Interactive Brokers Review (2021) Review

Interactive Brokers has long been a popular broker for advanced traders, and in 2019 the company launched a second tier of service — IBKR Lite — for more casual investors. Both options of service have a $0 account minimum and offer apportioned shares of stock. Suggested for traders looking for low fees and a professional trading environment.

They were founded in 1978 and are one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. The broker is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including top-tier ones like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

interactive brokers

  • Regulation – FCA, SEC
  • deposit – 0 USD

What can be traded

You can access an extremely wide range of markets, and all product types are available.

  • Stock
  • Crypto
  • ETF
  • Forex
  • Fund
  • Bond
  • Options
  • Futures
  • CFD

A great selection of products, with an extraordinary range of ETFs and bonds. They also offer a couple of more exotic assets, like warrants and structured products.

Broker regulation

Interactive Brokers is regulated by several financial authorities, including ones like the SEC in the US and the UK’s FCA. Its parent company is listed on the Nasdaq exchange. I haven`t found much information about the regulations, which is a shame, I found in other reviews, they are well regulated, so why not show it off more? In 2021 they`ve won several awards and these can be seen on their website. And not only from 2021. You can choose the year and go through other awards, they`ve won.

Interactive brokers

Interactive brokers

Demo account

A demo account is one of the best ways to learn. It’s a virtual account mirroring the live one. You can learn on a real platform with virtual money, that is pre-loaded. Demo accounts are usually free and unlimited, but each broker has different conditions, so don’t forget to check them out. Interactive Brokers named their demo account `Free Trial`. You can simply apply for one in the top pane. They offer:

  • Access to all platforms
  • Market data
  • Research and News Platform
  • Advanced Trading Tools

Once you’re ready to open an IBKR account, you can easily convert your free trial to a live account.

Interactive brokers

Broker fees

They have low trading fees and the best margin rates in the industry, free stock and ETF trading for US clients and low margin rates. There is a variable handling fee, no inactivity fee and fees for the processing of Corporate Actions affecting securities in your portfolio. Every fee is shown and explained on their website.

Interactive brokers

Interactive brokers

Registering for an account

To apply for an account is simple. You have the option in the top pane and for a demo account, it’s the same. The `Free Trial` option is there too. A short form pops up, where you need to fill in your email address, username, password and choose which country you are from.

Interactive brokers

This was filled in a minute. Super simple.

I received an email immediately. With overall information about the account. I haven`t received an email with passwords or usernames, so you should mark it down when applying. In the email, you have the option to start your demo account, which I have gone for. It takes you to a page, where you download the platform.

Interactive brokers

Interactive brokers

For the first time, it has downloaded without a problem.

Interactive brokers platforms

The platform Interactive Brokers offers is desktop-based Trader Workstation (TWS), which supports trading everything you can think of, including global assets. The platform is fast and offers tools like standard features such as real-time monitoring, alerts, watchlists and a customizable account dashboard. After installing TWS I clicked to go for a demo account. Very fast and simple.

Interactive brokers

Interactive brokers

You can access educational videos, FAQs and news on the platform, change the platform design from mosaic to classic. Mosaic is better, trust me. The rest seems difficult for me as a beginner. Also, someone who wants long-term investments, though, may have difficulty navigating all of TWS’s features.

Interactive brokers

Interactive brokers

Brokers website

The white and red colors are fine. The design is very pure and simple. No effects, no designing, just a simple website. I had no problems finding the information I need, and it all functioned well. There was no chatbot but several ways of contacting them:

  • Chatroom
  • Phone support
  • Send documents
  • Community forum

They offer a wide range of quality educational materials and tools, including videos, courses, webinars, a glossary, and as I have already mentioned a demo account.

Social networks

They are active on Facebook, Twitter or Linked in. Linked-in has not been found. Either bad link on their website or they have no account. I had the same problem with Twitter, but this account is working, through the search button on Twitter, not through their website. They have an impressive number of followers. Over 245K. They tweet every day.

Interactive brokers

Again, you can’t access their Facebook account through the link on their website but go through the search button. Interactive brokers

This was quite annoying, to be honest.

Advantages and disadvantages

Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest US-based brokers, regulated by several regulators worldwide. They offer a demo account; their educational support is good and ways of contacting OK too. I had no problem and delay when registering and the same when downloading the platform. TWS is difficult, hard to navigate. The website is simple, easy, but no live chat.

Pros:

  • No deposit needed
  • Regulated
  • Negative balance protection
  • Educational support

 

Cons:

  • Difficult platform
  • No Chatbot
  • Social network links not working
  • Bad reviews on customer service
Pros / Cons
  • No deposit needed
  • Regulated
  • Negative balance protection
  • Educational support
  • Difficult platform
  • No Chatbot
  • Social network links not working
  • Bad reviews on customer service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interactive Brokers has long been a popular broker for advanced traders, and in 2019 the company launched a second tier of service — IBKR Lite — for more casual investors. Both options of service have a $0 account minimum and offer apportioned shares of stock. Suggested for traders looking for low fees and a professional trading environment.