computer novice starting from scratch - from stone age to electronic desired

Discussion in 'Order Execution' started by lar, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. lar


    This is a legitimate request for help from you wizzards here at ET. :)

    I have been trading about 8 years now and have been profitable using $35 RT commissions at a full service broker placing orders via telephone broker. I make all of my own decisions. I mostly trade futures options with a 5 to 10 week life. I have never liked not knowing the floor's B/A spread without calling my broker and asking for them to check for the fresh ones. I have not liked waiting 20 minutes to 3 hours not knowing if I would get filled at a decent price relative to the market action as I have never used real time data. I use cable internet access, have only one 19" CRT and my CPU is fast enough and has enough memory to run (heheheh don't laugh) XP.

    I would like to see the floor b/a. I would like to be able to set up several indicators on separate monitors. I'd like to be able to access SPAN data. I would like audible notice when certain parameters have been reached. I would like to take advantage of IB's bargain basement discount per contract and put up the resources and effort into setting up and learning how to effectively use such a system.

    I am fairly computer illiterate but have enrolled in one of those $5,000 classes (18 weeks long, 4 hours per day, 5 days/ week) to assist with that. This training is free for me but it is supposed to be top shelf. I currently know how to browse the web and handle email... that's about it.

    I will update my hardware, my software, my sources of data, my office lay out and what ever else is necessary but I am not looking for overkill. Simplicity has always been my best friend. I intend to keep my existing system up and running as back up and for transition purposes.

    I would like to have at least a rudimentary system up and running by late Fall '07 and intend to do what ever it takes to accomplish this goal.

    I have no real idea of how to begin.

    It would be great if this thread can help me/others move from a casual pedestrian set up into effectively using one tailored specifically for trading. I will follow up the suggestions.

    Please advise.

    Regards and gtty,

  2. JB3


    Hi Lar,

    That is great you want to do this. It is very easy to do. And in this day and age, your world will be expanded just to go on the internet and see how fast information is being passed. It is a new world.

    You can go ahead and PM (that means Private Message me, if you don't know all the internet lingo yet) any questions you might have, I'm no computer expert either, but I know the basics and know how to get around to find what I need. And it is much easier to explain to another trader what you need, they know exactly what you are talking about and how to get it.

    And if you don't mind letting us where you are located, like a general city/state. There might be locals who will show you how to set it all up for a cool beer or two. :D Personally, I'm in the Southern California area, and I won't mind helping another fellow out.

  3. Lar,

    You sound like you have yourself headed in the right direction except for the IB portion of your thinking.

    If the electronic order entry ever goes down . . . and it will . . . your chances of getting a person on the phone at IB in a reasonable period of time is a scary proposition at best. No need to begin your journey into the electronic world by frustration yourself to death.

    I only say this because if you have been trading for 8 years you are evidently doing it for a living and those using IB do so because Price means more to them than the quality of service. Those of us that trade for a living want peace of mind that our orders are solid and we can ALWAYS get someone on the phone IMMEDIATELY WHEN NEEDED.

    You make the choice and good luck in the transition.
  4. ddunbar

    ddunbar Guest

    Those of us who have traded with many brokers realize that there is no such thing as 100% reliability.

    Therefore we always use stops. Espcially stops that rest on an exchange rather than with the broker. (I.e. Globex, etc.)

    Having an idea of approxiamtely how much you can lose in the event of something out of your control transpiring is the best peace of mind you can reasonably expect.
  5. I have traded for a living for over 10 years and have had 2 brokers. One I use for everything but tried IB for a short period. I also use stops on every trade and still wouldn't recommend IB to my worst enemy.

  6. lar


    Thank you gentlemen.

    I have pm'd responses back to you.

    Maybe it would be better if I responded here. Btw - I imagine this topic may have been taken up elsewhere on this forum. If so, does anyone have a link to the thread?