Is there a broker comparable to IB?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by zz, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. zz


    I'm looking for a broker comparable to IB. I trade futures, ES and ZB mostly, and like a couple things I hear about IB like:

    a). Low commissions
    b). very cheap data feed from almost all exchanges..
    c). no platform fee
    d). an open api, I use prosuite2000i for charts.

    So basically trading with IB would be very inexpensive for me, but the posts i see about them, its like you should rename the Retail Firms section to the IB section, theres just alot of complaints.
    Is it you get what you pay for? Or are there other firms out there with comparable features, low cost and more reliable?

    Somehow I think I just answered my own question....if you want cheap you're gonna sacrifice....
  2. vikana

    vikana Moderator

    IB is the best broker I've been with. Their technology is very good, data feed good, free API, excellent margin/cash rates, and decent commissions.

    The handful of issues I've had over the last 5 years have been addressed with customer support without any problems.

    BUT: if you expect a lot of hand-holding, won't read ALL the details on their web site (including manuals and training session), or generally need help frequently, IB is probably not for you.

    I think they're the best for retail.
  3. The main reason you hear so much about IB is that it has more users amongst ET's actively trading retail traders than anyone else. I've had about 10 brokers over time and I'm about to close my last 4 others down into IB accounts.

    The second reason is that like Brownco used to be, IB are suitable for experienced traders who know a bit about the markets and the trading experience and issues. Most of the whining here is from newbies who claim to know heaps, have lots of experience etc, but if you check their posts are very very new and not enjoying the learning experience.

    Back in my IT days we used to say you can have two of fast, cheap and good.

    In this case "good" is about hand holding customer service that tolerates newbie questions or soothes your ruffled feathers beautifully in a disagreement even as it ships your lost luggage around the small towns of europe (read this as "makes him feel good while the company gives him a rough sexual experience").

    It is cheap and fast (and good if you don't need your hand held much). But they don't use as much lubricant as others (you pay for the lubricant). If you are a beginner with futures, stocks or whatever and you can't take personal responsibility for the difficulties you'll experience in the learning process then I suggest that you go elsewhere fast - you might not enjoy the lack of lubricant and the whinging on ET gets tiring.
  4. Aok


    There is no real retail broker comparable to IB in terms of: commish, reliability, execution.

    Pro/prop yes.

    Also, that does not mean they cant improve.

    If you trade options, TOS.

    If you trade some US futures exclusively then there are some names.

    Otherwise, tough to beat. If you're a newbie do yourself a favor and spend a month with online seminars because there is no hand holding at IB.
  5. Yup.

    Most of the complaints have no validity, and come from people who have no idea what they are doing, and no idea what IB is doing. IB is designed for people who know what they are doing.

    Some of the complaints are valid, and even those are so numerous precisely because IB is the best deal, so that lots of people are using IB. Lots of customers produces lots of complaints. We complain about IB, but we stay with IB because it is the best deal.

    IB does have problems with customer service, but CS has greatly improved, and they continue improving it. Sometimes IB is a bit arrogant and doesn't listen when it should, but even in this respect, I have seen a lot of improvement.

    IB is imperfect, but there is no substitute for IB. We stay at IB, and we keep working with IB to make it better, because it is the best deal around.
  6. Why don't you open an account and do some of your trading with them? After at least a month (so you can see if you had any unexpected monthly fees), you can decide whether to stay with them.