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TWS FAQs

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TWS FAQs

Technical FAQs

Services and Protocols

TWS FAQs

The Login box includes the checkbox Use/store settings on server. Check this box to have TWS automatically save any session changes to the server, and use that saved version the next time you log in from any PC.

If you are not yet an IB customer, use the TWS demo. If you are an IB customer, you can open a paper trading account, which allows you to use the full range of IB trading facilities in a simulated environment using real market conditions.

Visit the Paper Trading page for more details.

First, be sure that you are logged into the correct version of TWS; i.e. If you read about a feature in the TWS Beta notes, you must log into the TWS Beta version to use it. To find features within TWS, use the "Help/Ticker Lookup" search box in the upper right corner of both Mosaic and Classic TWS.

The nightly log off is required for maintenance and cannot be disabled. However, you can modify the log off time from the Lock and Exit page of Global Configuration.

Find margin information for options on the Options tab of the Margin page.

Order types are defined in the Order Types matrix.

You need to set the timing to "Allow order to be activated, triggered or filled outside of regular trading hours." You can define this setting from the Timing section of the Order Preset for a specific asset type, or on a per-order basis from the Time in Force field checkbox "Fill outside RTH.". If outside regular trading hours is not available for the specific order you are submitting, you will not be allowed to populate the checkbox.

See the TWS Quickstart for an overview for the Mosaic interface.

You can record mouse-click shortcuts for specific order creation and transmission commands, such as buy, sell, transmit and cancel and many others. See the TWS Users' Guide for details.

See the Trailing Stop order page and the TWS Users' Guide for details.

The TWS settings file is named tws.xml and is located in a subdirectory of c:\Jts. Search (CTRL F) the c:\Jts directory for the most recently modified file. TWS Log files are named log.day.txt (e.g., log.Wed.txt) and are located in the c:\Jts directory.

Commission structures are described in detail on the Commissions pages, sorted by instrument type.

For up-to-date information on market data and allocation examples, see the Market Data Display page.

TWS runs on Windows, MAC and Unix operating systems. To ensure that you have an adequate Internet connection and proper system requirements to run TWS, please see the Minimum Requirements details,

The table below outlines our suggestions for both minimum and recommended system requirements to run the IB Trader WorkstationSM.


  PC Minimum
Requirements
PC Recommended Requirements Mac Minimum
Requirements
Mac Recommended Requirements
Operating System Windows Vista Windows 7 or higher Mac OSX 10.7 Mac OSX 10.9.5
Browser   Internet Explorer 11.0 and higher
Firefox 32.0 and higher
Chrome 37.0 and higher
  Safari 7.1
Firefox 32.0
Chrome 37.0
Java Oracle Java 6 Oracle Java 7 Oracle Java 6 Oracle Java 7
Screen Resolution 1024 x 768 Dual Screen, 1280 x 1024 1024 x 768 Dual Screen, 1280 x 1024
Processor 2.2GHz Intel Core2 Duo Intel Dual Core Processor
Intel i3 and higher processors
Intel Dual Core Processor Intel Dual Core i3 and higher processors
Memory 2GB Ram (Average Trader) 4GB Ram (Power Trader) 2GB Ram (Average Trader) 4GB Ram (Power Trader)
Internet Connection 56K Dial-up or higher Broadband with Dial-up Backup 56K Dial-up or higher Broadband with Dial-up Backup
  Linux/Unix Minimum
Requirements
Linux/Unix Recommended Requirements    
Operating System Kernel 2.6 Kernel 3.0 or higher    
Browser   Firefox 32.0
Chrome 37.0
   
Java Oracle Java 6 Oracle Java 7    
Screen Resolution 1024 x 768 Dual Screen, 1280 x 1024    
Processor 2.2GHz Intel Core2 Duo Intel Dual Core
i3 and higher processors
   
Memory 2GB Ram (Average Trader) 4GB Ram (Power Trader)    
Internet Connection 56K Dial-up or higher Broadband with Dial-up Backup    

Yes.

Find download instructions and the necessary files on the Installation Instructions page.

The table below outlines our suggestions for both minimum and recommended system requirements to run the IB Trader WorkstationSM.


  PC Minimum
Requirements
PC Recommended Requirements Mac Minimum
Requirements
Mac Recommended Requirements
Operating System Windows Vista Windows 7 or higher Mac OSX 10.7 Mac OSX 10.9.5
Browser   Internet Explorer 11.0 and higher
Firefox 32.0 and higher
Chrome 37.0 and higher
  Safari 7.1
Firefox 32.0
Chrome 37.0
Java Oracle Java 6 Oracle Java 7 Oracle Java 6 Oracle Java 7
Screen Resolution 1024 x 768 Dual Screen, 1280 x 1024 1024 x 768 Dual Screen, 1280 x 1024
Processor 2.2GHz Intel Core2 Duo Intel Dual Core Processor
Intel i3 and higher processors
Intel Dual Core Processor Intel Dual Core i3 and higher processors
Memory 2GB Ram (Average Trader) 4GB Ram (Power Trader) 2GB Ram (Average Trader) 4GB Ram (Power Trader)
Internet Connection 56K Dial-up or higher Broadband with Dial-up Backup 56K Dial-up or higher Broadband with Dial-up Backup
  Linux/Unix Minimum
Requirements
Linux/Unix Recommended Requirements    
Operating System Kernel 2.6 Kernel 3.0 or higher    
Browser   Firefox 32.0
Chrome 37.0
   
Java Oracle Java 6 Oracle Java 7    
Screen Resolution 1024 x 768 Dual Screen, 1280 x 1024    
Processor 2.2GHz Intel Core2 Duo Intel Dual Core
i3 and higher processors
   
Memory 2GB Ram (Average Trader) 4GB Ram (Power Trader)    
Internet Connection 56K Dial-up or higher Broadband with Dial-up Backup    

If you have a slower computer or Internet connection, we recommend that you use the standalone version of TWS.

  • The standalone requires that you manually update to newer versions of TWS.
  • To use from multiple machines, you must install the standalone separately on each machine, and you must set the TWS login setting toUse/store settings on server.

If you use the browser-based version, you can access TWS from any internet PC, and do not have to manually update to get the latest version. Both require that you install the minimum recommended version of Java..

Go to the Java Upgrade Instructions page and select the Windows or Mac operating system. Follow instructions for upgrading the Java plugin. Note that if you want to upgrade to a newer Java version, you must first remove the existing plugin and then install the upgraded version.

The beta release is a pre-production version of an upcoming release that allows you to actively trade while you test new features. You must deliberately elect to use the beta at your own risk when you log in. Since the beta is under construction until production release, we welcome your input on its performance. The beta will be promoted to production after it has been tested both in-house and externally over a specified time period. Please note that although the software is "in beta," you are still trading your IB account and are responsible for all transactions.

The login page includes links to both the beta and production release notes. These notes briefly describe new features that have been added and problems that have been fixed.

If you are running the standalone version, the update wizard will automatically check for TWS updates each time you log in to your computer. You can also manually check for updates from the Start menu by selecting Programs and then Startup and clicking Check for TWS Updates. Customers running the browser-based version can get the most recent production release by selecting Trader Workstation Latest from the Login menu.

First, uninstall TWS by going to add/remove programs and removing TWS. You can then reinstall TWS from the TWS Software page.

You will receive this message for one of the following reasons:

  • You are not entering the proper username (check to be sure the Caps Lock key isn't on)
  • Your account has not been set up yet
  • You've entered your password incorrectly more than 10 times

Instant help resources include the TWS Release Notes, TWS Users' Guide, and both live and recorded feature webinars. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, contact Customer Service.

IB has two distinct departments that handle specific types of TWS questions:

  • Customer Service deals with everything involving trading, accounts, funding and execution. See the Customer Service page on the IB website for contact details.
  • The Technical Assistance Center (TAC) can help you with issues concerning your connection to IB and problems with the software involved. To help you more quickly, please:
    • Call while you are experiencing the problem;
    • Have your computer turned on and ready to troubleshoot;
    • Have your account information ready.

In the US, call 877-442-2757 during regular business hours for support.

You can also email us at tac@interactivebrokers.com. Please include the following information:

  • Your username and account number
  • A detailed summary of the problem
  • A timeframe of when the problem occurred or occurs.
  • Detailed system specifications if possible, including:
    • The Windows version you are using.
    • The type and version of browser you are using, including cipher strength. For example, Internet Explorer 7.0 or Firefox 2.0.0.13.
    • The brand names of any Network Interface Cards installed in the computer.
    • Your processor generation and speed.
    • The amount of memory installed in your computer.
    • The type of Internet connection you are using.
    • Any other troubleshooting you have done on your own or with our staff.

