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MetaTrader (MT) and InteractiveBrokers (IBKR)

MetaTrader (MT) and InteractiveBrokers (IBKR)

Many traders would like to use MetaTrader with an IBKR account. Simply log into MetaTrader,
as in the TWS, having IBKR market data in the charts, as well as see IBKR orders, position and account data.

But unfortunately this is not possible. The MetaTrader concept is closed. It is not meant to be used with other Brokers
than MT Brokers or to feed the charts with external data. There is no data- and Broker API in MetaTrader.

The reason is in the business model of MetaTrader:  MetaTrader broker make money with an artificial spread. This requires
control over the data, so there can be no data interface.

The deal is: You get a free, very powerful software (with a large community) and on top of that free
Market data. To do this, you only trade with a MetaTrader Broker. They charge you via an artificial
Spread. This is also an attractive concept for small order sizes.

Due to the variable spread model, the costs scale with the order size. This is one of the reasons why many traders wish to use
the popular MetaTrader with another broker, such as InteractiveBrokers..


As said, you cannot feed the MT charts with IBKR data and you cannot execute your IBKR orders, have executions-, position- and account
information in the terminal.

However, there is a way to use MetaTrader to trade an InteractiveBrokers account and it is quite convenient. Because it is possible to follow everything that happens in the MT
If, for example, an order is placed manually or by an expert, this event can be detected in the integrated script environment (keyword: .MQL).

This is where the software comes in and has basically 2 solutions to connect the MT with an IBKR account.
For both solutions an existing MetaTrader account is required. This can be a live account, but also a demo account.

Requirement:  MetaTrade Broker Account

MetaQuotes offers a free MetaTrader 5 demo account, with free Forex data and some futures.

There are also brokers who offer a demo account for longer periods of time, e.g. CMC Markets

and others. The Google God will certainly help.

Many customers already have an MT Live account and then apply for an endless demo account.

So far so good. But how is the connection to the IBKR account ?



There are now 2 solutions:
1. The MTIB Copier:

MetaTrader – InteractiveBrokers Order Kopierer

This software copies orders placed in MetaTrader for MT account to the TWS or Gateway.
This is done automatically, without any programming. The software is particularly suitable for commercial
experts whose source code cannot be accessed. If you don’t know what is meant, no big deal.

Even those who act manually can use the copier productively. You can place your orders from the chart as usual
and they are copied for the IBKR account.

The software must be set up once and must always be running when you want to copy orders.

2. The IBPlugin

TradeStation and Interactive Brokers

(Do not be confused by ‘TradeStation’. The IBPlugin can also be used in MetaTrader. The installation includes a MetaTrader example and documentation)

This is a plugin that you load into MetaTrader. It is intended for programmers. The plugin enables .MQL code to directly trade an IBKR account.
Unlike the copier, there is no need to place orders for the MT account. For example, with a Moving Average Crossover, the function:

           long ticket=ibgORDER_SEND(…)

function to send an order for the corresponding account. In the backtest mode, you could use the MetaTrader function

          long ticket=OrderSend(…)

instead of calling and thus have the opportunity to test the expert first.

This way you can make the very powerful MetaTrader available for an IBKR account.

For both solutions applies:
– It is possible to scale up / down the order sizes on IBKR side. This is how you can execute smaller indices on your MetaTrader account
and larger ones in the IBKR account.

– You can connect any MetaTrader symbol to any IBKR contract, whether it makes sense or not. (For example, you could link an MT CFD contract
to one IBKR share).

Any of the above solutions can be tested. For the copier we also offer a free setup help via TeamViewer.
Usually a matter of minutes.

For the plugin, simple examples are also installed. There is also a documentation.

+ You can use MetaTrader for an IBKR account at all
+ lower costs with IBKR
+ You save costs for a data feed, because with MetaTrader
+ All the benefits of an IBKR account (e.g. no dealing desk)

– no native connection to MetaTrader
– no IBKR data in MetaTrader charts
– An additional delay for the copier, because orders must be accepted by MetaTrader Broker before they can be copied: ~ 70 ms.