IBKR Metals CFDs – Facts and Q&A


The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to London Gold and Silver Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IBKR.

Please follow these links for information on IBKR Share CFDs, Index CFDs and Forex CFDs.

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

59.5% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR.

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

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 the following articles for more detail:

ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR (UK) and IBKR LLC

ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBIE, IBCE and IBLUX

A London Gold CFD enables you to have exposure to price movements of physical Gold without actually owning it. A London Gold CFD is an agreement between you and IBKR to exchange the difference in price of the underlying over a period of time. The difference to be exchanged is determined by the change in the reference price of the underlying. Thus, if the price of physical Gold traded on the London bullion market rises and you are long the CFD, you receive cash from IBKR and vice versa. A London Gold CFD can be bought long or sold short to suit your view of market direction in the future.

Contract Specifications

Contract IBKR Symbol Per Trade Fee Minimum per Order Multiplier
London Gold XAUUSD 0.0015% USD 2.00 1
London Silver XAGUSD 0.0015% USD 2.00 1

Price Determination
The IBKR London Gold and Silver CFDs reference physical Gold and Silver traded on the London bullion market. The London bullion market is a wholesale over-the-counter market for the trading of precious metals. Trading is conducted among members of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). Most of the members are major international banks.

IBKR receives quote streams from approximately 10 such major banks, in much the same way it does for cash forex. IBKR Smart routes between the banks, and the best available price at any given time becomes the reference price for the CFDs. IBKR does not add a spread to the banks’ quotes.

Low Commissions and Financing Rates: Unlike other CFD providers IBKR charges a transparent
commission, rather than widening the spread. Commission rates are only 0.0015%. Overnight financing rates are just benchmark +/- 1.5% (an additional 1% surcharge is added for retail accounts).

Transparent Quotes: Because IBKR does not widen the spread, the Metals CFD quotes accurately
represent the spreads and price movements of the related cash metal, as described above.

Margin Efficiency: IBKR establishes house-margin requirements based on historic volatility of the
underlying and other factors. Retail clients are subject to regulatory minimum initial margins of 5% for
London Gold or 10% for London Silver. 

Trading Permissions: Same as for Share and Index CFDs.

Market Data Permissions: Metals CFD market data is free, but a permission is required for system

Worked Trade Example (Professional Clients):

You purchase 100 XAUUSD CFDs at $1,942.5 for USD 194,250 which you then hold for 5 days.

Closing the Position

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

CFD Product Listings

CFD Commissions

CFD Financing Rates

CFD Margin Requirements

CFD Contract Specifications

Frequently asked Questions

Are short Metals CFDs subject to forced buy-in?

Can I take delivery of the underlying metal?

No, IBKR does not support physical delivery for Metals CFDs.

Are there any market data requirements?
The market data for Metal CFDs is free, and is included the market data for Index CFDs. However, you need to subscribe to the permission for system reasons. To do this, log into Account Management, and click through the following tabs: Settings/User Settings/Trading Platform/Market Data Subscriptions. Alternatively you can set up an Index or Metals CFD in your TWS quote monitor and click the “Market Data Subscription Manager” button that appears on the quote line.

How are my CFD trades and positions reflected in my statements?
If you are a client of IBKR (U.K.) or IBKR 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.

If you are a client of other IBKR entities, there is no separate segment. You can view your positions normally alongside your non-CFD positions.

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

All margin and cash accounts are eligible for CFD trading. 

Can I trade CFDs over the phone?
No. In exceptional cases we may agree to process closing orders over the phone, but never opening

Can anyone trade IB CFDs?
All clients can trade IB CFDs, except residents of the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and
Israel. There are no exemptions based on investor type to the residency-based exclusions.













  • EUR為基礎貨幣
  • USD為報價貨幣

上方貨幣對的價格表示需要多少單位的USD(報價貨幣)能交易一個單位的EUR(基礎貨幣)。也就是說,1 EUR是在按USD報價。




1.  輸入交易貨幣(如EUR),然後按回車鍵(enter)。
2.  選擇產品類型——外匯   

3.  選擇結算貨幣(如USD),然後選擇外匯交易場所。













1.  要輸入定單,左鍵點擊買價(下賣單)或賣價(下買單).

