future options broker

Discussion in 'Financial Futures' started by ptunic, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. ptunic


    Hi all.
    I actually have several questions all at once, thanks in advance for any help!

    I would like to begin trading future options.

    I need a wide range, such as what TradeStation provides: CBOT: Corn, Lumber, Oats, Rice, Soy, Wheat, Treasuries; CME: Cattle, Milk, Currencies, Indexes; COMEX: Gold, Silver. etc; NYBOT: Cocoa, Coffee, Sugar, etc. NYMEX: Oil, Gas.

    1) Brokerage Firm
    Which broker should I use? Right now, Tradestation is the only one I found that even offers the full range of Future Options! I would prefer not to use Tradestation because my account is relatively small and thus the $99/month platform fee is large for me at first. I'll do it if I have to but it is a definate disadvantage right now. I was looking at Interactive Brokers, but they don't offer hardly any Future Options. They have the S&P 500 E-minis and a few others. Btw my trades usually last for several days at least, so order execution is useful but not as critical as for day-traders. Also regarding brokers, I'll be trading stock options as well so I would prefer the broker can handle both but I will have 2 brokers if I need to. Even with Tradestation, I'll have to segregate my stock option account and my future options account if I go with them. But the main thing I'm looking for is a brokerage firm that would let me trade Future Options with a low minimum account size like Tradestation but without the $99/month platform fee.

    2) Small Trading Sizes
    I know with stock options, I can buy odd lots that are small and it increases my commissions but it can be done. (Again this is due to my small account size). With Future Options the size of 1 contract generally seems much larger, do they allow fractional contracts for us small players? (Or is that what the E-minis are for?)

    3) Non-US Future Options:
    I notice in Tradestation some Non-US Future Options are on the markets list. Such as: LIFFE: Euroswiss and MATIF: 3-Month Euribor. Are these generally tradable by US investors such as myself? I don't have them in my data feed so this is just an academic question for now, but I am curious.