Interactive Brokers - scam or not?

They must be raging pricks because I’ve heard this from everyone. So far I’ve just use the online chat and msg support, it’s been really great with fast detailed answers. Perhaps it’s some guy in India.

^ They hire anyone with a pulse.

But they do send you an email after any correspondence asking about your experience. They do rock. Execution tops, securities and derivatives. Margin rates, nobody lower. They’ll even split lending fees if you have a margin account. They’ll chase down a borrow. You can elect Portfolio Margin. I once was at 4x, march 09. Yeah, customer service isn’t the best, but i’m not willing to pay more for improvement. And they simply don’t transact in many mutual funds. If you’re doing an ACATS, you might want liquidate your funds before transfer or prepare for rejection. Hell, you can even have negative commission for providing liquidity. Why am i giving them a testominial for free…

Are you guys signed up for any extra data? It’s somewhat confusing given all the available options. I’m thinking about… Reuters fundamentals $7 - absolutely need to have financials and ratios, hopefully it integrates into TWS nicely. Bond quotes $1, CUSIP $1, Moody’s ratings $1 - since I buy some fixed income seems like I need these three. But a little confused, are bond quotes and cusip service the same thing? London and Tokyo exchange equity prices, might be useful.

Anybody uses IB in Europe ? They are not very known here and I was wondering about their performance on european exchanges.

Yeah, they’re not pricks, but you will walk away with the impression that they hired a high school dropout with a drinking problem. The people on the other end of the phone always seem borderline retarded.

That said, best software and best trade execution you will ever see with a retail platform.

I only use the free US data because I have capiq but it looked like most of their data is pretty reasonable.

Okay I added Reuters Fundamentals, it’s bad-ass…integrates very well into the TWS app. Ratios, financials, dividend schedules, analyst forecasts, everything in one place and comparable (normalized P/E for example).

I wish I could use IB. Company won’t let me.

Okay, doesn’t it annoy you guys that IB doesn’t have a simple package of indices we can buy (or have for free!). How are we supposed to trade without seeing what the commonly followed global indices are doing?

They don’t even have the Shanghai Composite, second largest market in the world, even though they allow A-share trading. I’ve got to keep internet browsers open with 1 min delayed Google quotes, lame. They do offer an index package, with like a million indices, nobody has ever heard of. If you pay money you can get some like FTSE100, but you have to pay for each individual market subscription. Sorry for the rant, TWS rules, but this is really awkward for us global-minded investors.

So what is the real cost if I have the minimum $10k in there and dont trade for a whole month?

What’s this all about

“In addition to monthly fee minimums, we pass through market data fees from the exchanges for any real-time market data service in which a client subscribes. Clients choosing to subscribe to US non-professional real-time market data will have the USD 10 (or non-USD equivalent) monthly market data subscription fee waived if they spend USD 30 (or USD equivalent) or more in commission for the month.”

Also, how do you deposit and withdraw funds?

Interbank electronic transfer. In the US it works pretty well. In most developed countries as well.

If you’re doing it in a place where electronic bank transfers are still considered an amazing new thing, it might be trickeir.

You can also mail and request check, I believe, but that obviously takes longer.

I used IB for as an advisor for a friends and family account several years ago. I have to say their software is pretty simple to use and their trading costs are rock solid.

However, their customer service is a real pain in the butt. Probably how they afford such low trading rates.

I was never once concerned about the money “not being there”. This is NOT a fly by night operation.

Thanks guys. I signed up for IB. I see that you need to subcribe to market data and there are a bunch, it seems like it will cost quite a bit depending on what you choose. What do you guys subcribe to?

Market data does add up, I trade in markets all over the world and pay $100 a month. That’s not really a big deal to me, but might be to someone. You can get away with just the basics and pay $10 or whatever if you just want the “US Value Bundle”. Trades are dirt cheap, so I don’t mind the data fees.

I tried a bunch of their stuff and ended up sticking with…

* Dow Jones Real Time Global News

* Reuters Fundamentals

* Bond quotes and ratings, if you do fixed income

* Shanghai, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo equities. For the US I actually subscribe to the individual NYSE/NASDAQ/AMEX markets because the “US Value Bundle” doesn’t seem to work fluidly for me, premarket prices were coming up sort of clunky.


May I ask what your style is for your personal account ? I am guessing alot of trading, turnover and many asset classes ?

I ask because I buy and hold equities, and I have yet to find a service that would justify 100 $ / month.

Maybe for some really awesome and reliable stock screen, but I have yet to find one that is really good. Google for example is a POS. But I digress.

In all assets, all over the place, and occasionally day trade…my day is Shanghai 10AM, London 4PM, New York 10PM. When everyone was just waking up last Monday trying to figure out WTF was happening…I’d already been studying the crash all day, modeling things in Excel, getting buy orders ready for NY open, etc. So if I can pay for an entire year’s fees in one trade because of information, I don’t mind the cost.

The thing I like about IB’s TWS – I’ve got tabs for each country/sector, in each tab I’ve got the contents of the index with stats like P/E, dividend, rating, etc (on a big fat Apple Display of course). So I’m not only seeing what global indices are doing, but also a feel for what is shifting around inside the indices. And paid news is less biased, and ultra fast. IB’s stock screener is fine, I use it occassionally. But I’m kinda a nerd, a buy and hold Scottrade account is enough for most people.

I’ve given up with ACH transfers into IB. Even though I input all the reqd info (acct #, etc) they still hold up the available balance for a minimum of a week every single time. So I wire transfer money now. My primary bank account has free domestic wire transfers, so I just go to the bank at lunch time and get a confirmation from IB a couple hours later that the funds are available.

This is indeed annoying!