Technical FAQs

You may experience problems with TWS if you are running the software without meeting the minimum system requirements. When troubleshooting problems, start by making sure that your computer meets our minimum system requirements.


Browser Problems
  1. This may be a problem with Java.
  2. Your browser may be outdated or corrupt. Check the version you are using from the browser's Help menu by selecting About. If your browser version is below the recommended version, please upgrade.

A. Your Internet connection may drop off due to connectivity or Internet Service Provider (ISP)-based issues.

Consult our connectivity FAQ if you suspect if this is an issue.

B. This problem has also been known to occur with problematic Ethernet cards.



Account and Login Problems

This may be due to a corrupted or improper install of TWS or the Java Applet.

  1. Remove all instances of Java and Trader Workstation.
  2. Follow the Java Direct-download instructions
  3. Download a new version of TWS.

Outdated or corrupted browsers can cause this to occur. Please upgrade or uninstall if necessary.

Or, your browser display settings may be preventing you from viewing the entire screen.

  • Using the "view" menu in your browser, set your font size to the smallest setting.

Your browser's cache may have a problematic page stored in it.

  • Hold down the "ctrl" key and hit "Refresh" at the top of your browser. This will force the page to reload from the server.

Dial-in customers or customers with a poor connection may periodically experience problems loading an applet through a browser. Browser download and installation of applets tend to stall on slower connections.

  • Using standalone TWS will bypass this problem entirely.

This typically occurs if:

  • The connection to IB is interrupted
  • You are trying to log on more than once, or have duplicate login sessions. You cannot log into more than one instance of your account from any IB trading platform, including TWS, WebTrader or mobileTWS.

Your ports are being blocked by either:

  • Local PC Firewall
  • Your ISP
  • Loss of your internet connectivity

This may happen for a variety of reasons. Try the following:

  • Wait. It may take several minutes to complete loading the trading pages, depending on the number of pages and symbol population on the pages and your speed of connection. Clean out ticker symbols and pages that you no longer require.
  • Reconnect to the Internet
  • Check your network connection for problems.
  • Make sure your system has the proper minimum system requirements.
  • In the case that your user preference files may have become corrupt, contact Technical Assistance for help in resetting the information.
  • A corrupt Java installation will cause this to occur. To verify that this is the problem, go into the control panel and double-click on the Java plug-in. The same gray screen will result if the plug-in is corrupt. If this happens, uninstall and reinstall Java.

This may happen for a couple of reasons. Try the following:

  • Wait. It may take several minutes depending on the amount of information and speed of connection. If this is the case, clean out symbols and pages that you no longer require.
  • Make sure your system has the proper minimum system requirements.

This indicates there is a problem with your network connection. Refer to our Network FAQ and your system Administrator to check for latency and network problems.

This may be the result of a problematic Ethernet card, or improper driver installation of display adapters. Download the latest version of your video drivers. You may have other PC problems which require immediate attention by an authorized PC technician.

This occurs when the page file becomes corrupt from a disk error.



System Troubleshooting

To open the Control Panel, click Start, then select Settings>Control Panel.

With Windows XP, click Start>Control Panel.

Depending on the version of Windows you are using, its appearance may vary slightly from what we describe.

If you need to uninstall software, you should only do it from Add/Remove Programs window accessible from the Control Panel. Use this window to remove Trader Workstation or Java, or to repair your browser. When you uninstall a program, you will usually get a confirmation message ensuring that you do indeed want to remove the item that you have selected.

Note: Java does not support automatic upgrades. Before you upgrade Java, you must uninstall the current version.

Important: If you are uninstalling for reinstall purposes, Windows may ask you to restart your computer. DO NOT IGNORE THIS REQUEST. Shut down and restart your computer to allow files to be unlocked and removed from memory.


From the Trading menu on the IB website, select Trading Platforms and then choose the application your would like to install.

Whether you're downloading an encryption upgrade, a new browser or a service pack, all official Windows upgrades can be acquired from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/, shown above. Click on the "products update" link on the left-hand side, select the updates you wish to install, and follow the instructions.



System Information
  1. Go to the www.java.com website.
  2. On the right side of the page under Popular Downloads, click "Java SE"
  3. Where it reads JDK 6 Update 25, Click on Download
  4. Read the license terms and conditions and click "Accept."
  5. Click the download link.
  6. In the "Save As" window, save the file to your desktop.
  7. Once the download is complete, return to your Desktop and double- click on the "jdk-6u5-windows-i586-p.exe" icon to install the Java plugin.
  8. Read the "Software License Agreement" and click "Yes" to continue.
  9. Choose the default destination and click "Next" to install the Java program.
  10. Installation is complete. You can now run the Java-based Trader Workstation 4.0.

Note: If you are running a non US-English version of Windows, you need to install the international plug-in.



Network Information

Depending on the amount of data you are receiving (number of ticker symbols entered) most TWS sessions will function properly on a reliable 56k connection. However, the use of other network applications while you are using TWS may slow down your connection. The typical TWS client will utilize 6.5k/second to retrieve market data for 100 symbols of data.

TWS does not use any UDP.

TWS will function in a shared environment, provided that a reliable connection exists. The connection that a TWS machine receives must have sufficient bandwidth to operate. Users should take care when using NAT (Network Address Translation) and DHCP. While TWS will work if NAT and/or DHCP are configured properly, data loss and unpredictable behavior can result from improper configurations. For more information on NAT and DHCP, review the section below on those topics.

There are many types of broadband available. Cable, xDSL, Corporate Networks (T1, T3, Frac-T), Dial-on-demand ISDN and Satellite are all broadband solutions. All of these services provide much higher throughput (compared to a dial-in line) and typically use routers or special modems to become part of a hardwired network. Some services emulate this method rather than actually performing this way. Availability of different services may be limited in certain areas; contact vendors in your area for a list of available services.

TWS connects to our servers via ports 4000 and 4001; it will not function on any other port. To use TWS from behind a firewall, users should download the standalone version, and will be prompted during installation to specify proxy settings that will be used by TWS for all http requests. For details on configuring standalone TWS for use through a firewall, refer to Steps 7 and 8 in the Installation Instructions page.

Testing with these systems has proved inconclusive. Some satellite providers list trading software (or anything that requires a reliable connection) as an "at your own risk" practice. Customer feedback has indicated that satellite services are sometimes unreliable.

As with any type of connection, be sure the provider allows TCP/IP routing with open access to Internet service ports. TWS connects to our servers via port 4000 using a source port in the publicly addressable space above port 1024. Our servers listen on port 4000; it will not function on any other port. For users behind firewalls, the installed version of TWS includes provisions for using a specified outbound port.

For the ultimate in reliability, speed and security, some customers choose to install a dedicated connection to our servers via leased line or frame relay interface. Please contact an IB sales representative about leased-line connections.

Services and Protocols

Be aware of the protocols and network devices that may affect you. The following is information about your TWS connection that you or your Network Administrator will want to know when troubleshooting your connection to us.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a way of automatically assigning IP addresses. If your DHCP server is assigning a private address (addresses which are not associated with the Internet) the server may be doing NAT (Network Address Translation) to get to the outside Internet Depending on the particular configuration, the router or server may be trapping requests from our server to your computer.

TCP/IP is the basic protocol from an Internet service provider. This, along with DNS (Dynamic Name System) and basic socket access are all that is required for a "functioning Internet connection" and for running TWS software.

NAT (Network Address Translation) is one of the basic components behind home routers (and some professional private routers). Done properly this should be transparent; the address on the outside should translate to your internal (non-Internet) addresses without your PC knowing the specifics of the routing.



Connectivity Troubleshooting

Extraneous network adapters and drivers which are not connected, are inoperative or unnecessary should be removed from your system. These can cause unpredictable network behavior.

  • AOL and other proprietary adapters may work fine if you have the service and are actively using it. If, however you are not using the adapter, it may be configured improperly and has been known to cause connectivity issues.
  • NDSWAN and other VPN adapters can be problematic if they are not in use. PPPOE (Point to Point Protocol Over Ethernet) may be used in some DSL or Cable connections; if it is not used, it may cause problems with the connection, and should be removed.
  • Client for Netware Networks and IPX/SPX are protocols used in corporate Novell Networks. If this protocol is not needed, it should be removed.
  • NETBEUI is a Microsoft Protocol that, as above, may be in use in a corporate network. If it is not in use, it is better to remove this adapter
Important: If you are not sure about any of the adapters in your Network settings, consult your network administrator before removing them.

