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Interactive Brokers review for Singaporeans
Trade stocks, bonds, options, futures and more with one of the world's largest online brokerage.
Interactive Brokers is one of the most popular online brokerage due to its wide array of stand-out features, including low per-share pricing, institutional-grade trading platform, a large selection of tradable securities and rock-bottom margin rates.
Consider IBKR if you’re a frequent, high-volume trader looking to access a multitude of financial instruments across 150+ markets from a single integrated account.
Look elsewhere if you’re a beginner who prefers a more streamlined investment broker.
Disclaimer: General information only. All forms of investments (and in particular, trading CFDs, commodities and forex) carry significant risk, including the risk of losing more than the invested amounts, market volatility and liquidity risks. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Such activities are not suitable for most investors.
With over 40 years of track record and an impressive global presence, Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a NASDAQ-listed online brokerage best known for its low commission rates, advanced trading platform and breadth of assets.
Learn more about Interactive Brokers and find out if its offerings are ideal for you in this review.
Low commission fees and margin-lending rates
Wide range of tradable assets across 150+ markets
Advanced data and monitoring tools
Offers fractional share trading
No minimum balance required
Not so great for
Complex pricing structure
Lacks sign-up promotions
Desktop trading platform may be intimidating for beginners
Not able to link SGX CDP accounts
Interactive Brokers is regulated by the MAS
Interactive Brokers Singapore Pte. Ltd. Is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (Licence No. CMS100917). Registered Office: #40-02A, Asia Square Tower 1, 8 Marina View, Singapore 018960
What are the benefits of Interactive Brokers?
Interactive Brokers allows convenient online trading on desktop or mobile. A bevy of other benefits separate the platform from others:
Multi-platform support. Trade and manage your investment across multiple trading platforms, including desktop, mobile and web with iOS, Android, Excel API, and FIX API versions.
Ultra competitive fees. Trading fees begin at 0.08% of trade value for Singapore stocks (min. $2.50 per order) or Hong Kong stocks (min. HK$18 per order), and US$0.005 per share for US stocks (min. US$1 per order, max. 1.0% of trade value). There are also no platform or inactivity fees to look out for.
Low margin financing rates. IBKR also offers one of the most favourable margin trading rates among online brokers, which begins at only 1.5% above the benchmark (BM) rate for SGD.
Invest globally in a variety of asset classes. Access stocks, options, futures, forex, metals, bonds and funds in more than 150 markets, across 33 countries and in 26 currencies — through a single account.
Trade fractional shares. Diversify your investments by investing in eligible US or European stocks based on a dollar amount.
Earn daily interest on idle cash. As of March 2023, the interest rate for SGD balance above $14,000 is 2.818% (benchmark rate minus 1%).
Diverse order types. Execute faster trades and limit risk through more than 100 order types and algorithms.
Participate in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) trading. Invest in companies that uphold the principles you believe in. With IBKR’s IMPACT mobile app, you can explore an array of companies from 13 different ESG categories, including clean air, ocean life, ethical leadership and racial equality.
Interactive Brokers features
IBKR offers an abundance of functionality and features, including:
IBot feature. Powered by advanced artificial intelligence, IBKR’s impressively easy-to-use chatbot is equipped with voice activation that provides quick access to market information, trading tools, charts, account data and more. IBot can also execute or close orders on command.
IB SmartRouting. A cutting-edge routing software that continually scans competing markets and automatically transmits the best firm stock, option, and combination pricing available across exchanges and dark pools.
Research. Access news and research from such sources as Morningstar Equity Ownership, Zacks Investment Research and Seeking Alpha. Get access to other sources through paid subscriptions.
Interactive Brokers platforms
IBKR offers an impressive six trading platforms to customers, ranging from a web application to mobile apps to a powerful desktop platform. This allows you to tailor IB to your specific needs as an investor — to use the platform that works best for your investing style and goals.
IBKR’s web application gives you all the most important features you need to trade and manage your account. Check quotes and company-specific news, place trades and see account balances, key performance metrics, reporting and more.
Fundamentals Explorer lets you dive deeper into the company’s fundamentals, which span everything from key ratios and financials to analyst ratings and institutional ownership. Its Social Sentiment feature lets you see how often a particular stock is mentioned on Twitter, while Technical Insights lets you view pre-established technical indicators and alerts.
Chartists will even find a range of tools at their disposal, including a variety of chart types, drawing capabilities and a sizable list of indicators.
