Brokers Review

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    Perfect For Experienced Traders!

Interactive Brokers Review

Interactive Brokers is a forex trading services broker. They give traders access to a wide variety of instruments in several markets like currencies, indices, shares and etfs. For commodity traders, they offer a range of energies, metals and agriculturals.

  • Doesn’t offer VPS (See alternatives)
  • Inactivity Fee
  • Limited range of instruments

To open a live account, you’ll need a minimum deposit of at least €10,000. Alternatively, Interactive Brokers offers a demo account that you can use to practice and familiarise yourself with their platform.

Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, UK (FRN: 208159), and ASIC (AFSL #453554). Interactive Brokers puts all client funds in a segregated bank account and uses tier-1 banks for this. Interactive Brokers has been established since 1977, and have a head office in United States.

Before we dive into some of the more detailed aspects of Interactive Brokers’s spreads, fees, platforms and trading features, you may want to open Interactive Brokers’s website in a new tab by clicking the button below in order to see the latest information directly from Interactive Brokers.

Full disclosure: We may receive a commission if you sign up with a broker using one of our links.

Losses can exceed deposits

What are Interactive Brokers’s spreads & fees?

Like most brokers, Interactive Brokers takes a fee from the spread, which is the difference between the buy and sell price of an instrument.

The commisions and spreads displayed below are based on the minimum spreads listed on Interactive Brokers’s website. The colour bars show how competitive Interactive Brokers’s spreads are in comparison to other popular brokers featured on BrokerNotes.

Interactive Brokers
EUR/USD (Average: 0.7 pips) 0.1 pips + $2/lot 0.6 pips + $1.00 0.7 pips
GBP/USD (Average: 1.1 pips) 0.1 pips + $2/lot 0.9 pips + $1.00 1.7 pips
USD/JPY (Average: 1.1 pips) 0.1 pips + $2/lot 0.7 pips + $1.00 0.6 pips
AUD/USD (Average: 0.8 pips) 0.1 pips + $2/lot 0.6 pips + $1.00 0.6 pips
USD/CHF (Average: 2.3 pips) 0.1 pips + $2/lot 1.5 pips + $1.00 2.3 pips
USD/CAD (Average: 2.9 pips) 0.1 pips + $2/lot 1.7 pips + $1.00 0.5 pips
NZD/USD (Average: 3.6 pips) 0.1 pips + $2/lot 2.0 pips + $1.00 2.8 pips
EUR/GBP (Average: 2.4 pips) 0.1 pips + $2/lot 0.9 pips + $1.00 0.5 pips

Spreads are dynamic and are for informational purposes only.

As you can see, Interactive Brokers’s minimum spread for trading EUR/USD is 0.1 pips – which is relatively low compared to average EUR/USD spread of 0.70 pips. Below is a breakdown of how much it would cost you to trade one lot of EUR/USD with Interactive Brokers vs. similar brokers.

How much does Interactive Brokers charge to trade 1 lot of EUR/USD?

If you were to buy one standard lot of EUR/USD (100k units) with Interactive Brokers at an exchange rate of 1.1719 and then sell it the next day at the same price you would likely pay $0. Here’s a rough breakdown of the fees and how this compares against XTB & AvaTrade .

Interactive Brokers XTB AvaTrade
Spread from : $ 0.00 $ 2.00 $ 7.00
Commission : $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Total cost of a 100k trade: $ 0.00 $ 2.00 $ 7.00
$2 more $7 more
Visit IB Visit XTB Visit AvaTrade

All fees/prices are for informational purposes and are subject to change.

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    Best Choice For Beginners!
    Free Trading Education!
    Free Demo Account!
    Big Sign-up Bonus!

  • BINOMO
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    Perfect For Experienced Traders!

What can you trade with Interactive Brokers?

Interactive Brokers offers over different instruments to trade, including over 22 currency pairs. We’ve summarised all of the different types of instruments offered by Interactive Brokers below, along with the instruments offered by XTB and AvaTrade for comparison.

FX / Currencies IB XTB AvaTrade
# of forex pairs offered 22 48 59
Major forex pairs Yes Yes Yes
Minor forex pairs Yes Yes
Exotic forex pairs Yes Yes
Cryptocurrencies No Yes Yes
Commodity CFDs Interactive Brokers XTB AvaTrade
# of commodities offered 21 16
Metals Yes Yes Yes
Energies Yes Yes Yes
Agricultural Yes Yes Yes
Index & Stock CFDs Interactive Brokers XTB AvaTrade
# of stocks offered 1606 99
UK shares Yes Yes Yes
US shares Yes Yes Yes
German shares Yes Yes Yes
Japanese shares Yes Yes Yes
See IB’s Instruments See XTB’s Instruments See AvaTrade’s Instruments

What’s the Interactive Brokers trading experience like?

