Interactive Brokers Review

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Interactive Brokers reviews, customer complaints, rating, brokerage pros and cons, buggy platform, trading commissions and fees. Is IB safe and good company to open account?

Interactive Brokers Review

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Interactive Brokers Customer Reviews

by Frank, 4/10/2019

Pros: CHEAP, many exchanges, many trading options

Cons: LOUSY customer service at times, buggy website.

Very cheap unless you tarde penny stocks. Many exchanges.
Problem: cheap prices = cheap service. Well, lousy, frankly.
Phoning support - forget it - cracking lines, foreign weird accents, re-routing of calls to exotic places, and too much incompetence at times. You call them to ask lot sizes in a given exchange for a given stock - they do not even know that.
Chat support = spinning buttons for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes. Finally someone answers who pretends to chat to you and 5 others a the same time - and you need 2-factor login to get support! Bad. Finally you get timed out or session terminated before the chat jerk even answers.
Ticket support = I cannot open any NEW support TICKETS. Maybe their website has another bug or they banned me from asking questons. Tried in 3 browsers and their Ticket Submit button has stopped reacting, it simply won't submit my legitimate question (regarding their lot sizes on Hong Kong exchange)
So basically - you are left with NO tickets, NO Chat and some guy in an exotic place with no desire to help.
CHEAP - yes their SUPPORT is as CHEAP as their PRICES, so if you need STRESS and HEADACHE you've found the right broker.

by tee, 1/30/2019



simply lousy services. I had legal name issue and funding was slowed. Their customer service doesn't really bother to help resolve the issue after the corrections. Small company is not really better. I will still stay with TD Ameritrade.

by Brian, 8/26/2018

Pros: Fees, global access, API, and universal account

Cons: None

This broker is a must for professionals. I think they should raise the minimums to keep the LOW IQ types out.

by JOS, 8/20/2018



with IB you have to pay for worthless snapshots

by David, 8/17/2018

Pros: Nice selection of products

Cons: Basically, everything else

I've been with IB for over 6 years. They were my prime broker for my hedge fund and I had my personal account there. I've had problems in the past, complained bitterly to them, fought them, took them to arbitration, etc. I don't know why I stayed with them, familiarity breeds contempt I guess. But this latest incident, although somewhat trivial, could under different circumstances blow up into a genuine problem. I had a GTC order to close an option position when the price got to 5 cents,, and the order had been sitting there for about 2 months. It finally filled, however, it executed twice. Once to buy to close the option position, then it bought the same thing again, thus opening a new option position. OK, it was only 50 contracts at 5 cents each, plus about $20 commission. However, it could have been much much worse than that. I complained to "Customer Service", and got some smarta$$ reply about managing risk the way I saw fit (WTF? nothing to do with the issue I brought up!). The rep goes on to inform me that the execution would stand. The entire tone of the reply, the unwillingness to even attempt to dig into the problem confirmed to me that if you're a customer, everything is cool until you have a problem. I'm moving my assets to TDAmeritrade. If you go with IB or are with IB, good luck, and pray you don't run into any problems, especially using their clunky, outdated, slow platform.

by Edward S., 8/10/2018

Pros: Easy account setup

Cons: Misleading fees, outdated software

Whereas most brokers charge a flat fee for every trade Interactive Brokers has a very confusing and misleading fee structure. They claim to be the cheapest but that is patently false! Their fees change depending on the positions taken, the specific stock, and the number of shares traded. Their fees can be 100s of times greater than even the most expensive brokers!

Stay away from this company unless you plan on trading very small positions of easily margined stocks.

by John, 8/3/2018

Pros: If you like having your money stolen theyre your guys. If they actually did what they said they have a global platform. Too bad they really short themselves.

Cons: Stealing money from clients, apparent fraud against clients, inability to see larger picture of what they cost themselves and others

Terrifyingly bad. Put a position on that basically doesnt require margin? Explicit instructions from support about margin requirements, interactive brokers documentation & guidance for margin requirements, etc. With actual position? They margin call without any necessary reason whatsoever when it absolutely wasnt required. This cost immense amounts of money. This has directly cost the US economy alone billions of dollars because of other codependent issues in a single year. Completely criminal. You cant just steal peoples money. People need to contact their representatives about criminally fraudulent and non risk dependent random/undisclosed modification of margin requirements even against industry standards. Just hard lock brokers to exchange margin levels and dont allow sudden change of them without reasonable advance notification. OTHERWISE YOU LITERALLY CANT INVEST. No problem taking a loss if its deserved and its an actually losing position, you cant just steal peoples money. Brokers should be investing in their clients, not stealing their money. Interactive brokers has a lot of potential but its entirely undermined when it does anything like this.

by A Trucker, 8/1/2018

Pros: low margin interest rates, low commission per trade.

