Interactive Brokers: Flexible and Affordable Stock Trading

There are plenty of stock brokers to choose from nowadays, from apps like Robinhood which was one of the first to go commission free, to the majors like TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab who are household names of the industry.

There are so many that it can be tough to find the best deal, and many brokers fall through the cracks of the market’s consciousness. One of these lesser known stock brokers is Interactive Brokers, which has plenty of features to brag about in its own right. Let’s take a look at what Interactive Brokers has to offer so you can see why this broker should be on your short list.

Interactive Brokers offers two levels of accounts, IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro. The Lite version offers trading without commissions on US ETFs and Stocks, while the Pro version charges a commission of $0.005 per share up to a max of 1% of the trade’s value. Both versions don’t require an account minimum to open, which makes it easier for smaller investors to enter the market. Options trading for IBKR Pro and Lite is competitive with other brokers, as they both charge $0.65 per contract with a $1 minimum. IBKR Lite doesn’t carry any account fees, while IBKR Pro carries a $10 per month commission minimum for accounts with less than a $100,000 balance, and a $20 per month commission minimum for accounts with less than a $2,000 balance.

Interactive brokers offers a myriad of investment products for active traders including Stocks, Bonds, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, and Metals. Interactive Brokers also has a large availability of shares to borrow for shorting, which is perfect for traders that like to bet against the market. For investors who take a longer-term approach, Interactive Brokers has over 4,300 mutual funds that don’t charge a transaction fee. All Interactive Brokers customers are given access to the company’s Web Trader for easy online access from any location worldwide. They also get access to Trader Workstation, a robust desktop platform that includes advanced charting, scanning and monitoring capabilities, and an order entry interface that is customizable. With the upside that Interactive Brokers offers, it should definitely be considered by those entering the stock market.