2.  指定想要買入或賣出的交易貨幣的數量。定單的數量基礎貨幣(即貨幣對中的前一種貨幣)顯示。



3.  指定想使用的定單類型、匯率(價格),然後傳遞定單。


常見問題:如何使用外匯交易者(FX Trader)下單?







(名義金額) x (1個點)


  • 代碼 = EUR.USD
  • 金額 = 100,000 EUR
  • 1個點 = 0.0001

1個點點值 = 100’000 x 0.0001= 10 USD

  • 代碼 = USD.JPY
  • 金額 = 100’000 USD
  • 1個點 = 0.01

1個點點值 = 100’000 x (0.01)= JPY 1000


(名義金額) x (1個點/匯率)


  • 代碼 = EUR.USD
  • 金額 = 100’000 EUR
  • 1個點 = 0.0001
  • 匯率 = 1.3884

1個點點值 = 100’000 x (0.0001/1.3884)= 7.20 EUR

  • 代碼 = USD.JPY
  • 金額 = 100’000 USD
  • 1個點 = 0.01
  • 匯率 = 101.63

1個點點值 = 100’000 x (0.01/101.63)= 9.84 USD






1. 市場價值








 2. 外匯投資組合




a. 收起外匯投資組合部分

點擊外匯投資組合(FX Portfolio)文字左邊的箭頭可收起外匯投資組合部分。收起該部分後,虛擬頭寸信息便不再在各交易頁面顯示。(注:這並不會讓市場價值信息顯示出來,其只會阻止外匯投資組合信息顯示。)



b. 調整頭寸或平均價格













如何使用外匯交易者(FX Trader)下單?


TWS可供客戶從外匯交易者(FX Trader)界面創建外匯定單。  









Leveraged FX Currency Restrictions for Israeli Retail Clients

Due to a June 2018 ruling by the Israeli financial court, Interactive Brokers is no longer permitted to offer spot forex trading to Israeli retail clients. While IBKR's forex offering is a deliverable "spot" transaction, the ruling interpreted a 2014 amendment to Israeli Securities Law 5728-1968 to cover spot/cash transactions in addition to derivative/contract style transactions.

The restriction applies only to clients deemed to be "retail" investors.  Non-retail investors (i.e. Qualified Investors and clients who are included in the First Schedule of the Israeli Securities Law 1968) are exempt from this restriction.
The new forex restriction goes into effect on 1 August 2018:
  • Forex transactions that would create a negative balance or would increase a pre-existing negative balance in either component currency will not be allowed to Israeli retail clients.
  • The negative cash balance test applies only to the component currencies and for the cash movements created directly by the forex trade. There is no restriction regarding the creation of negative balances by other means such as cashiering activity or trading activities in securities (stocks, bonds, options, etc).
The relevant ISA regulation can be found here (ISA_6025) with sections 44L-M defining the relevant issues.
Example: Prohibited Transaction
An account is not allowed to go negative cash upon execution of a cash conversion or FX trade. 
Have USD 1,000 and try to buy EUR 3,000 @ 1.17 USD-EUR (USD Value of 3,510) would create a negative balance of USD -4,510.
Currency Cash Cash
ILS 10,000 10,000
USD 1,000 -2,510
EUR 0 3,000
Example: Permitted Transaction
The rule will not prevent you from trading on margin or engaging in any other investment transaction on the IBKR Platform.
Example: Having USD 1,000 and buying stocks worth USD 3,000 USD would create a balance of
USD -2,000.
Currency Cash Stock Cash Stock
USD 1,000 0 -2,000 3,000

Example: Having USD 1,000 and converting to ILD, value of ILS 3,600 (1 USD = 3.6 ILS) 


Example: Have USD 1,000 USD and withdraw EUR 600




In order to be consider a "Qualified Investor" IB requires client to meet the following criteria and procedural requirements.

Qualified Investor qualification need to be recertified every 3 years.

