IB launches IBKR lite : commission free trading for US customers

What do you think about this news?

Main points:

  • Zero commissions on US exchange-listed stocks and ETFs
  • No account minimums
  • No inactivity fees

But only for US customers currently and with the usual caveat that they sell your order flow.

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This is a huge deal in my opinion. It will accentuate the race to the bottom. It also shows us that brokers get paid in other ways besides charging commissions, such as order flow, margin interest, account fees, information flow, etc.



yes that is right. full story is here: https://www.kalzumeus.com/2019/6/26/how-brokerages-make-money/


I’ve started to hear many competing arguments about hidden fees in this new pricing model.

Does anyone know if it’s possible to switch between pro and lite after opening the account?

You can switch between the IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro plan at any time. Your first three reclassifications are processed on a weekly basis while subsequent reclassifications happen on a quarterly basis.


The major thing I that I would consider a loss is the desktop software (mainly because I just haven’t spent time getting used to the web or mobile trader).

PS: Schwab and TD Ameritrade followed the IBKR move meanwhile…:


How is Schwab compared to IB?

After 1st of Jan could we access the american ETFs or not? Otherwise it could be used only for stock picking.

Schwab will block access to US ETFs for EU residents. Don’t know if Schwab will apply this resctriction to Swiss residents.

I have just talked to Schwab customer service and they confirmed that they will continue selling US ETFs to Swiss customers next year.


Did anyone switch to IB Lite? It seems like a good offer only for people with less than 100k, otherwise I don’t see the appeal for mustachian investors, since you’d save 30-40cts per month but you still pay FX and any US tax anyway (not sure about how much is the tax, probably 1cts for “normal” trades?).

only for US customer…


I did find the link explaining it but I’m still confused about the Introducing Broker part.


Can we open account @ibkr-lite in Switzerland now?

Only through a broker client: https://www1.interactivebrokers.com/lib/cstools/faq/#/content/faq%3A%2F%2FpageId%3D76129181

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Thanks, are you one of the forum admins?

I am not, admins and mods have a special icon.

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Won’t be ever possible and why should it? Their main competitor is SQ in Switzerland. As long as commission free trading isn’t a thing in Switzerland, there won’t be IBKR Lite for us.

Just read this article today:

Looks like IBKR does in their lite version the same as robin hood. They send the order to a private market maker instead sending the order to a stock exchange. The private market maker takes advantage of the spread (might give you even a worse one) and pay the broker a commission based per trade. There is nothing for free:)