Cons: poor mobile device usability, software is from 1995, mediocre customer service, slow fund xfer

WHY IBKR: So I switched to IBKR from Scottrade a year or two ago because, at the time I was paying 7% or more for margin. As someone who leverages out to like 60% or more that was killing me. IBKR offered 2.19% and so I switched. Now it's up to 5% but again, the Federal Reserve has been raising the benchmark interest rates so waddaya expect? Rates are going up *everywhere*. Also, scottrade wanted 7 bucks per transaction, ibkr wanted only like a dollar or something.

PRO: Interactive Brokers is CHEAP. Let's not get that wrong. Cheaper than the competitors.

CON: Their software is antiquated. Think a black background, neon green text... reminds me of the 1990s when I was a little boy learning to use my granddad's windows 3.0 computer. Yeah... it's old.

CON: Forget about customer service. They have an attitude, but will still answer my dumb rookie questions. Besides, I'm used to dealing with sour employees at warehouses and shippers and the like, so this is nothing new. And since I spend 10 hours a day driving, I could care less if I'm on hold for 30 minutes before getting to speak to a human being, I just let my hands-free headset play the muzak while I drive past cornfields...

CON: ACH funding takes a while... and don't use a wire transfer you dolt, it costs 25 dollars when ACH is free!

WHY IBKR: I am not a professional, I am not even a "prosumer", I am literally a millenial trucker (i.e. consumer) who is investing and managing under 100k for the long term (i.e. retirement). I just need a cheap brokerage that gives me a place to stash and manage my securities, mostly big-cap stocks. I just need a brokerage that's been around for a few decades that is unlikely to go belly up. IBKR fits that bill.

THE SHORT: I can't speak for professionals, although I hear IBKR's shtick is making money on "volume". But if you're a consumer needing a place that has lower margin rates and that you can just shovel your securities into and forget about them for months at a time, IBKR fits the bill. For a truck driver like me, it works.

by Tim B., 3/8/2018

Pros: Cheap

Cons: Terrible Customer Service, Buggy Unreliable Technology

"You Get What You Pay For with Interactive Brokers"

You pay very little, and get very little. The website and technology is very buggy. The customer service is the worse I have ever experienced with any broker. Fidelity is the best. E*Trade is OK. TD is not very good. IBRK is terrible. Perhaps the worst is that with Fidelity, E*Trade and TD, when you do a US ACH funds transfer, the entire transaction is completed in three business days. However, with IBRK they "hold" your funds for another 4 days, which is unheard of in the industry. It takes twice as long to ACH funds and get them credited to your account to use than with top tier brokers like Fidelity. I tried IBRK and immediate moved the money back to Fidelity never to trade with IBRK again. If you want terrible customer service and buggy technology with useless error messages at a cheap price, then Interactive Brokers is the place for you!

by Jerry Saia, 1/13/2018

Pros: Cheap

Cons: Arrogant, indifference to complaints - it is as if they cannot read English. Obvious airheads.

If you ever will need your account fixed, or corrections made, you can kiss reason goodbye. This outfit apparently has robots handle all their trouble tickets. There is no intelligence here. Stay away.

by Experiencedtrader, 9/6/2017

Pros: Low cost if you trade 100-200 shares

Cons: Incompetent rude customer service

Customer service at interactive brokers is incompetent and rude except maybe technical people. I am completely astonished, they are allowed to talk to you like they are rebellious teenagers, but atthe same time really don't know what they are talking about which makes them sound stupid, no offense. Management needs to do a clean sweep there otherwise they will not have any customers left.

by IB Screwed Me, 3/23/2017

Pros: None

Cons: Arrogant

They restricted my account to closing trades only because they took exception to my social media post of a policy of their I disagreed with. 100% fact and opinion.

by Michael, 3/6/2017


Cons: Bad fill

One time i put in Or Better order. Stock opened substatially below the OrBetter price. They filled my order at OB price and not where market was trading. They would not adjust the price. Pocketing the differance.

by Julian, 5/25/2016

Pros: Overall a good solution for all types of traders.