IBKR’s flagship desktop platform, Trader Workstation (TWS) is a powerful, pro-level trading platform designed for active traders and investors. All IBKR’s tradable assets from over 150 markets worldwide are at your fingertips, all on a customisable workspace that boasts IBKR’s most comprehensive tools and features.
TWS offers access to over 100 order types and algorithms to help you simplify your trading experience and speed trade execution, plus the following platform-specific features and more:
Advanced options trading tools. OptionTrader, a dedicated options trading tool with multi-leg combo order capabilities, as well as an option strategy builder and probability and volatility tools.
Risk Navigator. See and measure real-time market-risk exposure across multiple asset classes around the globe.
Rebalance Portfolio. A tool that lets you redistribute the current position weighting in your portfolio automatically based on your specified target percentage.
FXTrader. A trading interface that supports over 20 order types and is designed specifically for trading in the currency markets.
Some reviews highlight a steep learning curve for IBKR, especially its Trader Workstation. But it’s really no more complex than any other pro-grade trading platform designed for experienced traders. And like any advanced trading platform, it just takes some getting used to. Plus, there’s a helpful Learn tab in TWS where you can watch tutorial videos on how to use all the different features offered on the platform.
IBKR EventTrader is a web-based platform that enables investors to participate in key futures markets by simply expressing their view on whether the prices will move up or down by the end of each day’s trading session – through “yes or no” questions.
Available for both iOS and Android devices, IBKR’s mobile app lets you trade and monitor your account on the go. It also offers a range of powerful trading tools and access to all the same stock information and research available on its web and desktop versions. Advanced order types, in-depth fundamentals research and chart indicators are just some of the same features you can expect if you choose the IBKR mobile app to trade.
Launched in March 2022, IBKR GlobalTrader is a mobile trading app designed specifically for investors interested in a global trading experience. While you can trade foreign stocks through IBKR’s other platforms, GlobalTrader takes it a step further, through a simpler platform.
Customers can access more than 90 stock exchanges in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia and make deposits in up to 25 different currencies and convert the currency at interbank rates into the currency required to buy and sell foreign stocks.
Customers who use GlobalTrader can also trade with fractional shares as low as $1, and can also switch positions in the same dollar amount from one stock to another.
IMPACT is IBKR’s third mobile app, and it’s designed to help investors find and trade in companies based on their unique, personal values. This ESG investing app offers transparent, low-fee trading in US stocks and ETFs and $1 fractional share trading on a clean, simple interface that IBKR customers will find familiar. Investors can also access mutual funds and the same swap-stock feature offered in IBKR GlobalTrader.
In addition to IBKR’s other trading platforms, it provides customers with access to its arsenal of trading application programming interfaces (APIs). These allow traders to build custom trading applications, which they can use to develop customer trading software or integrate into IBKR’s existing applications.
What are the fees?
Interactive Brokers markets itself as the lowest-cost trading platform on the market.
That may be true, but keep an eye out for its two different pricing structures: Fixed-fee and volume-tiered. Whichever pricing model is more suitable for you depends on your trading frequency, so be sure to keep that in mind. Trades for options, futures, forex, fixed income and more also come with their own fee structures.
Subscriptions to real-time streaming market data is free in some instances, but you may need to pay when exchanges charge Interactive Brokers for the data.
IBKR Pro’s fixed rates (either per share or as a percent of trade value) include exchange and regulatory fees. This straightforward, flat-fee structure works best for regular, occasional traders.
Commissions for stocks and ETFs
Minimum per order
Maximum per order
0.08% of trade value
USD 0.005 per stock
1% of trade value
USD 0.01 per stock
0.5% of trade value
0.08% of trade value
0.08% of trade value
0.08% of trade value
Note: Information detailed in the tables above is accurate as of 20 March 2023. Please visit Interactive Brokers website for fixed-fee pricing for other products and countries.
Over 90 ETFs are included in Interactive Brokers’ “fee waived” no transaction fee (NTF) program, which reimburses IBKR Pro customers for all the fees paid on ETF stocks held for at least 30 days.
With IBKR Pro’s volume-tiered pricing, the more you trade per month, the less brokerage fee you’d need to pay. This option is best suited for frequent, high-volume traders.
Do note that the fees vary based on what and where you’re trading, with different fee schedules for different countries and options. Additional third-party fees such as regulatory, clearing and exchange fees also depend on which exchange the security is listed on.
