Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by lwlee, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. lwlee


    I'm looking to join ECHOtrade since it's so favorably reviewed on ET. I'm currently with IB and love their software as well as their commissions.

    Got a few questions.

    1) How does Sterling Pro compare with TWS? Briefly looked at the docs on Sterling website, software seems basic compared to TWS. I especially want to know how well it links with Excel. Sterling supports ActiveX while IB does both DDE and ActiveX. Also IB has this thing called ChartTrader. It's awesome if you trade using charts. Charts are pretty basic with Sterling, in fact they seem pretty bad. I use a combination of ChartTrader and TWS spreadsheet pages to trade. Not sure if I'll like to go back to single stock order entry forms.

    2) I was quoted .0035 commission rate, $10k to open, 10x-30x leverage, $100 per 100k shares rebate (max $500), and $400 monthly data charges (400k shares/mth to cover charges). From what I read on ET, it seems pretty standard for new traders. IB has something called Cost Plus that does .0035 for up to 300k shares. So a retail shop has at least as good a rate as a prop shop. Wonder if I should haggle lower, at least for the extra 100k after first 300k which IB charges only .002.

    3) Right now, I'm non-pro status with IB. Since I have to go pro with ECHOtrade, will this cause an issue with my status at IB? Don't really want to pay the higher fees.

    4) Why hasn't ECHOtrade been forced to do less than 100% payout like Bright and others? Does it have something to do with their relationship with Merrill? Is the BofA/Merrill relationship something to worry about?

    Given all this, it seems the only reason I'm going with echo is the extra leverage. I'll be trading remotely so won't benefit from trader interaction. Any other benefits that I might have missed?
  2. I am interested in replies to this post as well. And yes; i think you got the thing. The only advantage would be leverage as far as i can tell. Also, i hope sterling is not as crappy as TWS (atleast the last time i checked TWS it was complete garbage - hangup; crashes and what not..).

    I have traded with lightspeed over the past couple of months; and its pretty good (compared to my experience with tws; but its not really fair comparison as my TWS experience was from about 4years ago or so). But i dont think echo offers lightspeed; so it doesnt matter.

  3. Echo trade is a member of a different exchange that maintains a 100% payout rate so they are allowed to offer it.

    the payout rule is unclear and not enforced. most cbsx firms will offer 95% or 99% anyway.

    Sterling charts are garbage. e-signal charting is far superior and can connect with the sterling API relatively easily.
  4. lwlee


    Yeah, there used to be lots of complaints, especially on charting. But IB has made great strides. Charting package is really quite nice. Trading by chart using ChartTrader is great. I haven't seen it in any other trading application. Solid app, no crashes for me on Win 7. Use ActiveX/Excel to do some OPGs and it works smoothly.

  5. lwlee


    Do you foresee them having to give up that status? Thought it was govt crackdown that forced most prop shops.

    How about iqFeed? I'm already not happy with the higher data fees as a pro and eSignal exacerbates that.

  6. These are not standard with CBSX props, so they can be viewed as a "benefit."

    * access to payout of profits twice per week
    * no one year "lock up" of capital

    There is a difference, however, as going "pro" will require a Series 7 whereas with a CBSX firm, you take the Series 56.
  7. silk


    Echotrade is really good firm. Good risk manager. great buying power intraday. and just enough overnight that you can still hang yourself. Twice a week payout!

    Software isn't the best. But not bad enough to really hurt you. Unless you are a second by second trader. If you scale in and out and hold stuff for a few minutes, the software is fine.

    Very professional firm.
  8. are there any BSDs ?
  9. Yes, they've been with the Philly exchange for years, but are switching to the CHX soon. Both are FINRA exchanges. So different rules apply. Many have speculated that the lower payout requirement for cbsx firms is bullshit, and just allows the firm to keep more, but I don't know if I believe that.

    I've been told to try Green Mountain, and will be switching over in December. I don't know much about it, but everyone in my group who uses it loves it (and our programmer said he won't support sterling anymore, so that's that. Fine with me).
  10. You can't go wrong with ECHOtrade, its a well run firm, proven platform, well capitalized and 100% payout.
    #10     Nov 15, 2011