We have done the legwork, found the top US stockbrokers for you, and compared them in detail to help you make the best choice.
If you are serious about trading the markets, you will want to focus more on the trading platform provided by your broker. Active or short-term traders, unlike long-term investors who do not require the best price every time, live and die by their ability to get the best price. As a result, it is critical to work with a broker who offers an innovative trading platform.
Orders can be placed, watchlists can be maintained, and new securities can be alerted to traders much more rapidly and efficiently than before. You can get the most fantastic deal by accessing innovative trading tools, such as real-time news feeds and enhanced trade execution.
Interactive Brokers Overview
Many experienced traders use Interactive Brokers because of its excellent trade execution and versatility in dealing with any market. Traders will find the broker’s Trader Workstation a true workhorse, even if you only need to execute a brief deal. Customizable charts, real-time data, streaming news, options analytics, and more appear to be included in this comprehensive platform. Interactive Brokers has two tiers: a Pro level with per-share pricing and a Lite level with no fees. In any case, you will get access to the company’s top trading platform, and if you are doing much trading, you will also earn discounts.
Interactive Brokers Services
The Interactive Brokers IBIS is a full add-on to the TWS platform for news and research provided by Interactive Brokers. 24/7 Wall Street, AccessWire, Benzinga Pro, and Crypto News are free.
Interactive Brokers provides a wide variety of paid subscription data bundles, including Argus, Accern, and the Asbury Research Monthly Investment Compass, as well as a la carte subscriptions to premium newswires.
Interactive Brokers Fees
Interactive Brokers charges $0.0005 to $0.0035 per share for stock transactions, with a minimum order value of $0.35 and a maximum order value of one percent of the trade value. There is no charge for no-transaction-fee ETFs and a minimum order value of $0.005 for transaction fee ETFs. As with other brokerages that provide commission-free stock trading, Interactive Brokers also has a no-commission account option in which the company earns payment for order flow (PFOF). Lightspeed costs $10 per trade for OTCBB trades, whereas Interactive Brokers charges the same fees.
All trading platforms offered by Lightspeed need a monthly membership, although it is a popular choice among busy traders. Watchlists, customizable charts, and technical studies are all included in the leading platform, which is available online and on mobile devices. You may get NASDAQ Level II quotations and other technical analyses via the companies’ live streaming services. Market scanners and order routing are also included in specific systems, allowing traders to determine where the activity is. Monthly subscriptions range from $130 to $325, with the cheapest option (LS Trader) allowing you to completely offset the membership cost with at least $130 in commissions from the previous month. Using pricing depending on volume, active traders can drastically reduce their commission costs.
There is no doubt that Lightspeed Trading is a trustworthy broker. Lightspeed is one of the best day trading brokerages because of its robust technology, specifically designed for the high volume and high-speed trading of today’s markets.
Lightspeed Trading may be compared to a Ferrari. It is a fantastic automobile, an unusual car, and a fast car, but only the proper person should drive it. Unlike a school bus, this vehicle is not a minivan.
Interactive Brokers consistently outperforms Lightspeed Trading in our head-to-head comparison. Lightspeed Trading can only benefit from the addition of other trading platforms through Lightspeed.
No comparison exists because you may use DAS Trader with Interactive Brokers. As a result, Interactive Brokers is a superior option for day traders. Lightspeed Trading is a suitable alternative for traders searching for a direct market access broker with a wide range of order transmission options and lightning-fast execution times.
Lightspeed Trading has some of the lowest day trading commissions in the United States, thanks to its innovative pricing model. Many businesses are promoting trading commissions as low as $0 per deal.
But do not be taken in by this ruse. What do you suppose is their source of income? It would help if you had a trusted broker as a day trader, and Lightspeed Trading is an excellent option.
Lightspeed Trading is unconcerned with small-scale investors with balances under $25,000. This firm targets institutional investors and more seasoned retail traders as its primary target demographics.
Interactive Brokers vs. Lightspeed Service & Feature Comparison
There is a $1.00 minimum to open an account with Lightspeed, and the trading fees are $4.50 per deal or $0.0045 per share. 7 Interactive Brokers charges $0.0005 to $0.0035 per share for stock transactions, with a minimum order value of $0.35 and a maximum order value of one percent of the trade value. There is no charge for no-transaction-fee ETFs and a minimum order value of $0.005 for transaction fee ETFs. As with other brokerages that offer commission-free stock trading, Interactive Brokers also has a no-commission account option in which the company earns payment for order flow (PFOF). 8 Lightspeed costs $10 per trade OTCBB trades, whereas Interactive Brokers charges the same fees.
