Interactive Brokers Interactive Brokers  

Interactive Brokers LLC (IB) is a U.S.-based electronic brokerage firm. It is the largest U.S. electronic brokerage firm by number of daily average revenue trades; it also is the leading forex broker. The company is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut and has offices in Chicago, Hong Kong, Shanghai (a representative office), Sydney, and Zug. It is a subsidiary of Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., which has offices in thirteen countries.

In May 2016, client equity with the broker was $ 72 billion. According to Thomas Peterffy, CEO of Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., a majority of it is managed by IB's institutional client base: Hedge Funds, Proprietary Trading Groups, Advisors and Introducing Brokers/Banks.

According to research firm Preqin in 2015, Interactive Brokers figures in the list of top 10 prime brokers servicing Hedge Funds in the world.

IB is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), New York Stock Exchange, Financial Conduct Authority and foreign regulatory agencies. The company is a provider of fully disclosed and non-disclosed broker accounts and provides correspondent clearing services to 200 introducing brokers worldwide. It has offered direct market access on Australian contracts for difference since 2008.


Interactive Brokers was founded in 1993 by Thomas Peterffy, an early innovator in computer-assisted trading. He introduced electronic devices to options floor trading at the Chicago Board of Trade and went on to develop related trading technologies before entering the electronic brokerage business.

In 1983, the company created the first handheld computers used for trading. As Peterffy explained in a 2016 interview, the battery-powered units had touch screens for the user to input a stock price and it would produce the recommended option price, and it also tracked positions and continually repriced options on stocks.

Litigation and arbitration decisions

In July 2012, Interactive Brokers paid $700,000 to settle charges (by CFTC) that it has "violated reporting rules" and "failed to 'diligently' supervise the handling of accounts".

In February 2015, a FINRA arbitration panel ruled that the firm must pay $667,000 for customer losses resulting from the way the firm handled margin calls.

In April 2015, the trading firm was required by an arbitrator to pay $1,200,000 in damages to a customer because the firm failed to stop “reckless trading” by a trust fund overseer which reduced $800,000 to $75,000.

Start Trading


Foundation Year 1993
Trading Platforms Trader Workstation (TWS), IB WebTrader
Reliability Rate AAА
Authorised Capital
Brocker Fee
Exchange Fee
Withdrawal Fee
Minimum Deposit 2000
Mobile Trading
Seminars, Education
Phone 1 (877) 442-2757, 00800-42-276537, 1 (877) 745-4222
Address Greenwich, Connecticut, United States

User Reviews

   Paulo    2016/9/22 17:25   

Used them for a few months... not my favorite broker... but very professional, good execution, free outbound wire transfer each month, great commission rates. My problem was the trading platform/interface, itself (which they are improving lately). It was beyond difficult for me to figure out. Then their trading statements were no fun for me, either. If I were an institutional trader, I might use them, but as a simple little man trying to get by without drama, I stopped using them.

   Franz    2016/9/22 17:25   

I use IB since years and am very happy with them: no booking errors, many markets, lowest fees, and - as it is all direct access: no broker stop hunting - even on forex! The platform is very complex, due to the many different markets it serves. But once I had worked my way through my favorite products this became a no-brainer. A problem is the accounting, as all positions are booked into one account: If you do not keep record of you fx positions you might end up with one without noticing it. But there are overlays available which do the job for you. All in all: thumbs up!

   Joerg    2016/9/22 17:25   

I am trading IB's IDEALPRO now for a few month. I am doing a 100% auto-trading strategy creating almost 100 Trades a day. The platform is very good and fits my needs concerning spreads/costs, availability and fills. The ECN-type model is very good for doing quick (scalp) trades. No limitation at all. Only issue may be the relative low leverage of 50:1 (or even lower, depending on the Base currency and traded currency pair) They got my recommendation an 5 stars.

   Axel    2016/9/22 17:25   

Offers both futures and cash, a real broker (opposed to all the other market makers), represents your order on the ECN, small spreads, quick executions, definitely worth the commissions!

   Lillian    2016/9/22 17:25   

Their staffs just did not have the patience to answer my questions regarding the works of their platform. I decided to withdraw the fund and cancel my account.

