Multiple IB Accounts - New Link Feature

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Kensho, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Kensho


    I see a new link feature in IB Account Management. I want to create 4 linked accounts - is it possible to create:

    1 Joint futures margin account.
    2 Joint cash options trading account - long options and cash secured option sales (if possible).
    3 Joint cash investing account.
    4 Joint cash investing account (with different person than above three).

    So my questions:
    1 Does IB even allow cash accounts or is every account automatically a margin account?
    2 Are cash secured option sales or covered sales allowed in a cash account?
    3 If I can link all four accounts then do I manage them all like an advisor account?
  2. JackR



    (Q1) IB allows cash accounts. IRA accounts are cash accounts or margin accounts with instant reinvestment privileges. They can never use true margin (loans against an equity purchase or equity short)
    (Q2) So long as risk can be covered, I know I've sold puts. There is a known downside risk. I've never tried selling naked calls in a cash account
    (Q3) No. They essentially become one account. Also Joint accounts can not be linked. See

    An advisor account appears to do all you want as it allows the owner of each "advised" account to access only their account. THe advisor can see and trade all. The money is segregated. The linked account scheme seems to be a way for an individual to tie all his or her accounts together to save fees and not have to go through the advisor account paperwork.

  3. def

    def Sponsor

    Here's some more info on linked accounts:

    Account Linkage FAQs

    Q: Which accounts are eligible for linkage?

    A: Eligible accounts include Independent individual and IRA accounts which have matching country and state of legal residence and account title. Accounts designated as Transfer on Death and Financial advisor or Broker client accounts may not be linked

    Q: What are the benefits of linkage?

    A: The principal benefits are linkage are ease of access and potential savings in market data subscription fees. Following linkage, all accounts will be accessed via a single User Name, password and SLS device. After login to the trading platform or Account Management you will be provided with a drop-down window for selecting the account you wish to trade or perform administrative tasks thereby eliminating the need to memorize multiple login information or maintain additional security devices.

    In addition, as market data subscriptions are billed at a session level (i.e., User Name) and only a single TWS session can be viewed for any one user at a given time, account holders previously maintaining duplicate market data subscriptions for multiple accounts have the opportunity to consolidate those following linkage.

    Q: If I link two accounts enrolled in SLS, are there any restrictions with respect to the security device which will remain following linkage?

    A: Yes. In the case of a linkage request where the two accounts are SLS enrolled but maintain different devices, IB requires that the account holder retain the device having the highest protection rating as noted at the time of your request.

    Q: What do I do with security devices which no longer are operable following linkage?

    A: In the case of Security Code Cards, you may discard of the device once the linkage has been processed. For all other devices, you will need to return the device to IB to ensure that your account is not assessed a lost device fee. Click here for additional information regarding returning your device.

    Q: Can I maintain multiple groups of linked accounts?

    A: No. Once an account linkage has been requested and processed, all subsequent requests must be linked to that original grouping

    Q: Can I unlink accounts which have already been linked?

    A: No. Once a link has been established it is permanent and cannot be undone.

    Q: Does linkage impact the calculation of Minimum Monthly Activity Fees?

    A: No. Just as is the case with unlinked accounts, linked accounts are each required to generate a minimum level of commissions each month or be charged the difference as an activity fee. Please review the website for information regarding Minimum Monthly Activity Fees. Account holders, however, will be allowed to designate a billing account from which this fee may be deducted for all accounts.

    Q: Why has the linkage request which I submitted not been processed?

    A: Linkage requests are automatically processed as of the close of business on the day submitted when accounts are SLS enrolled and the individual information on record identical (e.g. mailing address, telephone numbers, email address, etc.). If any of these conditions are not met, the linkage request will not be processed until SLS enrollment is complete and/or Compliance review of the information changes and any supporting documentation necessary to evidence the change has been received.

    Q: Once linked, from which account will market data subscription fees be deducted?

    A: Account holders are allowed to designate a billing account from which all market data fees may be deducted. We recommend that you select the account which generates the greatest level of commission activity if your subscription provides for fee waiver should your monthly commissions reach a minimum threshold (e.g., U.S. Securities & Commodities Market Data Bundle). IB will only look to the activity conducted in the billing account to determine waiver eligibility rather than aggregating the commission activity across all linked accounts. In selecting the billing account, consideration should also be given to selecting an account having the greatest level of equity as well as cash. This will minimize situations where the account has insufficient cash and the billing serves to increase the margin debit balance or where the account does not have margin permissions or maintains insufficient equity with loan value which, in both cases, will result in the liquidation of positions to cover the fees. IB will not act to automatically transfer cash across linked accounts to meet subscription obligations.
  4. McBet


    According to whom are those two restrictions "benefits"? Would that be Timber Hill, IB's treasury dept. or server admins?

    Do I understand it correctly* that from now on, the "unlinked" (fully independent) accounts will not be available for the same individual? Haven't we just become restricted to 100 tickers** and a single TWS instance**?

    *(from "additional account" becoming synonymous with "linked account" on the "Create Additional Account" page: )

    ** not counting the sim account (there are some differences like market impact and trader stress levels, generously assuming that market data is the same)