The prestigious Barron’s newspaper, specializing in financial and economic information, published the online broker ranking for 2019 (Miller, 2019). The winner was Interactive Brokers (IB), a situation that has occurred in previous years. This assessment is endorsed by other organizations such as Broker Chooser (2020) that classifies IB as the best online broker, best broker for daily operations and best broker for futures.
Technological innovation has been the predominant factor in the Barron´s ranking, but this time it has lost weight compared to other factors such as ease of use. Barron´s began the ranking considering six factors: trading platform, usability, mobility, international offers, pension / dividend products and a combination of research, education and news. The categories considered were expanded, considering operational cost, customer service and security.
One of the disadvantages of IB in Europe with respect to the US is that the company does not provide a debit or credit card to charge expenses directly to the IB account. Consequently, another financial entity is necessary to solve this problem. The N26 bank is a 100% digital German bank that operates exclusively through mobile applications and its online platform.
N26 has very low maintenance and operational costs thanks to the absence of physical offices. The bank is in a good position in numerous rankings. Top10MobileBanks (2020) classifies the financial institution in first position, highlighting the absence of transaction costs in any currency, fast and economical transfer of money and free costs for withdrawing money. MovingToGermany (2020) evaluates four German banks, ranks N26 as the best bank for English speakers and best-bank-in-Germany (2020) considers N26 the third best online bank thanks to its low costs and easy account opening.
IB and N26 are classic constituents of the financial system. Dalio (2015) in his video “How the economic machine works” shows us a simplified and very didactic version of the economic and financial system. Dalio shows us the importance of credit as an economic multiplier factor. The credit facility, through low interest rates, has an expansive economic effect. In addition, high interest rates inhibit loans favoring an economic contraction.
N26 provides credit facilities through consumer loans and the possibility of being discovered in the current account. IB also encourages credit through margins proportional to the values held in the broker account.
IB and N26 are a tandem that provide great financial potential to its users. Its customers enjoy great flexibility, latest technologies, very low operating costs and easy access to their capital at any time.