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Interactive Brokers review 2023

Invest in stocks, options, futures, cryptocurrencies, forex, bonds and funds all from a single account.

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Interactive Brokers

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Our verdict

Consider Interactive Brokers (IBKR) if you're an active or professional investor wanting to diversify in global markets and want access to a suite of advanced research and trading tools. Look elsewhere if you want a more basic, easy-to-use platform without a steep learning curve. Interactive Brokers is the winner for Best Overall Broker in the 2022 Finder Stock Trading Platform Awards.

Best for: All types of investors regardless of trading experience.

Pros
  • Extensive range of tradable securities includes nearly every type of asset.
  • Access to foreign stocks in 150 global markets and access to designated global trading platforms.
  • Trade US-listed stocks and ETFs for free with IBKR Lite.
Cons
  • Steeper learning curve for some of IBKR's platforms.
  • No commission-free stock trading with IBKR Pro (but pricing is competitive for pro-level trading quantities).
  • IBKR's smart routing isn't available to IBKR Lite users.
4.2

★★★★★

Finder rating

Stock trade fee

$0

Minimum deposit

$0

Complete signup bonus

N/A

How we rated Interactive Brokers’ features

Fees

★★★★

IBKR Lite offers commission-free stock trading, and IBKR Pro offers stocks at low commissions.
Available securities

★★★★★

Offers access to all securities, including crypto, forex, bonds and funds.
Customer support

★★★★

Support can be reached 3 ways, but long wait times have been reported.
Mobile app

★★★★

Investors complain that the app is sometimes buggy and unreliable.
Research and tools

★★★★★

Tools and resources are robust, but expect to pay for premium research.
Reliability

★★★★★

Only one major outage has been reported.
Bonus star

We awarded a bonus star for offering access to multiple trading tiers.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read our methodology at the bottom of the page.

Interactive Brokers is best for all types of investors

IBKR’s impressive trading tiers are designed to meet the varying needs of all kinds of investors, regardless of their investing experience. The broker is as sophisticated as it is robust, making it an ideal platform for experienced traders in need of excellent research tools for complex trades. It also offers newer investors a great deal with commission-free US stock trading and many guided trading tools in its mobile platforms.

What you can trade on Interactive Brokers

  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Futures
  • Crypto
  • Forex
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds

Where Interactive Brokers shines

IBKR offers a number of unique features that separates it from other brokers, including access to 150 markets in 33 countries (26 currencies), fractional share trading, a stock yield enhancement program, and access to multiple research platforms without additional cost.

With fractional share trading you can buy US and European stocks and ETFs for as low as $1 for US shares and no minimums for European shares. What’s more, you can lend your shares to earn an extra income via the stock yield enhancement program. The way this works is you allow IBKR to borrow your shares in exchange for collateral, and then these shares are lent to traders who want to short the stock. Each day that your stock is loaned, you earn interest on the collateral based on market rates.

The IBKR Lite plan boasts commission-free US-listed stock and ETF trading while IBKR Pro has smart routing and up to 3.33% annual return on uninvested cash balances. IBKR also offers some of the lowest margin rates in the business. For example, you can borrow against your account balances at 4.33% to 5.33% a year, while other brokerage platforms charge between 7.75% and 12.75% annually. Not only does IBKR beat competitors with these borrow rates, but it offers lower rates than credit cards and personal loans.

Where Interactive Brokers falls short

Not every investor will feel at home with IBKR. Some traders warn that its tools come with a steep learning curve. Beginners looking for nothing more than a simple buy-and-sell platform may feel overwhelmed. Investors wanting the best trade executions through smart routing can access this feature by choosing IBKR Pro but need to make the upgrade. This premium tier also charges fixed and tiered commissions on all securities offered.

Interactive Brokers fees

Fee typeIBKR LiteIBKR Pro
Minimum deposit$0$0
Annual fee$0$0
US-listed stock and ETF trade feesCommission-freeChoice of fixed or tiered pricing
Stock, ETF, option, crypto and fund trade feesFixed pricingChoice of fixed or tiered pricing
Bond and forex trade feesTiered pricingTiered pricing
Inactivity fee$0$0
Incoming ACH transfers$0$0
Wire, check or ACH withdrawal fees1 free withdrawal per calendar month. Thereafter:
$10 per wire withdrawal
$4 per check withdrawal
$1 per ACH withdrawal
1 free withdrawal per calendar month. Thereafter:
$10 per wire withdrawal
$4 per check withdrawal
$1 per ACH withdrawal
Outgoing account transfer fee$0$0

Is Interactive Brokers legit?

Yes, it is. IBKR is a multinational brokerage firm founded in 1977. It’s authorized and regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Interactive Brokers’ platform offers extensive trading and analysis tools

