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Friday, 29 June 2012

Interactive Brokers Forex Reviews

I have been with InteractiveBrokers.com for three years. Not 100% trouble free (more about that later) but overall a very satisfactory arrangement.

From IB website: "With consolidated equity capital that exceeds US $2.1 billion, IB and its affiliates ranked as the 16th largest securities firm by Institutional Investor, and the #1 software-based broker and lowest cost broker by Barron's in 2005. Over 17% world's options volumes* trade through IBG technology."

Stocks:

From IB website:"IB SmartRoutingSM searches for the best price available at the time of your order, and unlike other routers, dynamically routes and re-routes all or parts of your order to achieve optimal execution."

A great service. I went prop with a company that offered what they said was lightning fast executions, but it couldn't compare with the ease of TWSs' instinctive smart routing

Futures:

When combined with Buttontrader (a plugin frontend) you have a platform almost equal to x-trader (TT) for a fraction of the price. Trade US, European and Asian markets.

Options:

A complex platform to use, but unbeatable pricing.

Forex:

I used IDEALPRO from the day they offered it and was hugely disappointed. Since then it has evolved to be a very tight spread, liquid instrument. It is shaking up the forex industry because of the honesty of its ECN type executions.

Charting Feed:

This alone should be enough for most active traders to join. I save around $200/month on fees for market data and esignal by using Multicharts (http://www.tssupport.com/products/multicharts/addon/), a sophisticated charting program that can take feeds from multiple sources, with IB feed.

Service:

This is where I have had a few problems. Sometimes livechat is busy or unavailable, emails that are unanswered for over 24 hours (sometimes much less, but you never know). And a phone manner that is almost insulting. I had a problem closing out a Dax trade 2 years ago, so rang the hotline and agreed to pay $30 to have them manually close it out. Got someone on the phone and eventually it was closed out - but it was tough for me to see a $300 positive trade go negative $250 by the time it was closed. I expected sympathy because it was an idiosyncrasy with TWS that caused the problem (not a fault with TWS-it was to do with the way they calculate margin in foreign currencies). However, the service gentleman was offhand.. I never phoned since. This is the US office. The Hong Kong office is said to be better.

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