hargreaves-lansdown-review

Hargreaves Lansdown Review 2023

  • 9.2

Hargreaves Lansdown review summary

Hargreaves Lansdown is a UK broker, regulated by the top-tier FCA. Hargreaves Lansdown’s web and mobile trading platforms are well-designed and user-friendly. Its educational tools are also well-structured and high-quality, while customer service is great as well. It is a good choice for beginner investors. On the negative side, trading fees are high for stocks and ETFs. The account opening for clients outside the UK is not fully digital and you can only open GBP accounts. BrokerChooser gave Hargreaves Lansdown a 4.6/5 rating based on analyzing 500+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.

Hargreaves Lansdown is a regulated broker, it is overseen by a top-tier financial regulator in the UK . Hargreaves Lansdown is also covered by investor protection in selected jurisdictions. We at BrokerChooser always test brokers with real money, including the withdrawal process.

DEGIRO review is available in Pakistan

Hargreaves Lansdown pros and cons

Pros Cons
Easy-to-use trading platforms High fees for stocks and ETFs
High-quality educational tools Offline account opening for clients outside the UK
Great customer service Only GBP base currency

Hargreaves Lansdown main highlights

🗺️ Country of regulationUK
💰 Trading fees classAverage
💰 Inactivity fee chargedNo
💰 Withdrawal fee amount$0
💰 Minimum deposit$0
🕖 Time to open an account1 day
💳 Deposit with bank cardAvailable
👛 Depositing with electronic walletNot available
💱 Number of base currencies supported1
🎮 Demo account providedNo
🛍️ Products offeredStock, ETF, Fund, Bond, Portfolio+, Venture Capital Trusts
Our overall DEGIRO review rating
  • 9.2

  • Fees
    6.4
  • Account opening
    9.2
  • Deposit and withdrawal
    7.6
  • Web trading platform
    7.4
  • Mobile trading platform
    7.8
  • Markets and products
    6.4
  • Research
    8
  • Customer service
    9
  • Education
    7
Hargreaves Lansdown review

Fees

Hargreaves Lansdown has low fund and bond trading fees and there is no inactivity fee. However, the stock and ETF fees are high.

Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees High stock and ETF fees
Low fund fees Currency conversion fee
No withdrawal fee
Low fees for funds and bonds

Hargreaves Lansdown fees snapshot

AssetsFee levelFee terms
US stockHighBased on previous month’s activity. 0-9 trades: £11.95 per trade; 10-19 trades: £8.95 per trade; 20+
trades: £5.95 per trade
EURUSDNot available
Mutual fundLowTiered annual fee based on volume held. On first £250k, the fee is 0.45%, on the value between
£250k-£1m it is 0.25%, on the value between £1m-£2m it is 0.10%, and there is no charge on the value
above £2m.
Inactivity feeLowNo inactivity fee

How we ranked fees

We ranked Hargreaves Lansdown’s fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let’s go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of Hargreaves Lansdown for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.

We also compared Hargreaves Lansdown’s fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Charles Stanley Direct and Interactive Investor. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Hargreaves Lansdown alternatives.

To have a clear overview of Hargreaves Lansdown, let’s start with its trading fees.

Hargreaves Lansdown trading fees

Hargreaves Lansdown trading fees are average overall. Broken down by product category, stock and ETF fees are high and fund and bond fees are low. 

Stock fees and ETF fees

Hargreaves Lansdown has generally high stock and ETF commissions.

Hargreaves Lansdown stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade

 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
US stock $13.5 $8.4 $13.9
UK stock $13.5 $8.4 $13.9
German stock $13.5 $28.0 $13.9

Fund fees

Hargreaves Lansdown fund fees are low, especially if you want to buy and sell relatively frequently, because Hargreaves Lansdown doesn’t charge a commission for opening and closing mutual fund positions.

Hargreaves Lansdown commission for a $2,000 fund purchase

 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Mutual fund $0.0 $8.4 $2.1

Nevertheless, Hargreaves Lansdown charges an annual fee for holding funds. This fee is volume-tiered based on the value of funds you hold. 

