Interactive Brokers or IB, as it is commonly known, is a leading US electronic broker that presents its services for investors, traders and institutions in different areas around the world. It has over 35 years’ experience and it was founded by Thomas Peterffy. It offers a flexible and secure trading environment, high-quality services at low and competitive prices, high speed, advanced trading tools and it uses the latest technology to be able to meet the growing demands of the professional traders, investors and institutions. It allows its customers to trade a wide range of financial instruments and products to help them to maximize their profits and trade the financial instruments that they want according to their personal circumstances and the conditions of the market that always change.
It offers low commissions, low prices and spreads, fully automated trading process, the margin loan rates are 82% lower than what is offered through other rival brokers, uses SmartRouting system that gives you the best available price at the time of your order and helps you to achieve the best execution for your orders. The customers can trade on more than 100 market centers that can be found in 22 countries and you can access different financial instruments directly through just one account without the need to use more than one account for trading the different instruments. You can use IBIS or Interactive Brokers Information System to get all the information that you may need for increasing your profits. It offers more than 50 order types and algos to meet different needs and strategies, Stock Borrow / Loan for borrowing and lending US stocks automatically, gives you the ability to access IB trading system through IB API or through FIX CTCI.
♦ Wide range of financial instruments
Interactive Brokers offers its professional customers several financial products and instruments that allow them to increase their profits and generate high earnings. They can choose the most suitable financial instrument depending on the conditions of the market that always change in a short period of time which may be seconds. For the offered financial instruments, you can find stocks, options, futures, FOPs, ETFs, warrants, structured products, SSFs, Forex, metals, indices, bonds, funds and CFDs. It may be impossible not to find the financial product that you want to trade.
♦ Platforms & advanced trading tools
Interactive Brokers presents its market-maker designed Trader Workstation (TWS). It is simple, comprehensive and sophisticated at the same time as it provides you with all the advanced tools that are substantial for trading. It is perfect for maximizing the speed of trading on the financial market, monitoring your account and activity, managing orders and risks, getting real-time account balance and margin deficiencies notifications. You will get task-specific trading tools such as BasketTrader, BookTrader, Market Scanner, Rebalance Portfolio, FXTrader, SpreadTrader, ScaleTrader, OptionTrader and other trading tools. This feature makes the tools more efficient for performing every task you need.
If you want to trade through using a platform that is based on the web, then you can use WebTrader platform that can be accessed through any PC that is connected to the internet without the need to download any software. WebTrader platform can be easily customized to get the interface that suits your taste and meets your needs.
You can easily access and manage your account, get the latest news about the financial market and keep trading at anyplace and whenever you want through using your mobile phone. IB offers you mobile TWS for iOS that allows you to trade through using your iPhone or iPad, mobile TWS for Android, mobile TWS for Blackberry and Mobile Trader for trading through any wireless internet device.
♦ Practice trading
Interactive Brokers allows you to try trading, test your skills and decide the best strategies through offering IB Paper Trading account. Through this account, you will be able to trade in an environment that looks like the real trading environment of the market in which you trade with your real money. The difference between the real environment and the simulated environment that is created for you to practice trading is that you do not have to trade with real money to risk or lose it. The Paper Trading account allows you to test the tools that are offered to you through TWS platform to judge them and decide if they can be easily used and can help you to achieve your goals or not.
♦ Too many types of accounts
There are many types of accounts that are offered by IB for professional customers to meet their different requirements, circumstances and financial situations. The accounts are divided into two categories; one of them is for traders and investors that includes individual, joint, IRA, Trust, friends, family group, family office and small business, while the other category is for institutions and it includes advisor, money managers, brokers, FCM’s, proprietary trading groups, hedge, mutual funds and compliance officers. The minimum deposit that is required for opening an account and starting trading with Interactive Brokers is $3.000 and this is for individuals who are 26 years old or younger.
Interactive Brokers is regulated and licensed by many regulators such as SEC, FINRA, NYSE and FSA. You do not have to worry about your funds because customers’ funds are segregated from the funds of the company which ensures the customers’ funds to be safe and be away from being used by the company when it faces a problem that requires money to be handled. The customers are allowed to fund their accounts in different currencies which gives more flexibility. There are 18 types of currencies that are available for you to fund your account and you can even choose a currency that is different from the base currency which you selected before. IB offers real-time monitoring systems for managing trading risks, real-time margining and IB Risk Navigator for monitoring and adjusting your risk profile.
♦ Education center
Most of the online Forex brokers that offer education centers target the novice traders and try to make them learn how to trade on the Forex market, but with Interactive Brokers (IB) it becomes different. IB focuses more on giving information about what it offers. IB presents to its customers different resources via which they can get the needed information such as live webinars which are also recorded, courses, interactive tours, apps that can be easily downloaded to your iPad and iPhone, tools and widgets and documentation.
♦ Customer support
IB offers a 24-hour customer support that is presented by a team of professional specialists who are dedicated round the clock to provide you with the needed help, answer your questions, handle the issues that you may face and prevent you from generating earnings while trading. There are several support channels that are available for customers to allow them to contact the support team such as phone, Fax, postal mail, e-mail and chat.
There are several branch offices for Interactive Brokers that spread in different countries around the world to present the best customer service. You can find offices for IB in the Unites States, Switzerland, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, Hungary, Russia, India, China and Estonia.
Interactive Brokers is more suitable for professional traders and investors as it presents the most advanced tools that require a specific level of experience which is high if it is compared to other Forex brokers. All of this makes IB inappropriate to novice traders who do not have any prior experience about trading in the financial market and need an easy-to-use platform that is not sophisticated like TWS platform.
♦ Overall rating
Interactive Brokers is highly recommended to professional traders, investors and institutions. It offers advanced tools and many services of high quality that are especially presented to professional customers who want to boost their profits and get the best offered services for online trading. It offers the lowest commissions, spreads and prices. There are many types of accounts that come to suit different needs and circumstances and it presents the most advanced tools.