Latency due to physical distance from your ISP, routing within your ISP's network, packet loss and many other factors can affect the reliable operation of your TWS. Please review the connectivity troubleshooting tips below to test the quality of your connection.

The Ping command will test the quality and latency of your connection. If it shows 4 round-trip reports without a reply (does not say not found, timed out, etc.) your connection is healthy. To use this, type ping gw1.ibllc.com at the command prompt. A healthy ping should look as follows:

Pinging gw1.ibllc.com [208.245.107.3] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 208.245.107.3: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=254
Reply from 208.245.107.3: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=254
Reply from 208.245.107.3: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=254
Reply from 208.245.107.3: bytes=32 time<10ms TTL=254

If the ping results show excessive latency (>500ms), timeouts/packet loss, or no replies, a network problem exists between you and the IB network.

The tracert command is used to isolate routing issues. This will show you all of the "hops" from your connection to our network. A timeout, indicated by "*" or time above 200, indicates a slow or dead hop and may be a problem. Over 15 hops can also be a problem.

To look at a traceroute, type tracert gw1.ibllc.com at the command prompt.

The following are sample traceroutes. Included is an explanation and suggested course of action. This traceroute is an example of a healthy connection. The ping times and the number of hops are low (lower is better). No course of action required.

1 gatekeeper (206.42.160.1) 1 ms 1 ms 2 ms
2 jfk-edge-19.inet.qwest.net (63.237.128.53) 19 ms 26 ms 21 ms
3 jfk-core-03.inet.qwest.net (205.171.30.189) 22 ms 19 ms 24 ms
4 ewr-core-03.inet.qwest.net (205.171.5.89) 20 ms 19 ms 20 ms
5 ewr-brdr-01.inet.qwest.net (205.171.17.98) 20 ms 26 ms 19 ms
6 205.171.1.122 (205.171.1.122) 30 ms 20 ms 22 ms
7 sl-bb23-nyc-3-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.7.109) 20 ms 19 ms 19 ms
8 sl-bb22-pen-6-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.9.18) 25 ms 37 ms 21 ms
9 sl-bb26-pen-9-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.16.58) 21 ms 26 ms 22 ms
10 sl-gw26-pen-4-0-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.5.190) 24 ms 23 ms 24 ms
11 sl-thllc-4-0-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.190.222) 35 ms 31 ms 29 ms
12 206.106.137.111 (206.106.137.111) 28 ms 28 ms 30 ms

This is an example of a marginal connection. The ping times and number of hops are fairly high, but the connection should still be usable. Contact your ISP to see if this is a common occurrence. If this is what you can expect, you may want to shop around for another provider. Higher times indicate line latency (slowness) and the high (17) number of 'hops' results in a higher potential for outage, in the event that one of the providers involved experiences a problem.

1 195.130.108.1 (195.130.108.1) 3.258 ms 2.325 ms 2.32 ms
2 athens-teiath-ATM.grnet.gr (194.177.209.149) 3.894 ms 3.546 ms 2.935 ms
3 athens-2-athens.grnet.gr (194.177.210.226) 3.299 ms 4.549 ms 13.643 ms
4 grnet1.uk1.uk.geant.net (62.40.103.181) 78.624 ms 72.213 ms 73.457 ms
5 uk.se1.se.geant.net (62.40.96.125) 104.912 ms 105.978 ms 104.695 ms
6 so-6-0-0.ar2.CPH1.gblx.net (208.48.23.153) 142.148 ms 115.03 ms 114.235 ms
7 so2-1-0-622M.cr2.CPH1.gblx.net (62.12.32.77) 113.658 ms 116.135 ms 114.903 ms
8 pos1-0-2488M.cr2.LON3.gblx.net (195.8.96.181) 134.768 ms 138.151 ms 132.05 ms
9 pos1-0-622M.br1.LON3.gblx.net (195.8.96.189) 130.876 ms 131.726 ms 134.405 ms
10 sl-bb21-lon-5-0.sprintlink.net (213.206.131.25) 132.904 ms 131.369 ms 134.111 ms
11 sl-bb20-msq-10-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.19.69) 209.434 ms 212.069 ms 209.79 ms
12 sl-bb20-nyc-11-3.sprintlink.net (144.232.9.102) 215.735 ms 208.302 ms 207.316 ms
13 sl-bb20-pen-10-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.18.37) 400.633 ms 352.33 ms 274.419 ms
14 sl-bb25-pen-8-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.5.174) 212.023 ms 215.237 ms 215.472 ms
15 sl-gw26-pen-0-0-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.5.186) 213.755 ms 212.104 ms 211.378 ms
16 sl-thllc-4-0-0.sprintlink.net (144.232.190.222) 218.742 ms 221.021 ms 217.51 ms
17 206.106.137.111 (206.106.137.111) 218.028 ms 222.549 ms 218.867 ms

The next example shows a network outage. The connection fails between hop 8 and 9. In the event that this occurs, you should contact your ISP and give them this information. These types of outages are very obvious and are the easiest for an ISP to troubleshoot.

1 kauge.aso.ee
(195.80.96.219) 0.432 ms 0.323 ms 0.357 ms
2 uninet-gw.aso.ee (195.80.96.211) 1.094 ms 7.688 ms 2.332 ms
3 194.204.4.161 (194.204.4.161) 1.489 ms 1.403 ms 1.425 ms
4 kista-atm.uninet.ee (193.229.72.105) 135.413 ms 129.594 ms 136.073 ms
5 Pos5-0.GW7.STK3.ALTER.NET (146.188.34.13) 141.723 ms 140.031 ms 122.782 ms
6 so-3-0-0.XR2.STK3.Alter.Net (146.188.5.37) 113.354 ms 98.346 ms 90.857 ms
7 ge-1-0-0.TR1.STK2.Alter.Net (146.188.11.242) 94.762 ms 115.168 ms 130.034 ms
8 so-4-0-0.IR1.DCA4.Alter.Net (146.188.5.197) 257.747 ms 288.965 ms 255.057 ms
9 request timed out * * *
10 request
timed out * * *
11 request
timed out * * *
12
request timed out * * *

The last example is possibly the hardest to troubleshoot and the most frustrating. The occasional timeout (marked with *s) appears several places in the traceroute. This indicates that intermittent packet loss is taking place. These types of errors are elusive and may not have been reported yet. Contact your ISP about this issue.

1 <10 ms <10 ms 10 ms 206.106.137.1
2 <10 ms 10 ms 10 ms sl-gw26-pen-5-0-1.sprintlink.net [144.232.190.21]
3 <10 ms 10 ms <10 ms sl-bb25-pen-0-7.sprintlink.net [144.232.5.185]
4 <10 ms * <10 ms sl-bb21-pen-8-0.sprintlink.net [144.232.5.237]
5 <10 ms 10 ms 10 ms sl-bb23-rly-0-0.sprintlink.net [144.232.20.32]
6 10 ms 10 ms * 144.232.20.44
7 10 ms 10 ms 10 ms sl-ameronl-14-0.sprintlink.net [144.223.246.14]
8 10 ms 10 ms 10 ms bb1-ash-P1-0.atdn.net [66.185.139.209]
9 10 ms 10 ms 10 ms bb1-dtc-P0-2.atdn.net [66.185.152.114]
10 10 ms 10 ms 10 ms pop1-dtc-P14-0.atdn.net [66.185.140.6]
11 * 10 ms 10 ms ow3-dtc-P0-0.atdn.net [66.185.144.254]
12 10 ms 10 ms 10 ms ow1-dtc-P9-2.aol.com [205.188.131.218]
13 10 ms 10 ms 10 ms www2-dr6-P0-0.aol.com [205.188.172.126]
14 * * * Request timed out.


Miscellaneous Questions

Not for TWS. IB does support HTTP proxies for WebTrader, but this application has limited capabilities.

IB supports proxies that can emulate open sockets.

Create a snapshot of your computer screen and e-mail it to IB.

  1. Launch the window that you want to capture, and press Alt + PrtScrn (Print Screen). You can't tell, but you've just captured a picture of your screen.
  2. Open a new MS Word document, put your cursor on the page and select "Paste."
  3. Name and save the file, and send it to IB Customer Service as an attachment, along with a detailed verbal description of your support issue.


Basic Troubleshooting

Try logging in and testing with another computer that you know works (with the same account) to see if the problem is the same on both computers.

If you have multiple Accounts, try another one of your accounts on your machine. If you don't have a second account, try using our demo system, or having a friend try their account on your machine will help to determine if there is a common issue among accounts (or systems) and where that problem may be.

Trying both systems may indicate that the problem is with a component installed on your computer or somewhere else.

