Monday, October 09, 2006

Interactive Brokers Application

I finally got around to submitting an application for an account with Interactive Brokers. Security checks are now running before I can actually fund the account. My plan is to initially deposit $5000 from my HSBC Online Savings account which I have been saving up. That's the minimum amount required to open an account. At this stage I signed up for all US stock, options, and futures markets. You can also trade a number of foreign markets, but I don't have any need for that at the moment and one can always add additional permissions as required. IB has a paper trading facility and I plan to use it initially to get used to futures trades which is what I plan to use the account for initially. Once I get used to trading I will initially trade one E-Mini NASDAQ contract which is equivalent to 800 QQQQ shares. I also will look at trading Australian Dollar contracts to hedge my Australian Dollar and US Dollar exposures. The reason I want to trade stock futures is because under the 60/40 rule they are taxed at lower rates than short-term stock trades. Being able to modify my currency exposure without wiring money between the US and Australia is also attractive. The Australian Dollar ETF (FXA) is not a viable alternative. To sell short $A100,000 requires margin of about $US37,500. Using futures the required margin is only about $US1,500 for the same transaction (and the taxes on gains are lower). My new short-term goal is to reach a total of $65,000 in my three U.S. trading accounts.


Clownbucks said...

I have been using IB for about 9 month now. I like their low commissions. The user interfaces are somewhat quirky and take time to get used to. I also think their fills are not as good as with some other brokers.

mOOm said...

Yes, I ahve checked out the demo and I can see that it will take some adjustment. Which is one reason I'll try some paper trading first.