For Individuals

Individuals, which comply with at least one of the following alternatives:

  1. Total value of Liquid Assets greater than NIS 8 million; or
  2. Annual income in each preceding two years is greater than NIS 1.2 million or the income of the Household to which he belongs is greater than NIS 1.8 million.; or
  3. Total value of Liquid Assets greater than NIS 5 million and the annual income in each proceeding two years is greater than NIS 600,000 or such annual income of the Household to which he belongs is greater than NIS 900,000.

"Liquid Assets" means cash, deposits, securities, equities and funds.

"Household" means an individual and the persons living with him or who are dependent on him for their living.

The client must:

  • compete the Qualified Investor Representation form and
  • provide a written signed confirmation from a registered attorney or accountant certifying their qualification. This certification should be no older than 3 months.

For Corporates

The following entities can be exempted:

  1. Authorized mutual funds or fund managers
  2. Provident funds or fund managers
  3. Insurers
  4. Banking corporations
  5. Portfolio managers
  6. Investment advisors, who acquire for themselves
  7. Stock Exchange members
  8. Underwrites, who buy for themselves
  9. Venture capital funds
  10. Corporations (including funds, partnerships) other than corporations which were incorporated for the purpose of purchasing securities in a specific offer, with equity exceeding 50 million NIS
  11. Corporations, wholly owned by one of the aforementioned investors

Entities qualifying under exemptions 1-9 must provide confirmation of their status from a governmental register.
Entities that wish to be considered under exemptions 10 and 11 must:

  • complete the Qualified Investor Representation form and
  • provide a written signed confirmation from a registered attorney or accountant certifying their qualification. This certification should be no older than 3 months.

Forex Execution Statistics


IB clients can now analyze the quality of their forex executions in comparison to forex trades by other IB customers through the FX Browser tool in Account Management. The tool provides transaction data for the 15 forex transactions that occur immediately before and after in the same currency pair of the client's transaction.


The number of transactions may be limited to fewer than the stated 15 as the NFA also has placed a 15 minute window on the query. Meaning, if within a 15 minute window before and after the customer's execution there are fewer than 15 executions the customer's query will return only those executions which occurred within the time window.

Accessing the FX Browser Tool
To Access the FX Browser tool, login to Account Management using the Login button on our website. Click the Support tab followed by Tools. Please note, at this time only data for the live account will be provided.


From there, select FX Browser from the list of tools:


Submitting a Query

When the FX Browser is launched, you will be presented with the following screen:


Please note that only Trade Date is a mandatory field in the query. When clicking on the Trade Date field, a calendar widget will populate and allow you to select your trade date. Only transactions from the last 6 months will be available to search.


Active customers may wish to limit the results by further selecting the currency pair, side or time of the execution.

Once the desired query has been entered, click on the Submit button.

The next screen will display the list of executions for the given account on the specified day. From there, you may select the execution you wish to receive the execution statistics on.


Once the execution you wish to view has been selected, click the "Download NFA Report" button.


Reading the Report
The results will be returned in a new tab and will contain the 15 executions before and 15 executions after the trade you selected on the previous screen. Per the note above, if fewer than 15 executions occurred in the 15 minute time frame only those executions will be displayed.

The query results will include the following information:

  • Execution date and time, as expressed in Eastern time
  • Side (buy or sell)
  • Quantity (of Transaction Currency)
  • Currency pair
  • Execution price
  • Commissions and other charges assessed by the FDM
  • Currency denomination of commissions

Your trade will be marked as Trade Number "0" and the trades before and after your trade will be numbered from 1 to 15.


Error Messages

If the search criteria you enter does not bring up any trade information, you will be presented with the following error message:


Automatic Forex Swap


In general, interest on account balances are credited/debited at benchmark rates plus/minus a spread as shown on our web pages. For qualified clients with substantial forex positions, however, IB has created a mechanism to carry large gross FX positions with higher efficiency with respect to carrying costs. We refer to it as the “auto swap program”. The design allows clients to benefit from IB’s participation in the interbank forex swaps market where implied interest rate spreads are usually much narrower than the spreads available in the retail deposit market. 

