If you’re not familiar with ETFs, they’re one of the most popular investment vehicles on the market right now. If you’re looking to gain exposure to a particular asset—or group of assets—through an ETF, you can do so using the Interactive Brokers platform. This is a pretty simple and easy process that won’t take long to understand.
This is a simple blog post about buying an ETF (exchange traded fund) on Interactive Brokers. In the beginning, the ETF was created as a way to invest in the stock market without having to go through the hassle of buying individual stocks. Ostensibly, this would make ETFs much more intriguing to investors. However, the reality of investing hasn’t lived up to the promise.
An investment exchange traded fund or ETF (commonly referred to as an ETF) is a type of investment fund that trades like a stock on an exchange. An ETF allows an investor to buy a stake in a market index, commodity, or other asset without actually owning the underlying product.
(Disclosure: some of the links below may be affiliate links). I have been using Interactive Brokers (IB) for several years now. It took me a while to get used to this broker. However, I can now perform all necessary operations without any problem. I’ll show you how to buy an ETF from start to finish on IB, with ease! I have been contacted several times by readers who have had difficulty getting started with Interactive Brokers. It’s a little tricky at first, but once you’ve done it, it becomes very easy. If you follow this guide, you will be able to buy ETFs in IB without any problems! This guide shows you how to buy an ETF directly from the account management interface. We will also see how you can deposit money into your account from this interface and even convert currencies if necessary. So let’s go through all the steps to make your first investment with Interactive Brokers! By the end of the guide, you’ll know exactly how to buy IB ETFs!
Interfaces Interactive brokers
The best broker for Swiss investors Interactive brokers Interactive Brokers is an excellent stockbroker with extremely low commissions! Trade in US securities for as little as $0.5! Interactive Brokers has several different user interfaces:
- Management of accounts
- IBKR Mobile
- Trading Workstation (TWS)
This guide shows you how to buy an ETF using the account management interface. This is the simplest of all interfaces. And this interface has all the features you need to buy your first ETF from Interactive Brokers. If you want to know more, I have a guide to the different IB interfaces. But don’t worry, you really only need one! In this guide, we’ll look at how to buy a VOO ETF (Vanguard S&P 500) through the account management interface. Although my example is about the VOO ETF, the process is the same for all ETFs. For example, I follow the same steps every month to buy VT, my favorite ETF, and the same steps to buy my Swiss ETF. I’ll walk you through the steps. The process starts with transferring money to IB, converting it to US dollars and then purchasing the ETF. Of course, if your base currency is the US dollar, you don’t need step 2. And if your account is already funded, you don’t need the first step either. I assume you already have an account with Interactive Brokers. If you don’t already have an account, you can read my guide on how to open an account at Interactive Brokers. And then, when you create your own account, you can come back!
Account management interface
The account management interface is the default interface at Interactive Brokers. With this interface, you can do anything you need:
- You can view your portfolio and see the results of your investments.
- You can make a simple exchange. However, some advanced trading options are not available through this interface (but we don’t need them either).
- You can request a transfer.
- You can create reports about your activities or results.
This interface is suitable for most tasks. This is the only interface I use to trade with Interactive Brokers. Don’t fall into the trap of using a more complex interface to perform simple tasks. To access this interface, please go to the Interactive Brokers website. From there you can click on the red Log In button. Interactive broker Connection options To access account management, log into the customer portal or use the Account Management link. They both do the same thing. You must enter your account name and password. In addition, you should use your phone for two-factor authentication.
Transfer of funds from management account
If you don’t have enough money to make the desired transaction, you’ll need to deposit money into your account first. For example, let’s say you want to transfer CHF 5,000 to your IB account. This process consists of two phases:
- First, create a new deposit method.
- Then report an incoming transfer from the deposit method.
The first step is only necessary if you have never transferred from this source. If you have already done so, you can skip this step. Let’s see how we can do both.
1. Create a new application method
At Interactive Brokers, you must first specify the source of the transfer. This operation should be performed only once for each source. You can have different sources in different currencies. It does not have to be in the same currency as your account. This is very useful if you want to top up your account from different sources. IB account management – new deposit method You can open this view by going to Menu > Bank Transfer and Payment > Bank Transfer. If you want to specify a new source, you can click on How to transfer money. You will then need to provide some information about this deposit method. IB account management – deposit method Make sure you check all the information. The IB will use this information to match incoming funds to your account. If something is wrong, the transfer of funds may be delayed.
