Now that your account is funded and approved you can start trading. The information below will help you getting
started as a new customer of Interactive Brokers.
1. Your Money
Deposits & Withdrawals General Info. All transactions are administered through your secure Account Management
First, you create a deposit notification through your Account Management > Funding > Fund Transfers > Transaction Type: “Deposit” How to create a deposit notification. The second step is to instruct your Bank to do the wire transfer with the bank details provided in your Deposit Notification.
Create a withdrawal instruction via your secure Account Management > Funding > Fund Transfers > Transaction Type: "Withdrawals" How to create a withdrawal instruction
If you instruct a withdrawal over the Withdrawal limits, it will be considered an exceptional withdrawal and we will therefore need to match bank account holder and IB account. If destination bank account has been used for a deposit, withdrawal will be processed; otherwise, you must contact customer service and provide the documents needed.
Deposits: My bank sent the money but I do not see it credited into my IB account. Possible reasons:
a) A fund transfer takes 1-4 business days
b) A Deposit Notification is missing. You have to create it via your Account Management and send a ticket to Customer Service
c) Amending details are missing. Your name or IB account number is missing in the transfer details. You have to contact your bank and ask for the full amending details.
d) ACH initiated by IB is limited to 100k USD in a 7 business period. If you opened a Portfolio Margin account where the initial requirement is 110k, a wire deposit might be the better deposit option to reduce wait time for your first trade. If selecting ACH a wait time of almost 2 weeks or a temporary downgrade to RegT can be possible solutions.
Withdrawals: I have requested a withdrawal but I do not see the money credited to my bank account. Possible reasons:
a) A fund transfer takes 1-4 business days
b) Rejected. Over the max it can be withdrawn. Please check your account cash balance. Note that for regulatory requirements, when the funds are deposited, there is a 3 day holding period before they can be withdrawn.
c) Your bank returned the funds. Probably because receiving bank account and remitting bank account names do not match.
2. Configure your account to trade
Difference between Cash and Margin accounts: If you have chosen the FastTrack application, by default your account type is a cash account with US stock permission. If you would like to get leverage and trade on margin, here how to upgrade to a RegT Margin account
In order to be able to trade a particular asset class in a particular country, you need to get the trading permission for it via your Account Management. Please note that trading permissions are free. You might however be asked to sign risk
disclosures required by local regulatory authorities. How to Request Trading Permissions
If you want to have market data in real-time for a particular product/exchange, you need to subscribe to a market data package charged by the exchange. How to subscribe to Market data
The Market data assistant will help you choose the right package. Please watch this Video explaining how it works.
Customers have the option to receive delayed market data for free by clicking the Free Delayed Data button from a non-subscribed ticker row.
Have a look at the user guide getting started as advisors. Here you see how to create additional users to your advisor account and grant them access and much more.
3. How to trade
The Trader's University is the place to go when you want to learn how to use our Platforms. Here you will find our webinars, live and recorded in 10 languages and tours and documentation about our various Trading Platforms.
Trader Workstation (TWS)
Traders who require more sophisticated trading tools can use our market maker-designed Trader Workstation (TWS), which optimizes your trading speed and efficiency with an easy-to-use spreadsheet interface, support for more than 60 order types, task-specific trading tools for all trading styles, and real-time account balance and activity monitoring. Try the two models
TWS Mosaic: for intuitive usability, easy trading access, order management, watchlist, charts all in one window or
TWS Classic: the Advanced Order Management for traders who need more advanced tools and algos.
General Description and Information / Quick start guide / Usersguide
Interactive Tours: TWS Basics / TWS configuration / TWS Mosaic
How to place a trade: Video Classic TWS / Video Mosaic
Trading tools: General Description and Information / Users guide
Requirements: How to install Java for Windows / How to install Java for MAC / Port 4000 and 4001 needs to be open
Login TWS / Download TWS
Traders who prefer a clean and simple interface can use our HTML-based WebTrader, which makes it easy to view market data, submit orders, and monitor your account and executions. Use the latest WebTrader from every browser
Quick Start Guide / WebTrader User's Guide
Introduction: Video WebTrader
How to place a Trade: Video WebTrader
Our mobile solutions allow you to trade your IB account on the go. The mobileTWS for iOS and the mobileTWS for BlackBerry are custom-designed for these popular models, while the generic MobileTrader supports most other Smart phones.
General Description and Information
Order Types Order Types available and Description / Videos / Tour / Users guide
Paper Trading General Description and Information / How to get a Paper Trading Account
Once your paper account is created, you can share the market data of your real account with your paper trading account: Account Management > Manage Account > Settings > Paper trading
4. Trade all over the World
IB accounts are multi-currency accounts. Your account can hold different currencies at the same time, this allows you to trade multiple products around the world from a single account.
Your base currency determines the currency of translation for your statements and the currency used for determining margin requirements. Base currency is determined when you open an account. Customers may change their base currency at any time through Account Management.
We do not automatically convert currencies into your Base currency
Currency conversions must be done manually by the customer. In this video you can learn how to do a currency conversion.