I've used these guys for pretty much everything and its all 'decent'. Having one broker over multiple asset classes is why I use them. I've traded equities, futures, and forex with them and the costs are relatively comparable to their competitors. The two things they need to improve would be customer service (bleh) and they try to stick you with filtered data for futures which is totally unacceptable IMO for a professional to use. You can get the data through a 3rd party provider for futures, so its not that big of a deal, it just bothers me that they nickel and dime their clients like that. They are also one of the best places for Canadian accounts since the rules changed earlier this year. I would recommend this to someone who wants to trade different asset classes because you WILL pay a small premium for that convenience.

by Merrimack, 5/19/2016

Pros: None I can think of

Cons: Deceptive commercial

TV commercial shows children learning to trade on “free” paper accounts. But when you follow the link you have to open and fund the “Free” account for your child to trade on.
This isn’t what their commercial stated or even implied. There is no way I’m going to fund an account for my 16 year old son to learn with. Very disappointing!
Maybe they think it’s a clever way to open new accounts but I think it’s a deceptive and poorly thought out marketing idea and a blatant bait and switch.

by MR, 4/28/2016



I have both interactive broker, and a Trade King account, and by far like IB's trading app. better (although not as straight forward as others). I have recently switched to day trading lower dollar stocks so I use TK. Depending on how much money you are trading, if you plan on trading fewer high dollar stocks IB might be cheaper, if a higher number of shares of lower dollar stocks TK might be a better bet to save on commissions.

by James, 4/2/2016

Pros: Low fees, low margin rates.

Cons: Website malfunctioned when I was setting up account. No customer service help.

I probably made the mistake of trying to reach them by phone. On an ordinary day at 11:00 Eastern time, I could not get an answer in 16 minutes. I did not try chat, however. I have large accounts and cannot afford poor customer service, especially in the case of a website malfunction.

by Stephan, 3/20/2016



I've been using IB for over 6 months. It took me at least 5 months to get used to the platform. I tried the classic interface, booktrader and charttrader. Everybody knows IB customer service is not good. When I tried calling them, I usually have to be put on hold for quite a while. I didn't have to call the trade desk so my guess is that line should pick up a lot faster since that's more time sensitive but I don't have any experience with that. I emailed them 2x for support and 1st time I received a reply with the solution i was looking for. The 2nd time I asked about a problem I was having with booktrader and i never received a reply back. After a few months, I finally tried a 3rd party front end DOM instead of using booktrader.

I don't know why some people say IB is expensive because after trying other brokers, Scottrade, ETrade, TDA/TOS and Tradestation, IB is actually cheaper for me overall. I also compared IB with Tradestation side by side for a while and I thought IB execution was better at least with my limited experience.

Overall if you like TWS or find a way around it like me, I think IB is a good broker for us retail traders.

by Angelo, 1/24/2016

Pros: Great margins

Cons: Terrible customer service

I get paid in USD, but am living in Canada, so need to exchange decent chunks of CAD to USD (to pay taxes and expenses). I did a lot of research, and found that the spread charged by IB is extremely small relative to most other choices. Also, you can EFT/ wire your money in and out of IB without being charged any fees (by IB).

What's annoying though is that they have a ridiculous holding time if the bank transferring IN the money is different the bank that you are transferring the money too (which I'm guessing will be the case for most forex conversions).... as in months long.

What's worse is the first few months I was a customer, they never enforced this holding time so I wasn't even aware of it, and acted accordingly. Then spontaneously, they started enforcing it. So I had a lot of USD that I had converted to CAD that was just sitting there. Meanwhile the CAD was plummeting (I think it went from like 1.25 to over 1.4). If I was aware of this holding period, I would've made the conversion at the very last minute for hedging purposes (I was using the money on a transaction that would be based on the current exchange rate).

To avoid this wait, be sure to wire the money instead of EFT... the hold time is signficantly shorter.

by Rob, 12/10/2015

Pros: Good fees and good platform

Cons: Decision to stop offering a product without any notice

Everything was fine till one day when basically over the night they decided to stop offering a product. No notice, nothing. I just realized when I tried to place orders.

by Steven Erickson, 8/10/2014

Pros: Comprehensive platform and tools. Unbeatable commission rates.

Cons: Not worth mentioning.

