On interactive brokers I was filling out an application to open a cash account, but I did not see the option to choose options as a product I can trade. Is there a minimum age requirement or is it due to where i reside?

My age is 19 and I live in Guyana, a country in South America.


To qualify as an IB customer, you must meet these requirements:

  • To trade any product, you must have a Good or Extensive Knowledge Level for that product.
  • To trade options, futures or Cash Forex, you must have a minimum of two years trading experience with that product.
  • Your Net Worth cannot be less than your Liquid Net Worth.
  • To qualify for a Portfolio Margin account, your Net worth and Liquid Net Worth must each be greater than 100,000 USD.

The minimum age requirement to open an account is 18 for a cash account (20 in Japan). For a margin account it's 21.

Option trading requires another level of approval and account minimums vary by age. Here's the summary page:


  • Curious, how can net worth ever be less than liquid net worth? – Max Power Mar 9 at 23:50
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    I would assume that a large amount of debt would be the cause that. It's not relevant unless you fill out the application form properly :->) – Bob Baerker Mar 10 at 0:28
  • I also find it odd that they require 2 years experience for futures but offer no way to get that experience. Maybe they just don't want to deal with noobs. Go to another broker for two years then come back? They do offer a way around the experience for options and Forex, taking a class and exam. Maybe they have one for futures and mistakenly didn't list it. – Max Power Mar 10 at 0:42
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    While they don't explicitly say it, I would surmise that they don't want to deal with noobs. While support is quite helpful, they're not a hand holding broker. I don't know current requirements but when I opened my account with them way back when, I had to take a test to get option approval (a noob wouldn't pass it). I passed and they gave me all levels of option approval which I suspect was due to account size and 20 years of experience. That test might be the 'teaching exam' exemption that eliminates the two year requirement. – Bob Baerker Mar 10 at 14:06

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