Interactive Brokers Review 2021 – Trustable Online Broker

By | June 18, 2021

Interactive Brokers is a trustable online broker operating from the US. It has a long operating history and has good financial audits as well. In this Interactive Broker review, we’re going to focus on its workings and operations. Along with its pros and cons.

What is Interactive Brokers?

Interactive Brokers Review

Interactive Broker is an online brokerage providing a wide range of investment opportunities. It is one of the biggest discount brokers.

The broker provides access to 135+ markets in 33 countries around the world. It allows you to invest in stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, futures, bonds, and currencies. 

The firm offers low-cost investment, market research, multiple trading platforms, and competitive customer services. Barron’s recently ranked it as the No.1 online broker, headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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Account Opening

Account opening is fully digital but quite complex. They take a long time to verify the account. The minimum deposition for account opening is low.

What is the minimum deposit at Interactive Broker?

The minimum amount required to open an account is $0. However, a minimum of $2000 is required if you want to trade on margin.

Account Types:

Interactive broker account type

Interactive account types fall under two category:

  • accounts for individual traders and investors
  • accounts for institutions

Interactive Brokers Account Types

Account Types Short Description
IndividualsThe account is owned and used by a single individual
JointThe account is owned and used by two individuals
TrustThe account is held by a Trustee (separate legal entity) for your benefit.
IRAIndividual retirement account, which is only available for US clients
UGMA/UTMAAccount for clients who are minors, which is only available for US clients
Friends and Family Account for a client group of up to 15 members
Family OfficeAccount for an individual who is a Family Office Manager
Advisor Account for an individual who manages both client administration and the client’s money
Small BusinessAccount for small corporations

Besides these account types, you can choose between IBKR PRO and IBKR LITE if you are a US resident.

Interactive Brokers Fees

Assets Fee Term
US stock$0.005 per share, min. $1, max. 1% of trade value. Free for US clients choosing IBKR Lite plan.
EURUSDTrade value less than $1 billion: 0.2 bps * trade value; min. $2
Mutual fund$14.95 per transaction or 3% of trade value, whichever is lower
Inactivity fee$20 per month if you have less than a $2,000 account balance and don’t generate a minimum of $20 in commissions. $10 for accounts having at least $2,000 account balance, while no inactivity fee for US clients choosing IBKR Lite plan.

Deposit and withdrawal :

Interactive broker deposit withdrawal

Interactive Brokers offer 22 base currencies.

It offers one free withdrawal per month, which is less compared to competitors. Also, it only allows deposits through bank transfers.

They support no other means of deposition. But if you are a resident of the US, you have a few extra options like:

  • ACH
  • Check
  • Online bill payment
  • Direct Rollover
  • Trustee-to-Trustee

Withdrawal is also the same as a deposit. The first withdrawal is free of charge whereas later on charge some fee. The withdrawal fee depends on the country of the client. US residents can withdraw via ACH or Check as well.

Is Interactive Brokers Right for you?

Interactive Broker is the right platform if you’re an active day trader. It is not for someone who is looking for a hands-off approach to wealth building. It offers trade, investing, retirement, and cash management program. Along with it has 135+ stocks available for trading.

It has expanded accounting features for US residents. Introduced Interactive Brokers debit card and the Integrated Investment Management program. These include:

  • direct debit card deposits
  • borrowing
  • paying bills without checks through Bill Pay

Interactive Brokers provide automated trading facilities, but still, it is heavily tailored for active traders.

Trade Platform

IBKR Trading Platforms review

Interactive Broker’s web and mobile trading platforms are simple and easy to use. It is beginner-friendly and has a lot of useful functions.

Whereas, on the other hand, the desktop trading platform is quite complex to use. It is for PRO accounts only and has good customizability and advances order execution. It is mainly designed for advanced traders.

Interactive Broker platform score

Trading PlatformScore
Web4.5
Mobile 3.8
Desktop3.0

Products Offered:

Interactive Broker offer wide range of products to trade in.