I have been with IB for 4-5 years. Never a system problem. I like the TWS and mobile trading platforms. Love their low commissions (except for SPX credit spreads for some reason).
Most of the time I can get through to their tech support in reasonable amount of time and sometimes I use their chat. Can't say I need to call much anymore. I don't have any data feed issues or fill problems though I'm not a day trader. I think their reports are pretty good as well.

by Lee, 8/8/2014

Pros: Fast execution

Cons: They have so many unknowns and tricky platform, that you can get caught in the ringer....for Pros only

If you are a pro, than IB is for you.

For occasional traders and investors, find another broker.

You must have at least 5k to open an IRA, and 10k for a cash or margin account.

Customer ser. is spotty.

by viren, 3/7/2014


Cons: Charging exposure fees

Last Year I move to IB from Merril Edge. Before that I was with TD Ameritrade /Etrade and Fidelity. Extremely happy. Made over $500K in less than a year.
Would not have taken a chance with 8%margin interest rate.
Minor complain start charging exposure fees on my account but I made ore money than they charge so I am oK

Do not mind paying $30 fees. They charge .7 for contract compare to 7.95 contract.

by Virgil, 11/26/2013

Pros: excellent customer service, good commission structure

Cons: trading platform is difficult to get used to

Have used IB for 9 years as a professional futures trader. Never a lick of problem, and have always had excellent customer service. Great integration of multiple accounts, good commission structure, and a solid company. I admit that their trading platform is difficult to get used to but once you understand it, it's very simple and reliable. Or you can use Button Trader and avoid all headaches. Perhaps this is a brokerage only for grown-ups and independent people and the "this sucks" crowd should consider staying at their day jobs.

by Stefano, 11/26/2013



You are going to find a long list of customer complaints and SEC fines for any broker. Unfortunately that is not very helpful towards choosing a broker.

by Zhang, 11/26/2013


Cons: problems with moving money out

IB is worse than horrible. I joined because they "trade in Japan". Guess what? They can't trade my stocks in Japan. I had to close my account immediately. A huge waste.

Then..... moving my money out of IB was a NIGHTMARE.

They invented one obstacle after another. They made requests the new broker said was impossible for them to comply with... so the money would not leave IB.

Never use IB,

by shilpy, 11/26/2013

Pros: wonderful trade execution,

Cons: badly organized trading platform

i admit I have been with ib only a few months and have lot more to learn. although the execution of a placed trade is just wonderful, like the commision is, placing the trade itself can be cumbersome, which can some times mean a good opportunity lost. i am unable to place a trade unless i use their webtrader. the customer service advised me that they have had this problem with apple computers (which is what i use). you can't see the bid/ask values when placing a trade. it is time consuming to figure what your day's gains/losses are from the previous day for each position you hold. i can't see all the details of my transactions, including commissions charged, in just one place the same hour/day i place them. the information is all there but kinda scattered in different reports.
however, i think it is a very good company to do business with.

by ranveer, 11/26/2013


Cons: rude customer service

i have had it for a year...i used to have thinkorswim (TOS).......they ripped me off in commsions big commsions i paid was 2500 for commisions for TOS and if i calcuated it on IB it would be not more than 500....customer service is rude i agree but if u know what u doing then u dont have to deal with them that much........what scares me is i hear rumours about acct going from 25 k to 15k for some cleints.......maybe its just rumor or is it really true........but overall so far i am happy with IB

by Willem, 11/26/2013

Pros: cheap, very stable and very transparent

Cons: platform runs on Java that makes it slow

I have been trading with IB for over 2 years now. I am from the Netherlands, and the local brokers here really pale in comparison to IB. It's insanely cheap, very stable, very reliable and very transparant. The amount of order types and markets you can trade is the best I have ever seen. Sure, the required amount is steep, but if you're serious about trading, I wouldn't recommend any other broker. The only disadvantage I have seen is that the platform runs on Java, which makes it kind of slow if you have more than 20 windows open at the same time. Other than that, it's great imo. Great Iphone app as well btw for mobile trading.

by Roger, 11/26/2013



After using Ib for eight years I have finally discovered how to trade prefs. ex. WFC-O symbol is WFC PRO. Note the space between WFC
and PRO.

by John, 11/26/2013


Cons: unable to log in an account, the worst customer support

SCAM ALERT. InteractiveBrokers will for no reason whatsoever, change your security token so when you need to login into your account, you're not able to. Instead, they have you call their customer support so you could "re-generate" your security token "for your own protection", but instead, what they really want is to sell you extra add-ons. STAY AWAY. SCAMMERS. Look for a broker with DIGNITY. Also, they happen to have the worst customer support in the world.

by Gerry, 11/26/2013

Pros: good customer service, broker saves margin interest


Even if I end up paying the $10/month fee due to low transaction volume in a month I am still ahead if I do 2 trades. Considering trades at Scottrade costs $7 each a round trip is $14 that compares quite favorably to $10/month. Additionally IB costs just $1/trade for a hundred shares or $2.50 for 500 shares and $5 for 1000 shares.