2. Announce new transfer
Once you have created your deposit method, you must report a new transfer using that method. You must do this every time you make a transfer. IB account management – choose deposit method Return to the Transfer view and select one of the reload methods. You must have such an account for each bank account from which you want to send money to the IB. IB account management – choose deposit method Once you have determined the exact amount you want to transfer (CHF 5,000 in my example), you can proceed and Interactive Brokers will provide you with all the information you need to make the transfer. IB account management – transfer of credits This man should give you all the information you need to make a transfer from your bank. Make sure you set the correct message for the recipient. This message must include your account number and your name. This information is used by Interactive Brokers to identify the transfer as a wire transfer to your account. If you do not use the correct information, it may take some time for the transfer to be processed and deposited back into your bank account. You can then make a transfer from your bank. If you are transferring CHF, make sure you use the IBAN CH (IB should be the default). So the translation will be completely free. It may take a few days for the transfer to reach the IB. But overall, it’s pretty quick. Once my bank makes the transfer, I usually see the money in my IB account the same day. Depending on your account configuration, Credit Suisse may assign you a different IBAN for transfers to your account. It is also the CH-IBAN to which you can transfer money for free. In that case, just follow the instructions of the IB.
Accounts Management Currency Conversion
If you want to buy an ETF that is not in your base currency, you must buy that currency first. This can be done very easily through the account management interface. You can go to the menu and select Currency Conversion. Currency conversion from the IB account management interface In this view, you can easily select the currency to which you want to convert. Then enter the amount you want to convert and click Submit. Interactive Brokers will then generate a Forex order for you. And once this order is executed (usually immediately), you will receive your US dollars. If you want a little more control, there is another way to convert currency. You can buy currencies just like you buy stocks (see next section). For example, you can buy shares USD.CHF, which means you buy a little USD with a little CHF. If you want to buy USD for EUR, you can search for USD.EUR. If you want to buy Euros for USD, you can trade EUR.USD. You got the idea! This gives you a few more options. In most cases, however, a simple conversion will suffice. I just use the standard currency conversion method because it’s easier and saves time.
Buying ETFs from Account Management
If you have enough money in the right currency, you can buy units of the VOO ETF (or another ETF). You can use the search function at the top right of the interface. IB account management – has multiple options for VOO You can enter VOO or the name of another ETF whose shares you want to buy and press Enter. Interactive Brokers will likely offer several options (stocks, futures, options and contracts for difference (CFD)). ETFs are listed like stocks. And sometimes you’ll see exchanges. At this stage, we want to take the shares to the ARCA stock exchange. IB account management – Trading VOO If all these values confuse you, don’t worry! This is what they mean:
- 266.42 is the current market price.
- -0.06 – last absolute change in market price.
- -0.02% is the latest percentage change in the market price.
- The asking volume and the asking price (266.70) are marked in red.
- The quantity to be delivered and the offer price are marked in blue (265.36).
And the fact that it says Frozen data is because I didn’t pay to get real-time data for that particular market. But it could also mean I’m trading after hours. If you are a simple passive investor like me, all you have to worry about is the current price. All other information can be ignored. You can then set both the desired amount and the marginal price. Since we are talking about trading, you can use different types of orders: Market, Limit, Stop Limit. If you are trading a popular ETF, you can simply use a market order. The execution on IB is pretty good, so you won’t have any problems with market orders. Otherwise, you can use limit orders. You can determine the marginal price based on the current data. However, be careful not to optimize too much. Personally, I only use market orders. They are simple and not as ineffective as some people think. You can also determine the period of validity of your order. Either the order is only valid today, or it is valid until cancelled (GTC). If you want to know more about these options, I wrote an entire article on the types of stock market orders. I suggest you use the preview feature to make sure it’s what you want. IB Account Management – Preview VOO Trade In this view you get all the information about the order. You should pay particular attention to the amount and the commission. For example, here I would pay $5328.60 to buy 20 shares and the commission would only be $0.31 to $0.41 (yes, IB is that cheap!). When you are satisfied with your order, you can click Submit to confirm it and wait for the order to be fulfilled. If you use a market order and the exchange is open, IB will execute it immediately. A limit order is executed based on the price you specify. If you set a price higher than the current price, it will also be executed immediately. Congratulations, you now own shares in your ETF! You can follow this simple principle every month and be on your way to using the stock market to make big profits!
Interactive Brokers Warnings
When you perform transactions in IB from the account management interface, you may see several warnings on the screen. You’ll get used to it. But when you start investing, it can be a daunting task. Here are the key warnings. And don’t forget to check the box so you don’t have to see them again!
Alarm for small change operations
The first warning occurs when you make a small foreign currency transaction of less than CHF 25,000. In this case IB will inform you that the order is too small to use IDEALPRO and FXCONV will be used instead. You don’t have to worry about that! It’s just two different routing systems. The IB does not guarantee an interbank rate for orders below CHF 25,000. This way you can get a slightly worse deal. However, the difference is so small that you don’t need to worry about it. I have converted small amounts with IB several times without any problems.
