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Interactive Brokers vs. Ninjatrader – A Detailed Comparison

Discover our detailed comparison of Interactive Brokers and Ninjatrader to help determine which is best for you. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or just starting out, choosing the right platform can significantly impact your trading experience. 

To make your research easier, we manually found key data for Interactive Brokers and Ninjatrader across the internet and compiled it all in this article. 

Overview of Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a well-established brokerage firm founded in 1978, known for providing advanced trading and investing services to a diverse clientele, including individual investors, institutions, and professional traders. IBKR offers competitive pricing for options and futures, but lacks when it comes to charting and ease of use.

Overview of Ninjatrader

NinjaTrader is a futures trading platform known for its advanced charting, trade simulation, and market analysis tools, targeting active traders who require detailed technical analysis capabilities and automated trading strategies. NinjaTrader has extremely competitive commissions for futures contracts, but doesn’t support many other assets. There is also a minimum account activity fee, so you must trade at least once per month to avoid this $25 fee.

Key Characteristics of Interactive Brokers and Ninjatrader

FeatureInteractive BrokersNinjatrader
Platform TypeBrokerage PlatformFutures Brokerage Platform
Tradeable AssetsStocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Options, Futures, Futures Options, Crypto, BondsFutures, Futures Options, Forex
Charting FeaturesDownloadable desktop platforms, web platform, mobile appFree charting platform + premium charting option including volume profile and footprint
DataMust buy real-time dataReal-time data with funded account
Premium PricingNo premium features$99 per month or $1,499 lifetime for reduced commissions

Who is Interactive Brokers Best For?

Interactive Brokers is best for advanced traders who prefer to automate their trading strategies. IBKR is far from beginner-friendly, as the platforms are advanced and require some technical knowledge to utilize effectively. If you are looking for a modern, easy-to-use investing platform, IBKR is not your best option.

Who is Ninjatrader Best For?

NinjaTrader is best for those specifically looking to trade futures. It has much lower futures commissions than the bigger brokers, but it does not directly support equity trading.

Trading Features and Tools

FeatureInteractive BrokersNinjatrader
DRIPYes, but with feesNo equity
Margin TradingYesYes
InsuranceSIPC InsuredNot insured
Mobile AppYesYes

Trading Costs and Commissions Compared

Fee TypeInteractive BrokersNinjatrader
Equity CommissionFreeNo equity
Option Commission$0.65 per contractNo equity options
Futures Commission$0.85 per contract, $0.25 micro$1.29 per contract, $0.35 micro
Futures Options Commission$0.85 per contract, $0.25 microNot specified, likely the same as regular futures
Option Exercise FeeNoneNone

Interactive Brokers vs Ninjatrader – Bottom Line

Choosing between Interactive Brokers and Ninjatrader depends on your specific trading needs, preferred trading tools, and the type of assets you’re interested in. 

Both platforms offer distinct advantages, but by considering the detailed comparison above, you can select the one that aligns best with your trading strategy and goals.

For more detailed reviews and comparisons, continue exploring our other articles on brokerage platform comparisons.

What is the Overall Best Charting Software?

I have reviewed and used nearly every trading platform available, and I believe that TradingView is the best overall charting software available. Here are some reasons why:

  • All of TradingView’s key features are free to use
  • TradingView provides real-time data for free whenever possible
  • You are not tied to a single broker and can use whichever you want while charting on TradingView
  • You can track all markets on a single platform, including stocks, ETFs, crypto, forex, and futures.
  • TradingView has an excellent economic calendar and various screeners

If you sign up for a TradingView account using my affiliate link, you can get a 30-day free trial of its premium features plus a $15 credit toward your subscription. However, signing up for a free trial is not required, and you can use nearly all of its features with a basic free account. You can read my full review of TradingView to learn more. 

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