A time ago I opened a brokerage account with Lynx Broker, which turns out is affiliated with Interactive Brokers.

As I opened my account from Europe, by default my base currency was set to EUR, which in fact is nice and neat, as SEPA transfers from my bank to brokerage account happens almost instantly (in the same day).

Now, as I started to acquire US stocks, I noticed I have a negative balance in USD currency (while still positive in EUR). I started to explore and found the following link: Converting Currency Balances

Account holders may find themselves holding balances in currencies other than their designated Base Currency as a result of trades in products denominated in a different currency or from profits/losses directly associated with Forex trading. In these cases, IB does not act to automatically convert balances back to the Base Currency as this action would require assumptions as to the account holder's desired currency exposure as well as the trade price at which they would be willing to close the position.

Now here is how to get fixed it:

  • Select the Account icon from the TWS header.
  • From the Account window, scroll down to the section titled "Market Value - Real FX Balance", place your cursor on a currency you wish to convert and right-click on the mouse to display the Close Currency menu option. You will be provided with two options, Close Currency Balance which will close the single currency you've selected and Close All Non-base Currency Balances which will close all.

Close currency balance

Close currency balance

Next, an order line for the conversion trade will be populated on the TWS. The order will be set up with default conditions of a market order (“MKT”), good for that day and for the current position quantity. Select "T" to generate the Order Confirmation window using the default conditions or set the price and time conditions as desired.

Order Confirmation & Commission

Order Confirmation & Commission

I'm always paying a commission of 3.45 EUR on Lynx Broker for each such currency converting