Interactive Brokers charges only 1.59 percent for accounts with balances of $10,000 to $100,000 and 1.09 percent for customers with more than $100,000. For balances up to $50,000, Lightspeed charges an 8 percent margin fee, and for balances beyond $50,000, the cost drops to 7 percent. Interactive Brokers costs $0.25 to $0.85 for futures, while Lightspeed charges $1.29 per contract. Interactive Brokers tiered its fees dependent on the volume traded. Other services at Interactive Brokers are often less expensively priced. Lightspeed charges $20 for domestic wire transfers, whereas Interactive Brokers offers one free transfer every calendar month and $10 for domestic and international transactions. A wire transfer from Lightspeed to another country costs $50. Unlike Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed does not charge for mailing checks. Unlike Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed charges $20 for voluntary reorganizations (corporate actions). Finally, Lightspeed charges for its Lightspeed Trader desktop platform if there is insufficient trading activity, unlike Interactive Brokers, which does not charge an access fee.
The overall expenses of trading and non-trading services at Interactive Brokers are cheaper, including reduced fees for trading and lower margin rates for trading.
|Broker Fees||Stock/ETF||Mutual Fund||Options||Maintenance||Annual IRA|
|$0||$14.95||$0.70 per contract||$0||$30|
|$4.50||na||$0.60 per contract||$25 monthly fee (if less than $15,000 in assets)||$25 monthly fee (if less than $15,000 in assets)|
Both Lightspeed Trading and Interactive provide a wide range of account types to meet the needs of their customers.
Individual and Joint Accounts
- Corporate Accounts
- Joint Accounts
- LLC Accounts
- Trust Accounts
- Registered Hedge Funds Accounts
- IRA Accounts (Traditional, Roth, and SEPs – only for US taxpayers)
Since 2003, interactive Broker clients have utilized their mobile phones or a security card for two-factor authentication. Lightspeed’s multi-layered login procedure produces 128-bit encryption, making it safe to use. Lightspeed does not provide biometric logins for its mobile app, although Interactive Brokers has this feature. Both brokers have policies with Lloyd’s of London that extend their insurance coverage beyond SIPC.
In 2020, neither Interactive Brokers’ platform nor its data were compromised. The European platform of Interactive Brokers was down for less than 90 minutes when several other brokerage firms suffered disruptions. While specific clients suffered slowdowns and were forced to transfer platforms, this was only for those customers. Regarding platform disruptions or data breaches, Lightspeed failed to warn us in any way.
Because Lightspeed failed to offer information on the dependability of its platforms or outages, we award the security advantage to Interactive Brokers, which limits outages and is transparent about its security record.
Education and Research
Both brokers’ websites provide a wealth of information and resources for prospective clients. Obtaining knowledge about trading methods and software platforms in the enlightenment materials is more accessible. Options Educational possibilities are notable for the thoroughness with which they cover the entire range in the marketplace. Hundreds of fundamental and advanced concepts are covered in a comprehensive trading lexicon. Lightspeed conventional research only covers detection and social attitudes, but platform-based research will soon be available.
However, there are no clearly defined thematic elements at Interactive Brokers Traders Academy, which offers a wide range of free courses. Helpful articles provided by market specialists are scattered throughout the Trader Insights area. Drop-down menus and search options help you discover what you are looking for.
Range of Investments
In addition to direct and worldwide market access, Interactive Brokers provides a wide range of assets. Interactive Brokers has access to the following categories of assets:
- Single Stock Futures
- Futures Options
- Mutual Funds
- Precious Metals
- Structured Products
Because of its restricted market reach, Lightspeed does not have the same range of possibilities. In terms of tradeable assets, they only have a few options. Only currency futures trading is available through Lightspeed. Lightspeed offers the following types of investments:
Unlike Interactive Brokers, Lightspeed does not offer the same set of services. Lightspeed is an excellent platform if you require a few asset trading alternatives. A more robust platform, such as Interactive Brokers, is required for more complex tasks or if you intend to trade FX or other types of money.
Regarding technology, Interactive Brokers has the advantage over all other brokers. When it comes to automated trading techniques, Interactive Brokers does not just allow tax lot selection and fractional shares as Lightspeed does.
Interactive Brokers’ trading platform is a single, comprehensive trading platform. It is one of the most innovative trading systems available today. You may trade in many foreign marketplaces concurrently and rapidly.
Lightspeed does not have a single trading platform since it divides the markets and plans across five independent platforms. Apple users have the most to say about the software since it is frequently buggy, but other than that, the platforms are pretty adaptable. Investing on the move is easy using Lightspeed’s free mobile app, which is available on only one of their platforms.
