Choosing correct ETFs on IB


Hi, I am having some trouble selecting the correct ETF’s on IB.

For example, I want to add ‘VT’ to my watchlist but when I search for ‘VT’ I receive “VT (ARCA)” and “VT (LSE)” as options on the drop-down. Which one is the correct ETF (assuming that I will trade in USD)?
Likewise for ‘VOO’ I receive “VOO (ARCA)” or “VT (MEXI)” as options on the drop-down; which one is the correct ETF?

Is there a general rule which I can follow which would allow me to always chose the correct ETF e.g. should I always chose the ETF version which has “(ARCA)”?

Thank you for your help.


I guess the watchlist has to track a given market. MEXI is Mexiso, LSE i London. ARCA is NYSE ARCA, so that’s definitely what you want.

When you make the purchase, you can leave the smart method, and it will buy your ETF at the market where the price is lowest.


ok thank you @Bojack

I read on this forum that its best to buy the ETFs when the market is open (actually I think it was actually recommended to buy near to the end of the trading hours) - is that correct? if so then, i should buy VT (ARCA) between 9pm-10pm Swiss time (between 3pm-4pm New York time), is that correct?
I guess when IB is automatically choosing from which stock exchange to buy the ETF from then it will only chose only from the stock exchanges which are open at the time I make the order, is that correct?
If I place an order when all stock exchanges are closed then IB will process the order after the first stock exchange on which that ETF is available opens - it will not wait for the other stock exchanges to open and then chose the cheapest, is that correct? (e.g. If I place an order on IB for VT at a time when the LSE is open but the NYSE is closed then IB will simply buy the ETF from LSE; IB will not wait for NYSE to open and then chose the cheapest).

If I want IB to be able to chose between buying the VT ETF on one of two different exchanges, then I would need to place the order to buy VT when both stock exchanges are open, is that correct? (e.g. If I buy VT between 9pm-10pm Swiss time, then at this time the LSE is closed so IB could not buy VT from LSE since it is closed)



Place a limit order and let the system take care of the rest ! :wink:


When you place a limit order while the stock exchange is closed, then how would you know what price to set? If you set a high limit, then you might as well make a market order.

When you add the order, it will get added to the order book and get executed once the market it open. Since many people make place bids and asks, I guess there is a complex method of making the matches.

When I try to make my purchase, I want it to be instant. So I wait until the market is open (like 15:00 our time) and then check the current bid and ask. Then I place an order somewhere between the bid and ask, or just exactly at ask. Normally, a few seconds later I have the order executed.

I don’t know however if this approach is any good. It’s just that I usually want to instantly close the deal without wating for the price to get under my limit order.


But you know this is just psychology, don’t you ? :blush:
If you are investing for the next 10 years, which difference can make instant execution or 10 min delay ?
We always preach not to time the market… I usually check the average price, then set an execution price I’m willing to pay and wait for the e-mail.
I prefer to set a limit as I want to have “full control” on what happens with my money. Probably, this is also psychology :joy:, 'cause our favorite ETFs are usually quite liquid and so partial executions - with progressively increasing prices - should’n be a big risk…


Side note : Check the bid/ask prices on yahoo, since IB’s own are delayed, so you might wait a while even if you think it should be instant :slight_smile:

The reason is simple, you see 100 on IB so you place an order for 100, but it doesn’t get filled immediately and you wonder why. You check on Yahoo and you see that the instant price is really 110.


IB prices are delayed when you don’t have a market data subscription. For buying once a month its an unnecessary cost but if you trade more regularly, the ARCA subscription may be worth it.


can’t you simply use another app/website to check the current price?


as I said, check yahoo


Or, if possible, go to the website of the exchange itself to double check. For example:

Edit: actually now that the market is open, I see that the data on NYSE ARCA website is also delayed by 15 minutes. Here data I got at 16:00 (last avaiable price 15:45). But for example at Euronext you really can see the current bid and ask.


I dont think you can get NYSE market data for free anywhere, everything has a 15min delay


It’s not delayed on yahoo.


Also the data on the stocks app on ios/osx seems to be on time.