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Interactive Brokers Review

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Our experts rate Interactive Brokers as a five-star broker because they offer some of the most advanced trading technology for private and professional traders. IBKR is one of the oldest and largest brokerages in the world having pioneered online trading in the US. Interactive Brokers also scored highly in our most recent client satisfaction survey as well as being renowned for discounted trading fees. Our 2020 review explains in detail what makes Interactive Brokers (IBKR) stand out from other brokers.

Read more about our review methodology

Interactive Brokers Review Scores: Expert Ratings

Account Types 9/1090%
Market Coverage 9/1090%
Trading Platforms 10/10100%
Spread Costs & Margin Rates 10/10100%
Ease of Use 7/1070%
History & Reliability 10/10100%
Safety & Regulation 9/1090%
Customer Support & Satisfaction 8/1080%
Account Opening & Funding 7/1071%
Research & Tools 8/1080%

What do clients think of Interactive Brokers (IBKR)?

The below data is taken from the average weighted scores of over 250 clients who completed our Good Money Guide Trading Awards survey in which brokers asked their clients to rank their services against peers.

Interactive Brokers 2020 Review Client Satisfaction Levels

87% of clients would RECOMMEND Interactive Brokers to a friend87%
92% of clients are satisfied with Interactive Brokers' FEES & COSTS92%
96% of clients are satisfied with Interactive Brokers' MARKET COVERAGE96%
84% of clients are satisfied with Interactive Brokers' TRADING PLATFORM84%
82% of clients are satisfied with Interactive Brokers MARGIN RATES82%
77% of clients find Interactive Brokers EASY TO USE77%
92% of clients are satisfied with Interactive Brokers' RELIABILITY92%
97% of clients trust Interactive Brokers to safeguard their FUNDS97%
84% of clients are satisfied with Interactive Brokers' CUSTOMER SUPPORT84%
82% of clients are satisfied with Interactive Brokers' EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL82%
90% of clients are satisfied with Interactive Brokers' TRADING TOOLS?90%

Interactive Brokers User Reviews

Here's what users have to say about them. If you've used them leave a review to vote in our Awards for a chance to win £1,000 in Amazon Vouchers.

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Interactive Brokers
Average rating:  
 2 reviews
by Haroldo Mac Dowell on Interactive Brokers


Trading Platform 5/5
Customer Service 4/5: faster response time
Mobile Apps N/A
Spreads & Pricing 5/5
Market Range 5/5
Trade Execution Speed 5/5
Added Value 5/5

Has been the best for a while

(Trading stocks, indices, forex, commodities and fixed income with Interactive Brokers for over 5 years on a daily basis)

by Rob on Interactive Brokers


Trading Platform 5/5
Customer Service 4/5: faster response time
Mobile Apps N/A
Spreads & Pricing 5/5platform fees
Market Range 5/5
Trade Execution Speed 5/5
Added Value %/5

Fantastic broker,providing access to global markets

(Trading stocks with Interactive Brokers for 2-5 years on a weekly basis)

Interactive Brokers
87%
Client Satisfaction

Interactive Brokers Review

Founded by Thomas Peterffy 42 years ago Interactive Brokers has been at the forefront of online trading for much of that time. During this period, it has grown to be one of the largest firms in the space and processes more than 1.70 million trades per day from offices in 15 global locations, covering a wide range of asset classes and markets for some 760k clients. Founder Thomas Peterffy still serves as the company’s chairman

Account Types

Interactive brokers offer accounts for retail, professional, corporate, and institutional clients plus many other account types in between. The account application process is well laid out. There are interactive guides to help you apply for the correct account and details about what information and documents you will need to provide to support your account application.

You can set up your account in one of more than 20 base currencies. On top of which you can opt for one of four distinct account/product types which are Cash, Margin, SIPP, or Portfolio Margin, each of which has its individual features and restrictions.

Market Coverage

Interactive brokers offer 135 different markets around the globe, and in terms of asset classes, it offers stocks, warrants, futures, and options, including options and futures on individual stocks and equity indices. Alongside FX, ETFs, and mutual funds.

The company also offers CFDs, bonds, and investment management services. Interactive brokers have a long history of operating in derivatives markets through subsidiaries such as Timberhill, the company’s options trading division, which was one of the first brokers to introduce handheld computers to options trading pits.