Yes, they don't pay for cash in the sweep, but with my consistent $50000 margin balance they save me over $2,500 on margin interest. I will gladly give up receiving 1.5% in my sweep in exchange for saving 6% on my margin balance.
I have saved thousands of dollars in fees and interest this year by being an IB customer. I am an active trader, but certainly not really high volume.

I can't say much about customer service on the phone, but I have had a couple of questions regarding account transfers and those questions were handled smoothly via the on line chat feature.

They also have periodic webinars to show how to use the different features or explain things like margins. Take a look at the recordings of their />I especially like IB because they are quite clear on the rules up front and they leave me alone to do my thing.

by robert, 11/26/2013


Cons: no interests on the sweep account, use customer's money for free

I find it most odd that no one has mentioned that IB does not pay any interest on the sweep account. Not a single review mentions this. They loan the money in your sweep account to other users and you get nothing. Essentially, your money loaned for free. Nio wonder their margin rate as so good - the money (your money) is free!

by Tony, 11/26/2013


Cons: frequent price enhancement, badcustomer service

I agree with you about the trading platform but if you use their research tools (like alerts) you will be happy until the price alert feature goes crazy (it happens frequently) and freezes the trading platform. If you set up price alerts on this platform, the market goes down and the alerts are triggered, the platform stops working. Even if you deleter the alerts, they continue to be active on the system (customer services does not know why) and do not allow you to do anything on the trading platform for the entire day. You can not trade on the Trader Workstation platform after this happens.
I have called their customer service more than once and their response is "we are working on it"

by mbarnes, 11/26/2013



I also trade credit and debit spreads regularly in Etrade. I have a question for you. If the spread you executed had a fixed loss, fixed margin and fixed profit (as it should) then how did your account get cut in half when they liquidated and closed the positions? Did they first close the long calls or puts and let the short positions drift into losses? That seems implausible. BTW, I have only ever had one spread force liquidated and I did not suffer any losses beyond what I had calculated as potential loss. Thanks.

by Tony, 11/26/2013


Cons: incompetent poor customer service, bad trading software

Cluttered, often buggy trading software, accompanied by incompetent poor customer service, unclear reporting, re-quotes on FX trades and some dubious stock trades, incomplete market products, definitely not suitable for day trading. Rubbish, stay away.

by Hedge Fund Manager, 11/26/2013

Pros: Low commissions, Extremely transparent pricing, powerful Trading system (TWS), Fair and well run

Cons: too much products, Expensive desk trades

I have a hedge fund and opened an account with IB about 9 months ago.

Low commissions - For almost every product I have tried I am just amazed at how low IB's commissions are. I am literally saving 90% in commissions all in with where I was before. FX trades, Intl trading and US commissions are amazingly low if you are doing a bit of volume.

Extremely transparent pricing - this is highly unusual in the brokerage industry where most brokers seem to try and take little slices of
your money in many ways that you may not even be away of.

Self service It is often easier and faster than prior brokers.

Trading system (TWS) is very powerful and you can capture bid/ask spreads which is far more than commissions on some products.

Fair and well run - I have the impression that IB is generally well run and probably very ethical in the way they treat their customers, etc.
This is in stark contrast to almost all the brokers I have dealt with in the past.

IB has a lot of products and is adding more over time but certain things you just cannot hold/trade at IB

TWS is an investment in time to figure out. It has some complexity but I found it really interesting and fun to learn about the Accumulate Distribute Algo and what you can do with it. They have a paper trading account for you to play around in which is very helpful.

Expensive desk trades for calling in orders in some markets.

Portfolio Margin is way too loose. 5 to 1+ leverage is too much to offer.

Overall I would give IB an A. They are a breath of fresh air in the brokerage business and I am very happy with them.
Some of the complaints deal with people who overlever and then IB's margin system finds them without enough capital and autoliquidates. That is the account holders fault for overlevering - the stock market is volatile. Many of the other complaints seem to be the account holder fault also.

