Additional Information Regarding the Use of Stop Orders

U.S. equity markets occasionally experience periods of extraordinary volatility and price dislocation. Sometimes these occurrences are prolonged and at other times they are of very short duration. Stop orders may play a role in contributing to downward price pressure and market volatility and may result in executions at prices very far from the trigger price. 

Investors may use stop sell orders to help protect a profit position in the event the price of a stock declines or to limit a loss. In addition, investors with a short position may use stop buy orders to help limit losses in the event of price increases. However, because stop orders, once triggered, become market orders, investors immediately face the same risks inherent with market orders – particularly during volatile market conditions when orders may be executed at prices materially above or below expected prices.
 
While stop orders may be a useful tool for investors to help monitor the price of their positions, stop orders are not without potential risks.  If you choose to trade using stop orders, please keep the following information in mind:
 
·         Stop prices are not guaranteed execution prices. A “stop order” becomes a “market order” when the “stop price” is reached and the resulting order is required to be executed fully and promptly at the current market price. Therefore, the price at which a stop order ultimately is executed may be very different from the investor’s “stop price.” Accordingly, while a customer may receive a prompt execution of a stop order that becomes a market order, during volatile market conditions, the execution price may be significantly different from the stop price, if the market is moving rapidly.
 
·         Stop orders may be triggered by a short-lived, dramatic price change. During periods of volatile market conditions, the price of a stock can move significantly in a short period of time and trigger an execution of a stop order (and the stock may later resume trading at its prior price level). Investors should understand that if their stop order is triggered under these circumstances, their order may be filled at an undesirable price, and the price may subsequently stabilize during the same trading day.
 
·         Sell stop orders may exacerbate price declines during times of extreme volatility. The activation of sell stop orders may add downward price pressure on a security. If triggered during a precipitous price decline, a sell stop order also is more likely to result in an execution well below the stop price.
 
·         Placing a “limit price” on a stop order may help manage some of these risks. A stop order with a “limit price” (a “stop limit” order) becomes a “limit order” when the stock reaches or exceeds the “stop price.” A “limit order” is an order to buy or sell a security for an amount no worse than a specific price (i.e., the “limit price”). By using a stop limit order instead of a regular stop order, a customer will receive additional certainty with respect to the price the customer receives for the stock. However, investors also should be aware that, because a sell order cannot be filled at a price that is lower (or a buy order for a price that is higher) than the limit price selected, there is the possibility that the order will not be filled at all. Customers should consider using limit orders in cases where they prioritize achieving a desired target price more than receiving an immediate execution irrespective of price.
 
·         The risks inherent in stop orders may be higher during illiquid market hours or around the open and close when markets may be more volatile. This may be of heightened importance for illiquid stocks, which may become even harder to sell at the then current price level and may experience added price dislocation during times of extraordinary market volatility. Customers should consider restricting the time of day during which a stop order may be triggered to prevent stop orders from activating during illiquid market hours or around the open and close when markets may be more volatile, and consider using other order types during these periods.
 
·         In light of the risks inherent in using stop orders, customers should carefully consider using other order types that may also be consistent with their trading needs.

Delivery Settings for Shareholder Materials

IB’s default setting for distributing shareholder communications (e.g., proxy materials and annual reports) from U.S. and Canadian issuers is electronic delivery.  Under this method the account holder will receive an email notice when information becomes available for a security they hold from our processing agent, Mediant Communications. This notification will provide the necessary links for accessing the information and voting through the Internet in lieu of receiving these documents via postal service. The technology which you will need to secure the information includes access to the Internet and a web browser supporting secure connections. In addition, you will need to be able to read the documents online and print a copy provided your system supports documents in a PDF format.

 

Other items of note:

 -  We recommend that you add the following addresses to your email address book to minimize the possibility of communications being routed to your junk folder or rejected by your email provider as spam: InteractiveBrokers@proxydocs.com, InteractiveBrokers@investorelections.com, InteractiveBrokers@proxypush.com, InteractiveBrokers@prospectusdocs.com.
 
