We can’t deny that almost everyone happens to know a thing or two about the stock market wherever we go. Are you enthusiastic about joining the IT crowd and starting trading like a pro?
If you are, continue reading my Interactive Brokers review as we discuss one of the most talked-about sophisticated platforms that offer a remarkable combination of featured assets and technology available at the lowest cost!
Could it really be as good as its branding, and more importantly, is it really worth your time? We will answer all that and a lot more right here, right now.
There is no denying that the concept of grabbing a share of a well-known company has always been part of our dreams ever since we were young.
We often thought that this could be like a lottery ticket that you can buy at the lowest price and cash it 5 to 10 years from now.
Buffett and many other veteran traders have popularized this notion. 💡
And behind that truism, if you are positioned in a blue-chip company, your investment will definitely be on that pattern.
However, as with everything else in life, things do not always fall perfectly into place as there are constantly forces at play that may pump the stock’s health up or down.
With this being said, you must understand when is the right time to deal with a particular asset or try out a different one.
Another wise thing you can do is diversify your portfolio and include stocks, fixed income, mutual funds, bonds, options, and even forex.
As the saying goes, you should never put your eggs in one basket. 🧺🐣
This is why you must sign up with a broker that features a versatile range of asset classes so that you can dip your toes into everything and see which one suits you best.
One of the best examples is the Interactive Brokers, ideal for seasoned traders and investors looking to get their hands dirty on global products, advanced trading tools for analysis, and the lowest transaction fees.
It has been in the industry since 1978, and it remains one of the most substantial financial service providers in the field to this date.
easily the best way to make money online!
In today’s post, I will walk you through everything you need to know about this company and answer whether it is even worth your time and attention.
Before we dive into it, let me clearly say that I am not being paid or compensated in any way, shape or form to write this post.
What you will find here is my honest opinion about their service, without any heavenly praises or anything of that sort.
If you are up for that, then let’s get it on! 🚀
Interactive Brokers Review
We can all agree that there are two ways by which you can make money in the stock market: professional day trading and through compound interest (more so if you follow the cost-averaging technique).
But to actually try it out, you have to sign up as a user under any of the top-performing brokers out there.
Depending on your country, these brokers may have different offerings since some asset classes are not available in other countries. Some of the best names include the following:
But that list is not where it ends. 🙂
According to Forbes, Observer, Entrepreneur, Investopedia, Bankrate, Stock Brokers, Nerdwallet, and many other legitimate institutions, Interactive Brokers is the leading name among all the available trading platforms.
They claim so because it appeals to both active professionals and casual traders/investors due to its international reach, outstanding platform, and great pricing. What sets it apart from others is the fact that it extends its services across the globe.
Interactive Brokers is not just strictly used in the United States, but it’s also the leading broker of over 200 countries and territories – much more extensive than what is catered by TradeStation (156) and Firstrade (21).
There is no surprise when we say that it has quite a following on social media: 160k on Facebook, 244k on Twitter, and 5k on Instagram.
While BBB does not accredit it, it still has an A+ rating, 4.5 stars from Benzinga, B+ on the Globe and Mail, and 2.6 stars on Trustpilot.
It has been such a powerful brand in the industry since it provides several products from retirement, wealth management ( both personal and institutional) to trading and investing.
For the brokerage side, it offers plans known as the IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro. Below are the main differences:
|Inactivity fee per month||$20 for accounts with less than or equal to $2k; $10 for $100k or less (no charge for US-based clients)||$20 for accounts with less than or equal to $2k; $10 for $100k or less|
|Trading fee for stocks and ETFs||$0.0005-$0.0035 per share (Free for US-based clients)||$0.0005-$0.0035 per share|
|Trading fee for options||$0.15 to $0.65 per contract||$0.15 to $0.65 per contract|
|Trading fee for futures||$0.15 to $0.85||$0.15 to $0.86|
|Trading technology||No IBKR web trader and APIs||Access to IBKR Wed Trader and APIs, Smart routing tool, and full research page|
|Trading fee for mutual funds||$14.95 (but there are thousands of no-fee mutual funds)||$14.95 (but there are thousands of no-fee mutual funds)|
If you are a business owner interested in an institutional account, you can also get volume discounts which make the Interactive Broker brokerage firm such as gem among its competitors.
