Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is one of the largest brokerage firms in the world. IBKR is a low-cost brokerage firm with a variety of asset classes. However, not everyone is eligible for the IBKR Lite account, and pro users will incur a maintenance fee if the accounts do not make many trades.
What Are Interactive Brokers?
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is one of the more established online brokerage brands based in America and operates in Singapore. It is the largest trading platform in the US currently, with a solid presence in Asia as well.
The company was listed on the NASDAQ in 2007. IBKR lets you invest in stocks, options futures, currencies, bonds, and funds, not forgetting metals minimum commission fee (SG stocks) 0.08% in 135 markets in 33 countries, including the Singapore Exchange, where the Monetary Authority regulates it. It is essential to note the IBKR is one of the cheapest trading accounts available at the moment.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Interactive Brokers?
- Interactive Brokers offer affordable trading fees
- You can invest in trade assets globally using a single account
- It does not require you to have a minimum balance to trade
- Offers innovative tools in the market that ease the trading process
- Interactive Brokers pro users incur maintenance fees if they do not make enough trades in a month
- Not all IBKR account holders are eligible to open the IBKR Lite account. The account offers US ETF trading and commission-free US stocks.
- The website is not easy to use. The IBKR website has a wide variety of information, but it is easy to interpret, especially for beginners.
Can People Use Interactive Brokers to Buy and Sell Stocks?
Yes! You can use Interactive brokers to trade stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds and metals minimum commission fee (SG stocks) 0.08% on trade value. The company offers industry-low trading commissions with 0.08% on trade value Singapore stocks and is sometimes free if you invest in US-listed ETFs.
What Are the Top Reasons Why People Invest in Interactive Brokers?
1. Low Cost
Interactive Brokers Singapore is an established online brokerage brand that offers very competitive brokerage commissions and financing rates. The firm claims that if an exchange provides rebates, they will pass most or all the savings to the clients. IBKR’s commissions’ rates are listed on the website for full transparency.
2. Fixed brokerage commission
The company offers a fixed brokerage commission of 0.08% of the trade value for securities and stocks in Singapore. The company does not have a minimum brokerage fee that other brokerage firms charge.
3. No transaction fee for ETFs
IBKR does not charge a transaction fee for ETFs listed in the US and also charges US$0.005 per share. Transaction fees for other regions are also quite competitive. They have a commission fee list transparently posted on their website.
4. Interest rate charge
The company also charges competitive margin financing interest rates, allowing account holders to earn an extra income for shares held with IBKR by lending them to traders who want to short the market.
5. No inactivity fees
IBKR also removed the $10 inactivity fees charged on accounts that did not maintain a minimum balance or didn’t have enough transactions in a month. Before removing the Interactive Brokers inactivity fee, the brokerage fee from transactions made each month would offset the $10 fee.
The only way investors would avoid the inactivity fee was to have US$100,000 worth of investments in the account. However, today new investors are not limited to this amount. This is great news to investors since you will not incur an extra cost if you want to start investing small or cannot invest often.
6. Global Access
With Interactive Brokers, Singapore investors have access to trading assets in 135 markets, 33 countries, in 23 currencies. Many brokerage platforms do not have such extensive access to markets. With such a broad reach, it makes it much easier to review different investments without having multiple accounts,
Through IBKR, investors in Singapore can fund their brokerage accounts in multiple currencies without the foreign exchange costs.
7. Innovative Solutions with Its “Premier Technology”
IBKR has the friendly tech for beginner investors and sophisticated traders who trade frequently and do not forget wealth managers. The platform offers trading and reporting tools with different orders and algorithms that are great for your investing and trading strategy.
8. Margin Rates
Margin traders also benefit from the low rates by IBKR. Brokers charge a blended rate based on the size of the margin loan.
The website has a calculator to help investors do the math based on their balance. The company also offers an integrated cash management feature that allows investors to borrow against their Mastercard debit card at low interest rates.
9. Great Trading Platform
Most traders find the IBKR platform quite appealing for their trading needs. IBKR is a normal trading platform considered to be one of the best by advanced traders.
The platform is fast and has standard alerts, real-time monitoring, watch lists, and a customizable dashboard. Its options strategy lab helps you create and submit complex and straightforward multileg option orders and help you compare five options strategies simultaneously.
The platform has other advanced tools such as the volatility lab, heat map sector, advanced charting, stock symbol performance, mutual fund replicator, and paper trading, which helps the user identify ETFs that replicate a selected mutual fund’s performance and affordable trading fees.
10. No Minimum Balance Required
Most new investors find they have to start trading because of the minimum capital required. With the Interactive Broker’s platform, you do not need a minimum balance to maintain for both IBKR lit and Pro.