-  Issuers reserve the right, and are sometimes required by regulation, to send certain shareholder communications via postal mail regardless of the account holder’s preference for electronic delivery. This will most often be the case for interim or special meetings or for contested voting matters.
 
-  Account holders may withdraw their consent to electronic delivery and revert to postal delivery at any time by submitting a request through the Message Center located with Account Management.  Note that changes to delivery settings are not applied to shareholder materials where the record date has already been sent. Account holders may, therefore, continue to receive deliveries for certain securities via the existing method for a period of 2 to 4 weeks after requesting a change.
 

-  The information above applies solely to shareholder communications associated with U.S. and Canadian issuers. The delivery of communications for securities issued outside of these two countries is typically electronic, but managed directly by the issuer or its agent (i.e., not Mediant). 

 

See also: Non-Objecting Beneficial Owner (NOBO)

Qualified Investments in RSP & TFSA Accounts

Canadian Revenue Agency (“CRA”) regulations place restrictions upon the types of positions that may be held in RSP and TFSA accounts with eligibility limited to those meeting the definition of a “Qualified Investment”. Positions held in such accounts that do not meet this definition are referred to as “Non-Qualified Investments” and are subject to a CRA tax equal to 50% of the fair market value of the property at the time it was acquired or it became Non-Qualified.

Qualified Investments include the following instruments: an investment in properties, including money, guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), government and corporate bonds, mutual funds, and securities listed on a designated stock exchange.  Note that certain investments, while Qualified, may not be offered by IB due to the product type itself or its designated exchange not being supported.1

Non-Qualified investments include any property that is not is not classified as a Qualified Investment.  Examples include stocks trading on NEX in Canada, as well as on PINK and OTCBB shares in the US.

For additional information, please refer to the CRA website links below:

 http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/rrsp-reer/glssry-eng.html 

 http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ntvdnc/nnqlfdnvst-eng.html

 

1 Note that while IB does not offer access to the Canadian Securities Exchange (CNSX), shares which are listed on that designated exchange may be transferred into and held in a RSP or TFSA account held with IB, but must be transferred elsewhere to close.

Determining Buying Power

Buying power serves as a measurement of the dollar value of securities that one may purchase in a securities account without depositing additional funds. In the case of a cash account where, by definition, securities may not be purchased using funds borrowed from the broker and must be paid for in full, buying power is equal to the amount of settled cash on hand. Here, for example, an account holding $10,000 in cash may purchase up to $10,000 in stock.

In a margin account, buying power is increased through the use of leverage provided by the broker using cash as well as the value of stocks already held in the account as collateral. The amount of leverage depends upon whether the account is approved for Reg. T margin or Portfolio Margin. Here, a Reg. T account holding $10,000 in cash may purchase and hold overnight $20,000 in securities as Reg. T imposes an initial margin requirement of 50%, which translates to buying power of 2:1 (i.e., 1/.50). Similarly, a Reg. T account holding $10,000 in cash may purchase and hold on an intra-day basis $40,000 in securities given IB’s default intra-day maintenance margin requirement of 25%, which translates to buying power of 4:1 (i.e., 1/.25).

In the case of a Portfolio Margin account, greater leverage is available although, as the name suggests, the amount is highly dependent upon the make-up of the portfolio. Here, the requirement on individual stocks (initial = maintenance) generally ranges from 15% - 30%, translating to buying power of between 6.67 – 3.33:1. As the margin rate under this methodology can change daily as it considers risk factors such as the observed volatility of each stock and concentration, portfolios comprised of low-volatility stocks and which are diversified in nature tend to receive the most favorable margin treatment (e.g., higher buying power).

In addition to the cash examples above, buying power may be provided to securities held in the margin account, with the leverage dependent upon the loan value of the securities and the amount of funds, if any, borrowed to purchase them. Take, for example, an account which holds $10,000 in securities which are fully paid (i.e., no margin loan). Using the Reg. T initial margin requirement of 50%, these securities would have a loan value of $5,000 (= $10,000 * (1 - .50)) which, using that same initial requirement providing buying power of 2:1, could be applied to purchase and hold overnight an additional $10,000 of securities. Similarly, an account holding $10,000 in securities and a $1,000 margin loan (i.e., net liquidating equity of $9,000), has a remaining equity loan value of $4,000 which could be applied to purchase and hold overnight an additional $8,000 of securities. The same principals would hold true in a Portfolio Margin account, albeit with a potentially different level of buying power.

