Fidelity Active Trader Pro

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Bickz, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Bickz


    hey everyone.

    i did a search for Fidelity Active Trader Pro, and found several old comments and a few new ones. so i was wondering if anyone with recent experience (in the past few months) using the ATP platform could comment? particularly about execution speed, speed of chart updates, shorting issues, etcetera.

    i'm looking into platforms for day trading, and am considering fidelity ATP. not the buy .53, sell .54 within seconds type of day trading. but buy/sell from 15 minutes to several hours (not penny stocks). ie- catching price moves.

  2. I am doing OK with Fidelity ATP. There are things I hate and like about it. For example I HATE its order entry history window that attempts to keep old order's in the trade window so you can use them to resubmit similar buy/sell orders. But in fast trading it can be too easy to issue the WRONG order from history - be careful. Charting seems to have occasional lag problems and sometimes you will not get chart data due to data hiccups. But order entry & execution is pretty descent and quick. It's also easy to amend an existing order to revise it in real-time to cancel and replace. I HATE the Option Trader Pro add on (its a loosely integrated 3rd party kludge). But the option chain feature in ATP is good enough for most traders but it lacks "the Greeks". You have to go to OTP to get that but be forewarned that it lights up to reflect all real time market volume and trading like a Christmas tree in a very distracting way that will leave you dizzy.

    Its also nice to have an automatic watch list created of your entire portfolio to see in real-time all the dynamic changes. But it can be disconcerting to see your account net worth/balance change in real time to market dynamics/noise if you have a large account. The stock research and news links to 3rd party reports are very handy.

    I wish they would incorporate much better option analytics in the core trading platform and get rid of the option trader pro add in all together.

    Hint: I often keep open a separate web browser to Fidelity's web interface to my account to get a snap shot of cost/profit data since I have a huge number of long stock positions that are hard to visualize in ATP.

  3. bluedemon77

    bluedemon77 Guest

    I was generally very happy with Fidelity while I was a customer. Excellent service, good executions, decent trading/charting, etc. A couple of VERY negative things, however:

    1. Commissions, which add up if you're doing more than a few trades a week.

    2. If you daytrade, you have to do it on margin (not cash, unless it's with settled funds) and even if you're flat at the end of the day they still charge you interest for any transactions that are not settled. That's what finally drove me to Interactive Brokers.

    Interactive Brokers is not as customer friendly, their data feed (backfilling) is very slow and limited and their charting/trading platform is very clumsy and hard to get used to. It's nothing like Fidelity, Scottrade, Etrade, etc. I use AmiBroker and eSignal for charting, QuoteTracker for entering orders and IB just processes the transactions. I've been playing around with IB's BookTrader, but I can't get used to it. However, you can't beat their commisssions and interest rates, plus their full selection of stocks, options, commodities, forex, etc. I have been very satisfied with IB as a broker. I just wish they'd make their platform a little more user-friendly.
  4. BlueDemon - were you at gold level of commission with Fidelity? I am and its quite fair at $8/stock trade or $8 +.75 per options contract. My only beef with the margin accounts is that they will require house minimums on both sides of an iron condor position when only one side is ever vulnerable. But I agree they are generally very friendly but most are not deeply technical traders and you have to call the active trading desk in Salt Lake to get anyone who can really talk turkey about options and more sophisticated trading. Most of Fidelity is set up for retail level customers and mutual funds.

  5. bluedemon77

    bluedemon77 Guest

    Yes, I was, but unless you routinely trade over 1,600 shares, $.005 per share is less than $8. A thousand shares with IB costs $2.50 per transaction (with some restrictions on penny stocks, etc.), which is 69% lower than Fidelity. If you're looking for free advice, research, news, etc., and/or you trade thousands of shares at a time stay with Fidelity. I came to the conclusion that all of the analyst reports weren't helping me much as a chartist and that was Fidelity's main attraction for me. Lots of freebies with Fidelity, but that's only valuable if you use it. My sense is IB is a no frills broker and they don't care to do much hand-holding, but that's all I need and I'm happy with them so far.
  6. Actually, the news, reports and charts is one of the very most important things to me since I do a lot of research on each position and need to follow real-time news events that will pop up in the watch list as a hyper link in real-time. This is EXTREMELY handy to be able to figure out what made a stock suddenly surge up or down. Also the third party charts have a LOT of free technical chartist data with all the popular bearish/bullish signals automatically computed for you in a nice table format.

    I also have a fair number of mutual funds that I buy outside of Fidelity's family and they offer thousands of other mutual funds (all margin-able within 30 days) through their funds network. Many of these have NO fees and you can buy and trade these like stocks (subject to minimum holding periods of 90 days or minor short term redemption fees). That is the one very nice thing about Fidelity - its all well integrated and set up for the "do it yourself" trader to do his own research. I never ever have to call Fidelity unless there is some weird momentary technical error or I need to exercise an option etc. or don't understand a margin balance etc. I have submitted many ideas for enhancements or a few bugs etc. and they are very polite to respond to each idea and forward it to the right staff for correction or consideration.

    Perhaps the single most important thing I like about Fidelity is they are a well established, long-term, deep-pockets and reputable brokerage with many many billions of dollars under management. I sleep well at night knowing that I am not going to suddenly wake up one morning to read in the newspaper that they had a scandal and fraud situation and that the company's assets all went missing or are being shut down by SEC or were involved in a shady underwriting deal or exposed to a busted hedge fund. They have all kinds of institutional checks-and-balances and off site record backup, sophistication etc. that a lot of the smaller brokerages and johnny come-latelys can't compete with. I don't mind paying a pittance more for that kind of insurance and peace of mind.

  7. I have been seriously thinking about them as a Canadian Investor.

    However, I am also debating Etrade Pro as well.

    Whats your thoughts on Etrade.
  8. I have not used any of Etrade's brokerage facilities so I can not speak with any personal knowledge. I suspect that most of the brokerages are able to get the basic order execution and account balance accounting properly administered. Any broker who can't get the basics right simply will not be around too long since its too competitive for the sleazy and incompetent one's to last long.

    I would greatly love to see a broker come up with a one stop shop global "super" account to let me trade directly any where on the planet in foreign currencies, futures, commodities, equities, government and commercial bonds, muni's, options, mutual funds, etc.. It could all be handled with existing NASDAQ pink sheet and bulletin board systems if somone would just mirror the major exchanges here and give us the links to chart data for current quotes and news/research and automatic bid/ask currency conversions.

  9. I checked out Fidelity Active Trader.

    Problem is, I cant obtain the status I want with them.

    I love the Gold option of $8.00 flat trade.

    I dont know if I will do 120+ trades per year to obtain Gold Status.

    And my account, while decent, is no where near $1 million in assets.

    So, my option most likely scenario is the Silver option.

    Problem with that is I refuse to pay 0.015 per share over the inital 1000 shares, which is the big caveat with them.

    But Fidelity would be my #1 choice if not for these issues. Peace of mind is a big plus.
  10. Silver is not too bad. I pragmatically never ran into the 1000 shares premium since most of my trades are not in the micro cap or penny stock prices and I would never have more than about 800-1000 shares in any one position (most of my positions are in company's in the $30-$200/share price range).

    I can't remember if option trading counts to the minimums for gold level. If so I bet you could earn a gold level pretty quickly by simply selling covered calls on equity positions you had to meet the minimum # of trades requirement or doing a fair number of low cost options trades for a few months.

    Just ideas,
    #10     Dec 24, 2006