some clarification on IB before i open an acct:

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by burnsy, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. burnsy


    so im thinking of opening an acct w/ IB
    currently using etrade

    fees are .5 cents / share
    minimum $10 in trades/month
    minimum $1 / trade

    so if my trade only comes to 50 cents, i will be charged $1 for the trade?
    also, i do not have to subscribe to their data feed correct? (will be using etrade)

    i will be trading securities and options
    anything else i should know?

    negative aspects?
    i hear that their stop orders are poorly executed

    all comments welcome
  2. Although IB is the popular choice, their pricing is now right in line with nearly everyone. The pricing I got from Cobra Trading is the same as your post and there service and platforms are better. I don't know what you trade so Cobra's product offerings may not be as robust, but for me trading options and equities I would go with a smaller shop for the service.
  3. Correct...if your fee is less than $1 on shares, that's what you will pay.
    I believe the basic US data is free (well, if you make $30 worth of trades, otherwise you are charged $10/month).

    I have never had a problem with executions/stops, although I only trade very liquid markets and I am not trading large volumes. Also, I have only traded equities and options live, not futures or foreign exchange.
  4. It is not any more 10 USD per month in inactivity fees. It is double that, at 20 USD now. If you do not make 30 USD per month in commissions, they ding you this inactivity fee. IB also is charging a new fee over CBOE.

    Frankly, unless you trade with a certain 30 USD per month in commissions as a sure thing by your own calculations, other brokers are better. MB trading offers in some cases even free L2 and while each way it is like 5 USD in commissions flat fee, and IB for 200 or less shares are a buck each way, the nickle and diming hidden fees at IB are a factor...
  5. burnsy


    so if im understanding you correctly, datafeed is mandatory for every account
    therefore i will not be able to choose not to subscribe?

    30 trades is not too much, taking into consideration a minimum of $1 per trade, thats only 15 full trades

    i will definitely look into MB trading
    sounds enticing

    thank you all for replying
    more comments and suggestions welcome
  6. From using IB (had an account for about 5 years), here's the pros and cons that I've found:
    • Trade almost anything under the sun(except mutual funds)
    • Reasonable (but not the lowest) commission schedule/pricing.
    • Customer support is not too bad (when I've had questions, they were always answered, although I've never had an immediate, money-on-the-line issue).
    • Well documented API
    • Never had a problem with executions (I am not a scalper, so can't comment on speed for ultra quick trades)
    • Bare bones trading platform (can be confusing before you get used to it.
    • Built in charting is pretty minimal
    The reason that I originally signed up with them was the (then) lowest commissions and an API. For a trader that does not generate 100s of contracts/day, etc I think they are fine.
    Also, they will allow you to trade futures in an IRA (which not many do).

    That being said, it's worth your while to check out what's out there. IB works for me, so I stick with it. I trade options, so I also have a ThinkOrSwim account. A friend of mine switched to Infinity from IB and likes it. I've never used MB trading, though I know they've been around awhile and that's one I would check out if I were to change accounts.
  7. "so if im understanding you correctly, datafeed is mandatory for every account
    therefore i will not be able to choose not to subscribe?

    30 trades is not too much, taking into consideration a minimum of $1 per trade, thats only 15 full trades"

    Yes, you have to have level 1 bundle subscription, which is basically free if you make the 30 USD total in fees in trades per month. If not, 20 USD is deducted, formerly 10 USD but recently raised.

    Most of the data fee subscriptions are avoidable, to a degree, unless you want them. A CBOE fee change has been mentioned in another thread, but it may be optional if you do not need the data, otherwise like 2 USD per month.
  8. 1) A head to head in what is offered is necessary to make this kind of statement. For forex traders, I would IB over almost anyone else, because many forex brokers have rotten spreads or trade against the customer

    2) For security, IB has security device (someone recently complaines his GF got into his account), allows you to keep your account in a choice of a few different currencies (euro, dollar, SF, etc.)

    3) I do not always like IB's often huge margin requirements for contracts. On the other hand, I detest small shops $300/$500 day margin for ES - inviting disaster someday when a disruptive event blows some traders/shops up...

    Personally, I think everyone should have at least 2 different accounts, for many reasons. Broker connectivity problems, another Refco, etc.
  9. burnsy


    being able to trade futures is a plus because i am in fact rolling over my IRA

    i will continue to look around, and hopefully will have a new acct up and running soon
  10. Fractal


    If you're rolling over your IRA, I believe IB has a mandatory $10/mo management charge, regardless of what securities/futures are held in your account.
    #10     Nov 10, 2009