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Interactive Brokers


fxfox

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I've been with IB for about 4 months now. It's been a wonderful experience. I trade S&P Minis, Gold Mini's, options, & stocks- long and short. The trades are instantaneous- they give a nice Java based spreadsheet to see what you have and what it's doing. Commissions are so cheap it's almost free to trade: a buck for a hundred shares of stock, 2.50 for a futures contract, options really cheap too. Customer service is a quick phone call away, and is very helpful- I've used them a few times to help me with the spreadsheet interface.

 

My only complaint is that sometimes my spreadsheet internet connection is not quite as good as I'd like (I think it's me but it could be them). I always put in a stop on my futures just in case I can't get a good connection to close out a position. Oh- if you have less than $25K in a margin account (required for shorting and futures), they will not permit you to BECOME a daytrader- if you do more than 2 round trip trades of stocks or options (not futures though) in a 5 day period, your account will be locked and you'll only be able to close out positions (not initiate new ones) until the 5 day clock ticks down. Oh- and no mutual funds, so if you need some, you'll need another account elsewhere.

 

I've got an Ameritrade account and an IB account- I've stopped using the Ameritrade account completely except for Mutual funds. IB's been great.

 

 

As for safety, read what they say on their site: I guess it's true- I've always depended on the kindness of strangers. Good luck.

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Skidd,

 

sounds wonderfull! I chekced out their website and thought their offers are just too good to be true. What impressed me is that you can trade almost everything, despite forex and mutual fonds, but for that i have other brokers.

 

With my broker in germany i only trade warrants, i could also trade futures with him but it would be damn expensive.

 

The good thing: This restriction that you need 25k in your account only counts for US citizens :lol: , that means, i can trade eveything with only 5k or so B)

 

It is just very good to have the OPPORTUNITY to trade everything, espacially the S&P and NDX e-minis i would like to trade, becasue when i trade them with warrnts i really need a big move to make money and that goes on my nerves.

 

I can also short stocks? Could yozu please just give an example how you calculate your profit, for examlpe if you short MSFT at 55 and cover at 45, how much margin do you need for that and how big is your profit.

 

Tanks! :)

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As I see it, if I short 100 shares of CSCO at 13.6, I get a positive ADDITION to my account balance of $1360. My available margin will drop by half that, though ($680). The transaction costs a dollar. When I cover at $12.00, the transaction will subtract $1200 from my account, and I'll be left with the difference of 1360-1200=$160. The margin AVAILABLE will have been rising as Cisco's price fell, and when I cover, it will go back to its original amount before I shorted. And the purchase of CSCO to cover will cost me another buck. Total profit $160- $2 commission=$158.

 

I can't get into my trading screen on Saturdays and Sunday until 5pm (I don't know why, but since none of my markets are open, I've never called to ask why), or I'd give you real examples. Enjoy.

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The best part of IB is that I'm cheap, and with the commissions as low as they are, I can watch the charts as the S&P is heading for resistance, put really tight stops in on the futures, get whipsawed out, and reenter immediately. Sometimes it'll take three or four tries before it breaks through resistance and I get a nice move- and the risk is negligible, and total cost in commissions for 4 round trip trades is 20 bucks (less than two ticks on the Eminis). 6 months ago I'd never shorted a stock in my life- on Ameritrade, shorting is very awkward and uncomfortable. On IB, it's just a "sell", like any other sell, except there's no "buy" against it. :)

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IB is one of the few on-line brokers who are both cheap and don't mind foreigners. (For instance, RJT or BrownCo will start asking you for SSN or in which state you reside - forget it, if you're not a US citizen.)

 

Do they allow you to re-invest immediately the proceeds of a closed trade, like Datek/Ameritrade does? I have the impression that they would make you wait for the 3-day clearing period instead.

 

Skidd, what do you mean about Ameritrade's shorting? You don't "short" there - you just "sell" what you don't have. I find this extremely annoying, because it doesn't allow you to go short an issue on which you already have a long position. Other brokers, like E*Trade, have separate transactions for "sell" and "short" and there it is not a problem to go both long and short the same issue.

