Interactive Brokers is so good, why anyone still bothers to use bank’s trading platform?
1) extremely low commissions. The minimum is $1, unlike $5 with Questrade. Option trading is also very cheap, especially they don’t charge option assignment fee. This means you can hold your options till expiration without worrying about the ding of $25 assignment fee per contract charged by Questrade.
2) low margin rate. They also have a “return enhancement” program you can opt in to lend out your stocks to short sellers, which gives you additional yield boost.
3) complex yet informative trading information.
There are also some downsides of IB. But to me they are negligible:
1) $10 per month account maintenance fee if account balance less than 100k, waivable if your trading cost is greater than $10. You don’t need to worry about this if you place at least two orders per month (or one order if you’re switching from RBC)
2) customer service is lacking. They feel somewhat cold when you call in, like they don’t care about your business. But I guess I can put up with this as There’s really no need to call in. Their Website and app functions are quite comprehensive.
3) no instant deposit method. Unlike Questrade which supports Interac, or RBC DI which you transfer funds directly from your checking account, the fastest way to deposit with IB takes 2-3 business days. If you are small traders who trade with their monthly salary like me, you will find this matters as Sometimes you probably will miss the best buying chances.
All in all, after switching to IB, I won’t look back.
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