Interactive Brokers or something else for access to global markets ?


8 0
I'm interested mainly in trading non-US markets (stocks/options) and forex to decrease my exposure to declining USD value. My understanding is that Interactive Brokers has the best access to international exchanges and lowest commissions. However, it also has a monthly activity fee (I am not that active; I'm hedging long term positions against USD and sitting on it) and I am not sure if its trading platform can function with no market data feeds (I can find most of the data I need publicly, so I wasn't going to have ANY market data or research, just trading capability once I have the symbol). Basically it looks like it would cost me an "Activity Fee Minimum" of $10 minus any commission in that month (so at most $120/year as an "account fee" is how I look at it). I'd like the account to be in a stable non-USD denomination like AUD or NZD, which I think they can provide; if not I'll just dump cash into a forex transaction like USD->AUD.

I examined other brokers but did not find one with global market access or low rates for a larger number of single lot transactions (diversification over a larger number of assets; 100 of each stock for example costs $1 at IB and typically $5 flat at other places, although the minimum volume outside the US is typically 400-600 to get optimal commission pricing). The alternative might be buying ADRs as a proxy for foreign companies. For any domestic stock like IAU (gold hedge) I'd prefer to use deep ITM LEAP options to replicate the stock instead, but I've not seen a similar product for exchanges outside the US.

Any recommendations on brokers for low commision / low volume per transaction trading and minimal fees (such as data/activity) ? I'll be starting with $10k and building up to $50-100k USD in the account over the next few years so I should be able to meet the minimums in most places, just maybe not their preferred trade activity level.


50 0
Pretty hard to beat IB for the best international equity exposure...I don't know of any that offer so many markets...


8 0
I found at least one answer upon inspection of ; "There is no requirement to subscribe to market data in order to trade, and customers are free to receive market data from another IB account or data vendor, or to use only delayed market data."

I can use the API as well or perhaps the UI to estimate commissions before purchase. So, the cost is $120/yr minus commissions if planned correctly which is offset by the lower transaction costs and greater market options anyway. I'm surprised there are not a lot of competitors in this space; Lightspeed has similarly low commissions but limited markets. You need 125k in IB to make an optimal forex trade, so I guess it's better to have the account in the currency you really want, but it might cost some to convert it back to USD if withdrawing. Such is life.
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