FAQs

IBIS FAQs

Please refer to the list of troubleshooting issues below.


Log into the TWS (version 919 or higher) from the Login menu on the IB website. Once you have logged in, you will see the IBIS toolbar along the top of the TWS inside the main toolbar. Click the "Launch" icon from the IBIS toolbar (see image below).

Launch IBIS

From within TWS in which you launched IBIS, press Ctrl+Alt+H, enter a description of your problem and hit "Submit."

Although you could elect to "Save" the TWS link to your desktop, we do not recommend doing this as this would prohibit you from getting the fixes and changes that we implement daily.

FAQs

mobileTWS for iOS FAQs

Please refer to the list of troubleshooting issues below.



  iPhone iPad
Number of Watchlist Rows 50 100
Number of Watchlists 12 15
Positions unlimited 250 (sorted by size)
Active (Working) Orders 100 (sorted by time) 100 (sorted by time)
Trades 100 (sorted by time) 100 (sorted by time)

For the iPad:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. In the Search field enter mobileTWS and click Search.
  3. Click the application description to install the app to your iPad.

For the iPhone/iPod Touch:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Tap the Search tab, enter iTWS and tap Search.
  3. Tap the description, and from the description page tap the Free icon. It becomes the Install icon.
  4. Tap Install to install the app to your iPhone/iPod Touch.

Use the Search facility, which you bring up by hitting the round "Home" button. Hit Home once if you're on your home screen, or twice if you're currently not on your Home screen. Enter "mobileTWS" and hit Search.

If the application is still not found, reboot your device by holding down the Home and power buttons together until the device shuts down. Then hold the power button to re-power the device.

In some cases, the application can get "stuck" in a state where it's only half installed. Try going to the app store and re-installing.

If you still cannot get the mobileTWS app, please call Apple support for assistance.

When you log in to your mobileTWS application, all other TWS sessions will automatically be logged out. In a case where you are logged into TWS and lose your internet connection, you do not have to wait for TWS to time out; when you log into mobileTWS the existing session is logged out. Note that mobileTWS provides more limited trading capabilities than the full internet version of TWS.

Several account types are not yet supported in mobileTWS, including institutional accounts, G-accounts (guaranteed dollars) and OATS-reportable accounts. If you have any of these account configurations you will not be able to trade your IB account through the mobileTWS application.

Yes. From the Text Message page of the alert, enter the email address where you would like the alert sent. This address will be used going forward for all alerts unless it is deleted or changed. If you do not enter an email address, your alert will be sent as a text to your mobile device.

Please submit your request to IB via the mobileTWS platform-specific section of the New Features Poll for consideration.

The current version of mobileTWS supports the following:

  • Order Types: Limit, Market, Relative, Stop, Trailing Stop, Stop Limit
  • Times in Force: Day, Good Till Cancelled (GTC), Outside Regular Trader Hours (outside RTH)
  • Products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Futures Options, CFDs, Warrants

We use your phone information for the following reasons:

  • To associate free Alerts with the user, so when you open free alerts you will see the alerts you created in a previous session.
  • To route you to the geographically closest servers (we have servers on three continents).
  • To pre-populate the default email address with email to the SMS gateway. This currently applies only to AT&T and Verizon phones.

You may be behind a corporate firewall. Please open port 4000 for unproxied TCP/IP communication from your device.

If the recommendations on this page have not solved your problem, please email iTWS@interactivebrokers.com with a detailed description of the issue you are having, including the following information:

  • mobileTWS for iOS problem statement in the subject line, for example: mobileTWS for iOS login error message.
  • Your TWS account number.
  • Mode of connection (Wi-Fi or Cellular).
  • The version of iPhone you are using.
FAQs

mobileTWS for Android FAQs

If you are having trouble using mobileTWS for Android on your device, check here for more information.


The first time you upgrade to the production version of mobileTWS which includes any version higher than version 0.1.132, you are required to first uninstall beta mobileTWS and then reinstall the production version. When you receive the notice to upgrade during login, please hit Upgrade to go to the mobileTWS page on the Android Market. From here, choose Uninstall and follow the process to uninstall mobileTWS. Once the uninstall is complete, you can choose to Install from the mobileTWS page on the Android Market.

If you do not see the Uninstall button on the Android Market page, you need to manually uninstall using the procedure below.
To uninstall:

  1. From the phone's Home screen, invoke the Settings menu.
  2. Select Applications and then select Manage Applications.
  3. Select the mobileTWS application and click Uninstall.

Once mobileTWS has been uninstalled, run the application file or install once more from the Android Market. This is a one-time upgrade process; going forward you will be able to upgrade new versions seamlessly.

Android only considers applications coming from Android Market to be 100% safe. However, you can still install mobileTWS from the IB website or your computer by opening your phone Application Settings and checking the 'Unknown sources' checkbox. After that you will be able to install applications from the sources other than Android Market.

For security reasons, mobileTWS automatically logs out after 20 minutes of inactivity (mobileTWS is considered inactive when it is not visible on the screen or screen is switched off). If you are logged in as a paid user you can shorten this period to one minute for extra security. To do so, open Configuration from mobileTWS main screen and choose Auto logout. If mobileTWS logged out automatically, you will see a notification with IB logo in Android taskbar. By clicking on mobileTWS notification in Android notification list you will re-activate mobileTWS.

After mobileTWS goes to the background (when you take an incoming call, for example) you can bring it back by clicking on the mobileTWS application icon or by a long press on Home button. Note that in the latter case mobileTWS may not be listed among the currently running applications, especially if it was sitting in the background for long time. This is perfectly normal as Android shuts down inactive applications automatically when it needs resources.

If customer service has requested that you upload your log file, this is most effectively done before you log in again, as the log is cleared immediately following login. To upload the log file BEFORE you log in to mobileTWS:

  • From the Login menu, select Upload log.

To upload the log file if you are already logged in to mobileTWS:

  • From the Configuration screen, select Upload log.

To upload the log file from any other screen within the mobileTWS application:

  • Type uploadlog (case is not important) and you will be shown the log upload dialog where you can provide a description of the problem and choose to attach a screenshot to the bundle to be sent to IB support. Note that you won't see uploadlog letters on the screen as you will be typing them. If you see what you type (the input focus happened to be on an editable field) the log upload shortcut won't work. To make it work move the focus somewhere else. If your phone does not have a physical keyboard you can invoke the software keyboard at any time by a long press on Menu button.

In cases where you are unable to upload your log file using the above procedure you can view, copy and email the file manually. Simply locate the log file in Configuration, copy the file and email it to aTWS@interactivebrokers.com

The mobileTWS login does not support passwords longer than eight characters. If your password is longer, please enter only the first eight characters. Or, reset your TWS password to eight characters or less through Account Management. To reset your password, log into Account Management on the IB web site. Under the User Management section, select Password.

When you log in to your mobileTWS application, all other TWS sessions will automatically be logged out. In a case where you are logged into TWS and lose your internet connection, you do not have to wait for TWS to time out; when you log into mobileTWS the existing session is logged out. Note that mobileTWS provides more limited trading capabilities than the full internet version of TWS.

Several account types are not yet supported in mobileTWS, including institutional accounts, G-accounts (guaranteed dollars) and OATS-reportable accounts. If you have any of these account configurations you will not be able to trade your IB account through the mobileTWS application.

Yes. From the Text Message page of the alert, enter the email address where you would like the alert sent. This address will be used going forward for all alerts unless it is deleted or changed. If you do not enter an email address, your alert will be sent as a text to your mobile device.

Please submit your request to IB via the mobileTWS platform-specific section of the New Features Poll for consideration.

The current version of mobileTWS supports the following:

  • Order Types: Limit, Market, Relative, Stop, Trailing Stop, Stop Limit
  • Times in Force: Day, Good Till Cancelled (GTC), Outside Regular Trader Hours (outside RTH)
  • Products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Futures Options, CFDs, Warrants

We use your phone information for the following reasons:

  • To associate free Alerts with the user, so when you open free alerts you will see the alerts you created in a previous session.
  • To route you to the geographically closest servers (we have servers on three continents).
  • To pre-populate the default email address with email to the SMS gateway. This currently applies only to AT&T and Verizon phones.

You may be behind a corporate firewall. Please open port 4000 for unproxied TCP/IP communication from your device.

If the recommendations on this page have not solved your problem, please email aTWS@interactivebrokers.com with a detailed description of the issue you are having, including the following information:

  • Problem statement in the subject line, for example:"Unable to communicate with server" message
  • Mode of connection (Wi-Fi or Cellular).
  • The device and version you are using.
FAQs

mobileTWS for Blackberry FAQs

Use the information below to help with mobileTWS for BlackBerry®-related questions.