1) Platforms and apps

Interactive Brokers offer a user-friendly custom trading platform, available as both a downloadable program or as a browser based WebTrader. If you are looking for a MetaTrader broker, see our comparison of MT4 brokers here The combination of downloadable platforms for both Mac and Windows allows traders to trade with their device of choice.

Interactive Brokers also offer mobile apps for Android and iOS, making it easier to keep an eye on and execute your trades while you are on the move.

Still not sure?

2) Executing Trades

Interactive Brokers do not have set minimum and maximum trade requirements. They may vary depending on the account, trader and the instrument. The maximum trade requirements vary depending on the trader and the instrument. As Interactive Brokers offer ECN and STP execution, you can expect very tight spreads with more transparency over the price you’re paying to execute your trades.

As a market maker, Interactive Brokers may have lower entry requirements compared to an ECN broker who benefits from a higher volume of trades and typically has larger capital and minimum trade requirements. Market makers typically have a lower minimum deposit, smaller minimum trade requirements and no commission on trades.

As a nice bonus, Interactive Brokers are one of very few brokers that claim to have no requotes, so you don’t have to worry about slippage (your trades being ordered at a different price to what you executed them at).

As with most brokers, margin requirements do vary depending on the trader, accounts and instruments. You can see the latest margin requirements on their website.

Finally, we’ve listed some of the popular funding methods that Interactive Brokers offers its traders below.

Trading Features:

  • Allows scalping
  • Allows hedging
  • Offers STP
  • Low min deposit

Accounts offered:

  • Demo account
  • Mini account
  • Standard account
  • ECN account
  • Managed account

Funding methods:

  • Bank Transfer
  • American Express

3) Client support

Interactive Brokers support a wide range of languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese.

Interactive Brokers has a BrokerNotes triple AAA support rating because they offer a wide range of languages and support options.

4) What you’ll need to open an account with Interactive Brokers

As Interactive Brokers is regulated by Financial Conduct Authority , every new client must pass a few basic compliance checks to ensure that you understand the risks of trading and are allowed to trade. When you open an account, you’ll likely be asked for the following, so it’s good to have these handy:

  • A scanned colour copy of your passport, driving license or national ID
  • A utility bill or bank statement from the past three months showing your address

You’ll also need to answer a few basic compliance questions to confirm how much trading experience you have, so it’s best to put aside at least 10 minutes or so to complete the account opening process.

While you might be able to explore Interactive Brokers’s platform straight away, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to make any trades until you pass compliance, which can take up to several days, depending on your situation.

To start the process of opening an account with Interactive Brokers you can visit their website here.

  • Written by Marcus Taylor
  • Founder & CEO

Marcus founded BrokerNotes in 2020 after trying hard to find a broker for himself to trade and struggling to compare brokers like-for-like. You can find more about BrokerNotes & Marcus here.

CFDs are leveraged products and can result in the loss of your capital. All trading involves risk. Only risk capital you’re prepared to lose. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
This post is for educational purposes and should not be considered as investment advice. All information collected from https://www.interactivebrokers.com/ on 01/04/2020.

Interactive Brokers not quite right?

Compare these Interactive Brokers alternatives or find your next broker using our free interactive tool.

Premium Brokers review – Is thepremiumbrokers.com scam or good forex broker?

Premium Brokers offers well over 40 currency pairs and plenty of CFDs with attractive spreads, leverage as high as 1:100 and the MetaTrader4 platform.

Account type Min. deposit Max. leverage Spread s/ Payout
Standard Account n/a 1,5 pips
Islamic Account n/a 1:100 n/a

That said, be aware that the broker is not regulated, and what is even worse they appear into the spotlight of the Italian financial regulator – CONSOB, which has issued a recent warning against Premium Brokers. If you are still thinking about depositing your money with Premium Brokers be sure to read the following review.

Premium Brokers Advantages:

Lots of currency pairs and crypto CFDs

For the sake of impartiality in the beginning of our reviews we try to list ant possible benefits a broker might offer its clients, and here with Premium Brokers that surely can be their long list of trading instruments.

Along with the 45 forex pairs, like USDCLP, USDCZK, USDCNH, USDHUF, USDMXN, USDNOK, USDPLN, USDSEK, USDTRY, USDSGD and USDZAR, the broker also offers a nice selection of crypto CFDs with coins like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, EOS, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, IOTA, Litecoin, NEO, Tron, Monero, Ripple and Zcash.

