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16 minutes ago, RapperT said:

IB users can get the livevolX platform for free with same commission structure.  I find it way easier to use with some good analytics as well.  Just my $.02

you mean a free trial, livevolx is $500 a month isn't it?

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no just sign up for an account with livevolx..as long as you have 35k min equity its free.  I have full access to TWS, IB mobile, and the livevolx platform.  If you have an existing IB account you may want to call and see what the best way to go about it is.  Technically you will now be with Lightspeed trading but all clearing goes through IB.  You don't need to pay for data either unless you want to use TWS in addition to livevolx.  I dont want to hijack the thread..Kim may want us to move it over to the brokers and commissions thread.

 

Feel free to PM me with questions.  I have no association with any of the above companies whatsoever

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1 minute ago, krisbee said:

In my opinion it's too costly 1.50 per contract.

I agree. But for people who insist to stay with TOS it is still better than their official rates. Sure you can do better if you trade a lot of contracts.

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On 11/23/2016 at 1:37 PM, ocr008 said:

too much I have tos and pay .65 plus $7 no more fees

Can you tell me what you did to get this rate? I just spoke with TOS and they said $1.50 per contract with no flat fee was the best they could do. They didn't discuss any structures that included a flat fee. Do you know if you getting institutional pricing?

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Folks,

I am in the process of changing from TOS to IB. Last year all my profits were eaten up by fees at TOS. I did a rough calculation that I will save more than 50% by going to IB. So I am in the process of changing. I am a Canadian so I have to do an ATON transfer. I believe Americans need to do something similar.

The process of doing an ATON transfer has been quite the pain. I have been out of the trading game for over 2 weeks because of the issues I have experienced. Still a waiting game. If any other members do the switch to IB, they should be aware of the following;

1) Have enough cash in your positions. ATON transfers can cost as much as $150 that nobody tells you about until you find you have an ATON transfer rejection because of only one account not having quite enough cash in it.

2) Make sure you are out of spreads for at least 3 weeks. It could take that long to get the job done.

3) Don't make trades in your old platform while you are waiting for the transfer. This will slow the whole thing down because they now have to wait for the trades to clear.

4) Stay on top of it daily. I have become a pest to the IB sales department and the TOS TD group. Monitor daily what the status is.

I still hope that my transfer will be completed this upcoming week so I can get back to trading. I am going through withdrawal. 

Cheers

Tom

 

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13 minutes ago, Skepticlion said:

 

 

Folks,

I am in the process of changing from TOS to IB. Last year all my profits were eaten up by fees at TOS. I did a rough calculation that I will save more than 50% by going to IB. So I am in the process of changing. I am a Canadian so I have to do an ATON transfer. I believe Americans need to do something similar.

The process of doing an ATON transfer has been quite the pain. I have been out of the trading game for over 2 weeks because of the issues I have experienced. Still a waiting game. If any other members do the switch to IB, they should be aware of the following;

1) Have enough cash in your positions. ATON transfers can cost as much as $150 that nobody tells you about until you find you have an ATON transfer rejection because of only one account not having quite enough cash in it.

2) Make sure you are out of spreads for at least 3 weeks. It could take that long to get the job done.

3) Don't make trades in your old platform while you are waiting for the transfer. This will slow the whole thing down because they now have to wait for the trades to clear.

4) Stay on top of it daily. I have become a pest to the IB sales department and the TOS TD group. Monitor daily what the status is.

I still hope that my transfer will be completed this upcoming week so I can get back to trading. I am going through withdrawal. 

Cheers

Tom

 

I have been with IB since they first started. 

That is where I trade but, I keep a tiny account at TD just so I can have the TOS software to play with. I would never make a trade there though.

There is only ONE advantage that TD has over IB. You can link any of your bank accounts to your TD account and do an immediate (ACH) cash transfer into TD which takes just a few hours, to make a transfer, and costs $0.00

My bank provides a drop-down list of all of the "Brokerage" houses that have an ACH connection to my bank. All the usual names, Schwab, TD etc but no IB.

Plus, my bank is the only bank that does not let you do a domestic (or international) "wire" transfer online. You have to go into the bank to do it.

Other than that IB is by far the most "professional" operation I know of.

It was created by Tom Petterfy who I knew from the AMEX floor. And it was created with the needs of "professional floor traders" in mind.

Everything else is geared toward "retail" traders with "retail" mentality (and commissions).