Don't expect IB or any broker to be perfect - none of us humans are - but I have found them to be excellent overall.

by Trincafe1, 11/26/2013


Cons: poor customer service

IB does not cater to beginners. You are right about IB being the best for API integration, the cost to trade has to be low if your trading for a living, customer support becomes low on the totem pole.

by ReefBreak SD, 11/26/2013

Pros: reasonable customer service, easy to manage multiple accounts, Lightning fast executions


I have 5 accounts at IB. The TWS interface makes it easy to manage multiple accounts. TWS is highly customizable to easily follow multiple strategies within each account to track what is working with each strategy. Easy to assure each account gets same buy/sell price with one order line.

True that cust support does not suffer fools well. Intelligent questions get intelligent and courteous answers - especially on the Advisor account special phone number.

Lightning fast executions are common.

by Worst Broker, 11/26/2013

Pros: commission is hard to beat, cheap

Cons: you cannot log in, Trade Station does not work via firewall

I had been using IB for almost a year now and here are a few things that you need to consider before open a new account.
Pros: their commission is hard to beat if you trade less than 1000 shares or less than 20 option contracts. There are other hidden fees and monthly fee if you don't trade a lot, but in general it is still cheaper than other brokers. I had TD Ameritrade and OptionXpress.
Cons: Trade Station does not work via firewall (workplace), Webtrade is unpredictable, most of the times you cannot log in (this bugs me the most). If I am lucky it will let me in maybe twice a week. I had been using the mobile trade most of the time but it is very limited.
If you have a margin call, IB will dispose your position within an hour or so (comparing to 3 days other brokers). So you could be wiped out completely.
I am actively looking for another low commission brokers to transfer out, but so far not able to locate one that is reliable yet.

by matt correia, 11/26/2013


Cons: terrible customer service

AVOID IB LIKE THE PLAUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These guys are idiots when it comes to options. I was holding a credit spread on the Russell 2000 index. It was a very simple trade, the loss was fixed, the margin was fixed and the profit was fixed. Then one day they force liquidated it and cut my account in half. They said something that the gross position value to liquidation value was above 50:1. How is this relevant when i cant loose anymore than my margin in the trade. Im taking them to finra arbitration.

by traderX, 11/26/2013

Pros: reliable company, overdeveloped software

Cons: unbeatable commissions,

I trade futures and forex full time, and on occasion equities and options. I went through a lot of brokers before I found IB; been there for 12 years. Think about it: when I started with them, it was still common to see futures brokers charging $30 for a round turn! And here comes IB charging 1/6th that, or less.

I can't really comment on their customer support because I've only called support once in that time; it was a pretty hairy bug that had my stop orders not getting filled! I commonly enter trades with stops so that was a problem; the support guy out of Chicago was on the ball and it got ratcheted up to their top tech people and was fixed in an hour or so.

To me that's what counts; I don't flip out over systemic risk, it happens. Over time I've seen all sorts of things, exchanges go down, terrorist bombs go off, that's reality folks.

The commissions at IB for an active trader are simply unbeatable. The execution is so good that I commonly see *positive slippage* in fx trades (that is, my market order fills a tick BETTER than what the spread shows). Margins are great too but why? Because IB will automatically shut you down if you screw up and come within shouting distance of a margin call. But of course you shouldn't ever come close to a margin call. Right?

Really, that should be good news, how tight they are on risk (yours and theirs). IB is an extremely solid and diverse company; I feel my assets are safer there than in my local retail bank. I am not kidding.

On the downside, The software is, to my taste, overdeveloped, but fortunately it allows users to hide unused features. Charting sucks with IB; it's gotten a little better over the years though.

I had to respond, because I've traded with over half a dozen brokerages, and giving IB 3.5/5 stars is really ludicrous. You're getting institutional level execution, features, and pricing at a retail level. This means you also have to handle yourself like a pro, and IB isn't for everyone precisely because of that.

by Mike Patera, 11/26/2013


Cons: very slow platform

Has any of the guys who liked IB, has ever looked at ThinkorSwim of TDAmeritrade platform?
I have been using IB for about a year and I did the demo on ThinkorSwim platform and I found that TD platform out-performs all the features of IBs.IB platform is like a dinosaur of modern day trading. So many screens to change before a trade can be composed. With TD, I can do with one click and the platform does most of my data entry chores. On top of this, they have analyze process which allows you to see how your option trade will work out. Also have great charting facility with hundreds of indicators.
If you are still sticking with IB, you do not know what you are missing.
I am moving my account to TD as of March 8, 2012 and never to come back.
Mike, Toronto

by jan, 11/26/2013

Pros: low commissions, excellen execution


I use IB to trade and complement with charts from TD/TOS. Give IB execution a 10. Have learned to deal with the rest... Also recommend for low comm on stocks and somewhat options, futures.