This makes it relatively easy for investors to start using the platform.
11. Interactive Broker Has Social Responsible Investing
IBKR is an ideal platform for investors who are looking to trade with a conscience. It has a feature known as the Impact Dashboard that is free to all its users.
The dashboard allows users to select their investment criteria from the selected 13 principles. Among the principles include clean water and air, gender equality, and LGBTQ inclusion.
Investors also can exclude options based on ten categories such as cooperate political spending, animal testing, lobby, and hazardous waste production.
12. IBKR Has a Great Mobile App
The mobile app offers traders a workstation on the go. The app has advanced shortcuts with over 400 data columns, news, research, option exercise, spread templates, charting, and scanners.
The app simplifies IBKR’s trading tools for most users. In addition, users can also create order presets that prefill the order tickets for fast entry on the app.
13. Interactive Brokers Platform Offers a Wide Investment Range
Interactive Brokers charges make it an ideal investment option for everybody. Beginners will have a wide range of investment options, while Advanced traders love the wide selection of products available on the platform.
14. The Platform Provides Access to Investment Research
IBKR delivers a vast selection of investment research to investors. Research and news providers include Fundamental Explorer that offers fundamental data from Reuters.
Reuters provides research from more than 30,000 companies with over 5,500 analyst ratings. Other research companies featured include Morningstar Equity Ownership, Zacks Investment Research, 24/7 Wall Street, and Market Realist.
The platform also provides users with a wide range of learning resources on financial markets.
15. The Platform Offers Fractional Shares
You can purchase a fraction of a company’s stock if you do not want to buy the full-priced share. This makes it easier for investors who wish to invest in companies that have high share prices.
This further makes it possible to maintain a diversified portfolio, especially for investors who have smaller accounts.
For Whom Are Interactive Brokers Best?
IBKR is designed for people looking for an innovative and affordable broker who will provide access to stocks listed on different markets. It is an excellent platform for investors looking for a cheap brokerage to make trades with
Interactive Brokers platform has different portfolios ideal for other groups of people. These portfolios are:
1. BKR Lite
IBKR lite offer unlimited $0 commissions on US-listed stocks and ETFs. The account has no minimum requirement and inactivity fees.
Here is a list of people eligible for IBKR lite:
- US resident individuals, trust, joint, IRA accounts
- US Financial Advisors and Family and Friends Advisors
- Broker clients of any residency
- Employee Track individuals, mutual, IRA, and trust clients of any residency
2. IBKR Pro
- People eligible for this portfolio include everyday investors who are not US residents
What Charges of Fees Should You Look Out For?
It is important to note that low fees do not mean that there are no charges at all. IBKR has two types of pricing.
1. Fixed Pricing
Includes a fixed rate per share, which consists of all regulatory and exchange fees.
2. Tiered Pricing
IBKR commission fees depend on your trading volume.
How to Fund Your IBKR Account In Singapore?
There are two ways to fund your IBKR account. These ways are:
1. Bank Wire
This process can take anywhere between a few hours and four business days, depending on the type of bank accounts you have.
You will need to transfer money from your bank account to the Interactive Brokers account. You can transfer the funds in multiple currencies, which include: Chinese Yuan, British Pounds, US Dollars, Hong Kong Dollars, or Singapore Dollars.
2. Basing FOP Transfer
This involves transferring securities that you own from another brokerage firm to your Interactive brokerage account
It is important to note that IBKR offers a custodian account, which stores the stocks after buying rather than using a CDP account. There are also no custodian fees.
How to Open An Interactive Brokers Account?
Here are the steps to take to create your Interactive Brokers account:
- Create your Username and Password
- Confirm your email address and then select your country and region
- Verify your email account
- Fill in your personal information, including your tax residency information and income. To speed up this process, you can select the option to retrieve Myinfo from your SingPass account. This will help prefill your personal information.
- Finish filling up the form
- Fund your account and start trading.
It is important to note that some products, such as leveraged products, will require you to meet some specific eligibility criteria to trade the product.
Is Interactive Brokers Good for Buying Stocks?
Yes. IBKR is one of the best trading platforms for Singapore stocks as well as international stocks. It offers easy and affordable access to stocks listed in markets all over the world.
By scrapping the minimum fee, IBKR is ideal for people with multiple transactions a month and investors who are looking for cheap brokerage services to make trades with. However, beginner investors might need a little guidance through the platform before getting used to it.
- IBKR is one of the more established international brokerages available to people in Singapore.
- It’s a normal trading platform providing access to stocks listed on Singapore Stock Exchange and other markets worldwide
- Fees are fixed at 0.08% on trade value
- $0 minimum balance required and no maintenance fee required
- The mobile app has simplified trading tools
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