After using Interactive Brokers for a number of years, I feel that it’s a good a time to write a review on the popular online discount brokerage.  In late 2014, IB finally delivered on their promise to offer RRSPs and TFSAs to Canadians.  Although it comes with a $50/year maintenance fee, the low trading fees will be attractive to many investors.

Trading Platform(s):

  • The TWS software trading platform is extremely powerful, but a bit tricky to use. Once you get accustomed to the GUI, you will wonder how you ever traded without it. They have demo software on their site so that you can give it a test run before you commit.
  • They also have a web based trading platform which is not as powerful but extremely user friendly. The web based platform is convenient when away from your main computer.

Low Trading Commissions

  • $1USD/200 shares (US), $0.005 / share > 200 shares (0.05% max)
  • $1CAD/100 shares (CAD), $0.01/share > 100 shares (0.05% max)
  • Example: 400 CAD shares @ $5/share, commissions cost: 400 x 0.01 = $4, or $5 x 400 = $2000 x 0.05% = $10, whichever is less.
  • Commissions can get expensive if trading penny stocks.

Low Margin Rates

  • Prime – 0.23 on balances < = $115,000
  • Prime – 0.73 on balances > $115,000
  • Prime – 1.23 on balances >= $1,150,000 (big wigs)

Low Foreign Exchange Rates:

  • Where the big banks will charge up to a 1.25% premium (each way) on top of the exchange rate, Interactive Brokers charges the going exchange rate x 1 basis point.
  • 1 basis point = 0.0001 (0.01%) with a min. commission of $2.50USD.

Real time Quotes

  • NASDAQ quotes are free providing that you trade at least $30USD/mo worth of commissions. Otherwise they are $10/mo, level II quotes are $20/month
  • TSX I quotes are $10/mo, level II quotes are $14.50/mo.
  • You can find the rest of the data fees here.
  • I personally use my bank brokerage and Questrade for my real time quotes.


  • Min commissions are $10USD/mo. If you don’t trade at least this amount per month, they will take the difference from your account.
  • EFT deposits are FREE, along with the first monthly withdrawal. Fees apply after first withdrawal.
  • $50/year maintenance fee for RRSP/TFSA.

Opening an Account

  • Requires $10,000 initial deposit.
  • Fairly lengthy initial paper work.
  • Deposits take 5 days to get approved (through EFT).

Who is this brokerage suited for?

  • Active traders looking to reduce their trading commissions.
  • Not suited for penny stock traders as there are cheaper alternatives than Interactive brokers. For example, 8000 shares of a stock @ $0.50/share will cost 8000 x $0.50 = $4000 x 0.05% = $20 in commission + ECN fee on venture exchange.
  • You could make the same trade above with E-Trade or CIBC for $9.95 or $6.95 respectively.
  • Suited for investors who pay more than $120USD / year in commissions which works out to be around 4 trades / year with the big banks.


  • I personally use and recommend Interactive Brokers for active traders as it will save most traders a bundle of money in commissions. The powerful interface along with fast execution times make it an extremely competitive brokerage for traders.
  • This platform is not only for traders, long term investors who spend more than $120USD/year in commissions should also consider this brokerage.
  • If you are interested in stock trading, check out some of the free stock trading tools that I use.
If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).


  1. […] Update June 25, 2007:  Here is a detailed Interactive Brokers Review! […]

  2. K.K. on June 25, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Hey great post, I was looking at Zecco free trading account for stocks.

    They offer 10 trades in any one day up to a total of 40 trades a month at no cost. People in China and India are allowed to open an account, however, Canadians can’t open any account. Although, if you are resourceful I’m sure theres a way to get around this issue.

  3. FrugalTrader on June 25, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    I’ve always wondered about Zecco, and what their “angle” was. How can they stay in business with free trades? Can their ad revenues be sufficient? How much does Zecco charge for data feeds?

  4. Outroupistache on June 26, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Timely post. Someone asked a question on my blog that involves Interactive so I pointed him to here and to your review of online brokerages. Very handy! Keep up the good work.

  5. Daniel on June 28, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    I’ve recently opened an account with IB because they offer access to a great range of international markets, products & account currencies, they cater for non-US investors, and are clearly a seriously professional outfit. But in sharp contrast to this review my first impressions of their platforms are not good. I’ve found their downloadable trading platform unusable because it requires an old version of Java installed. And their WebTrader web-based platform is the most user-unfriendly I’ve used. The various pages are completely unintegrated – E.g. you can’t click on a share in your portfolio to see details. Instead you have to go to another page and enter the stock code again. Also, it seems that only US share data is available for free. Share data on other markets you need to pay monthly or use one of the other free services (Is that right??)

  6. This and That: Blog Edition on June 28, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    […] Million Dollar Journey recommends Interactive brokers for active traders. […]

  7. […] Interactive Brokers Review (549 words) […]

  8. […] Tricia, from Blogging Away Debt, has hosted the 107th Carnival of Personal Finance. Check out her site as there were some great personal finance articles submitted this week. I submitted my Interactive Brokers Review. […]

  9. RBC Direct Investing Review on July 17, 2007 at 12:46 am

    […] Reviews of the competition: Questrade, CIBC Investors Edge, Interactive Brokers […]

  10. TD Waterhouse Review on July 23, 2007 at 9:18 am

    […] of the competition: Questrade, CIBC Investors Edge, Interactive Brokers, RBC Direct […]

  11. […] the 1% rule, the minimum trade that you should make is $3000 ($30/1%). If you have an account with Interactive Brokers ($2 for < =200 shares) and the trade is less than 200 shares, then the minimum trade amount […]

  12. […] cheap solution would be to use Interactive Brokers for your currency exchanges paired with a USD account.  IB has a very low spread, and charge a […]

  13. […] Interactive Brokers has reduced their minimum commissions for Canadian trades from $2/trade (200 shares) to $1/trade (100 shares).  Great news for small time traders like me.  Check out how this new fee schedule can affect the 1% stock trading rule. […]

  14. […] of security, but slows down the process. Perhaps I'm spoiled with the super quick execution of Interactive Brokers. Mutual […]

  15. Melvin on October 28, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Im just about to go ahead and open an Interactive broker account.. Ive done my research and what not.. Just wondering, anything that stands out in your minds that i should address of consider before I go forward?

    and how long does it take to start trading, once i send my papers/check?

  16. Melvin on October 28, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    The paperwork is quite extensive. Is there anything I need to know about the paperwork? Checking certain boxes, etc?