 

Fx, before you send them (IB) any money, make sure you can get your money back easily. For instance, Datek changed the format of its form where you enter your bank account to transfer money to - and now you can transfer money only to US bank accounts. The form requires a valid ABA numbler - and only the US banks have that. :angry: So, if I decide to get back my money from Datek (now owned by Ameritrade), I have to ask them to send me a cheque. Morons.

 

Basically, there are no good brokers. The trick is to find the least bad one.

 

Regards,

Vesselin

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Accounts at different brokerages would be very handy. For instance, a Canadian TD Waterhouse brokerage account, along with a Canadian TD Canada Trust chequing account, AS WELL as a TD Waterhouse BANK account [uS with ABA number] would allow clicking your money around on the internet. Interactive Brokers can send the money to TD Waterhouse Bank [with ABA] and then send it home from there. Good for Canuckleheads anyway. Other U.S. cheques only need 5 days to clear instead of having to wait 30 days.

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IB is one of the few on-line brokers who are both cheap and don't mind foreigners. (For instance, RJT or BrownCo will start asking you for SSN or in which state you reside - forget it, if you're not a US citizen.)

 

Do they allow you to re-invest immediately the proceeds of a closed trade, like Datek/Ameritrade does? I have the impression that they would make you wait for the 3-day clearing period instead.

 

Skidd, what do you mean about Ameritrade's shorting? You don't "short" there - you just "sell" what you don't have. I find this extremely annoying, because it doesn't allow you to go short an issue on which you already have a long position. Other brokers, like E*Trade, have separate transactions for "sell" and "short" and there it is not a problem to go both long and short the same issue.

 

Fx, before you send them (IB) any money, make sure you can get your money back easily. For instance, Datek changed the format of its form where you enter your bank account to transfer money to - and now you can transfer money only to US bank accounts. The form requires a valid ABA numbler - and only the US banks have that. :angry: So, if I decide to get back my money from Datek (now owned by Ameritrade), I have to ask them to send me a cheque. Morons.

 

Basically, there are no good brokers. The trick is to find the least bad one.

 

Regards,

Vesselin

I'm with IB for 3 years now and quite happy wth them. They allow both ABA and SWIFT code and fund withdraw is just one click away. As long as your account balance >$25k, you can use your proceeds immediately.(They have a new restriction recently not allow you initiating any position if margin requirement is larger than previous day EMV instead of current one.)

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thanks all for your answers!

 

What really make me a bit shocked is that i need to have constantly more than 25k in my account to be able to trade without restrictions, that means i should better have 50k or so in the account , becasue i need margin. Hm, doesnt sound that good.

 

turtle,

"They have a new restriction recently not allow you initiating any position if margin requirement is larger than previous day EMV instead of current one"

 

sorry i dont understnad that. Can you please clarify what that mean exactly (i dont understand the term EMV).

 

TIA

 

please go on you stoolies in sharing your views about Interactive Brokers, if you have any :rolleyes:

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Fx, before you send them (IB) any money, make sure you can get your money back easily. For instance, Datek changed the format of its form where you enter your bank account to transfer money to - and now you can transfer money only to US bank accounts. The form requires a valid ABA numbler - and only the US banks have that. :angry: So, if I decide to get back my money from Datek (now owned by Ameritrade), I have to ask them to send me a cheque. Morons.

 

Regards,

Vesselin

 

Vesselin,

 

All major banks have "correspondent banks" for transfer to/from local currency to USD and (being mostly based in USA) these correspondent banks do, indeed, have ABA numbers.

 

It is easy to transfer USD to local currency by using the correspondent bank as an intermediary. Ofkorse, doing so slows down the electronic fund transfer, but it is still much faster than mailing a US cheque then having to wait for it to clear at a local bank. All the transfers I've made have taken 3 to 14 days (max).

 

If ye've had difficulty in moving funds around from local to USA, try asking your local bank if they have a USD correspondent bank. It will definitely make fund transfers easier.

 

success!

gruff.

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All major banks have "correspondent banks" for transfer to/from local currency to USD and (being mostly based in USA) these correspondent banks do, indeed, have ABA numbers.

