How do you mitigate risk of broker order system going down?

Discussion in 'Options' started by gangof4, May 11, 2006.

  1. gangof4


    I'm referring to THEIR data link/s going down, not yours. a concern, especially if you're legging in or out of a butterfly/whatever and you execute the the short and the system goes down before you leg in the long side- certainly has the potential for disaster.

    when i started with options, i went with fidelity because you can get thru to a human trader faster than any other retail broker i've tried. the commission trade off though makes it impractical- big difference going round trip on a combo and paying $100 when the same trade thru IB is $10. a dozen of those a month and you're talking real money. besides, still not redundant- if their system were down, they'd be flooded with calls.

    so, what do you do to protect yourself?

    of course, i have more than one broker. but, to really be covered (ie: have enough in another account to be able to short a large long position, or vis versa), you'd have to have somewhat substantial assets sitting over there doing nothing- like a nuclear fallout shelter stocked with canned goods. not an ideal solution.

    i manage equities and have redundant connections (dsl, cable and, god forbid, dial up!). I also use 3 separate brokers. none of them are really set up for 1 small option trading account. besides, that's client $ and i won't be putting client $ at risk for a year or more (or never, if i fail to develop a system to earn consistent returns with my own money). anyway, my point is that i have structured my client $ so as to have multiple redundancies. would like to do the same with my personal option trading.
  2. I don't think anyone has a good answer for you. You have already mentioned some alternatives (multiple brokers, etc) and the associated drawbacks. Even with multiple brokers the Internet can go down and still give you grief.

    I would try and avoid legging out of combo's where possible using combo orders. Also, using strategies with limited defined risk will help you sleep at night.