Are you on the lookout for an award-winning broker which allows you to trade stocks, futures, forex, options, bonds and more? If so, you need to read our in-depth Interactive Brokers review.
We’ll be taking a look at all aspects of Interactive Brokers, from the layout and design of the website to the types of accounts available and all the possible deposit and withdrawal options. We’ll even look into the licensing and regulation details, before reporting on our overall Interactive Brokers experience and rating.
Offers at Interactive Brokers - What to expect as a new customer
One of the first things we noticed when preparing our Interactive Brokers review is that this is a broker aimed at the more experienced trader. That’s not to say it’s not suitable for beginners, but if you don’t have any prior experience of trading you can expect to discover a steep learning curve.
As a leading and highly respected brokerage, Interactive Brokers doesn’t rely on any gimmicks or sign-up bonus offers. What you can expect is an outstanding service from an award-winning website, which goes that extra mile to give its clients superb value. As an example, you can look forward to low commission fees, outstanding support for best price execution and an impressive stock yield enhancement program that pays you interest on the stocks you hold.
As an added bonus, our Interactive Brokers review discovered that all new signups can benefit from a free trial. You’ll have complete access to all the available platforms, so you can test out strategies, explore the products, order types and exchanges and view the market data with only a short time delay. If you like what you see, it’s easy to upgrade your free trial to a live account, with all your settings conveniently saved for you to begin trading.
Usability – A brokerage for experienced traders
As we pointed out right at the beginning of our Interactive Brokers review, this is a brokerage aimed mainly at professional or experienced traders. This is demonstrated throughout the site, although it certainly isn’t inaccessible to new and would-be traders. However, if you don’t have any prior trading experience be sure to also check out our eToro review and our Forex.com review, as they may be more suitable for newbie traders, at least in the short term.
Accounts – A choice of account types at Interactive Brokers
Our Interactive Brokers review highlights the fact that there are numerous accounts available to suit every type of trader. From individual and joint accounts through to family accounts, SIPP accounts and a range of business accounts, it’s possible to tailor your trading experience at Interactive Brokers to suit your circumstances.
You can trade in 23 currencies across 135 markets in 33 countries, so you certainly won’t be short of trading opportunities when you create an Interactive Brokers trading account.
Trading Platforms – Choices for every type of trader
The next section of our Interactive Brokers review investigates the trading platforms on offer – and there’s certainly plenty of options.
The Interactive Brokers Client Portal gives instant access to your account, metrics, trading opportunities and much more, with no downloads required. It’s accessible by all connected devices, making it a firm favourite with all kinds of traders.
The site’s proprietary trading platform requires a download, and is designed to allow traders, institutions and investors to conduct trades across more than 135 markets, including currencies, bonds, stocks, futures, options and funds.
IBKR Mobile App
As part of our Interactive Brokers review, we were pleased to discover that the site has a dedicated trading app, available for iOS and Android smartphones. Designed to give you all the trading benefits of the Trader Workstation in a format that you can carry around in your pocket, the app lets you manage your account wherever you have an internet connection.
A key finding of our Interactive Brokers review is the trading APIs that allow you to customise your trading experience, no matter which trading platform you opt to use.
Trading Payments – Fairly limited options at Interactive Brokers
Making a deposit into your Interactive Brokers account requires an advance notification. The customer support team will then let you know exactly how to make the deposit, according to where you’re based. Choose your country from the drop-down menu, then select your preferred currency to be presented with your available options.
Our Interactive Brokers review uncovered the fact that just one free withdrawal can be made per month, with any additional withdrawals incurring a fee. The preferred option seems to be bank wire transfer, but check from your own region to see what other deposit and withdrawal methods are available.
If you’re looking for a wider range of payment methods, including bank cards and eWallets, be sure to check out our FP Markets review and our Plus500 review.
Fees – Transparent pricing at Interactive Brokers
According to the findings of our Interactive Brokers review, prices are either tiered or fixed for traders. The site offers volume-tiered pricing at transparent rates, with low commission fees, decreasing according to volumes traded. The site passes on savings where exchanges issue rebates.
Fixed rate pricing is also available, charged at low commission per share, or at a set percentage of the value of the trade. Where ETFs warrants and US stocks are involved, transaction fees are issued against all stock sales.
Customer Service – Help on hand when you need it
Our Interactive Brokers review discovered that help is always available if you run into difficulties during the course of your trading experience. Your first port of call should be the Help section of the site, which is arranged according to topics. There are also video tutorials, user guides and a knowledge base of articles.
If you need more personalised support, you have a number of options available to you, including live chat, email and phone contact details. There’s also a community forum where you can reach out to other traders for help and advice.
Regulation and Deposit Insurance – Your funds are stored safely at Interactive Brokers
A major aspect of any Interactive Brokers review requires a close inspection of the broker’s security regarding client funds. We expect all bona fide brokers to hold client funds in a completely separate account, with effective security protocols to keep them safe at all times.
All client securities at Interactive Brokers are covered by the SIPC up to a cash limit of $250,000. Moreover, the broker’s bank deposit sweep program offers an extra $2.5 million of FDIC insurance on all eligible cash balances.
Additional Features - More across the Interactive Brokers website
During the course of our Interactive Brokers review, we unearthed several interesting facts about the brokerage, that help to raise it well above the ordinary. The company was founded back in the late ‘70s, starting life as Timber Hill before becoming Interactive Brokers in the early ‘90s, with the name inspired by the radio-controlled handheld devices used by traders in the trading pit.
To date, the organisation has been the recipient of numerous awards, regularly topping the Best Broker charts according to a number of leading industry publications, including Investopedia. The site consistently scores five stars for its range of products, innovative use of technology and low-cost trading and investing opportunities.
In addition to providing a full range of educational resources for honing your trading skills, Interactive Brokers is also committed to helping the next generation of traders to get started. Our Interactive Brokers review found that the site has a Student Trading Lab that’s completely free to sign up to, giving young people the chance to learn about trading in a safe environment, using real-time data.
Overall Conclusion – These are the findings of our Interactive Brokers review
Now that we’re coming to the end of our Interactive Brokers review, we’re ready to deliver our overall verdict. And it’s clear that this is a brokerage aimed at the serious trader or investor, rather than those looking to dabble in the world of online trading.
With a choice of trading platforms, a wide range of account options and some outstanding educational resources, Interactive Brokers has a lot to offer, but it might not be the best option for complete newcomers. This is certainly an outstanding operation, but if you’re looking for something a little more low-key to get started, be sure to take a look at our FXTM review.
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