interactive brokers logoNo matter where we live, we have the luxury to trade in any market in the world we want, from the USA to Australia. With the launch of online trading, we have the opportunity to trade without borders. The variety of choice is infinite, and everything is available with a few mouse clicks. Forex traders really enjoy the benefits of a liquid market, a variety of service packages, and if they win, they get to enjoy large profits. The Forex market consists of many factors which make the market one of the most appealing industries in the entire world. The risky business never runs out of clients since people cannot simply let go once they get a taste of the trading environments. Many traders are on an eternal quest trying to find the Holy Grail among the broker companies. Interactive Brokers turned out to be the Holy Grail for many traders who feel safe with a broker whose story is based on a long tradition and honest business policies.

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Background Info

Interactive Brokers is an American broker who was established long ago, in the 1970s in the heart of Connecticut and worked its way up in the capital market. The broker gains extra points for being in the industry for so long with an impeccable record. The broker has meanwhile spread around the globe and can be found in the Netherlands, Switzerland, German, Hungary, Austria, Russia, Japan, India, Estonia, China, Canada, Hong Kong, UK and Australia. The broker managed to secure multiple licenses from all of the listed countries offering protection to its customers under their national laws. The broker has a couple of licenses in its country of origin and is proud to work under the supervision of FINRA and CFTC/NFA. FINRA, for example, expects the brokers to successfully pass qualification exams to obtain an FINRA license. FINRA also provides educational training specifically designed for brokers. It is known for its incredible commitment to its task by refunding hundreds of people who get scammed. If we add the NFA/CFTC license to it, then we get a broker who is equipped on all sides. Broker companies under NFA have to have a minimum net capital of $15 000 000 to back up their clients and their positions with their own financial assets. Regarding Europe, the broker is registered with the UK FCA which has a similar regulatory policy and keeps the UK market secure from illegal activities.

Platform

The broker offers three different platforms:

  • Traders Workstation (TWS)
  • HTML IB Webtrader
  • Mosaic

The Interactive Brokers offers the Traders Workstation (TWS) which supports all kinds of trades. This platform is more suitable for experienced traders since it comes with options only experienced traders know to use. The newcomers should stick to the HTML IB Webtrader or a sub-platform within the TWS, called Mosaic. The corresponding IB mobile apps is also available with direct streamline options. It is no surprise that the broker doesn’t offer the MT4 since it is not allowed in the USA because of the hedging option, but the broker could have arranged it for the European market. Nevertheless, the platforms it offers are also very convenient and easy to use, except for the TWS.

Account Types

The broker offers accounts by category, e.g. individual, joint, trust, IRA, and UGMA. IRA refers to a retirement account, while the UGMA represents a professional account for investment managers, while a joint account means that two or more people share an account. The minimum deposit for all accounts is $10,000, but the broker offers discounts for different categories of people. Traders under the age of 25 have only to deposit $3000 and Indian residents pay $2000 or $5000 depending on the type of account. Here we get to see the differences between the European way of trading and the American with the special offers and different account classification.

Interactive Brokers Bonus Policy

There is no classic IB bonus in the form of a welcome or deposit bonus. The broker offers special referral promotions where traders can get up to 30% of commission payment covered by the broker. It is always a little bit disappointing when a broker has no direct bonus policy where you get rewarded just for the sake of depositing, but at least, IB offers a nice referral convenience.

Deposits/Withdrawals

The broker offers different payment methods from wire transfers and credit cards to electronic payment systems like the SEPA (for Europe), EFT (for Canada), and ACH (for the USA). We see that the broker, in contrast to European brokers, does not offer the usual Neteller, Skrill, etc. e-wallets.

Customer Support

The customer support is available in all the countries where the IB company has its regional offices. The support team is available 24/5, and they can be reached via e-mail, phone, live chat, and post/fax/upload. The customer support is very efficient, but the broker expects you to have read the FAQ section so that the customers do not ask about already available information.