Good futures firm

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by sharp10, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. sharp10


    Looking for a decent futures firm for someone with not a lot of experience. (electronic and pit)

    Thanks for your inputs.
  2. Do you want someone looking over your shoulder? There are a variety of firms which will assign a broker to you that you can call and chat with. Lind-Waldock seemed nice with reasonable commissions. I wouldn't recommend Man. (Yeah, the irony is that Lind and Man are the same company)

    If you don't want someone looking over you shoulder, try out the trading platform. At length. In general, they're terrible. Some are so terrible, that you're bound to make mistakes.

    Man, for example, requires me to figure out the proper multiplier when I enter a price. Sometimes it's x10, sometimes x100. Sometimes it requires me to specify prices in 4ths or 8ths. For example, to buy corn at 342 1/2, I have to enter "3422" as the price.

    Man also requires spread orders to be entered in the proper sequence, which varies per market. Some want sells listed first, some want buys.

    When I place a spread order, Man has 3 radio buttons where I can select "buy" or "sell". If I select sell for each leg, and then sell for the whole thing, what happens? It turns out exactly the opposite as happens with IB when I select sell-sell-sell.

    Anyway, there are major pitfalls here, and that's just the trading platform. Wait until you get an inverted spread fill, or they've computed the multiplier incorrectly. Wait until you find out that the wheat pit guy is awesome and gets you incredible fills, but the lumber pit guy gets you the worst fills you can imagine.

    Do I sound bitter? Perhaps wiser for the experience. When IB picks up electronic grain and meat options at the end of this month, I'll likely be closing my Man account. I'd love to trade softs (coffee in particular), but it's just too dangerous.

    As an example, I bought $625 worth of Fed Fund straddles. It showed up on my statement as $62,500 worth of straddles. On top of that, their accounting system counted all of those as shorts that were worth -$62,500. Net result, Man's accounting system showed I was $125,000 in the hole on $625 in straddles.

    In their defense, their customer service has been great at fixing these issues. But, I didn't get a whole lot of sleep the night I got my statement showing I paid 100x more than I thought I did for some options! (Of course, had the fed lowered interest rates, I'd have been happy to collect my $12M in profits) :)
  3. jkhek21

    jkhek21 Global Futures Inc.

    At Global Futures we can provide you access for electronic and pit traded markets. For electronic markets we offer a large variety of trading platforms where you can paper trade with live data from the exchanges we also have direct access to most american major exchanges for your pit traded contracts. We also offer great leverage for select electronic markets with no minimum account size, let me know if you might be interested for more information.

    1-877-367-3177 x 127
  4. I would look at Open E Cry and also Pro Active Futures. They are an IB like Global that's offers alot of different platforms. Mirus Futures is good too, but I don't believe they have the product offerings that Global and PA have.
  5. In general, I disliked any of the brokers that did not disclose their rates. Lind-Waldock gave me $6 rt without negotiation and with relatively low volume. Man gave me a little better with some negotiation. OpenECry and the others wanted $10-$25.

    These numbers are big. If your average profit per contract is $500, do you really want to be paying a 5% tax when you could be paying 1%?

    Also, beware the brokers that offer "lots of platforms". It seemed that the fees for the platforms were rarely disclosed, and often VERY high.

    If you're trading electronic futures, then having some incredible DOM may be important to you. But for pit traded stuff, all that extra fluff is irrelevant.
  6. ddunbar

    ddunbar Guest

    Lindy gave you $6RT? I think you mean Open E Cry gave you $6RT and Lindy gave you $10-15. Open E cry quoted me a competitive quote to IB's.

    I'm also leary of firms that do not openly state their commissions. Back in 2000, I was paying $19RT for Eminis with Lind Waldock. Insane I know. I kept the account for years until the debacle with Refco. As my volume grew I was able to negotiate down.

    Anyway, I'd like to know more about Open E Cry before opening an account with them. I'd like another back up broker besides IB.
  7. ddunbar

    ddunbar Guest

    Not too much recent talk about Velocity Futures. I wonder why?
  8. Open ecry has very low commissions. They are under $5.00 round trip. They give you free software to use with free charts. They have a free demo. Their brokers are all young and brand new and like teenagers that know very little. They only want you to sign up so they can get commissions. But don't let that stop you. They seem like a good company with good low commissions and free charts and software.

    Global futures says to call them and name your own commission. Then when you call them and tell them what you want to pay, they say "NO, TOO LOW". One broker quotes $6.00 round trip and another broker quotes $4.00 round trip. They are only out to get your commission money. Their brokers act like immature teenagers. Global futures is really should put their commissions on their website like they do with the $300.00 margin offer they have. pro-active puts their commissions on their website, I think global should do this also because their brokers are giving the impression they are dishonest when they all give different commission quotes to people. Everybody should be paying the same commission and then have it on a sliding scale the more contracts we trade. They can put it on their website the sliding scale. For instance, 1 to 300 contracts per month will be $4.00 RT and then 301 contracts and up the commission fee goes down.

    Global futures does have excellent tech support. The best I have seen so far. Tech support is very helpful if you need help with any of the trading software they offer.
  9. i like IB

    they are totally upfront about their commissions, and if u trade ANY sort of volume at all, the unbundled commissions structure is great

    i pay under $4 a round trip, and they don't try to nickel and dime you with all sorts of wacked fees.

    the ONLY complaint i have with IB is that when you ACH money in or out (i constantly filter money out of my account to take my profits and put them in conservative stuff) it takes WAY too long.

    AMTD processes ACH's ***much*** faster

    i suspect IB holds on to the money for a day or two to get the interest on it, kind of like banks do when they hold checks.

    other than that, i have no complaints with IB.

    oh, they also need a running PC ratio.

    other than THAT :) i have no complaints