Commissions for Singapore stocks and ETFs
Monthly trade value (SGD)
Minimum per order (SGD)
0.08% of trade value
2,500,000 – 50,000,000
0.05% of trade value
50,000,00 – 150,000,000
0.03% of trade value
0.02% of trade value
Commissions for US stocks and ETFs
Monthly volume (stocks)
Cost per stock (USD)
Minimum per order (USD)
Maximum per order
1% of trade value
300,000 – 3,000,000
1% of trade value
3,000,001 – 20,000,000
1% of trade value
20,000,001 – 100,000,000
1% of trade value
1% of trade value
Note: Information detailed in the tables above is accurate as of 20 March 2023. Please visit Interactive Brokers website for volume-tiered pricing for other products and countries.
What to watch out for
While Interactive Brokers offers powerful trading platforms, carefully consider its weaknesses before opening an account.
High learning curve. To optimise your account through IB Trader Workstation (TWS), you must thoroughly understand what you want to get out of it — no easy task for beginners. On top of this, the setup is complex enough that even advanced traders may find the process takes time to get right.
Real-time data may cost you. Interactive Brokers boasts extensive live data feeds and customisable company notifications. But data and news may involve fees that depend on the options you choose.
Not able to link SGX CDP accounts. IBKR does not support the linking of Central Depository (CDP) accounts, which means that any SGX stocks and securities you’ve purchased will be held under IBKR’s custodian account.
Interactive Brokers is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, it earns an A+ rating based on internal BBB criteria that includes the company’s response to more than 20 customer complaints. Interactive Brokers earns a 3.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot as of March 2023. Many clients complain that customer support is slow to resolve issues and the platform often runs into technical problems.
How do I sign up for an Interactive Brokers account?
Signing up for an Interactive Brokers account is quick and simple. To start your online application, click ‘Go to site’ at the top of this page.
Personal and contact details.
Income and tax residency information
Employer name and address
Bank account details for funding
Investment objectives and experience
Proof of identity. A valid government-issued ID, such as NRIC, passport or driver’s license
Proof of residential address. Examples of acceptable documents include mortgage statement, utility bill (less than 12 months old), bank statement or government-issued letters
How do you fund your account?
For Singapore users, the only method of funding your account is through a bank wire.
After you’ve signed up for an IBKR account, you’ll receive an email consisting of Interactive Brokers’ custodian bank account information and a set of detailed instructions on how to set up a wire template with your bank. Transfer times vary from immediately to four business days.
Once your funds are successfully deposited, they will be immediately available for trading. Do note that deposited funds will be subject to a 3-day holding period before they can be withdrawn.
Chat live with a rep through your Client Portal 24/7 on weekdays or Sundays from 1 pm to 7 pm EST
Email through the message center anytime for a response within 24 hours
Overall, Interactive Brokers is as sophisticated as it is robust, making it an ideal choice for experienced investors and traders in need of comprehensive tools and deep research. Along with its extensive list of tradable products, instruments and markets, IBKR’s all-in-one platform is equipped with almost everything you need to execute swift, well-informed trades.
Beginners, however, may experience a higher learning curve to navigate the platform, but its incredibly low trading fees certainly make it a compelling choice. In addition, IBKR also offers a free demo account for you to familiarise yourself with its features.
Before signing up with Interactive Brokers, be sure to compare other stock trading accounts available to find one that’s best suited for your trading needs and experience.
Yes. Interactive Brokers Group is authorized and regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Yes. Interactive Brokers allows you to access a free demo account to sample its features before you buy.
No, but Interactive Brokers advises "good or extensive knowledge" of the product you wish to trade.
IBKR Lite is a streamlined account type designed for beginners or recreational investors. It offers unlimited $0 commissions on US-listed stocks and ETF trades, along with free access to market data from primary exchanges. However, it does not offer many of the advanced trading tools and features such as IBKR algorithms, APIs and tools that an IBKR Pro user may access.
Currently, IBKR Lite is only limited to direct US clients, clients of an Introducing Broker, or an employee of a company using Employee Track. This means that if you're a Singapore user, IBKR Pro is most likely your only option if you choose to sign up with Interactive Brokers.
Important information: Powered by finder.com. This information is general in nature and is no substitute for professional advice. It does not take into account your personal situation. This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for most investors. You do not own or have any interest in the underlying asset. Capital is at risk, including the risk of losing more than the amount originally put in, market volatility and liquidity risks. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Tax on profits may apply. Consider your own circumstances, including whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and possess the relevant experience and knowledge. We recommend that you obtain independent advice from a suitably licensed financial advisor before making any trades.
Zyane Tan is an editor at Finder. An experienced copywriter and content creator, Zyane enjoys writing on a wide array of subjects. When she’s not busy typing away, she’s reading and musing over a pint.
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