In order to open a position denominated in a currency that you do not have in your account, you have two possibilities:
A) Currency conversion.
B) IB Margin Loan. (Not available for Cash Accounts)
Please see this course explaining the mechanics of a foreign transaction.
5. Five points to enrich your IB experience
1. Contract Search
Here you will find all our products, symbols and specifications.
2. IB Knowledge Base
The Knowledge Base is a repository of glossary terms, how-to articles, troubleshooting tips and guidelines designed to assist IB customers with the management of their IB accounts. Just enter in the search button what you are looking for and you will get the answer.
3. Account Management
As our trading platforms give you access to the markets, the Account Management grants you access to your IB account. Use Account Management to manage account-related tasks such as depositing or withdrawing funds, viewing your statements, modifying market data and news subscriptions, changing your trading permissions, and verifying or changing your personal information.
Log In Account Management / AM Quick Start Guide / AM Users Guide
4. Secure Login System
To provide you with the highest level of online security, Interactive Brokers has implemented a Secure Login System (SLS) through which access to your account is subject to two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication serves to confirm your identity at the point of login using two security factors: 1) Something you know (your username and password combination); and 2) Something you have (an IB issued security device which generates a random, single-use security code). As both knowledge of your username/password and physical possession of the security device are required to login to your account, participation in the Secure Login System virtually eliminates the possibility of anyone other than you accessing your account.
How to Activate your Security Device / How to Obtain a Security Code Card / How to return Security device
In case you forgot your password or lost your security code card, please call us for immediate assistance.
5. Statements and Reports
Easy to view and customize, our statements and reports cover all aspects of your Interactive Brokers account. How to view an Activity Statement
General notes on the Java virtual machine and memory parameters
Trader Workstation is a Java-based application. Programs which are compiled using Java execute within a Java virtual machine (JVM) process which manages the interactions between the program, and the operating system and hardware. The Java virtual machine dynamically manages the memory usage for the program running in it. There are many technical aspects to how the memory is managed, but there are two primary spaces or blocks of memory which are of concern for running the TWS: the heap space, and the permanent generation (permgen) space.
The heap is the area in memory where all class instances and arrays are allocated. The heap is created when the JVM is started, and space is periodically reclaimed by the garbage collector (GC), the Java Virtual Machine's automatic storage management system. There is also non-heap space, known as the permanent generation space, utilized by the Java Virtual Machine to hold code which typically has a longer life in memory, or a specific usage. If either of these spaces are not sized correctly, errors can occur when the process runs out of memory in these spaces. If this occurs, the program will appear to be frozen or may crash completely, and the log files in the program directory for TWS (in C:\Jts, by default on Windows OS) will likely include one of the following errors:
java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space
java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: PermGen space
When launching a Java program, it is possible to pass certain parameters to the Java virtual machine to adjust how much memory the process will use to run the program. The
Xmx flag controls the maximum amount of memory to be used for the heap space, and the
XX:MaxPermSize flag controls the maximum amount of memory to be used for the permanent generation space.
As we have released newer versions of TWS which contain more features, the memory required for the Java virtual machine to effectively run TWS has increased.
The above are the bare minimums necessary to run the program for most customers. Usage of many of the features in TWS will require higher memory allotments.
Some users may have old shortcuts or use custom scripts to launch TWS. It is crucial that these are updated accordingly to use at least the minimum memory parameters mentioned above. Some users who have extensive portfolios or execute large amount of orders may need to adjust the parameters to improve performance. The heap size can be increased if there is an
OutOfMemoryError pertaining to the heap space. Note, in our experience the memory should typically not need to be increased above 1024M in the heap and 256M in the permgen.
If at any time following adjusting the memory parameters, you receive an error that the system could not create the Java Virtual Machine, this indicates the memory increase was too aggressive, and you need to scale back the parameters.
**Please note the following: Starting with Java 8, the
XX:MaxPermSize parameter has been deprecated. When running TWS with Java 8, the
XX:MaxPermSize parameter will be ignored at runtime if present; this parameter could be simply omitted from the start-up script.
Browser-based TWS (Java WebStart version)
IB uses a script on our website to dynamically serve a JNLP file with different memory parameters based on the URL request from the browser. When launching TWS from our website, you can add the
Xmps parameters to the URL to configure the heap size and and permanent generation space size, respectively for the Java virtual machine process which will run TWS. For example:
will result in a JNLP file with the max heap size set to 768 mb and the max permanent generation space size set to 128MB.
If you encountered a resource allocation message when launching a previously saved copy of the JNLP file, and were directed to this webpage, please download a new version of the JNLP file from here. The file you are using is likely out-of-date, and does not contain the correct resource allocation parameters for your operating system.