And the list also includes CFDs on commodities and precious metals like silver, gold, aluminum, cocoa, coffee, cotton, nickel, soybean, sugar, wheat, zinc, natural gas and oil, stocks, and 14 major indices. If you are tempted by the idea of trading crypto assets, here you may check as well our list of brokers, offering bitcoin CFDs:

Blacklisted by CONSOB, no license

Premium Brokers is owned and operated by Premium solutions Ltd, an offshore company based on the Marshall Islands. And as most offshore brokers, Premium Brokers does not have a legit license to provide financial services on regulated markets like the European Union. Undoubtedly this is one of the reasons why Premium Brokers has been blacklisted by CONSOB, the financial regulator in Italy. Here you may see the warning:

Bear in mind that trading with unregulated brokers is associated with extremely high risk of getting scammed. Unregulated brokers in general are completely unaccountable for the way they handle your money, and quite often such brokers are simply involved in scam. So take our advise and trade only with licensed brokers, especially ones regulated by well known institutions like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Besides, with a FCA regulated broker your funds will even be protected by a client compensation fund covering up to 85 000 GBP of your trading account even in the unlikely case your broker files for bankruptcy. So here you may check as well our list of brokers, regulated in the UK:

Trading bonuses with additional withdraw conditions

And be aware of any trading bonuses a broker like Premium Brokers might offer you. Trading bonuses are not what they seem. They always come with additional withdraw conditions – usually some minimum trade volume requirement, which quite too often scammers use as a pretext to cancel you withdraw requests. As you can see in their Trams and Conditions Premium Brokers says exactly this – you must trade a certain volume before you will be eligible to make any withdraws:

And what is worse Premium Brokers reserves the right to change their bonus policy on their sole discretion. See for yourself:

Few payment methods

The only payment options with Premium Brokers are bank wire transfers and major credit cards like VISA and MasterCard. You can not pay with Skrill for example, and that is interesting, because of the new anti scam policy adopted by the money transfer company. According it Skrill partners only with licensed brokers, and as we already noted Premium Brokers is a unregulated, offshore broker. Besides, here you may check our list of brokers which do accept Skrill:

Premium Brokers are not regulated, which means they are not to be trusted. On top of that Premium Brokers have already been flagged as potential scammers by the regulatory authorities in Italy, so be alert and stay away from unregulated websites like Premium Brokers altogether.

Broker Advantages

FXTM a regulated forex broker (regulated by CySEC, FCA and FSC), offering ECN trading on MT4 an MT5 platforms. Traders can start trading with as little as $10 and take advantage of tight fixed and variable spreads, flexible leverage and swap-free accounts.

Trading212 is a European broker with an excellent proprietary trading platform, which is now available as an iPhone app as well (we tried it out and we loved it). Trading 212’s customers enjoy fast execution a vast selection of trading instruments.

XM is broker with great bonuses and promotions. Currently we are loving its $30 no deposit bonus and deposit bonus up to $5000. Add to this the fact that it’s EU-regulated and there’s nothing more you can ask for.

FXCM is one of the biggest forex brokers in the world, licensed and regulated on four continents. FXCM wins our admirations with its over 200,000 active live accounts and daily trading volumes of over $10 billion.

FxPro is a broker we are particularly keen on: it’s regulated in the UK, offers Metatrader 4 (MT4) and cTrader – where the spreads start at 0 pips, Level II Pricing and Full Market Depth. And the best part? With FxPro you get negative balance protection.

FBS is a broker with cool marketing and promotions. It runs an loyalty program, offers a $100 no-deposit bonus for all new clients outside EU willing to try out its services, and an FBS MasterCard is also available for faster deposits and withdrawals.

FxChoice is a IFSC regulated forex broker, serving clients from all over the world. It offers premium trading conditions, including high leverage, low spreads and no hedging, scalping and FIFO restrictions.

HotForex is a EU Regulated broker, offering wide variety of trading accounts, including Auto, Social and Zero spread accounts. The minimum intial deposit for a Micro account is only $50 and is combined with 1000:1 leverage – one of the highest in the industry.

Interactive Brokers Review 2020: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

Interactive Brokers attracts active traders with low per-share pricing, an advanced trading platform, a large selection of tradable securities — including foreign stocks — and ridiculously low margin rates. Its new offering, IBKR Lite, offers commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs.

