IB: Small balances in various currencies

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by ZRA, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. ZRA

    ZRA

    Let's say you have some small balances in various currencies:

    AUD: -9.57
    EUR: +11.63
    JPY: -1900

    What should I do? I have to close out those balances via Ideal since the balance is small. However:
    1. The gap is larger
    2. Minimum commission (USD2.5 per trade) may not justify this :(

    How are you going to deal with those small balances? Do you have any suggestion?
     
  2. ZRA

    ZRA

    What if I simply leave those balances unattended? What happens when I close the IB account?
     
  3. because of this i switched to fx futures.. lol
     
  4. IB will periodically convert small balances back into your base currency at day end rates without charging a commission. You don't need to do anything for this to happen. But I'm not sure what the upper limit is for this. Probably just a few $ worth of each foreign currency.
     
  5. You just live with them I guess until IB provides a way to get rid of them. They are a nuisance to say the least just trying to keep your account balance reconciled but they are so small it is not worth worrying about. I've got a debit Yen balance that costs me 25 cents a month in interest! Why doesn't IB just let us get rid of these things. I've had some for over a year.
     
  6. This is not my experience.
     
  7. You can leave them there nobody cares, not even you.
    If you close the account IB will convert them all back to your account currency (I dont think they charge the comish).
    And yes, to close them by yourself you have to trade on IDEAL and pay the fees.
    It seems bothering but the IB universal account is in my opinion way ahead of the competition. Most people dont even understand what the advantages are. Trading in all currencies with borrowing (and not converting by paying the spread) is a huge advantage if you trade in many currencies. Thoses little balances are a consequence of how this account works.
    It a cost/benefit calculation. When the benefits of converting overweights the costs of transaction (and currency direction prediction!) you convert.
     
  8. they're bogus..called residuals..won't affect anything ..you can reset them to "0"
     
  9. +1.

    They say so on their website and their customer service tells you they do.
    But their system simply does not do it.
    It is possible that you get stuck for quite a long time with a small rest of currency that you cannot sell and that is not removed "automatically".
     
  10. There are several solutions for this, and you do not even need to use IDEAL for it.

    Negative residual in a quote currency (like USD)

    1. trade EUR/USD or GBP/USD on IDEALPRO and win at least as much as your negative residual is. Your winning will be in the quote currency.
    2. buy 100k EUR/USD on IDEALPRO and instead of closing it, sell 100k + your negative residual.
    3. sell 100k EUR/USD on IDEALPRO and instead of closing it, buy 100k - your negative residual.

    Negative residual in a non-quote currency (like EUR)

    1. buy 100k EUR/USD on IDEALPRO and instead of closing it, sell 100k - your negative residual.
    2. sell 100k EUR/USD on IDEALPRO and instead of closing it, buy 100k + your negative residual.

    You can use this system to convert any amount of positive or negative residual into any other currency, without ever having to use IDEAL.

    After these transactions you can reset the open remaining (only virtual) positions to zero in your account info within TWS.

    Sounds a bit complicated, but once you understand it, it really isn't.

    That said, if it is only a tiny amount, you do not have to bother, they will convert it to your account currency at some point of time.
    So either be patient, or trade.
     
    #10     Apr 8, 2010