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On 6/13/2016 at 4:45 AM, pintodave said:

I really need to sit down to see if I can tolerate the IB mobile platform...... That is a pretty sweet commission structure.

I would like some feedback on this...anyone travel a lot for work and have feedback on tradestation vs IB vs whomever?

Even the "good" mobile platforms can be lacking so if IB is that bad, Im not sure I could do it.

 

I have to move to a better broker though

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The way that I deal with being mobile is that I use a Virtual Private Server. This allows me to use the desktop version of IB (which I use for options) and Tradestation (which I use for futures). I've been using speedytradingservers.com as my VPS for over a year and they have been very reliable. You can even select different server locations based on where you are in the world and what exchange you want to be close to.

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I use IB and Tradestation for different purposes. For IB the advantage is that you can trade pretty much any product you want all in one account for a reasonable price. For example I have on some stocks, options, and futures spreads all in the same account. You can't do that with Tradestation; however, Tradestation has backtesting capabilities and built-in automated trading that I prefer for most of my directional futures trading.

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As a wrap up Tradestation is very good for Trading (manually and automated) FUTURES, and probably the best for testing and automatizing strategies with FUTURES (with easylanguage programming language).

Their Options SW platform is not TOS but good enough, miles ahead of IB. IB excells in price and order execution. Tradestation option price is 1$/contract and never had a problem with order exec. No bactesting at all for options.

I use Tradestation for Futures and complex option spreads (i need to graphically see position and porfolio risk) and IB for less visual spreads (.... covereds, ICs).

Their mobile option platform is again better than IB but worse than TOS.

 

You need to be a resonable active trader, otherwise, can be unnaffordable expensive.

 

 

Edited by Javier

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yeah i think it said 50 contracts per month to avoid the $99 fee.  hmmm.

so data is included with tradestation?  it appears from the website that it is.  Is the analytic software good enough that you dont need to pay for something like option net or option vue?

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No, in Tradestation you pay data apart, you pay for all. Same with Portfolio Maestro or Radarscreen. 

 

To be honest, I also use a paper TOS account for Option backtesting. 

 

As you say there are some SW fee waiving mechanisms (no data) ..... 50+ option contracts/month, 1.000.000+ $ equity, 10+ futures contracts/ month .....

 

So that, Tradestation is a must for FUTURES Systems Trading developpers and consumers that "also " trade shares or Options.

 

Their robot trading backtesting and real is more than outstanding with many statystical tools, even Montecarlo walk-forward analysis.

Edited by Javier

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Just a follow-up after placing today's NFLX trade. I traded 50 contracts for a commission of $29.46. This works out to 58.92 cents per contract. No idea what kind of execution other members were getting, but I thought a data point might be helpful. 

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10 minutes ago, alexmcgregor said:

I am with IB and got filled for 40 contracts for 67.66 so $1.69 who is your broker?

We had a discussion on the previous page of this thread. Sorry for not mentioning it again. I trade with Scottrade Pro. I end up using IB's platform, but the commission structure is a bit different. 50 cents per contract with a $5 minimum per order. 

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35 minutes ago, alexmcgregor said:

I am with IB and got filled for 40 contracts for 67.66 so $1.69 who is your broker?

IB commissions vary, but this would be quite high - I'm thinking you meant 40 spreads, which would be 80 contracts that would make the commission about 0.85 per contract???

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I traded 25 spreads, 50 total contracts, for $29.46. This works out to be 59 cents per contract. 

Since commissions are such a huge part of our trades here, I'm just trying to show how even though I have a $5 minimum commission it doesn't really matter at all. I blow through that minimum quite quickly, and get the benefit of the reduced per contract price. 

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For those of you using IB/Scottrade Pro, do you or have you used Option Net Explorer to set up & send your trades to IB? I know ONE offers that ability, just wondering any feedback on how well it actually works VS directly placing the trade in IB platform.

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I only use IB and the interface works great as long as you configure it correctly. Only issued I had was with VIX trades. For some reason it does not transmit. I submitted a support ticket and thought it was fixed but it still doesn't work. VXX trades are fine. I find using ONE much easier than using IB especially for more complex trades.

