Tradestation VS Interactive Brokers

Introducing two financial giants, TradeStation and Interactive Brokers. In this comprehensive comparison, we will delve into the key differences between these industry-leading platforms while taking a stroll down memory lane to explore their fascinating histories. So buckle up and get ready for an exhilarating ride.

TradeStation, with its sleek interface and cutting-edge features, has been revolutionizing the trading world since its inception. Born in 1982, this platform emerged as a pioneer in the field of electronic trading. With a strong focus on providing tools and services for active traders and institutional investors, TradeStation quickly gained popularity among professionals seeking advanced analytics and robust trading capabilities.

On the other side of the ring stands Interactive Brokers, a heavyweight contender that stepped into the ring in 1978. Founded by Thomas Peterffy, a visionary trader who dreamed of automating stock market trades, Interactive Brokers became the first platform to introduce fully-automated trading to the masses. This groundbreaking innovation forever changed the landscape of online brokerage.

Now, let's dive into their distinctive features and compare what these powerhouses bring to the table.

TradeStation boasts an impressive arsenal of analytical tools designed to empower traders with deep insights into market trends. Their proprietary EasyLanguage allows users to create custom indicators and strategies tailored to their specific needs. With a vast array of technical analysis tools at their disposal, traders can identify patterns, execute trades swiftly, and optimize their strategies for maximum profit potential.

Interactive Brokers also packs a punch with its comprehensive suite of professional-grade trading tools. Known for its lightning-fast execution speeds and low-cost structure, Interactive Brokers offers access to over 135 markets worldwide. Traders can execute trades across various asset classes, including stocks, options, futures, forex, and more. Furthermore, its advanced order routing system ensures that traders always get the best possible price on their trades.

In terms of pricing structures, TradeStation offers competitive rates based on a per-trade or per-share basis. This flexibility is particularly appealing to active traders who execute a high volume of trades. Additionally, TradeStation offers a wide range of educational resources, including webinars and tutorials, to help traders master their craft.

Interactive Brokers, on the other hand, operates on a tiered pricing structure that caters to both casual investors and professional traders. While it might not be the most cost-effective option for infrequent traders, its low commission fees make it an attractive choice for high-volume traders. Interactive Brokers also provides access to a vast array of research tools and educational materials to support traders in making informed decisions.

Now, let's take a trip down memory lane and explore the histories of these two financial behemoths.

TradeStation's journey began in 1982 when brothers William and Rafael Cruz founded Omega Research, the precursor to TradeStation. Their groundbreaking software enabled traders to develop and test trading strategies using historical market data. In 1997, Omega Research officially transformed into TradeStation Securities Inc., offering brokerage services alongside their advanced trading platform. Over the years, TradeStation continued to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of traders, solidifying its position as a trusted name in the industry.

Meanwhile, Interactive Brokers was busy rewriting the rules of online brokerage. In 1978, Thomas Peterffy introduced handheld computers onto the trading floor of the American Stock Exchange. This innovative move laid the foundation for Interactive Brokers' future success. By 1993, Interactive Brokers had developed TWS (Trader Workstation), an all-in-one trading platform that allowed users to trade stocks, options, futures, and more from a single interface. This groundbreaking technology propelled Interactive Brokers into the limelight as one of the pioneers of online brokerage.

As time passed, both platforms continued to innovate and expand their offerings. TradeStation introduced new features such as RadarScreen, an advanced market monitoring tool, and the Matrix, a depth-of-market trading interface. Interactive Brokers, too, expanded its reach by adding new asset classes such as bonds and mutual funds to its platform.


  1. The platform offers backtesting capabilities, allowing you to test your trading strategies using historical data before risking real money.
  2. TradeStation offers competitive pricing with low commissions and fees, making it cost-effective for active traders.
  3. TradeStation offers a paper trading feature that allows you to practice trading without using real money.
  4. The platform offers a variety of order types, allowing you to execute trades based on your specific strategies and preferences.
  5. You can access TradeStation from your computer, smartphone, or tablet, giving you the flexibility to trade anytime and anywhere.
  6. With TradeStation, you have access to advanced trading tools and technology, including customizable charts, indicators, and real-time market data.
  7. TradeStation provides a secure and reliable trading environment with robust encryption and multiple layers of authentication.
  8. TradeStation provides educational resources and tutorials to help you improve your trading skills and knowledge.
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Interactive Brokers

  1. Interactive Brokers provides low-cost trading with competitive commission rates.
  2. You can trade stocks, options, futures, forex, and more through Interactive Brokers.
  3. Interactive Brokers offers margin lending for qualified accounts.
  4. Interactive Brokers offers excellent customer support through phone, email, and live chat options.
  5. You can access educational resources and webinars to enhance your trading knowledge.
  6. You can trade on-the-go with the Interactive Brokers mobile app.
  7. The platform provides comprehensive account management tools for easy tracking of your investments.
  8. The platform offers advanced trading tools and customizable features.

Tradestation Vs Interactive Brokers Comparison

According to Sheldon, after carefully considering various factors such as trading platform sophistication and research tools, TradeStation emerges as the undeniable victor against Interactive Brokers. However, it is important to note that Sheldon's opinion might not necessarily reflect the current market conditions or recent developments in the two companies.