Interactive Brokers is a superior option if you want direct market access and more comprehensive software to assist you with numerous assets. One of the Lightspeed platforms will be a perfect alternative if you are interested in trading stocks or futures.
Mobile platforms are available at no additional cost from each broker. Advanced order types (such as trailing stop) and watch lists are available on the Lightspeed mobile app. Data on the market may be obtained for free. Charting and Level I quotations was also discovered.
The charting on the IB mobile app is impressive, with more than 50 technical studies available. It is also good to be able to adjust the graph’s appearance. Additionally, there is an AI assistant called iBot and a watchlist. Orders can be placed in a variety of ways. Profit and loss information was welcomed.
Lightspeed Trading is deficient in this area. Lightspeed unveiled the Lime Trading Gateway in March of this year. Trading algorithms and robots can use the gateway.
This is just an option for traders proficiently creating their custom trading strategy. Financial institutions and hedge funds can do this since they have the personnel and capital to do it themselves. Trade automation API from Lightspeed, on the other hand, is not intended for retail traders or amateurs. In the beginning, this was different. Lightspeed Trading was once compatible with Trade Ideas, but this is no longer the case.
Users of the Lightspeed Trading API might use Trade Ideas tactics automatically. But everything had changed. Lightspeed Trading no longer supported this feature. However, there is good news for those interested in trade automation. The world’s top day-trading firm, Interactive Brokers, has added Trade-Ideas compatibility.
To my knowledge, no central trading platform is compatible with Lightspeed Trading. Trade automation is the future; thus, this is a negative.
Investing in stocks is only a tiny part of what Interactive Brokers offers. Even mutual funds are on the menu for those who want to diversify their investments. But Lightspeed does not supply mutual funds or bonds or contracts for difference in the form of ETFs and futures. Lightspeed does not have access to a wide choice of worldwide securities, but Interactive Brokers does.
On every platform Lightspeed provides, options may be traded. However, the browser and mobile platforms do not include Level II quotations for options trading Livevol X is a derivative trading platform that includes option market scanners and analytical tools.
Workstation’s choice chains feature both calls and puts. A variety of multi-leg tactics may be generated by turning on “Strategy Builder” in the settings box. The order ticket at the bottom of the window gets an extra limb when you click on a bid or ask price.
My Preference: Interactive Brokers Wins Over Lightspeed
Even though both Lightspeed and Interactive Brokers have excellent trading platforms, Interactive Brokers had a clean sweep in all of the comparative categories we examined. A superior online, desktop, and mobile platform is provided by Interactive Brokers that supports all of their products. Besides that, Interactive Brokers gives its clients access to a broader range of markets, reduced transaction costs, and a greater variety of analytical tools and account information than other firms. For a good reason, Interactive Brokers is a trading industry behemoth. More and better tools than the competitors, including Lightspeed.
Interactive Brokers vs. Lightspeed: The Bottom Line
Investors in forex, fixed-income, CFDs, and mutual funds should consider using Interactive Brokers instead of Lightspeed for the reasons already told. The Lightspeed trading platforms are better if you intend to trade stocks, futures, and options. Integrated TWS from Interactive Brokers is a superior option if you intend to trade in many markets, including the currency market.
Lightspeed is an excellent choice if you wish to trade from a web browser. Even though the broker offers a wide range of desktop platforms, some traders may prefer something more straightforward. Interactive Brokers is a more manageable possibility with only one platform.
We recommend Interactive Brokers to traders who use much margin because of the company’s low margin rates. Because the IB platform is free, we recommend it for low-volume traders because of the $10 monthly fee.
Trading platforms like Lightspeed and Interactive Brokers cater to day traders’ needs and more experienced investors. In contrast to IB, Lightspeed does not supply a commission-free plan, making it a very pricey broker.
Is Interactive Brokers or Lightspeed better?
Because of its low margin rates and institutional-grade desktop trading platform, Interactive Brokers will continue to be a preferred choice for professionals in 2022. Interactive Brokers is appealing to professionals and novice investors with zero-cost transactions and an easy-to-navigate website.
Who Should Use Lightspeed?
For high-volume traders, Lightspeed's biggest asset is the significant discounts they provide. In that case, you might want to look at Lightspeed if you are only interested in a few types of assets and those prices. If you need money at a low price and do not mind putting up a significant sum of money upfront, this is the best option for you.
Who Should Use Interactive Brokers?
With an Interactive Brokers account, you can trade various financial instruments. The company has long been a top account holder, offering an extensive selection of assets at some of the lowest costs in the industry. If you are not a complete newbie to internet trading, your best bet is Interactive Brokers.