Which Platform Do I Use For Buying US Shares & Options Trading?

I have been asked this question quite a number of times so I thought it will be good to address this question in this post.

The platform that I am currently using is Interactive Brokers, also in short, known as ibkr.

What I Like About ibkr?

Easy Signup
Ibkr is easy to sign up and the account gets approved overnight. This is unlike DBS Vickers (Singapore) which literally took me months to sign up (because they said my signature is slightly different from the one I signed with the bank 10 years ago).

Low Commission
Ibkr also charges a low commission fee per trade, around USD$1 ~ $2. This is again much cheaper compared to DBS Vickers charging a minimum of USD$30 per transaction.

Practise With Paper Trading Account
Ibkr has this paper trading account which I strongly encourage people who are new to investing/ trading to try out and familiarise before investing with their real money. It should help to build confidence towards one day trying out the real thing of investing and trading with your own money.

No Naked Selling/ Buying
I am using a cash account and not a margin account as I do not like to invest/ trade on borrowed money and ibkr is pretty strict with the cash account. They do not allow me to sell naked calls (means you do not actually own the shares) or naked put (means you do not have the capital set aside to put the shares just in case the contract gets assigned) and I think it is a good thing. It will help prevent people from going down the path of trading with money (or shares) that they do not own.

Fractional Shares
Ibkr allows me to buy fractional shares of companies that have high stock prices. The likes of Amazon and Alphabet (Google) can cost more than USD3,000 per share. With fractional shares, you can own a percentage of Amazon or Alphabet share at a price you are comfortable with, say $100.

Why Not Other Platforms?
There are quite a few platforms that offer attractive signup bonuses (free shares) such as Tiger Brokers, Moomoo…etc. But I chose ibkr because it has been around for many years (since 1978) and I feel safe putting my investment capital, shares and options contract with them.

Unlike Singapore stocks where we can place them in Central Depository (CDP), the shares or any underlying assets are under the safekeeping of the brokerage. This means if the brokerage goes bust, we may not be able to redeem all of our shares/ assets back. In this aspect, it gives me a greater reassurance knowing my shares are with a brokerage whose years of operation are older than my age.

I hope this sharing is useful to you and I will be doing another sharing on the step-by-step guide to start buying / selling options on ibkr. So do subscribe to this blog (scroll down to the bottom and enter your email address) and stay tuned for the next update.

You can use my referral link to sign up for a new ibkr account:

Related article:
How To Buy Options on Interactive Brokers (Step-By-Step)

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