IB & Charts


Senior member
I'm looking to start using IB and maybe trade Level 2 Nas with Lightspeed.
What combinations or chart packages are you IB users running please?

Hi Oatman,

You will not be able to use Lightspeed in combination with IB as Lightspeed is an etrade platform. When I contacted etrade they told me that you will need to fund an account with $30,000 to use Lightspeed and they prefer traders who trade 10 to 15 times a day. I have found the whole issue of converting GBP to USD (with the intention of using a platform such as Lightspeed) an absolute pain and for the moment decided not to do so and instead use IB.

I think the answer to your specific need is all down to what suits you. For me I have used IB as a broker and as a datafeed with Tradestation 2000 and it was as reliable as any datafeed I have used. That said I have decided to use esignal for realtime charts and level II data with the special interface (provided by esignal) that allows direct trading with IB.

If you do use esignal and have an IB account, you get a subscription discount so make sure you get it if you decide to go down that route.

I should also say that I will be evaluating how effective my trading is using the esignal / IB route and if I feel that it is not quite what I need then I will be back to seeing the best way to convert GBP to USD and selecting a different Level II platform.

I hope this has helped

Trader333 said:

If you do use esignal and have an IB account, you get a subscription discount so make sure you get it if you decide to go down that route.

Hi Trader333,

A discount? They've never told me this. How much of a discount?


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Hi MMilller,

I dont know how much the discount would be for you because it depends on what you subscribe to but if you call them they should tell you as that is what I did.


Thanks Paul.
Is nobody else using IB?
Which is the favoured chart package to use with IB?
I like Medved Quotetracker. Nice charts good support low cost.
Hi Oatman,

The Forex section on IB is for trading, it does not convert your funds in a way that can be used for funding an account in a different currency.

Also personally, I like to use esignal with IB.


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I am thinking of going the route of IB with esignal....

Is everyone who uses this combination impressed with it? or is there a better combination?

In their Universal Account it says you can deposit in a base currency and trade markets in another. They create a margin loan against your base. ie. deposit £ and trade $ products.

Hi Oatman,

I have called IB specifically about this as I wanted to change all my fund into dollars and then trade in dollars. I was told that I would need to set up an entirely new account in dollars to be able to do this as my current account is in pounds. It may be possible to do it in a different way but if it is it is not as straight forward as I would like it and rather than face any problems I would prefer to just set up a dollar account.


That's slightly different because they want your base currency as your home country. What's the problem working in £. Remember if you want some £ back you'll have to sell $.


IB won't let you change the base currency of an account. So if it's £ now you can't change to $. However, if you want to trade $ listed futures or stocks you just do it. They automatically create a position in $ which covers your position. It has a margin requirement, and you will pay interest, but it is effectively seamless. I have a £ IB account but I only ever trade in euros at present, there's no problem. If you want to move winnings to £, or cover losses you just buy or sell them.

If you are only ever going to trade in $ then a $ base account may be more effective, but you will have to cover exchange issues when you fund the account, or withdraw funds.
Hi Guys,

This whole issue for me is to do with Pattern Day Trading and the funding and exchange issues relating to this. If I have an account in USD then the issue of account funding requirements becomes secondary, ie the $25K needed wont fluctuate with exchange rates if my account is in dollars and is above this.

However, if my account is in GBP then exchange rates do become an issue. Over the last 2 years the £/$ exchange rate has varied from $1.64 to $1.42 So the difference in funding an account to patterny day trade has varied from £15.2K to £17.6K some £2.4K difference. At the moment the £ is strong against the $ but I think it will swing the other way at some point and I would rather not have to concern myself with the issue of exchange rates when it does. This is the reason I am wanting to fund an account with a base currency in dollars. IB dont have a problem with what base currency you choose but once chosen you cannot change it without opening a new account including all the hassle of identification, online exams again etc, which is why I said a complete pain.