IB and redundancy?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by john7093, May 16, 2003.

  1. john7093


    In the past I have heard the following regarding IB:

    Great commisions but customer service is lacking.... Maybe once or twice a year IB's system will go down and there is no way to open or close a trade even if you call in to the desk !!

    The last part really scares me. Has IB implemented any redundancy in their systems either through backup servers or by allowing trades to be executed through there order desk while the system is down? ( at least be able to close positions )

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated as I am looking for another broker
  2. McCloud


    If the exchange is down then there isn't much any broker can do to close your position, otherwise if IB's own system is down then the trade desk is usually able to close the position imo...

    I have used IB for several years on a daily basis and I think it ranks well above many other brokers out there in many respects..IMO!
  3. Can anyone suggest a back up broker to IB for futures which has phone support? I don't mind the high comm they would charge for it would be only for those 2-5 times a year I am stuck with an IB position and need to call a desk to flatten me out. Key isue of course if start up $ to open an account.i.e sub $5,000

  4. PKJR


    just an idea- why don't u use SPY or DIA to ooffset your positions? no need for the second broker in that case especially if you have limited capital

  5. If I have an emin position and IB's TWS dies, I can't call IB to get me out so SPY,DIa won't also be available. unles, there is an alternative backup system I don't know about..
  6. PKJR


    sorry for confusion. usually electronic exchange dies not IB..this is what I had in mind..if Globex dies like the last time..than having account with another firms to trade via Globex will not do you any good because they also will not be able to execute your positions on Globex..unless you go to PIT for big SP..in both situation you have to have enough $$ to be able to carry positions overnight...

    of course more redundancy you will have if you have an account with another firm but still you have to have enough to offset positions and carry them overnight..

  7. wallaby


    Another option, in addition to an extra stock or futures broker to back up your primary account, is to consider an OTC product such as a CFD or speadbet. Typically, margin requirements are 5 % for US, European and Asian stocks, and 3% for global indexes. Spreads depend on the broker, but are usually 5 cents/pennies for stocks, and for an index such as the S&P, 0.5 points. They also quote the DAX, CAC, FTSE etc.

    The other plus with a CFD / spreadbet shop is that they are set up to receive phone orders in addition to online trading.

    When globex went down their S&P products seemed unaffected.

    If you're a U.S. resident you may have to shop around a little. Many of the CFD/spreadbet brokers, but not all, are located in the UK and some will not accept US clients.

  8. Failure of the platform has NOT been a huge problem, and while its nice to have a hot backup, this should not be a major consideration.

    Worst case you'll lose OR! make some extra money. Now, if you randomly enter the market for 250 ES contracts at maximum leverage using money borrowed from your credit cards, then yes, I'd recommend 3 no-fail backups + a consultation with a good risk control guy.
  9. wallaby


    Each to their own champion

    Many people on this site may still be in their early stages [ & those who are not may simply be risk-averse, we all have our own utility functions ] ... precisely the time when capital is precious and backup may be needed. As with most redundancy issues, its only got to happen once for it to pay for itself.
  10. tt1452


    The biggest problem that I have encountered is my stand alone TWS dropping out and sometimes it takes several attempts to reconnect. (sometimes at a critical time).

    One way I deal with it is that I have another computer running medved quote tracker that is providing back up quotes using another quote source other than IB.

    On this machine I can quckly activate either the web based or standalone TWS using my second internet connection. This usually allows me to quickly logon and continue trading while I try to sort out the problem with my primary machine.
    #10     May 19, 2003