   Foxxx    2016/9/22 17:25   

i use them for 18 months now - manual and automated trading with Smartquant's Quantdeveloper - done futures and forex (IDEALPRO) - the costs are very low, execution is fast and reliable - customer support is a little bit slow - finally i got all my questions answered, ever ... very happy with them - only the FX leverage 50:1 is a little boring ;-)

   Felix    2016/9/22 17:25   

Worst firm ever. Cannot recommend them due to huge slippage on volatile markets or no fills. Rollover cost and commissions too high compared with others. The accounting is a disaster...

   MK    2016/9/22 17:25   

Crap! I've been trying to close my account with them for months but, due to some irrational problem they have, they can't close it. You can't speak to any one, you have to log on and use their chat service which takes forever for someone to answer. I get margin call email messages despite not trading through them for about two years. They've pissed me off big time. They haven't got a clue about customer service. Whilst their platform is quite good, I wouldn't recommend them as a broker for Joe Soap.

   Giovanni    2016/9/22 17:25   

They are great for trading stocks and futures. You can also trade forex, however you have to pay a commission on top of the spread for each trade. Execution is instant, but spreads can widen a lot during news announcements (+30 pips) for brief periods, so it may not be the best broker for news trading. Customer service is excellent though and they offer a lot of products.

   CJ    2016/9/22 17:25   

I was doing well with IB until recently. Twice they filled me at 10 pips outside the spread. Basically stealing from me 10 pips. They also are not filling limit orders at times and they are very slow. I was getting in within a second or two, and not it is as much as 15 seconds. I had a buy limit order placed and the price moved above and below the limit order a couple pips and no fill. I switch it to market, and it fills outside the spread. Their actions are criminal, pure and simple. I emailed them and they basically said that Forex is unregulated and they can do whatever they want. This broker has gone way downhill.

   Rick    2016/9/22 17:25   

Executions are quick. They don't run your stops (at least I haven't seen evidence of it yet) like a lot of other brokers I've seen. For the most part they appear to be honest, though, granted, I've only been using them since May of '06. I've heard people say they don't help you--that they're support is terrible--but every time I have an issue I go through the problem ticket, which is quicker than an email, and I get a prompt answer (usually less than 24 hours). The spreads on forex are usually equal to or better than Oanda, though they do widen a bit (briefly) during news events, and not by as much as Oanda, who seem to be the benchmark in this game. The software platform takes some getting used to but how many forex brokers do you know where you can trade every other financial instrument conceivable from the same platform?!

   IanMc    2016/9/22 17:25   

For Forex trading, you dont get ( as at Sep 2006) by trade profit a loss calculations live. Spreads on majors are the best out there. However trading the Crosses of the majors is not as clear as MT4 platform. They way they handle Forex Swap is a bit more confusing than standard fix brokers. You trade either large forex contract (IDEALPROD) or small contract. To conclude ok for position trading forex, not so good for intraday trading. Purely as the platform is not as good as MT4.

   kz    2016/9/22 17:25   

PROS: Great on costs (.2 pip) and usually the tighest spreads. Low cost stock and option trading too. Fast and easy withdrawals, not a hassle like some other brokers (mbtrading - can only fax in request, no electronic) CONS: Worst customer service ever. I was once chatting to a rep because my charts weren't working, and after he said lemme check something, he never came back. I didn't terminate the session for like 30+minutes -got NOTHING. I gave it awful ratings, and sent it in, no response. They also respond rather rudely and dismissively to any kind of problems or complaints. SCAM: Though they have the tightest spreads, some of those spreads I have to say are fake (maybe to scare you into taking the opposite position/closing or to make themselves look better, I don't know) because sometimes I see the quote and I send a limit order but doesn't get filled. Sometimes the quote gets even better by .5 pip or something and still no fill. Or I send limit orders ahead of time and the quote comes up, but no fill. Another thing, on margin calls: if you deal with IDEALPRO you get nice spreads, but IDEAL has awful spreads, but you have to trade larger lots to trade on PRO. If you get a margin call, they close positions using IDEAL, and they will steal about 10pips from you. I had them cover 19,000+ euros, just a few euros under the minimum (20,000), so they could use their IDEAL system and steal 10 pips. And it wasn't even necessary to cover 19,000+ to bring the margin above 5%. Bottom line: they don't care about you and treat you like c***, but will give you low cost service. And be careful of some of the fishiness