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Hate to keep beating this horse but I have a few more questions:

- Those that are using Scottrade Pro, do you feel there is any execution difference (if you have a reference to judge by...) vs. using IB directly? I know there shouldn't be but I don't know how any behind the scenes order routing/execution preference goes. @ahrdlicka have you been happy with trade execution?

- Also, in playing around with IB's mobile platform, it seems they've done some enhancements recently and it is now "usable", which is great, that was my biggest hang up with switching from TOS. I see Scottrade Pro uses IB's Handy Trader App, is it the same build/funcionality as the regular IB mobile just with a different name?

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3 hours ago, pintodave said:

Hate to keep beating this horse but I have a few more questions:

- Those that are using Scottrade Pro, do you feel there is any execution difference (if you have a reference to judge by...) vs. using IB directly? I know there shouldn't be but I don't know how any behind the scenes order routing/execution preference goes. @ahrdlicka have you been happy with trade execution?

- Also, in playing around with IB's mobile platform, it seems they've done some enhancements recently and it is now "usable", which is great, that was my biggest hang up with switching from TOS. I see Scottrade Pro uses IB's Handy Trader App, is it the same build/funcionality as the regular IB mobile just with a different name?

There is no difference between IB and Scottrade Pro execution. My Scottrade Pro account uses IB's platform, with orders routed using IB's SMART routing. I also have the option to choose all of the other exchanges for routing. 

I've been very happy with the execution. A specific example that comes to mind is when I was first getting used to the platform, I had a position that was showing as a short spread, with negative prices. I was confused by the negative pricing, so when I went to sell the position I entered the order completely backwards. I wound up placing an order to buy more of the position with a limit price higher than the ask. IB executed the order right away, but the price was actually lower than the ask that was displayed, just a couple of cents from the mid. I was quite impressed with that. 

As for mobile, I've never heard of the Handy Trader App. I have downloaded and used the IB TWS mobile app with my Scottrade Pro account. Everything worked fine. 

So in summary, a Scottrade Pro account is held at IB, and I have all the same execution, routing, and platforms as a regular IB customer. The only 2 differences are the cheaper commission structure, and the fact that i can call up the Active Trader group at Scottrade for customer service and support. 

The 50 cent per contract commission structure is a huge advantage, especially if Kim keeps finding cheap calendar spreads on low price stocks :)

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Awesome, thank you for the extra feedback. I will most likely switch to Scottrade Pro vs directly with IB. Even with a smaller account, the $5 minimum wont be hard to exceed, even on a 1-lot trade as long as it is 4 legs, I'm still coming out slightly ahead to what I am paying now (1.50/contract TOS). Once I start managing a larger account, then the savings will be even that much better.

 

 

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Thanks. I've obviously got to figure out some kind of system like this that works better for me than just waiting for a Kim notification and then entering my order. You also make a good point about TOS vs. IB. I know IB has better rates than TD Ameritrade (though I don't know if the difference is all that great). But from what I've read on this site, the IB UI is pretty sucky. I've thought about switching to IB for actual trades but keeping TOS for analysis. Really, what is the difference in commissions? Does it really make a big difference in the results? I currently pay 0.75 per contract plus 9.99 (don't know why they don't just make it 10.00!) per filled order. I don't know if $5-10 less per trade is going to make a whole lot of difference. Comparing results with people here who use IB, I also seem to get comparable fills most of the time anyway.

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I opened a live TOS account and did not fund it. A sales rep from TOS called me about a week late and I just told him I would fund it and haven't gotten around to it. That was over 1.5 years ago, and I still have a live, realtime data, unfunded account. My potential trades I'm tracking in TOS is the screen I always have up. The prices in IB never show up properly. The IB interface is terrible, but I can enter and exit trades very quickly, but only from doing it so much. Ask me to do anything else in IB, and I'm totally lost.

