Things to consider

There are many aspects to assessing a broker’s services in general, maybe even too many to list. Below, we’ll focus on the most important criteria that should be taken into account when determining whether a broker is good for beginners.

A beginner-friendly broker should have:

  • an excellent web and mobile trading platform
  • low fees
  • great educational tools
  • good customer service
  • an easy account opening process
  • low minimum deposit

Safety is also very important, but since we recommend only safe brokers regulated by top-tier authorities, this is one thing you don’t have to worry about.

More and more people are looking to become a player on financial markets either as traders or investors. However, when researching the basics, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available online.

This is where BrokerChooser offers a helping hand. The reason is simple: choosing the right service, especially when you are taking your first steps in trading, is highly important.

In this article we’ll check whether Interactive Brokers is the right choice for a starting trader.

Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners
Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners?

Based on our scoring methodology, Interactive Brokers might not overall be the best choice for beginners. If you'd like to see alternatives, check out our picks for the best brokers for beginners.

Let's take a look at its services one by one, following the criteria we set above, to get the whole picture.

  • 💻 When it comes to its web platform, Interactive Brokers might suit the needs of beginners: User-friendly. Clear fee report. Two-step (safer) login. Overall, this platform may be an optimal choice for beginners.
  • 📱 Sadly, Interactive Brokers's mobile platform is not its strongest side, but there are a few positive aspects to it: Two-step (safer) login. Good search function. Good variety of order types. On the other hand, there are some things that could be improved: User interface is a bit complex.
  • 💰 Fees are one of the most important aspects when it comes to trading and Interactive Brokers does well in some areas: Low trading fees. Free stock and ETF trading for US clients. Low margin rates. However, charges may be higher compared to some competitors. Areas of improvement: Inactivity fee.
  • 🕖 Account opening: Fully digital. No minimum deposit for most account types. When it comes to the actual process however, there are more seamless experiences at other brokers that Interactive Brokers could look to as an example. Areas of improvement: Not user-friendly. Confusing messages throughout the process.
  • 📚 Interactive Brokers's education materials are a great place to start: Demo account. Trading platform tutorial. Educational videos. This makes Interactive Brokers's material worthy reading.
  • 📞 Phone support. Live chat. Relevant answers. However, there is some room for improvement in Interactive Brokers's customer service: No 24/7 support. Slow support.
  • 💰 Low minimum deposits and low-cost transactions are attractive for new traders. Interactive Brokers's deposit and withdrawal processes have some good things to offer: No deposit fee. Several account base currencies. First withdrawal each month free. Nevertheless, its services could be improved in other areas: Credit/Debit card not available.

Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners
Overview of Interactive Brokers's services

Let’s take an overall look at how Interactive Brokers compares to its peers when it comes to platforms, fees, account opening and education tools. Our scores are on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0, from worst to best.

Interactive Brokers services vs. similar brokers
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank TradeStation Global
Web platform score 4.5 stars 5.0 stars 4.5 stars
Mobile platform score 3.8 stars 5.0 stars 3.8 stars
Fees Low Average Low
Account opening score 3.4 stars 2.5 stars 2.8 stars
Education score 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 2.5 stars
Customer service score 3.4 stars 4.0 stars 4.0 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 3.5 stars 4.8 stars 3.5 stars

If you wish to read more about Interactive Brokers, click 'Visit Broker' to go to the broker's website. We also have a detailed review of the broker that you can read by clicking on the 'More' button.

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Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners
Is Interactive Brokers safe to use?

We hear more and more stories each day about clients who lost their money to scammers from Telegram or through unregulated services. BrokerChooser only features brokers that have top-tier regulators. As such, Interactive Brokers is a safe and trusted broker.

If you’d like to know more, check out our deeper dive into Interactive Brokers's safety.

Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners
Where can I find more information?

If Interactive Brokers is not the right broker for you, go ahead and check out our picks for Best Brokers for Beginners in 2021 for some alternatives.

Also, if you feel that some things weren’t clear when it comes to the brokerage world, no worries. We have lots of content to cover your questions. You can find our articles in the How to invest section of our site.

For example, if you want to know how to buy shares online and how the whole process works, there’s an article about that. If you’d like to learn more about investing in stocks or what short selling is, we have articles about these topics too.

We have also written a few materials that focus on recent events in the news. Like what happens with brokers after Brexit or what a short squeeze is.

We hope you found all of the information above useful. If you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you, just write to us at [email protected]. See you there!

Author of this article

Gergely Korpos

Author of this article

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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