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Get the SmartRouting Advantage - Delivering Best Price Execution for Eight Straight Years*


What does the SmartRouting Advantage mean to me?

SmartRouting searches for the best firm stock, option, and combination prices available at the time of your order and seeks to immediately execute your order electronically for best execution.

Execution Price Comparison*

Place Trade®


PT Advantage

US Stocks  

(per 100 shares)

$0.58 $0.44 $0.14

US Options

(per contract)

$0.80 $0.63 $0.17

European Stocks 3

(per 100 shares)

€0.29 €-1.10 €1.39

The Smartest Traders know the difference between being told that they are getting lightning fast executions and actually getting the best execution. Verified!

Using IB SmartRoutingSM technology we;

    • search for the best firm stock, option, and combination prices available at the time of your order, 

    • seek to immediately execute your order electronically and

    • we have independent third party verification to back up the stats - No fluff, just the facts!  

*The statistics speak for themselves. Based on independent measurements, the Transaction Auditing Group, Inc., (TAG), a third-party provider of transaction analysis, has determined that our clearing firm's US stock and options price executions and European stock2 price executions continued to be significantly better than the industry3 during the first half of 2014.

 Best Execution through Smart Routing Technology - Overview

Place Trade Financial clients receive the benefit of best execution via our clearing firm.  Read more about the technology that saves you money above and beyond our deep discount commission and ultra low margin rates.

The smartest traders use IB SmartRoutingSM. IB SmartRouting searches for the best firm stock, option, and combination prices available at the time of your order, and seeks to immediately execute your order electronically.

Our statistics speak for themselves. Based on independent measurements, the Transaction Auditing Group, Inc., (TAG), a third-party provider of transaction analysis, has determined that Interactive Brokers US stock and options and European stock[2] price executions were significantly better than the industry[3]during the first half of 2014.


What other brokers conveniently leave out:

Our results are even more impressive when you consider that other industry-touted statistics don’t give you the whole picture.

Consider this:

Most other industry-touted statistics don’t always give you the whole picture - by a long shot!  

They only note the percent of orders that saw price-improvement, and 
they conveniently ignore the percent of their orders that were: 

    • dis-improved, or 
    • had no improvement at all!


     Some companies even seem to imply that you are getting the best executions because they claim to have über-fast executions!  


Don't fall for the hype - if they could prove it they would have the stats verified by a reputable independent third party and they would be showing you instead of trying to convince you of the truth.





In contrast:

Our statistics are netted, showing the true bottom-line price improvement including ALL: 

  • improved, 
  • dis-improved and 
  • unimproved amounts.


  • Unlike other smart routers, our SmartRouting never relinquishes the control of your order (which means that it never routes and forgets about your order). It continuously evaluates fast changing market conditions and dynamically re-routes all or parts of your order seeking to achieve optimal execution and maximize your rebate. 

  • Our SmartRouting represents each leg of a spread order independently and enters each leg at the best possible venue. 

  • Our SmartRouting AutorecoverySM re-routes your US options order in the case of an exchange malfunction, where we are undertaking the risk of double executions. 
  • To help provide price improvement on large volume and block orders and take advantage of hidden institutional order flows that may not be available at exchanges, we include eight dark pools in ourSmartRouting logic.

Our smart router takes into account transaction costs along with the fee or rebate for taking/adding liquidity when determining where to route your marketable order when the inside market is shared by multiple exchanges.

For customers who want even more control of their orders, TWS customers can specify stock and options smart routing strategies for non-marketable orders.

For stocks, customers with the Cost Plus pricing structure can elect to have their non-marketable orders routed to:

    • The exchange with the highest rebate
    • The listing exchange on the symbol
    • The highest volume exchange that has a rebate for adding liquidity
    • The highest volume exchange that charges the lowest fee for taking liquidity

For options, customers can choose to send their non-marketable Smart routed orders to the exchange offering the highest 
rebate. These routing directives can be set on a per-order basis from the Misc tab of the Order Ticket, or as a global 
default setting from the Smart Routing configuration page.

To modify your pricing structure: 

Log into Account Management and from the Account Administration section select Pricing Structure or call us at 1.919.719.7200.


Please Note:

*Our executions (via our clearing firm IB) have outperformed the industry as a whole for Eight Straight Years - from 2007 through 2014 based on independent measurements by the Transaction Auditing Group, Inc., (TAG), a third-party provider of transaction analysis. 

Price Improvement for each period is as follows:
  Equities cents 
per 100 shares
Options cents 
per contract
2nd half 2007 35 57
1st half 2008 47 53
2nd half 2008 42 60
1st half 2009 53 22
2nd half 2009 42 60
1st half 2010 28 53
2nd half 2010 30 21
1st half 2011 38 20
2nd half 2011 30 21
1st half 2012 33 19
2nd half 2012 41 24
1st half 2013 20 21
2nd half 2013 23 20
1st half 2014 14 17
  1. The TAG analysis for US stocks included all market orders of 100 shares or more up to 10,000 shares. The analysis for US options included all market order sizes in US options and includes exchange rebates received by customers under our cost-plus pricing structure. The TAG analysis of orders routed to exchanges in Europe included all orders routed for execution during regular trading hours including all market and marketable limit orders and orders near the market (orders having a limit price within one-tenth of a Euro from the quote price at time of order receipt) on stocks listed on the included exchanges, weighted by the volume executed on each exchange. The exchanges for European stocks are XETRA, EURONEXT, CHI-X, WIENER BORSE, TURQUOISE, LONDON and NASDAQ OMX.
  2. Source: The Transaction Auditing Group (TAG). Industry as a whole for the referenced periods according to TAG. 

    About TAG
    Since 1996, TAG has been the leader in independent Best Execution analysis throughout the US and now, Europe. Its products offer comprehensive assessment of execution quality for equities and options, utilizing massive real time market data and archival capabilities with proprietary measurement tools to create standardized and custom reports. TAG provides business intelligence to gain market share, differentiate from competitors, and validate performance. 

    For more information visit The Transaction Auditing Group, Inc. (TAG), an independent company, is not affiliated with Interactive Brokers. The statistics provided by TAG are from sources believed to be reliable, but TAG makes no representation as to the completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. Information produced by TAG is copyrighted and any unauthorized use, duplication, redistribution or disclosure is prohibited.

  1. Net $ Improvement per Share Definition

    ((# of Price Improved Shares * Price Improvement Amount) - (# of Price Disimproved Shares * Price Disimprovement Amount))
    Total Number of Executed Shares

The routing flowchart tabs are intended to provide a general description of how orders are processed by IB Smart Routing systems, and do not encompass all of the routing logic employed by those systems. This information is subject to change. Please see our Order Routing Disclosure and Order Routing Disclosure for Canadian Stocks, and the related disclaimer for additional information.

  • In addition to SmartRouting, we also offer direct routing to your choice of exchanges around the world. See our Exchanges page for more details.

  • Our clearing firm (Interactive Brokers LLC) is a member of NYSE/FINRA/SIPC. Supporting documentation for any claims and statistical information will be provided upon request.  (Place Trade financial, Inc. is a member of FINRA/SIPC.)

  • The analysis for stocks included all market orders of 100 shares or more up to 10,000 shares.

  • For instructions on how to exclude specific exchanges from being considered in the order routing flow, see the TWS Users' Guide.

  • For a list of the destinations included in the Smart routing algorithm, hold your mouse over the Information balloon in the Exchange field of a TWS market data line.




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