   ManuelPerez    2016/9/22 17:25   

I have used IB for a couple of months for stocks and options very successfully. However, I wanted to move to forex to trade after work. Their platform is good as I said for stocks and options, but forex is totally another monster. 1-You have to decide if you are going to use IDEALPRO or IDEAL. 2-You have to learn how to place an order for this market 3-No P&L tracking for forex. 4-As soon as your position is bought it just vanishes from the order book. You have to quickly go to the trades done in the day to keep a log of the execution price and be able to calculate your P&L. 5-There is no such thing as a lot. You buy/sell money with a minimum of $25K for IDEALPRO. Very hard to get out of a position, as you sell back your long position and there will be a remainder of the currency pair in your account. If you want to convert back to USD, then you have to use IDEAL, which is more money you waste in the process. 6-Their support is good for stocks, but they don't explain you how to do forex. You have to figure it out from some links they have on their website, which leave more questions than answers. Overall. I like and will continue with IB for stocks, but I will be fishing for another broker for forex. Ah, last comment. Their chart software sucks! You will have to find another package like Quotetracker if you are serious about doing stocks or forex.

   R.P.    2016/9/22 17:25   

They sure have an elaborate and impressive platform. And if you want to be able to trade every kind of financial instrument, then they would be worth considering. I even think IB would be OK for Forex, but NOT During news announcements. I executed a trade upon news announcment, and the market moved 30 pips and a full 4 seconds, before I got filled. I ended up losing 1 pip, when I realistically couuld have made 20+. They were professional and did the research to tell me that the banks simply rejected my order multiple times, until it was finally executed after 4 seconds. They are very technologically advanced, and I may even still use them, esp for automated trading, based on technicals, but I surely Will Not use them for trading around the news.

   Timur    2016/9/22 17:25   

Started August 2006. I do only daily scalping without problem, meaning that their quotes are really following market big moves quite well and spread is 90% 1 or 2 pips on the main pairs. I would recommend it to anyone

   brian    2016/9/22 22:32   

traded forex with them for months. while their platform is among the best and spreads are among the tightest, their rollover policy is a complete joke. go to their website and see how they calculate daily rollovers and interest accruals. I can trade $million lots and the rollover rates wouldnt be as good as fxcm, oanda's basic rollover for customers. Using IDEALPRO, i was being charged interest on a long 500k aud/jpy position n short 300k chf/jpy position! ridiculous!

   ariestokrat    2016/9/22 22:32   

Overall, I found the platform, customer service and execution (fills) were quite good from this broker, however, a couple of points to consider, especially for newbies. Commissions are unlikely to make scalping highly profitable (or for example, when trading with Rob Grespi's Kingforex signal service) and secondly, this broker does not provide the opportunity to trade micro or mini lots to beginners, so I would see this as a disadvantage too.

   nc    2016/9/22 22:32   

I have had an IB account for several years, trading options lightly. I decided to get into fx trading and started using their simulated trading account before committing real money to the market. If the simulated trading works like their real trading, it's terrible. I did several trades, and closed them out, but the program still shows some odd residual amounts in the account - like $1.80 margin used, and small amounts of currencies that cannot be entered through the platform. To handle that, I tried to reset the account to $10,000 several times to restart (specific to simulated trading, of course) and had results ranging from no effect, to having $193,000 in the account. Talking with customer service and tech service had no effect. They had no answers - just that they would "look into it". I would call customer service and get routed to tech services, who would route me back to customer service and be told that tech service would take care of it. When I complained, their attitude was that it was no problem, since it was only a paper trading account. They didn't understand that it undermined confidence in their system. The interface is just too clunky and complicated to work with. They have good spreads on all pairs, and in my experience, fast execution. The fixed 50:1 margin is too limited. For stock and option trading they are very good, with cheap commissions and good executions. I was satisfied with that part of their service. For forex, they have a ways to go before I will trade live with them.    2016/12/14 14:40   

We ( - Premium Stock Alerts) are working with Interactive Brokers for more that 10 years. This broker in our opinion is retail leader in online trading and access to international markets as well as investment offerings. Wide range of Stock is what we specially love. We recommend IB to all over clients due to a very competitive commissions. Outstanding experience despite of fees charged for inactive accounts. We trust in company that works since 1993. Time is not only the money, but experience to.

   good_brother    2017/4/04 17:44   

it's a pitty that Interactive Brokers do not have historical data in Open Interest :-(


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