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Interactive Brokers vs TradeStation 2020

Is Interactive Brokers better than TradeStation? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Interactive Brokers (90.58%) is better than TradeStation (82.4%). Traditionally known for its leading offering of platforms, tools, and pricing for professionals, Interactive Brokers has made significant strides in recent years and today also appeals to casual investors, thanks to $0 trades and its Client Portal web platform.

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Overall Rating

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Overall 4.5 4
Commissions & Fees 5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Platforms & Tools 4.5 5
Mobile Trading 4.5 4.5
Research 4 2
Education 4 2.5
Ease of Use 3 4
Banking 2 0.5
Interactive Brokers Review TradeStation Review
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Trading Fees

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $0.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.01 $0.00
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.65 $0.50
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $14.95 $14.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $30.00 $50.00

Margin Rates

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Under $24,999.99 1.59% 9.50%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 1.59% 9.50%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 1.59% 8.75%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 1.29% 8.75%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 1.19% 8.75%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 1.14% 5.50%
Above $1,000,000.00 0.75% 5.50%

Account Fees

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $35.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $50.00
Returned ACH Fee N/A $25.00
Returned Wire Fee N/A $25.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee N/A $150.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A $15.00
Paper Statement Fee N/A $1.00
Paper Confirmation Fee N/A $1.00
Domestic Wire Fee $10.00 $25.00
International Wire Fee $10.00 $35.00

Investment Options

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes No
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
8 4
Futures Trading
Yes Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Crypto Trading No Yes
Mutual Funds (No Load)
8734 887
Mutual Funds (Total)
11080 4357
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
No No
International Trading
Yes No

Order Types

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
Yes Yes

Trading Platforms

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes No
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
Yes Yes
Trade Journal
Yes No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
494 335
Heat Mapping
Yes No
AI Assistant Bot
Yes No

Charting Features

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
121 290
Charting - Drawing Tools
9 23
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes No
Charting - Automated Analysis
No No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
6 12
Charting - Custom Studies
No Yes

Day Trading

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
No Yes
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes Yes
Streaming TV
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes Yes
Direct Market Routing - Options
Yes Yes
Ladder Trading
Yes Yes
Trade Hot Keys
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes Yes
Short Locator
Yes Yes
Order Liquidity Rebates
Yes Yes

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes No
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Trading - Conditional Orders
Yes Yes
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes Yes

Mobile App Features

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
Yes Yes
Charting - After Hours
Yes Yes
Charting - Drawing
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
No No
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Barcode Lookup
No No

Research Overview

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes No
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes No
Screener - Options
Yes Yes
Screener - Bonds
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes No
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes No

Stock Research

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Stock Research - Reports
3 0
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes No
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes No
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes No
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes No
Stock Research - Social
Yes No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes No
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes No
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
Yes No

ETF Research

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes No
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes No
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes No
ETFs - Ratings
Yes No
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
Yes No
ETFs - Reports
Yes No

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes No
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes No
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes No

Options Trading

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
37 32
Option Chains - Greeks
4 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes

Beginners

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
Yes No
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
No No
Education (Fixed Income)
Yes No
Education (Retirement)
No No
Paper Trading
Yes Yes
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
20 10
Webinars (Archived)
Yes No
Live Seminars
No Yes
Progress Tracking
Yes No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes No

Banking

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Retail Locations
0 0
Member FDIC
Yes No
Checking Accounts
Yes No
Savings Accounts
No No
Credit Cards
No No
Debit Cards
Yes No
Mortgage Loans
No No
No Fee Banking
Yes No

Overall

Feature Interactive Brokers TradeStation
Overall 4.5 4
Commissions & Fees 5 4.5
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Platforms & Tools 4.5 5
Mobile Trading 4.5 4.5
Research 4 2
Education 4 2.5
Ease of Use 3 4
Banking 2 0.5
Interactive Brokers Review TradeStation Review
Winner check_circle

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2020 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 15 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Interactive Brokers vs TradeStation.

Is Interactive Brokers or TradeStation better for beginners?
Interactive Brokers is better for beginner investors than TradeStation. Interactive Brokers offers investors access to Paper Trading, Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options) and Education (Fixed Income).

What about Interactive Brokers vs TradeStation pricing?
Interactive Brokers and TradeStation both cost $0 per trade. For options trading, both Interactive Brokers and TradeStation charge the same base fee of $0. TradeStation's per contract rate of $0.50 is less than Interactive Brokers which charges $0.65. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Interactive Brokers or TradeStation offer a wider range of investment options?
Interactive Brokers offers a more diverse selection of investment options than TradeStation. Interactive Brokers offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Futures Trading and International Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, TradeStation trails Interactive Brokers by 6,723 total mutual funds, with Interactive Brokers offering 11080 and TradeStation offering 4357.

Which trading platform is better: Interactive Brokers or TradeStation?
To compare the trading platforms of both Interactive Brokers and TradeStation, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, TradeStation offers a better experience. With research, Interactive Brokers offers superior market research. Finally, we found Interactive Brokers to provide better mobile trading apps.

Does either broker offer banking?
Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Interactive Brokers while TradeStation offers none of these.

Overall, between Interactive Brokers and TradeStation, Interactive Brokers is the better online broker.

Interactive Brokers Review
TradeStation Review

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/20/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.

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