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

The bottom line: Active and casual traders alike will benefit from Interactive Brokers’ advanced execution, strong trading platforms and rock-bottom pricing.

Best Broker for Low-Cost Investing, Best Broker for Stock Trading Platform and Research

on Interactive Brokers’s website

Interactive Brokers IBKR Lite

on Interactive Brokers’s website

Account Minimum
Promotion

No promotion available at this time

Pros & Cons

Large investment selection.

Strong research and tools.

Over 4,300 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

NerdWallet users who sign up for IBKR Pro get a 0.25 percentage point discount on margin rates.

Website is difficult to navigate.

Inactivity fees on IBKR Pro.

Compare to Similar Brokers

Account Minimum
Account Minimum
Promotion

No promotion available at this time

Promotion

minimum trade cost

Best Online Brokers

Full Review

Interactive Brokers has long been a popular broker for advanced traders, but in 2020 the company launched a second tier of service — IBKR Lite — for more casual investors.

With IBKR Lite, you get unlimited free trades of stocks and exchange-traded funds that are listed on U.S. exchanges. If you’re interested in trading other investments, including options, futures, mutual funds, fixed income and more, you can do that on 125 markets in 31 countries with a Lite account, but the trading costs will be the same as what IBKR Pro investors pay.

As the name implies, IBKR Pro is geared toward advanced traders. If that’s you, you’ll probably like the broker’s per-share pricing of $0.005 per share (the minimum is $1), advanced trading platform, unmatched range of tradable securities — including foreign stocks — and ridiculously low margin rates.

Both tiers of service have a $0 account minimum and offer fractional shares of stock. IBKR Lite has no account maintenance or inactivity fees. IBKR Pro charges an inactivity fee, though it’s possible to skirt that if you trade relatively frequently.

Interactive Brokers is best for:

Casual and advanced traders.

Research and data.

Interactive Brokers at a glance

Stock trading costs

• IBKR Lite: Unlimited free trades on U.S.-listed stocks and ETFs.

• IBKR Pro: $0.005 per share; minimum $1 and maximum 1% of trade value; volume discount available.

IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro: No base commission; 65 cents per contract with $1 minimum. Volume discount available.

Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)

• IBKR Pro: $10/month commission minimum for accounts with $100,000 or less, and a $20/month commission minimum for accounts with $2,000 or less.

Number of commission-free ETFs

• IBKR Lite: Unlimited commission-free trades on all available ETFs.

• IBKR Pro: 98 commission-free ETFs.

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds

Over 4,300 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

• Stocks. • Bonds. • Mutual funds. • ETFs. • Options. • Futures. • Forex. • Metals.

IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro customers get access to Client Portal trading platform and powerful Trader Workstation platform.

Advanced features mimic the desktop app.

Research and data

Extensive research offerings, both free and subscription-based.

Customer support options (includes website transparency)

24-hour phone, email and chat support, available six days a week.

NerdWallet users who sign up for IBKR Pro get a 0.25 percentage point discount on margin rates.

$1,000 worth of commission credits for 1 million new customers who participate in IBKR’s simulated sports betting exchange.

Where Interactive Brokers shines

Low commissions: If you’re a casual investor, it’s hard to beat the free trades you’ll enjoy with IBKR Lite. But even advanced traders who opt for IBKR Pro will like the low stock and ETF commission structure at Interactive Brokers, which favors frequent, high-volume traders at just $0.005 per share. There’s a $1 minimum trade commission and a maximum of 1% of the total trade value, and exchange and regulatory fees are included. The broker also offers tiered pricing to lower rates even more: Investors who trade more than 300,000 shares a month can pay $0.002 or less per share, depending on trade volume, although exchange and regulatory fees are extra on this plan. Rates can go even lower for truly high-volume traders.

Options trading , too, is offered at competitive pricing, for both Pro and Lite customers, with a 65 cent charge per contract and no base, plus discounts for larger volumes. The minimum options trade commission is $1 per order.

Margin rates: Margin traders will also benefit from the low rates at Interactive Brokers. For IBKR Pro customers, the maximum margin rate is the benchmark rate plus 1.5% — and NerdWallet users get an extra 0.25 percentage point discount. For IBKR Lite, it’s the benchmark rate plus 2.5%. Those rates apply on balances up to $100,000; the rates drop at higher balances. The broker charges a blended rate based on the size of the margin loan, and has a calculator on its website to help investors quickly do the math based on their balance.

Interactive Brokers also offers an integrated cash management feature, which allows investors to borrow against their accounts with a debit Mastercard, also at low interest rates.

