Cheap(er) international data through Interactive Brokers Information Systems (IBIS)

Interactive Brokers have recently announced an interesting new data product called Interactive Brokers Information Systems (IBIS) that seems to be trying to fill the gap for investors and traders who want extensive data and analytics services without the Bloomberg and Reuters-level price tag.

IBIS is available as an add-on to its Trader Workstation for Interactive Brokers’ clients (US$39/month, discounted against commissions) or as a stand-alone product for non-clients (US$69/month for the first year, rising to US$89/month afterwards). That’s the platform fee – you need to pay the relevant exchange and provider fees for price and data feeds on top of that.

Existing clients can already get data through Interactive Brokers on the same terms, so the extra US$39/month value in IBIS is presumably supposed to be the convenience of its interface, portfolio analytics, screening tools and other software. Each trader will have their own view on whether this is worth the money or not.

For non-clients, this now seems to be the cheapest stand-alone way to subscribe to international price and fundamental data. With an IBIS platform subscription, you can then get Reuters Worldwide Fundamentals for US$7/month, for example.

It’s still beyond the budget of the average investor. At US$69/month, that’s US$828 per year – or over 1.5% on a US$50,000 portfolio, which is realistically too high. But this is one of the first data products that’s starting to look realistic for larger but not very large portfolios.

The only other serious global data platform that isn’t in the US$1000-2000/month range is Quotecenter, from Equis (part of Thomson Reuters), which costs US$135/month per region plus individual fees for each feed you want. So IBIS is already an improvement on that, although Quotecenter offers prices from a wider range of exchanges – IBIS offers the ones that Interactive Brokers trades (the fundamentals feed should be the same).

All this said, if Interactive Brokers offers what you want as a broker and you’re investing US$10,000+, the cheaper option is to open an account with it rather than using IBIS. Minimum commissions are US$10/month and you’d pay for what you want on top of that (eg US$7/month for fundamental data) – much cheaper than IBIS (assuming that clients will continue to be able to get straight data without having to take the IBIS platform). However, if you prefer to trade elsewhere but want a comprehensive data, price and analytics service, this could be very useful.

The FAQ on price and fundamental data services for international stocks has been updated with the details.

2 replies on “Cheap(er) international data through Interactive Brokers Information Systems (IBIS)”

Yes, there are other services based on Reuters data. Metastock Xenith (as distinct from Metastock, which is purely charting software) is a version of Reuters Eikon priced more for the retail market (though still expensive). Stockopedia uses Reuters data in its stock screener. Some of the others will as well.

As far as I understand the data business, most of the fundamental data services you see will be based on data from Reuters or Morningstar or less commonly S&P Capital IQ or Factset (don’t think Bloomberg ever resell their data to third party services). Problem is finding one that covers all the markets you want at a sensible price point.

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