Based on experience, this type of broker is pretty much a dream come true as it comes not just with a simple chart but also technical tools for analysis, seamless mobile application (that is so fluid it can rival the main website) and the best margin rates (.75 to 2.55% depending on volume).
Now that we know that it allows anyone to quickly access and invest in global markets (135 markets and 23 currencies), you can also find a few things quite notable that no other brokers ever added on their station.
You see, Interactive Brokers is an all-in-one device where you can get real-time charts and prices, customize your own charts and fees that will trigger notifications for you, get up to date market data and news, and analytics for options values.
All of these, you can see in a neatly designed user interface that is truly easy to navigate. The company has such a good standing that it has received tons of awards, especially in the last few years. 🏆
In fact, in 2021 alone, they have received seven recognitions from Barron’s, Stock Brokers, Bankrate, Benzinga, Stocks & Commodities, BrokerChooser, and Forex Brokers.
They have also won prestigious awards such as the Canstar, Investors Business Daily, and HFM Technology.
And trust me on this, the list of the number of awards, recognitions, and features that this company has is just way too much making me realize that there should be no question on whether it is a scam or not.
Interactive Brokers Webtrader
The web trader of the Interactive Brokers is available for use only on desktop, but not on the mobile version.
It basically is just a trading environment where you can use tools and draw on charts for fundamental and technical analysis.
From the inside, you can see seven primary tabs: market (current prices), account (your account info and history), options, products, scanner, market pulse, and search.
You can finally add your charts and watchlists from inside the market data, which will notify you if it hit specific price points based on what you keyed in during the set-up. This is also the part where you create orders and add special trailing stop positions and brackets.
While this is really an excellent platform to use, please note that you might still encounter problems and even lags.
To ensure that you will not suffer from those, you must have the basic system requirements for running the Interactive Brokers WebTrader.
For a better set-up, you might also want to consider adding at least one or two screens so that you can focus and execute trades much quicker. After all, the WebTrader is an ideal platform for professionals.
Is Interactive Brokers Good For Beginners?
I believe that this is perfect for total beginners willing to shell out a minimum of $100 and are looking to become active in the trading scene.
However, if you just want to use the classic “invest and forget” strategy, then this might be something you want to stay away from unless you can ensure that you will have at least one transaction per month.
Why am I saying this?
As I have stated on the table in the first part, the dormancy fee can quickly add up, especially if you are not a United States resident.
While $20 or so might be a small investment for some, it can mean the world for others which is why I highly recommend this only if you are really planning to become a day trader.
I genuinely believe that the platform’s mobile application is perfect for beginners, as it’s not just some type of app where you can just track your investments but not make positions.
In the case of Interactive Brokers, you can do everything that you can also do from the website. It is fully optimized, operational, and responsive, perfect for when you are on the go or in a meeting. 👍👌
In just a few taps, you can execute smart order routers (for IBKR Pro), stream news directly from Bloomberg and IBKR Traders Insight, and even access all the indicators, updated screeners, calculators, and charts for research and analysis (except for the drawing tools available only on the web version).
I never thought you could fit comprehensive information into such a small device and still buy and sell positions fluidly and get trading tools.
If ever you feel stuck during or after the onboarding process, the platform has integrated an AI-powered bot called “IBot”, which can help you in terms of accessibility and providing answers based on their FAQ.
Not sure of which stock or asset to choose from among all the available? 🤔
The newest Impact Dashboard allows you to set up your primary goal and principles based on their sustainable investing campaign and recommend companies aligned with that.
Passionate about preventing animal testing, hazardous wastes, and emissions? The platform will compile all companies (from across markets) that share the same principles so that you will know where to look.
If you still need a push, you can also take advantage of Interactive Brokers’ education programs, seminars, how-to blogs, newsletters (that aren’t spammy) and webinars to know more directly from their financial professionals.
At present, there are about 40+ structured courses (along with rigid quizzes and self-paced tests) you can take directly from the platform.
Is Interactive Brokers Good for Long Term Investing?
I love the company because it has a really good portfolio checkup embedded within the dashboard, which helps ensure that your portfolio is on good terms and is really on the path you are looking into.
Since the company offers different assets, you can simply diversify it instantly by having a few active positions here and there.