Standalone TWS on Windows
To adjust the memory parameters used when launching TWS from the desktop or start menu shortcut:
XX:MaxPermSizeflags in the target field
Standalone TWS on Mac
To adjust the memory parameters used when launching TWS using the Trader_Workstation_X.app icon:
XX:MaxPermSizeflags, and adjust the values following the flags to the desired size
Standalone TWS on UNIX (or Mac) via terminal command
When executing the command to start TWS from the terminal, adjust the values following the
XX:MaxPermSize flags to the desired size. For example, if you would normally launch using:
java -cp jts.jar:total.2013.jar -Xmx512M -XX:MaxPermSize=128M jclient.LoginFrame
but need to increase due to errors or freezing due to running out of memory, you can instead run:
java -cp jts.jar:total.2013.jar -Xmx768M -XX:MaxPermSize=256M jclient.LoginFrame
Brief video on how to configure presets for attached orders
Brief video on Presets that are relevant to your Primary Order
This article explains how to setup Cloud Watchlists.
It is now possible to synchronize the watchlists on your mobile devices with the watchlists of Trader Workstation on your computer. You will no longer need to worry about adding same tickers over and over again. The Cloud Watchlists feature is available in Trader Workstation build 936 and higher. Once the Cloud Watchlists have been enabled, they can be then imported in mobileTWS using the "Import" option from the Configuration menu.
Please note that it is not possible to sync watchlists from mobileTWS to your desktop TWS.
This type of installation will require you to launch the Trader Workstation through a Terminal window by using the string shown below in step 7. If you are not familiar with the use of Terminal, please use the automated installation package found here
Manual Jar File Installation
1. To install to the latest TWS Mac OS production release on your computer, hold down the Control Key, and with your mouse click on the button below:
2. From the menu, click "Download Link to Disk."
3. Once the file has downloaded to your desktop, move the file to your Home directory (this is a folder listed on your hard drive within the Users folder).
4. Access the command line terminal from the Applications menu. First select Utilities and then select Terminal.
5. At the command line, create a directory called IBJts and load TWS files by typing:
|jar xf unixmacosx.jar|
6. Change the directory to IBJts by typing:
7. To run TWS, type or paste in the Terminal window the following: (** Please note that there is a space then ".", after LoginFrame **)
|java -cp jts.jar:total.2013.jar -Xmx512M -XX:MaxPermSize=128M jclient.LoginFrame .|
To install the standalone version of TWS on your MAC OS X, begin by selecting the following MAC TWS download page: individuals.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php. Once there, you will be presented with the Automated Installation Package. then follow the following steps:
1. Click on the MAC Download button
2. When prompted with the open file dialog, choose the SAVE FILE option
3. Save the file to your Desktop.
4. Double-click the downloaded zip file, your system will expand the file and put an executable file on your desktop called, TWSX_INSTALL. * If you use Safari, the installation file will have already been extracted to your downloads folder.
5. Double-click the package (TWSX_INSTALL)
6. Installation will start. First screen you see is the Welcome to the TWS Installer. Please click on CONTINUE.
7. Select only the check box for Trader_WorkStation_X and click on CONTINUE.
8. Click on INSTALL.
9. You should now see an installation progress bar. When complete, you will see a checkmark encased in a green circle. "The Installation was successful".
10. Click on CLOSE.
Starting the TWS
To launch the TWS once installed:
1. Click on Finder
2. Click on your Users folder (House icon)
3. Double-click the Applications folder, where you will find the Trader_WorkStation_X application.
Alternatively, click on the magnifying glass on the upper right hand corner (SPOTLIGHT), and enter Trader_Workstation_X. The application will appear as a TopHit.
Recovering your Settings
1) Launch the Standalone TWS, but do not login. If you were previously storing your settings to the IB server by having selected the "Use/Store Settings on Server" check box, select that check box again and your settings will be automatically retrieved from our server.
In the event you were not previously storing your settings, there is nothing to retrieve and you will need to recreate them. Select the "Use/Store Settings on Server" check box afterwords to ensure your settings are saved on the IB server should they need to be retrieved at a later date. Also note that by using this feature your settings will be synchronized in the event you operate your Standalone TWS on multiple computers.
2) On the login window, click on the "Browse" button adjacent to the "Settings Directory" field. A window titled "Select Settings Directory" will open and from there select the button containing the image of a house (user directory). From the list of folders which appear, select the folder titled IBjts (alternatively titled: Jts. Click on the "OK" button.
3) Type in your user name and password and complete the login. The TWS should now open with all your personal settings.
IB provides to its account holders a variety of proprietary trading platforms at no cost and therefore does not actively promote or offer the platforms or add-on software of other vendors. Nonetheless, as IB's principal trading platform, the TraderWorkstation (TWS), operates with an open API, there are numerous third-party vendors who create order entry, charting and various other analytical programs which operate in conjunction with the TWS for purposes of executing orders through IB. As these API specifications are made public, we are not necessarily aware of all vendors who create applications to integrate with the TWS but do operate a program referred to as The Marketplace@IB which operates as a self-service community bringing together third party vendors who have products and services to offer with IB customers seeking to fill a specific need.
While MetaTrader is not a participant in The Marketplace@IB, and does not support integration with the TWS, different vendors such as Trade-Commander (trade-commander.com), and jTWSdata (www.tradingsoftwarelab.com/jtwsdata/) do offer software which they represent acts as a bridge between MetaTrader and the TWS. As is the case with other third-party software applications, IB is not in a position to provide information or recommendations as to the compatibility or operation of such software.