by Luca, 11/26/2013

Pros: Best options broker, excellent custom service


Best options broker out there, no doubt.
If you know what you want, they'll give it to you in a professional, cheap and efficient way.
If you're looking for human affection, try with your mum or your family...
This is supposed to be a broker, and it does exactly what you would expect from a broker: it puts you on the market with a good edge compared to other brokers, in the most professional way I've ever seen.

by Marc, 11/26/2013


Cons: improved customer service

Been using IB for at least six years. Customer service, imo, has improved considerably. The TWS platform is hardly intuitive but it serves my needs. Newbies might want to begin w/Scottrade. IB doesn't do any hand-holding but when you know what you're doing thats irrelevant.

by Dan (HK), 11/26/2013

Pros: pretty good and quite professional customer service, good stock borrow availability, low commissions


I have been using IB for more than a year and have an advisor account. I've found customer service to be pretty good (not perfect) and quite professional, both online and on the phone. Not that rude behavior is ever excusable, but it should be noted that IB makes it very clear that it wants experienced/professional clients. It is not a brokerage designed for hand-holding.

As another comment mentions, the $10 monthly minimum fee is a commission minimum. In other words, if you spend $10 in commissions, there is no monthly fee. If you spend $7 in commissions, the fee is $3. Etc.

Margin rates are unbeatable, and stock borrow availability is good.

International trading commissions are extremely low and available to anyone who has an account. IB's commission rate on foreign currency conversion is only 0.2 basis points; most brokers charge 50-100bp for currency conversion.

As a former hedge fund trader, I've found the trading platform to be intuitive, but I can understand that it might be difficult to use for someone who doesn't have the time to learn it.

IB is essentially an institutional trading platform available to retail investors. All-in-all, I would give it closer to 4.5 stars.

by Professional Advisor, 11/26/2013

Pros: good trading technology and fees

Cons: the worst customer service

Easily the worst customer service I have ever worked with. I'm a professional advisor and have lost clients because of it. Their trading technology and fees are good but their service is terrible. The place seems to be run by lawyers, unbelievable headache for a professional advisor.

by Bob Close, 11/26/2013

Pros: they support bracket trader

Cons: for rich people

I used IB a long time. they priced me out of business. okay for rich people but not for a small guy. the only way i was there anyway is they support bracket trader. A must for me...Bob

by Bob Close, 11/26/2013

Pros: they support bracket trader

Cons: for rich people

I used IB a long time. they priced me out of business. okay for rich people but not for a small guy. the only way i was there anyway is they support bracket trader. A must for me...Bob

by Thomas, 11/26/2013

Pros: excellent trading platform, low commissions, good customer service solving problems quickly


I have been using IB for 7 years, trading futures and futures options and ETFs. I totally agree with the statements stressing the excellent trading platform, the low commissions etc. The customer service that is located in Switzerland for European customers is mostly very good, solving problems quickly. In my opinion IB clearly deserves 5 stars.

by Mike, 11/26/2013



Don't mean to sound like a 'schill' for these guys but users should also consider the financial strength of a brokerage; IB's seems to be excellent. Compare their business model with someone like 'E-Trade'. I'd also mention that you can wire funds out of there 3/4 times per month with no charge.

So, I disagree strongly with a '3 star' review of this brokerage but it does depend on your account size and what type of trading you're doing.

by Mike, 11/26/2013

Pros: excellent real-time executions, low commissions

Cons: poor customer service

Have been using IB for about 10 years - I currently trade stocks and futures, sometimes/often 'off hours'. If you are an experienced active trader who wants massive product offerings without onerous data charges for each exchange, excellent commissions, excellent real-time executions, almost 100% up time (they haven't been down in years, as far as I know), then you might like IB. My main complaint used to be customer service but even that has gotten better and besides, how often do you need them if you never have access or trade execution issues?

I'm actually not crazy about their trading platform but that is mainly from a more scalpey day trading perspective - it's fine for short/longer term though I'd argue that it does 'too much' and is cumbersome to learn. Wish they had bought Tradestation when they had a chance.

