Interactive Brokers Ranked No. 1 Software-Based Online Broker by Barron's GREENWICH, Conn., March 7 /CNW/ -- Interactive Brokers LLC (IB) came in as the Number One software-based broker in Barron's 2005 annual review of online brokerage firms. IB also was the only broker to score a perfect 5.0 rating in the trading "costs" category due to its low execution and clearing costs worldwide. No other broker achieved a 5.0 rating in the eight categories reviewed by Barron's for both software-based and browser-based brokerage rankings. "For the frequent traders who use software-based brokers, costs are even more important," Barron's wrote. "The only 'five' in this category was earned by Interactive Brokers, which has rock-bottom fees and no platform charges." A unit of the Interactive Brokers Group that pioneered trading technology for three decades, IB offers Universal Direct-Access Trading and sophisticated trade management tools at highly competitive costs to professional traders and investors worldwide. IB is the gateway to trading a broad array of financial instruments -- stocks, options, futures, corporate bonds as well as forex -- on over 50 exchanges and marketplaces in 14 countries. "We provide the platform and design the tools that people need to achieve best execution in any class of financial instruments they choose on all major markets around the world," said IBG Chairman Thomas Peterffy. "We are honored to have achieved the top ranking in Barron's. We'll continue to broaden the breadth of our global offering." IB is the first broker to provide direct-access forex trading with interbank quality spreads, institutional size and no conflict of interest. Unlike other FX dealers that trade against the customer, IB evaluates multiple major bank dealers and routes its customers' orders straight to the dealer with the best price. In recent months, IB also added a number of products and features, including: -- smart-routing for spread orders where IB undertakes the risk of any partially executed spread order involving stocks and/or options -- direct-access bond trading with immediate best-execution on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the BondDesk ECN or IB's market-making affiliate Timber Hill; -- IB SmartRouting Auto-Recovery service that automatically re-routes options orders when an options exchange experiences technical problems; -- free Secure Transaction Program (STP), with IB identity token generating one-time use passwords.