IBKR Global Trading Platform Review

 

IBKR offers investors a robust trading platform with multiple tools, including charting and research. It also allows traders to set hotkeys, create attached orders and stage orders for later execution.

Investors can enhance Mosaic with premium newswire and analyst research from providers like Reuters, Morningstar and Zacks. It also features real-time streaming market headlines and an economic calendar.

Customization

IB provides traders with an impressive amount of customization on its flagship platform, Trader Workstation (TWS). Investors can define hotkeys to place orders quickly and use a number of advanced trading tools. Investors can also stage orders for execution-either one at a time or in a batch. IB supports a number of order types and algorithms including one-triggers-the-other, bracket orders and multi-leg options trades.

The Trader Workstation software was designed to provide users with a flexible, customizable workspace with direct access to IB’s comprehensive trading, order, chart and watchlist tools. The TWS Mosaic platform allows users to trade stocks, options, futures, bonds and funds on more than 150 markets around the world from a single unified interface.

TWS has over 100 customizable trading tools that can help investors find trade opportunities, execute complex strategies and manage risk in a dynamic market. The platform offers advanced order types that allow traders to limit risk, speed up execution, provide price improvement and protect privacy. The platform also offers advanced charting features and a wide selection of technical research and analysis tools.

In addition to a robust set of trading tools, IB has an extensive list of global market data that can be used for research and analysis. The company also hosts live educational webinars every day that cover a variety of topics.

IB’s customer service is available through telephone, email and online chat. We found the wait times for live support to be slightly longer than those of many other brokers, but the representatives we spoke with were knowledgeable and helpful. In addition, IB has an extensive library of online resources covering a variety of trading topics, and the broker offers a free live webinar each week that covers options trading.

Trading Tools

Trader Workstation offers a wide range of trading tools that help you monitor market activity and make informed trades. You can view charts with a variety of indicators and annotations, track orders and positions in real time and detect chart patterns with multiple scanning and alert features. The platform also supports various order types, including bracket and trailing stops, and lets you specify activation rules for specific events or prices. You can use the system’s built-in algorithms or create your own using EasyLanguage.

Whether you want to test new strategies or analyze your existing ones, the platform provides ample opportunity to do so without risking any money. You can use free, unbiased real-time research and news from a wide variety of sources or purchase premium research from a number of providers — many of which provide a free trial period. Both IBKR and TradeStation offer a number of educational resources to help you learn and improve your trading skills.

Both companies offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices that let you trade on the go. Both apps offer access to the same trading options, market data and order executions as TWS. However, the TradeStation app offers additional functionality that makes it the clear choice for active traders.

Both platforms support automated trading with a plethora of built-in algos that can be created, tested and improved through EasyLanguage. IBKR has an advantage in this area, though, with a wider selection of algos than TradeStation. Both platforms feature the ability to trade a wide variety of markets and asset classes, including stocks, futures, options and forex. Both also have a solid reputation for security. However, IBKR’s 24-hour customer service, compared to TradeStation’s limited offering of trading assistance only during business hours, narrowly edges the competition in this category.

Charting

Trader Workstation (TWS) is a powerful and feature-rich platform that provides an immersive online trading experience. It offers market data and trading tools that are suitable for all skill levels. The software supports multiple monitors and features a Mosaic layout that allows users to create their own customizable workspaces. This makes it easier to keep track of multiple markets, charts and orders in a single view. It is available on desktop computers, mobile phones and the web.

Investors can use TWS to trade stocks, options, ETFs, bonds and currencies on 150 global markets. There are also a variety of research tools and charting options. IBKR’s research offerings include third-party content and in-house reports. In addition, IBKR streams market headlines from sources such as Reuters and Market News International and provides an economic calendar.

IBKR’s fee structure is competitive and transparent. The brokerage offers $0.00 commissions on equities and ETFs for active traders using TWS Lite, or low costs scaled by volume for users who opt for the advanced functionality of TWS Pro. The brokerage also offers a wide range of margin rates and rock-bottom commissions on foreign stock trades.

Beginner investors can benefit from IBKR’s streamlined platform, GlobalTrader. It offers fractional share trades and options trading in foreign shares and is easy to navigate. IBKR also offers a variety of mobile trading apps and a robust API for customers and developers. Its customer service is available via email, phone and chat. The website is updated frequently to address new user needs. In addition, IBKR offers education solutions including webinars, videos and a free Traders’ Academy course for beginners. A dedicated team helps investors meet their goals, even in market volatility.

Market Data

Investors can view detailed market data through a customizable trading platform. IB’s Trader Workstation (TWS) provides users with access to trading, order management and portfolio management tools. TWS also offers advanced charting and research capabilities, along with a suite of technical analysis tools. Investors can define hotkeys to execute orders more quickly, as well as place conditional orders that become active when specific parameters are met.

TWS is available on desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices. The TWS mobile app, Client Portal and WebTrader offer a streamlined experience for trading stocks, ETFs, options, futures, bonds and funds on more than 150 markets worldwide. Investors can use a variety of order types and algorithms to execute trades on the TWS platform, including one-triggers-other and bracket orders, as well as a number of complex orders like custom basket orders offered by Saxo Bank.

IB’s SmartRouting technology helps investors get optimal pricing on their trades, as the system automatically routes each leg of a trade to the lowest cost market maker. In addition, IB has a wide range of tools to analyze markets and make informed trading decisions, including real-time quotes on global equities, commodities, currencies, bonds and funds.

While IB’s website, TWS and mobile apps are user-friendly, the sheer volume of features can be overwhelming for new investors. However, the firm is focusing on improving its website design and navigation and offering resources for new traders to help ease the learning curve. In addition, IB’s AI-powered customer service tool, IBot, is accessible throughout the TWS platform and online to answer questions in plain English. Additionally, IBKR is addressing long wait times for phone support through improvements to its call center.

Customer Service

In addition to a robust trading platform, IB offers excellent customer service. For example, customers can access the help menu to see user guides and contact customer support. Traders can also take advantage of the educational resources available on the website, such as a TWS for Beginners lesson and the Traders’ Academy courses TWS for Beginners Lesson 1 and Introduction to Charting Lesson 2.

The IB Trader Workstation platform is a powerful software program that lets investors, traders and institutions trade stocks, options, futures, FX, bonds and mutual funds on over 150 global markets. The platform is designed with advanced trading, analysis and charting tools all in one window.

Users can create multiple named Watchlist windows to monitor real-time market quotes based on their market data subscriptions. They can resize and move these windows to fit their trading style. The program also provides real-time alerts based on price, margin and volume. Investors can also view their P&L in the Account window.

IB Trader Workstation includes a wide range of order types and algos to facilitate complex trading strategies. For instance, the Accumulate/Distribute algorithm helps large-volume traders receive the best pricing. Bracket orders curb losses by placing two opposite-side orders. The platform also offers a Smart Order Router to seek out price improvement.

IB Trader Workstation has an extensive collection of free analyst research reports and event calendars. The program also features a Bloomberg TV channel and a voice-activated information window called Ibot that can answer questions about any stock symbol. IB Trader Workstation is jam-packed with tools, and it could take a trader a long time to find all of them. This is another area where IB Trader Workstation beats TradeStation.

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