Interactive Brokers - all eggs in one basket?

At least (and here we‘re getting a bit off-topic) for day-to-day transactions, yes.

It could be a Yuh account in which I‘m holding a hundred shares of VT. And a couple hundreds of cash, to tide me over for a month or so. Also provides me a means of receiving salary, making payments, withdrawing cash, etc.

I‘ve been (got) locked out of accounts before - though not really due to faults of mine, and yeah, that doesn’t feel good. Unless you have a backup plan.

I use:

Swiss bank for cash / salary / payments.
Revolut for non-CHF/abroad transactions.
Coinbase Pro for my crypto.
IBKR for my ETFs.
Viac for my 3rd pillar.
ValuePension for my 2nd pillar.

I see no point in splitting my ETFs further up.


I was exactly at that point some months ago, having almost 80% of my “liquid” NW at IBKR. After reading this thread and other research this is how I solved it:

I realised that there are several possible points of failures for a portfolio and you can/should diversify on:

  1. The broker
    → Opened an account at Cornertrader (CT) and moved all my positions beside VTI and VEA to CT.

  2. The location / country & underlying currency
    → I have a world portfolio

  3. The ETF issuer
    → I kept VTI and VEA and replaced VWO with EIMI (from Vanguard to iShares) + I use the 3a (VIAC and Finpension) to buy stocks and went as well for non-vanguard ETFs for the other asset classes

  4. The Asset class → I have 80% Stocks (VTI, VEA, EIMI, VIAC + Finpension) / 5% Bonds (Pension fund) / 5% in real estate (IWDP) / 5% in commodities (ICOM) and 5% in cash (Swiss bank)

  5. Laws under which your investments are treated → I keep VTI and VEA as US funds for the lower dividend taxes and use irish funds for the rest. i paid attention to have that for the broker (uk & swiss) as well.

Doing all of that (and a bit of rebalancing), my exposure to IBKR and Vanguard is at approximately 50%, everything else is at CT, VIAC/Finpension or in my pension fund which lets me sleep better.

CT is by far not on the level of IBKR but works fine for me if you:

  1. Move your existing positions from IBKR to CT (for free if the position is bigger than 30k)
  2. Have more than 70k there, cheaper fees are applied
  3. You open a USD Account there (will get you an IBAN for direct USD transfer)
  4. You change the CHF → USD currency at IBKR and send it for free to CT
  5. Do 4 trades a year (if you do so, no inactivity fee is charged (35.- per quarter).

Does it makes sense to you? Happy to read your thoughts!


FlowBank are more and more interesting indeed. They improve a lot their fees, but I will give them 2-3 years to prove that they can be better or as competitive as Swissquote. At least, they are better regarding fees.

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Like most of you, I live in Switzerland and have invested in stocks with Interactivebrokers. I only have one account and I have most of my nertworth invested in it.

Do you know how much you are insured for if Interactivebrokers goes bankrupt? What would happen to the shares/stocks I have in different companies if that happens? Should we try not to invest more than 100k/250kj in one account? Should we open a new account if the first account value exceeds a certain number?

Thank you.

IBKR even has a SIPC excess insurance to cover USD 30 Mio. per account but with a total limit of USD 150 Mio. I assume this is mainly to cover fraud affecting a limited number of accounts.

As customer assets are segregated, the risk should be very low, even when investing beyond the insured amount, even if IBKR were to go bankrupt. Multiple accounts at the same broker for a single person don’t provide any advantages (except if one account is hacked and another isn’t, I suppose).

If you don’t feel safe enough at a single broker, you need to open an account at a different broker. While I do have accounts at two brokers, I consider the risk of a permanent loss of invested securities due to bankruptcy very low at Interactive Brokers.


Others have quoted the respective insurance and limits… just thought I’d add my thoughts.

I remember this thread from when it started, but did think about the risk again last days…!

Contagion can spread quickly and these brokers sometimes have strange tricks in the books which are risky in weird/unforeseen situations (remember when oil price went negative = big losses for various brokers, CHF unpegging from EUR = big loss for Swissquote).
My thoughts started more seriously when I read that Charles Schwab stock (big US broker with 100B market cap) had slumped 40% in less than 5 trading days! That would frighten one, if that was one’s broker…no?
Anyhow, so checked up on IBKR stock … = dropped 15% in less than 5 trading days, not crazy, but also some risk perceived there (for something going bad…).

I have 3 brokers myself and would recommend getting a second account at about 200-300k invested, and a third at about 500-700k.Then maybe 3 are enough, since it’ll always be max. 35% at one from then on…
But that’s just my perceived risk I can live with.


Some relevant reading here What If My Broker Goes Bust? The Truth About Protection Schemes.


So what would be the maximum amount in CHF that you would feel comfortable putting into your single IBKR(Interactive Brokers) account? Does anyone know if IBKR goes bust, are the stocks we own safe? (my shares in META, GOOGLE etc)

Shares should belong to you, not the broker.
Thus safe.

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That is what is stated always. However, I do not want to imagine how complicated it would be to get your shares if IBKR goes burst. I’m feeling ok now with having more or less half of my portfolio at IBKR and half at PF.

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Either you trust your depositor or you don’t. The amount should no matter in my opinion. Stocks at your broker or depositor (Like Credit Suisse) are in the segregated assets category and can thus not be used to repay creditors. (Segregated Assets Explained -

Edit: If all the protection schemes fail I would boldly predict that we have much greater problems going on to care about.


Is there any example where a broker got burst and the clients got their shares afterwards? We see now with the SVB that clients get their insured money back but even that takes time. So I do not want to imagine how complex it is to get all shares to the right person if a big broker go under. Scary thought

Are you sure, about taking time?
SVB was shut down by regulators on Friday, and the Biden administration announced Sunday night that all depositors at the failed Silicon Valley Bank would have access to all their money on Monday morning.
That didn’t seem to take a lot of time, but of course can’t confirm from personal experience.

…in principle, yes.

That said, since the GameStop saga has made it well-known how naked short selling allows for the creation of what are basically fake shares, I’d remain cautious. Especially since they’re engaging in share-lending practices - at least on margin accounts?

A third of my liquid assets.

Rather than giving a fixed number, I’d look at it relative to your wealth.

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Yes, you should disable securities lending and not use any margin if safe custody is your top priority.

:+1: My IBKR account currently holds about 40% of my assets. I like not having everything at one broker but I’m also not worried if the IBKR part increases a bit.

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cash account (vs. margin) & disabled ‘stock yield enhancement program’ is sufficient, right?

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If need be, you could also use another broker to short Interactive Brokers stock :slight_smile:

helpful, thanks to the guy who’s so worried about being taxed as pro trader :slight_smile:

Yes, that’s sufficient.

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