Review of Interactive Brokers

Dec 07, 2023 By Triston Martin

Interactive Brokers have dominated the digital brokerage for decades. Our list of the finest online brokers and the best online brokers for day traders included them because of their advanced trading technologies.

Even if their flagship IBKR Pro platform is a little frightening for newcomers, Interactive Brokers is a good choice when combined with their simpler mobile and web-based solutions.

Who Should Use Interactive Brokers?

For professional investors, day traders, and anybody serious about trading, Interactive Brokers is the best option. In terms of research, tracking, and investing, IB Trader's flagship workstation is among the most complete.

According to our research, the commissions and costs charged by Interactive Brokers are among the lowest in the online broker market. They provide a wide range of investing options, including nearly all major asset classes, and access to markets in 33 different countries. If you're a serious investor, you'll be able to discover almost everything you need here.

Interactive Brokers Fees and Commissions

Our research found that Interactive Brokers has a well-deserved reputation for charging the lowest possible commissions and fees. IBKR Pro and IBKR Lite are the two primary applications they provide. IBKR Lite offers unlimited commission-free trading for U.S. equities, ETFs, and some mutual funds to attract more individual investors.

Investing in stocks requires a charge of $0.005 per share with a $1 minimum and a 1 percent cap on the total deal value under the fixed pricing scheme.

There is an option for those that trade a lot of money to move over to a tiered pricing structure where the fees reduce as the number of trade’s increases. Investments such as options, bonds, FX, and mutual funds are all subject to fixed and tiered commissions at Interactive Brokers similarly.

Interactive Brokers Technology Platform

As we've already said, several platform options are available with Interactive Brokers. One of the most prominent features is the desktop IB Trader Workstation, which provides tools for trading stocks, including order management, charts, and watches lists.

With the Options Strategy Lab, Volatility Lab, and Market Scanner, you'll be able to try out your investment ideas and explore other markets and build a diversified portfolio this tool. Reuters, Dow Jones, and Morningstar are just a few periodicals that may be accessed through the site.

The Interactive Brokers Product Line

Interactive Brokers came out on top in our research in terms of product variety. Nearly all of the investments we were searching for were available via them. They also provide fractional share trading, which allows you to acquire less than a total share of stock based on your financial situation.

Because Interactive Brokers provides access to marketplaces in 33 countries, they stand out as a diverse source of international investing options.

You couldn't get advice on how to structure your portfolio from them. There are no cryptocurrencies available right now, but that will change before the end of summer. However, they are minor drawbacks, and the company's wide choice of products is a major selling factor.

Investing with Interactive Brokers

People who want to learn more about investing may turn to Interactive Brokers for a wealth of information. This company offers an extensive training program for traders of all levels called the "Traders Academy."

More advanced courses include everything from how to utilize options and sophisticated research tools on the Interactive Brokers site and how to get started with trading on the platform.

Students can study using videos, quizzes, and notes available for free through the online courses. They also operate a Student Trading Lab for teaching computer science and finance.

Pros Outlined

  • Additionally, Interactive Brokers provides a wide range of trading products (such as stocks and options) across 135 marketplaces in 33 countries. There is a wide range of European corporate bonds and Euro-denominated government bonds available through IBKR and direct access to worldwide markets.

  • SmartRouting software from IBKR gives customers the best possible pricing execution. When you submit an order, it searches for the best firm stock, option, and combination prices available and tries to execute your order as soon as possible. That's a net price increase of $0.62 per 100 equity shares, according to a third-party transaction analysis service.

  • It's strong enough for expert traders, but it's also built for regular investors and traders. Fundamentals Explorer provides access to corporate fundamentals data on stocks and mutual funds and a slew of technical analysis tools, including Social Sentiment from Social Market Analytics and ESG ratings from Refinitiv.

Explained: Cons

  • Customers of IBKR Lite cannot use the SmartRouter of IBKR. Payment for order flow (PFOF) is a priority for the IBKR Lite order router, which IBKR does not reveal to consumers. Because of this, customers of IBKR Lite are also unable to use the IBKR Web Trader platform or the IBKR APIs.

  • Interactive Broker's sophisticated platform might be scary if you are a novice or inexperienced investor. Learning how to use all of IBKR's tools and resources might be a challenge since they are so extensive.

  • Despite IBKR's superior technology, there are still a few omissions. Custom trading algorithms and automated trading are presently not supported by the regular IBKR software. A third-party application programming interface (API) is required for advanced traders who want these functionalities (API).
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