Interactive Brokers is a US-based firm with registered offices in a number of other countries, including the UK and Hong Kong, and is one of two genuinely global retail brokerages along with Saxo Markets. The firm offers extremely low-cost Direct Market Access to a large number of international exchanges in Asia, Europe and North America.
The underlying service is an institutional-level trading platform – it’s used by many professional traders and small hedge funds – and Interactive Brokers mostly markets its services to very active traders. However, non-traders shouldn’t be put off by that. This is a cheap and efficient solution for many long-term investors as well, with commendably transparent pricing.
There is a minimum monthly fee of US$10 for accounts under US$100,000, offset against commissions, but the low overall charges – including almost free currency conversion – mean that despite this the firm can still be a surprisingly cheap option even for relatively infrequent traders.
It is still difficult to recommend Interactive Brokers for inexperienced investors, as the technical support team will not walk you through everything with the same patience as a more retail-focused stock broker. That said, the web portal has become more user-friendly over the last few years.