This article offers a detailed analysis of Interactive Brokers vs. SpeedTrader.
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) edges SpeedTrader as the better broker. It has lower fees, decent executions, great borrows, versatility in offerings, and more resources for beginner traders.
Instead of a blanket comparison of SpeedTrader vs. Interactive Brokers, we examine the best platform in each key area. You will find the best platform for day trading, low fees, best for novices, and which brokerage suits professional traders.
Read on to find which trading platform is better.
Most traders prefer to diversify their portfolios to minimize the risk of losses. Such traders cherish any trading brokerage that offers a full range of assets.
Investment selection at SpeedTrader is severely limited. The brokerage firm restricts trading to US stocks, options, pink sheets, and bonds.
It doesn’t offer futures, currencies, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), mutual funds, crypto, and international trading. You also won’t find funds without a commission.
On the other hand, Interactive Brokers provides a vast array of trading options. You can trade in futures, equities, options, equities, stocks, mutual funds, Contract for Differences (CFDs), ETFs, and forex.
You also get access to global exchanges and a huge inventory of products like bonds. The brokerage offers more than 11080 mutual funds. Most of these funds are no-transaction-fee products.
In the battle of Interactive Brokers vs. SpeedTrader, Interactive Brokers emerges the clear winner in this category.
As a specialized day-trading brokerage, SpeedTrader uses progressive software. Its base trading platform, ActiveWeb, offers handy trading features like:
- Simple charting
- Option matrix
- Direct-access routing
- Streaming news
Although ActiveWeb has the edge over similar web-based platforms, it performs dismally in the charting options. The candlestick and line graph can’t allow meaningful comparisons. You have to upgrade to either Pro or Elite version to enjoy more features.
SpeedTrader Pro is a standalone platform that offers:
- Level II quoting
- Hotkey functionality
- Advanced chart studies
- High-low tickets
- Multi-screen support
- Options chains
- Point and click trading
Sterling Trader Pro uses stock scanners to provide clients with real-time data. More of its traits include sophisticated charting tools, direct-access routing, API access, and market news.
All the mentioned SpeedTrader platforms charge a monthly fee.
Interactive Brokers provides only one all-inclusive platform. Known as Trader Workstation, it comes with features like:
- Simulated trading
- Global markets
- Futures, forex, stocks, funds
- Direct access routing
- Advanced charting
- Market news
- Highly-developed order ticket
Trader Workstation is a free desktop application that users install on their desktops. You only pay for extra features such as market news.
Interactive Brokers has better trading tools. What’s more, clients enjoy free trading tools. For day traders, SpeedTrader may be the better alternative. This is due to its real-time market data, including Twitter feed.
Fees and Commissions
Fees and commissions play a crucial role in settling the duel between Interactive Brokers vs. SpeedTrader.
The more you trade at SpeedTrader, the lesser fees you pay. If you make less than 200 trades a month, the brokerage will charge you $4.49 per trade. The price drops to $3.95 per trade if you make 200 to 499 trades in stocks.
When you trade over 500K shares in a month, you will incur a fee of $0.0025 per share. The brokerage charges $0.30 per options contract.
SpeedTrader’s ActiveWeb feature costs $25 per month. SpeedTrader Pro Level I starts at $49 per month, while Level II at $104 per month.
IBKR Pro plan comes with a monthly commission of $10, while IBKR Lite is commission-free.
IBKR Lite doesn’t charge you for trading regular US stocks. You also won’t incur an inactivity fee. However, the brokerage charges $0.65 for the options contract.
Overall, Interactive Brokers has lower trading and account fees.
Investment Research and Education
The amount of educational resources also determines the outcome of SpeedTrader vs. Interactive Brokers.
Most resources at SpeedTrader revolve around how to use the platform. You’ll struggle to find many tutorials detailing the best way to trade.
The free blog section contains some educational content, videos, and trading news. The brokerage also offers frequent webinars promoting its trading platforms.
SpeedTrader doesn’t facilitate access to third-party research tools. However, you can use in-house research tools for day trading. An example is the scanning tool that shows the Top Ten or High/Low list.
Interactive Brokers offers extensive research and education content on its website. You’ll find many free courses and articles crafted by trading professionals.
The trader’s academy section educates users on using the trading portal, while the webinars expound on current market topics. The traders’ insight section is filled with market analysis and commentaries from industry experts.
Interactive Brokers offers access to a vast catalog of third-party research providers. Most of the research services are free, while a few charge some fee. You’ll encounter providers like Fundamentals Explorer, Market Realist, Seeking Alpha, Zacks Investment Research, Morningstar Equity Ownership, 24/7 Wall Street, to name a few.
When it comes to educational content and research tools, Interactive Brokers is well ahead of SpeedTrader.
IBKR offers customer assistance via phone, email, and live chat.
You can only chat with a live agent once you log in to your trading account. Guests have to rely on simple guides and the website’s FAQ section.
IBKR’s chat and phone support are available 24 hours from Monday to Friday. The brokerage offers limited customer support on Sundays and no help on Saturdays.
Interactive Brokers respond to email inquiries within 24 hours.
SpeedTrader fares badly. The brokerage offers phone, live chat, and email support weekly from 8 am to 5 pm EST. On Fridays, the closing time is pushed forward to 4.30 pm. It remains closed on weekends. The limited working hours translate to less availability for customer assistance.
SpeedTrader slightly redeems itself when it comes to the chat functionality. The live chat feature is human-controlled and available to guests.
Interactive Brokers provides adequate customer support.
Market movements occur within seconds. For you to make a profitable trade, you need to monitor changes and trade constantly. You can do so using a PC, but carrying around a PC is inconvenient. That’s why mobile trading is advantageous.
SpeedTrader has a mobile app that facilitates trading on the go. Here, users enjoy level II data, advanced routing options, market news, options chains, and order entries. Mobile charting is well-advanced. There are diverse chart styles, technical indicators, multiple graphs, and timeframes.
Interactive Brokers has an Android and iOS mobile app. You can download the IBKR app from the Play Store, Apple Store, or the brokerage’s website. The app comes with additional security measures like two-factor login and a secondary key app. You get essential trading resources like:
Full-featured order entry
- Order history
- Portfolio management
- Live data and quotes
When it comes to charts, you get over 50 indicators. The charts also come in a cleaner interface. The mobile app doesn’t offer complex tools.
Both trading platforms provide an almost similar mobile trading experience. However, the SpeedTrader app lacks the live TV stream feature. You are also unable to customize charts in the app.
Modern trading platforms now incorporate banking into their investment servicers. Interactive Brokers provides debit cards and checking accounts to its customers.
SpeedTrader does not offer Such banking services to its customers.
Interactive Brokers vs. SpeedTrader: The Winner is?
Interactive Brokers emerges as the overall winner in the battle of SpeedTrader vs. Interactive Brokers. IBKR provides superior market research, extensive trading tools, a wide range of offerings, and international trading.
Beginners might find Interactive Brokers more user-friendly than SpeedTrader. However, the overwhelming wealth of tools might still be too much.
The vast information and trading tools at IBKR might suit frequent traders. Casual traders may also benefit from the Robo-advisory service.
SpeedTrader is ideal for active, high-volume day traders. The brokerage’s pricing strategy allows traders to save more whenever they trade. Its trading environment is unforgiving to beginners and swing traders.
Interactive Brokers is a great choice. But before opening a real account, you should first sign up for a trial account. Once you are well-versed with IBKR, convert the demo account to a live version.