In a word execution. In two works, execution capabilities. If you are a private professional trader there is no other trading platform that comes close to offering institutional-grade order types to retail traders.
Interactive Brokers Trading Platform Review
Name: Interactive Brokers Trading Platform
Description: We rank Interactive Brokers as the best online trading platform as it is exceptionally good for sophisticated trading. It offers by far the most access to the most markets through DMA futures, options, physical shares and CFDs. it also has the most advanced execution tools for retail traders, including complex order types such as VWAP, pairs trading, iceberg, and algorithmic trading.
60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
- Markets available: 7,000
- Minimum deposit: £2,000
- Account types: CFDs, DMA, futures & options, investing
- Equity overnight financing: 1.5% +/- SONIA
- Pricing: Shares 0.02%, FTSE 0.005%, GBPUSD 0.0008%
When I was testing the trading platform, one thing that is immediately obvious though is that the desktop version is almost too good for retail traders and most will only use a small percentage of its capabilities. However, new traders should not be put off by its institutional-grade offering. The heavy-duty Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation is available as a download on PC, but there is also a simplified web-based version that is very simple to use called Portal.
On the web-based Portal trading platform, you can execute trades as physical deals, CFDs, futures and options (on the widest range of stocks). There are lots of webinars (with the founder Thomas Peterffy and his team) that cover trading strategy. You can also evaluate your portfolio based on how ethical your positions are. There are stock scanners, fund scanners, bond scanners, a fundamentals explorer for hunting out undervalued stocks and you can convert currency at some of the best exchange rates around.
IBKR also gives you more control over your currency exposure. Most other trading platforms automatically convert currency when you trade instruments outside your base currency but IBKR lets you do it manually on a per-trade or ad hoc basis.
Overall, Interactive Brokers, as the pioneer of the online trading industry, remains one of the best all-round online trading platforms for sophisticated investors and traders.
- Low cost
- Wide market range
- Investment accounts
- HQ in the US
- Complex desktop platform
Research & Analysis
- Expert opinion: Interactive Brokers (IBKR) full review