Review of Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is one of the most well-reviewed online brokers on the market. Don't just take my word for it - on EliteTrader.com, Interactive Brokers has a 77% rating out of 348 votes. That is one of the highest ratings on the site, and indicative of how popular IB is with traders.
Let me state right up front - I have used Interactive Brokers in the past and was very happy with their overall package.
Let me also state that I am not receiving ANY compensation for writing this review.
Ok, so now that we have gotten that out of the way - what do I like about Interactive Brokers?
1. Their commission structure. If you are a fairly active trader then Interactive Brokers is pretty hard to beat commission-wise. A commission structure of $0.005 cents per share with a minimum cost of $1.00 per trade is pretty hard to beat. If you are a trader that typically buys 100-500 shares of a stock, then you are going to save an absolute bundle at IB.
2. Their software. Extremely bare bones (which is a good thing), but also extremely customizable. There are many third-party software packages that can be used in conjunction with IB that will enhance your experience. There are third-party charting packages, order entry packages, etc. If you want a software package that comes with all of the bells and whistles pre-installed, then you should probably look somewhere else. If you want something that is ridiculously easy to customize, then IB is a smart choice for you.
3. The Universal Account. Trading 80 worldwide markets through one single account? That's always a good thing.
4. Cheap fees. Data fees are extremely cheap at Interactive Brokers - just another example of how the company will pass on savings to their customers.
Now, in order to keep this review fair and balanced - here are the things that I don't particularly like about Interactive Brokers:
1. Customer Service is just OK. The customer service at IB isn't BAD, but it isn't spectacular either. They haven't made me a "raving fan" like ThinkorSwim's customer service reps did.
2. Lack of "bells and whistles" might be off-putting to some people. If you are expecting Interactive Broker's trading package to come pre-packaged with all sorts of bells and whistles, then you should probably look elsewhere.
3. Not a fan of their margin call liquidation policy.
Overall, Interactive Brokers is highly recommended. There are some things that I don't like about them, but no broker is 100% perfect. If their customer service was a little bit better.
Filed under: Internet Companies | Stock Market Education