I have been to many, many firms before picking the one i wanted to stick with. I looked up the best rated firms here, and went to check them out. Not to say that some of them weren't ok, but they all had ridiculous steputatoins. 1% monthly fee of the the money used or at least $500 a month, ticket charges, high commission and low payouts. I picked Echo after seeing whats out there. The people are the best here, very friendly and close atmosphere. They give you enough space so that you are not cramped together with others. You actaully get your own desk!!! Unlike most trading firms, there is a lot of light here, so the place does not look like a cave! A lot of light. The software is great, Sterling. It has been improved a lot from few years back. Very customizable to your own preferences and needs, and very easy to use. Fast executions, the office in New York has their clearing firm and IT department on the same floor. If i have any questions i just go over there and speak to the programmers personally. I needed a custom filter installed, which required a lot of work to do, the manager went way out of his way to help me set it up. The owner here is always available to talk to, very reasonable and negotiable. You can get help on anyting you want. My friend was thinking about switching from retail to daytrading, and wasn't sure, he wanted to see if he could have a demo set up from them for free. I told the owner the situation, two days later he set up the demo account for him. Great people, great firm to work with. No one forced me to go here, i picked this firm because i liked it the best. Thats why i made this post, i love this place, and if i can help another trader find a better place to trade at, than i am glad to be of help.