Barrons 7/2/01: Direct Access Showdown

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by proptrader00, Jul 3, 2001.

  1. Barron's Standings in order of rank (Weighted Total):

    1. Tradestation: 22.2
    2. Terra Nova Online: 22.0
    3. StreetSmart Pro: 21.6
    4. AB Watley Ultimate: 21.1
    5. Tradecast Elite: 20.8
    6. MyTrack: 20.1
    7. ProTrader: 18.3
    8. Web Street Direct: 18.3
    9. Blackwood Trading: 18.1
    10. MB Trading: 18.0
    11. Preferred Trade: 14.5
    12. Interactive Brokers: 13.6

    Criteria used in evaluation: Trade Execution, Ease of Use, Range of Offerings, Research Ammenities, Reports and Access, Costs.

    Closing sentence of artice: "You have to do a lot of buying low and selling high to make up for the transaction fees. Buy and hold, anyone?"
  2. :eek: what a bunch of crap ??!!!!!
    This and all other magazine, web-site sponsored rankings are a bunch of lies. Fidelity is rated high by a bunch of "raters" and they are the worst bunch of hacks. I am not an IB user, but have two accounts futures and stocks and tried the service. Having been rated lowest is BS. I suppose the futures are still IB's forte and I plan to open a futures account. Having said this there is no way they can
    rate lowest for EDAT, period.
    On the other hand the fees are very high for the rest of them (as the poster pppointed it out) - that's why shame on Barron's and the contradictory "ratings" system.
  3. def

    def Sponsor

    I read it now.

    IB didn't fair too well in the range of offerings and research. It got a 1/5 in research - why this is a criteria in direct access brokers is a confusing, didn't fair well on range of offerings (last I heard, IB offers all the ECN's - never mind all the global access. ) etc.

    The part that really stings is that IB was almost worst on trade executions. I'm not sure what the reviewer was thinking but one of the firms that got the highest grade has rec'd horrendous reviews on this site.

    Also in terms of cost, IB was tied with preferred trade. Nothing against them but IB is cheaper across the board. It should have been ranked #1 in that regard.

    In particular the reviewer mentions the overall cost of doing 4 trades a day and how the brokers are the only ones making out. What she fails to mention (I doubt she even understands the term slippage) is that for 1 penny a share and direct access you have a shot at making a profit after commissions. With a full service broker you wouldn't have a fighting chance.

    Personally I think the review is way off base considering what real users post and other reviews IB has rec'd. I'd normally write something like this off without commenting but for what is supposedly a reputable publication, the review has the look and feel to me that they did not do their homework.
  4. tntneo

    tntneo Moderator

    the only thing I don't like is how difficult it is to hear about IB.

    It is purely by chance [and someone's referral] I heard about the broker. I would have saved a lot of money !
    IB is very good.

    Somehow, I feel better if not too many know about it. Usually companies, even very good ones, when they become very big, may become less interesting.
    The mother company is very big, that's not the point. I mean the broker. It is not small, but it ain't big either.

    So unfair is an understatement. Who cares. Serious traders know better, they read this board where we openly discuss the pros and cons of IB and others.
  5. Babak


    def, please write a letter to Barron's Editor pointing out the flaws in their rating system.

    I too read that article and felt that it was just irresponsible of such a highly regarded publication such as Barron's to be so far off the mark.
  6. I don't think I've EVER seen a really good review in the media of direct access brokers. Most of them suck up to the national firms for ad dollars, or are clueless as to the importance of reliability, and quality of execution.

    Turn the list upside down and it makes alot of sense though LOL
  7. It all depends on what you are looking for. I use IB because I want low cost, fast execution, and good choice of execution routes. I can get level2, charting, and research elsewhere. If one is ranking based on all criteria, one can also include difficulty of getting a human on the phone, no paper backup, and probably several others I am not thinking of right now. I like IB and will continue to use them. I think that the Barrons article on cost was wrong. But in general how you rate a company depends on which services you need. If the general trading public needs more services than IB provides, then the rating may be resonable. It all depends on where you are coming from and what you need. This group tends to be a somewhat homogeneous gathering of traders who like cheap commissions and fast executions. However we are not the entire world, not even the entire world of direct access traders. For me I like IB. As for the ranking, it just depends on what you are looking for in a broker.
  8. gh2


    People who can trade -- trade. Those that can't, either; analyze the markets, talk about the markets, teach about trading, sell "can't lose" trading systems, or write articles.

    (OK NOTE: that is a GROSS generalization, and not everybody fits in that box -- i am sure that there are great traders that do one or more of the above -- i even know a few!)

    Who cares what Barons's, the WSJ, or Forbes has to say -- the herd maybe. I find it humorous!

    It is a known, and well documented fact that about 10% of the traders become consistently profitable.

    A review i would like to see is of those 10% -- what brokers do they use, for what markets, and why. Now that might mean something to me. Geesh, i give more weight to what the folks on this board say than any hack writing for Barons!

  9. steven,
    Folks who have a lot are in there to preserve IT and make some. We here seem to be starting out and the whole premise of this board is risk money i.e. money one can lose. For that you must watch your expenses first !!! Speculation is not a same as investing - or making money on a million dollar portfolio.
    Would you trade $10,000 a same way as $100,000 ? That't where these ratings come from. The flaw is that the $100,000 won't likely be with Tradestation or with IB for the whole lot anyway.
  10. janko


    hey guys, well dont get too upset over this, look at it this way, at least IB wont get a buttload of people signing up and potentialy wrecking the system, by having too many customers. etc... like q charts, and then they wont be able ot keep up. We know IB plain simply beats the rest - if youre a small guy- and thats all we really need to know. We know it works for us, and it works damn well. so lets keep it to ourselves and let IB keep doing its thing. we dont need to become etrade. SHHHHHHHHH just keep quiet. We know IB kicks ass!!!
    #10     Jul 3, 2001