a. Concept 

Interest is charged on settled balances, so the intent of a Forex swap as used here is to defer the settlement of a currency position from one day to the next business day. This is done by a simultaneous sell and buy of the same amount of base (first) currency but for two different value dates e.g. on T you go long 10 mio. EUR.USD for value date T+2. By example, on T+1 the position is swapped T+2 to T+3, here a sell of 10 mio EUR.USD for T+2 and a purchase of 10 mio. EUR.USD for T+3. As a result you have deferred settlement from T+2 to T+3, with the difference in prices of the two trades representing the financing cost from T+2 to T+3.

b. Cost

This service is provided as a free service and no commission or markup is charged by Interactive Brokers. The interbank market bid/ask spread inherent in the swap prices may be regarded as a cost but is not determined by Interactive Brokers. Interactive Brokers provides the service on a best efforts basis to our large Forex clients.

c. Position Criteria

Swap activity is only applied to accounts with gross FX positions larger than 10 mio. USD or approximate equivalent of other currencies. Positions are swapped (rolled) in increments or multiples of USD 1 mio. (or equivalent). The residual settled balances are traded under IB‘s standard interest model1. Positions that are swapped (rolled) are real positions, i.e. the projected T+1 settled cash balances.

The so-called “Virtual Positions” are not considered; the virtual position is only a representation of the original trades expressed as currency pairs, for example EUR.CHF.

Settled cash balances are a single currency concept, e.g. EUR or CNH. IB executes all swaps against USD as it is the most efficient funding currency. Should you have a position in a cross, e.g. EUR against CHF, two swaps, one in EUR.USD and one in USD.CHF will be done. The threshold(s) and increment(s) may change at any time without notice.

d. Client Eligibility

As we offer this service for free, only clients with substantial currency positions are eligible for inclusion in the service. US legal residents need to be an Eligible Contract Participant (ECP) and be in the possession of an LEI number (legal entity identifier). Interactive Brokers cannot guarantee a client’s inclusion in the program and all inquiries require compliance approval prior to become active.2

e. Swap Price Recognition 

Interactive Brokers may conduct a series of swaps in a currency during a day. Interactive Brokers will use average bid and ask prices at which it executed, respectively average bid and asks as quoted in the interbank market. Swap prices are not published but can be seen (or calculated) in the statement after execution. The swaps are applied in the account at the end of the day.

f. Recognition in the Statement 

You will find the swap transaction(s) in the Trades section of the statement. The swap are represented as simultaneous purchase/sale or vice versa, do not have a time stamp and shows an M (manual entry) in the code column. The actual swap prices are the difference in between the two prices.

Here an example for cob 20150203 that shows a swap from 20150203 to 20150204.


g. Examples of Swap Prices 

Here a couple of examples that use swap prices from a major interbank provider. Often bid/ask spreads are even tighter. 

Currency Pair

Spot Bid

Spot Ask


Days in Period (TN)

Swap Points Bid

Swap Points Ask

Implied Currency

Implied Rate Bid

Implied Rate Ask









































In more detail, let’s assume you want to calculate the implied CNH rate resulting from a USD.CNH swap. We are looking for the implied rate of the quote currency CNH (Currency 2). Therefore the following formula is used:



Description Variable Value
Currency Pair (Currency1.Currency2) USD.CNH  
day count convention Currency 1 (base Currency), i.e. USD dayCountCurr1 360
day count convention Currency 2 (quote Currency), i.e. CNH dayCountCurr2 365
Tenor TomNext  
number of days in the Tenor noDays 1
interest rate of Currency 1 (in decimals, i.e. 1% = 0.01) inRateCurr1 0.0070
Currency rate (Spot) currencyRate 6.939500
swap Points expressed in decimals swapPoints 0.0012
near Currency Rate (Spot - swap points) nearCurrencyRate 6.938300
far Currency Rate (in a Tomnext swap this is the spot rate) farCurrencyRate 6.939500
implied interes rate of Currency2, i.e. CNH impliedRateCurrncy2(quoteCurrency) 0.0702

 So using above figures, this results in a 7.02% implied interest rate for CNH.