 

As far as commissions, with a broker with a ticket charge, you cannot go "fishing" like I described above, you have to enter the whole position. Why? Because the ticket charge will kill you. So say I'm "fishing" and I get filled on 95, 100, 105. I have 3, 2 leg positions I opened for $4.20. If you were to open the same position, using the same strategy, it would cost you $34.47. By using a broker with a ticket charge, you are limiting you ability to swiftly enter or exit positions, or to "lighten" a position by dumping 1 or 2 contracts. 

 

I think if you run some numbers, you'll see it's going to be hard to overcome any strategy with that type of commission structure, not that it can't be done, it will just be harder. Hope this helps, good trading.

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1 minute ago, craigsmith said:

Not saying my way is the BEST way, or even a GOOD way, it just makes the most sense to me for this type of trading. I'm sure others are doing other things, and doing just fine. Being able to add or drop a contract here and there, or even to leg into some trades, the commission structure at IB is your best friend, even if the interface is not. 

After the time I spent yesterday dealing with the atrocious UI and customer service and tech support at IB yesterday, I'm inclined to agree. Their platform is horrendously bad both from keeping track of prices to keeping track of P&L but their commission structure is great. My wife did research on the subject yesterday and discovered that there are loads of people who keep track of things through TOS and enter their trades on IB. 

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I would like to hear more feedback on livevol...I looked at the livevolx afetr someone else recommended it and it was 500/month.  I dont trade on scale to make that cost even close to worth it...

I know we have a thread about this on the general board...

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1 hour ago, craigsmith said:

My potential trades I'm tracking in TOS is the screen I always have up.

That is a good idea, I've seen a few people mention this...

Question: in a live funded TOS account, how do you keep all of the trades up and active for multiple days to track? Do you enter a ridiculous order that will never get filled so it always stays as an "open order" (like enter a buy order for a calendar as a credit) or is there another way to keep a trade visible for multiple days and still have live market data with it (without re-entering the trade every morning)?

 

 

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There's a Position Statement section at the botton of the TOS "Activity and Positions" tab that keeps track of all open positions. I don't like the format a lot but it does display the required information including P/L and P/L Day. I also sometimes put in GTC close orders with ridiculous prices just to have the status displayed in easier to read format.

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19 minutes ago, pintodave said:

That is a good idea, I've seen a few people mention this...

Question: in a live funded TOS account, how do you keep all of the trades up and active for multiple days to track? Do you enter a ridiculous order that will never get filled so it always stays as an "open order" (like enter a buy order for a calendar as a credit) or is there another way to keep a trade visible for multiple days and still have live market data with it (without re-entering the trade every morning)?

 

 

I use the "Analyze" tab, Add Simulated Trades. Add the underlying and start adding the trades. It keeps the trades active until I delete them.

Edited by craigsmith

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1 hour ago, RapperT said:

I would like to hear more feedback on livevol...I looked at the livevolx afetr someone else recommended it and it was 500/month.  I dont trade on scale to make that cost even close to worth it...

I know we have a thread about this on the general board...

You can get LiveVolX at no charge through Lightspeed Trading and (I think) Tradier.

I've been using it for a couple weeks.  It's definitely geared towards volatility analysis and folks who trade off of it.  So far, I am finding its P&L reports and graphs to be just about as confusing as the numbers displayed by IB itself--I haven't drilled down yet as to the explanation, but I'm having a hard time replicating the P&L curves I was getting in TOS.

IMO, it's a lot easier to build complex order tickets in LVX than TOS.  But bizarrely, it doesn't seem to me that you can build an order ticket and then analyze expected P&L from that ticket--instead, it appears you have to manually enter simulated positions in the options montage, which is not as straightforward as TOS.

I haven't spent a whole lot of time digging around in LVX, so I may be making newbie mistakes.  But I'm not as happy with it out of the box as I'd hoped I'd be for basic trade management and analysis, and while I expect to make use of the  hardcore vol analytics features eventually, I'm not right now.

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6 minutes ago, TraderJack said:

Thanks. Honestly, from what I've read about it, LVX seems like overkill for the kind of trading I do.

Not to put too fine a point on it but you do realize we're trading volatility here, right? 

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12 minutes ago, austextrading said:

You can get LiveVolX at no charge through Lightspeed Trading and (I think) Tradier.

