Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks

Want to jump straight to the best options broker? Most people prefer Interactive Brokers for their options trades.

There’s no doubt about it — two of the best online brokerages on the market are Interactive Brokers and Tastyworks. Interactive Brokers offers a cutting-edge trading solution, while Tastyworks offers a more casual tone and offers services in a specific niche.

Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks: Overview

Best For
  • Access to foreign markets
  • Detailed mobile app that makes trading simple
  • Wide range of available account types and tradable assets
Best For
  • Options traders
  • Futures traders
  • Advanced traders

Who’s Interactive Brokers For?

Interactive Brokers is not just your average broker; it’s famous for its advanced trading platform. Most suitable for experienced traders, Interactive Brokers is also remarkable in that it offers a rich set of tradable assets, including currency and cryptocurrency.

Interactive Brokers’ margin rates are some of the lowest in the industry, which makes it a preferred solution for active traders who want asset diversification.

Read Benzinga’s full Interactive Brokers Review

Who’s Tastyworks For?

Tastyworks is excellent for advanced traders, too. If you’re an options trader, you’ll find it to be a convenient partner. One of Tastyworks’ major benefits is that it offers a competitive pricing structure.

Read Benzinga’s full Tastyworks Review

Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks: Platform and Tools

What Interactive Brokers Offers

The main platform of Interactive Brokers is Trader Workstation. It is an advanced desktop trading terminal, which includes a rich set of advanced trading tools including charting tools, screeners and research elements.

Interactive Brokers Platform And Tools

The platform contains many windows and works best on a professional trading station. TWS is likely to be way too complicated for beginners and even intermediate traders. Even some advanced traders find it a bit complicated. In other words, this platform requires a strong trading knowledge. WebTrader is the web-based trading platform for beginners and even some intermediate traders.

Interactive Brokers

It still contains some advanced trading tools like charting features, screeners and indicators but in a more basic way.

The mobile platform of Interactive Brokers lets you trade on the go. Like most trading apps, its tools are basic and limited but you can implement main trade management operations. Other features it offers are market alerts and notifications in real time.

What Tastyworks Offers

Desktop platform

If you want to use Tastyworks at its fullest extent, you need to download its desktop platform to access the broker’s complete toolkit. Tastyworks offers a complete trading terminal with fast order execution, supports more than one account and is fully customizable. Although its platform is more advanced, it still has a welcoming interface.

The browser terminal of Tastytrade includes approximately the same features as the desktop solution. You’ll find that its order execution is not as good as the desktop platform. You can observe your performance and the trade curve, where you display your deals in an easy-to-understand way. Another useful feature is the option to subscribe to trade insights from experts.

Mobile Platform

The mobile app is available for both Android and Apple devices. You can easily control your trades on the go and at the same time, enjoy detailed chart visualization. You can switch between different interfaces for your convenience.

Mobile Platform

Bottom Line

Both Interactive Brokers and Tastyworks cover approximately the same audience: advanced traders. If you compare apples to apples, Trader Workstation’s professional interface might look a bit more complex.

Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks: Research Offerings

What Interactive Brokers Offers

Interactive Brokers is a bit basic in terms of its market research. You’ll get research elements from sources like Dow Jones and Thomson Reuters, but you might find it too basic.

The good news is that Interactive Brokers lets in third-party integrations with big research providers such as Benzinga, so you can bring research data straight to your terminal. Most of these will charge you a subscription fee.

What Tastyworks Offers

Tastyworks research mainly involves options trading. Its most powerful research feature is a live video channel, which provides options trading insights. You won’t find the usual research data on stocks, companies and other fundamentals at Tastyworks.

Bottom Line

Interactive Brokers’ research stays basic unless you pay extra. Tastyworks’ research options are also basic, as it only involves general insights about options.

Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks: Commission and Fees

Interactive Brokers’ Fees

Investment TypeCommissions
Stocks and ETFs$0.005 per share with $1 minimum and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available
Options$0.70 per contract; $1 minimum order; volume discount available
Mutual funds$14.95 (minimum size on initial fund order is $3,000, subsequent minimum order size is $100)
U.S. future and future options$0.85 per contract
Forex0.20 basis point * trade value if <= $1,000,000; minimum $2
Metals0.15 basis point * trade value; minimum $2; storage cost 0.10% per annum
Bonds0.1% * face value (10 bps) if <= $10,000 face value; 0.025% * face value (2.5 bps) if > $10,000 face value

TastyWorks’ Fees

Investment TypeCommissions
Options on Stocks$1.00/contract to open, $0 commission to close
Stocks$5.00 flat rate to open, $0 commission to close
Options on Futures$2.50/contract to open, $0 commission to close
Futures$1.25/contract to open, $1.25/contract to close

Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks: Security

What Interactive Brokers Offers

In general, Interactive Brokers is a U.S.-based company with stringent compliance. It’s regulated by the SEC and FINRA, a SIPC member and is FDIC-insured up to $2.5 million per client. It’s listed and publicly traded on the Investors Exchange (IEX).

What Tastyworks Offers

A U.S.-based company, it’s also regulated by the SEC and FINRA and is a SIPC member.

Bottom Line

Both are U.S. companies and have some of the toughest regulatory requirements in the world. Also, both companies are SIPC members, which means you have a financial guarantee up to some level in case of a bankruptcy, though Interactive Brokers offers more, at $2.5 million per client.

Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks: Customer Support

Interactive Brokers’ Customer Support

Live chat24/5
Physical BranchesN/A

TastyWorks’ Customer Service

Live chatDuring business hours
PhoneDuring business hours
Physical BranchesN/A

Bottom Line

Both companies offer similar customer support, yet Interactive Brokers maintains live chat and phone support around the clock Monday to Friday. This is normal, considering that it offers financial instruments to trade 24/5.

Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks: Tradable Asset Classes

What Interactive Brokers Offers

  • Stocks
  • Warrants
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Forex
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Metals
  • Futures

What Tastyworks Offers

  • Stock
  • Options on stock
  • Futures
  • Options on futures

Bottom Line

Tastyworks specializes in options trading, though if you aren’t familiar with options, you’re left with stock trading as your only option. Interactive Brokers is a more extensive trading solution in terms of asset diversification.

Interactive Brokers vs. Tastyworks: Ease of Use

What Interactive Brokers Offers

The full-stack trading solution of Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation is a complex multi-module terminal. It is anything but easy to use. The mobile and browser platforms, on the other hand, are very simple and straightforward and tools are likely to be insufficient for intermediate and advanced traders.

What Tastyworks Offers

Tastyworks’ desktop and browser platforms are advanced and you need a certain level of expertise to operate them.

Bottom Line

Both Interactive Brokers and Tastyworks have their pros and cons in terms of ease of use. Tastyworks might work best for intermediate traders. As we shared in our Tastyworks review, beginners might want to look elsewhere but might feel more comfortable on the Interactive Brokers WebTrader platform.

Final Thoughts

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Interactive Brokers and Tastyworks both fit the bill for advanced traders but are different in the services they provide. Interactive Brokers is an extensive trading solution with a rich set of tradable assets. Its low margin rates make it perfect for day traders.

Tastyworks, on the other hand, specializes in options trading and has some of the lowest rates in the industry.

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