Hargreaves Lansdown annual fund fees

Value of funds heldAnnual fee
First £250,0000.45%
Value between £250,000 – £1 million0.25%
Value between £1 million – £2 million0.10%
Value over £2 millionNo charge

If the volume of your asset holdings is more than in the first tier, you will be charged the rate for the first tier up to the set range, the rate for the second tier for the amount above it, and so on, for the other tiers as well. Holding value is checked at the end of the month and the proportional part of the annual fee is charged monthly.

Bond fees

Hargreaves Lansdown has generally low bond fees.

Hargreaves Lansdown commission of a $10,000 government bond trade

 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
US Treasury bond
EU government bond $13.5 $8.4 $13.9

The fees are different for online and phone trades. We calculated the fees for online trading. These fees are the same as stock fees. Roughly half of the bonds can be traded only over the phone, which has quite a high fee: 1% of the trade value, with a £20 minimum and £50 maximum.

Portfolio+

Portfolio+ covers portfolios that are managed by Hargreaves Lansdown’s fund managers. The fees for Portfolio+ include two kinds of fees:

  • the ongoing annual charge for mutual funds
  • an annual management fee

The annual management fee varies over time, depending on the portfolios’ performance. At the time of the review, the management fees ranged between 1.25% and 1.42%.

Non-trading fees

Hargreaves Lansdown has low non-trading fees. It doesn’t charge an inactivity fee or withdrawal fee and there is no account fee for a standard Fund & Share account.

Hargreaves Lansdown non-trading fees

 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Account fee No Yes No
Inactivity fee No No No
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 

The annual account fees for SIPP and ISA accounts are 0.45% of the trade value. There is an annual fee cap, which means the yearly fees can’t be more than that amount. The annual fee cap is £200 for SIPP accounts and £45 for an ISA account. 

If you trade assets denominated in currencies other than GBP, you also have to count with a currency conversion fee. This is charged as a percentage of the trade value, and is lower if you trade with higher amounts.

Hargreaves Lansdown currency conversion fees

Trade valueCurrency conversion charges (% of trade value)
First £5,0001.00%
Next £5,0000.75%
Next £10,0000.50%
Over £20,0000.25%
Hargreaves Lansdown review

Account opening

Hargreaves Lansdown’s account opening process is quick and easy as long as you’re in the UK and electronic verification works. If this fails or you live outside the UK, you have to send photocopied documents by post.

ProsCons
Fast Offline account opening for non-UK clients
No minimum deposit 
Fully digital for UK clients 

What is the minimum deposit at Hargreaves Lansdown?

There is no minimum deposit at Hargreaves Lansdown, you can set up an account with as little as £1.

If you want to use the robo-advisory service Portfolio+ or invest in Venture Capital Trusts, the minimum account balance is £1,000 and £3,000, respectively.

Account types

Hargreaves Lansdown account types

Account typeShort description
Fund & Share Account – Tested AccountBasic investment account
Stocks and Shares ISAISA account to invest tax-free up to the yearly limit
Lifetime ISASimilar to a regular ISA but the government adds contributions and the limits are different
Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)Tax-efficient pension investment account
Active SavingsAccount for cash savings
Cash ISAISA account for saving up to £20,000 each tax year tax-free
Junior Investment AccountBasic investment account managed on behalf of a child
Junior Stocks and Shares ISAISA account to invest tax-free on behalf of a child
Junior Self-Invested Personal PensionTax-efficient pension investment account on behalf of a child
CFD and spread betting account (HL Markets)Account provided by IG for forex, CFD and crypto trading (HL no longer accepts new applications to
this service however) 

How to open your account

For UK residents, the account opening process is straightforward. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes. They only require the most basic information and that you top up your account with a minimum of £1 during the process for verification purposes. If they manage to electronically verify your details you won’t even need to provide an ID or proof of address.

Things start to get complicated if their electronic verification fails, or if you’re not a UK resident.

