Non-base currencies stopping trades

Discussion in 'Interactive Brokers' started by Accipiter, May 25, 2020.

  1. I know this is operator error, as I have searched and experimented for a solution. I’m currently using paper trading to get a feel for TWS and I’ve lost my confidence to use my real account due to non-base currency balance issues.

    In paper trading I have ‘insufficient funds’ problems allowing me to buy but not sell FX AUDUSD, requiring an exit by reducing the initial purchase by a few dollars. I also have a $ 0.37 USD balance in my AUD base currency trading account that I have been informed may be cleared automatically at some time; this was due to long held FX position I lost on due to the admin of life distracting me.

    My question for the knowledgeable and experienced is if I scalp/swing trade US stocks and futures from my AUD base currency account, could I find myself accumulating USD which may stop me getting in or out of a trade similar to the FX situation in my paper account.

    I have tried the 'Close All Non-Base Currency Positions’, but it leaves a small amount that locks up the ability to trade. Part of the problem seems to be conversion from USD fees to AUD which has cents instead of whole dollars.

    I’m happy to accept that ‘I’m stupid’ comments just so I can solve this.

  2. I'm not sure whether you are describing that you tried to open a position which required more margin than you have available. Or that you are describing that you blew up your account, resulting in an account value of near zero.
    You may want to look at the so-called SMA value. This always has to be positive value. If it turns negative you have the possibility that IB will close/reduce positions to avoid a margin call.
  3. Currencies settle T+2. I doubt you are being prevented in a real or paper account from trading from a residual balance and would wager your issue relates to settlement cycle.
  4. Real account has settled, but it seemed to take a while possibly due to the time zone difference adding an extra perceived day.

    The paper account needed a cash reset.

    Thanks for the reply and the T+2 time frame.
  5. In my paper trading account I can buy AUDUSD $ 25,0000 with it being processed. When I try to sell the same amount I get the message 'insufficient funds'. There is a balance of over a million dollars in AUD, but USD is $ 24,999 due to some nominal balance. I'm unable to initiate a sell due to USD $ 4 that is in there.

    It is not a problem for others, so I will work through it. Thanks for your reply.
  6. A snapshot for anyone following and is confused as everyone seems to be.
  7. Overnight


    Call your broker and ask for a clarification.
  8. It was a result of not buying/selling the full amount of FX and then trying to clear it, leaving residual cash.

    Good to make the mistake in order to learn not to do it again. I would guess that IB very rarely sees this problem as I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else.

    All part of the long process of learning to trade, which is doing my head in, and I hope one day to actually make some money; it actually does seem possible.

    Thanks for the reply.