Interactive Brokers review and ratings

Established 1978
Location Australia Canada US UK Singapore Hong Kong Japan
Regulation ASIC, IIROC, CFTC, FCA, MAS, SFC, KLFB
Offices Sydney, Montreal, Greenwich, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo
Broker type MM | ECN
Leverage up to 1:50 (can be lower depending on the country of residence)
Deposit from 20 USD
Spreads mid  mid
Platforms Web Specific
Instruments Currencies Indices Metals Energies Softs Stocks Bonds ETFs Interest Rates
Funding methods Wire Transfer

Company information

Interactive Brokers group includes several related companies.

Interactive Brokers AU - located in Australia, regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Interactive Brokers CA - located in Canada, regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
Interactive Brokers US - located in the USA, regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Interactive Brokers UK - located in the United Kindom, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Interactive Brokers SG - located in Singapore, authorized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Interactive Brokers HK - located in Hong Kong, regulated by the Securities & Futures Commission (SFC).
Interactive Brokers JP - located in Japan, regulated by the Kanto Local Finance Bureau (KLFB).
And some more, it's a bit difficult to present the full list.

Be aware, most of the companies have certain trading restrictions because of regulatory authorities influence.

Availability

Interactive Brokers group accepts clients from most developed countries, except some that are sanction by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Distinctive features

Trading instruments

Broker offers a huge amount of assets for trading:
Currencies, Metals, Options, Futures, Bonds, Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds etc.

The full list can be found on their Trader Workstation trading platform.

Comprehensive review

Interactive Brokers, also known by its stock ticker symbol IBKR, is a large US-based online brokerage firm that offers trading in a huge range of financial assets for its close to a million clients worldwide.

As all financial services companies in the US, Interactive Brokers is fully regulated by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In addition, Interactive Brokers also has several overseas branches that are regulated locally by regulatory agencies in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, the UK, Luxembourg, and Australia.

It's important to note that this broker not only offers the usual selection of forex pairs, commodities, and stocks, but also a large range of investment and trading assets like mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), options, bonds, actively and passively managed “robo portfolios,” as well as the more advanced instrument known as Exchange for Physical (EFP). Further, certain hedge funds are also available to invest in for clients who qualify as Accredited Investors and Qualified Purchasers under SEC rules.

For most of Interactive Brokers’s clients, the broker’s proprietary web platform will probably be sufficient for placing trades, checking quotes, and performing simple technical analysis. For more demanding users, however, the broker also offers a flagship desktop platform known as Trader Workstation, which includes pretty much everything even the most advanced trader would need. Another great thing about the Trader Workstation is that it can be used on both Mac, Windows and Linux computers. This differs from for example the popular MetaTrader 4 & 5 platforms, which in their standard versions are only available for Windows computers.

Moreover, Interactive Brokers also offers a mobile version of its web platform known as IBKR Mobile, as well as an API solution for traders who want to connect to the broker through other third-party trading platforms.

An interesting thing to take note of with Interactive Brokers is its account types and pricing structure, which may seem a bit complicated at first. When it comes to international stocks and most derivatives, the choice is between trading with either a Tiered account where the commission is reduced the more trades are made, or a Fixed account with the same commission level regardless of trading volume.

In addition to this, the broker also offers the opportunity to trade US stocks with zero commissions, like some other online stock brokers in the US have also started doing in recent years. For spot forex trading, fixed income instruments, and mutual fund investing, however, all transactions are commission-based.

Clients are always welcome to contact Interactive Brokers’ customer support department in case of any issues with the sign-up, trading platform, order placement, or any other question. The team can easily be reached via regional phone support in Europe, Asia, and the US, open 24 hours a day on all trading days. And for those that prefer written communication, support is of course also available via email and live chat as usual.

All in all, it’s clear to us that Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest and most famous brand names in the entire online stock and forex broker industry. As a US-based broker, however, the company naturally has a stronger position in the American market than in the rest of the world. However, this is also a broker that is fully regulated in many parts of the world and still accepts US, Canadian, and EU residents as clients, which may be a major advantage for some people.

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