Getting The Most From Ameritrade

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Trader5287, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Introduction

    This will be the first in a series on Ameritrade, which I still call Datek. This is not a plug for the broker and they aren't my primary broker anyway. I have found a number of their features to be quite useful to me day in - day out.

    I am going to cover when I have my screens up:




    I hope other others will join in on the remaining offerings such as quotescope, L2, news and make comments on how they use the features I plan to cover.

    Finally, please no comparisons to other charting software. This is for those who use Ameritrade. If I haven't put this thread in the right place, I trust the moderator can move it for me.

  2. zdreg


    could you discuss the quality of their executions
  3. JackR


    I understand that Ameritrade has two customer levels - Regular and Apex. If there are differences in the features available to each could you be sure to note them.
  4. I still have my IRA's with them. I just pulled a taxable (trading) account.

    Streamer is great. Quotescope is useless (for me at least).

    Listed executions couldn't be worse. Especially short sales in a fast market. Since they don't route to the NYSE, it's like getting in the back of a long line for the upticks and having most of the world have free cuts in front of you.

    OTC executions used to be pretty bad, but I've noticed the last couple weeks limit orders being routed straight to BRUT, which sees to be working well. I don't know if it's a new policy, or has something to do with the particular stocks I've been trading.
  5. P.S. Comment should have read Streamer is great, when it works. Mine freezes up a fair amount.
  6. FredBloggs

    FredBloggs Guest


    good luck.

    free toys are ok, but useless if the executions suck - which they do in my experience (on nasdaq).

    id rather pay for real tools than their free toys - id also rather pay a bit more on commission (if i have to) as i know that in the long term i will save more money than i lose on their terrible/criminal fills

    i hear xoom trade r cool????
  7. 1) Difference between Apex and regular accounts. There are others, but two most used are:

    Free streaming News ($29 per month for non-APEX)
    Free Level II ($10 per month for non-APEX)

    2) Why oh why would you use their streamer, charts, Index? Other than the problem that StLouisTrader mentioned (lockups) they lack so many basic features. For that you use QuoteTracker. And yes, it is another software BUT its relevant because it works directly with Ameritrade, is not a Java app and does not have the related issues, and makes trading with Ameritrade practical.
  8. Index is the simplest because it gives us only two choices.

    TOOLS, on the right side. I select them all - Value Time Change %Change Previous Close High Low and Trend

    Of these I find %Change in the indexes I select and discuss below to be the most useful because you get a sense day after day how these move in relation to each other, what's hot and what's not, divergences, etc..

    STREAMER INDEX SELECT is our other tool and the heart of Index.

    You have the MAJOR tab:

    I keep tabs on the overall market action with Dow Jones Composite, Transpos, Indutrials, Utilities, NYSE Financials, Nasdaq Composite, 100 Index, S & P 500, 400, 100

    You have the OTHER tab:

    Many selections here:

    I happen to use Wilshire Total, Russell 20000, Amex Biotech, CBOE Volatility and Philly Gold and Philly Semiconductor

    USER defined:

    This always puzzled me. I never knew the codes or what was available until I contacted Datek. My next post will be a copy of an email I received from them with a vast selection and you can see the format of how to type in a request.

  9. Thank you for contacting us today regarding Indicies.

    Please know that you may obtain a quote for TICK and TRIN on the web site by entering $TICK and $TRIN respectively; however, you are unable to add this information to Streamer.

    Listed below are some common Index symbols. Use the AMTD symbol to retrieve a quote on the Ameritrade web site.

    Index Symbol AMTD Symbol
    Airline Index XAL $XAL.X
    AMEX Internet Index IIX $IIX.X
    Biotechnology Index BTK $BTK.X
    CBOE Internet Index INX $INX.X
    Computer Technology Index XCI $XCI.X
    Dow Jones Equity REIT Index DJR $DJR.X
    Dow 10 Index MUT $MUT.X
    Dow Jones Industrial Average DJX $DJX.X
    Dow Jones Internet Commerce Index ECM $ECM.X
    Dow Jones Transportation Average DTX $DTX.X
    Dow Jones Utility Average DUX $DUX.X
    EUROTOP 100 Index EUR $EUR.X
    Forest/Paper Product Sector Index FPP $FPP.X
    Gold and Silver Sector Index XAU $XAU.X
    Gold Index GOX $GOX.X
    GSTI Composite Index GTC $GTC.X
    GSTI Hardware Index GHA $GHA.X
    GSTI Internet Index GIN $GIN.X
    GSTI Multimedia Networking Index GIP $GIP.X
    GSTI Semiconductor Index GSM $GSM.X
    GSTI Services Index GSV $GSV.X
    GSTI Software Index GSO $GSO.X
    Hong Kong Option Index HKO $HKO.X
    Institutional Index XII $XII.X
    Japan Index JPN $JPN.X
    Major Market Index XMI $XMI.X
    Mexico Index MEX $MEX.X
    The Mexico Index MXY $MXY.X
    Morgan Stanley Consumer Index CMR $CMR.X
    Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index CYC $CYC.X
    NASDAQ 100 Index NDX $NDX.X
    National OTCounter Sector Index XOC $XOC.X
    The Natural Gas Index XNG $XNG.X
    NYSE Composite Index NYA $NYA.A
    Oil Index OIX $OIX.X
    Oil Index XOI $XOI.X
    Pharmaceutical Index DRG $DRG.X
    PHLX/KBW Bank Sector Index BKX $BKX.X
    PHLX Oil Service Index OSX $OSX.X
    Russell 2000 Index RUT $RUT.X
    S&P 100 Index OEX $OEX.X
    S&P 500 Index Long-Term SPL $SPL.X
    S&P 500 Index SPX $SPX.X
    S&P Banks Index BIX $BIX.X
    S&P Chemical Index CEX $CEX.X
    S&P Health Care Index HCX $HCX.X
    S&P Insurance Index IUX $IUX.X
    S&P MidCap 400 Index MID $MID.X
    S&P Retail Index RLX $RLX.X
    S&P SmallCap 600 Index SML $SML.X
    S&P Transportation Index TRX $TRX.X
    Securities Broker/Dealer Index XBD $XBD.X
    Semiconductor Sector Index SOX $SOX.X
    Technology Index TXX $TXX.X
    Utility Sector Index UTY $UTY.X

    To look up an index option chain on the web site, go to the "Quotes and Research" page:
    1. Enter a $ followed by the index symbol followed by .X
    (E.G. the index option chain for the SPX would be entered $SPX.X)
    2. Next, click the ?Option Chain? link.
    3. This will display a list of all options available on the index. You can then scroll through the available options.
    4. At the bottom of the page, you can narrow your search by specifying the type of option, the month, the year or the strike price.
  10. Finally, we have the Trend Charts embedded in the right side of the Index for each of your selections. In a second, you can see the general direction of your picks stacked right on top of each other as the day unfolds.

    You can click on these creating a popup and move them somewhere else. One warning is that these minute by minute charts exaggerate the moves. I don't use these much but it is interesting sometimes to watch the tick by tick movemet of, say, the DJIA.

    My Index space requirement is the lower half of one 17' monitor.
    Streamer, which is the next subject, is on the top half.

    #10     Dec 30, 2004