  17. Melvin on October 28, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    The paperwork is quite extensive. Is there anything I need to know about the paperwork? Checking certain boxes, etc? And how secure is this process of signing up? All of our information is being sent over the web ex. SS #, correct? dangerous?!

  18. Jake Snapper on November 27, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    Dont waste your time with the thieves at Interactive Brokers. They will eventually screw you out of 30% of your equity, because of their auto liquidation rule where they can sell your securities for pennies on the dollar. Why pay $1 commission when you end up losing $5000 in stolen securities that they will hoard, and sell at fair value throughout the day?

    I believe they should be behind bars, and should be shut down for their scam artist operations.

  19. Ryan on December 6, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Jake Snapper, what’s your story?

  20. Aliquippa on December 7, 2007 at 12:43 pm


    I have a story to share that agrees with these comments on losing equity. I posted it at my new website
    Just click on exhibit 1.


  21. cebolao on January 2, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    I can’t say I agree with Jake 100% since I haven’t traded with IB. But from the application process, I can say that as a business in general, IB wasn’t very professional! I might be wrong, so please feel free to leave your views and suggestions.

    After reading several comments in this forum, I am convinced that I am not alone to think that IB has a lengthy application process. But I took the time to read through everything. Signed the papers, mailed it in, did multiple EFTs checks ( because of an computer error I had to do it 3 times!). And then they tell me that the blank cheque I sent wasn’t good enough, and wanted a letter from my bank to state that my account is in good standing. I did that too. All these haggling took around 4 weeks!

    Finally when the time comes to wire the 5k to my account, they DOUBLED the minimum deposit 10K! Just like that, no previous email, no letter,no warning, nothing!

    When I called in, the rep was literally ” I don’t know”, “that’s the way it is”, “there’s no way around that”!

    From this initial experience, how would you know that they wont just liquidate you shares overnight and claim it to be a “tech mistake”, or even worse, that it never happened?

    I am a recent college grad and just starting to learn about all of this. I am still repaying my student loans, so 10k is still a considerable amount of cash for me to just risk a “test run” with IB.

    So is there anything else I am missing? Or is this common practice for online discount brokerage firms?Or is it just IB that does this?
    And should I still go ahead and finish with the application and cross my fingers?

  22. Jacky on January 3, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Hi Cebalao,

    Same experience. Take note that if you don’t spend $10 in commission, they will take it from your account.

  23. cebolao on January 3, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Hey Jacky;

    So can I close my account right now?
    Given thant technically I havent even finshed the application yet?
    It would be really f^%ed up if they actually start charging me fees before i completed my application process!

    • FrugalTrader on January 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm

      Technically, you haven’t opened your account yet. So no, you shouldn’t be charged any fees. You should confirm this with support though.

  24. Jacky on January 4, 2008 at 5:48 am

    I’m not sure, I’m in the same situation as you.

    Account opened, and trade permission approved. No market data. And I haven’t paid $10,000 for it.

    I am thinking of either to use IB or Zecco. I also want international market access; Hong Kong. And IB has a branch in Australia (I’m in Australia), so monies transfer would be less of a hassle.

    I just signed up with Zecco, and paper works will be posted tomorrow.

    IB VS Zecco…..struggling to decide…….

    Even if they charged it, u don’t have to pay for it. Just ignored them.

  25. cebolao on January 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Jacky, i would go with zecco, simply because they are free, and if i am not wrong, they dont require as much as IB for minimun, the problem is Zecco doesnt offer service in canada.

    And yes you WILL pay for IB, because they have access to you bank accout. Since you singned the agreement during your EFT, they can literally just stick a hand in your account, which is something that bothers me a lot as well.

  26. Jacky on January 5, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Hi cebolao,

    IB do not have access to my bank account. What EFT?

    EFT is initiatied by me from my bank online to transfer monies to their bank in Sydney.

  27. cebolao on January 5, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    actually no, thats that I tought too. But I think somewhere in the fine print of the contract that you have signed, you authorized IB to act on your behalf to access you bank account. That’s why I was feeling fishy about this whole EFT thing.
    Also during the confirmation of EFT process, didn’t they credited and also DEBITED from your account you doing anything?( even if was just couple of cents)? Think about that? how were they able to do that?

  28. Jacky on January 6, 2008 at 12:07 am

    First of all:
    1) I electronic signed all papers
    2) I did not fund the IB account
    3) I did not provide them with my account details
    4) There’s no EFT confirmation process (for me)

  29. cebolao on January 7, 2008 at 5:41 am

    well good for you then, nothing to worry about

  30. Jacky on January 7, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Hi Ceboloa,

    After checking around with the 4 big online discount brokers (eTrade/Scott/2 more names I can’t remember), they only do US Stocks, and one of them allow for international trading, but it means converting from:

    Australia Dollars -> USD -> Hong Kong Dollars

    And they charged huge commissions for trading in international markets.

    After some considerations, I think I will go with IB.

    1) they have bank branch in Australia – can bank in or out quicker, cheaper (free VS sending money to USA); if margin call or something, monies will reached them the next day.

    2) low commissions for international trading

    btw, for the USD$10,000 minimum, I wonder if I can borrow them put into the account, and withdraw USD$5,000 out.

  31. cebolao on January 7, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    What do you mean “borrow them put into the account”?

  32. Jacky on January 7, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I thought your issue with IB was the sudden increase in min to open the account? They did not specify min to maintain an account?

    get USD$10,000 (borrow or otherwise), put into IB, and withdraw it after the account has been open to return to lenders

  33. cebolao on January 7, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    You sure you can do that?
    As far as I know, your account has to maintain a minimun of EQUIVALENT value of US$10k.
    If what you said is true, everybody would be doing it. I mean i can even just leave 1K in the accont.
    Let me know if you can actually do that.
    I will open an account with them in a heartbeat!

  34. Jacky on January 7, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I believe the min for opening an account is USD$10k. It did not state maintain.

    If you read from the website that you need USD$10k to maintain an account, please provide links/quotes.


    In order to open a new account the following minimums are required:

    Keywords = open a new account, minimums are requred

    • FrugalTrader on January 7, 2008 at 8:41 pm

      I second that. The IB min to open an account is $10k, but the min to maintain a margin account is $2k USD.