Finally, while the concept of buying power applies to the purchase of assets such as stocks, bonds, funds and forex, it does not translate in the same manner to derivatives. Most securities derivatives (e.g., short options and single stock futures) are not assets but rather contingent liabilities and long options, while an asset, are short-term in nature, considered a wasting asset and therefore generally have no loan value. The margin requirement on short options, therefore, is not based upon a percentage of the option premium value, but rather determined on the underlying stock as if the option were assigned (under Reg. T) or by estimating the cost to repurchase the option given adverse market changes (under Portfolio Margining).

Determining Tick Value

Financial instruments are subject to minimum price changes or increments which are commonly referred to as ticks. Tick values vary by instrument and are determined by the listing exchange. IB provides this information directly from the Contract Search tool on the website or via the Trader Workstation (TWS). To access from TWS, enter a symbol on the quote line, right click and from the drop-down window select the Contract Info and then Details menu options.  The contract specifications window for the instrument will then be displayed (Exhibit 1).

To determine the notional value of a tick, multiple the tick increment by the contract trade unit or multiplier.  As illustrated in the example below, the LIFFE Mini Silver futures contact has a tick value or minimum increment of .001 which, when multiplied by the contract multiplier of 1,000 ounces, results in a minimum tick value of $1.00 per contract.  Accordingly, every tick change up or down results in a profit or loss of $1.00 per LIFFE Mini Silver futures contract.

 

Exhibit 1

SPY - Dividend Recognition

Unlike the case of a stock, in which a dividend is taxable in the year in which it is paid, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (Symbol: SPY) represents itself as a Regulated Investment Company and its dividend is deemed taxable in the year in which the record date is determined.  As such, SPY dividends declared in either October, November or December and payable to shareholders of record on a specified date in one of those months will be considered taxable income income in that year despite the fact that such dividend will generally be paid in January of the following year.

 

Circular 230 Notice: These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor.

Margin Treatment for Foreign Stocks Carried by a U.S. Broker

As a U.S. broker-dealer registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) for the purpose of facilitating customer securities transactions, IB LLC is subject to various regulations relating to the extension of credit and margining of those transactions. In the case of foreign equity securities (i.e., non-U.S. issuer), Reg T. allows a U.S. broker to extend margin credit to those which either appear on the Federal Reserve Board's periodically published List of Foreign Margin Stocks, or are deemed to have a have a "ready market" under SEC Rule 15c3-1 or SEC no-action letter.

Prior to November 2012, "ready market" was deemed to include equity securities of a foreign issuer that are listed on what is now known as the FTSE World Index. This definition was based upon a 1993 SEC no-action letter and was premised upon the fact that, while there may not have been a ready market for such securities within the U.S., the securities could be readily resold in the applicable foreign market.  In November of 2012, the SEC issued a follow-up no-action letter (www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/mr-noaction/2012/finra-112812.pdf) which expanded the population of foreign equity securities deemed to have a ready market to also include those not listed on the FTSE World Index provided that the following four conditions are met:

 

1. The security is listed on a foreign exchange located within a FTSE World Index recognized country, where the security has been trading on the exchange for at least 90 days;

2. Daily bid, ask and last quotations for the security as provided by the foreign listing exchange are made continuously available to the U.S. broker through an electronic quote system;

3. The median daily trading volume calculated over the preceding 20 business day period of the security on its listing exchange is either at least 100,000 shares or $500,000 (excluding shares purchased by the computing broker);

4. The aggregate unrestricted market capitalization in shares of the security exceed $500 million over each of the preceding 10 business days.

Note: if a security previously meeting the above conditions no longer does so, the broker is provided with a 5 business day window after which time the security will no longer be deemed readily marketable and must be treated as non-marginable.

