Interactive Brokers


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IB SmartRouting Advantage - Delivering Best Price Execution for Eight Straight Years*

Execution Price Improvement Comparison**
  Interactive Brokers Industry IB Advantage
US Stocks
(per 100 shares)
$0.55 $0.47 $0.08
U.S. Options
(per contract)
$0.99 $0.49 $0.50

IB SmartRouting searches for the best firm stock, option and combination prices available at the time of your order, and seeks to immediately execute your order electronically.

**Our statistics speak for themselves. Based on independent measurements, the Transaction Auditing Group, Inc., (TAG), a third-party provider of transaction analysis, has determined that Interactive Brokers U.S. stock and options price executions1 continued to be significantly better than the industry's2 during the second half of 2014.

What other brokers conveniently leave out

Our results are even more impressive when you consider that other industry-touted statistics don't give you the whole picture. They only discuss the percentage of orders that saw price improvement, and conveniently ignore the percentage of their orders that were dis-improved or had no improvement. In contrast, our statistics are netted, showing the true bottom-line price improvement including all improved, dis-improved and unimproved amounts.

  • Unlike other smart routers, IB SmartRouting never routes and forgets about your order. It continuously evaluates fast changing market conditions and dynamically re-routes all or parts of your order seeking to achieve optimal execution and maximize your rebate.
  • IB SmartRouting represents each leg of a spread order independently and enters each leg at the best possible venue.
  • IB SmartRouting AutorecoverySM re-routes your U.S. options order in the case of an exchange malfunction, with IB undertaking the risk of double executions.
  • To help provide price improvement on large volume and block orders and take advantage of hidden institutional order flows that may not be available at exchanges, IB includes a number of dark pools in its SmartRouting logic.

Our smart router takes into account transaction costs along with the fee or rebate for taking/adding liquidity when determining where to route your marketable order when the inside market is shared by multiple exchanges. For customers who want even more control of their orders, TWS customers can specify stock and options smart routing strategies for non-marketable orders. For stocks, customers with the Cost Plus pricing structure can elect to have their non-marketable orders routed to:

  • The exchange with the highest rebate.
  • The listing exchange on the symbol.
  • The highest volume exchange that has a rebate for adding liquidity.
  • The highest volume exchange that charges the lowest fee for taking liquidity.

For options, customers can choose to send their non-marketable SmartRouted orders to the exchange offering the highest rebate. These routing directives can be set on a per-order basis from the "Misc" tab of the Order Ticket, or as a global default setting from the SmartRouting configuration page.

IB SmartRouting
*IB executions have outperformed the industry as a whole Eight Straight Years - 2007 through 2014 based on independent measurements by the Transaction Auditing Group, Inc., (TAG), a third-party provider of transaction analysis.

Price Improvement for each period is as follows:
  Equities cents
per 100 shares
Options cents
per contract
2nd half 2007 35 57
1st half 2008 47 53
2nd half 2008 42 60
1st half 2009 53 22
2nd half 2009 42 60
1st half 2010 28 53
2nd half 2010 30 21
1st half 2011 38 20
2nd half 2011 30 21
1st half 2012 33 19
2nd half 2012 41 24
1st half 2013 20 21
2nd half 2013 23 20
1st half 2014 14 17
2nd half 2014 8 50
  1. The TAG analysis for U.S. stocks included all market orders of 100 shares or more up to 10,000 shares. The analysis for U.S. options included all market order sizes in U.S. options and includes exchange rebates received by customers under IB's cost-plus pricing structure. The TAG analysis of orders routed to exchanges in Europe included all orders routed for execution during regular trading hours including all market and marketable limit orders and orders near the market (orders having a limit price within one-tenth of a Euro from the quote price at time of order receipt) on stocks listed on the included exchanges, weighted by the volume executed on each exchange. The exchanges for European stocks are XETRA, EURONEXT, CHI-X, WIENER BORSE, TURQUOISE, LONDON and NASDAQ OMX.
  2. Source: The Transaction Auditing Group (TAG). Industry as a whole for the referenced periods according to TAG.

    About TAG
    Since 1996, TAG has been the leader in independent Best Execution analysis throughout the U.S. and now, Europe. Its products offer comprehensive assessment of execution quality for equities and options, utilizing massive real time market data and archival capabilities with proprietary measurement tools to create standardized and custom reports. TAG provides business intelligence to gain market share, differentiate from competitors, and validate performance.

    For more information visit The Transaction Auditing Group, Inc. (TAG), an independent company, is not affiliated with Interactive Brokers. The statistics provided by TAG are from sources believed to be reliable, but TAG makes no representation as to the completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. Information produced by TAG is copyrighted and any unauthorized use, duplication, redistribution or disclosure is prohibited.

  3. Net $ Improvement per Share Definition
    ((# of Price Improved Shares * Price Improvement Amount) - (# of Price Disimproved Shares * Price Disimprovement Amount))
    Total Number of Executed Shares
  • For a list of the destinations included in the SmartRouting algorithm, hold your mouse over the Information balloon in the Exchange field of a TWS market data line.
  • In addition to IB SmartRouting, we also offer direct routing to your choice of exchanges around the world. See our Exchanges page for more details.
  • Interactive Brokers LLC is a member of NYSE/FINRA/SIPC. Supporting documentation for any claims and statistical information will be provided upon request.