  35. Jacky on January 7, 2008 at 8:49 pm


    As per US regulations, in order to trade in a margin account you must have at least USD 2,000 (or USD equivalent). Because of contribution limits, IRA accounts will only be required to deposit USD 4,000 in order to open a new account. In addition, US Regulators require USD 25,000 (or USD equivalent) to Day Trade stocks and options.

    keywords = trade

    Question: what is the difference between trade and maintain? Does it mean that u can’t buy any stuffs if your account is less than USD$2k? You will need to top it up to USD$2k in order to place orders?

    I’m @ work now, could someone post this question to IB using the account management? thanks.

  36. cebolao on January 7, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    I just asked them about this, hopefully I hear from them soon enough.

    I never thought about it like this before, so FT, you mean i can literally EFT 10k in to open the account, and widraw 8k back out as soon as my account is approved?

  37. FrugalTrader on January 7, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    cebolao, yes technically you could do that, but it wouldn’t be recommended. What if you start trading with that $2k, and it dipped under that mark? According to U.S trading rules, you need a $2k limit for margin accounts, thus they’ll probably email/call you asking you to make up the diff. They could also simply close your account.

  38. cebolao on January 7, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Thanks again for the quick reply FT.
    Yes, I understand that. I said 2K because I wanted be sure that I understood what you and Jacky meant. 2K under the assuming that I didnt buy any equities, and leave it in there as cash. (of course assuming again that I am willing to pay for the $10 inactivity fee).

    What i would do is actually leave at least 4K in there just to be sure. But I said 2K to be sure.

    IB still haven’t emailed me back.
    I just don’t undertand why would IB increase the minimun if this can so easily be bypassed?

    On a side note, Questrade only requires 1K, and all of their unregistered accounts are by default margin acc. I guess since they are Canadian they aren’t binded by US rules.

    Good to know thogh. I guess I am opening 2 accouts then.

  39. Jacky on January 8, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Hi guys,

    Do you know what will happen if you get a margain call? With my previous experiences, they will ask u to top up within a certain period of time.

    If u did not top it up, they will proceed to sell whatever stocks u have with them until USD$2k is reached.

  40. cebolao on January 8, 2008 at 12:23 am

    I think you have it on the dot about that. Actually on the IB website, they said they wouldn’t make the margin call. But i guess they do it out of courtesy according to my friend who’s got an account with them.

    Also he also told me this about the minimum:

    “U can’t do that, that doesn’t’ work. Maintaining margin is a totally different thing. The ratio for each different investments u buy is different. U get different margin for different stocks, derivatives, futures etc. just make sure ur “Net Liquidation” is @ $10k, ur SMA positive, and your available funds positive.”

    I will tell him to come post in this forum see what he thinks about all of this.

  41. Jacky on January 8, 2008 at 2:38 am

    Just post all question to IB people, and get them to answer it.

    We can’t know (or 2nd guess) their business logic.

    And pls post it here too.

  42. cebolao on January 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Ok just an update. I called IB.
    Yes you are correct Jacky, minimun 10k to open. And to keep it open only has to stay above 0. But to trade it has to be above 2k

  43. Jacky on January 8, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Good! I emailed to them, and they pointed out it’s all in their website:

    1) $10k to open
    2) $2k in stocks/cash to trade
    3) no activity/comission => $10 expenses min per mth
    4) less than $2k in stocks/cash => $20 expenses min per month

    I will put it more than $2k, but I don’t think I will not have too much activity, and I have to pay the $10 per month

  44. cebolao on January 8, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    ya same here.
    I i will do at least 2 trades a month.
    And that will already cost me close to 10 anyways at questrade.
    But I still gonna keep questrade for canadian securities

  45. Jacky on January 8, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Good! Wish we will get rich soon! haha!

    btw, just discovered that we can buy/sell in the charting page by drawing a line of some sort.

    • FrugalTrader on January 8, 2008 at 8:43 pm

      Jacky, note that datafeeds/stock quotes are EXTRA at IB.

  46. Jacky on January 8, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    yupe, I understand that. So I might as well subsribe to US market data. $10 per min. So they are not charging me for inactiviy

  47. cebolao on January 8, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    any ideas why questrade ask if i had an account with another broker during application?
    or was that just for stats?

  48. NewIB on January 9, 2008 at 6:41 am

    I have just opened IB account. And there are questions I don’t understand.
    Whole process of opening account is electronic. I have signed bunch of electronic forms but I don’t get any confirmations from IB. Usually must be paper signed agreement.
    Actually I have not any guarantees of my ownership. How customers of online brokers are protected from frauds?

  49. cebolao on January 9, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    That’s acutally a good point. All signed documents are from the customer side, and mailed to them.
    My guess is you can ask your bank to prove it that there’s a link between IB and your bank account thru EFT.

    Does any of more savy investors here have any advice on this?

  50. IBUser on January 12, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Jacky: inactivity minimums are based on commissions (i.e. trades). Spending $10 on market data is not considered a commission. You could be out $20 a month if you don’t trade.

  51. cebolao on January 12, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    where is the extra 10 coming from?

  52. Jacky on January 13, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    $10 min charges:
    -> comission or usage (subscritpion data) less than $10, u will be charge the diff

    $10 (the other one):
    -> your account (stocks + cash) is less than USD$2,000

    i have checked with them, subscribing the data is fine.

  53. […] thinkDesktop – a software based trading platform, I assume that it's the same idea as Interactive Brokers. […]

  54. Tim on February 15, 2008 at 12:06 am

    I was searching the internet to see if I could do exactly what you were talking about. Put 10k in a Ib account then pull out down to 4k or because of loss of loss of interest on that 10k they require. The reason I want to possibly return to Ib is the other brokerage accounts won’t let me sell puts at all with my income level (under 25k a year). I cannot even sell cash secured puts or naked puts. You have to have like a 100k in your brokerage account and make over 50k a year to sell naked puts at mb or tradeking, even if you have the cash to cover it grr. I would like to double check with you guys. Are you guys allowed to sell puts at Ib? are there any income requirements that you had to fill out or minimums to sell puts?

    Any help appreciated great discussion!

  55. Steve on March 16, 2008 at 4:29 am

    How do they know what your income is? Just change your profile to say you make $100K+. It’s not like a casino where if you’re found to be under 18, they can keep your winnings…

  56. jazzy on April 4, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I am closing my IB account, or maybe I will just keep it for US stocks and currency trades.

    They upped the commish for Can stocks. If you trade large quantities of can penny stox, you`re almost better off with investorline or the likes of, comish is sometimes higher now on IB when you add in exchange and other fees much higher than comish on a penny stock. Ask how much comish to buy 10000 shares of XYZ at 30 cents – should be 0.5% of 3000$, e.g. 15, then amother 20$ of fees, versus 9.99 at IL or others. IL has quotes and frankly, IB is very hard to use. I am not a freaking accountant or internal auditor, so the poorly designed interface, although providing every single detail and metric a beancounter could ever imagine, simply has a whole bunch of useless data for me.

