BEST first direct-access broker for newbie?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by bigpig41, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. Have been reviewing all the broker ratings on this site as I must change to direct-access soon. Have made 2500 equity trades in 2007 clearing 50K and transacting at least 175million in stock. However, my E-trade Pro platform has become non-functional and I'm positive its all on their end. I run two newer computers and am sure I'm not exceeding my memory etc. .

    My understanding is that a "direct-access" platform/broker where I'm not going through a web-browser will be more reliable and alleviate these problems with my current system(frozen platform much of day, everything crashing each time Nasdaq volume goes up even slightly) >>>>However, in reading all the threads for example on the IB firm I'm hearing the exact same problems I'm having with E-trade. This E-trade pro suits me well if it would work like it did back in 2006. The only thing it lacks for me is I must be able to start trading at the latest at 7AM eastern time in the U.S. and it seems all the common discount browser-based companies don't allow trading until 8AM.

    I know it will be much more expensive in terms of fees going direct access(but don't have a clue how much more) , but I CAN'T BE EXPERIENCING TROUBLES WITH THE PLATFORM NOT WORKING. I need a watchlist linked to a chart (three charts with moving averages would be nice), level 2s that work, a ticker printing off the size and sales at a minimum. Currently use Trade The News for new service and some research.

    Please someone explain where I should go and how much it should cost??? It would be helpful if I didn't have to subscribe to fifteen different outfits to get the whole package. Thanks for any help you more experienced traders can offer.

    P.S. Being able to trade beginning at 7AM is a must.
  2. tradestation
  3. bandit77 : The last 8 or10 posts under tradestation's "broker-rating" on this site sure aren't encouraging.

    Does anyone know a broker that has their act completely together if your willing to pay-up?
  4. there aren't that many all in one brokers out there.
  5. Hello, I believe most problems with Etrade pro are connected with internet connection problems.
    I have same problem when I am not on ADSL. When I am testing my internet connection on those moments I always notify some problems in connection stability and speed.
    I am in Europe, the problems can be on cable Europe-USA.
    If I am on ADSL than it works mostly fine, just when the volume increased rapidly than it is slowlier. If you click, you need wait few seconds until you can see the chart. Very big problem is that I do not have ADSL at home /I am living in small village in mountains/ and the radio connection has some problems sometimes.

    With another words I believe: If it freezes and you need restart than I believe you have problem with connection.
    If if is just slow /I am very unhappy with it but I wonder if change of broker will help/ than probably it is platform.

    My suggestion: I have opened Market trader as well. When E trade pro is slowlier I can as minimum manage existing positions with it.
    I am not scalper although daytrader so it is not as impotant for me.

    Btw, may be several E trade pro user can inform each other when the platform freezes. If it will be in different times than it is internet connection.
    If in same time than it is problem of Etrade pro or may be datafeed that Etrade pro uses.

    What I can say for sure if the line is actually delivering less than 1mbps than ET pro starts show problems. Bellow 0.7 mbps it is after my opinion not usable at all. on 12 mbps dsl line it works without major problems for me/even after last FOMC it was working although a bit slowlier than usually/.
  6. JBTrade


    I’m also curious about the best first direct-access broker for newbie, if any more experienced traders out there would like to comment on this, it would be much appreciated.

    I’ve been studying the markets for well over a year now…literally every day… I’ve been reading a book, viewing a video, looking at free internet resources, reading a news letter, attending a seminar, or testing out free trials to products and services such as eSignal.

    Its been a tough transition, but I’ve finally been able to put it all together and cut through the crap. I’ve found a mentor of sorts, one who has helped me polish my rough edges and remove subjective nonsense from my analysis. I now find myself in a phase of trying to “un-learn” a lot of the subjective nonsense I learned prior.

    I’ve been paper trading successfully for awhile now, kicking myself along the way for not truly being involved the juicy moves I’ve seen before me. I didn’t want to just jump in and start throwing my money at the market though, I wanted to take it slow and do it right, which I feel I’ve done.