Trading Platforms

Interactive Brokers offers a range of trading platforms aimed at different types of clients.

Client portal is the point of access for most traders the web-based platform allows clients to monitor balances, their PnL, and other key performance metrics. As well as placing orders, managing positions, etc. All of which is supported by an interactive assistant called “Ask Ibot” that responds to vocal or text input and questions.

For active traders, the broker offers a dedicated desktop app TWS or Trader Workstation which comes complete with a suite of algorithms and other trading tools. TWS has plenty of functionality (one could argue too much). However, the interface has a rather dated feel and layout, though on the plus side the platform is very quick to respond and relatively intuitive to use.

If you can get over the dated interface and take the time and patience to learn about and configure the system, to suit your needs, then it can be a powerful trading tool.

However, if you are looking for something that looks highly polished and works right out of the box then TWS may not be for you.

Spread Costs & Margin Rates

Interactive brokers have a variety of costs of charges that vary by product category, for example, individual equity CFDs attract a commission of 0.05% for trades valued at less than €10,000 between €10,001 and €100,000 that fee falls to 0.03% and on trades greater than €100,000 the fee falls to 0.02%.

Margins for retail for customers are a combination of interactive brokers’ own internal risk calculations and regulatory norms. Margins in the UK and Europe are set at ESMA’s requirements. So, on Equity CFDs, that is 20% or a ratio of 5:1.

While Interactive brokers charge1.25 times their maintenance margin requirement, which varies by position, based on thirty days of price history and 5 standard deviations of price movements. Clients are charged the smaller of the two margin rates intraday.

Ease of Use

Interactive broker’s website is well laid out and easy to navigate, though some pages and links can be slow to load which can prove a little frustrating at times. The TWS trading platform is easy to use once you become familiar with the layout and navigating around the system there are plenty of pre-sets and other tools designed to help make your trading more straight forward

You just need to spend some time and effort setting the system up to meet your requirements. As it is not a product-specific platform like many of its peers rather it is a multi-asset platform in the truest sense.

History & Reliability

With a track record dating back four decades and equity capital of US$8.20 billion interactive brokers is a serious concern that employs more than 1800 people across the globe. Listed on Nasdaq under ticker IBKR the company has a market cap of US$21 billion (at the time of writing) and in the 12 months to June 2020, it had generated US$802 million in commissions and had US$161 billion of client’s equity on its books.

Safety & Regulation

The company is regulated in multiple jurisdictions around the world the UK arm Interactive Brokers U.K. Limited is authorized and regulated by the FCA or Financial Conduct Authority and as such client monies are protected by the UK FSCS.

Customer Support & Satisfaction

Interactive brokers customer service inquiries are funneled to their interactive chatbot you can find most information using the service; however, you need to ask questions in the right way or use the correct search terms. If you cannot get the answer or information that you are looking from the chatbot it can become quite frustrating.

Due to the sheer size of the business, it can feel somewhat bureaucratic and daunting to find your way around, but there are toll-free telephone numbers for customers to call if they can’t resolve their issue online and need assistance see here 

Account Opening & Funding

The account application process is clearly laid out and with guides and tips on which account is appropriate for you, and the documentation and information you will need to provide to apply. As we noted above accounts can be opened in any of 23 base currencies. Funds can be deposited using bank transfers, PayPal, Western Union, WorldPay, Skrill, and Neteller. However, you cannot make a deposit using either debit or credit cards.

Research & Tools

There are plenty of articles and blog prices on the interactive broker’s website covering a wide variety of topics. These are supplemented by video updates and roundups covering subjects as diverse as technical analysis or a comparison of historical and forward-looking (implied) volatility.

There are in-depth guides in the trader’s academy and trading webinars section of the website, which can be found under education. And the company’s trader’s insight area draws contributions from a host of blue-chip names including PIMCO, Vanguard, and Schroders,

there is an extensive list of links to articles and contributors at the bottom of the trading insight page.

Compare Interactive Brokers (IBKR) to alternative Trading Platforms

Interactive Brokers is one of the largest brokers in the world. Clients are accepted from all over the world. They offer high leverage with low margin rates for on-exchange and OTC asset classes.

 

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