Foreign equity securities which do not meet the above conditions, will be treated as non-marginable and will therefore have no loan value. Note that for purposes of this no-action letter foreign equity securities do not include options.

Excess Margin Securities

The term "excess margin securities" refers to margin securities carried for the account of a customer having a market value in excess of 140 percent of the total debit balance in the customer's account. These securities are in excess of the securities held in a customer's margin account that are pledged by the customer as collateral for the margin loan and can be used to support the purchase of additional securities on margin

Example:

A customer whose account equity consists solely of a cash balance of USD 10,000 on Day 1 purchases 400 shares of stock ABC at USD 50 per share on Day 2.

Account Balance Day 1 Day 2
Cash $10,000 ($10,000)
Stock $0 $20,000 
Total $10,000 $10,000 

On Day 2, the customer's excess margin securities total USD 6,000. This is calculated by subtracting 140% of the margin debit or loan balance from the market value of the stock position ($6,000 = $20,000 - {1.4 * $10,000}).

The term is relevant from a regulatory perspective as the SEC requires that U.S. broker dealers segregate and maintain in a good control location (e.g., DTC or bank) all customer securities which are deemed excess margin securities. Such securities cannot be pledged or loaned to finance the activities of the firm or other customers without specific written permission from the customer. The portion of the securities classified as margin securities ($20,000 - $6,000 or $14,000 in this example) are subject to a lien and may be pledged or loaned by the broker to others to assist in financing the loan made to the customer.

Note that securities which were excess margin at the date of acquisition may later be reclassified as margin securities based upon the customer's subsequent trade and/or margin borrowing activity. For example, if the loan value of excess margin securities is subsequently used to acquire additional securities on margin, a portion of securities will then be reclassified as margin securities and subject to a lien. If the customer subsequently deposits cash or sells securities to reduce or eliminate the margin loan, the securities will be reclassified as excess margin or fully paid and are required to be segregated.
See also "fully paid securities".

Fully Paid Securities

The term "fully paid securities" refers to securities held in a customer's margin or cash account that have been completely paid for and are not being pledged as collateral to support the purchase of other securities on margin. The term is relevant from a regulatory perspective as the SEC requires that U.S. broker dealers segregate and maintain in a good control location (e.g., DTC or bank) all customer securities which are fully paid.  Such securities cannot be pledged or loaned to finance the activities of the firm or other customers.

Note that securities which were fully paid at the date of acquisition may later be reclassified as margin or excess margin securities based upon the customer's subsequent trade and/or borrowing activity. For example, if the loan value of fully paid securities is subsequently used to acquire additional securities on credit, a portion of securities will then be classified as margin securities and subject to a lien and potential pledge or hypothecation by the broker.

See also "excess margin securities".

Overview of IB issued Share CFDs

The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to share-based Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IB.

For Information on IB Index CFDs click here. For Forex CFDs click here.

Topics covered are as follows:

I.    CFD Definition
II.   Comparison Between CFDs and Underlying Shares
III.  Cost and Margin Considerations
IV.  Worked Example
V.   CFD Resources
VI.  Frequently Asked Questions

 

Risk Warning

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR (UK).

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ESMA Rules for CFDs (Retail Clients only)

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has enacted new CFD rules effective 1st August 2018.

The rules include: 1) leverage limits on the opening of a CFD position; 2) a margin close out rule on a per account basis; and 3) negative balance protection on a per account basis.

The ESMA Decision is only applicable to retail clients. Professional clients are unaffected.

Please refer to ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR for more detail.

I.  Share  CFD Definition

IB CFDs are OTC contracts which deliver the return of the underlying stock, including dividends and corporate actions (read more about CFD corporate actions).

Said differently, it is an agreement between the buyer (you) and IB to exchange the difference in the current value of a share, and its value at a future time. If you hold a long position and the difference is positive, IB pays you. If it is negative, you pay IB.