Now if you wanted to calculate the implied rate for the base currency (Currency 1) the formula would change slightly. Here an example using EUR.USD:


Description Variable Value
Currency Pair (Currency1.Currency2) EUR.USD  
day count convention Currency 1 (base Currency), i.e. EUR dayCountCurr1 360
day count convention Currency 2 (quote Currency), i.e. USD dayCountCurr2 360
Tenor TomNext  
number of days in the Tenor noDays 1
interest rate of Currency 2 (in decimals, i.e. 1% = 0.01) inRateCurr2 0.0070
Currency rate (Spot) currencyRate 1.039900
swap Points expressed in decimals swapPoints 0.000042
near Currency Rate (Spot - swap points) nearCurrencyRate 1.039858
far Currency Rate (in a Tomnext swap this is the spot rate) farCurrencyRate 1.039900
implied interes rate of Currency1, i.e. EUR impliedRateCurrncy1(baseCurrency) -0.0075

 Using above example, this results in a -0.75 % implied interest rate for EUR. 


1. For example, in the case of a USD 20.3 mio. position only 20 mio. will be swapped. USD 0.3 remains in the account and interest using benchmark and spreads will be applied. A USD 300k position will not be considered for swapping at all. The position by currency is taken as the reference, regardless of the overall position. 

 2 US, Australian and Israeli domiciled residents are currently not eligible for inclusion in the Automated Forex Swap Program.

Summary of Risks relating to Forex CFDs issued by Interactive Brokers Securities Japan, Inc.


This summary highlights the principal risks associated with trading Forex CFDs issued by IBSJ (“IB FXCFDs"). It is not a risk disclosure for regulatory purposes.

  • Trading of IB FXCFDs is not suitable for all investors, and you should not trade them unless you are an experienced investor with a high risk tolerance and the capability to sustain losses if they occur
  • The volatility of foreign exchange rates and interest rates may quickly cause significant losses. Forex CFDs employ leverage that further amplifies the volatility relative to your investment and you may lose more than you have invested. In addition, IB FXCFD roll over interest may turn from a credit to a debit due to changes in interest rates
  • You are required to maintain sufficient equity in your account at all times to cover IBSJs maintenance margin requirement. There are no grace-periods and IBSJ does not issue margin calls. Your equity is calculated in real time and should it become insufficient, IBSJ will immediately and automatically liquidate positions to bring your account into margin compliance. Real time liquidations aim to minimize the risk that your account equity becomes negative, but they cannot eliminate that risk. Should your equity become negative you are required to deposit additional funds to cover the deficit
  • The price IBSJ displays to you for IB FXCFDs is based on the prevailing foreign exchange market. However there is no guarantee for executions at that price. Slippage may occur for large trades or in fast moving markets and during heavily traded hours
  • Moreover, your ability to establish or close positions on a timely basis is not guaranteed. It may become difficult to display quotes during major holidays or during hours when foreign exchange trading is not active. IBSJ may display prices that deviate from a fair market due to system-malfunctions or failures, or erroneous quotes that IBSJ may receive from market participants or for other reasons (off-market prices). IBSJ will adjust or cancel trades executed with off-market prices
  • IB FXCFDs are over-the-counter trades between you and IBSJ. They are not traded on any exchange or cleared by any central counterparty. You are therefore exposed to counterparty risk and should IBSJ become insolvent you may not be able to fully recoup your investment, or at all

Please contact IBSJs Client Service Department should you have questions about the content of this summary and read the full risk disclosure carefully before commencing trading. The risk disclosure is available in Account Management when you request IB FXCFD trading permissions, and on IBSJs web site.

IB外匯差價合約 - 事實與常見問題

有關IB股票差價合約的信息,請點擊 此處。有關指數差價合約的信息,請點擊此處






新規包括:1) 開倉差價合約頭寸的杠杆限制;2) 以單個賬戶為單位的保證金平倉規則;以及3) 以單個賬戶為單位的負余額保護規則;ESMA規定僅適用於零售客戶。






*來源:歐洲貨幣雜志外匯調查(Euromoney FX survey)外匯投票2016。

息差:外匯差價合約在展期時會反映相關貨幣對的基准利率差。這基本上與其他經紀商使用的隔夜利息(TOM Next)展期相似,但由於基准利率的波動性通常小於互換利率,該息差的穩定性更高。此外,IB還提供很低的融資點差,對主要貨幣對低至1.0%;對較大余額低至0.5%。波動較大的貨幣對融資點差也會更高。
IB外匯差價合約的息差是根據貨幣對特定基准和點差而確定的。基准為兩種貨幣的IB基准利率之差。計算方法為 + 基礎貨幣基准利率 – 報價貨幣基准利率。