Why would your verification fail? This can happen for a number of reasons: for example, if you recently moved, or recently moved to the UK. For a definite answer, you will need to contact Hargreaves Lansdown.

If your verification fails or you’re an EEA resident, then you will need to fill in their physical application form and post documents verifying your identity as well as your address. All in all, you would need to send the following:

  • filled-in application form
  • a copy of your: passport / driving license / firearms certificate or shotgun license / recent evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority funded benefit, tax credit, pension, educational or other grants
  • a copy of your: current council tax demand letter or statement (issued within the last three months) / current bank statement (postal issued, within the last three months) / utility bill (postal issued, within the last three months)
  • FOR UK ONLY: a cheque with the initial amount you wish to deposit in your account / direct debit instructions

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Account opening

Our best alternatives to Hargreaves Lansdown are:

The highest ranking competitors are:

  1. Interactive Investor full review
  2. AJ Bell Youinvest full review
  3. Barclays full review
  4. Charles Stanley Direct full review
Hargreaves Lansdown review

Deposit and withdrawal

Depositing and withdrawing money is easy and free with a debit card or fast bank transfers at Hargreaves Lansdown. Unfortunately, accounts are available only in GBP.

Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available Only one account base currency
Free withdrawal
No deposit fee

Account base currencies

At Hargreaves Lansdown, the only available base currency is GBP.

Base currencies at Interactive Brokers vs similar brokers

 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Number of base currencies 1 9 1

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don’t have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. They offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Deposit fees and options

Hargreaves Lansdown charges no deposit fees.

Hargreaves Lansdown deposit options
 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets No
No
No

If you top-up with a debit card, the amount will be instantly visible in your account. Deposit via bank transfer can take up to two business days.

You can only deposit money from a bank account that is in your name, and it has to be the one that is specified in your account settings with Hargreaves Lansdown.

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Deposit and withdrawal – Deposit

Hargreaves Lansdown withdrawal fees and options

Hargreaves Lansdown charges no withdrawal fees.

Hargreaves Lansdown withdrawal fees and options

 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No
No
No
Electronic wallets No
No
No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from Hargreaves Lansdown? We tested the bank transfer withdrawal and it took 2 business days.

How do you withdraw money from Hargreaves Lansdown? You can only withdraw funds to a nominated bank account in your name. Follow these steps:

  • Once logged in, hover over the ‘My Account’ button on the top right
  • Select your ‘Fund & Share Account’ from the options
  • On the right side of the page, select ‘Withdraw money’
  • Enter the amount you wish to withdraw and follow the instructions on the screen
Hargreaves Lansdown review

Web trading platform

Hargreaves Lansdown’s web platform is user-friendly and easy to use. However, it lacks a two-step login and customizability.

ProsCons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good search function 
Hargreaves Lansdown platforms to choose from
Trading platformScoreAvailable
Web
3.7
stars
Yes
Mobile
3.9
stars
Yes
DesktopNo

Hargreaves Lansdown has its own self-developed trading platform.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s web trading platform is available only in English.

Look and feel

Hargreaves Lansdown has a well-designed and easy-to-navigate trading platform. However, it cannot be customized.

 

 

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Web trading platform

Login and security

Hargreaves Lansdown provides only a one-step login. They give you a Secure Number after registration, and each time you log in, you have to enter your password and three randomly selected digits of this Secure Number requested by the system.

Search functions

The search functions work as you would expect. You can search by typing both a company’s name or asset’s ticker and during the search, a relevant list appears.

If you search for funds, you can also search by selecting the fund provider or the sector. HL also has a separate Fund Finder service, where you can search for funds using filters by provider, sector and fund type, as well as funds recommended by HL analysts for their performance potential.

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Web trading platform – Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types: Market, Limit, Stop loss, Stop trailing. To get a better understanding of these terms, read our overview of order types.

There are also order time limits you can use: Good ’til time (GTT), Fill or Kill (FOK).

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Web trading platform – Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications, but only for UK stocks. We missed the ability to set alerts for non-UK stocks.

The range of alerts is limited. You can set alerts only for price moves, dividend payouts and regulatory news announcements.

