What are pros and cons with Interactive Brokers?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by dabao91, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. dabao91


    According to: http://elitetrader.com/br/

    I sorted the number of messages for each brokers/FCMs, you can see Interactive Brokers has the highest number which is 274, much higher that the second one which is TradeStation Securities 36.

    Why Interactive Brokers?
    What are pros and cons with Interactive Brokers?

    Interactive Brokers 247
    TradeStation Securities 36
    Open E Cry 35
    Oanda 34
    thinkorswim 32
    CyberTrader 31
    MB Trading 30
    ECHOtrade 21
    FXCM (Forex Capital Markets) 18
    Scottrade 17
    ProTrader (now part of ETG) 16
    Andover Trading 15
    Bright Trading 14
    Refco 14
    Globalfutures.com 13
    Genesis Securities 11
    optionsXpress 11
    Velocity Futures 9
    A.B Watley 8
    Great Eastern Securities 8
    Saxo Bank 8
    Alaron 7
    Man Futures 7
    TransAct Futures 7
    Redwood Trading 6
    RML Trading 6
    Swift Trade 6
    Trade Desk America 6
    XoomTrade 6
    Cobra Trading 5
    F1Trading 5
    Terra Nova-MB 5
    Advanced Futures 4
    FFastTrade 4
    PFG Best Peregrine Financial Group 4
    Preferred Trade 4
    Questrade 4
    RushTrade 4
    Speed Trader 4
    Terra Nova Online 4
    Trade Portal 4
    Tuco Trading LLC 4
    Global Forex Trading 3
    Noble Trading 3
    RedSky Financial 3
    RJT.com 3
    Schonfeld Securities 3
    Trade Freedom 3
    TradeKing 3
    AllDayTraders.com 2
    ECNbroker 2
    eLocal 2
    Equity Trading 2
    GCI Financial Ltd 2
    Grace Financial Group 2
    MG Financial Group 2
    myTrack 2
    RealFastTrader 2
    Success Trade 2
    1st Futures Broker 1
    AdvantageFutures LLC 1
    AllianceTrader.com 1
    Black Box Brokers 1
    BolsaMundo 1
    daytradeaustria.com 1
    eFloorTrade 1
    Flash Futures a division of Alaron 1
    FOREX.com 1
    JPR Capital 1
    Mastertrader.com 1
    NDX Trading 1
    SonicTrading 1
    Trend Trader 1
    AIM Day Trader 0
    Angus Jackson 0
    Bright Commodity Broker 0
    Brookstone Trading 0
    Cannon Trading 0
    ChoiceTrade 0
    CMS Forex 0
    Cytrade Futures 0
    Daytrading.net 0
    DeltaStock 0
    Dimension Brokerage LLC 0
    Direct Access Elite 0
    E-Brokerage, LLC 0
    Easy Forex 0
    Edge Trade 0
    eLocalAccess 0
    Eminilocal.com 0
    Eminis 0
    Emperian Global Markets 0
    Equity Station 0
    ETrade Pro 0
    ExpressFutures.com 0
    Farr Financial 0
    Fidelity Active Trader 0
    Finotec Group Inc. 0
    Firefly Trading 0
    Firstrade Securities Inc. 0
    Forex Club Financial Company, Inc. 0
    Forex Worldwide Training and Support 0
    Forex Yard 0
    Franklin Ross 0
    Future Path Trading 0
    FX Marketspace 0
    FX Sol 0
    Gallo Global Markets 0
    Gemini Capital 0
    GO Futures 0
    InvestIN 0
    InvestScape 0
    Lightspeed Professional Trading 0
    Lime Brokerage 0
    MarkeTrade.com 0
    Mirus Futures 0
    Motive Capital 0
    Nexa Securities 0
    NexTrend Securities 0
    Nima Financial 0
    Online Trading Solutions 0
    Phillip Capital 0
    PMI Trading 0
    Prestige Capital, LLC 0
    Pro Emini 0
    Prophet Trader 0
    Razr Trading LLC 0
    Refco Trading Services 0
    RJOFutures 0
    Sogo Elite 0
    Sonic Futures 0
    STIFX 0
    Stock Investments USA 0
    Stock Usa 0
    swissDirekt 0
    TimesForex 0
    Trade Pros 0
    Trade Wall Street 0
    Traders Capital 0
    United Futures 0
    VIP Futures 0
    VirtualDayTrader.com 0
    Windsor Brokers 0
    Xerxes Trading 0
    Zecco 0
  2. From my experience (I use both) this is what I have learned.

    Pros of IB over TS
    - Cheaper for stocks and options (about half the price)
    - offers higher rate of interest on balance (over 10K - over double)
    - one account with one pool of money and you can trade futures and stocks.
    - Trade worldwide markets (I have not done so but it appears to be rather easy)
    - IB has a set amount for margin for shorting stocks, TS varies issue by issue. sometimes 1x, sometimes 2x, and sometimes 4x intraday. IB i believe is ~3x intraday.
    -IB gives you better pricing control (i.e. subpenny for stocks and penny for options)
    -IB offers EFPs which can increase your returns on excess cash sitting in your account

    Pros of TS over IB
    - Charting is 1000% better
    - you can set up watch lists of up to 1000 items (about 100 with IB)
    - you can automate and or set up alerts based on custom criteria with TS
    - you can talk to someone when you have a question or problem with TS right away. with IB you may be dead before you get to talk to a live person, and when you talk to someone from IB chances are they don't know the difference between the NYSE and NASDAQ. TS people are polite and friendly, IB people are not always rude but they make sure you feel like a burden.
    - TS doesnt appear to liquidate positions as quickly as IB does. IB will be more than happy to liquidate some of your posistion(s) if its getting late in the day and you do not have enough margin to maintain overnight.

    You should verify everything with others and I am sure I missed a thing or two about both but thats how I sum them up.

    I currently use IB for trading and TS for charting/screening stocks.
  3. dabao91


    This is an excellence post, thanks, 1Reason.
  4. xiaodre


    Interactive Brokers now requires minimum 10,000 dollars to start an individual margin account with them, I believe.

    Tradestation, among others, ask for minimum $5000 (some ask for less).

    Tradestation has a fair-sized community of traders posting on their forums to ask questions of. IB doesn't.

    One thing that sticks in my craw: I don't think IB has the ability to do an advance decline line for NYSE. It does other things, like TICK and TRIN, but I have searched and haven't found the ability to do adv/dec. issues.


    Take this post with a grain of salt. Maybe some others can rebutt and/or support these claims.
  5. dabao91


  6. xiaodre


    Very good point! I would say sign up and look at the difference between the forums of the brokers you are considering:

    FWIW, the difference between IBs and Tradestation's forums is night and day, and very telling about the different communities each broker has built.
  7. dabao91


    Would you mind to post the URL of Tradestation's forums? Thanks.
  8. gaj


    don't know if it matters, but...

    you can only access the TS forums if you're a TS customer.
  9. Con - TS feed for execution of futures orders is s l o w

    Con - IB feed/TWS has a lot of technical outages/difficulties.
  10. dabao91


    How about MAN Financial (MF Global)? How good/bad compare to other brokers?
    #10     Nov 25, 2007