Interactive Brokers

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by ak15, May 17, 2003.

  1. ak15


    I've been actively shopping around for brokers. IB, at least on this site seems to have the highest ratings. The most common knock against them seems to be their customer service. However, most of the posts are fairly old. Does anybody know if these guys are still as good as everybody says they are and have they since improved their customer service circa Phone Support and such.
    I must mention that I was disappointed when I contacted them over the phone about opening an account with them. They were not too forthcoming about providing information to prospective clients. They also have a cut-off time of 3.50 pm ET where they will automatically liquidate necessary portions of some or all of your securities if your money used for the day exceeds your overnight buying power. Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled with this rule considering that the last trading hour of the day does provide quite a bit of liquidity and truncating particularly the final 10 minutes is a major disadvantage.
    Finally, unlike most other brokerages they don't accept mutual funds as marginable. They only accept cash and stocks for purposes of calculating margin.
    However, their rates seem to be the cheapest in comparison to the rest of the competition. If their executions are as blindingly fast as most people on this site seem to indicate, then they may be worth a try notwithstanding the obvious drawbacks.
  2. sammybea


    I am too confused about the 10 minute rule.. and foced liquidation. Why do you need 10 whole minutes? Maybe reduce it to 3-5 mins as a suggestion.
  3. ak15


    IB imposes the 10 minute rule. If they reduced it to 3 or 5 minutes it would worsen the situation. As regards your question relating to why I need 10 minutes all I can say is it gives you valuable time to bring back your money used for the day to a figure less than your overnight buying power in case you're in a bind on a given day and hence every available minute of time is invaluable.
  4. If you plan to trade beyond 100% margin on a regular basis, you probably ought to consider trading Futures (including Stock Futures), or check out

    The 4:1 daytrading margin is only available for 6 hours and 20 minutes a day. Even if IB could somehow stretch it to 6 hours and 30 minutes a day, it's still a bind you're putting yourself in. Since the general market closes at 4:00 p.m., and the 2:1 overnight margin rate is enforced by the S.E.C., what other option does IB really have?
  5. ak15


    First most firms extend the time period to afterhours trading ending at 8 PM eastern time to bring your money used for the day to a figure lower than your overnight buying power. I currently am using one as an example. This is a huge plus.
    Addressing your statement about my still being in a bind regardless of the 3.50 PM or 4 PM cut-off, its not accurate. I could use the extra 10 minutes to get out of a bind if conditions warrant it.
    My intent here is to get some feedback about IB or other firms. I don't want to expend energy arguing with you guys.
  6. I didn't know that, I wasn't trying to argue. With your concerns then, you shouldn't switch completely to IB. Keep your account with the broker that gives you 4 more hours to exit your positions.

    Or maybe open a second account at IB just for trading Futures. They do have the cheapest commissions around for the most part. And your minimum for a futures account is only $2,000, instead of $25,000, because no daytrading rules on futures.

    My advice, don't bother calling them on the phone about opening your account. Just do the whole application online. Any questions you have can be answered either on here or through IB's text Chat Help or E-mail help.
  7. i've got an account opened with IB, but haven't funded it yet. With my other broker I can fund my account electronically(ACH or is it AHC) without a charge. No need to go to the bank and do a wire transfer which incurs a $20 fee or having to go through the trouble of sending off a check, which is a big hassle and long delay. How come IB doesnt have this capability? i can electronically transfer money back and forth thru my bank within a few clicks and the money would be in the broker/bank account the following day. Simple as that.....
  8. Maybe you should think about it from the other side of the fence. For IB, an INTERNATIONAL business that deals with millions of dollars each day in electronic form with no branch offices, it would be very easy to launder money through them if you had it that easy to transfer money.

    Sorry if I sound curt, but I get upset when others don't consider both sides of an issue. They're already giving the retail trader the best rates in the industry with above average execution and people still complain?

    $20 is a small price to pay for the savings in commiss you'll get, or more importantly, $20 is way more you'll save in a trade that IB can get you in and out of that your other brokerage can't.

  9. I see where you are coming from, but with today's technology, how hard could it be to set it up in which allows U.S customers to do electronic transfers? The issue here is more of convenience than a mere $20.
  10. Catoosa


    I used a wire transfer one time to send money to IB and that is more hassle than I generally want to deal with. All other times I have sent money to IB, I mailed a personal check and waited. I do not mind the wait except I am not getting interest on the money during the wait. IB could start crediting the interest a little sooner.
    #10     May 17, 2003