Portfolio and fee reports

Hargreaves Lansdown has clear portfolio and fee reports. These reports can be found in the ‘My Account’ section.

When you select an asset, you can check the costs it would incur over the next 5 years, for a £5,000 trade. It would better if you could modify this trading scenario manually.

Hargreaves Lansdown review

Mobile trading platform

The Hargreaves Lansdown mobile trading platform is great. It is user-friendly and well-designed. However, it lacks a two-step login and you cannot set alerts.

Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function No price alerts
Touch/Face ID login

Look and feel

The mobile trading platform is the same as the web platform. It is well-designed and easy to navigate. Unlike the web trading platform, you cannot set alerts and notifications on mobile.

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Mobile trading platform

Login and security

Hargreaves Lansdown provides only a one-step login. You can log in using biometric authentication, which is a convenient feature.

Search functions

The search functions are good, easy to use. What we really like about it is that when searching for a stock, for example, the results also display related News. 

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Mobile trading platform – Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types: Market, Limit, Stop loss, Stop trailing.

There are also order time limits you can use: Good ’til time (GTT), Fill or Kill (FOK).

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Mobile trading platform – Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You cannot set alerts and notifications on the Hargreaves Lansdown mobile platform.

Hargreaves Lansdown review

Desktop trading platform

Hargreaves Lansdown does not offer a desktop trading platform.

Hargreaves Lansdown review

Markets and products

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a lot of funds, and you can access a good number of stock markets. However, other products such as forex, CFDs, options or futures are not available.

Hargreaves Lansdown asset classes
 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Stocks Yes
Yes

Yes
ETFs Yes
Yes

Yes
Forex No
No
No
Funds Yes
Yes

Yes
Bonds Yes
Yes
No
Options No
No
No
Futures No
No
No
CFDs No
No
No
Crypto No
No
Yes

Hargreaves Lansdown has a good product portfolio. You can invest in and trade stocks, ETFs, funds and bonds. Hargreaves Lansdown is really competitive in the number of funds it offers, while it is average in its stock market and ETF offering. Its bond selection also lags behind competitors.

Stocks and ETFs

Hargreaves Lansdown gives you access to European and some North American stock exchanges. You can also trade penny stocks.

The broker’s stock and ETF offering are average.

Hargreaves Lansdown stock and ETF selection
 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Stock markets (#) 21 16 19
ETFs (#) 2,500 1,680 2,700

Funds

Hargreaves Lansdown’s mutual fund selection falls behind competing brokers. 

Hargreaves Lansdown mutual fund selection
 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Fund providers (#) 180 190 270

Bonds

Hargreaves Lansdown’s bond offer is limited, and only around half of the bonds can be traded online (the rest only via phone).

Hargreaves Lansdown bond selection
 Hargreaves LansdownInteractive InvestorAJ Bell Youinvest
Bonds (#) 190 26
Hargreaves Lansdown review

Research

The research section is full of useful features such as trading ideas and fundamental data, as well as quality news sources. However, there are no sophisticated charting tools.

Pros Cons
Trading ideas Only basic charting and analytics tools
Data on asset fundamentals
Quality news flow

We tested the research tools available on the web trading platform. There are a lot of tools to choose from, including trading ideas and stock market reports.

All research tools have nice and clean visuals. However, due to the large number of tools, it’s sometimes easy to get lost and hard to find the way back to a particular section.

Trading ideas

You can find trading ideas for stocks on the website’s ‘Research and tips’ section. There are various types of recommendations available. Under ‘Share tips’, you can find tips via the ShareCast third-party service, including trading tips from the press and brokerages.

Hargreaves Lansdown also shares the most-traded stocks by its clients over the past week in its ‘Top of the stocks’ section, including their buy-sell ratios.

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Research – Recommendations

Fundamental data

Hargreaves Lansdown offers fundamental data. You will find a plentiful amount of useful information, ranging from performance charts to forecasts and dividends.

