I was very much interested in opening accounts at IB until I had contact with Mike Brady from the sales department in Chicago. My conclusion corroborates what others are saying here: IB is either trading against you OR, allowing one of their large clients to.
There seems to be either a delay in the data or a total disconnect with the time and sales data emanating from IB that is always to the DISadvantage to my account. You lose a lot of money with your trading account with these guys.
If you become just a wee bit deficient in your margin, they immediately liquidate every trade position in your account at market orders. Also at times on weekends, your account may retrieve nothing or missing pieces of info on your account. You may even receive incorrect password even while giving your correct password and you simply can't log in to view your account or place orders.
Then later, all in 'well again' with your account. Also at times pre entered orders just disappear from your account even with 'GTC' selected. And lastly you can become disconnected at any time online, even after just a minute or so. Try entering a trade then! I use IB as it is almost a one stop shop and its transaction cost is low.
This is no doubt about it. I am still using IB. But I share my experience with you guys so that you know something could happy. I use their online TWS platform. It is not a very friendly platform to me initially especially their Stop options. As was not familiar with the stop setting, I called their staff to guide me the steps.. Nobody would have known I had set unlimit stop loss on that stock except their staff.
That was the lesson learned. One more advice is, if possible, don't just set stop loss and leave. My experience with IB has always been "the stop losses always hit" and most of the time they were the lowest of the days!
You may wonder why it happens always. I am convinced they don't just live on commissions. Solid execution, numerous markets, low costs, good technology. It's not an easy platform to learn but as a platform for executing my trading strategies, this is a very good broker. I will say that I have extensive trading experience and am not blaming anyone for any lack on my part.
I have traded with over a dozen different FX brokers over the years and I have to say that IB has hands down the worst execution of any broker I have ever dealt with. Thats an average people. This is during normal trading hours with absolutely no volatility catalysts of any kind. This is not an accident since the limit targets are the only orders that are actually placed on the exchange.
All other orders ,ie your stops, are held on the platform and are only sent to the exchange after they have been triggered. This of course means that there is a delay of several seconds from the time it is triggered and the time it is filled. This means that any even remotely brisk push that triggers your exit or stop entry will be slipped on average about This may not seem like much but if you are day trading then this quickly adds up to quadruple my commissions from what the actual flat commission fee is.
The only way to avoid this is to use stop limit orders, which is what I do, but i cannot recommend this for any trader who is not very experienced because you will at times not get filled on you stop loss and you better damn well know what you doing to work the best exit possible.
Almost every time this happens price pulls back and allows me a way out, but this is not for the faint of heart and IB knows it. So far with futures they seem to be ok but for FX I would say to avoid them like the plague. I used IB since it was marketed as an all in one Brokerage firm. However, I only used them for daytrading the futures markets. On the many occasions that I called customer support, I was on hold for an average time of 5 to 10 minutes.
However, the worst scenario I have ever experienced happened when I saw that the platform had erroneously entered me into a trade on Brent Crude oil, a market that I did not even trade. I tried repeatedly to exit this trade, and guess what, the platform would not let me exit the trade no matter how hard I tried.
During these futile attempts to exit the trade, I was on hold from IB support and finally, after 10 minutes, someone answered the phone. When I explained the issue, he said, you entered a short trade on Brent Crude, and I said, I do not even trade this market, how could that be possible. I filed a complaint against IB and it was like a circus in the making. They attempted to put the blame on me, saying I had placed the trade myself and it had nothing to do with anything that IB did or did not do.
It was like talking to a bunch of idiots who could not tell anyone which way was up or which way was down; I could tell it was a scam in the making and all the complaining I did was to no avail.
I immediately closed my account and have told as many people as possible about their practices and I will say it again. If you are looking for an honest, reliable brokerage, go look somewhere else. These guys are looking for excuses to scam their clients and do it in a way that they feel the client has no recourse but arbitration.
The worst, most obscene excuse for a brokerage firm I have ever had the occasion of dealing with. I love interactive brokers. Low spreads and cheap commissions.. Good executions, they are geared towards professional traders. So not the best for people who are just starting out or trade little.
IB is one of my favorite brokers. Their main business is global individual stocks. This puts me at ease in a way, because FX is not their core revenue stream.
The TWS platform is excellent and very robust. Good charting, customizablility and tools are also a plus. That being said, the main reason IB is one of my favorite brokers is due to the cost of trading.
For FX spreads are among the tightest I've ever seen and execution has been good. My only gripe is with stop orders. If I place a sell or buy stop, there is almost always a delay between the time the order is triggered and the time the order is executed.
I believe this is because of their STP model. Since they have to send the order away, it causes this delay. Usually around 2 - 5 seconds. This also happens with equities. Not a deal breaker, but it can definitely cost you big time if you have huge blocks at play.
Leverage is average for he USA at I don't think you will need more than this unless you are trying to get rich quick. I dislike the delays in stop orders.
Overall, I love to trade with them. Excellent execution, fair platform , can trade any market , low fees, good reports,. Review and Ratings Forex Brokers Interactivebrokers. Live discussion Join live discussion of Interactivebrokers. Video Your company video here? Let other traders know if this service is worth checking or should be avoided. Page 1 ofMore...