In my opinion, they currently are unmatched. Have tried Etrade, TDameritrade, Scottrade.
Out of all the above, IB is number 1. There are a few new players out there that could do some serious damage on the market, but can't make any conclusions yet.
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I will not recommend them. Based on my experiece with customer service. If you are a trader you need to be confident that when why call your broker they will deal with your request immediately. At the account opening stage and I am not impressed at all.
They feel and act like they are the best in the industry. No company grows without its client. I hope more competition will come out for the united kingdom.
I am new customer of IB from Australia... Was attracted by low fees ( it cheaper for me to trade ASX stock and option with IB in US than using an Australian broker)
However he experiences so far has been not that good
- 1) Staff not very helpful mainly US support staff ( Asian time zone staf is good but not knowledgable on soem US products)
They give stock standard answers rather than understanding the question
Had real difficulty gainging information on things like Singale Stock Futures most of staff had no idea
- 2) High data cost
The biggets problem for me as an Australian resdeint client is IB only allows CASH account no margin account
I feel like I have been treated like a person from an enemy teritory!
The reason they give is Australian regulations.. which is BS. it is hard to believe that a big broker like IB can't get Australina licence? other brokers like Options express alows Australian to trade everything
This restiricts me in 3 ways
B) Can't do naked option writing
C) Can't trade Single Stock Futures
NOT HAPPY AT ALL thinking of pulling out
IB has introduced an exposure fee. With only a weeks norice, they imposed a fee on many of their customers. This fee is on a daily basis and based on an extreem (unrealistic) (overnight) risk scenario (especially for index related products). This fee will easily tripple the cost as compared to the commissions. It is a daily fee, that easily amounts to 20 USD a day for an average account.
My issue with IB is they do not have a full range of AIM stocks listed on the LSE. This is a major issue if like me, you hold those stocks and wish to transfer them over to IB from your previous broker and trade them using IB.
The platform sounded OK but a nonstarter because of this.
Your broker must be able to trade the stocks you want to trade right? Why restrict the equities you can trade?
...and the stock I am referring to has decent liquidity ...although a small cap for London.
Why would an International Broker do this?
I note the other International broker also has the same issue.
They are both unworthy until they offer a more complete list of equities.
One of the heavily advertised key advanatges of IB is their "generous" margin policy both in terms of level & interest rates. However as many customers found out in September/October IB can change policy suddenly removing margin completely on 100s of "small cap" stocks and ETCs that had previously required only 15% maintenace margin. Initially they were also going to remove margin on many ETFs and preferred stocks but have...we hope ...changed their mind.
Trading on margin one of course expects to make margin calls due to the market movements but NOT due to seismic and sudden changes in the brokers own margin policy !! Better not to offer margin in the first place rather have a volatile policy.