Interactive Brokers Review

Company Overview

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1977 and is an online discount brokerage firm in the United States. This company specializes in stocks, bonds, futures, forex and options trading. In 2013, clients at Interactive Brokers were placing 500,000 trades every day and consisted of 21.4% of the North American options trading volume. Interactive Brokers has won a variety of awards for the services they provide including a 4.5 star rating From Barron’s. Also in 2013, Interactive Brokers received several other awards from Barron’s including Best Trading Experience and Technology and Best Portfolio and Analysis Reports.

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Account Options

 Minimum ContributionMaximum Contribution
Roth IRANo Minimum$5,500 per year
Traditional IRANo Minimum$5,500 per year
SEP IRANo Minimum25% of compensation
(up to $51,000)
SIMPLE IRA--
Self-Directed IRA--
Rollover IRANo Minimum$5,500/year
Inherited IRANo MinimumNo Limit

 

The account options at Interactive Brokers are similar to what options are available at other IRA account providers. There is a ‘catch-up contribution’ options for those over the age of 50 who meet the requirements of a Roth or traditional IRA.

Investment Options

Associated IRA Investment Fees
Stocks$0.005/share
Mutual Funds$14.95/transaction
Options$0.70/contract
Exchange-Traded Funds$0.005/share
Annuities-

 

Interactive Brokers offer standard investment options including ETFs, mutual funds, options and stocks but does not offer annuities. Traditional and Roth IRA clients can also invest in CFDs, futures, futures options and bonds at Interactive Brokers.

Fees and Commissions

Account Related Fees for Roth IRA
Minimum Account Balance Required$5,000
Account Maintenance Fee$7.50/quarter
Termination Fee-
Transfer FeeNone

 

The fees for IRA accounts at Interactive Brokers are fairly low and the commission fees on trades are some of the lowest in the industry. The low commission fees allow investors to put more of their funds into investments while spending less money on paying commissions. Investors can refer to the Education Center for interactive tours, webinars and other important investing and retirement information.

Retirement Planning

Interactive Brokers provides investors with many investment tools to enhance their trading. However, there are not many IRA-specific tools like retirement planning guides or IRA calculators. Investors will have access to the Education Center which provides webinars, tours and courses on futures, options, forex and stock trading. Interactive Brokers also has a proprietary software program called PortfolioAnalyst. This tool allows investors to analyze every aspect of their retirement and/or trading portfolio including risk measures and cumulative performance.

Account Features

Investors of any age can open a Roth IRA at Interactive Brokers. In addition, investors must place a minimum equity deposit of $5,000 to open any type of IRA at Interactive Brokers. Investors are also required to have extensive knowledge of the products they want to trade and they must have executed a minimum of 100 trades of any financial product. Interactive Brokers caters to knowledgeable and experienced investors and is not available for beginning investors.

Accessibility

Multi-Device Functionality
Mobile Sitecheck
iOS Accessiblecheck
Android Accessiblecheck

 

With the mobile apps from Interactive Brokers, investors can view charts, place trades, access portfolio and account information, contact customer service and route orders using their iOS, Android, Blackberry or other smartphone or tablet device.

Safety and Security

Interactive Brokers customer securities accounts have a maximum protection from the SIPC for $500,000. Interactive Brokers also uses advanced security technology to protect client accounts against unauthorized access. Investors can get an additional security device that is required for account login for additional protection.

Customer Support

Clients can contact customer support 24/7 through regional customer service centers in the U.S., Asia and Europe. There are several methods of contacting customer support including live chat, phone and email. Clients will receive an immediate response with live chat or phone support. Email inquiries will generally be answered within 24 hours. The customer support staff at Interactive Brokers is professional, helpful and courteous.

Bottom Line

Interactive Brokers does not offer a great deal of retirement planning tools as this company tailors their services to advanced and knowledgeable traders. However, there are many powerful investment tools that provide in-depth analysis for trading and retirement portfolios in addition to low cost commissions.

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