Interactive Brokers Charts

Updated Saturday, March 27, 2010

 Charts Grade: B


Interactive Brokers has two charting applications. The first is within WebTrader, which is a minimalist trading and market data platform. This is a very simple charting tool that we are not taking into account for our charting grade. The second charting application is within Trader Workstation, a robust java based application. This is a very good trading application, offering an attractive interface with a large selection of customizable features and technical tools. These features are very similar to those found in the thinkorswim charting application, though the thinkorswim charts are just a little bit better in most respects. One downside is that charts are not available without the appropriate market data source, which often comes only after paying a monthly fee (see the commissions and fees page for more information).


Let's start by examining the simple WebTrader charts and then we will cover the advanced Trader Workstation charts.

Like Fidelity and WellsTrade, Interactive Brokers utilizes Big Charts for their WebTrader charts. Since market data for these charts is provided for free by Market Watch, users can view any chart, no matter what market data sources they have signed up for.

Basic 1 year chart for 3M (MMM) (click on images for larger views):

Here is a 5 year chart comparing MMM to the S&P 500 index. Note that you cannot compare charts between individual stocks or more than one index at a time, which is a common charting feature:

Here is a 5 year MMM chart showing quarterly earnings, dividends and 100 day moving average:

That about covers what is offered within the WebTrader charting application. Let's move on to the Trader Workstation charts to see what they have to offer...

Trader Workstation
Interactive Brokers charges a monthly fee for NYSE and AMEX market data, among other data sources. At the time of this writing, I did not sign up for this data so I cannot provide charts for stocks on these exchanges within Trader Workstation. Some exchanges, such as the National Stock Exchange of India, provide free market data, so I selected stocks in these markets for my chart examples. (Update: Interactive Brokers now provides free delayed market data for most exchanges)

Basic 1 year colored bar chart for Satyam (SCS on the National Stock Exchange of India):

Here is a 5 year line chart comparing Satyam (SCS) to WiPro (WPRO) and Infosys (INFO):

3 month colored bar chart of Wipro (WPRO) with bollinger bands, volume showing up/down days by color and MACD, a momentum indicator:

Most of the various chart colors are customizable. Here is a 6 month colored bar chart of Wipro (WPRO) with blinding colors:

There are 22 studies, also known as technical indicators, to choose from. Here is a 6 month chart of Tata Steel (TATA) with stochastics, advance/decline line and parabolic SAR:

Users can also draw on the charts with several tools. Here I marked up a chart with channels created by the line and parallel line tool. I also added notes with the commentary tool to show when the channel was broken to the upside and then later on to the downside:

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Interactive Brokers iPhone App
Interactive Brokers iPad App
Interactive Brokers Android App