We currently offer two versions of the TWS for BlackBerry. The "lite" version, which does NOT allow you to trade your IB account, is accessible from the BlackBerry App World. The "full" version which supports trading and monitoring your IB account is available on http://ibkr.com/bb. You can get this app from your PC, or using "over the air" installation.

You can reconfirm permission for the TWS for BlackBerry through the security settings. Open your Options, and then select Security Options. Choose Application Permissions and choose TWS for BlackBerry. (note that this path may vary slightly based on the model). Select Edit Permissions from the Main Menu, and change "Deny"/"Custom" options to "Allow."

The operating system is too old to support TWS for BlackBerry. You must be running the OS 4.3 version or higher. For instructions on upgrading, see http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/devices/

You need to have a direct TCP/IP connection with your carrier. In most cases this mean that the APN (Access Point Name) should be configured in Device Settings/ Advanced/ TCP.

For instructions on setting the APN, contact your carrier, or go to www.blackberry.com and view the Support > Resources section learn how to set the APN yourself.

You need to have a direct TCP/IP connection with your carrier. In most cases this mean that APN (Access Point Name) should be configured in Device Settings/ Advanced/ TCP. For instructions on setting the APN, contact your carrier, or go to www.blackberry.com and view the Support > Resources section learn how to set the APN yourself.

Please submit your support request to IB via the BlackBerry TWS section of the New Features Poll for consideration.

The location of applications is dependent on the BlackBerry model, but you will most likely find it in the Download folder.

About 1MB.

Most likely this is due to the browser cache. Clearing the content caches clears both the rendered pages and server data. To clear out the cache, follow these steps:

  1. Highlight the BlackBerry browser icon and click the trackwheel.
  2. Click the trackwheel again to display the Browser Options menu.
  3. Scroll down to Options and click the trackwheel to open the browser options screen.
  4. Scroll down to General Properties and click the trackwheel to open the General Properties screen.
  5. Click the trackwheel to open the Cache menu.
  6. Scroll down to Clear Content Caches and click the trackwheel to clear the cache and return to the General Properties screen.
  7. Use the Escape button to page back through the screens to the BlackBerry main menu.

If you have been requested by customer service to upload your log file, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch the TWS for BlackBerry application.
  2. On the login screen, press "shift-space" and then "shift-s." This will give you a prompt to upload the log files to our server.
  3. In the text field, please provide a short description of your problem and include the trouble ticket number.

In cases where you are unable to upload your log file using the above procedure, you can view, copy and email the log file manually.

To manually send your log file:

  1. Press Shift + space, Shift + L to open the log file.
  2. Execute the "copy to clipboard" action from the pop-up menu.
  3. Send the log email to bbtws@interactivebrokers.com

By default, if you switch applications without logging out of TWS, the application will continue to run in the background for approximately 20 minutes. This allows you to return to TWS without having to log back in. After 20 minutes of inactivity, you are automatically logged out.

If you prefer NOT to have TWS running in the background for security reasons, go to the Configuration screen and check Auto Exit. When checked, you will automatically be logged out of TWS when you switch to another application.

If you need to reboot your BlackBerry, simply remove and reinstall the battery. For alternative rebooting techniques, you can Google for special hotkeys for your device.

Yes, you can download the TWS for BlackBerry application by linking your BlackBerry to the IB web site and using the BlackBerry Desktop Manager which you can download from the BlackBerry web site.

1. Download BlackBerry Desktop Manager to your PC.

2. Connect your BlackBerry to your PC.

3. Get the appropriate .zip file for your device type (below) and extract bbTws.cod and bbTws.alx into the same directory:

4. Point the BlackBerry Desktop Manager to bbTws.alx to install the actual application, bbTws.cod.

If your problem has not been solved, please email bbTWS@interactivebrokers.com with a detailed description of the issue you are having, including:

  • bbTWS {problem statement}in the subject line, for example: bbTWS connection problem.
  • Your TWS account number or user id, if applicable.
  • The version of your BlackBerry and the carrier.

The mobileTWS login does not support passwords longer than eight characters. If your password is longer, please enter only the first eight characters. Or, reset your TWS password to eight characters or less through Account Management. To reset your password, log into Account Management on the IB web site. Under the User Management section, select Password.

When you log in to your mobileTWS application, all other TWS sessions will automatically be logged out. In a case where you are logged into TWS and lose your internet connection, you do not have to wait for TWS to time out; when you log into mobileTWS the existing session is logged out. Note that mobileTWS provides more limited trading capabilities than the full internet version of TWS.

Several account types are not yet supported in mobileTWS, including institutional accounts, G-accounts (guaranteed dollars) and OATS-reportable accounts. If you have any of these account configurations you will not be able to trade your IB account through the mobileTWS application.

Yes. From the Text Message page of the alert, enter the email address where you would like the alert sent. This address will be used going forward for all alerts unless it is deleted or changed. If you do not enter an email address, your alert will be sent as a text to your mobile device.

Please submit your request to IB via the mobileTWS platform-specific section of the New Features Poll for consideration.

The current version of mobileTWS supports the following:

  • Order Types: Limit, Market, Relative, Stop, Trailing Stop, Stop Limit
  • Times in Force: Day, Good Till Cancelled (GTC), Outside Regular Trader Hours (outside RTH)
  • Products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, Futures, Forex, Futures Options, CFDs, Warrants

We use your phone information for the following reasons:

  • To associate free Alerts with the user, so when you open free alerts you will see the alerts you created in a previous session.
  • To route you to the geographically closest servers (we have servers on three continents).
  • To pre-populate the default email address with email to the SMS gateway. This currently applies only to AT&T and Verizon phones.

You may be behind a corporate firewall. Please open port 4000 for unproxied TCP/IP communication from your device.

If the recommendations on this page have not solved your problem, please email bbTWS@interactivebrokers.com with a detailed description of the issue you are having, including:

  • bbTWS {problem statement}in the subject line, for example: bbTWS connection problem.
  • Your TWS account number or user id, if applicable.
  • The version of your BlackBerry and the carrier.
FAQs

MobileTrader FAQs

Issues and Questions

Consider the following questions to help narrow down the source of your MobileTrader problem before you call Customer Service:



If you're having trouble logging into your MobileTrader account, or performing a specific trading action, log out and try the same action with another of IB's trading platforms such as TWS or WebTrader. This will help you better describe your problem when you speak with customer service.

The protocols used with MobileTrader are the same as those for any basic web browser. You can log in and try to perform the same functions using Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Mobile devices have a limited number of settings, but you could try the following:

  • Clear the browser cache (this empties all stored pages).
  • Clear the cookies (empties session properties).
  • Ensure that https (secure web) is supported.

Check with your service provider. A local store with an in-house technician may be the best source of information since they deal with customer issues on a daily basis. Call the store and ask to speak to a technician - they may be able to resolve your issue over the phone.



FAQs

Day Trading FAQs

Day Trading FAQs


FINRA and the NYSE define a Pattern Day Trader (PDT) as one who effects four or more day trades (same day opening and closing of a given equity security ("stock") or equity option) within a five business day period.

Note that Futures contracts and Futures Options are not included in the SEC Day Trade rule.

A potential pattern day trader error message means that an account has less than the SEC required $25,000 minimum Net Liquidation Value AND the number of available day trades (3) has already been used within the last five days.

The IB system is programmed to prohibit any further trades to be initiated in the account, regardless of the intent to day trade that position or not. The IB system is programmed to protect the accounts with less than $25,000 so the account would not “potentially” be flagged as a day trading account.

If an account receives the error message “potential pattern day trader”, there is no PDT flag to remove. The account holder will need to wait for the five-day period to end before any new positions can be initiated in the account.

The customer has the following options:

  1. Deposit funds to bring the account’s equity up to the SEC required minimum of $25,000
  2. Wait the required 90 day period before any new positions can be initiated
  3. Request a PDT account reset

If the intraday situation occurs, the customer will immediately be prohibited from initiating any new positions. Customers should be able to close any existing positions in his account, but will not be allowed to initiate any new positions.

The customer will have the same options listed above, however, if at any time the Net Liquidation Value figure goes back above the threshold amount ($25,000), then the account will once again have unlimited day trades available.