    Note: webtrader does not work well (at least not for me) if you work from an office with a picky firewall. Now they have a mobile site access is very basic but fine, can be used on a phone screen, also supports secureid,

    Pros: USD comish dirt cheap on stox, smart routing, great forex, great eft and wire capabilities, no paper at all, immediate execution,

    Cons: maintenance fee $10/m (20 if your account falls below 2K), no quotes unless you pay, terrible user interfaces you may hate unless you`re a closet back office type, not user friendly, web trader very limited functionality, no research whatsoever (can get fundies though), brutal customer service dudes in canada (montreal), statements, what statements? (like reading greek), no simple trading summary, Access mostly closed down all weekends, tax forms download may be innacurate or missing in some cases

    Basically this is like giving you a DOS based word processor back in those days where everything was user configurable and the look and feel sucked. If you like using the F keys with wordperfect, you’ll love IB. The possibilities are endless for the bookkeeper or back officer in all of us!

    NOTE: make sure you capture all statements and tax forms before you CLOSE your account. After the fact you won’t have much time. Remember the only copies are the ones you download onto your machine.

  57. cebolao on April 5, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Jazzy care to elaborate on the fees?
    So far for most of my trades the commission has been always 2 bucks or even just 1 dollar. I cant really complain about that, and as for penny stocks, as far as i know they are one of the cheapest on the market. If you have a link to their fees page that would be great, never bothered looking for it.

    As for the maintanance, i was wondering if lets say i use only 6 bucks on commission fees, are they just gonna charge 10? or 10 + 6 so 16? just wanna be sure.

  58. FrugalTrader on April 5, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    cebolao, it really depends on the volume of shares that you trade. If you’re trading 100-200 shares/trade, then IB will be the cheapest brokerage in Canada by far. However, if you’re trading penny stocks, then other brokerages that have “unlimited shares” type trades would be cheaper.

    With regards to the montly fee, if you trade $4 worth in a month, they will charge you an extra $6 at the end of the month.

  59. cebolao on April 5, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    thanks frugal
    i guess thats fair enough,
    I just didnt get the “amother 20$ of fees” that Jazzy was talking about.

  60. Bruno D on April 7, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    An important note: you don’t NEED to pay the data fees, as you can trade without having the real time quotes.

    For example, I don’t pay for TSX Venture real time quotes at IB, but I still did a few trades on a few occasions without any problem. Their software gives you a warning that it doesn’t recommend doing that (duh obviously), but for a small account and since I have access to another broker with real time quotes on TSXV it’s easy to get the quotes. Unless you do daytrading / big size orders you can do without the real time quote fees at IB, if you’re on a budget / want to save on costs. Though when you do that you won’t be able to see any quote price for whatever stocks you want to watch on these markets you don’t have the data for (they still show up in your watchlists but you see all blanks for price, open high low close etc).

    I’ve been with them for about 2 years, and I really praise their low fees. I mostly trade options on US stocks, typically it costs me about 1$ and rarely more than 2$. But IB does NO HAND HOLDING, meaning they are typically quite blunt and customer service will only answer exactly your question without going out of their way. Typical answer is YES / NO, lol. And then you need to ask another question for details / explanations. But keep in mind they handle much larger accounts than yours.

    I also like the fact I can get futures quotes on IB for no extra fee (part of the package for US stocks). So I can get real time quotes on oil, gold, forex.

    Another important point which you might miss at first is that IB charges an order cancellation fee. For example, you put in a good till cancelled order, but then you change your mind and want to cancel it. I think it’s something like 4$ or so. I’ve got a lot of these at first until I figured out when you put an order leave it at the default “day order” and the order expires at the end of the day, without any extra fee. You can chance the price of the order at any time, that also doesn’t cost anything. So when I’ve put in an order I want to cancel I simply change the price to something outside of the range to make sure it doesn’t execute and wait for it to cancel at the end of the day. I also never use good till canceled, I use good till date and specify a date explicitely (so again the order will expire by itself).

    Also their software is kind of crappy, but it works and does the job. Just don’t expect to do a whole lot with it, like doing T.A. with charts for example. Their charts suck. I signed up with StockCharts instead, 7$ per month is reasonable. But you can do without that too, or still use their charts for most part, just that it’s slow and unreliable.

    I definitely recommend them for folks who want super cheap commissions, don’t mind the “no hand holding” factor but keep in mind the few gotchas about penny stocks and stuff.

    Bottom line is run through their fees page and write down a few scenarios of what your typical trades are. For me it was a big saving compared to my other broker (Disnat).

  61. cebolao on April 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Wow bruno, thanks lots for the tips, had no idea that IB charged 4 bucks for cancelled orders, god knows how many i have used, and i still didnt know. I guess i better go check.

  62. Bryan on April 7, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    IB is the best by far.

    If you don’t know what you’re doing, then by all means, stay away from it. You’re just clogging up customer service with your stupid questions.

  63. Bruno D on April 7, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    cebolao, take a look at your activity statements, there is a section in there where you will see your costs for market data fees, cancel order fees, etc.

    Just to clarify though a cancelled order is an order you hit “transmit” already. There’s no penalty for preparing an order but cancelling it before it’s transmitted (duh) ;-)

  64. Steve on April 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    That would be incorrect. Modifing an order by changing the limit price WILL incur a cancelation fee. Not sure why you would say this. I think you’re confused by the fact that you get a credit back on trades after the modify/cancellation. For example You have a Smart order for 10 contracts that happens to go through ISE and then change the limit order; you would be charged the $1.50 cancellation fee, but you would be credited UP to $0.25 a contract or the full $1.50. Depending on what exchange and how many contracts you’re doing, your credit will not always match the cancellation fee though.

    By the way, When moving to IB from other brokers, This (unfamiliar for me) cancellation charge was a bit intimidating, but it turns out to be a non issue. The most you will ever be charged for a cancellation order is $1.50, often less and if you measure it by contract it is even more insignificant. The Commission savings you get with IB over other brokers simply overwhelms the cancellation charge. So (IMHO) I would not let cancellation charges be a deciding factor if deciding whether or not to transfer to IB.