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Research – Fundamental data

Charting

Hargreaves Lansdown has some basic charting tools. You can set 26 technical indicators on an easy-to-use and clear interface. This is more basic compared to what some other brokers provide.

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Research – Charting

News feed

There is a great news feed. The main news flow shows business articles from reputable sources like The Guardian and Reuters. The news section of the fundamental data screen combines news, reports, tips and company announcements.

Hargreaves Lansdown review

Customer service

Hargreaves Lansdown’s customer service is great, as they provide fast and relevant answers. On the negative side, there is no 24/7 availability and live chat is not provided.

Pros Cons
Phone support No live chat
Fast response time No 24/7 support
Relevant answers

You can contact Hargreaves Lansdown via:

  • phone
  • email

We were really satisfied with Hargreaves Lansdown’s phone support. We were connected instantly, and received relevant answers to our questions.

The email support works as you would expect. We emailed them several times and received relevant answers within a day in all cases. For example, we got a long and detailed email about who can open an account at HL.

However, we missed 24/7 availability and a live chat option.

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Customer Service

Hargreaves Lansdown review

Education

Hargreaves Lansdown’s education section offers a range of useful materials for beginner investors, in a well-designed and easy-to-understand format. However, there is no demo account that you can try out.

Pros Cons
Trading platform tutorial No demo account
Educational videos

At Hargreaves Lansdown you can learn in the following ways:

  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Live in-person seminars across the UK
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational articles

We really liked the downloadable PDF materials that cater to beginners about specific topics, like picking shares, a guide to Initial Public Offerings, a tax guide, and so on. They are well-structured, well-edited and suitably comprehensive. Other special elements in Hargreaves Lansdown’s education services include:

  • live seminars held regularly throughout the UK
  • various calculators available on the website (e.g. household budget planner, regular savings calculator)

 

On the negative side, Hargreaves Lansdown does not provide a demo account.

Hargreaves Lansdown review – Education

Hargreaves Lansdown review

Safety

Hargreaves Lansdown is regulated by the FCA, a top-tier financial authority, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. On the negative side, it does not hold a banking license.

Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority Does not hold a banking license
High level of investor protection
Listed on stock exchange

Is Hargreaves Lansdown regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Hargreaves Lansdown is based in the UK and was founded in 1981.

Is Hargreaves Lansdown safe?

To be certain if a brokerage is safe, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity. However, this is not an issue in this case, as all customers are covered by Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Limited. This means that due to the FCA regulation you get investor protection for an amount of up to £85,000.

Interactive Brokers legal entities
Country of clientsProtection amountRegulatorLegal entity
UK£85,000 *Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited
USA$500,000 ($250,000 cash limit) **Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)Interactive Brokers LLC
EU countries in Northern and Western Europe€20,000Central Bank of Ireland (CBI)Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited
EU countries in Central/Eastern Europe & Cyprus & Malta & Greece€100,000 ***Central Bank of Hungary (MNB)Interactive Brokers Central Europe Zrt.
CanadaCAD 1,000,000Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)Interactive Brokers Canada Inc.
AustraliaNo protectionAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)Interactive Brokers Australia PTY LTD
IndiaNo protectionSecurities and Exchange Board of India (BSE)Interactive Brokers (India) PVT. LTD.
JapanNo protectionFinancial Services Agency (FSA)Interactive Brokers Securities Japan Inc.
Hong KongNo protectionHong Kong Securities and Futures CommissionInteractive Brokers Hong Kong Limited 
SingaporeNo protectionMonetary Authority of SingaporeInteractive Brokers Singapore Pte. Ltd.

*If you are from the UK, the regulator and the protection amount also depends on the type of assets that you are trading:

  • If you trade forex, CFDs, non-US stock index options and futures, you are protected by the FCA, up to the amount of £85,000. 
  • If you trade stocks, bonds, funds and US stock index options, you are protected by the US investor protection (the protection amount is $500,000 with a cash limit of $250,000).

** In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment company shares, as well as other registered securities. It does not cover instruments such as unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interests in gold, silver, or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options.