You are confusing the direction. I have no problems sending funds to Datek/Ameritrade - I just ask my bank to wire them to their bank. The problem is that I cannot wire funds in the opposite direction - because Datek's idiotic form won't let me enter the data for a bank that doesn't have an ABA number.

 

Regards,

Vesselin

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turtle,

"They have a new restriction recently not allow you initiating any position if margin requirement is larger than previous day EMV instead of current one"

 

sorry i dont understnad that. Can you please clarify what that mean exactly (i dont understand the term EMV).

 

TIA

 

please go on you stoolies in sharing your views about Interactive Brokers, if you have any :rolleyes:

Equity with Margin Value. It's is calculated in realtime. There's no margin call at IB. If your maintenance margin requirement exceeds EMV, your positions will be automatically liquidated one by one.

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SCHWAB HORROR STORY

On two occasions I placed very large market orders at the open for some gold stocks. One was for hmy and the other for GG.

 

I was correct in my guess about the trades. Right after the open they screamed upwards. In each case I waited for several minutes and got no confirmation. The price began to level off and I started to panic. I called the 1-800 number and waited another 2-3 minutes, still no confirmation.

 

With the broker on the phone, they would not confirm or cancel my order.

 

In each case 20 minutes later I got my confirmation yet the stocks had already peaked and were well below the open representing a net loss on the trades. The execution on one trade was 7-8 minutes after the open and the other trade was about 10 minutes after the open.

 

Of course we know what happened. The floor trader took the order and filled it immediately. After the trade made a pile of loot he sold it at the top and earmarked the trade as his own. He then sold me the stock at a much lower entry price after it started falling.

 

I think this is called "low risk" investing since you use other people's money to get rich with zero risk.

 

All just my opinion of course. And what did these thieving buttwipes do to make me whole? Nada. Refused to even refund the commission. I told them I wished to file a formal complaint on several occasions and they never even called me back to get the details.

 

Later, when 2 of their knuckle dragging boiler room monkeys called me trying to sell some stock I told them what happened. The first one hung up on me (for some reason she felt I was upset with Slob) and the second one indicated that I had "issues".

 

Both trades were for about $75 G's each. I no longer trade with these thieves. Someone mentioned that Schwab has great customer service. I beg to differ. If I had more time on my hands I would have filed a suit on these grifters and deposed every vermin infected, lying, rotten, cheating, farc-faced con man I could lay my hands on. I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait for the hordes of disinfranchised idiots to do my dirtywork. No tears will be shed.

 

Everything written here is just my opinion.

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turtle,

 

thanks!

 

Sam Adams,

 

thats rellay a horror story!

 

I once experienced a similar thing, although your is much worse, my story was more my fault, but was also a shocker:

I bought a EUR/USD Call which was only 20 pips or so out of the money, i bought it on friday and expiration was monday (first mistake, i know :rolleyes: ), price didnt move, i became quite nervous, because i idiot had a large amount in this trade. Price didnt move till say 4 p.m. german time, i looked at the screen and said "ok i take that 10% loss", all of a sudden i couldnt sell, platofrm freezed or something! :o , but i could follow the price which the bank offered me for the warrant.

 

Now i called the broker to make the deal via the phone and now eat this: While i had the phone in my hand, the broker on the line, just wanted to sell that warrant, the price of the warrant was reduced by 50% !!!!!!! :o I freaked out! I almost cried (no joke) i was so angry i coulda spring outda window. I sold the warrant for a 60% loss.

 

Have to admit, till now i never made that loss back, it happend in jan2002. It was a nightmare, horror trip, hell visit and all one can imagine. :cry:

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That's what I like about IB and dislike about Ameritrade. In Ameritrade, I'd have to flip back and forth in "review orders" to see if I got a fill on my limit orders. And because of the uptick rule with shorts, I never knew whether they were waiting for an uptick, or just playing games with my trade (I have some serious doubts as to the execution of some trades but I can't prove a thing). In IB, you see execution instantly. And if it doesn't execute immediately, you can cancel, and see the cancellation instantly. I've never had a problem using the "smart" routing, and my fill prices are often better than my limit. Just my experience, yours may vary. :)

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