People complain about IB customer service but, since IB was designed by professionals, for professionals, who know how to do everything by themselves, they do not need the kind of CS that "retail" traders would need.

My only complaint with IB, with regard to commissions, is that it seems that I am being charged different commissions, for similar trades. There dosn't seem to be a consistency to the commissions.

It's still cheaper than everyone else, except Tradier and TastyWorks.

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On 1/11/2017 at 3:08 PM, Dave W said:

Can you tell me what you did to get this rate? I just spoke with TOS and they said $1.50 per contract with no flat fee was the best they could do. They didn't discuss any structures that included a flat fee. Do you know if you getting institutional pricing?

$1.50 you means .75 buy plus .75 sell

i pay .65 plus.65 =$1.30 

plus $6 flat fee

but if you trade spx is cheaper than IB

not $6 is $7 flat rate 

Edited by ocr008

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1 hour ago, ocr008 said:

$1.50 you means .75 buy plus .75 sell

i pay .65 plus.65 =$1.30 

plus $6 flat fee

but if you trade spx is cheaper than IB

not $6 is $7 flat rate 

Hi @ocr008 and thanks for the response. Unless I'm misreading my statements, though, $1.50 for me appears to be $1.50 per side - not round-trip.

See the attached screen shot showing an example INTC straddle trade. I opened the trade with 3 contracts. Since each straddle includes 2 options (6 total), the commission is $9.00 -- $1.50 per option. When I read what you wrote, I thought maybe TOS/TDA only charges to open and not to close the position, but you can see with the INTC trade it also cost me $9.00 in commission to exit -- another $1.50 per option.

TOS Commissions.png

(As a related aside, I realize no matter what commissions will eat a huge percentage of low cost trades like this one unless I move to Tradier or something similar.)

I'd love to get $0.75 per side (or the deal you have), which would make it more feasible for me to stay with TOS/TDA. TDA offers some IRA account options (i.e., Individual 401k) that IB doesn't offer so it would be easier for me to stay with TDA for at least some of my trading.

Any suggestions on getting your deal? (Or from anyone else who gets less than $1.50 per side at TDA?) You didn't say you were getting institutional pricing, so I'm guessing it isn't institutional pricing?

Thanks for your help.

 

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12 hours ago, Dave W said:

Hi @ocr008 and thanks for the response. Unless I'm misreading my statements, though, $1.50 for me appears to be $1.50 per side - not round-trip.

See the attached screen shot showing an example INTC straddle trade. I opened the trade with 3 contracts. Since each straddle includes 2 options (6 total), the commission is $9.00 -- $1.50 per option. When I read what you wrote, I thought maybe TOS/TDA only charges to open and not to close the position, but you can see with the INTC trade it also cost me $9.00 in commission to exit -- another $1.50 per option.

TOS Commissions.png

(As a related aside, I realize no matter what commissions will eat a huge percentage of low cost trades like this one unless I move to Tradier or something similar.)

I'd love to get $0.75 per side (or the deal you have), which would make it more feasible for me to stay with TOS/TDA. TDA offers some IRA account options (i.e., Individual 401k) that IB doesn't offer so it would be easier for me to stay with TDA for at least some of my trading.

Any suggestions on getting your deal? (Or from anyone else who gets less than $1.50 per side at TDA?) You didn't say you were getting institutional pricing, so I'm guessing it isn't institutional pricing?

Thanks for your help.

 

Is not institutional 

you have to call because if you trade less than 5 contracts you are okay but we trade more than that you pay too much especially with double calendar don't forget IB pay extra fees just do your math 

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My saga continues. 

I have been on the phone with TD and IB all morning to try and get things sorted out.

As a result of the issues I have uncovered, I now realize that I should have converted all my positions to cash in my TOS account where I do option trading. If I had done that, I would have saved myself hours of grief. So for any of you contemplating the move, that would be my recommendation. Once the cash has moved over, you are good to go. Probably would take 4 - 5 days and not the 2 weeks to a month of aggravation and missed trades that I have experienced

Tom

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@ocr008 et al,

 

Well, I'm pleasantly surprised. I contacted Kenny Griffin at TDA (Kim mentioned him in another thread). He's in a different position now, but he referred me to two other people and I was able to get the following deal.

- $7 ticket charge per trade

- $0.65 per contract

 

The new deal will probably save me hundreds of dollars per year. They also gave me the option of a flat $1.00 per trade with no ticket charge, but for me the deal above will be better.  Thanks for your help and suggestions!