  • PortfolioAnalyst. Get detailed information on your portfolio, including in which assets you are invested and how much and how your portfolio performed over time compared to S&P 500. You can also add your external accounts, such as savings accounts or retirement accounts to get a global overview of your assets.
  • GlobalAnalyst. This tool helps you find the right company to invest in. You get to screen for stocks by parameters that you set, such as industry, currency, market cap, country and more. What’s cool about this feature is that it’s free regardless weather you are IBKR client or not.
  • OptionTrader. This tool is designed for professional options traders. Beginners get to use the Options Wizard, which simplifies options trading. Instead of complicated options data to choose from, beginners can directly trade by tapping buttons like “the asset price will go up” or “down”.
  • FXTrader. This feature is designed with professional Forex traders in mind. The main feature of FXTrader is interbank-quality spreads where you get quotes from multiple liquidity providers with spreads as low as 1/10 pip.
  • Fundamentals Explorer. This is a powerful tool for every trader and investors because you get analyst ratings and price targets, full company information including ESG ratings, EPS, financial data, ownership and more.
  • Social Sentiment. The Social Sentiment tool takes social media information, such as tweets about the company, to form a score, which can be positive or negative. This can be another addition to your decision-making arsenal.
  • Technical Insights. IBKR’s Traders Workstation (TWS) is one of the most robust trading platforms you can get. It comes with a variety of technical charts and indicators that you can customize to your own liking.
  • Interactive Broker robo-advisors. Also known as Interactive Advisors, this robo-advisor lets you start with as low as $100 and invest in themed pre-build portfolios.
  • EventTrader. You can now trade event contracts based on the outcome of an event. These are short-term positions that last only for one trading day. For example, you can trade the following question: “Will the S&P 500 close above 3,900 today?” with yes and no answers. Each answer costs differently and has different payout.
  • Access to micro futures. Trade micro e-mini futures on the S&P 500, Nasdaq-100, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 indices with commissions as low as $0.32 to $0.47 per contract.
  • Single login for all platforms. Use your username and password to log in to all platforms, including the TWS, mobile and web. You can place your orders through any of these platforms and they will sync to the rest of the platforms.

Interactive Broker’s app

The IBKR mobile app, available for iOS and Android devices, lets you trade and monitor your account on the go. It packs a punch, offering a range of powerful trading tools and stock information. You can also get advanced order types, in-depth fundamentals research and chart indicators.
Interactive Brokers App

GlobalTrader app

This is another IBKR mobile app for investors interested in worldwide trading which allows you to easily trade global stocks from your phone. It provides you access to over 80 stock exchanges in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. IBKR offers users a free trial of this app to practice trading up to $10,000 in a simulated environment.

Interactive Broker’s desktop platform

Trader Workstation (TWS) is IBKR’s flagship pro-level trading platform for active traders. There’s a customizable workspace boasting all of IBKR’s comprehensive tools and features including helpful tutorials. Use OptionTrader, Risk Navigator, Rebalance Portfolio and FXTrader and access 100+ order types and algorithms.

Interactive Broker’s Web application

Trade and manage your account with Client Portal, IBKR’s web application. Check quotes, company-specific news and key performance metrics, then check account balances and place trades. Fundamentals Explorer gives you key ratios and financials, analyst ratings and institutional ownership. You’ll be able to see Twitter mentions of a stock through the Social Sentiment feature and check technical indicators and alerts.

IMPACT mobile trading platform

IMPACT is a dashboard to help investors find and trade in companies based on unique, personal values about things like climate and social issues. IBKR GIVE enables users to align their IMPACT values with non-profit organizations and make cash donations directly from the app. This Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing app also offers commission-free trading on US-listed stocks and ETFs, fractional shares, crypto and mutual funds.

Interactive Brokers app store reviews

Google Play app reviews2.4/5 stars, based on over 8.22k reviews
Apple App Store app reviews3/5 stars, based on 1.5k reviews

Interactive Brokers customer support

You can reach Interactive Broker in three ways:

  • Phone
  • Live chat
  • Email

How to open an account with Interactive Broker

  1. Click the “Sign up now” button below (you can also download the Interactive Broker app for Android or iPhone).
  2. Enter your username, email and password then select Create Account. Alternatively, sign up using Facebook and Google login credentials.
  3. Verify your email, which will bring you to your account page. Then hit Verify to confirm your account.
  4. Complete your profile by entering the required personal information, including your name, date of birth, address and Social Security number.
  5. Deposit funds to begin trading.

Eligibility and required information

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Prior knowledge of the product you wish to trade (you may be asked to conduct simulated trades using the demo version)
  • Possess liquid net assets of at least $20,000 if you’re over 21.
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Asset and income details
  • Your name and date of birth
  • Phone number and address
  • Employer name and contact details
  • Bank details to fund your account plus routing number for check deposits
  • Investment objectives and investing experience

Sign up now

How safe is Interactive Broker?

Interactive Brokers uses two-factor authorization. It’s also considered safe due to its memberships with SEC, FINRA and SIPC. Each IBKR customer is protected up to $500,000 for securities and $250,000 for cash, should the broker face insolvency.

Frequently asked questions about Interactive Brokers

Compare Interactive Brokers to other platforms

Interactive Brokers logo

Interactive Brokers

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.2 / 5

Go to site


Available asset types

Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Forex


Stock trade fee

$0


Minimum deposit

$0


Complete signup bonus

N/A

SoFi Invest logo

SoFi Invest

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.6 / 5

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Available asset types

Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency


Stock trade fee

$0


Minimum deposit

$0


Complete signup bonus

Get up to $1,000 when you fund a new account within 30 days.

eToro logo

eToro

★★★★★

Finder rating 4.3 / 5

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Available asset types

Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency


Stock trade fee

$0


Minimum deposit

$10


Complete signup bonus

Get $10 when you sign up and deposit $100.

How we rate trading platforms

★★★★★5/5 — Excellent

★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.
For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

Information on this page is for educational purposes only. Finder is not an advisor or brokerage service, and we don't recommend investors to trade specific stocks or other investments.

Finder is not a client of any featured partner. We may be paid a fee for referring prospective clients to a partner, though it is not a recommendation to invest in any one partner.

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