FINRA has provided brokerage firms the ability to remove the PDT flag from a customer’s account once every 180 days. If an account was erroneously flagged, and the customer’s intent is not to day trade in his/her account, IB has the ability to remove this flag. Once the PDT flag is removed, the customer will then be allowed three day trades every five business days. If an account gets re-flagged as a PDT account within 180 days after the reset, the customer then has the following options:

  1. Deposit funds to bring the account’s equity up to the SEC required minimum of $25,000
  2. Wait the required 90 day period before any new positions can be initiated

FINRA and the NYSE define a Pattern Day Trader (PDT) as one who effects 4 or more day trades (same day purchase and sale of a given equity security ("stock") or equity option) within a five-day period, and NYSE and FINRA rules place certain restrictions on those who are deemed to be pattern day traders. If an Interactive Brokers ("IB") account effects three (3) day trades involving stocks or equity options within any five (5) day period, IB will require that such account satisfy the minimum Net Liquidation Value requirement of $25,000 before IB will accept the next order to purchase or sell a stock or equity option. Once the account has effected a fourth day trade (in such 5 day period), IB will deem the account to be a PDT account.

Pattern Day Trading regulations allow a broker to remove the PDT designation if the client acknowledges that she/he does not intend to engage in day trading strategies, and requests that the PDT designation be removed. If you wish to have the PDT designation for your account removed, provide IB with the following information in a letter using the Customer Service Message Center in Account Management:

  1. Provide the following acknowledgements:
    • I do not intend to engage in a day trading strategy in my IB account.
    • I hereby request that IB no longer designate my account as a "Pattern Day Trading" account under NYSE and FINRA rules.
    • I understand that if, following this acknowledgement I engage in Pattern Day Trading, my account will be designated as a Pattern Day Trading" account, and IB will apply all applicable PDT rules to my account.
  2. Log into Account Management, then click the Message Center icon in the upper left corner of the Account Management menu pane. Create a ticket in the Message Center, then paste the aforementioned acknowledgements, your account number, your name, and the statement “I agree” into the ticket form. Submit the ticket to Customer Service.

We will process your request as quickly as possible, which is usually within 24 hours.

For example, if the window reads (0,0,1,2,3), here is how to interpret this information:

If today was Wednesday, the first number within the parenthesis, 0, means that 0-day trades are available on Wednesday. The 2nd number in the parenthesis, 0, means that no day trades are available on Thursday. The 3rd number within the parenthesis, 1, means that on Friday 1-day trade is available. The 4th number within the parenthesis, 2, means that on Monday, if 1-day trade was not used on Friday, and then on Monday, the account would have 2-day trades available. The 5th number within the parenthesis, 3, means that if no day trades were used on either Friday or Monday, then on Tuesday, the account would have 3-day trades available.

FAQs

Funding FAQs

Funding Reference FAQs


General Funding


Once all account application materials have been received at IB, the application will be reviewed and a decision will be made to either accept or decline the account. An email will be sent to the applicant informing them of the decision. In addition, you may log into Complete Application to view your latest status.

Yes. Here are the currencies that you can use to fund your account:

  • AUD
  • CAD
  • CHF
  • CNH
  • CZK
  • DKK
  • EUR
  • GBP
  • HKD
  • HUF
  • INR
  • JPY
  • MXN
  • NOK
  • NZD
  • SEK
  • SGD
  • USD

Not all of the currencies listed above can be used as your base currency. For a list of eligible base currencies, see the Configuring Your Account page.

No, IB does not convert funds but IB customers may convert currencies through the IB Forex trading Network (IDEAL). Please see An Introduction to Forex (FX).

Note that deposits improperly routed to a bank account that has not been designated to accommodate deposits in your selected currency may be rejected or automatically converted to the local currency based on the policies of the bank. As Interactive Brokers is unable to assume the risk of such errors, be sure to provide your bank with the correct routing instructions displayed when your Deposit Notification is created.

Yes. See IB's Internal Funds Transfers page for instructions and details.

The securities portions of your account is insured for up to $30 million regardless of your country of residency. Excess funds in your commodities account are swept into your securities account at the end of each day. Click here for specifics on your insurance protection.

Your self-selected, Professional or Friends and Family financial advisor can request a withdrawal on your behalf, however the advisor can only use the banking instructions which you have created in Account Management.

To view the latest status of any deposit, withdrawal, internal transfer or position transfer request, visit the Transaction History page in Account Management.



Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS)


The Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS) is the National Securities Clearing Corporation's (NSCC) central processing system for the transfer of positions and accounts between brokerage firms that are participants in the NSCC's ACAT program.

The ACAT system would allow you to enter a partial or full transfer request online to move positions and or cash from other ACAT participant firms.

Under normal circumstances, an ACATS transfer should take between four to eight business days. In certain circumstances, such as an attempt to transfer acceptable, no-load mutual fund shares or non-US assets, this process could take longer.

An ACAT can be entered as an initial funding method in an application, but the request will not begin processing until application approval is granted. ACATs can be submitted through the Account Management menu for any existing account.

An ACAT can be entered as an initial funding method in an application, but the request will not begin processing until application approval is granted. ACATs can be submitted through the Account Management menu for any existing account.

ACATS transfers are available in Account Management. Select Position Transfers from the Funds Management menu, then select ACATS – US Broker Transfer from the Transfer Method dropdown list. Choose Full or Partial as the type of ACATS transfer, then select the firm from the Source dropdown list. You will need the firm's account number. If you choose Partial as the type of ACATS transfer, you will be prompted to select the assets you want to transfer.

The drop-down list displays Clearing Firms that are participants in the ACATS program. Not all firms are self-clearing. If you do not find your firm on the list, please contact one of their representatives to confirm that they participate in the ACAT system. If yes, ask what firm they clear their transfers through.

Interactive Brokers accepts only products that are available for trading and deemed transferable by the NSCC. Certain products, such as Commodities/Futures, Limited Partnership Units and Restricted Securities are not transferable.

The ACAT system facilitates the transfer of identically titled/typed accounts between participant firms (i.e. John Doe to John Doe, or Jane Doe, Traditional IRA to Jane Doe, Traditional IRA). In certain instances, the delivering firm may make exceptions to validate requests between non-identical titles (i.e. John E. Doe to J. Edward Doe). Contact Funds and Banking at 877-442-2757 for assistance for questions on common acceptable circumstances.



Deposits


IB receives value on the business day following its processing date for ACH deposits initiated via the IB website. However, an ACH deposit is essentially an electronic check and therefore the originating bank can reverse the transaction and IB's bank account will be debited, same as a check, because the sender has non-sufficient funds, closed the bank account etc. Therefore, IB has implemented a four-business day hold period to protect itself against these reversals.

IB wishes to keep its commissions as low as possible and therefore it avoids preventable losses. We encourage our customers to send funds via bank check or wire if they require immediate availability of funds.

Once you have received your two credits and debit you can log into Account Management and enter them under Home -> Pending requests or Funds Management -> Transaction History -> Bank Instructions.

IB doesn't know when customer checks actually clear. IB has a corporate account and our bank credits corporate accounts based on the expected clearing date of the check. IB's bank uses ABA routing numbers as a proxy to determine how long it will take a check to clear. For example, IB will receive value on a check drawn on a New York bank faster than it will receive value on a check drawn on a California bank.

Check processing speed has improved because of system developments other than Check 21. However, the return check process does not seem to have improved yet. When the maker's bank receives a check for payment it either provides payment or submits notification to the payee's bank that it will not honor the check for payment because of non-sufficient funds, closed account etc. IB's bank receives the notification of a returned check via the Federal Reserve and deducts the funds from IB's bank account since it originally credited IB based on an estimated funds availability schedule (not when the check actually clears). IB then reverses the funds to its customer's IB account. There is no set time frame for returned checks and IB has experienced returned checks up to seven business days.

Before IB implemented the seven-business day hold period, it experienced losses from returned checks. IB wishes to keep its commissions as low as possible and therefore it avoids preventable losses. We encourage our customers to send funds via bank check or wire if they require immediate availability of funds.

IB doesn't know when customer checks actually clear. IB has a corporate account and our bank credits corporate accounts based on the expected clearing date of the check. IB's bank uses ABA routing numbers as a proxy to determine how long it will take a check to clear. For example, IB will receive value on a check drawn on a New York bank faster than it will receive value on a check drawn on a California bank.

Check processing speed has improved because of system developments other than Check 21. However, the return check process does not seem to have improved yet. When the maker's bank receives a check for payment it either provides payment or submits notification to the payee's bank that it will not honor the check for payment because of non-sufficient funds, closed account etc. IB's bank receives the notification of a returned check via the Federal Reserve and deducts the funds from IB's bank account since it originally credited IB based on an estimated funds availability schedule (not when the check actually clears). IB then reverses the funds to its customer's IB account. There is no set time frame for returned checks and IB has experienced returned checks up to seven business days.