*** Client accounts at IBCE are protected by Hungary’s Act CXX of 2001 on the Capital Market up to an amount of EUR 100,000. The amount paid by the insurance fund is:
100% up to the limit of the EUR equivalent of one million HUF (equivalent to EUR 2,800 on 12th December 2020),
Above one million forints: 1 million forints and 90% of the part above one million forints to a maximum of EUR 100,000.

Background

Interactive Brokers is based in the USA and was founded in 1977. During the last more four decades, IB managed to remain a leading force in the global brokerage market, despite multiple economic crises, which is a good sign for the broker’s safety.

Interactive Brokers Group (the holding company of the different entities) is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. The listing makes the broker more transparent, as it has to publish financial statements regularly. 

Being a listed entity and rand the fact that it’s egulated by both the UK’s FCA and the US SEC are all great signs for Interactive Brokers’s safety.

In recent negative news, Interactive Brokers was fined $38 million by US regulators in August 2020 for not monitoring hundreds of millions of wire transfers that were potentially used for money laundering purposes. In addition, IB also failed to report some potential manipulations regarding microcap securities.

Is Interactive Brokers safe?

Yes, Interactive Brokers is considered safe because of the following:

  • Listed on stock exchange
  • Offers negative balance protection
  • Regulated by top-tier financial authorities
Interactive Brokers review

Bottom line

Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest US-based lowest spread brokers, regulated by several top-tier regulators globally. We recommend this broker both for advanced traders and for everyday investors who want to have access to many stock markets. On the plus side, IB offers very low fees, a vast range of markets and products, and diverse research tools. There are some drawbacks, though. We weren’t satisfied with the quaity of the customer service and the account opening process is complicated. Unlike the web and mobile platforms, the desktop platform is complex and hard to get a handle on, especially for beginners. If you have experience navigating complex platforms and enjoy transparent, low-cost trading, Interactive Brokers is a great fit for you.

A really excellent broker truly the most comprehensive that serves all US & most free markets advanced securities to UK & EU clients.

Simeon

Interactive Brokers review

FAQ

Does Interactive Brokers charge a monthly fee?

Interactive Brokers does not charge any recurring fees such as account maintenance fees or inactivity fees.

What is the minimum amount to deposit in Interactive Brokers?

To open an Interactive Brokers account, the required minimum deposit is $0. Meaning, there is no minimum deposit. To start trading you need to deposit at least $100.

Is Interactive Brokers free?

Yes, Interactive Brokers is freeif you are from the US and use IBKR LiteIBKR Lite charges $0, and provides US stocks and ETFs only. However, order execution quality is bad because of PFOF (payment for order flow).

What fees does Interactive Brokers charge?

US clients can trade US-listed stocks and ETFs for $0 per share with the IBKR LITE plan. If you choose IBKR Pro, you pay $0.005 per share with $1 minimum and 1% maximum for US-listed stocks and ETFs. Annual margin rates are also really favorable at Interactive Brokers: benchmark rate + 1.5% for IBKR Pro (3.08% as of the writing), and benchmark rate + 2.5% for IBKR Lite (4.08% as of the writing).

How long does it take to withdraw money from Interactive Brokers?

It takes 2 to 4 days to withdraw money from IBKR depending on your bank and location. You can make one withdrawal per calendar month for free.

Can I open a cash account with Interactive Brokers?

Yes, you can open a cash account at Interactive Brokers. When you use cash account, you’re not allowed to borrow from the broker, ie. you can’t use margin. Cash account limits the potential losses, you can’t lose more than the originally invested amount.

How long does it take to get an IBKR account?

To get a live IBKR account takes usually 2-3 days.

How is Interactive Brokers so cheap?

Apart from their most basic features, Interactive Brokers charges other, extra aspects of the service, from which they generate revenue. For example extra features include live market data & news subscriptions.

How do I buy stock in Interactive brokers?