GBP.USD基准 +0.483% - 0.37% = +0.113%

適用的客戶利率為貨幣對基准 – IB多頭頭寸點差,基准 + 空頭頭寸點差:

GBP.USD多頭利率 +0.113% - 1.00% = -0.887%

GBP.USD空頭利率 +0.113% + 1.00% = +1.113%




  頭寸 GBP.USD收槃價 USD價值 利率 USD
GBP.USD -20,000 1.43232 -28,646.40 1.113% -0.89


交易許可:要交易外匯差價合約,您必須在賬戶管理中為外匯差價合約設置交易許可。適用條件與杠杆外匯相衕。  請注意,外匯差價合約與其它差價合約一樣均由IB英國承轉,因此,如果您持有IB LLC賬戶,我們會提示您開立一個IB英國賬戶段。IB英國賬戶段會在您的當前賬戶號碼后加上后綴“F”。 



您以$1.16195的價格買入10手(200000)EUR.CHF差價合約,總計CHF 232,390,持有5天。

EUR.CHF外匯差價合約 – 新頭寸
參考底層證券價格 1.16188 - 1.16195
差價合約參考價格 1.16188 - 1.16195
行動 買入
數量 200,000
交易價值 CHF 232,390.00
保證金(3% x 232,390) AUD 9,100


第一階梯(貨幣對BM 0.42% - IB點差1%) CHF 232,390.00 -0.58% (CHF 18.72)


  盈利情境 虧損情境
參考底層證券價格 1.16840 - 1.16848 1.15539 - 1.15546
差價合約參考價格 1.16840 - 1.16848 1.15539 - 1.15546
行動 賣出 賣出
數量 200,000 200,000
交易價值 CHF 233,680.00 CHF 231,078.00
交易盈虧 CHF 1,290.00 (CHF 1,312.00)
融資 (CHF 18.72) (CHF 18.72)
開倉佣金0.002% (CHF 4.65) (CHF 4.65)
開倉佣金0.002% (CHF 4.67) (CHF 4.62)
總盈虧 CHF 1,261.96 (CHF 1,339.99)










相比之下,IB外匯差價合約是一種提供倉位但不支持實物交割底層貨幣的合約,且您是根據合約的名義價值支付或收取利息的。合約的基准利率是兩種底層貨幣的基准利率差額。這基本上與其他經紀商使用的隔夜利息(TOM Next)展期相似,但由於基准利率的波動性通常小於互換利率,該息差的穩定性更高。







如果您在IB LLC持有賬戶,且您的差價合約頭寸持有在單獨的賬戶段(主賬戶號碼加后綴“F”)中。您可選擇單獨查看F賬戶段的活動報表,也可以選擇與主賬戶合并查看。您可在賬戶管理的報表窗口進行選擇。





Allocation of Partial Fills


How are executions allocated when an order receives a partial fill because an insufficient quantity is available to complete the allocation of shares/contracts to sub-accounts?



From time-to-time, one may experience an allocation order which is partially executed and is canceled prior to being completed (i.e. market closes, contract expires, halts due to news, prices move in an unfavorable direction, etc.). In such cases, IB determines which customers (who were originally included in the order group and/or profile) will receive the executed shares/contracts. The methodology used by IB to impartially determine who receives the shares/contacts in the event of a partial fill is described in this article.



Before placing an order CTAs and FAs are given the ability to predetermine the method by which an execution is to be allocated amongst client accounts. They can do so by first creating a group (i.e. ratio/percentage) or profile (i.e. specific amount) wherein a distinct number of shares/contracts are specified per client account (i.e. pre-trade allocation). These amounts can be prearranged based on certain account values including the clients’ Net Liquidation Total, Available Equity, etc., or indicated prior to the order execution using Ratios, Percentages, etc. Each group and/or profile is generally created with the assumption that the order will be executed in full. However, as we will see, this is not always the case. Therefore, we are providing examples that describe and demonstrate the process used to allocate partial executions with pre-defined groups and/or profiles and how the allocations are determined.