IB Share CFDs are traded through your margin account, and you can therefore enter long as well as short leveraged positions. The price of the CFD is the exchange-quoted price of the underlying share. In fact, IB CFD quotes are identical to the Smart-routed quotes for shares that you can observe in the Trader Workstation and IB offers Direct Market Access (DMA). Similar to shares, your non-marketable (i.e., limit) orders have the underlying hedge directly represented on the deep book of those exchanges at which it trades.  This also means that you can place orders to buy the CFD at the underlying bid and sell at the offer.

To compare IB’s transparent CFD model to others available in the market please see our Overview of CFD Market Models.

IB currently offers approximately 7100 Share CFDs covering the principal markets in the US, Europe and Asia.  The constituents of the major indexes listed below are currently available as IB Share CFDs. In many countries IB also offers trading in liquid small cap shares. These are shares with free float adjusted market capitalization of at least USD 500 million and median daily trading value of at least USD 600 thousand.  Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail. More countries will be added in the near future.

United States S&P 500, DJA, Nasdaq 100, S&P 400 (Mid Cap), Liquid Small Cap
United Kingdom FTSE 350 + Liquid Small Cap (incl. IOB)
Germany Dax, MDax, TecDax + Liquid Small Cap
Switzerland Swiss portion of STOXX Europe 600 (48 shares) + Liquid Small Cap
France CAC Large Cap, CAC Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Netherlands AEX, AMS Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Belgium BEL 20, BEL Mid Cap + Liquid Small Cap
Spain IBEX 35 + Liquid Small Cap
Portugal PSI 20
Sweden OMX Stockholm 30 + Liquid Small Cap
Finland OMX Helsinki 25 + Liquid Small Cap
Denmark OMX Copenhagen 30 + Liquid Small Cap
Norway OBX
Czech PX
Japan Nikkei 225 + Liquid Small Cap
Hong Kong HSI + Liquid Small Cap
Australia ASX 200 + Liquid Small Cap
Singapore* STI + Liquid Small Cap
South Africa Top 40 + Liquid Small Cap

 *not available to Singapore residents

II.   Comparison Between CFDs and Underlying Shares

Depending on your trading objectives and trading style, CFDs offer a number of advantages compared to stocks, but also some disadvantages:
 
BENEFITS of IB CFDs DRAWBACKS of IB CFDs
No stamp duty or financial transaction tax (UK, France, Belgium) No ownership rights
Generally lower commission and margin rates than shares Complex corporate actions may not always be exactly replicable
Tax treaty rates for dividends without need for reclaim Taxation of gains may differ from shares (please consult your tax advisor)
Exemption from day trading rules  

III.  Cost and Margin Considerations

IB CFDs can be an even more efficient way to trade the European stock markets than IB’s highly competitive stock offering.

Firstly, IB CFDs have low commissions compared to stocks, and the same low financing spreads:

EUROPE   CFD STOCK
Commission GBP 0.05% GBP 6.00 + 0.05%*
EUR 0.05% 0.10%
Financing** Benchmark +/- 1.50% 1.50%

*per order + 0.05% of excess over GBP 50,000
**CFD financing on total position value, stock financing on borrowed amount

When you trade more, CFD commissions become even lower, as low as 0.02%. Financing rates are reduced for larger positions, to as low as 0.5%.  Please see CFD Commissions and CFD Financing Rates for more details.

Secondly, CFDs have lower margin requirements than stocks. Retail clients are subject to additional margin requirements mandated by ESMA, the European regulator. Please see ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR for details.

  CFD STOCK
  All Standard Portfolio Margin
Maintenance Margin Requirement*

10%

25% - 50% 15%

*Typical margin for blue-chips. Retail Clients are subject to a minimum Initial Margin of 20%. Standard 25% intraday maintenance margin for stocks, 50% overnight.  Portfolio Margin shown is maintenance margin (incl. overnight). More volatile issues are subject to higher requirements

Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements and for more detail.