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Good for you. 

I would have stayed with TOS if I could have gotten a good deal. The best I ever ground them down to was $7.00 ticket and $1.00 per contract. At the time they told me that they would't have moved any more than that. Being a Canadian, I couldn't use the Tasty Trade package so that didn't leave me much choice. Compare that with .75 per contract at IB and that is why I am going through the pain I am going through making the switch now. At this point I am very frustrated with both IB and TOS for giving me a run around about my ATON transfer. IB is saying it is an ATON transfer and TD is saying it isn't. I have missed out on the last 3 to 4 weeks of trading and from what I see, you guys have been doing well and I a missing out. 

So much for whining and feeling sorry for myself. 

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7 minutes ago, Skepticlion said:

Good for you. 

I would have stayed with TOS if I could have gotten a good deal. The best I ever ground them down to was $7.00 ticket and $1.00 per contract. At the time they told me that they would't have moved any more than that. Being a Canadian, I couldn't use the Tasty Trade package so that didn't leave me much choice. Compare that with .75 per contract at IB and that is why I am going through the pain I am going through making the switch now. At this point I am very frustrated with both IB and TOS for giving me a run around about my ATON transfer. IB is saying it is an ATON transfer and TD is saying it isn't. I have missed out on the last 3 to 4 weeks of trading and from what I see, you guys have been doing well and I a missing out. 

So much for whining and feeling sorry for myself. 

Why didn't you just sell 100% of everything you have and , if you are in all cash, a transfer takes as little as minutes, and as long as hours.....never days.

What were you holding that was worth missing 4 weeks of trading for?

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Cuegis,

Trust me, if I had known that, I would have. I was never told about the potential issues that I would run into. There are lots of things I would have done differently. But now that I am in the middle of it, I seem to be committed and any change I do now, will make matters worse I suspect. The people at IB did a very poor job of walking me through the process. No check lists or anything. An ATON transfer, heh not a problem. Now I say BS. 

Tom

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On 6/13/2016 at 6:45 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.

Same here.  I am going to open a small account with them.  Do they have a minimum dollar amount for a new account?

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There you have it. I was looking it up. But Xfanman beat me to it. I finally decided that if Kim can do the trades there without difficulty, I could learn for the kind of money I put out for commissions. - Just last year, I would have saved enough to pay for a Macbook Pro plus a couple of monitors plus plus on a 17k account. TOS literally  ate up all my profits when I did a back calculation. The difference was huge.

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In my opinion having accounts at both ToS and IB, TWS is easier for me to use for options trading than ToS.  It doesn't have the ease and depth of analysis that ToS does but for getting into and out of trades efficiently I have no issues with TWS.  It IS a different beast though and will require some time to acclimate to it.

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7 minutes ago, Skepticlion said:

Yikes. Another learning curve. LOL. For a retired guy, you wouldn't believe how much I have learned about computers, platforms etc in the last month. I hope that their iPhone app works OK because I will be out and about a fair bit.

The IB TWS for iPhone is really good in my opinion, but a totally different beast to the regular TWS (for PC). I suggest you get familiar with it first. IB have some PDF's on their website as I recall.

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26 minutes ago, Skepticlion said:

Yikes. Another learning curve. LOL. For a retired guy, you wouldn't believe how much I have learned about computers, platforms etc in the last month. I hope that their iPhone app works OK because I will be out and about a fair bit.

?ui=2&ik=37068f4061&view=fimg&th=159f54e1e49e1602&attid=0.1&disp=emb&realattid=159f54e13bad5944ca71&attbid=ANGjdJ-hFj0t14XavBSjn9FoSvz6dSpO2p6_057UscNv98491eF4FSI35wpPsTIKcV9BjTjHgHv4LhkTAWYa8U5M2AuAscnrITgGl8cj9iMgOrF5ChCMsCl4bNT8iCw&sz=s0-l75-ft&ats=1485879262619&rm=159f54e1e49e1602&zw&atsh=1

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On 1/31/2017 at 11:44 AM, Noah Katz said:

Is there some reason more people aren't taking advantage of the $40/mo Tradier offer?

 

I'm getting better rates than IB and I spent hundred$ in my first week w/SO.

I'm interested, but based on some answers Kim posted from Tradier, they don't allow calendars on indexes. I do a lot of these trades in low IV. If they address that issue, I'd consider moving.

