Interactive Brokers for dummies

I have bough as low as 5 VT in one transaction (I have not tried less), so that is no problem (transaction costs for just the buy were +/- 1$).

Were you aware that you can just write a number into the count window and are not limited to the drop down values?

Thanks, I didn’t know that.

I applied for the IB account and they are asking to provide the wire notification confirmation for my bank. Does it mean that I can simply transfer money from my Postfinance account or is it some special procedure that I have to do at Postfinance? Will the sum transfered to this GB… account be charged with some commission by Postfinance?

The topic of sending money to IB has already been covered :


Great, thank you for the tip.

Is there a way to see in which currency is a certain ETF is traded from the TWS or Webtrader or you have to know it in advance?

Any instrument is always quoting in the currency of the exchange it is on.
So if your ETF is on the NYSE, it will be USD, CHF for SIX, GBP for LSE, and so on…

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When you go to the “New Order” tab in WebTrader, there is a currency column on the right side. Once you put in the symbol and press “Go”, it will appear.

That’s not always true. For example VUSD trades on LSE, but it’s not traded in GBP, it’s in USD.

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Just signed up for IB :sweat_smile:

First step for all dummies:

  1. Use the “Interactive Broker” Link in Sidebar to Signup and support along the way :grin:

These things were unclear to me

  • Account Type: I choose Joint … Survivor, is this the right thing for married people?
  • Tax Identification Number, do we have something like this in switzerland or how did you proceed here?

Well, you wouldn’t believe it, but when you type in google “tax identification number switzerland”, the first thing that pops out is:

You scroll down to “Individuals”, you will see a photo of a AHV card with the insurance number marked.

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Haha, ok - I know that number :joy:
(I should try google search sometime :upside_down_face:)

Just got my IB account and I am so fucking lost! Where can I create new notices with CH IBAN??? Thanks.

In Web Trader you make stock trades and currency exchange.

Transfers to and from the account you do from Account Management. It’s a different site. On IB Website, under Login, you have all the possibilities listed. BTW, I wouldn’t use the Beta version, I wonder why do they even make it accessible.

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Thank you - found it and my existing notices who had a IBAN from GB (England) have now the swiss CH IBAN - nice.

Is there a place somewhere in the system to see your transactions like receipts with the information on how much you bought, at which price and all the fees that you payed?

try the account management, and look for the reports there

Thanks, after some searching I found it under Reports/Statements/Activity. That’s exactly what I was looking for.

Dividend Reinvestement
Anybody enables this in the Account Manager > Settings? Or do you do that by hand every time?

Forex Exchange
If you Buy USD with CHF, do you make a Limit Buy or always use Market (MKT)? What is recommended?

I enhanced the instructions for IB from @Bojack with inputs from @hedgehog. I want to be sure that I am going to do the right thing. Please comment if there are errors or better ways.

Signup Process

  • Use the “Interactive Broker” Link in Sidebar to Signup and support along the way
  • If you are married choose account type Joint … Survivor
  • Tax identification number is your AHV Number (for swiss residents), enter it without any special characters to get it accepted
  • Make a margin account instead of an cash account for faster transaction settlements, but cover negative positions quickly


  • Account Manager > Settings > User Settings > Statements Delivery > Daily Trade Report (Email with Attachment). The other two are already enabled. That’s how you keep a copy of everything you trade


  • Login into “Account Management”, make a Deposit under Transfer & Pay > Transfer Funds > Deposit (use CH IBAN to avoid transactions costs)
  • Check if your money arrived

Exchange CHF to USD

  • Login into WebTrader or in Account Manager click Trading > WebTrader twice to open it
  • Check your Balance
  • Click on Forex Tab under Order Management, enter CHF, look for CHF.USD
  • Enter the amount (Quantity) and choose SELL (Action)
  • Switch “Order Type” to MKT
  • Exchange is IDEALPRO (I can’t choose something different)

Looks like this

Here I get a Warning that my order is below 25K minimum.

How do you proceed? You press ok (will be paired with other small trades). After that you see your USD under Account > Market Value.


  • To be able to purchase Vanguard VT, you need to have the permission to trade US Stocks. Go to Settings > Account Settings > Trading Permissions and configure it to include US Stocks.

Just press OK. FX trades are traded in lots of 25k. If you want to trade less than that, yours is an “odd lot”. I guess it will be paired with other small trades to make up a full lot. According to IB, an odd lot will trade at 1-3 ticks above the interbank spread. 1 tick is, I’m not sure, I guess 0.0001. So on a trade of 1000 CHF, you will lose like 10-30 rappen.

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