As much as I’d like to recommend this to everyone, I really think that only professionals or day traders should use this, given that it has quite a hefty monthly inactivity fee.
However, if you plan to do cost averaging and invest consistently every month for the next few years, then the Interactive Brokers is the real deal.
You can also add here a pension plan trust account.
Additionally, suppose you are reading this post now from other countries than the United States.
In that case, you can find this a better substitute to other platforms since it gives you access to almost all the markets, which is much more exciting and holds more promise of growth for your investment.
Is Interactive Brokers Safe?
Interactive Brokers is a great American multinational brokerage firm, and you should try it out then go after shady brokers with no affiliations.
Given that it’s so loved in the industry and there are no legal complaints about it or the people behind it, I have to say that it is safe.
It has been in the industry for a long time now, and perhaps one of the reasons behind that is the safety of your investments in the platform.
The company is insured by Lloyd’s of London and FDIC, ensuring that you will have your money no matter what happens.
Additionally, there have been no reports about data breaches on this platform ever since. As for the mobile app, you will have two-factor authentication (biometric and PIN) and email alerts upon signing in.
Is Interactive Brokers a Scam?
The Interactive Brokers is not a scam, and it is, without a doubt, one of the most versatile brokers that I have ever tested.
Aside from being popular in the field, which is always a good sign, it also has a straightforward design that is not confusing to navigate, not even for all the newcomers.
While the sign-up process may take some time since you will need e-signatures to verify your documents, everything is fluid after that.
From the inside, even if you are on a pro or lite account, you will get to have a comprehensive dashboard that is intuitive.
I realized that it somehow memorizes the tools I usually use and adds them to the quick click bar straight away. ✅
Also, suppose you are like me, who always wants to see the whole picture of my financial standing.
In that case, I appreciate that they have integrated the Portfolio Analyst tool and recommend stocks and assets where I am lacking.
The Interactive Brokers also provides premium tools, real-time screeners, and professional-grade educational materials (that are surprisingly free!) to support investors/traders from all levels.
With all of these being said, I highly recommend this platform, and I cannot wait to utilize it since I am also planning to invest in Asian markets!
How I Make A Living Online
As you reach this part of the post, you are probably thinking about how much you can invest on top of your head.
If there’s one thing I learned from my experience, you can never expect to make thousands out of a few dollars, even if you’re planning on investing them in the long term.
In other words, if you want to profit significantly in the stock market, you’re going to have to put in considerable capital too.
Whatever you do, please don’t start believing people telling you that you can invest small sums and then let them grow in the next few years.
Trust me when I say that I’ve done my fair share of trading and have quite a lot of experience in the stock market.
I’m far from pro compared to other, more seasoned traders, but I know what I’m talking about at the end of the day.
If you’re looking to pursue a career as a trader, I highly suggest that you get your finances in order first before even considering jumping in.
That being said, I believe that now would be the perfect time to introduce you to the business model to whom I owe my success and share the exact step-by-step blueprint of how I earn a living online.
I still invest to this day, but unlike others, I have managed to create a full-blown source of passive income that doesn’t require my full attention every second of the day.
Nowadays, I outsource most of my work; therefore, I use my remaining free time to analyze the market, and because of that, I’m able to choose wisely and invest in the correct stocks at the right time.
The business model I’ll introduce you to in a second works like a charm, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a done-for-you system.
It still requires your utmost effort and perseverance, and only then will you enjoy the benefits that it has to offer.
My advice is to listen to what I have to say, then decide whether you want to choose my business line as your primary source of income.
Even after it’s all said and done, you still need to be aware that trading isn’t a joke and that you’ll likely lose a lot of money if you treat it as such.
The dangers of investing in the stock market are very real, and that’s why you must educate yourself properly and understand the consequences and gambles involved.
Although my business line is considerably less risky and provides you with consistent, long-term income, still, you should be conscious of the fact that you’ll probably fail if you don’t give it your all.
So, without further delays, to better understand how I bring food to the table, I warmly recommend you go through my money guide as it clearly explains everything about my line of business. 📕💪
The guidebook is relatively short, well-written, and it contains all the info you need to create your first REAL source of passive income.
And in case you’re wondering what it is that I do, I’d be more than happy to sum it up for you in just a few words.
So, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it before (you’ve probably had), but what I do is called affiliate marketing, and as an affiliate, my’ job is to promote other people’s products and services.
In return, I earn predetermined, most of the time recurring commissions every time someone purchases through any of the links on my sites.
I’m absolutely convinced that affiliate marketing is by far one of the best business models you can get involved in, especially if you’re somewhat new to this make online money thing.
I was fortunate enough to try several types of businesses over the years, and I comfortably claim that none of them is as great as AM is.
I say this because, unlike other businesses, affiliate marketing requires almost zero startup costs, and the outcome is solely dependent on your work ethic and not any external factors.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and I can easily say that online marketing beats trading any day of the week, twice on Sunday, hands down.
You initially have to work a lot as a marketer, but it gets easier once you start making sales and the money starts rolling in.
After that, it’s all about selecting the right people to do all the work for you, which I’ll gladly teach you how to do, step by step.
I’m very confident that you can surpass the thousand dollars per month milestone in just a few months if you listen carefully to what I’m saying and commit to finishing your daily to-do list.
Affiliate marketing is pretty affordable to get involved in, and it basically requires less time and less money to reach a point where you’re earning consistently.
Trading may grant you far more, but you must understand that your profits won’t be as consistent and that the stock market requires a more considerable investment, patience, and study. (where many fall short)
At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to you what you want to do, and I’m just here to support you with whatever you choose.
It’s about time I end this Interactive Brokers review, so hopefully, I was able to give a proper answer on whether this broker is a scam and a complete waste of time or not.
Are you interested in trying this out but still have questions? Feel free to drop a comment down below, and I’d be more than pleased to get back to you as soon as I can to explain all the nitty-gritty details. 👋
Speaking from experience, I must say that Interactive Brokers is one of the largest trading platforms available.
It is connected to a vast array of markets worldwide.
It can be considered an all-in-one brokerage account with most (if not all) of brokerage account features and connected to international markets.
Best of all, recently, Interactive Brokers had removed the inactivity fee, which has lowered the barrier of entry for retail investors with limited capital to take advantage of what Interactive Brokers has to offer.
Thanks for sharing.
I wasn’t aware that Interactive Brokers removed the inactivity fee. It’s good to know, and I guess I’ll have to update my review.
Interesting article about the various ways of trading. I have been a victim of several scam sites in the past and lost a total of $20,000!
I have a list of 17 sites that have cheated on me.
That is why I am now very hesitant to start again. All I do now is crypto trading at a platform called Bitvavo.
It wasn’t until it was too late that I realized I didn’t know enough about the brokers I had used.
Now I’m looking at all the reviews, and I also ask where their head office is located and whether they are registered. Even if too many people/owners are involved with the platform, a bell rings with me.
So for me, only crypto trading.
With best regards,
$20.000 – that’s a lot of money!
It’s good to hear that you’re doing your homework nowadays, as it will save you a lot of trouble.
I’ve heard of Bitvavo.
Great platform, although I’ve never had a chance to use it myself. Either way, I hope you’re doing great, and I wish you the best of luck.
There’s a lot of money in crypto, so I hope that turns well for you.
Getting into the stock market is something I have been considering for a while now. Interactive Brokers sounds like a great way to start since you can start small.
I know nothing about trading or the stock market, so I am a bit nervous, especially since I don’t have extra money just to throw away.
My advice is to take things one step at a time and don’t rush the process. Spend as much time learning, analyzing, and improving your skillset, then when you’re confident enough, let that budget go.
I had only heard about Robinhood, but I am delighted to discover Interactive Brokers.
I like it when platforms are easy to navigate and intuitive. And if it has received a ton of awards for the best platform, I’ll surely check it out.
I do want to join the IT crowd, and so excited about it!
I hope you’re off to a great start, Ann.
By all means, please let me know if you need some help.
What is the main purpose of a broker? I have heard of them before, but I am not really sure what their main job is. Also, will I need a broker in the future? If so, I will definitely bookmark your article and come back to it whenever I need it.
Thank you for your article.
A broker is an intermediary between an investor and a securities exchange. It can either be a firm or an individual.
You need one because they are specifically licensed to make trades. In other words, if you’re planning on buying or selling stocks, you’ll need one.