Fractional shares: The ability to purchase a portion of a company’s stock, rather than a full-priced share, makes it easier to invest in companies that have lofty share prices. That, in turn, makes it easier to maintain a diversified portfolio, especially for investors with smaller accounts. For example, rather than paying more than $260 for one share of Apple, you can divvy up that money among different companies.

Trading platform: The casual traders who find IBKR Lite appealing will find the Client Portal platform adequate for their trading needs. But both IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro traders seeking something more powerful can now enjoy access to Interactive Brokers’ Desktop Trader Workstation, which is considered one of the best trading platforms available for advanced traders. (Until recently, only IBKR Pro traders had access to the advanced platform.)

The platform is fast and includes standard features such as real-time monitoring, alerts, watchlists and a customizable account dashboard. An options strategy lab lets you create and submit both simple and complex multileg options orders and compare up to five options strategies at one time.

Other tools include a volatility lab, advanced charting, heat maps of sector and stock symbol performance, paper trading and a mutual fund replicator, which helps users identify ETFs that replicate the performance of a selected mutual fund but offer lower fees. InteractiveBroker’s For You notifications offer customized alerts about events that could affect a trader’s investments.

Worth noting: Another broker we review, Zacks Trade , offers its customers access to white-labeled versions of Trader Workstation. Zacks Trade charges higher trade commissions, but offers clients free calls with support reps, who are licensed brokers. It’s an option worth considering for traders who want the power of Interactive Brokers’ trading platforms alongside a bit more personal support.

Mobile app: The IBKR mobile app, available to both Lite and Pro customers, is Trader Workstation on the go, with advanced trading shortcuts, over 50 data columns, option exercise and spread templates, news, research, charting and scanners. Users can create order presets, which prefill order tickets for fast entry. Presets set up on Trader Workstation are also available from the mobile app.

Research: Interactive Brokers provides access to a huge selection of research providers and news services, many for free, including Fundamentals Explorer, which offers fundamentals data from Thomson Reuters on over 30,000 companies, plus more than 5,500 analyst ratings, and reports and newswires from 82 companies. Other research providers available to all clients include Zacks Investment Research, Morningstar Equity Ownership, Market Realist, 24/7 Wall Street and Seeking Alpha. Over 100 additional providers are also available by subscription.

Investment selection: Interactive Brokers offers something for everyone here: Advanced traders will love the huge selection of products, from standard offerings of stocks, options and ETFs to precious metals, forex, warrants and futures. The retirement-investor set will be happy with the broker’s impressive list of no-transaction-fee mutual funds — over 4,300 in all — and respectable selection of 98 commission-free ETFs (and Lite customers get to trade all U.S.-listed ETFs commission-free).

Interactive Brokers also has a robo-advisor offering, which charges management fees ranging from 0.08% to 1.5%. The service offers about 70 portfolio options, and 41 of those portfolios require just $1,000 to get started. (The management fees and account minimums vary by portfolio.)

Where Interactive Brokers falls short

Interactive Brokers’ shortcomings are primarily due to the company’s focus on advanced traders:

Inactivity fees: Interactive Brokers caters to active traders, and that focus shows up in its inactivity fees for IBKR Pro customers. Accounts with balances of $100,000 or less must meet a minimum of $10 a month in trade commissions, or Interactive Brokers will charge the difference as a monthly fee. Accounts with an equity balance of $2,000 or less must meet minimum trade commissions of $20. IBKR Lite doesn’t charge inactivity fees.

There is a break here for clients 25 or younger, who have a minimum monthly trade commission of just $3.

» Don’t trade that much? View our best online brokers roundup

Website ease-of-use. Interactive Brokers provides a great deal of information on its website, but finding and interpreting the information you want isn’t always easy. For IBKR Pro customers, the various commission and fee structures can make it hard to quickly identify what your costs will be. Portions of the website are dedicated to institutional, broker and proprietary trading accounts, and that can be confusing.

Is Interactive Brokers right for you?

Interactive Brokers has always been a great choice for active traders, especially those who can move into the broker’s cheaper volume-pricing setup. Now, with the availability of free trades with IBKR Lite, even casual traders might find Interactive Brokers a strong contender. But beginner investors might prefer a broker that offers a bit more hand-holding and educational resources.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • BINARIUM
    BINARIUM

    Top Broker!
    Best Choice For Beginners!
    Free Trading Education!
    Free Demo Account!
    Big Sign-up Bonus!

  • BINOMO
    BINOMO

    Perfect For Experienced Traders!

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