    Disclaimer: If you’re busy doing Butterfly spreads on just one contract, I guess the cancellation fees can start racking up, but I still think for most traders, the cancellation fee is no big deal.)

  65. jazzy on April 9, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I just reviewed my 2007 activity. I have had numerous cancels on gtc stocks orders, I see absolutely no cancel fees under Other Fees or anywhere else.

  66. Bruno D on April 13, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    @ Steve:

    Gee I guess you’re right. Though looking at a few of my statements I see so little of these cancellation fees that I wonder howcome I don’t have more of them. Anyway, I just didn’t notice I guess.

    But then it goes to prove your other point, which is that yes the fees are not meaningful when you look at the overall package. In my case I only get 3-4 of these fees on an average of maybe 30 transactions per month.

  67. gordie on April 15, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Does anyone trade options on IB? I have been using Questrade but they do not have options strategies any longer since losing Cybertrader. You now must call it in and pay a broker fee for the transaction.

  68. Jos on May 4, 2008 at 9:17 am

    IB is a really AMAZING Broker. Simply access to much international exchanges arround the world. Simply forget other US or Euro brokers which only focus mainly on domestic exchanges.

    IB is really GREAT for all people which want (potential) access most markets and which don’t want to pay for things they don’t need such as market feeds, research, etc. etc.


  69. JJVA on May 4, 2008 at 9:55 am

    I’ve been an IB account holder for a number of years and have only a few complaints. Their stock trading fees are generally far less for me than what I would pay other discount brokers, UNLESS my trade if for thousands of shares. Then the formula IB used raises the fee to a level above some other brokers. However, generally I pay only a dollar or two or three per trade.

    IB’s best feature for me is its extremely competitive margin interest rates. No one else comes close, to my knowledge.

    A couple of complaints:

    I use Quicken to track my finances. IB used to let you download into my Quicken account up to 15 days of data with a few clicks. Now, if I don’t wait until the next month and then download an entire month of data at a time, I have to go through the download process for each and every day, separately. A real pain. Why the change to the worse?

    IB takes FOREVER to credit deposits into your account, even ACH deposits take days. Why?

    IB rejected check deposits from my on a joint account I hold with my spouse. IB claims these checks were “third party” checks. How could they be “third party” when I was a joint account holder? No explanation was forthcoming. I asked in writing and was told simply that “that’s what they were told.” I can’t see opening a separate non-joint bank account just to make deposits in my IB account. Inexplicably, IB will accept an ACH deposit from the same joint account from which it won’t accept a hand written check. Why?

    IB restricts ACH deposits to $100,000 per 7 working days. ETRADE allows $100,000 per day. Why IB is so tight on this is a mystery to me.

  70. JTT on May 12, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    I have been with IB for years and I think Bruno and Steve hit the nail on the head. I specially agree with them on the irrelevance of CXL fees. Don’t lose sight of the big picture. If cancellations are your main concern, you shouldn’t be trading at all, anywhere.

    You also must look at the grand balance. There are brokers who offer sexy gimmicks but how they are on balance? How are their fees? Coverage? Speed of execution? IB could and should improve their coverage of Bulletin Board stocks n the U.S. and TSX Venture stocks in Toronto.

    I go through waves of activity but generally do 10 – 20 trades a day and IB cannot be beaten for my style.

  71. MoneySheep on May 25, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    For those who use IB, does any one have experience of using IB as forex instead of the banks. For example, 1) initiate ACH from IB to deposit CAD. 2) Forex CAD to USD. 3) Then ACH from IB to withdraw the USD to big bank USD account.

    • FrugalTrader on May 25, 2008 at 8:15 pm

      Hey moneysheep, yes you can do that providing that you have both a regular bank account and usd bank account connected to your IB account. That is actually one way to get extremely cheap forex conversion.

  72. cebolao on May 26, 2008 at 4:45 am

    hey frugal, correct me if I am wrong, but dont you need to wait 60 days before you can actually withdraw the money?
    IE if you did CAN to US, you have to wait 60 days before you can withdraw US.??

  73. jim on May 31, 2008 at 7:40 am

    cebolao, the 60 day waiting period is for non originating bank accts. As stated on their site (under deposits & transfer):

    “If funds are withdrawn to a bank other than the originating bank/instruction, a 60-business-day withdrawal hold period will be applied.”

    I would like to register for IB but I am a bit worried about the EFTs.

    Anyone have any bad experiences with this? it appears like they can randomly go into my bank account and withdraw money

    thanks for any input

  74. rae on July 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    how safe is one’s money, when deposited with Interactive brokers. Could they go belly up?

    • FrugalTrader on July 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Rae, Interactive Brokers is a member if CIPF which will insure your investment account up to $1million dollars incase they go bankrupt.

  75. […] of the more trader friendly discount brokerages, like Interactive Brokers, have margin rates below prime which makes it an ideal choice for leveraged equity […]

  76. t-bone on August 22, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    I’ve yet to figure out exactly how IB works. I would want to trade primarily in US stocks. Would I set up my acct in USD or CAD? If I set it up in CAD am I able to purchase US stocks?(without being on margin)

  77. cebolao on August 22, 2008 at 7:29 pm


    the answer is no. You can either have a CAN account or a US accound. Only one currency under 1 account. Not sure if you can have 2 accounts under 1 name. ( if anyone can answer that, it would be great)

    If you wanna purchase stocks demoninated in currency other than you account default, you will have to do it on marging, and thus paying a interest on whatever amount you are on margin at the end of the day.

    To put it simple: you got CAN$10,000 in your CAN account. You buy US$10,000 of stocks and hold it for a year. You will be paying interest on that US$10,000 regardless the fact that you have 10,000 canadian just lying there doing nothing

  78. FrugalTrader on August 22, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    t-bone, if you are Canadian, then setup interactive brokers with Canadian currency. From there, you can use the FOREX to convert your CAD to USD with which you can trade with. Alternatively, you can keep your CAD and trade USD with margin thus eliminating currency risk but now with interest exposure.

  79. Ingar on September 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Today I finally closed my IB account after 2 years of having IB chip away at my account equity and telling me “too bad”. I also filed a compliant with the NFA regarding IB’s order execution practices, in particular IB’s failure to execute stop loss and stop limit orders on overnight forex trades. This has happened at least 4 times since I opened the account. In addition, there is no information in the TWS manual which explains how to “zero” your currencies back to your base currency. Even though you’ve closed your FX spot positions and no open positions are displayed in your portfolio page, IB somehow automatically opens currency conversions (using IDEAL) at a later date. If you don’t monitor your forex account at least once a day, you can lose at lot of money. Please make sure you fully understand IB’s forex trading practices before placing any FX trades.