  1. On the Client Portal hover to the ‘Trade’ menu and choose the product you like to trade with

  2. Click on “Enter symbol” and find the product of your choice. Some tickers may have alternative versions on different exchanges

  3. Choose how many shares / how big of an investment you’d like to make 

  4. Choose your order type, limit price and time-in-force (if needed)

  5. Submit your order

  6. You’ll see the status of your order in ‘Trade’ – ‘Orders & Trades’ once it’s filled

How long does it take for IBKR to approve?

It usually takes about two or three working days for Interactive Brokers to approve your account once you have completed the online application form and submitted all required documents.

Who can open an interactive broker account?

Interactive Brokers is present in almost all countries of the world, so unless you live in a politically or economically unstable or isolated country such as North Korea or Syria, you will be able to open an account. In most countries, you need to be 18 or older to open a Cash account, and 21 or older to be able to trade on margin.

How do I know if my IBKR account is approved?

You will be notified by email once your IBKR account is approved. This usually happens about two working days after you have completed your application. You can also log in through the “Complete Application” link you received earlier to view your application status.

How much do I need to open an Interactive Brokers account?

To open an Interactive Brokers account, the required minimum deposit for a basic Cash account is $0, meaning there is no minimum deposit. To actually start trading, you need to deposit at least $100. If you want to trade on margin (ie. use leverage), you must deposit at least $2,000.

How long does it take to open an account at IBKR?

It usually takes about 2-3 working days to get a live IBKR account. Completing the application form takes about 30+ minutes

How do I transfer money to Interactive broker?

The only way to deposit money to Interactive Brokers is via bank transfer. To initiate a deposit, log in to the Client Portal, navigate to the ‘Transfer & Pay’ menu and select ‘Transfer Funds’. Select the exact method and currency of your deposit, then follow the on-screen instructions.

How long does deposit take IBKR?

It takes around 2-3 business days using bank transfer.

Can I use debit card with Interactive Brokers?

Deposit by debit cards is only available to US customers.

Can I use PayPal to fund Interactive Brokers?

No, you can’t use PayPal to fund your Interactive Brokers account.

Can I transfer USD to IBKR?

Yes, you can transfer USD to your IBKR account.

Does Interactive Brokers have instant deposit?

No, Interactive Brokers does not have instant deposit.

What is ATS on IBKR? Is this a way to automate my investments?

Automation can mean multiple things, such as IBKR’s ‘ATS’ or Automated Trading System. ‘ATS’ is an algo trading service which is a complex order method primarily used to trade against incoming SmartRouted orders. If you’d like to use this feature, choose ‘IBKRATS’ in the ‘Destination’ field on the order panel using TWS. 

If you’d like to dwell in algo trading, Interactive Brokers has a Python native API to let you automatize your trades through Python codes.

Which language can you use for API trading on Interactive Brokers?

Interactive Brokers offers the following API programming languages: DDE, Java, C++ and ActiveX. These can be used to connect directly to the trading system.

What are fractional shares?

Fractional shares are a portion of a real share. It means that you own only a part of a share. Let’s say you need $1000 to buy a company’s stock but you only want to invest $400. You can then buy a fractional share and own 0.4 of the stock.

What is IBKR GlobalTrader?

IBKR GlobalTrader is a simple, easy-to-use mobile application dedicated to stock trading worldwide. Through this app, users all over the world have access to Stocks, Fractional Shares, ETFs, and Funds. Cryptos are available as well, but only in certain regions. For US clients, the service is commission free. Non-US clients are charged $0.0035 per share, which is considered low. 

If you’d like to read more  we have published a full review on IBKR GobalTrader, detailing more platform features like fractionals, stock swap, and the account opening process.

What is IBKR GlobalAnalyst?

IBKR GlobalAnalyst is a free analytical tool on the Interactive Brokers website. It helps to compare the relative value of global stocks by region, industry, market capitalization, and currency. The purpose of this tool is to help you find undervalued stocks around the world.

How to do taxes after I close my position?

Please bear in mind that the information provided here is only a general guideline and there are many exceptions.

If you sell a security with a profit (i.e. at a higher price than the purchase price), it will qualify as capital gains and will therefore trigger a tax liability. So after you close a position on IBKR, you have to declare any such capital gains in your annual tax returns. As a useful starting point, you can check the ‘Portfolio’ tab to view your realized and unrealized profit/loss positions at IBKR.