Before IB implemented the seven-business day hold period, it experienced losses from returned checks. IB wishes to keep its commissions as low as possible and therefore it avoids preventable losses. We encourage our customers to send funds via bank check or wire if they require immediate availability of funds.

IB's bank typically posts incoming wires to IB's bank account within a few minutes. There can be bank posting delays if there is a lot of Fedwire activity for that day.

IB retrieves incoming wires to its bank accounts every 15 minutes during business hours and, if there is match to a deposit notification, our system automatically posts the funds to the customer's account. IB posting delays to customers' IB accounts can occur because:

  • the customer didn't submit a deposit notification
  • the sending bank improperly formatted the wire (and therefore customer identifiers do not appear on IB's bank reports)
  • the sending bank misspelled the customer's name or incorrectly input other customer identifiers so an automatic match to the deposit notification cannot occur
  • IB's bank didn't display the customer identifiers on its bank reporting system (we then ask our bank for additional details on the incoming wire)

If IB can't identify the customer, then IB will return the funds to the sending bank.

Our website recognizes Interactive Brokers ("IB") customers vs Interactive Brokers Canada ("IBC") customers and prevents IB customers from initiating EFT transactions and IBC customers from initiating ACH transactions. The reason why is that the Investment Dealers Association of Canada ("IDA") mandates that IBC customer cash must be deposited to/disbursed from IBC bank accounts so ACH transactions are mapped to IB bank accounts and EFT transactions are mapped to IBC bank accounts.

IB does not accept physical stock certificates.

FAQs

Investor Relations FAQs

What was the offering price and number of shares offered at Interactive Brokers Group, Inc.’s initial public offering?

The initial public offering of IBKR shares was determined by a Dutch auction which resulted in an offering price of $30.01 per share for 40 million shares.


What securities market does Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. stock trade on?

The NASDAQ Global Select Market, a segment of the NASDAQ Global Market, which generally employs the highest initial listing standards of any exchange in the world.


What symbol does Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. stock trade under?

IBKR


How can I get the current IBKR stock price?

Current stock price and volume information (subject to a 20 minute delay) can be found at the following link: http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/general/about/InvestorRelations.php


Who is Interactive Brokers Group, Inc.'s independent auditor?

Deloitte & Touche LLP


How many employees does Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. have?

Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., through its consolidated subsidiaries, employed 960 individuals as of December 31, 2014.


Where are you headquartered?

Headquarters are located in Greenwich, Connecticut with additional facilities located in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Hong Kong, UK, Australia, Hungary, Russia, Japan, India, China and Estonia.


When does your fiscal year end?

December 31.


Does Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. pay a cash dividend?

During the second quarter of 2011, the Company declared and paid a cash dividend of $0.10 per share and has since continued this quarterly dividend policy. Although not required, we currently intend to pay quarterly dividends of $0.10 per share to our common stockholders for the foreseeable future.


Do you offer any direct means for purchasing your stock?

No, Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. does not have a direct stock purchase plan. Shares may be purchased through any broker including any of our Interactive Brokers Group, LLC operating subsidiaries. To open an Interactive Brokers account or learn more about our trading platforms, product offerings and rates, please visit us: http://www.interactivebrokers.com.


Who are the transfer agent and registrar for Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. shares?

The transfer agent and registrar for shares of our common stock are:
Computershare Trust Company, N.A.
1-800-662-7232
1-781-575-4238 (outside the U.S.)


How can I contact Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. investor relations?

IBG Investor Relations


FAQs

IRA FAQs

FAQs

Stock Yield Enhancement Program FAQs

Stock Yield Enhancement Program FAQs


IB will lend your fully-paid US stocks only.

  • In order to optimize your revenue, we focus on the stocks with a borrow offset greater than 25bps from Fed Funds, the industry interest rate benchmark. Therefore, not all stocks in your portfolio may be loaned.
  • The universe of stocks that are sought after and thus have the most value from a stock loan perspective are labeled Hard to Borrow (HTB) and represent a subset of the total equity available for lending in the USA.
  • There is a constant shifting of the most desirable stocks and there is no comprehensive way to predict which stock will become HTB, so IB has set up the Stock Yield Enhancement Program (SYEP) to include all the stocks in a customer's account. When a stock becomes HTB, the IB algorithm can search all customer portfolios in the program for the stocks that can be loaned effectively.

None. Your ability to borrow is still based on your stock positions.

Yes. Your Stock Yield Enhancement Program activity is covered by three separate sections in an activity statement:

  • IB Managed Securities Lent - In this section, cash collateral is listed under Collateral Amount.
  • IB Managed Securities Lent Activity - This section lists each stock loan transaction including Transaction ID, Quantity, Net Fee and Collateral Amount.
  • IB Managed Securities Lent Fee Details - This section lists each stock loan transaction with Market Fee, Fee Paid to IB and Net Lend Fee Paid to Customer.

Yes. IB marks-to-market all positions nightly, which is the industry convention. The mark-to-market is calculated by rounding the end-of-day closing security price up to the nearest dollar. The collateral amount is then calculated by multiplying the rounded security price times the number of shares by 102% US securities (the collateral amount will be at least 100% but may be greater based on applicable laws or market custom).

For example, customer A has enrolled in the SYEP and IB has subsequently loaned 5000 shares of XYZ on behalf of this customer. XYZ's closing price is $22.15. The mark-to-market is calculated by rounding $22.15 * 1.02 = 22.59 rounded up nearest dollar = 23 * 5000 = $115,000.

You are free to sell your loaned stock at any time. Upon the sale, IB recalls the loan from the street and makes normal delivery on your behalf on settlement date. The stock loan is terminated.

You can sell any number of shares including the entire amount if you want. There is no difference in how you trade based on whether or not the shares are lent.

If the stock is fully paid, it will benefit you the same whether or not it has call options written against it.

The same US Tax withholding rates for non-resident aliens applies for both dividends and payments in lieu. In general the rate is 30%; however, a lower rate may be applied if there is a tax treaty between your resident country and the US.

There is no impact on capital gain treatment upon the sale of shares that have been lent. Payment in lieu income, or payments received in lieu of dividends or interest is considered ordinary income and does not meet the definition of qualified dividend income and therefore is taxed at ordinary income tax rates rather than qualified dividend rates.

In order to keep SYEP participants from experiencing an adverse tax consequence, IB's program is designed to recall loaned shares 10 days prior to record date so that the customer will receive the qualified dividend.

Yes. The Stock Yield Enhancement Program enrollment process is the same for all eligible accounts, including IRA accounts.

No, the Stock Yield Enhancement Program is not currently available to Canadian customers.

FAQs

Tax FAQs

Circular 230 Notice:

Important: These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor.


FAQs



For Brokerage Accounts

Interactive Brokers (IB) reports all reportable amounts on a consolidated form 1099 which includes specific Forms 1099 for each type of income. When issued (on or before February 15 of each year) you may find your forms under Account Management > Reports > Tax > Tax Form. Often tax forms are revised after being issued. We recommend that you check your account periodically for updated forms as you prepare and finalize your tax return.

Additionally, IB issues Form 2439, "Notice to Shareholders of Undistributed Long-term Capital Gains", to holders of regulated investment companies (RICs) or real estate investment trusts (REITs), when applicable. The issuance date of this form varies for each specific investment.


For IRA (Individual Retirement Account), Roth IRA and SEP IRA Accounts

  • Form 1099-R reports distributions from IRAs and SEP IRA and is issued on or before January 31 each calendar year.
  • Form 5498 reports contributions and rollovers to Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs as well as the fair market value of the account at December 31 of the prior year. Form 5498s are distributed on or before May 31 of each calendar year.

Equity Trust Company serves the trustee/custodian for tax-advantaged accounts. (i.e IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, 401K and Coverdell Education Saving Accounts etc)

All forms and publications cited are Internal Revenue Service Publications available at www.IRS.gov.

To access and print your 1099 forms, log in to Account Management with your IB username and password, select the Reports in the menu, then go to Tax and hit Tax Forms.

You can access forms and reports and the dates they are available here: Reports and Dates

IB recommends that you print your year-end statement, dividend report, and all applicable tax forms.

In compliance with Treasury Department Circular 230, unless stated to the contrary, any information contained in this FAQ was not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer.

Determine from which account you are missing your consolidated form 1099. If you are missing a consolidated form 1099, please verify that you received interest (including interest on free cash), dividend or payment in lieu, or you sold shares of stock, you bought or sold futures contracts.

Once you have reviewed your account activity from the previous tax year, and, you have determined that you should have received a 1099 for an account, please contact our customer service department with specific details of transactions, including the name of the security, number of shares/contracts, and the trade date. We will research the issue and will advise you once we have concluded our investigation.

