tastyworks

Tastyworks vs Interactive Brokers


2021: IBKR versus Tastyworks: compare brokerage fees, options/futures accounts, & stock trading platforms. Which company is better?



Overview of tastyworks and Interactive Brokers


If you’re looking for a brokerage firm that offers day-trading services, futures trading, and advanced software, then you really have to check out tastyworks and Interactive Brokers. Both of them offer these and more. Here’s the scoop:


Cost


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Commission
Mutual Fund
Commission
Options
Commission
Maintenance
Fee
Annual IRA
Fee
IB $0 $14.95 $0.70 per contract $0 $30
Tastyworks $0 na $0.50 per contract $0 $0


Services


Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
IB
Tastyworks


Promotions


tastyworks: $0 commissions on stocks/ETFs + $75 for each friend referred.

Interactive Brokers: Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!



Available Assets


tastyworks clients can buy and sell these investment vehicles:

  • Options
  • Stocks
  • Futures
  • Options on futures
  • ETFs and closed-end funds
  • Crypto-currencies

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) offers the same selection and adds:

  • Mutual funds
  • Precious metals
  • Currencies
  • Structured products
  • Contracts for difference
  • Warrants
  • Fixed income

Besides its larger list of tradable products, Interactive Brokers also offers a very tempting foreign security offering that provides direct trading on global exchanges.

Winner: Interactive Brokers


Websites


tastyworks’ website has a login that when accessed provides simple account management tools. There’s not much else to it, but a TRADING PLATFORM link in the top-left of the menu produces a browser platform in a new tab. It requires another login, which we view as a slight weakness. Here are a handful of highlights:

  • Trade ticket with curve and table modes
  • Free access to tastytrade, the company’s educational arm
  • Trade journal with notes and tags
  • Alerts
  • Simple charting

Interactive Brokers has a more thorough website, with more learning materials and trading tools. What we like most is the client portal, a web-based trading platform that delivers a lot of great features (minus charting, which is atrocious). The highlights are:

  • Trading ticket with several order types
  • Watchlist
  • Option chains with direct-access routing
  • iBot, the broker’s AI
  • Very thorough stock research

Besides the client portal, IB also has Web Trader (restricted to IBKR Pro clients only). This browser-based program offers trading in a variety of investment vehicles, such as futures and bonds.

Winner: Interactive Brokers


Desktop Platforms


Although charting is pretty terrible on both the client portal and Web Trader, Interactive Brokers hits a home run with its desktop platform Trader Workstation. We found the following graphing strengths:


IB vs Tastyworks


  • Full-screen mode
  • Over 100 technical studies
  • Over 30 years of price data
  • Right-click trading

TWS also offers many other widgets that will come in handy for a variety of trading purposes. These include:

  • Multiple option trading tools
  • Direct access to foreign exchanges
  • Time & sales data
  • Economic calendar
  • Alerts
  • Bloomberg TV (limited to 15 minutes per day)

Logging into any of IB’s platforms requires an SMS code, which we found to be somewhat of a nuisance.

Over at tasty, we found another desktop platform; although this one doesn’t quite pack the same punch as TWS. The software has very few tools compared to its rival here. There are alerts and multiple watchlists, and tastytrade makes another appearance. Charts don’t quite make it to the edges of a monitor, although we did find lots of technical studies.


tasty works vs IB


Winner: Interactive Brokers


Mobile Apps


Mobile traders will find much to like at Interactive Brokers. The firm’s mobile platform has a demo mode, which is a great way to practice the software without putting real money on the line. Other highlights include:


IBKR Lite vs Tastyworks


- Excellent charting program with horizontal mode and many tools
- 2 trade tickets with many advanced features

tastyworks has its own app that tries to keep up with IB’s software. There is no demo mode, which is an obvious disadvantage. We did like:


tastyworks or IBKR


- Multiple watchlists
- Trade ticket with several order types and duration choices
- tastytrade materials

Winner: Interactive Brokers


Options and Futures Trading


As already mentioned, both broker-dealers in this survey provide trading in options and futures (including options on futures). Although tastyworks’ software has the more appealing interface, Interactive Brokers is where you’ll find the lion’s share of option tools. These include:

  • Profit-loss diagrams
  • Volatility lab
  • Volatility skew
  • Probability lab

For futures trading, both brokers have watchlists and educational videos.

Winner: Interactive Brokers


Day and Swing Trading


Shorting. Interactive Brokers has a short locate tool via a web page. tasty has no such tool.

Extended Hours. Both firms have extended-hours sessions. IB offers more hours.

Level II Quotes. tastyworks doesn’t have Level II data, but Interactive Brokers does.

Direct-Access Routing. Missing on both tasty platforms is direct access to market venues. You’ll find them on Trader Workstation and Web Trader, though.

Routing Fees and Rebates. With directly-routed orders, you can get fees and rebates at Interactive Brokers. tasty doesn’t offer this.

Margin. While both firms do offer margin accounts, Interactive Brokers consistently has lower rates.

Winner: Interactive Brokers


Other Services


Dividend Reinvestment Program: If you want to translate cash dividends into fractional shares of stocks, you can do it at either broker in this assessment.

IRAs: Both brokers have Individual Retirement Accounts.

Automatic Mutual Fund Investing: Not available at either firm.

Fractional shares: Only IB currently offers whole-dollar investing.

Winner: Interactive Brokers overall


Lastly, Our Recommendations


Beginners: We pick IB for its very extensive learning materials.

Long-Term Investors and Retirement Savers: We pick Interactive Brokers again, this time for its mutual funds.

Stock/ETF Trading: Interactive Brokers hands down has the best software for equity trading.

Small Accounts: tasty or IBKR Lite.


Promotions


tastyworks: $0 commissions on stocks/ETFs + $75 for each friend referred.

Interactive Brokers: Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!



Interactive Brokers vs tastyworks Verdict


tasty has a unique style of broking that provides something different for those who want it. Thos who want to see what exactly professional traders are currently trading, will also find tastyworks very valuable. Serious traders who need the industry’s best software and advanced services should stick with Interactive Brokers.