Interactive Brokers is a brokerage firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut. It also has offices in Europe, Asia and Australia. In addition to trading forex, you can trade stocks, bonds, options and futures. Interactive Brokers receives the Top Ten Reviews Silver Awards for forex brokers because it offers an investing platform with excellent tools and good pricing.
Interactive Broker’s main trading platform is Trader Workstation. Our reviewers downloaded a demo account of each platform and were able to compare them on usability and the trading tools each platform provides. We found Trader Workstation to be one of the strongest platforms out of those we tested. Interactive Brokers also offers a specialized FXTrader tool for forex trading, but we found Trader Workstation to be most comparable to other platforms, so that is the platform we tested and reviewed.
Interactive Broker’s platform makes it easy to create multiple watchlists so you can track the markets of various currency types separately. Placing orders is simple, and your commission rate is always listed on the order screen, so you can know what you’re paying to the brokerage as you make trades.
Creating alerts is not as intuitive as it is with other platforms; you cannot set up alerts from a watchlist or by clicking on the symbol as with other platforms. You can create alerts for multiple conditions, such as price, time or the percent of change. One standout feature of Trader Workstation is the ability to set up alerts that trigger trades. You can set up the platform to execute a trade when a currency pair hits a certain price, something that can save you time and give you an edge when trading something as volatile as forex.
Interactive Brokers offers a wide array of charting tools, including over 90 technical indicators. These allow you to gauge the performance of a currency pairing and use that information to plan your forex trading strategies. You can’t compare different symbols, but you can compare a symbol’s performance with the performance of an index, which can tell you whether it is under-performing or out-performing a particular market.
A mobile app version of Trader Workstation is also available. This app wasn’t as strong as some of the other apps we tested. Its main flaw is that you cannot add funds to your account through the app, something the majority of apps we tested allow you to do. The app also makes it hard to set up alerts as you can’t create them from a watchlist and you’ll need to search for the particular symbol. The app does make all of Interactive Broker’s technical indicator’s available, something that not all mobile apps do.
You can trade 22 different currency pairs through Interactive Brokers. This is one of the lowest amounts of the brokerages we reviewed, but it does include the major pairs and many of the most important minor pairs.
Interactive Brokers charges a commission on each trade you make. Its commission is among the highest of the brokers we reviewed, but it makes up by having some of the lowest spreads. Keep in mind that these spreads are based on currency exchange rates and are constantly changing due to many factors, including a country’s economic outlook.
In order to begin trading through Interactive Brokers, you need to make a deposit of $10,000. This is by far this highest amount on our review, which makes this a good option for experienced investors.
We evaluated each forex broker on the resources it provides to investors. While forex traders are more knowledgeable than first-time investors, we still consider it important for a brokerage to provide ongoing education as well as updates on the market. Interactive Broker’s provides training articles and webinars. The Trader’s Insight section contains current articles about market conditions. While not as robust as some of the other brokers we reviewed, these are still helpful in providing context to help you decide on your trading strategies.
Tutorials are available to help you get up to speed on the platform. These include videos, but they don’t take you step-by-step through the platform like some of the other platforms we reviewed. There’s no comprehensive user guide, a tool we found useful as a quick reference when we had trouble finding something on the platform.
Interactive Brokers is a forex broker with a high initial deposit but low spreads and a single commission price. You can also invest in stocks, options and futures. It has a good platform with many technical analysis tools.