Put in the first order at Interactive Brokers - did I do it right?


Wired 12k from my bank account to the CH Interactive Brokers account, arrived quickly at full value. Then put in a USD_CHF Buy order for 12325$ (left 10$ as a cushion for fees or if I have to increase the LMT value), current USD / CHF value ist at 0.97265. I used the automatic LMT order which set the max price at 0.9728.

Food for thought

  • Would you increase / decrease the LMT value or is the automatic value usually fine for smoothless transactions?

  • If I exceed the monthly fee threshold of 3$ (age <25), does it contribute to the following month or is it lost? I believe the first three months are free anways…

  • What happens if I edit or cancel an order before its fulfillment? Is the commission waived or even increased?

Here is a snapshot of the transaction, is everything correct?

Projected commission is 2.43$.


  1. I think your LMT is fine. Personally, I would have put a bit higher but that’s mostly personal preference.
  2. No, it does not contribute to the following month
  3. If you cancel an order, it’s gone, you don’t pay anything and you can recreate the order with the same commisions. If you edit it, the commission is updated. For instance, if you edit and buy twice more share, the commission wil be higher. But there are no caveats in editing an order.

In the future, I would do a Sell order on CHF.USD, as it’s “more natural” to me.


How do you do that with webtrader? I always struggle, only can find pairs with EUR or USD. Converting CHF -> something different I always have to do with EUR in middle…

Thanks for the inputs everyone! Glad to hear that I got the basics right. I will keep you updated with my planned VOO purchase next Monday.

One more question: Is it inefficient to monthly / quarterly add 1’000 CHF / 3’000 CHF in the future? Keep in mind my fees are 3$ a month but I’m unsure of the impact of tiered / fixed commissions on monthly / quarterly forex and ETF transactions.

No, it’s not inefficient, as long as you do only one share per month, it’s fine. Since you are going to pay that 3$ anyway, it’s better to use to invest than to do nothing with it.

You go to SELL, type “CHF” and wait for autocompletion.
The pair CHF.USD should appear.

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OK, that worked, can you try to find CHF-ILS? I always go through EUR making extra 2 for IB…

For every currency pair you need a market. There obviously is no market for CHF vs ILS. Every currency trades against the USD. Didn’t know about EUR, but I guess it makes sense that some currencies also trade against it. When neither of your traded currencies is USD or EUR, then you need two currency pairs. The product of the exchange rates of these two pairs is what is called a cross rate.

Btw you don’t need to use the “complicated” dark interface. If you log in to the regular user portal (the white page) you can trade from there. Exchanging currency also works much faster there for some reason.

Also in general when trading currencies imagine the “.” in the middle to mean for/with. E.g. “Buy USD with CHF” or “Sell CHF for USD”.


Didn’t even know what ILS was until today, sorry…

I quote what @Bojack said on this:

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Even up to 3 should technically work.
With tiered pricing my trading commissions are usually 0.33-0.34 USD.

Yes, if you use tiered pricing, you could more than that per month :slight_smile:

I’ll have to check which fee version is enabled by default and which one makes more sense - for now I’ll stick with one share per month :wink:

I wanted to buy VOO S&P 500 ETF now but the US stock markets are still closed. I have 12’325$ cash available, at a LMT order of 267.70 this would come out to 46.04 shares of VOO. Should I just buy 46 shares and accept that there are always going to be 10-30 CHF lying around in my account? Anything else I need to keep in mind before buying my shares?

For most people, Tiered Pricing is cheaper than standard.

With IB, you cannot buy fractional shares of VOO. So, yes, you should just buy 46 shares.

As for your price, it’s the closing price. But out of hours trading, the price went up to 268.12. You may have to wait a while (or not, nobody knows), until the price goes back down.

I believe it’s good to have always a few CHF/USD lying in your account. I keep around 100 CHF there all the time. It won’t make a difference in the long-term and with this, I have always the capacity to do many trades if necessary.

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Thanks a lot! Wow, that’s very interesting. Within a day, the price fluctuated quite a bit which can result in 100-200$ worth of more / less stock. I will increase the limit and see if an order gets done.

Here is the screenshot, is everything correct?

Is the commission deducted from my spare cash or directly from the order?

Looks correct, the trade is done right? (the current price is 264).

Yes, bought at 266.24 and been dropping since lol…

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As you’ve surely found out by now, the commission is settled in the currency of the trade (so USD or VOO), so you should have that as extra cash in the account to prevent from getting a negative balance.
The monthly fees are charged in your account’s base currency as far as I know, so have some cash in there as well.

If you have not enogh in the base currency, they will convert a non-base to the base currency. If there is still not enogh, they will sell some securites.