Here is the list of allocation methods with brief descriptions about how they work.

·         AvailableEquity
Use sub account’ available equality value as ratio. 

·         NetLiq
Use subaccount’ net liquidation value as ratio

·         EqualQuantity
Same ratio for each account

·         PctChange1:Portion of the allocation logic is in Trader Workstation (the initial calculation of the desired quantities per account).

·         Profile

The ratio is prescribed by the user

·         Inline Profile

The ratio is prescribed by the user.

·         Model1:
Roughly speaking, we use each account NLV in the model as the desired ratio. It is possible to dynamically add (invest) or remove (divest) accounts to/from a model, which can change allocation of the existing orders.




Basic Examples:


CTA/FA has 3-clients with a predefined profile titled “XYZ commodities” for orders of 50 contracts which (upon execution) are allocated as follows:

Account (A) = 25 contracts

Account (B) = 15 contracts

Account (C) = 10 contracts


Example #1:

CTA/FA creates a DAY order to buy 50 Sept 2016 XYZ future contracts and specifies “XYZ commodities” as the predefined allocation profile. Upon transmission at 10 am (ET) the order begins to execute2but in very small portions and over a very long period of time. At 2 pm (ET) the order is canceled prior to being executed in full. As a result, only a portion of the order is filled (i.e., 7 of the 50 contracts are filled or 14%). For each account the system initially allocates by rounding fractional amounts down to whole numbers:


Account (A) = 14% of 25 = 3.5 rounded down to 3

Account (B) = 14% of 15 = 2.1 rounded down to 2

Account (C) = 14% of 10 = 1.4 rounded down to 1


To Summarize:

A: initially receives 3 contracts, which is 3/25 of desired (fill ratio = 0.12)

B: initially receives 2 contracts, which is 2/15 of desired (fill ratio = 0.134)

C: initially receives 1 contract, which is 1/10 of desired (fill ratio = 0.10)


The system then allocates the next (and final) contract to an account with the smallest ratio (i.e. Account C which currently has a ratio of 0.10).

A: final allocation of 3 contracts, which is 3/25 of desired (fill ratio = 0.12)

B: final allocation of 2 contracts, which is 2/15 of desired (fill ratio = 0.134)

C: final allocation of 2 contract, which is 2/10 of desired (fill ratio = 0.20)

The execution(s) received have now been allocated in full.


Example #2:

CTA/FA creates a DAY order to buy 50 Sept 2016 XYZ future contracts and specifies “XYZ commodities” as the predefined allocation profile. Upon transmission at 11 am (ET) the order begins to be filled3 but in very small portions and over a very long period of time. At 1 pm (ET) the order is canceled prior being executed in full. As a result, only a portion of the order is executed (i.e., 5 of the 50 contracts are filled or 10%).For each account, the system initially allocates by rounding fractional amounts down to whole numbers:


Account (A) = 10% of 25 = 2.5 rounded down to 2

Account (B) = 10% of 15 = 1.5 rounded down to 1

Account (C) = 10% of 10 = 1 (no rounding necessary)


To Summarize:

A: initially receives 2 contracts, which is 2/25 of desired (fill ratio = 0.08)

B: initially receives 1 contract, which is 1/15 of desired (fill ratio = 0.067)

C: initially receives 1 contract, which is 1/10 of desired (fill ratio = 0.10)

The system then allocates the next (and final) contract to an account with the smallest ratio (i.e. to Account B which currently has a ratio of 0.067).

A: final allocation of 2 contracts, which is 2/25 of desired (fill ratio = 0.08)

B: final allocation of 2 contracts, which is 2/15 of desired (fill ratio = 0.134)

C: final allocation of 1 contract, which is 1/10 of desired (fill ratio = 0.10)


The execution(s) received have now been allocated in full.

