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Interactive Brokers not allowing futures trading in IRAs

  #7 (permalink)

Houston, Texas USA
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader, MultiCharts, TradeStation, NeuroShell, AmiBroker
Broker/Data: Interactive Brokers, TradeStation, DTN/IQ
Favorite Futures: TF, EMD, NQ, CL
harvester's Avatar
Posts: 30 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 12 given, 88 received

I was also affected

I was glad to see a thread on this topic started here on (formerly BMT)!

I have two accounts with IB - regular and IRA. I auto trade futures from MultiCharts most every trading day, and noticed all my IRA trades were getting permission denied this morning. I called IB and get almost a canned response: "Management has decided to stop allowing futures positions on IRA accounts held with IB as of midnight eastern, March 6th. We have no further information, and apologize for any inconvenience. You're welcome to continue trading equities and other cash based products"

I've now called IB twice trying to get some answers, and their customer service people are getting bombarded with angry clients wanting an explanation. The biggest issue is this came without warning, and without any notice. To be clear, IB still allows IRA accounts where your money is still safe (in theory), but you can only trade equities (long only), call options, and covered calls. Basically anything with cash positions. I told the IB CS rep, that massive moves of money out of IB were probably on the way. He chuckled a bit, and didn't disagree with me...

From there I called a couple other IRA custodians for futures trading accounts - most notably Midland IRA who acts as an IRA custodian for NinjaTrader Brokerage, Optimus, and others. I should first mention that Midland is getting quite a few calls from people trying to find out how to get moved out of IB. They are saying this is just an Interactive Brokers thing, as there are no changes in government rules or directives, etc . Sheer speculation on Midland's part is that IB has somehow fallen out of compliance on how they execute futures trades, and the rules regarding IRAs. They seem to think that IB was given an ultimatum, and had no choice but to suspend all futures and futures option trading. The tell-tale sign is the abrupt fashion this new policy was implemented.


Last edited by harvester; March 6th, 2015 at 04:03 PM. Reason: typo
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