IB Communiqué - July 20, 2007
Over the past few months we've been hard at work enhancing our technology and lowering our cost structure to help customers maximize their returns. New features and benefits include the following.
Interactive Brokers is pleased to announce the trading of Australian Stocks at the low price of 0.08% of trade value, minimum AUD 6. Rollouts in the coming weeks will include the ability to short Australian Stocks as well as trade Australian Stock Options. In addition, we have added NYBOT cocoa, coffee, orange juice and sugar commodities, ISE Forex Options, Swedish Stock Options, NYSE-Arca Bonds, and AIM (Alternative Investment Market) products on the London Stock Exchange to our product line-up. For more information on available contracts see our Exchange & Products page. For more information on our low commissions see our Stock, Options, or Futures Commissions pages. To add trading permissions and market data subscriptions, log into Account Management from the top right corner of our website and select the Trading Access menu section.
As with US stocks, as of Monday July 23 we will be offering a new unbundled or "cost plus" pricing structure for Canadian stocks. Costs are as low as CAD $.003 plus external exchange, clearing, and regulatory fees. Clients trading large stock volumes, or those who would receive credits by adding liquidity to the exchanges would benefit most from this new pricing structure. See the Stocks Commissions page for more details on our Canadian stock unbundled structure. To change your pricing designation from Bundled to Unbundled, log into Account Management from the top right corner of our website and select the Account Administration/Pricing Designation menu item. Please note that when changing your pricing designation for stocks, your commission structure for Canadian as well as US stocks will be changed.
We recently introduced a new statement design with enhanced information to help you better monitor the performance of your portfolio. Features of our new statements include:
- Ability to customize your statement and change it at any time with expandable and contractible sections.
- A performance summary by asset class for a quick view of your account’s profitability.
- Profit and loss across all transactions, positions, underlying instrument and asset class, under First In, First Out (FIFO) and Mark-to-Market calculation methods.
- Details of change in position value for the statement period.
- Calculation of FX translation gains and losses for accounts with multiple currencies.
Our enhanced daily and monthly statements are available within Account Management under the Report Management/New Statements (Beta) menu items. As of August 1, 2007 our new enhanced statement will become your standard statement, with the old-style statements available under a new Legacy Statement menu item. As of September 17, 2007, the old-style statements will no longer be available. See our Statements page for further detail.
In addition, we have developed new Margin Reports that detail your margin requirements by underlying and combination strategy each day as of 16:15 ET. See our Margin Report page for more details.
We provide you with tight spreads by giving you the highest bids and lowest offers from multiple Forex bank dealer partners, a sophisticated FXTrader forex entry platform, and multiple forex products (cash, options, futures) on one platform. Interactive Brokers gives you the features that professional forex traders require. Don’t be misled by Forex brokers who promise commission-free trades and build a wide spread into bank dealer quotes. For more information see our Forex Product page, view our live quotes on our homepage, and visit the Forex Commissions page to see our low commissions.
The Liquidnet Dark Pool has been added to our line-up of Smart Routing destinations. This is in addition to existing dark pool destinations Knight and ISE Midpoint Match. In addition, we have added Track ECN as another market destination.
We have added the following to our Application Program Interface (API) in releases 9.2 and 9.3:
- Support for EFPs.
- Microsoft .Net Support.
- Support for five-second bars.
- Timestamp request.
- Ability to query for short stock availability and stock locate requests.
Click here to view full details on these changes on our API Release Notes page.
Over the past few months we have added the following Commercial Tools third-party software developer products:
- OmniTrader Professional
- tymoralPro Advanced Analytics
See our Commercial Tool Partners page for more details on these and our other partners.
During the past few months, we have continued to enhance the Trader Workstation (TWS). New features include:
- Relevant EFP tool that scans the market for bids and offers on EFPs that could increase the returns on your current portfolio. Please refer to our EFP Letter for further explanation on using EFPs.
- Stock legs of EFP orders can now be Smart routed.
- Newly designed Account Window with customizable format and content.
- Ability to save TWS settings to, and downloaded them from, our IB server. This ensures that your application can use the same layout, regardless of where you log in.
- OptionTrader can now automatically populate option chains with the nearest N expiries and strike prices based on the selected underlying.
- OptionTrader now offers a Statistics panel which shows option-related stats including option volume change, put/call volume, open interest and more.
- BookTrader now lets you modify the size of a child order in a bracket after the parent order has executed. The function also includes new Order Type select buttons to put BookTrader into “order type” mode.
- Expressing option orders in terms of volatility has been one of our most popular recent releases. In a further enhancement, the limit price for Volatility orders now adheres to the same Precautionary Settings, such as size and price limitations, as do all limit orders. You can set these parameters on the Order Defaults page.
- Volatility orders are now also available for Futures Options on Globex, ECBOT, Eurex, and Euronext exchanges.
- Select the "blink" function on the Trades icon on the trading toolbar to notify you of an execution.
- Real-time charts let you display implied volatility for two stocks or indexes side by side.
- Bar charts now include a spike protection feature which removes any bars that fall outside of your defined protection percentage. This helps avoid skewed charts.
- A “two-week” time period has been added to the list of time periods in the Chart Parameters section.
- Large double arrows now display on menus and toolbars when features are turned off, making it easier for you to see and activate them.
- Advisors can now add the Account field to their Trader Dashboard.
- The soft-edge margining warning message now includes the account number for customers with multiple accounts.
- A new Try PM button on the Account window displays a "what-if" scenario of how your account would look if you used Portfolio Margining.
- The right-click "Check Margin" feature, used before submitting an order, now displays current margin as well as the "what if" margin.
- Three new optional fields have been added: Realized P&L and Cost Basis on the trading window, and Commissions and Realized P&L on the Executions window.
- A new View Trade History menu item on the Executions window, which connects you directly with your Trade Confirmations section in Account Management.
- The Executions window now allows you to export the Execution Summary data to Excel, along with individual execution reports.
- Newly designed Help menu with reorganized categories makes it easier to find the support you need.
- TWS trading pages can now be made non-detachable, to avoid inadvertently detaching pages with an erroneous click.
- Good-til-cancel smart combination orders are now available.
For more details on these and all our TWS enhancements, see our Release Notes page.
The Options Clearing Corporation ("OCC") has issued supplements to the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options (the "Options Disclosure Document" or "ODD") in May and June 2007. The May supplement contains important changes regarding dividends and distributions, rounding of adjusted exercise prices, options on interests in investment companies and similar entities, special exercise settlement procedures or restrictions, and a disclosure that a registration statement and prospectus for the options covered by the ODD are no longer available.
The May 2007 supplement also describes the expansion of the OCC's authority to adjust the multiplier for yield-based Treasury options and to fix the cash settlement amount for such options in certain circumstances; new rules adopted by certain options markets permitting, in very limited circumstances, the cancellation or adjustment of a transaction entered into at a premium based on an erroneously reported value for the underlying interest; and the acceleration of the expiration date of options on equity securities in certain circumstances.
Please note that parts III - V of the May 2007 supplement supercede and replace the February 2003 supplement to the ODD and that part VIII of the May 2007 supplement supercedes paragraph 1 of the March 2000 supplement to the ODD.
The June 2007 update to the ODD relates to credit default options (including credit default basket options). You may view both of these supplements to the Options Disclosure Document at the following website.