Interactive Brokers first opened its doors for brokerage business in 1977. Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., which was founded by Thomas Peterffy, operates from over 120 market destinations worldwide. Interactive Brokers (IB) provides a direct access online trading portal which provides trade execution and clearing support to institutional investors. More than 1,000,000 trades on forex, bonds, stocks, options, futures and CFD assets are conducted on IB’s platforms daily.
The company headquarters is located in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA. IB also has offices Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Australia, UK, Russia, Hungary, India, Japan, Estonia and China.
Interactive Brokers provides traders with learning resources and advanced tools of analysis. The Traders Academy and Traders University contain training courses which are designed to enable those who are new to IB to be able to get as much knowledge about the platforms, tools and trading conditions of Interactive Brokers as possible for a seamless trading experience.
Interactive Brokers features a complete set of in-house brokerage platforms, specifically designed to suit the uniqueness of the product offerings on the Interactive Brokers platforms. There are three versions of the Interactive Brokers’ trading platforms. These are:
IB Trader TWS
The desktop terminal of Interactive Brokers is the unique market maker-designed Trader Workstation (TWS). The TWS desktop platform allows traders, investors and institutions to trade assets such as stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds in over 120 worldwide markets, all from a single online account.
The IB Trader Workstation provides the following features:
- Market research, news, and data for various assets.
- Real-Time monitoring of assets.
- Support for algos and various order types.
- Online trading tools for risk management.
- Global trading system for paper trading.
IB Trader Web
Interactive Brokers also features a browser-based version of its website. Known as the IB Webtrader, this platform offers all the tools, charts and resources needed for sound technical analysis, without the need to download the heavy desktop client. It features a tabbed, modular design that lets traders display just the features they want to see on their web browser. Flash-based charts allow traders to view metrics such as market volume and market value for various time frames.
One of the great features found in the Interactive Webtrader is the Market Pulse. This is a sentiment indicator which showcases where buyers and sellers are positioning themselves on the various assets.
IB TWS Mobile
Interactive Brokers also provides its clients with mobile trading platforms, which are the Android and iOS versions of the IB TWS platform. These can be downloaded from the respective app stores. Some of the features available on IB TWS Mobile include:
- Secure login system using authentication from a physical device or the bespoke IB Key digital security application.
- Real-time streaming quotes and charts available.
- Orders can be routed using IB’s SmartRouting™ technology.
- Fundamentals data and independent analyst reports, trade reports, portfolio and account information all viewable and accessible.
- Price alerts with notification via email can be set.
- Ability to reconnect back to IB TWS mobile without having to repeat login after taking a call on your smartphone or tablet.
Traders on Interactive Brokers can trade more than 100 assets across several markets. These markets are:
- Bitcoin futures (via CME Group)
- FOPs (Futures Options)
- Structure Products (Turbos and certificates)
- CFDs on stocks
- CFDs on commodities
- CFDs on indices
- Single Stock Futures (SSFs)
Interactive Brokers operates a decentralized support system where support desks have been created to cater to several aspects of its trader operations. Support is also provided on a country-specific basis. Support desks have been decentralized as follows:
- Clients Services
- United States 1 (877) 442-2757/1 (312) 542-6901
- Canada 1 (877) 745-4222/1 (514) 847-3499
- Europe 00800-42-276537/+41-41-726-9500
- UK +44 207-710-5695
- Russia 8-800-100-8556/+41-41-726-9506
- Hong Kong +852-2156-7907
- Australia +61 (2) 8093 7300
- India +91 22 61289888/+91 22 39696188 Direct dial
- China +86 (21) 6086 8586
- Japan +81 (3) 4588 9700/+81 (3) 4588 9710
- Sales contacts
- Institutional clients services
- Trading desks
Security and Fairness
For a broker-dealer to service institutional investors in today’s markets, security and fairness of its trading platforms is an absolute requirement. Interactive Brokers offers traders the ability to trade in a highly regulated environment as it is regulated by many top-rated regulatory agencies worldwide. Interactive Brokers is regulated as follows:
- In the USA, Interactive Brokers is a regulated member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It has industry self-regulated status from FINRA – SIPC and is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
- Interactive Brokers is also regulated in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. IB is a member of the SEHK and the HKFE.
- Interactive Brokers UK is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with license number 208159.
Similar licensing has also been acquired for the Interactive Brokers companies in Australia, Japan and India.
Interactive Brokers Pros
What advantages can traders expect to receive by trading forex and other assets on the Interactive Brokers platforms?
- Interactive Brokers offers its own independent source for news and market research known as Interactive Brokers Information System (IBIS). It is available for both users and non-users of the IB platforms on a paid subscription basis.
- The Option Labs present an advanced suite of trading tools.
- Access to 120 markets with thousands of assets available for trading.
- Interactive Brokers offers a tightly secure and regulated trading environment.
- Suitable for traders who want a little extra beyond what other brokers offer.
- Features an investors’ marketplace where traders can purchase 500 + investment services, more than 300 market research services and more than 420 technology and business development services.
Interactive Brokers Cons
Here are a few cons of trading with Interactive Brokers:
- Interactive Brokers is tailored towards institutional traders. The platforms are not tailored towards retail traders.
- It is too expensive for retail traders to use.
- IBIS is not free. The cheapest pricing for use of this tool is $69.00 per month.
For traders who want to use the next level of platforms and trading tools, Interactive Brokers represents one of the great choices out there. Offering institutional-level materials and resources, IB caters to traders who want to trade like the pros. Trade securely and in a well-regulated environment using the trade tools and resources from Interactive Brokers.