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12 hours ago, RapperT said:

@Kim or anyone for that matter...can you tell me which futures feed you are subscribing to now?

It is all included in the TWS platform.

Well, some of it is included in the basic platform.

Then, depending on what other commodities you want, there may be a very small additional charge.

I have not checked lately but, for example, I'm not paying any extra for Crude Oil, and most energy products.

I also get Gold, Soybeans, Corn, Wheat.

I think there is no extra charge for most commodities.

I don't know offhand which, if any, they do charge extra for.

Also, I do trade commodities regularly and IB is excellent with commissions and fills.

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ZS = Soybeans ZB = Bonds NG= Natural Gas SB = Sugar CC = Cocoa KC = Coffee

These are just a few  I pulled up,and they all include the options as well....even the NG mini contract.

I have not gone through everyone, but I do get quite a few.

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I really think the Tradier offer needs some serious consideration.  They route to Citadel and Knight (Citadel would handle most if not all of the option orders) who both have very sophisticated smart routing technology so execution should be solid.  The Option Samurai platform is very user friendly and may be quite helpful for those with limited experience in option trading.  The unlimited trades for the modest monthly fee I find remarkable.  It would be good to hear recent reports from any of those who are currently trading with Tradier.

Edited by SBatch

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42 minutes ago, SBatch said:

I really think the Tradier offer needs some serious consideration.  They route to Citadel and Knight (Citadel would handle most of the option orders) who both have very sophisticated smart routing technology so execution should be solid.  The Option Samurai platform is very user friendly and may be quite helpful for those with limited experience in option trading.  The unlimited trades for the modest monthly fee I find remarkable.  It would be good to hear recent reports from any of those who are currently trading with Tradier.

I agree, I would love to hear from those that are currently using Tradier.

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On 4/29/2017 at 0:31 PM, craigsmith said:

I agree, I would love to hear from those that are currently using Tradier.

I will be opening an account with Tradier (even though I love OptionsXpress and will be keeping them as well) as the no commission offer needs to be tested in my opinion. Here is my rationale:

1.  $40 a month for unlimited option trades will add between 10% and 20% to the annual return if execution is consistent with IB/OX.

2.  I think it will be based on order routing history.  I have attached the order routing for both IB (as most members use them) and Tradier.  Tradier sends its order directly to market makers (with Citadel handling about half the option orders) whereas IB sends directly to the exchange.  This would be a deficiency if we were trading high frequency equities, etc. but is not a deficiency when trading option spreads with limit orders.  Citadel and the other MM's that Tradier uses employ very sophisticated smart routing technology which is very similar to IB.  Here is the Citadel description: "We act as a specialist or market maker in more than 3,000 U.S. listed-options names, representing 99% of traded volume2, and rank as a top liquidity provider on the major U.S. options exchanges, executing approximately 37% of all U.S.-listed retail volume, making us the industry’s top wholesale market maker".  Therefore, when we extrapolate further, the Citadel routing is even more diverse than IB with regard to the amount of exchanges.  Also, IB's routing to the Boston Options Exchange which they have a very large ownership of (a clear conflict of interest), continues to grow.

3.  The Dynamic Trend Option Dynamics platform accessible through Tradier, is one of the absolute best option platforms available.  I have used OptionVue, ONE, Option Work Bench and others and Option Dynamics beats them all. They offer superior skew charting, spread future price projection, spread builder, theta decay charting and other modeling components superior to the others. Furthermore, it is fully integrated, meaning not only can you trade from the platform but there is also a real time portfolio window that shows holdings with P&L etc. found directly in the platform.  Therefore, there is no need to move back and fourth between Option Dynamics and the Tradier website (like with ONE).  I have not used Option Dynamics with Tradier yet so I still need to determine if there are any pitfalls.  If we go in under the SO offer, the platform cost will not be discounted.  However, for me the free option trades is a 10 fold savings over the $250 monthly cost of the platform.

I will report on this thread once I am active with Tradier at some point in the 3rd quarter.

Tradier Order_Routing_Disclosure_2016q4.pdf

1Q_2017_IB_ORDER_ROUTING_REPORT.pdf

Edited by SBatch

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3 minutes ago, Dave W said:

@SBatch - Very interested in hearing about your results. Tradier doesn't allow certain transactions I trade so it isn't ideal, but it may still be worthwhile if all I'm paying is $480 a year in commissions.

Which type of transactions?  I would imagine that is a product of Apex (their clearing firm) and not Tradier.

