Author Topic: Has anyone else had it with IB?  (Read 9442 times)


  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
    • Hayden Capital
Re: Has anyone else had it with IB?
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2017, 08:18:19 AM »
For larger accounts there is a prime desk - they answer two rings every time - I mean every time - if you can get off the 800 number and on the prime desk - it is a different experience.  No idea what the limits are etc.

This is different than their proserve number?  How'd you get the number?
A Concentrated Value Approach to Public Markets Investments |

Travis Wiedower

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 451
Re: Has anyone else had it with IB?
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2017, 09:16:50 AM »
Have you guys tried the live chat? That's my default when I need customer service and I believe I've only had to wait more than a few minutes once. I've never once called them and the only time I've spoken to customer service on the phone they called me.
My investing blog: Egregiously Cheap


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Has anyone else had it with IB?
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2017, 02:11:57 AM »

4. The low margin ability of many stocks is a bit annoying. Also weird that OTC equivalents of stocks are non-marginable. For example I probably should not have bought ATUSF but bough ALS.TO directly instead (30% margin req for Toronto versus 100% for the OTC).

You can ask IB to convert the foreign ordinary (ATUSF) to the Canadian ticker. They will charge you $10 I think.

Thanks for suggesting it. I remember contacting them at the time to confirm it was the same stock (same cusip) and they confirmed. I thought they told me it's convertible but at a fee way above $10 (like at least $100). But I can easily have recalled that wrong so I'll contact them and ask again. Thanks!

So, I contacted IB and they could indeed arrange this for a $10 fee. Thanks for the tip! This is hwere the story stops being successful though:

When requesting the conversion I told them I did it so my position would be eligible for margin and pointed them to this link showing Altius has a margin requirement of 33%. After the conversion my margin didn't increase so I asked about it and apparently Altius' market cap is too low (needs to be above 500M USD).

I don't know why the other link specifies a margin requirement of 33%. Asking them about it now.
"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master"



  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Has anyone else had it with IB?
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2017, 06:35:13 AM »
They are cheap but it seems you get what you pay for.  This conversion process is ridiculously over-complicated and will end up costing me thousands in extra taxes if it doesn't get done in time.   Doing this conversion should be a simple process of clicking a few buttons and an e-signature, or maybe mailing in a form.  That's how it was when I did it before at Vanguard.  This is a multi-step process and each step involves days of waiting between steps.   BTW, after my initial post I checked some of the changes the guy recommended.  For one of them there is no box available to check to make the recommended change.  So now I fear that even after jumping through all of these hoops there is still going to be a snag that stops this from getting done.

So I am currently in the market for a new broker.  I'm looking for one with access to foreign markets and pink sheet stocks.  The second criteria is getting tougher to meet these days as a lot of brokers have apparently decided they don't want to be involved in that market.   If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them.

If you are US-based, look into Fidelity. They have about the same foreign markets as IB and I've never had any issue with pink sheets or otc stocks.

Just tried to buy a pink sheet stock that went dark at Fidelity and was told that I couldn't.  Not sure if it is a name by name thing or all companies that went dark.