    • Ahmed on September 25, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      I totally agree with you. I lost a lot of money because there are huge confusions regarding how to “zero” your currencies back to your base currency. It is very confusing because no open positions are displayed in your portfolio page. It is really big trap !! be careful.

  80. tws user on September 12, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Ingar, how about this one…

    or this one…

    or the following explanation…
    “Fill/trigger outside RTH – When displayed, checking this option allows orders the flexibility to fill (and/or trigger in the case of stop and other trigger orders) both during regular hours and outside of regular trading hours.”

    which is on this page…

    all 3 found with a simple keyword search in the user’s guide…

  81. Ingar on September 16, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    TWS User, thanks for the follow-up and sending me those “help” links. Unfortunately the links do not explain how to convert foreign currencies back to your base currency. For example, I have a $900 USD credit in my account and would like to close the position in my base currency, Canadian dollars. The process for doing this is to sell 900 USD.CAD on IDEAL. Once the order is accepted, you need to open your account window, go to “FX Portfolio”, then right click on the contract (in this case it would be USD.CAD -900), scroll down to “Adjust Position Or Average Price”, then manually change the position field to “0”. I found that out after being kept on hold for 15 minutes waiting to speak to an IB Canada rep.
    As for the failure to execute stop orders, of course the duration is “GTC”… the point was that IB Canada has acknowledged receiving my transmitted stop loss order but, for various reasons, failed to execute the order. Fast market, has come up several times even though my stop price would be reached at 1:15 am, the position would still be open at 7:00 am… much to my astonishment.
    I do appreciate your attempt to help me but since my previous comment I have experienced more suspicious trade activity, including opening positions on my account around rollover time (just after midnight). I have started keeping a print screen journal of my portfolio and account which clearly shows the time and date, and can prove that I did not have any open positions or limit orders in effect when IB opened these positions ( 2 in total) which cost me an additional $2,020 CAD. In fact, Carlo the IB rep said that there were certain inconsistencies with the trades and would call me back… of course there was no call back. I filed a complaint with the CFTC who responded by stating that IB Canada is not registered with the CFTC and suggested I seek arbitration through the NFA. Yesterday I began the process by filing a second complaint and intend on initiating arbitration against IB Canada.
    On Sep 11-08, I also instructed IB Canada to close my account and transfer the remaining account equity back to my bank.

  82. Stat on October 4, 2008 at 12:24 am

    I don’t mean any disrespect guys, but I read through a lot of these posts and it seems to me a lot of you are amateur traders (like me!). When I tried to open an account, it actually refused me because of lack of experience. I have been trading on and off for the past 10 years!!! Most of you seem to be fresh blood though…. I am not opening an account with them at this point because I figure if they put such restrictions, it is because they want to tailor their offer to the needs of specific client types. That means there will be less for me here simply because they aim at another sector of clients.

  83. cannon_fodder on October 4, 2008 at 12:44 am


    For me, I have bought my own stocks for almost 30 years. The IB interface and lack of user friendliness was hard to get used to at first but now I’m quite comfortable. It is not what I would have chosen except that their margin rates are the best that I could find.

  84. Fred on November 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Tried IB for about a year and a half. My recommendation is to avoid them like the plague. Here’s why:

    1. Live market data feed (TSX-V) is unreliable. At times, I would go on for a good month before it would work again. And they would not refund my money.
    2. There used to be unlimited levels for level 2 data. Then one day, they limited it to 5 on both the ask and bid sides. They claim that it was a gift from them to offer unlimited levels yet it is mentioned nowhere on there website.
    3.Generally bad helpdesk. There were a few good helpdesk technicians that were very responsive. However, anything complicated which gets escalated take forever to resolve. I guess it’s just shitty 2nd tier support.
    3. They violate their terms of service whenever they please. Eg. changing the fee schedule without giving the allotted notice time as mentioned in the contracts. I made so much fuss about it that they escalated my case to their top legal guy. I explained to him that the two weeks isn’t enough time for me to move my money away from IB. Basically, he told me off and said that since I wasn’t a major customer, they would not care.

    Despite these cons, there were some positives:
    1. love the worksheet and how I could see how my portfolio is doing at a glance.
    2. customization ability of their trader workstation.

    But these positives were greatly overshadowed by the many problems I have had with this broker. AVOID.

  85. Zack on January 27, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Hi there,
    I am in Canada. Thinking about moving accounts from TradeFreedom to IB or TDW.

    At this moment looking at trading platform and TWS looks like it has everything you can imagine, but because of that very, very complicated. Is that right or just (bad) first impression?

    TF and TDW share same kind of platform, different names though.


  86. bman on February 12, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    I was thinking of changing from TD to either Qtrade or IB. The main problem I had with TD is they abruptly reduced the margin loan value on my stocks from 70% to 25% even though both stocks were well above 5$. They said something like they had low volume and were volatile even though both had a beta of only around 1.5 and traded more than 2% of the float per day. You can say what you want about bad service and computer glitches but at least Qtrade isn’t arbitrarily droping the margin loan percentage by a huge factor for no particular reason and putting their customers into incredibly difficult margin calls. TD is the worst broker now in my opinion for people that use a margin account. I’m willing to put up with a few computer and service glitches so I won’t be worried about TD pulling the rug out from underneath of you at any moment. For cash or RSP account TD is OK, but I would never invest on margin with them.

  87. m on April 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    You have to convert base currency amounts to pay for stocks in other currencies. You cannot choose to settle in another currency, and if you are in Canada, your base currency is C$ so get your calculator out to figure out exactly how much US you will need to settle a trade of us stox.

    On the – side, I got forced liquidation of my sole position in my account (not using it much rigtht now, paying the indecent $10 a month), although trade was settled and no margin being used. The explanation was BS. Fortunately, the stock then proceeded to lose another 50%, but I was in cash.

    Can someone explain the logic here. You buy 1 stock for 5K, no margin used, cash used. Then it is worth 2500 (-50%) and they liquidate stating that you don’t have enough equity to support the excess liquidity or something like that.

    I am mistaken here?

  88. FrugalTrader on April 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    m, it sounds like you were on margin. Do you have a CAD account and bought a USD stock without converting to USD first?

