal, you have this option. Wire transfers to your bank are also very common.
Also, while funding your account from a debit card cannot be done, you can withdraw this way instead. The service has its own debit card from which you can withdraw. Any ATM may be used for this type of process.
Interactive Trading comes with a demo account – or as they call it, a Paper Trading Account. This account has $1,000,000 worth of virtual money, which you may use to try out the services provided by the brokers. You may experiment, simulate trades, and determine whether this is the right choice for your purposes or not.
The mobile version also has a Read-Only mode, an alternative to the demo account. This mode won’t allow you to place any trades but will allow you to check the interface without having to make any payments.
Interactive Brokers Promotions
At this moment, Interactive Brokers does not offer any bonuses or promotions. There is no newcomer bonus, nor are there any bonuses for making a deposit.
Client Support and Education
Interactive Brokers offers a fair number of educational tools and materials you can learn from. First, you have the demo account, which in itself is a practice session on how to use the trading app.
Then, you have several online courses that you can learn from, along with webinars, tutorial videos, and educational videos. The newsfeed section can keep you up to speed with everything happening in the trading world, making this app a great option for beginner and advanced traders alike.
If you are ever confused about the technical terms, you also have a glossary to go through. This will keep you updated with any acronyms or unfamiliar expressions.
As for customer support, you may contact the team via telephone and live chat. Standard questions may get AI answers, but you can also get in contact with real staff. Support is not available 24/7, but once someone comes online, you will be contacted.
Verdict – Overall Rating
Interactive Brokers might still need a few improvements, but overall, it is a highly reliable app. It has many products to offer, the educational resources are reliable, and it’s perfect for beginners and advanced Forex traders alike. With its low fees and multiple benefits, it is worth giving this broker a try.
All brokers listed on our website are regulated by at least one financial regulator and have never been reported as a scam. Our reviews and overall scores are based on the key areas above, in a combination with our opinion and commentary.
The reviews are shared and discussed with the brokers, but the authors of our website always have the final word. Furthermore, we always strive to keep the information on our website updated and relevant for our readers.
What helps us stand out is that we always test our brokers with an anonymous live account, to ensure we deliver the most accurate information and experience to our readers. Finally, our reviews and evaluation are always independent of any financial compensation we may receive from the brokers.
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities.
With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection, and market volatility that may substantially affect the price or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more at Wikipedia.
All investments involve risks and are not suitable for every investor. The value of securities may fluctuate and as a result, clients may lose more than their original investment. The past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk it does not assure a profit, or protect against the loss, in a down market.
There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing. More details here.
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