    Basically, I’m looking for a good broker. I’m sure this has been asked a million times, and I’m also fairly sure someone will tell me to go read the broker reviews here, but those are no good. There is a bad review for every good review. At other times, someone will jump in say something like ‘this broker doesn’t have some feature I need’ and then give it a low score… but its usually something I’m not interested in or don’t need anyway.

    I’m only 26, and I’ve got about 10k of free capital to trade with, and I only want to trade US Equities. I primarily want to hold on to positions for only a few days, but I also plan on trading intra-day every now and then just to get my feet wet, but not often enough to get flagged as a pattern day trader.

    As far as a broker is concerned, I just need a way to execute my trades, I only care about the making the actual transactions, plane and simple. Something with good execution speed and low commissions if possible. I don’t need extra crap, no research, no indicators, no news feeds, etc.

    Any advice?
  7. Gustaf


    From the requirements you have given above it seems that Interactive Brokers is a good choice.

    They have a few ways to trade with them you can use their "heavy" client which is called TWS or you can use a web based client.

    What I like with them is that you can easily add more thingies to trade later like options, futures, bonds and more you can get involved in more than one market and handle several currencies. All of this you manage from one account.
  8. xiaodre


    I second Tradestation.


    my account is with interactive brokers. I like them alot, but you better know what you are doing before you open your account.
  9. Without a doubt IB combines just about all the possibilities into one easy place. I have no affiliation with them at all other than I am a happy customer for about two years or so now. Want to trade stocks, options, futures, currencies, foreign markets - simply put IB rocks and is an access point to the world markets.

    What you will not get through IB and what will make it a little daunting for a newbie (and the reason for most of the negative comments about them).....


    This means that the user interface is very stripped down and basic. I use the basic TWS for my trading in conjunction with other vendor software packages.

    You will not beat the commisions and access offered through IB in my opinion, but you're going to have to look into third party add-ons such as in-depth charting to enhance the feed such as Ensign (just an example, I don't even use it myself).

    I love IB, but it depends upon your experience coming into the markets though. Newbie can mean a lot of different things. Really read through the information in the "Brokers" section of this site, good info. there.

    Just my .02

    Good Luck!
  10. thanks for the responses:

    Pholeuon: What do you mean by "ADSL" >>are you talking about a DSL line high speed internet connection??

    I have comcast high-speed internet with 6mbps I believe. When the E-trade Pro platform freezes all my other internet connections continue working. My Trade The News Service continues working, my Windows Live Messenger Connection continues to allow me to talk to my trading partners, and the Etrade Website continues to work. When Pro freezes up the ticker printing off the trades and sizes quits, you can't move the charts, and if you click on the Red X at the top right of the platform to close the platform it will only bring up the closing window but won't even display the three choices it normally displays(Exit, Exit/Save, Cancel) . If you then try to move the closing window to try to get it out of the way since it won't display the option to close the platform>>>then it "paints" the platform white(just like you were painting the screen with a white paint brush) anywhere you try to move it. SO FRUSTERATING!!!!!! These problems have persisteted intermittently for over a year but in the last three weeks have been constant and have now added the problem of when I click on the up/down arrows to change the price on the order entry>>it won't change the price. So, the market is moving up and down in your stock of interest and your not even able to change the price. Another problem is that you enter a order to buy say 1000 shares of a stock and the market moves down into your price and the order starts executing; but for some reason you want to cancel the order and have it be a partial fill>>>so you click cancel order and it cancels say after 600 shares of the 1000 executes>>well sometimes later in the trading day that 400 shares that was cancelled executes. You here the hits as shares are bought when you don't think you have any live orders. One time it bought an extra 1500 shares of AAPL for me on margin and I about crapped a brick! >I was able to sell them at a small profit though.
    #10     Dec 16, 2007