While looking for Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares (VFIAX) on IBKR I landed at:

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And the Enable Trading at the bottom caught my attention. Do we negotiate this in a different way than i.e. VOO ETF?


ETFs are traded on the exchanges; you could offer to sell your shares in the EFT VOO and someone else can agree to buy them. When the transaction completes, the buyer will own the VOO shares that you sold, and you will have cash in your brokerage account that you can withdraw to spend, or to buy other ETFs, etc.

In contrast, in general, one cannot trade mutual funds such as VFIAX on exchanges; if you need the money, you must redeem the mutual fund shares from VFIAX and they will send you the cash, or, if you do the redeeming on the Vanguard site instead of the IBKR site that you are enamored of, you can tell Vanguard to redeem your shares in VFIAX and buy shares in VGHAX (say) instead. Perhaps IBKR allows you to do this on their site too, but I know very little about what IBKR allows and whether your contract with them allows for this or not. There are different levels of brokerage accounts.....

That being said, Click Enable Trading if you want to redeem and buy VFIAX on a regular basis. If you are a buy-and-hold type, then don't Click Enable.

  • "... IBKR site that you are enamored of ..." Am I paying too much attention to IBKR? What are their downsides?
    – ebepem
    Sep 27 at 0:04
  • 5
    @ebepem That remark is probably in reference to the long string of platform- and fund-specific questions that you have asked on this site so far. I strongly suggest that you finish your basic investment education before paying so much attention to specific trading platforms and investment products.
    – Flux
    Sep 27 at 0:16

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