  89. JB on April 13, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Hi – was thinking of opening an account to strictly trade stocks on foreign markets, like Australia and London Stock Exchange (Questrade charges $150/trade for the order size I want). I do not trade on margin – cash only. With Questrade my LSE order, once filled, is converted to CAD at the exchange rate of the day and then settled, but others on this forum seem to imply that with Interactive Brokers they would actually treat a similar trade (buying UK stocks) as purchasing on margin and charge me interest? Is that correct?

    If this is true, does anyone have another suggestion of a web broker that Canadians can access who won’t charge an arm and a leg to access foreign stock markets? (and who could even provide direct access – I think IB will let you, but Questrade needs me to call them to put in those trades)

  90. Tom on April 22, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Yes, but only if you carry a negative GBP balance.

    There is no automatic currency conversion on IB. If you buy an LSE stock, but have no GBP, then you will end up with a negative GBP cash balance, on which you will be charged interest. It is *your* responsibility to make a forex trade to buy GBP with CAD, so that your GBP cash balance goes above zero.

    The base currency on your account is for accounting purposes only. You can keep your cash in any currency you want. You can have a CAD account and keep all of your cash in GBP, or half in GBP and half in AUD, or any combination you like. Since interest is tiered, you will earn less interest if you spread your money than if you keep it all in one currency. However, at current interest rates, this factor is less important than it once was.

  91. Steve on May 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Excuse my language, but my current broker (RBC Direct Investing) is a total d-bag. Besides insulting me by opening my account with my name misspelled, shorting leveraged ETFs costs a leg and an arm and quite possibly a head if I stay with them.

    As far as I understand, to short a security at RBC, your order is routed to the loan desk which verifies the current inventory and then fills or rejects your order. The lead time is usually 4-5 minutes. I had been accustomed to a success rate of 1 out of 6 for the securities I had been shorting (which isn’t that bad per my standards).

    However, all so suddenly they begin rejecting all my orders and call to tell me “to stop trying to short the stocks” because “they aren’t elligible for shorting since they’re leveraged”. Really? Care to tell me why I hold a negative position in these ETFs as of now? “You just can’t”.

    Later, I am told they “aren’t elligible for shorting” because they’re “too expensive to loan”.

    Which brings me here – I am in the process of looking for a new broker. I don’t care too much about fees – for the size of my account, I’m willing to pay $30 per trade if it means shorting leveraged ETFs without being rejected 5 times out of 6 and lead times under 4 minutes.

    I noticed IB has a nice section of elligible securities for shorting (the ETFs I’m eyeing are all there) and even shows the available inventory! That’s already a huge plus for me. I’m just wondering how successful people have been at shorting leveraged ETFs. Are orders immediate? Does IB need to do a custom check of the available inventory?

    I don’t mind the small glitches with EFTs, or the lack of user-friendliness of their interface. I could do without the real time data (I use Google finance) and I already have my own spreadsheet setup to update my own portfolio value and log everything every 5 minutes. The customer service drawback is a bit of a downer but I should know what I’m doing.

    I already had an account with Trade Freedom and I wasn’t impressed with the trading platform. I never even figured out how to convert from CAD to USD. My only concern is that I run into the same difficulties with a poorly designed trading platform. Any comments?

  92. cannon_fodder on May 22, 2009 at 3:38 pm


    I have had very little experience with IB and shorting ETFs but it was very fast and no issues so far. But, that is one person’s very limited experience.

  93. Kirk Enston on June 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    I’m considering opening IB account to trade S&P e-mini futures, crude oil futures and maybe also DAX futures on Eurex, mostly during N. American overnight hours. I have account with Scotia iTrade (AxisPro platform), no complaints so far, but I keep missing lots of opportunities because of overnight gaps.

    Has anyone had any experience trading those instruments with IB. For some strange reason there are no brokers in Canada that offer futures trading. TradeFreedom dropped futures in 2008 and more and more US brokers without Canadian office get scared of our regulators and ask Canadian residents to close accounts, like Transact did last year.

    Are there any better choices than IB, as it seems to be a mixed bag:

    1) TWS is Java based, archaic technology.

    2) Opening a new account takes a few weeks instead of 2-3 days.

    3) Electronic Fund Transfers between IB and Canadian bank account take five business days compared to one day with Scotia iTrade or TDW.

    4) They apply US rules to residents from other countries, like “pattern day trader rule” ($25,000 minimum to day trade stocks).

  94. Kirk Enston on June 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I’ve just done some google search and picked up two little known futures brokers operating in Canada:

    1) Union Securities Ltd.

    This is a Canadian company, but there are two problems:

    a) no trading platform is mentioned on the website
    b) I couldn’t set them up as a “payee” on my Royal Bank account page

    2) MF Global Canada Co

    This seems to be a British company with global presence and so far it looks better than IB:

    a) there is a choice of Windows desktop trading platforms

    b) it can be setup as as “payee” with Royal Bank, so fund transfers should take one day and there is no need to authorize them to look into my bank account.

    Does anyone have any experience with MF Global?

  95. […] FrugalTrader wrote an interesting post today onInteractive <b>Brokers</b> Review | Million Dollar JourneyHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  96. alan on July 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Worst company that I have ever dealt with! They have so many problems that I would have to spend hours enumerating them. But just to list a few of their major flaws, 1. They take you out of positions for margin calls as low as $1.00 without giving you anytime to send in money. 2. They don not integrate their statements and accounts so you have to log in twice. 3. If their system is down, you can only get out of positions with a market order and you cannot put on a new position, no limit orders period! 4. They don’t care about any of their problems or mistakes. 5. Everything that goes wrong is the traders fault. If you want any refund you have to arbitrate. Should i go on….

  97. […] stock trading and currency exchange.  While most discount brokers charge 1%-1.5% per exchange, Interactive Brokers charges: 1 basis point (0.01%) + $2.50 […]

  98. Lena on October 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Are brokerage fees tax deductable?

  99. Greg Coffey on October 23, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    To see what you should know about IB and their current level or service, I recommend reading this review from a 9 year client

  100. Josh on December 5, 2009 at 4:08 am

    think of IB like the ‘soup nazi’ from seinfeld.

  101. Charlie on January 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Let’s say that I fund an account with $31,000 U.S., and want to buy the equivalent of $10,000 worth of stock on the Toronto exchange, $10,000 of stock on the London exchange, and $10,000 of stock from Australia, that I may want to hold for a year. [I’d leave $1,000 in cash in the account to pay for the monthly inactivity fees.]

    It sounds as though I can either do this using margin, without any currency exchange, but then I’d be paying margin rates. Alternatively, I can exchange the U.S. dollars for Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, and G.B.P., and buy the stocks without owing margin fees.