Real-time alert for missing data
The second problem that can arise is buying ETFs without real-time data. If you’re like me, you don’t pay a monthly subscription fee to get real time pricing. This means that the prices you see in the user interface are delayed by 15 minutes. If you need real-time data, you can always access it in Google Finance. Passive investors do not need real time quotes! So, again: Don’t worry about this warning.
Price threshold warning
The third warning concerns a mandatory price cap. This warning is probably the least obvious of the three. In 2016, Interactive Brokers began implementing price caps for market orders. This means that a limit order that deviates significantly from the market price cannot be executed even though it would otherwise be valid. The IB uses its own marginal pricing method to decide what is fair and what is not. For example, if a stock is trading at a market price of $100 and you open a limit order to buy at $50, that limit order will not be considered in the execution of other market orders. So the use of price caps for market orders is simply a protection for investors who use market orders. This is good for honest investors like you and me. You can also safely ignore this warning.
The best broker for Swiss investors Interactive brokers Interactive Brokers is an excellent stockbroker with extremely low commissions! Trade in US securities for as little as $0.5! Now it’s done! You now have more shares in the VOO ETF (or any other ETF you wanted to buy). The procedure is the same as for any other ETF. Just change the stock you are looking for and if it is available at Interactive Brokers, you can buy it. You can conduct transactions directly from the account management interface. From this interface you can perform all basic investment tasks. Most normal investors will probably never need another interface. As you can see, the account management interface allows you to do many things. Although the name indicates that it only manages your account, it can do much more! Most actions can be performed through this interface. Of course, there are some limitations. For example, some order types are not available at Interactive Brokers. However, this is not a problem for normal passive investors. This is the only interface I use and I have never found anything to complain about. I invest every month through this interface. For those new to Interactive Brokers, I recommend using the account management interface. Once you get used to it and if you are interested, you can start exploring other interfaces. But you can spend your entire investment life with this one interface. If you prefer to trade from your mobile phone, you can also buy ETFs through the IBKR mobile app. Do you have any questions about using the IB? Do you have any tips for working with the account management interface? Get our best strategies and tips delivered straight to your inbox. Get free advice on your finances to help you become financially independent!You may be thinking to yourself, “I like the idea of investing in ETFs but I don’t want to do it my self. I’d rather pay someone to do it for me.” I am here to tell you that if you use Interactive Brokers you can save a ton of money. If you have an account with Interactive Brokers you can buy and sell a lot of different types of ETFs. One of the most popular ETFs is the ETF that is known as the S&P 500. With Interactive Brokers you can trade this ETF on your own without an account. All you need is a brokerage account and a bank account.. Read more about interactive brokers etf fees and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I buy ETF on Ibkr?
The rules for buying and selling securities have changed dramatically in the past few years, which makes it increasingly difficult to purchase an ETF in a timely manner. One of the reasons that people choose to buy and sell ETFs through their brokers is to reach a more flexible purchase and sale schedule. The Ibkr ETF is an interesting option for investors because it has the ability to have its fund holdings automatically rebalanced, allowing you to trade the Ibkr ETF at a few different times through the day. Many people are interested in ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), but they are also a bit intimidate by them. The first and most confusing thing about ETFs is the fact that they are traded like stocks, just on a different exchange. In order to buy them, you need to head over to your favorite broker and buy an ETF, no different than buying stocks. Once you’ve bought one, the next thing you’ll want to do is set up an account at an online discount broker that offers ETFs.
Can you buy Vanguard ETF through Interactive Brokers?
Vanguard is known for delivering low management fees and great investment performance. For those who have never dealt with Vanguard, I will show you what to expect in a step-by-step guide. First, you will need to set up an account with Interactive Brokers (IB). A lot of people say you can’t buy Vanguard ETFs through IB, but they’re wrong. You can buy Vanguard ETFs through IB and use them for day trading, long-term investing and even for a self-directed IRA account. So, you’ve decided to get into the stock market. Your friends have told you it’s the best way to get rich, and if you’re a bit nervous about investing your money, maybe it’s time to start taking your first steps. In order to help you do just that, and to show you how simple it can be, I’ve put together this guide.
Can I trading ETFs on Interactive Brokers?
Why is it so hard to buy ETFs? You can’t just search “ETFs” and find out what they are, and then go to your bank and buy them. Well, you can do that, but you have to go through a bunch of hoops to do it. This is a guide on how to buy ETFs on Interactive Brokers, without going through all the hoops. Market makers have to make a profit in the markets that they are trading, and they are therefore incentivized to make the best trades available. This is one reason why they are willing to pay you money to buy and hold a futures contract even though it’s going to cost them a lot of money to buy and hold the underlying stock. This is also why they will pay you good money to buy and sell an ETF for them if they think they will get a good price for it.
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