 

I'll have to go look at it again..maybe it was the software and not the platform I was looking at

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3 minutes ago, RapperT said:

I'll have to go look at it again..maybe it was the software and not the platform I was looking at

They have several offerings.  I think LiveVol Pro/Core is analytics only, and probably has a standalone platform fee because it's not an execution platform.  LVX is analytics plus execution, so they can waive the fee because they're getting a cut of the commissions.  I'm not certain of this because I wasn't going spend out of pocket for the platform, so didn't look at anything but LVX.

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I think the considerable potential of a tool like LVX for the types of trades discussed here would be in more easily analyzing historical volatility moves as well as in more easily identifying pricing discrepancies/opportunities within and across various option series.  But it'll take some heavy lifting to get there (at least for me).  Baby steps . . .

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I'm going to move the brokers related posts to Brokers and commissions.

 

Let me repeat what mentioned countless number of times: ticket fee will have devastating impact on your account, especially for small accounts.

 

Lets do a quick math. We do at least 10 trades per month in our model portfolio. Since many of them are double calendars, and some straddles with adjustments, we can assume 40 trades per month. That's $400, or $5,000 per year, thrown directly to garbage. For 10k portfolio, that's 4% per month or 48% per year.

 

If you switch to IB and save that money, you can spend a small portion of those savings and buy options software like ONE that leaves TOS far back.

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On 7/15/2016 at 1:59 PM, TraderJack said:

Thanks. I don't actually trade that way myself. I just do whole positions at a time. But if I ever start "fishing," I'll keep that in mind. That's definitely substantial savings. There might be times too when I want to exit half a position or leg into one. That would definitely help. It's just that switching accounts also sounds like a huge hassle.

I don't mean to bug you on the points already mentioned, I do agree it's a hassle in the short term to move the account, and it can take about a week for the funds to process from TOS to IB in order for you to start trading.  But it will be well worth while long term, anyone paying ticket fees is getting ripped off.  I was in your same situation, and I eventually just kept a small amount of money in my TOS account so I could use the data and charting, I wish I moved to IB sooner than I did, just based on the huge commissions difference.

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I do the same thing.I have been with IB for over 20 years.

I traded on the AMEX so I was directed there because Tom Petterfy was a big AMEX operation (Timber Hill) since back in the 70's.

I keep a minimal amount of money with TOS because the platform has some features I just want to have around, for free.

But, I keep 99% of my (trading) money with IB.

I know that there are now a few places with better rates than IB but, I just feel more comfortable with them because of their size and longevity

Edited by cuegis

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Anybody can hep it would be appreciated. Not sure what everyone is selecting here. I saw Kim had 2 data packages selected on the previous page besides the waived ones but wasn't able to find but one. Also the fixed or tier. Not sure what everyone is going with and if that has something to do with what I hear all of you doing with SMART routing.

 

Pricing structure.png

Data.png

Edited by Amos

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4 hours ago, SteadyOptions said:

I have fixed. And if you miss some data subscription, IB will tell you when you ask for a quote and take you to the data screen where you can add it.

Thanks Kim.

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Guest Daddylonglegs
On 7/9/2013 at 8:22 AM, Kim said:

For those still not aware, we have an agreement with TOS - they charge SO members 1.50 per contract with no order fee. Better for smaller accounts than the 0.75 plus 9.99. I personally think IB provides better value, but if you insist to be with TOS, just letting you know that you can do better than the official rates. 

Just signed up and have been reading this thread with interest. My account is with TOS and I was curious if this agreement was still in effect and if so how do i go about getting this rate. Long shot I know.

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      Executing Orders in Interactive Brokers.wmv
    • By Kim
      Options Trading is a business. As in any business, there are costs. One of the major costs is commissions that we pay to our broker (other costs are slippage, market data etc.)
      While commissions is a cost of doing business, we have to do everything we can to minimize that cost. This is especially true if you are an active trader. The impact of commissions on your results can be astonishing.
      This excellent article by Business Insider is asking the right questions (and also answering some of them):
      Click here to view the article
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