Interactive Brokers Review | History, Services, Ratings, Fees and Customer Complaints
As a follow up to reviews that we’ve published on brokerage firms like TradeKing, TD Ameritrade, eTrade, and many more, we are releasing this 2014 report based on our analysis and review of Interactive Brokers.
As part of our analysis, we identified multiple pros, cons, benefits and consumer complaints when trading or investing with Interactive Brokers.
With this article, we aim to present an objective overview of the key findings from our analysis and reviews of Interactive Brokers, the services it provides and the various fees it charges.
Interactive Brokers Review and Analysis
- Origin and Growth
- Products and Services Offered – Interactive Brokers Review
- Added Benefits
- Interactive Brokers Rates & Fees
- Interactive Brokers Consumer Complaints
Origin and Growth
Interactive Brokers was founded not too long about, in 1994 to be exact. However, if you follow the company heritage back, you can find traces of the company leading all the way back to 1977 under the name of T.P., CO.
T.P., CO. was founded by Thomas Peterffy but experienced little to no traction. However, in 1994, it evolved into the company we know today as Interactive Brokers.
In 1998, Interactive Brokers made one of the biggest growth decisions that could have been made at the time by a brokerage firm. It started to execute trades online through its own trading systems.
Products and Services Offered – Interactive Brokers Review
For long term investors, Interactive Brokers offers a wide range of products from IRAs to 401(k)s. For Traders, also known as short term investors, even the most advanced options are available.
Product listings include:
- Structured Products
Now that we’ve briefly addressed the various products available, let’s talk about services.
First off, their customer service is great. They offer phone support as well as online chat support, and the support you receive will be top notch, as per our testing.
Also they provide an easy to use online platform. You’ll have some of the best research tools at your fingertips. There will be training guides and tutorials that will help even a novice investor understand the most intricate aspects of investing.
The ability to trade online is a huge benefit, but that’s not something unique to Interactive Brokers. So, what do they offer that can be considered somewhat better than other brokerage firms?
One of Interactive Brokers biggest advantage is its online education center (Trader’s University), which includes webinars, courses, tours, documentation, etc.
They share so much information here that you would probably be able to pass the series 7 exam by the time you get through it. That’s a great advantage. The bottom line is, on the stock market and off, knowledge is power.
Interactive Brokers Rates & Fees
To make it these days in any market, you’ve got to make sure that you stay competitive as far as rates and fees are concerned.
Interactive Brokers is a company that’s no stranger to this concept. They offer some of the lowest fees in the market. A fact that’s incredibly surprising when you look at the added advantages of quality training and tools.
On a more specific level, Interactive Brokers charges $1 for stock trades and $0.70 for options contracts.
They also charge low commissions. Their commission rate is .5% of the trade value (note: there is a minimum monthly commission of $10 however).
Interactive Brokers Consumer Complaints
Interactive Brokers is no stranger to consumer complaints. However, it’s important to remember that consumers are always more likely to complain online than write a review after a great experience.
That being said, during our research and Interactive Brokers review analysis, we identified the following topics as a major cause of complaints amongst the firm’s customers.
- Inaccurate Reporting
- Problems With Options Trading
- Poorly Performing Margin Account
- Trading platform might be difficult to understand for new users
- Some instances of poor customer service
Interactive Brokers is a great broker dealer to work with. Starting before the online craze, they quickly saw a need and offered online exchange.
They’ve got a great history of providing exceptional service. Not to mention, if you’re a beginner, the education center is going to be your best friend.