IV.  Worked Example (Professional Client)

Let’s look at an example. Unilever’s Amsterdam listing has returned 3.2% in the past month (20 trading days to May 14th, 2012) and you believe it will continue to perform well. You want to build a EUR 200,000 exposure and hold it for 5 days. You do 10 trades to build up and 10 trades to unwind. Your direct costs would be as follows:

STOCK

  CFD STOCK
EUR 200,000 Position   Standard Portfolio Margin
Margin Requirement 20,000 100,000 30,000
Commission (round trip) 200.00 400.00 400.00
Interest Rate (Simplified) 1.50% 1.50% 1.50%
Amount Financed 200,000 100,000 170,000
Days Financed  5 5 5
Interest Expense (1.5% Simplified Rate) 41.67 20.83 35.42
Total Direct Cost (Commission + Interest) 241.67 420.83 435.42
Cost Difference   74% Higher 80% Higher

Note: Interest expense for CFDs is calculated on the entire contract position, for shares interest is calculated on the borrowed amount. The applicable rates are the same for both shares and CFDs.

 

But let’s assume you only have EUR 20,000 available to fund the margin. If Unilever continues to perform as it has in the past month, your potential profit would compare as follows:  

LEVERAGE REWARD CFD STOCK
Available Margin 20,000 20,000 20,000
Total Invested 200,000 40,000 133,333
Gross Return (5 Days) 1,600 320 1,066.66
Commission 200.00 80.00 266.67
Interest Expense (1.5% Simplified Rate) 41.67 4.17 23.61
Total Direct Cost (Commission + Interest) 241.67 84.17 290.28
Net Return (Gross Return less Direct Cost) 1,358.33 235.83 776.39
Return on Margin Investment Amount 0.07 0.01 0.04
Difference   83% Less Gain 43% Less Gain

 

LEVERAGE RISK CFD STOCK
Available Margin 20,000 20,000 20,000
Total Invested 200,000 40,000 133,333
Gross Return (5 Days) -1,600 -320 -1,066.66
Commission 200.00 80.00 266.67
Interest Expense (1.5% Simplified Rate) 41.67 4.17 23.61
Total Direct Cost (Commission + Interest) 241.67 84.17 290.28
Net Return (Gross Return less Direct Cost) -1,841.67 -404.17 -1,356.94
Difference   78% Less Loss 26% Less Loss

 

V.   CFD Resources

Below are some useful links with more detailed information on IB’s CFD offering:

CFD Contract Specifications

CFD Product Listings

CFD Commissions

CFD Financing Rates

CFD Margin Requirements

CFD Corporate Actions

The following video tutorial is also available:

How to Place a CFD Trade on the Trader Workstation

 

VI.  Frequently Asked Questions

What Stocks are available as CFDs?

Large and Mid-Cap stocks in the US, Western Europe, Nordic and Japan.  Liquid Small Cap stocks are also available in many markets. Please see CFD Product Listings for more detail. More countries will be added in the near future.

 

Do you have CFDs on Stock Indices and Forex?

Yes. Please see IB Index CFDs - Facts and Q&A and Forex CFDs - Facts and Q&A.

 

How do you determine your Share CFD quotes?

IB CFD quotes are identical to the Smart routed quotes for the underlying share. IB does not widen the spread or hold positions against you. To learn more please go to Overview of CFD Market Models.

 

Can I see my limit orders reflected on the exchange?

Yes. IB offers Direct market Access (DMA) whereby your non-marketable (i.e., limit) orders have the underlying hedge directly represented on the deep book of those exchanges at which it trades. This also means that you can place orders to buy the CFD at the underlying bid and sell at the offer. In addition, you may also receive price improvement if another client's order crosses yours at a better price than is available on public markets.

 

How do you determine margins for Share CFDs?

IB establishes risk-based margin requirements based on the historical volatility of each underlying share. The minimum margin is 10%. Most IB CFDs are margined at this rate, making CFDs more margin-efficient than trading the underlying share in most cases.  Retail investors are subject to additional margin requirements mandated by ESMA, the European
regulator. Please see ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR for details. There are no portfolio off-sets between individual CFD positions or between CFDs and exposures to the underlying share. Concentrated positions and very large positions may be subject to additional margin. Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

 

Are short Share CFDs subject to forced buy-in?