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4 minutes ago, SBatch said:

Which type of transactions?  I would imagine that is a product of Apex (their clearing firm) and not Tradier.

Is Apex the clearing firm for TastyWorks? I thought I heard that somewhere.

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1 minute ago, cuegis said:

Is Apex the clearing firm for TastyWorks? I thought I heard that somewhere.

Yes, Apex is growing and becoming a bigger player.  They have recently brought on some high level executives from Pershing.

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11 minutes ago, SBatch said:

Which type of transactions?  I would imagine that is a product of Apex (their clearing firm) and not Tradier.

@SBatch, from what I recall from last discussions, is that either they blocked or margined prohibitively the VIX and other Index based calendar spreads (e.g. SPX/RUT).

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1 minute ago, anand331 said:

@SBatch, from what I recall from last discussions, is that either they blocked or margined prohibitively the VIX and other Index based calendar spreads (e.g. SPX/RUT).

The VIX problem is not uncommon among clearing firms.  SPX/RUT probably could be remedied by using SPY/IWM as there are no commissions with Tradier so the larger contract level would not be an issue.

Edited by SBatch

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      Their conclusions:
      At least 17 million investors overpaying for online brokerage Only 12% of commission fee is used for trade execution at top brokerages Over $1.8 billion per year wasted on unused premium services Lets analyze one specific month, January 2015, and see how different commissions structure can impact the returns of our SteadyOptions model portfolio.
       
      SteadyOptions $10k model portfolio traded 228 contracts in January. If you paid $0.75/contract with no ticket fee, you spent $171 on commissions, which is 1.7% of your portfolio value. While not cheap, but considering the fact that we produced 20.7% ROI in January (12.4% return on the whole account assuming 10% allocation), it is completely reasonable.
       
      However, if you had a ticket fee of $8, in addition to $0.75/contract, you would pay $427 in commissions, more than double. In this case, your returns will be reduced by 4.3%.
       
      This will make HUGE difference in the long term. To see how huge, I went to pro-trading-profits.com, a third party website that tracks performance of 400+ newsletters. I clicked on SteadyOptions performance report and played with different parameters. Using the $0.75/contract with no ticket fee, a $10,000 portfolio would produce $35,693 gains since inception. Adding $8 ticket fee to each trade would reduce the gains to $23,869.
       
      The impact of the ticket fee is especially significant if you have relatively small account.
       
      Of course commissions is only part of the whole package. Other factors include tools, platform, customer service etc. Barron's publishes a comprehensive brokers review every year. Here is the last one. Interactive Brokers (IB) was ranked #1 by Barron's third year in a row. This is the broker I personally have been using for the last 7 years and I'm very happy.
       
      Barron's mention that "IB offers a lot more support to new clients, including individuals, especially those with larger accounts. Yes, using the word "support" in the same sentence as Interactive Brokers (without the modifier "dismal") is a change for us, but the firm has clearly made this a point of focus."
       
      Their conclusion:
       
      "Interactive Brokers continues to have extremely competitive pricing, and the lowest margin fees of any broker in our survey. You may incur some data fees, but the firm takes care of any options-exercise costs, which can generate unexpected fees at many other brokers."
       
      On the open section of our forum, we have couple very useful discussions about brokers:
       
      Brokers and commissions
      Interactive Brokers tips, tricks, webtrader etc.
       
      There is a consensus among our members that IB and TOS by TD Ameritrade offer the best combination of commissions, platform, and execution. If you decide to go with TOS, I highly recommend that you negotiate a commissions structure that does not include a ticket fee.
       
      Here are couple more good articles worth reading:
       
      The Truth Behind Broker Commissions - Learning Markets
      Comparison of online brokerages in the United States
      Relative Importance Of Options Brokerage Fees
       
      For Canadian traders, here is an excellent study on the commissions schemas offered by Canadian discount Brokers.
    • By Kim
      I tried to to buy 1 Apr SPX 1300 put and getting an error message that I have insufficient margin. The message indicates that the margin will increase by 53,985 (see attached image).

       

      I opened a ticket with IB. Their response was:

       

       

       

      I couldn't believe this, but the fact remains.
    • By Bschulz
      I'm opening an account at IB and wondering if there is a promotion code or partner code to use for SO members?
    • By Kim
      This demonstration shows how to execute some of our trades in Interactive Brokers.
       

       
      Download video:
       
      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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