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Less Money? No Problem! Interactive Brokers Taps Fractional Share Trading, Tech-Centric Diversification

Less Money? No Problem! Interactive Brokers Taps Fractional Share Trading, Tech-Centric Diversification

At the fifth annual Benzinga Global Fintech Awards ceremony in New York City on Nov. 19, Steve Sanders, executive vice president of marketing and product development at Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: IBKR), sat down with Benzinga to talk about the brokerage's next steps — and life after commissions.

About Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is a deep-discount electronic access broker for online equities, options, futures and forex trading.

In September, the firm began offering commission-free U.S. stock and ETF trading via a new service, IBKR Lite.

As part of Lite, users receive access to the following:

  • Access to over 120 global market centers.
  • Stock, option, futures, forex and bond functionality.
  • No minimum balance and maintenance fees.
  • 2.5% interest on margin loans
  • Interest on idle cash balances.
  • Free market data.
  • IBKR mobile and client portal.

The rollout of this new service is an execution of IBKR’s broader mission to deliver a professional gateway to the world's markets at low cost, Sanders said.

Now the firm offers clients two account choices: Pro and Lite.

With Pro, users receive access to best execution — IBKR’s smart routing technology — which saves traders “about $6 to $7 per trade,” he said.

Tech-Centric Differentiation

Sanders told Benzinga that his firm is making an effort to improve accessibility to markets with technology.

“We essentially have three platforms: TWS for active traders; Client Portal; and Mobile Trader for iPhone, Android, and tablets,” he said.

The technology emphasis is part of a differentiation tactic. Whether a novice or professional, IBKR provides easy-to-use platforms for different trading applications.

Interactive Brokers Positioned To Evolve

Sanders pointed to IBKR’s low costs, breadth of product and premier technology as drivers of future growth.

“We have clients in over 200 countries across the world; less than 25% of clients come from the United States.”

Successfully catering to the needs of a diverse clientele means introducing new takes on technology and investing, he said.

For example, Interactive Advisors — a robo-offering that allows for investment in globally diversified portfolios that continuously rebalance — offers cryptocurrency futures and fractional stock trading, a move geared toward eliminating barriers to investing in capital-intensive securities.


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