Interactive Brokers vs Apex Clearing?

Discussion in 'Options' started by ferrycorsten, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. I am planning to make the jump from TOS to Livevol X. Livevol X offers clearing through IB or Apex. What is the difference, advantages and disadvantages between the two? Is there any danger in moving my account over from TOS?
  2. Apex is what became of Penson- I believe IB has a much larger capital base and (I'd guess) better rates and lower fees in general. Apex might offer better cust support since it's nearly nonexistent with IB- so it depends on how often you think you'd need help. Might also be important to find out if they differ on the acct size minimum to offer portfolio margin treatment.
  3. I think Livevol told me that IB uses smart routing and Apex uses DMA. What exactly does that mean? They made it sound like professionals use Apex and non-professionals use IB. I am just a retail guy, but if there is an advantage to Apex I'd like to know about it.

    Portfolio margin at Apex is much higher than IB. I think it's 265k vs 135k.
  4. At IB it is only 100K so why not go directly to IB and forget the intermediary?
  5. I really like Livevol. Have you seen it?

    Also, I never used margin before, so for now I am going to take it slowly and stick with Reg T.
  6. JackR


    I think they are referring to Direct Market Access versus IB's "Smart Routing".

    I'd suggest you go here:

    IB actually offers both types to its direct customers but appears to limit it to SMART when acting as a provider to Livevol. IB also charges more for DMA option orders. I trade options very infrequently so I don't know whether DMA\Smart matters much to the small account.

    Livevol does seem to have put together a very nice platform.

  7. zdreg


    it sounds like you don't have an account in either place.
  8. def

    def Sponsor

    Just to clarify what i think is not an accurate statement regarding DMA. Actually APEX routes via other providers who are paying them for order flow. You can search for the APEX 606 disclosure to reveal the info. IB SMART is DMA as the SMART router will route directly to an exchange with the best price.
  9. 1245


    Apex uses their own routes for DMA, smart route and managed route. Both smart and managed will at least start in a dark pool with PFOF. I don't see how this is an issue in picking a clearing firm that Live vol will introduce you to, especially for a reg-t accounts. When you get to CPM, there will be differences. iB is more restrictive but allows smaller accounts. If you're not over $250k, I would choose IB. It will be easier to upgrade later. For option trading unless your always buying options and not hedging, you will want CPM one day.

  10. JackR



    I was under the impression that all Options Exchanges paid for order flow. As I said, I'm not really into options. The question was asked in this thread, the Options Thread, so that's why I answered as I did.

    I thought IB was forced to accept payment for option order flow. Was I wrong?

    #10     Dec 20, 2012