Yes. In the event the underlying stock becomes difficult or impossible to borrow, the holder of the short CFD position will become subject to buy-in.

 

How do you handle dividends and corporate actions?

IB will generally reflect the economic effect of the corporate action for CFD holders as if they had been holding the underlying security. Dividends are reflected as cash adjustments, while other actions may be reflected through either cash or position adjustments, or both. For example, where the corporate action results in a change of the number of shares (e.g. stock-split, reverse stock split), the number of CFDs will be adjusted accordingly. Where the action results in a new entity with listed shares, and IB decides to offer these as CFDs, then new long or short positions will be created in the appropriate amount. For an overview please CFD Corporate Actions.

*Please note that in some cases it may not be possible to accurately adjust the CFD for a complex corporate action such as some mergers. In these cases IB may terminate the CFD prior to the ex-date.

 

Can anyone trade IB CFDs?

All clients can trade IB CFDs, except residents of the USA, Canada, and Hong Kong. Singapore residents can trade IB CFDs except those based on shares listed in Singapore. There are no exemptions based on investor type to the residency based exclusions.

 

What do I need to do to start trading CFDs with IB?

You need to set up trading permission for CFDs in Account Management, and agree to the relevant trading disclosures. If your account is with IB LLC, IB will then set up a new account segment (identified with your existing account number plus the suffix “F”). Once the set-up is confirmed you can begin to trade. You do not need to fund the F-account separately, funds will be automatically transferred to meet CFD margin requirements from your main account.  

Are there any market data requirements?

The market data for IB Share CFDs is the market data for the underlying shares. It is therefore necessary to have market data permissions for the relevant exchanges. If you already have set up market data permissions for an exchange for trading the shares, you do not need to do anything. If you want to trade CFDs on an exchange for which you do not currently have market data permissions, you can set up the permissions in the same way as you would if you planned to trade the underlying shares.

 

How are my CFD trades and positions reflected in my statements?

If you have an account with IB LLC, your CFD positions are held in a separate account segment identified by your primary account number with the suffix “F”. You can choose to view Activity Statements for the F-segment either separately or consolidated with your main account. You can make the choice in the statement window in Account Management. For other accounts CFDs are shown normally in your account statement alongside other trading products.

 

Can I transfer in CFD positions from another broker?

IB will be glad to facilitate the transfer of CFD positions, subject to the agreement of the other broker. As the transfer of CFD positions is more complex than is the case for share positions, we generally require the position to be at least the equivalent of USD 100,000.

 

Are charts available for Share CFDs?

Yes.

 What account protections apply when trading CFDs with IB?

CFDs are contracts with IB UK as your counterparty, and are not traded on a regulated exchange and are not cleared on a central clearinghouse. Since IB UK is the counterparty to your CFD trades, you are exposed to the financial and business risks, including credit risk, associated with dealing with IB UK. Please note however that all client funds are always fully segregated, including for institutional clients. IB UK is a participant in the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS"). IB UK is not a member of the U.S. Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”).Please refer to the IB UK CFD Risk Disclosure for further detail on risks associated with trading CFDs.

 

In what type of IB accounts can I trade CFDs e.g., Individual, Friends and Family, Institutional, etc.? 

All margin accounts are eligible for CFD trading. Cash or SIPP accounts are not.

 

What are the maximum a positions I can have in a specific CFD?

There is no pre-set limit. Bear in mind however that very large positions may be subject to increased margin requirements. Please refer to CFD Margin Requirements for more detail.

 

Can I trade CFDs over the phone?

No. In exceptional cases we may agree to process closing orders over the phone, but never opening orders.

 

 

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

62% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR (UK).

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ESMA Ruling

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued temporary product intervention measures effective from 1st August 2018 (ESMA Decision).

The restrictions imposed by the ESMA Decision consist of: 1) leverage limits on the opening of a CFD position; 2) a margin close out rule on a per account basis; 3) negative balance protection on a per account basis; 4) a restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs; and 5) a standardized risk warning.

The ESMA Decision is only applicable to retail clients. Professional clients are unaffected.


 

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

62% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR (UK).

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
 

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