The precise rules, procedures and tax rates depend on the tax legislation of the country where you qualify as a tax resident.

A tax liability could also be triggered when you earn interest on bonds or dividends on stocks/ETFs/funds. To help you, we have written a piece to explain what happens in such situations.

Does Interactive Brokers have margin trading?

Yes, Interactive Brokers provides two types of margin accounts: a rule-based account named ‘Reg T’, and a risk-based account called ‘Portfolio Margin’. The difference between the two accounts is how margin requirements are calculated. The margin requirement is the percentage of your marginable portfolio that you must pay from your own funds.

For a ‘Reg T’ account, margin requirements are calculated by the US Federal Reserve Board by governing and controlling the amount of credit that broker-dealers may make available to customers.

For a ‘Portfolio Margin’ account, the requirements are calculated based on the Theoretical Intermarket Margin System (TIMS), which calculates the value of a portfolio given a series of hypothetical market scenarios and bases margin requirements on this information.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our Interactive Brokers fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the Interactive Brokers minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your Interactive Brokers account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the Interactive Brokers account opening.

How’s their trading app?

Here’s our expert view after checking the Interactive Brokers trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the Interactive Brokers customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is Interactive Brokers legit features all the key aspects you need to consider to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether Interactive Brokers is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on Interactive Brokers?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Interactive Brokers guide.

I want to trade options, are they available at Interactive Brokers?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on Interactive Brokers?

What is the minimum account balance at Interactive Brokers?

Check out account balance requirements at Interactive Brokers in our What is the minimum account balance at Interactive Brokers article.

Looking for commission and fee data for Interactive Brokers?

We collected them in Interactive Brokers commission and fees.

How do you withdraw money from Interactive Brokers?

We tested it and collected the options and costs in How to withdraw money on Interactive Brokers.

Related articles

  • How to trade after hours on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to buy ETF on Interactive Brokers
  • Why is Interactive brokers so cheap?
  • Can you buy Bitcoin on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to use Interactive Brokers for Paper Trading
  • How to withdraw funds from Interactive Brokers
  • How to convert currency on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to change trading permissions on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to buy fractional shares on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to change the base currency on Interactive Brokers?
  • What is the cost of buying US stocks at Interactive Brokers?
  • How to transfer my portfolio to Interactive Brokers?
  • How do I see how much cash I actually have?
  • How to download Interactive Brokers’ TWS?
  • What is the Interactive Brokers debit card?

Other brokers similar to Interactive Brokers

  • Saxo Bank review – Danish investment bank
  • TradeStation Global review – UK-based global stockbroker
  • Swissquote review – Swiss investment bank
  • CapTrader review – Global stockbroker

Learn more about these Interactive Brokers alternatives on this page. 

Fund fees

If you’re not a US resident, you can purchase thousands of non-US mutual funds with no transaction fee while most other funds are priced at €5.

In a similar fashion, thousands of US mutual funds (including funds from Allianz, Blackrock and Schroder) may be purchased without a transaction fee if you’re a US resident.

The minimum size of initial fund orders is $3,000 while the subsequent minimum order size is $100.

When you purchase a fund that is not in the ‘free to buy’ category, a simple price structure applies that includes all regulatory and exchange fees.

The platform to me is not user-friendly at all and very confusing. I have played around with many other platforms and all have been easier to use and customize. But my biggest issue was the customer service. Very long wait times. Agents have no enthusiasm, they don’t have much knowledge about their own processes and policies.

Rend777

Login and security

You can use a two-step login, which is safer than a simple login. Furthermore, if your device supports such features, you can also use biometric authentication for more convenience.

Search functions

The search function is OK and is much like what the web trading platform offers. As the picture below shows, it can be a little confusing when there are several companies with a similar name or if a company has both common and preferred shares. 

We actually liked the previous version of the search function better.

Pros Cons
 User-friendly  User experience could be better
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
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