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Converting Currency

Lesson 2 of 8
Duration 2:19
Level Beginner
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The Interactive Brokers’ (IBKR) GlobalTrader app allows the investor to deposit in over 20 different currencies and convert to the currency needed for the market where they want to invest.

Study Notes:

The Interactive Brokers’ GlobalTrader app allows the investor to fund their account using one of more than 20 different currencies and convert to the currency needed for the market where they want to invest.

How to Convert Currency in GlobalTrader?

To convert currency using the GlobalTrader app, the investor can tap on the Convert icon on the Home screen. From there, a list of currencies available will populate the screen. The investor can scroll through the screen and tap on the currency they would like. For this example, while the account is funded using US Dollars (USD), the investor chooses the Swedish Krona or SEK.

Next, the investor is prompted to choose which currency to convert from. Notice in this example that the investor can choose to convert from United States Dollars to Swedish Krona.

Not all currency pairs are supported. For instance, the Canadian Dollars the investor owns could not be converted directly. Canadian Dollars would first need to be converted to US Dollars (USD) and subsequently converted to Swedish Krona.

A list of supported pairs can be found by tapping on the blue Show supported pairs line and then tapping on the blue “IDEAL PRO” wording.

In this scenario, the investor chooses to convert some of their United States Dollars to Swedish Krona by tapping on the USD icon. The investor now chooses the value in USD that they want to convert from or the value of SEK they want to convert to. After inputting the desired value, they tap on the Preview button at the bottom of the screen and after reviewing the information tap on Convert. The investor is notified that the conversion is initiated and can choose to convert more or tap on Done.

The currency position will now be shown in the Portfolio page and can be used to purchase supported instruments in that region.


IBKR GlobalTrader

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If you have a general question, it may already be covered in our FAQs. If you have an account-specific question or concern, please reach out to Client Services.

4 thoughts on “Converting Currency”

  • Vassos

    Hi all, I am trying to convert USD to CAD and when I press submit, instead of the conversion taking place I receive an error message saying “FX conversion is allowed to base currency only”. Please advise how to resolve the problem and be eligible to carry out currency conversions from USD to other currencies.

    Also please advise where I can see the currency in which international stocks are quoted (as only the price is shown on the ticker and not the currency (so for ticker CSU:CA for example I see the price of 3300 but I do not know if it is in CAD or USD or EUR).

    Looking forward to your response.

    • Interactive Brokers

      Thank you again for contacting IBKR. To address your concern/inquiry, we need a few more details about the situation and your account; unfortunately, this is not a secure channel to share this information. We kindly ask that you contact our Client Services team for further assistance via web ticket, chat, or phone call using the link. We appreciate your understanding.

  • Investor

    My base currency is CHF. What happens if I buy shares in USD? Are CHF automatically exchanged in USD? If not, do I pay interest on the (negative) USD amount?

    • Interactive Brokers

      Hello, thank you for reaching out. Cash accounts are not allowed to trade Forex on a leveraged basis but are allowed to convert one currency to another. As a Forex transaction represents the simultaneous purchase of one currency vs. the sale of another, that sale will result in a short (i.e., borrow) position unless it serves to close or convert an existing long position. Accordingly, Forex orders which would result in a short balance in any given currency, if executed, will not be accepted in a cash account.

      You can easily convert one currency to another using the currency conversion tool in IBKR Mobile or Client Portal. Learn more about the process in this FAQ:

      Accrued interest is posted to your IBKR account once per month, generally in the first week of the month after accrual. The interest amount is based on your daily settled cash balance for each currency held. If the daily accrued interest amount is less than the minimum threshold (e.g. $1 for USD), it will accumulate until the total accrued amount exceeds the threshold and can be posted. Please view this FAQ for more details:

      We hope this helps!

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Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

The analysis in this material is provided for information only and is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad-based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation by IBKR to buy, sell or hold such investments. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interactive Brokers, its affiliates, or its employees.

Disclosure: Forex

There is a substantial risk of loss in foreign exchange trading. The settlement date of foreign exchange trades can vary due to time zone differences and bank holidays. When trading across foreign exchange markets, this may necessitate borrowing funds to settle foreign exchange trades. The interest rate on borrowed funds must be considered when computing the cost of trades across multiple markets.

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