Example #3:

CTA/FA creates a DAY order to buy 50 Sept 2016 XYZ future contracts and specifies “XYZ commodities” as the predefined allocation profile. Upon transmission at 11 am (ET) the order begins to be executed2  but in very small portions and over a very long period of time. At 12 pm (ET) the order is canceled prior to being executed in full. As a result, only a portion of the order is filled (i.e., 3 of the 50 contracts are filled or 6%). Normally the system initially allocates by rounding fractional amounts down to whole numbers, however for a fill size of less than 4 shares/contracts, IB first allocates based on the following random allocation methodology.


In this case, since the fill size is 3, we skip the rounding fractional amounts down.


For the first share/contract, all A, B and C have the same initial fill ratio and fill quantity, so we randomly pick an account and allocate this share/contract. The system randomly chose account A for allocation of the first share/contract.


To Summarize3:

A: initially receives 1 contract, which is 1/25 of desired (fill ratio = 0.04)

B: initially receives 0 contracts, which is 0/15 of desired (fill ratio = 0.00)

C: initially receives 0 contracts, which is 0/10 of desired (fill ratio = 0.00)


Next, the system will perform a random allocation amongst the remaining accounts (in this case accounts B & C, each with an equal probability) to determine who will receive the next share/contract.


The system randomly chose account B for allocation of the second share/contract.

A: 1 contract, which is 1/25 of desired (fill ratio = 0.04)

B: 1 contract, which is 1/15 of desired (fill ratio = 0.067)

C: 0 contracts, which is 0/10 of desired (fill ratio = 0.00)


The system then allocates the final [3] share/contract to an account(s) with the smallest ratio (i.e. Account C which currently has a ratio of 0.00).

A: final allocation of 1 contract, which is 1/25 of desired (fill ratio = 0.04)

B: final allocation of 1 contract, which is 1/15 of desired (fill ratio = 0.067)

C: final allocation of 1 contract, which is 1/10 of desired (fill ratio = 0.10)


The execution(s) received have now been allocated in full.


Available allocation Flags

Besides the allocation methods above, user can choose the following flags, which also influence the allocation:

·         Strict per-account allocation.
For the initially submitted order if one or more subaccounts are rejected by the credit checking, we reject the whole order.

·         “Close positions first”1.This is the default handling mode for all orders which close a position (whether or not they are also opening position on the other side or not). The calculation are slightly different and ensure that we do not start opening position for one account if another account still has a position to close, except in few more complex cases.

Other factor affects allocations:

1)      Mutual Fund: the allocation has two steps. The first execution report is received before market open. We allocate based onMonetaryValue for buy order and MonetaryValueShares for sell order. Later, when second execution report which has the NetAssetValue comes, we do the final allocation based on first allocation report.

2)      Allocate in Lot Size: if a user chooses (thru account config) to prefer whole-lot allocations for stocks, the calculations are more complex and will be described in the next version of this document.

3)      Combo allocation1: we allocate combo trades as a unit, resulting in slightly different calculations.

4)      Long/short split1: applied to orders for stocks, warrants or structured products. When allocating long sell orders, we only allocate to accounts which have long position: resulting in calculations being more complex.

5)      For non-guaranteed smart combo: we do allocation by each leg instead of combo.

6)      In case of trade bust or correction1: the allocations are adjusted using more complex logic.

7)      Account exclusion1: Some subaccounts could be excluded from allocation for the following reasons, no trading permission, employee restriction, broker restriction, RejectIfOpening, prop account restrictions, dynamic size violation, MoneyMarketRules restriction for mutual fund. We do not allocate to excluded accountsand we cancel the order after other accounts are filled. In case of partial restriction (e.g. account is permitted to close but not to open, or account has enough excess liquidity only for a portion of the desired position).




1.        Details of these calculations will be included in the next revision of this document.

2.        To continue observing margin in each account on a real-time basis, IB allocates each trade immediately (behind the scenes) however from the CTA and/or FA (or client’s) point of view, the final distribution of the execution at an average price typically occurs when the trade is executed in full, is canceled or at the end of day (whichever happens first).

3.       If no account has a ratio greater than 1.0 or multiple accounts are tied in the final step (i.e. ratio = 0.00), the first step is skipped and allocation of the first share/contract is decided via step two (i.e. random allocation).


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.
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