    It seems that it would be much better to do the currency exchange? Why would someone instead want to buy on margin–is that just for people who want to buy a foreign stock on a very short-term basis, and who therefore wouldn’t incur margin fees? FrugalTrader said that operating on margin allows one to avoid the currency risk, but I don’t follow that.

  102. anh2 on April 21, 2010 at 5:24 am

    IB did rape me with those automatic margin call automatic sell or cover short sale orders. Funny thing is they always pick your losing position so you immediately recognize a lost. I lost about 100K with them because of this rule. eg.: short sale rimm knowing pattern that before their earning reports they tend to drop significantly between after hours and pre-opening then recover about a wk later. I had gain in HAL but instead of selling HAL to cover a measly grand or two or another stock like AMD with unrealized gain. They covered with 100 shares of RIMM which is spiking during after hour. So next day as expected I covered my position with remaining 100 share making a net loss of couple hundreds instead of having a gain of 3K. This happen several times usually costing me several thousands per month.

  103. Allen Mass on April 29, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Good reviews. Trading platform which is not as powerful but extremely user friendly. I had gain in HAL but instead of selling HAL to cover a measly grand or two or another stock like AMD with unrealized gain.

  104. Linda on July 27, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Very bad experiences with IB. Their customer service is deplorable. I was away from my computer one day and got a margin call, instead of liquidating the smaller position that would have covered the call… they liquidated my larger position to the tune of a few thousand dollars. When I called to complain and try to put the situation right, they said they have no control over their computers, that they randomly pick a position to liquidate. They were downright mean to me on the phone and said you have to make sure in your account window to check which positions arebto be liquidated first, or they will take whichever one they want at random. I just bet they always take the largest one that will give you the biggest loss. I was furious and never, ever, got any satisfaction. They refused to credit my account with the larger position and take the smaller one instead.

  105. Binary Options Guy on July 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I would like to know more about the forex aspect of interactive brokers – ie maybe a blow-by-blow of costs / real numbers of setting up a simple carry trade with 10:1 leverage.

  106. Dave on October 4, 2011 at 1:12 am

    I’ve had NO problems with IB for 7 years.

    Just don’t overmargin yourself. They don’t mess around, they WILL liquidate you, but they are a business and have to protect themselves.

    Their $1 commissions are simply the best.

  107. Jiminey on February 14, 2012 at 3:07 am

    I already posted this in FrugalTraders “Canadian Online Discount Stock Brokerage Comparison”, but for Interactive Brokers Canada clients, I recently put a feature request for Interactive Brokers Canada clients to be permitted ACH transfer to USA bank accounts a this link:

    If we get enough votes they might implement this. Currently, for Interactive Brokers Canada clients a wire transfer is required to withdraw funds from Interactive Brokers Canada to a USD bank account that is located in the USA, and although there is no charge from Interactive Brokers, USA banks typically charge a $15 incoming wire fee.

  108. Park on July 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    If your strategy involves long term leverage using a margin account, there is no better brokerage than IB in Canada. If someone has a better alternative, I would be interested in knowing it.

  109. Matt Correia on July 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I agree with Jack Snapper, they will auto liquidate you intraday, i lost a good deal of money to them trading credit spreads, an option strategy with fixed margin requirements and fixed loss. Apparently they don’t know basic math and thought i was a threat and blew up my spreads with their algo. I’ve been trying to recover my money through FINRA for over a year now. They are scammers and should be shut down. Their new scam is to loan you $1mm for every 200k in your account, auto liquidate you and take your house.

  110. IB complaint HK on August 12, 2012 at 2:41 am

    No possibility to complaint with Interactive brokers Asia

    Due to instability of Interactive Brokers systems and incompetence of “Salvatore Recco”, I lost lot of money. I could have recovered it with a competent and professional broker. But Salvatore Recco(Head of Institutional Services Asia) was slow, not polite, unprofessional, giving lame excuses and possibly make big money on my back.

    0/you will notice that IB asia has no independent complaint officer( in fact the manager but he wont bother to answer). If any problems happens, especially a senior IB staff is incompetent, you could not complain.No one is checking what they are doing in Asia, so manipulations of the records/transactions and wrong doing can be done by their staffs in Asia.
    1/ zero transparency: you wont get any records ( transaction, transcripts,…) even with a lawyer. “Salvatore Recco” is blocking our access to any records because he make the mistakes.
    2/ you will not be able to speak or see face to face, “Salvatore Recco”or a manager or a complaint officer in Hong Kong or Asia. They will just hide and send you a small potato guy.The small potato told us different things so I discovered that Salvatore Recco was lying and the staff know of his wrong doing.
    3/ even spending money with a lawyer wont be helful as they will hide and refer you to a US complaint or any virtual manager in other continents.
    4/ their methods in order that you give up your complaints, its their complaints tickets systems, for sure it will take many months/ years. They will tell you that they will get back to you within few days but instead give you lame excuses few month later. By that times all records could be modified by IB.
    5/they have many others tricks so be careful, they can make you push to accept new rules at same time when you later login,…
    6/ they are not going to compensate you for their staffs mistakes for sure! Because They do not have any compensation fund aside in Asia !

    I wonder how can a broker operates without transparency!

    I discover on internet others complaints about “”Salvatore Recco”, if you have any problems with him or IB, please help me. I took a lawyer and complaint SFC and regulator without any answer!!!
    I will appreciate if someone can help me because “Salvatore Recco” is blocking my complaint as he was the one involved and possibly make a big money in my back!

  111. Chris on September 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Even though they have no transparancy, and auto-liquidate you on margin accounts, I still am considering IB very strongly. I don’t have $25000 cash but I would like to day trade with a small amount. Is there any way to get around the day trading requirement? Or maybe I have to stick to 3 trades a week?

  112. Paul on October 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    From any one who has interective broker account. Could you tell me what is the best data plan subscribe to, i am only trading canadian securities and which is mostly ETF’s. so don’t need 10 dollar US fees structure. they offer monteeal exchange fees for $6 and another $9 for level 2 data. Also TSX Level 1 for 6 and level 2 for 10+6=$16. my understanding is that either of these fees are waived based on volume.

    Can someone help .


  113. FrugalTrader on October 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    @Paul, I use another brokerage for my quotes and IB for trades to help save on fees.

  114. Sam on June 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Hey Great Review sort of dotated …

    So do you have three brokers? One at Questrade, one at your bank and IB? Why not consolidate?

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