A consolidated 1099 is a grouping together into one statement of all the 1099 tax information for your account provided by Interactive Brokers to be used in preparation of your annual tax return. This information is also provided to the IRS. Click on a form below for further details:

1099INT:

Reports interest, including US Treasury interest and tax exempt interest (muni interest).

1099OID:

Reports accrued interest (original issue discount interest) on bonds where the bond price is discounted to reflect interest or interest rate changes.

1099DIV:

Reports dividends, long-term capital gain distributions, return of capital and foreign tax withheld. Also, reports distributions of interests and tax exempt interest from mutual funds.

1099MISC:

Reports payments in lieu of interest and dividends received, and stock loan payment received.

1099B:

Reports net proceeds from sales of securities. For stocks purchased after 1/1/10 includes cost basis of security. IB reports these in summary form on the consolidated 1099. Reporting is summarized into these sections.

  • Covered securities-short term
  • Covered securities-long term
  • Uncovered securities
1099R:

Other 1099s: Distributions from IRAs, Roth IRAs and SEP IRAs.

Please click on the form for further details:

U.S. Forms  
1099INT:

Reports interest, including US Treasury interest and tax exempt interest (muni interest).

1099OID:

Reports accrued interest (original issue discount interest) on bonds where the bond price is discounted to reflect interest or interest rate changes.

1099DIV:

Reports dividends, long-term capital gain distributions, return of capital and foreign tax withheld. Also, reports distributions of interests and tax exempt interest from mutual funds.

1099MISC:

Reports payments in lieu of interest and dividends received, and stock loan payment received.

1099B:

Reports net proceeds from sales of securities. For stocks purchased after 1/1/10 includes cost basis of security. IB reports these in summary form on the consolidated 1099. Reporting is summarized into these sections.

  • Covered securities-short term
  • Covered securities-long term
  • Uncovered securities
1099R:

Other 1099s: Distributions from IRAs, Roth IRAs and SEP IRAs.

Dividend Report:

Detailed information on dividends received, return of capital, payments in lieu paid and received, and foreign tax paid.

Form 8949 Worksheet:

Calculation of gain and loss on securities and options transactions, for both covered and uncovered securities (with cost basis). U.S persons only.

Form 5498:

IRA contribution and Fair Market Value Information.

Form 2439:

Reports undistributed Capital gains retained in Registered Investment Companies (RICs) (mutual Funds) and REITs for which the tax has been paid on your behalf.

Form 1042-S:

Form 1042-S is issued to non-U.S. person who owns an account that received income from United States sources.

Canadian Forms  
Form NR4:

Reports Canadian tax withheld from Canadian dividends paid to your account. If you are an U.S person, these payments and tax withheld are also included in your 1099.

Form T5008:

Form T5008, Statement of Securities Transactions, reports the proceeds of all dispositions or settlements during the year. A separate T5008 will be provided for each transaction involving stocks, options or futures. You may review this information also available on your Annual or Monthly Statement.

Form T5:

Form T5, Statement of Investment Income, reports investment income (dividends or interest) paid to your account during the year. Québec residents also receive a Relevé 3, described below.

Form T3:

Statement of Trust Income Allocations and Designations, reports distributions of trust unit income, capital gains or return of capital (ROC) from Canadian Unit Trusts during the year.

Québec Forms:  
Relevé 18:

Form RL-18, Securities Transactions, is equivalent to the T5008 and reports the same information to the Québec Ministry of Revenue.

Relevé 3:

Form RL-3, Investment Income, is equivalent to Form T5 described above and reports the same information to the Quebec Ministry of Revenue.

Relevé 15:

Amounts allocated to the Members of a Partnership, reports income, losses and other amounts allocated from a partnership. A separate RL-15 must be filed for each partner and contain all information requested.

Relevé 16:

Form RL-16, Trust Income, is equivalent to the T3 described above and reports distributions of unit trust income, capital gains and eligible dividends to the Québec Ministry of Revenue.

A Payment in Lieu, (PIL), typically refers to a cash debit or credit made to an account in recognition of a stock dividend.

Received

If you buy a dividend-paying stock on margin and Interactive Brokers (IB) lends out the stock, you do not receive dividends, you receive payment in lieu of dividends. PIL in the form of a credit is received by IB for a customer in lieu of dividends or tax exempt interest as a result of a loan of a customer’s securities. These payments are treated as ordinary income and are not generally eligible for the qualified dividend rate. IB reports substitute payments in lieu of dividends in gross on line 8 of Form 1099-MISC.

Paid

A PIL in the form of a debit will be made when an account is holding a short position in a stock on its ex-dividend date. If you borrow stock to make a short sale, you might have to remit payments to the stock lender in lieu of the dividends distributed while you maintain your short position. You can deduct these payments only if you hold the short sale open at least 46 days and you itemize your deductions, and have offsetting investment income. See Publication 550 and Form 1099-Div for more information. When the short position is held less than 46 days the PIL paid is capitalized.

"Covered security" describes investments for which financial institutions are required to report Cost Basis. Cost Basis Reporting Regulations took effect over a four-year phase-in period that began in 2011. During this period, different types of securities became "covered" and subject to new cost basis reporting.

A "covered” security refers to a security you have purchased on or after the effective date, such as equities including foreign securities and ADRs purchased on or after January 1, 2011; mutual funds on or after January 1, 2012; or fixed income, options and structured notes on or after January 1, 2014, are considered "covered”. Not all securities are covered by these regulations. For example, Public Traded Partnerships (PTP) are not subject to cost basis reporting.

As required in the Regulations, when you sell covered securities we will report to the IRS not only the gross proceeds from the sale, but also the cost basis, the date of acquisition and whether any gain or loss with respect to such securities is long-term or short-term.

Maintaining cost basis on non-covered securities is clients' responsibility for tax compliance and filing. Interactive Brokers Group does NOT report cost basis information to the IRS on non-covered security sales.

Equities purchased prior to January 1, 2011, mutual funds purchased prior to January 1, 2012, and other securities-i.e., fixed income, options and structured notes-purchased prior to January 1, 2014 are considered non-covered. Certain securities such as public traded partnerships remain uncovered.

The cost basis of uncovered securities will not be reported to the IRS but is provided to you on your form 8949 worksheet for informational purposes only. The cost basis provided on the worksheet should be verified for accuracy before using the information for your tax return. For sales of non-covered securities, your tax return should include all gross proceeds amounts IB reports on Form 1099-B, as the IRS will compare your tax return to what is reported. The cost basis provided on Form 1099-B for non-covered securities may require adjustment and should be validated against your own tax records.

Debt instruments and Options are reportable as of January 1, 2014 include options on stock and interests in stock, options on futures, and options on most debt instruments.

For more details of Cost Basis, please consult your tax advisor or see the IRS Publication 550.

The gross proceeds are reported net of commissions.

2014

Equity options, single stock futures are reportable in our Consolidated 1099. Beginning with transactions executed after 1/1/2014 these items will also include cost basis.

In general, gain and loss recognition does not occur until the investment sold, however, the gains and losses from Section 1256 contracts are "marked-to-market", which any contract held at the end of the tax year is assumed to have been sold for its current fair market value, the resulting unrealized gain or loss is recognized. When the contract is actually sold, any difference between the actual gain or loss realized on the sale and any amounts of unrealized gain or loss that have previously been recognized is captured in the year of sale.

Section 1256 contract is a regulated futures contract, foreign currency contract, non-equity option, or dealer securities contract, all of which are usually reported to taxpayers in Box 10, 11 and 12 on Form 1099-B.

Since these contracts are considered to be sold every year, the holding period of the underlying asset does not determine whether or not the gain or loss is short term or long term, rather all gains and losses on these contracts are considered to be 60% long term and 40% short term capital gain.

U.S.

U.S security transactions are reported on a trade date basis. A sale is reportable in the year it is executed not settled. In the case of security sales which take place in December but which do not settle until the following year, the sale proceeds will be reported in the year of the trade, and accrued dividend or interest, if any, will be reported the following year's 1099-DIV/INT.

Canada

The Canada Revenue Agency generally considers the settlement date basis. The settlement date for most Canadian and U.S. stock exchanges generally takes place three business days after the trade date.

A sale is reportable in the year it is settled not traded. For example, the sale proceeds should be current year if a trade is settled on December 31. If the trade takes place on XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

For U.S. exchanges, the last trading date for settlement in 2014 would generally be December 31.

IB sends an electronic file to the IRS with the same information that was reported to you on Forms 1099.

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