What Is The Difference Between Tradestation And Interactive Brokers?

Mar 31, 2023 By Rick Novak

When it comes to online brokerage platforms, TradeStation and Interactive Brokers are two of the most well-known choices for traders and investors all over the world. Both provide access to the financial markets, but important distinctions between them may influence your final decision. Traders who rely significantly on technical analysis will find that TradeStation's sophisticated charting and analytical tools meet their needs perfectly. TradeStation Desktop, its in-house trading platform, is highly adaptable, and it supports the creation and automation of trading strategies through EasyLanguage, its proprietary programming language.

Webinars and trading courses are only two of the many educational tools made available by TradeStation. On the other hand, Interactive Brokers is well-liked due to its small commissions and global presence. It provides entry to many international markets, such as equities, options, futures, currencies, and bonds. As a bonus, Interactive Brokers provides access to various assets, such as mutual funds, ETFs, and structured products.

Company Overview

In 1982, brothers William and Rafael Cruz established TradeStation, an internet trading platform. The Monex Group, Inc. subsidiary was founded in Plantation, Florida. In addition to stocks, options, futures, and cryptocurrencies, TradeStation provides its customers with various trading tools and services. Thomas Peterffy established the global online trading platform Interactive Brokers in 1978. The Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm provides clients access to various financial markets and trading products, such as stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds.

User Interface

TradeStation and Interactive Brokers are two trading platforms that provide traders with intuitive interfaces and tools tailored to their specific needs. Yet, when comparing TradeStation to Interactive Brokers, the former's platform is the more user-friendly option. TradeStation's flexible settings allow traders to personalize the platform to their preferences. The Interactive Brokers platform, on the other hand, is more complicated and may take some time for novices to master.

Trading Products

You can trade stocks, options, futures, and currencies with either TradeStation or Interactive Brokers. On the other hand, Interactive Brokers provides access to a wider variety of trading products than TradeStation does. While TradeStation lacks support for bonds, mutual funds, and cryptocurrency trading, Interactive Brokers provides access to all three.

Commission And Fees

Both TradeStation and Interactive Brokers tack on fees to your trades. Compared to Interactive Brokers, TradeStation's commission and costs are often greater. While Interactive Brokers' base commission is $0.005, TradeStation is $0.01. In addition, the platform price for TradeStation is $99.95 per month, while Interactive Brokers does not charge any such fee.

Minimum Account Balance

Traders using TradeStation or Interactive Brokers must have at least $1 to sign up. There is a $500 minimum deposit at TradeStation, but with Interactive Brokers, it's just $0.

Customer Service

Customers of both TradeStation and Interactive Brokers have access to dedicated customer service departments. Many traders prefer TradeStation because of its superior customer service to Interactive Brokers. Whereas Interactive Brokers only offers phone and email assistance, TradeStation provides all three methods around the clock.

Education And Research Tools

TradeStation and Interactive Brokers give their customers access to a wealth of resources for learning and investigation. Webinars, video tutorials, and written guides are just some of the learning materials from TradeStation. Traders can also benefit from TradeStation's superior charting and analysis capabilities while evaluating market conditions. Interactive Brokers also provides learning materials, like seminars, video tutorials, and articles. However, unlike TradeStation, the Interactive Brokers interface needs more sophisticated charting and analysis features.

Platform Stability

The two most popular trading systems, TradeStation and Interactive Brokers are trustworthy and dependable. In contrast to Interactive Brokers, however, TradeStation's platform has a reputation for being more reliable. The TradeStation platform is highly available and rarely has technological difficulties. However, technical faults on the Interactive Brokers platform can cause intermittent disruptions in operation.


Trading products and services are available from various online brokers, including TradeStation and Interactive Brokers. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately it comes down to the trader's choices and needs. Traders that prioritize an intuitive interface, powerful charting and analytical tools, and responsive support may find TradeStation the best option. Interactive Brokers may be the best choice for traders who need access to a broader selection of goods, higher levels of API sophistication, and more favorable margin rates.

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