The financial markets are an excellent place to make a move toward financial freedom. You can start with a side gig that allows you to learn as you go and gives you the skills to build a decent portfolio. Then you can graduate to trading or investing full time, so that you can give your boring cubicle job the boot. The key is to be as informed as possible about the tools that are available to you. Interactive Brokers could be the platform that you need, but you need to be able to determine what kind of trader you are before jumping in full force.
Experienced traders are going to get the most out of working with the Interactive Brokers platform. Novice traders are best served by using other platforms. With a customizable interface, a huge offering of markets to enter and take advantage of and a modern infrastructure that allows speedy execution of trades, IB is one of the leaders for high frequency traders.
There was a revolution in the 1990s as online brokerages began to challenge and overtake traditional stockbroker houses. Many online brokers were considered discount options, because they allowed access to the market, but did not offer significant trading advice or buy and sell recommendations.
But as the industry has matured, a number of online offerings have evolved that offer a product that covers both retail and professional investor needs. These hybrid brokers are not lean enough to be considered discount brokers, but they are not exactly Bloomberg terminals either. Interactive Brokers straddles these two worlds, effectively.
Novice traders that start in the industry are going to be put off by the $10K minimum deposit to start trading and the complicated user experience. Experienced traders will get excited for the depth and breadth of offerings. IB allows traders to work with futures, options, stocks, bonds, forex, ETFs, mutual funds and pretty much anything that the world allows you to trade.
There is also the opportunity to move beyond cash accounts that allow you to trade only what you have in your account. Margin accounts and portfolio margin accounts are available, but you must pass a credit check. The advantages there are the ability to leverage your way into larger trades with more risk, that can allow you to get to larger profit margins. The risk of losing more than you actually have is always there, but that is why the product is best suited for experienced traders.
TraderWorkstation, the interface and trading infrastructure for Interactive Brokers is a powerful piece of software that has not changed its look in quite some time. That means that traders with time in the industry are more likely to get a lot out of using it. It can be intimidating and overwhelming for new users.
For novice traders, the play is to work with other more established retail brokers that work well for casual investors. Once you learn the ropes, try Interactive Brokers to see what it can do for you .