Also, I recently filled out an online App with them for a new account and had no problems at all - it was not a burden in any way.

Of course, experienced and active traders already know about the benefits of IB and my review is probably not that useful for others.

by Mike, 11/26/2013

Pros: excellent real-time executions, low commissions

Cons: poor customer service

Have been using IB for about 10 years - I currently trade stocks and futures, sometimes/often 'off hours'. If you are an experienced active trader who wants massive product offerings without onerous data charges for each exchange, excellent commissions, excellent real-time executions, almost 100% up time (they haven't been down in years, as far as I know), then you might like IB. My main complaint used to be customer service but even that has gotten better and besides, how often do you need them if you never have access or trade execution issues?

I'm actually not crazy about their trading platform but that is mainly from a more scalpey day trading perspective - it's fine for short/longer term though I'd argue that it does 'too much' and is cumbersome to learn. Wish they had bought Tradestation when they had a chance.

Also, I recently filled out an online App with them for a new account and had no problems at all - it was not a burden in any way.

Of course, experienced and active traders already know about the benefits of IB and my review is probably not that useful for others.

by Nilesh, 11/26/2013

Pros: good trading platform, quick customer service

Cons: none

IB has the best trading platform. Their smart routing is brilliant,I trade about 40,000 to 100,000 shares daily and have had no trouble with IB. I have used theironline chat to customerservice and they have resolvedmy issues very quickly.

If you want to trade like a professional then use IB as your trading platform

by frustrate user, 11/26/2013

Pros: low commission on option trading, low margin interest rate

Cons: unable to log in an account, nonprofessional customer service

I recommended stay away from this one. I get attracted to this one due to low commission on option trading and low margin interest rate. I quickly found out that many times I couldnot log in an account ... it complained invalid password/user name .... while I just login with same username/password a few minutes ago. You won't be able to log in again until tomorrow. In this fast moving market, you can easily wipe out your account if no access. And for those trying to access through firewall (like workplace) ... forget about it! you won't be able to log in. Their customer service is unprofessional and have zero knowledge. They overcharged me for a service fee and still refused to refund me my money even when I sent them a snapshot of their fee listing... well be prepared to argue nonsense with their stupid customer support. Feel like arguing with a 5 years old kid ... yes, it is. NO IT IS NOT. Yes, it is. NO IT IS NOT.

by bonnie, 11/26/2013



I have been unable to trade with market data for 2 weeks now, thanks to a $10 deficit in my advisor account. Finally got money there and they are putting a six day hold on it. I have over 1mil in different accounts and they wouldn't make an exception. Be WARE!

by john sort, 11/26/2013

Pros: low commission

Cons: Extremely Poor Customer Service

Advantage- Commission is low
Drawback- Extremely Poor Customer Service. I can keep going and going on this one. But in short they have the worst customer service than any other brokerage firm


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Leading U.S. Brokerage Review Websites About Interactive Brokers

"Interactive Brokers is a top choice for active and experienced traders who want to trade any investment product for the lowest costs and fees in the industry. The trading platforms generally suit the needs of experienced investors who don't require the additional resources offered by the major brokers... Based on the customer support features available, Interactive Brokers scores fairly well because they offer live chat and support on social media outlets."


"If you have an appropriate level of expertise to use the Interactive Brokers software, and their pricing model is attractive for the type of trading you do then they are frequently the best available brokerage choice. There’s a good reason Interactive Brokers is the most popular prosumer brokerage – in an industry full of cranks and the professionally unsatisfied, Interactive Brokers has mostly happy customers."

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Interactive Brokers Account

  • Stocks & ETFs: $0.005 per share with $1 minimum per trade for SMART routed orders
  • Options: $0.70 per contract if Premium => $0.10; $0.50 per contract if $0.05 =< Premium < USD 0.10; $0.25 per contract if Premium < $0.05 + exchange fees
  • Mutual Funds: $14.95 (minimum size on initial fund order is $3,000, subsequent minimum order size is $100)
  • Minimum to open: A minimum initial deposit of $10,000 is required to open Interactive Brokers account.

Interactive Brokers offers the following account types: Corporation, Individual, IRA, Joint, Limited Liability Corporation, Limited Liability Corporation, Partnership, Trust, Unincorporated legal structures.

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Interactive Brokers reviewed by former and current clients. Interactive Brokers customer reviews: 58. Rating: 3.