Brokerage Firms...ya get what ya pay for

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by John9999, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Sig


    What IB office are you calling, the U.S. one? Before I left IB I had arguments where more than one IB rep assured me that it's possible to lose more than 5 points on a 5 point european option SPX spread when held to expiration. If that's a "higher level of trading expertise" then etrade reps must just babble like a 3 year old?
    #21     Mar 6, 2018
    athlonmank8 likes this.
  2. rb7


    Are you making money with customer service?

    What's the need to call customer service these days?

    It's all about making money in this industry.

    Money talks. Period. If you have to call customer service all the time, you are not in the right place. I don't mean to be rude, but that's the way it is.

    And by the way, who's using the phone to get question answered????
    Where in 2018, don't we?
    #22     Mar 6, 2018
    propwarrior likes this.
  3. MattZ

    MattZ Sponsor

    The feed can drop. The software can go down. There are still many scenarios that customers would need immediate help.

    I respect that you do not want to talk to anyone, but sometimes when you have a solid personal relationship with your broker and you have a question, there is nothing wrong with dialing in.
    #23     Mar 6, 2018
  4. A few points:

    • IB is only good if you don't need any help, you have to know what you are doing
    • IB has tiered customer service. If you have sufficient money in your account you will get better service but they still wont hand hold.
    • IB play fast and loose with margins they dont give a fuck about exchange margins. That said the leverage available on futures is so insane that it doesn't matter if you are using sensible money management.
    • IB's financial strength is one of the best hence why many pro traders stick with them
    #24     Mar 6, 2018
    ROMANKACTOR and rb7 like this.
  5. truetype


    If you're an institutional client, you're welcome to visit them in Greenwich. I met with my coverage and a group from their trade desk a couple months ago. How much more "hand holding" do you want?
    #25     Mar 6, 2018
  6. Personally I don't want any hand holding but that's just me. Hope all is good in Surfland.

    #26     Mar 6, 2018
  7. John9999


    WOW... this started as a post to see who had recommendations for me to consider as a new Brokerage... most of the replies are trying to convince me to stick with IB and accept their given level of service. Or trying to convince me that I do not need to get someone on the phone. Sorry guys, but with my hard earned money at stake, I sure the HELL DO WANT to get someone on the phone.

    and guess what,,,, the nice thing about being an adult is you get to make these choices.
    #27     Mar 6, 2018
  8. Lee-


    There's threads started here regularly where people complain about IB and ask for alternatives. What it almost always comes down to is that unless you have a lot of cash, then your options are IB or Lightspeed. Lightspeed has its pros and cons as compared to IB, so whether or not it works for you is for you to decide. Besides them, if you want to pay higher commissions (and improve the average speed of getting someone on the phone), then you need to go for some of the bigger retail names: Schwab, ETrade, TDA, etc. However, I'm skeptical that in the event of a wide spread technical problem that you'll be able to get them on the phone quickly either.

    So for many of us what it comes down to is that IB has its problems, but for most of us there isn't a good alternative, which is why people are basically recommending you stick with them. If another broker works for you, then great, but you'll find hundreds of threads on this very forum where people are pissed at IB and are looking for alternatives. What you're not going to find is a lot of alternatives unless you have a lot of cash, are willing to pay more in commissions, go with a less established company, don't care about trading futures and stocks in the same account, etc. There will be some compromise. IB is, unfortunately, the best all around for most of us, however the weight you give to customer service may be more than myself or others do and as such, for you, IB may not be the best choice. I just don't have a better suggestion than to look in to Lightspeed.

    From your earlier post it sounds like you want to be able to trade futures and stocks. Lightspeed can set you up with both, but it will be through 2 separate accounts, so you'd have to deal with manually moving money between them if you needed to whereas IB does it automatically.

    I'll tell you what I have -- I have my main account at IB and I have a backup at TDA. In the event of a technical issue with IB, I hope to be able to effectively open offsetting positions in TDA. What I don't expect is that in the event of a wide spread technical issue with a retail brokerage that I'll be able to get them on the phone at all -- even if I can normally get them on the phone immediately. They're simply going to be swamped with calls in those cases unless you have $$$ and have access to a special support line / dedicated rep.
    #28     Mar 6, 2018
    qlai and tommcginnis like this.
  9. lindq


    Absolutely right. The best solution is to use more than one broker, for a number of reasons. They all have strengths and weaknesses.
    #29     Mar 6, 2018
    MattZ likes this.
  10. Sig


    If nothing else it's clear that you haven't traded a lot with IB. When IB autoliquidates you so you lose thousands of dollars based on the incorrect programming of "The Algorithm" so that it thinks it's possible to lose more than 5 points on 5 point european SPX spread, are you telling met that's not a problem? No need to call customer service? No need to talk to someone in customer service who knows the first thing about finance?

    And on the 2018 part, it's again very clear you've never sent an email to "customer service" at IB, or attempted to use their chat feature. If you're happy to wait weeks or forever to get a reply that was cut and paste from a frequently asked questions list, then enjoy.

    I, and I'm sure the vast majority of those on ET, would prefer to never talk to customer service. We want and need absolutely zero "hand holding". We only have to talk to IB all the time because they routinely fuck up. So you're right, if you have to call your broker all the time you're not in the right place because your broker sucks. I left IB and have called my current broker exactly once, regarding an issue with their system where it failed to show weekly options on months where there were 5 weeks worth of options. The rep listened to me describe the issue with an open mind and immediately grasped it, asked a couple questions, and put in a trouble ticket, and it was subsequently fixed. I had previously had the same problem with IB and their rep defaulted to the assumption that I was an idiot and I must be the cause of the problem, never grasped the actual issue, and refused to put in a trouble ticket because The Algorithm is never wrong. WTF would you chose that?
    #30     Mar 7, 2018
    athlonmank8 and John9999 like this.