TastyWorks versus Interactive Brokers - compare IRA, commissions, investing fees, trading tools, account differences, pros and cons. Which online broker is better?


Overview of Interactive Brokers and TastyWorks

tastyworks and Interactive Brokers are two firms that provide advanced tools with low commissions. But is one better than the other? Before you open an account, read this:


Broker Fees

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
Tastyworks $5 ($0 to sell) na $1.00 per contract ($10 max, $0 to sell) $0 $0
IB $1+ $14.95 $0.25+ per contract $0-$240** $30


Services

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
Tastyworks
IB


Promotions

TastyWorks: Open account and pay no commission when selling stocks/ETFs/options.

Interactive Brokers: Open account and get $200 for a friend you refer.



Which Broker Has Better Software?

Neither broker in this survey offers a website with trading capability. They both have browser and desktop platforms, however. Let’s take a look at them.


tastyworks Traders


The browser platform at tastyworks comes with multiple watch lists, a list of up-to-date trades by the broker’s customers, rudimentary charting, and a fairly simple trade ticket. The trade ticket offers market, limit, and stop orders. There are no other choices available. Time-in-force options include GTC and good-till-a-certain-date.

A brief security information panel appears on the right-hand side with a very small chart, bid-ask spread, and a liquidity rating. The chart can be expanded, but even the enlarged chart has no drawing tools, no comparisons, and no technical studies.

Moving to the broker’s desktop program, we find much better charting. There are about a hundred technical studies, four graph styles, and almost an infinite number of colors. However, comparisons and company events are strangely absent. We did like the many drawing tools, however. The trade ticket has no complex order types, and forget about direct-access routing.

Now let’s take a look at Interactive Brokers. The company’s browser platform has a simpler interface than the tastyworks platform, but it packs a bigger punch. For example, it offers direct access to markets, which is pretty rare for a browser system. During our testing, we found PSE, CBOE2, and BOX venues.


IB TWS


The IB platform also incorporates more order types and duration choices than the tastyworks system. Besides on-the-close, there are also trailing orders. Duration options include fill or kill and immediate or cancel. As with tastyworks, charting on IB’s browser platform is very basic.

Moving on to the IB desktop platform, we find the most sophisticated software in this survey, and one of the best in the whole brokerage industry. Direct-access routing once again makes an appearance. The order ticket in the program offers many advanced order types and routing options. A graph can be displayed the width of the monitor, and there are many charting tools. Right-click trading is enabled.


And Mobile Trading?

tastyworks clients can buy and sell securities using the broker’s user-friendly mobile app. During our testing, we really liked the order ticket, which offers large buttons for easy trading. Charting, however, has been totally neglected, there is no mobile check deposit, and news articles are missing. One positive note: the broker added Touch ID, which makes logging in with an Apple device easy.


tastyworks Mobile App


On the Interactive Brokers app, we found much better charting. There are technical studies, multiple display styles, and a graph can be shown horizontally. Other helpful features include a watchlist and iBot, which is an AI. The order ticket on the IB app includes several advanced order types that are missing on the tastyworks platform.


Interactive Brokers Mobile App


Does Either Firm Offer Options Trading?

If you trade options, then you definitely want to check out both firms. Interactive Brokers provides several multi-leg strategies on all its software platforms. The browser, for example, offers butterflies, calendars, risk reversals, straddles, strangles, and some synthetics. There are fewer strategies on the mobile app, but an infinite number of legs can be added to an order.

tastyworks is one of the few brokers we know of to offer derivative trading in graphical format. On all three of its platforms, a bell-curve shaped graph helps traders find contracts. Standard option chains can also be used. One feature missing at tastyworks for option traders that is available at IB is direct-access routing for derivative orders.


What Other Investments Are Available?

Interactive Brokers specializes in the trading of a smorgasbord of investment vehicles. Besides stocks and option, IB clients can buy and sell mutual funds, ETF’s, futures, forex, bonds, and warrants. Moreover, the company has a global investment focus, and more than 120 international markets can be accessed.

tastyworks offers futures in addition to stocks, ETF’s, and options. The other assets that IB offers are not available.


Does Either Broker Provide Extended-Hours Trading?

Access to the markets outside of regular trading hours is imperative if you want to take advantage of significant price movements. Both brokers in our investigation realize this, which is why they offer both pre-market and after-hours trading sessions.

IB’s pre-market session starts at 4:00 am, EST, and lasts until the opening bell. The broker’s after-hours period starts at the closing bell and runs for 6 hours.

tastyworks offers shorter sessions. Its pre-market starts at 8:00, EST, and the after-hours session is 2 hours long.


Can I Use Level II Quotes?

For some odd reason, tastyworks has decided not to provide Level II quotes. Interactive Brokers knows that sophisticated traders need them, so it offers them on its desktop platform. There is a charge for the data.


What Are Their Margin Policies?

Interactive Brokers follows Regulation T for calculating margin requirements. This means long stock positions require 50% down, and maintenance is 25%. tastyworks offers the same numbers.


Promotions

TastyWorks: Open account and pay no commission when selling stocks/ETFs/options.

Interactive Brokers: Open account and get $200 for a friend you refer.



Our Judgment and Recommendations

Now it’s time for the purpose of our research: which brokerage firm is the better pick?

If you want a professional-level platform, then Interactive Brokers is your firm. It is head and shoulders above tastyworks’ software.

High-volume traders will benefit most from IB’s commission schedule.

For global traders, and traders who are interested in forex, bonds, and mutual funds, we obviously are going to recommend Interactive Brokers for reasons already discussed.

Option traders can do well at either firm.

Chartists and technical traders should choose Interactive Brokers for its advanced software. tastyworks just doesn’t have a good graphing program.

For small investors, we propose tastyworks over Interactive Brokers. tastyworks has no monthly fee, whereas IB requires $10 per month in commissions.


Interactive Brokers vs TastyWorks Summary

tastyworks attempts to offer something new and exciting, but Interactive Brokers brings the lion’s share of trading services to the table. Small or inactive investors or anyone making a lot of trades with over 250 shares will save a lot of money with tastyworks.


Open TastyWorks Account


Open TastyWorks Account

Open Interactive Brokers Account


Open IB Account


Continue Reading



Firstrade