IB’s product and availability

Stock78
ETF13,000
Forex105
Fund261
Bonds62,621
Options33
Futures 32
CFDs7,113
Cryptos2

Pros/Cons

ProsCons
Low trading feeComplex desktop trading platform
Wide range of productsInactivity fee
Free stock and ETF trading for US clientsLess active traders pay more for IBKR Pro
No minimum deposit for most account typesNo 24/7 support
Several account base currenciesCredit/Debit card not available

Is Interactive Broker Safe?

Is Interactive Broker Safe

IB is safe as top-tier US financial institutes regulate it. A $500,000 security amount covers the clients who come under SIPC.

However, clients from all the countries do not come under such a protection scheme. Its parent company is listed on NASDAQ.

Interactive Broker’s protection amount for different legal entities are:

  • UK : £85,000 
  • USA : $500,000 ($250,000 cash limit)
  • EU countries in Northern and Western Europe (incl. Italy and Spain): €20,000
  • Austria and Luxembourg : €20,000
  • EU countries in Central/Eastern Europe & Cyprus & Malta & Greece : €100,000
  • Canada : CAD 1,000,000
  • Rest other countries : No protection

Interactive Brokers Customer Service :

Service Desk number and hours of operation

LocationNumberHours of operation (Time Zone)
United States1 (877) 442-2757 Toll free
1 (312) 542-6901 Direct dial
14:00 (Mon – Fri) – 02:00 (Tue – Sat) (Europe/Berlin)
19:00 (Sun) – 01:00 (Mon) (Europe/Berlin)
Canada1 (877) 745-4222 Toll free
1 (514) 847-3499 Direct dial
14:00 – 23:30 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Europe00800-42-276537 Toll free
+41-41-726-9500 Direct dial

+44 207-710-5695 Direct dial (United Kingdom)
09:00 – 18:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Russia
8-800-100-8556 Toll free
+41-41-726-9506 (Russian)
08:00 – 17:00 (Mon – Fri) 
Hong Kong
+852-2156-7907 Direct dial
02:00 – 11:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Australia+61 (2) 8093 7300 Direct dial00:30 – 10:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
India
+91 22 61289888 Direct dial
+91 22 39696188 Direct dial
02:30 – 14:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
China
+86 (21) 6086 8586 Direct dial
03:00 – 12:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Japan+81 (3) 4588 9700 Direct dial
+81 (3) 4588 9710 Direct dial (English)
01:30 – 10:30 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)

Bottom Line :

Interactive Broker has mixed services. On the one hand, it has low fees, various products, and good quality educational tools. While on the other hand, it is pretty complex to use and mainly designed for advanced traders. Its tools are created by keeping advanced traders in mind.

Suppose you’re looking for a low-cost trading platform and have experience navigating through a complex platform. Feel free to try Interactive Broker.


FAQs

How do I trade on the Interactive Brokers desktop platform?

To trade through Interactive Brokers, you must open an account, and after your account gets verified, you can put money & can start selling. You can also download the mobile app to carry out trade from any place.

Why can't I convert currencies?

If one of the currencies you select is not in effect for the date you request, you will see a message that the exchange rate data is not available.

What is the difference between Rates and % Change in the Values menu option?

The Values menu option allows you to see exchange rate trends, either as absolute exchange rates or relative change over time.

  • The Rates option displays the actual exchange rate for a particular date.
  • The % Change option displays the percent gain or loss in the currency value you want (the quote currency) against the cash you have (the base currency) since starting the date range you are viewing.

Interactive Brokers Review

9.1

Account Opening

8.9/10

Payment Methods

9.0/10

Flexibility

8.9/10

Customer Support

9.5/10

Pros

  • Low trading fee
  • Wide range of assets
  • Several base currency

Cons

  • Inactivity fee
  • No 24/7 support
  • Complex desktop trading
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