Interactive Brokers made the news this week as it released its trading metrics for the month of November. While not a perfect proxy for the rest of the investment market, Interactive Brokers’ transaction volumes, known as Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) help to provide an indirect measure of the ‘health’ of the stock market participants including discount brokerages. November’s data from Interactive Brokers show a substantial month over month increase (14%)in DARTs from October to November. Even more interesting is the rise in trading volumes since the lows in August. DARTs are now up over 23% from the August lows signaling an increased level of participation in the financial markets. DARTs cover several types of trading including futures contracts, options contracts and trading in shares. Another metric that seems to validate that observation is the increasing number of new account openings. As this is the picture for US investors, this data could be a signal that investors are jumping into the market ahead of the fiscal cliff or are they tactically preparing themselves to be able to respond. A recent report by Investor Economics has mentioned that Canadian investors have sat on the sidelines for quite some time presenting some challenges to the Canadian discount brokerage industry for commission revenues.
A Canadian discount broker that we do not hear about very much, CIBC Investor’s Edge, is getting a makeover. The new interface is appears to be an improvement from its prior layout, with some clearer and more intuitive sections. For a peek at the site and its new features, click here.
As we round out the year, webinars and seminars are giving way to Christmas/holiday cheer and holiday parties. The next event of interest is the seminar, hosted by Disnat and presented by iShares on using ETFs in an equity portfolio on December 19th. For more details, click here.
Best Discount Brokerage Tweet of the Week
It was slim pickings from the discount brokerages this past week in tweets. One interesting tweet that linked to a great moneyville article on ETFs came from Scotia iTrade. To read the tweet and article, click here.
The People Have Spoken
This week, a discussion focused on the two discount brokerages that offer very low commission charges on trading, Interactive Brokers and Virtual Brokers. Read what users had to say in the RedFlagDeals investment forum about Interactive Brokers vs Virtual Brokers.