IB - fractional cent limit order entry?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by toad57, May 24, 2002.

  1. toad57


    Newbie IB user here.

    I tried to enter a limit order for MSFT using '53.261' and got the yucky message The order price "53.261" does not conform to the minimum price variation for this contract.

    The order routing for this stock was BEST.

    Is there any way to do fractional cent limit orders with IB? Is this a limitation of IB overall, or tied to my choice of BEST order routing? :confused:


    Mr. Toad
  2. Nope. You can't do it. Not even with routing to island...

    Sucks, huh?
  3. toad57


    Yeah, it sure does suck. It never dawned on me to verify this little detail using their test system before I opened an account.

    Not sure if that would have been a deal breaker, but would have been nice to know ahead of time. :( :(

    I posed the question (same wording as above) to the IB Help desk and this is the helpful reply that I received:

    Thank you for your email. You are using one decimal too many. Enter your orders using two decimal places.

    Uhhh.... I really do want to enter 3 digits to the right of the decimal point- it's no accident.

    Mr. Toad
  4. toad57


    So I guess the question now is this: on orders with identical prices, how are they filled? Oldest order first? Smallest size first? Largest size first? Random?

    Inquiring newbie minds want to know!

    Mr. Toad
  5. toad57


    I guess while I'm full of questions, I'll continue with this one: Do most brokers allow fractional cent orders, or are most like IB and limit you to whole cents?


    Mr. Tode
  6. On Island, it is oldest orders first, regardless of size. ISLD is one of few places that believes in a fair, liquid, transparent market. Otherwise it is usually biggest size first.

    I've heard that pointdirex allows both ISLD fractions and hidden orders, but aside from prop firms there are not too many per-share brokers. I think hold brothers is another one...but there are some weird postings about them on ET...I would give pointdirex a try; people have been saying good things about them. They are more expensive than IB for very small orders and very big orders, but if you trade around 300-500sh at a time, PD is cheaper.
  7. toad57


  8. Only when those comments agree with IB management.
  9. alanm


    I disagree. I've seen management take some of the input and make changes as a result, particularly with respect to customer service issues. On other issues, even though there is a disagreement, we are at least getting some discussion going, which is far better than the previous silence.
  10. alanm


    Can you give an example of where "biggest size first" occurs?

    As far as I can tell, this applies only for the very narrow case of trading between 151 and 500 shares of a NASDAQ stock via Island, which results in a net commission of $0.0095 per share instead of IB's $0.01 - a worst-case difference of just $0.25 total on an order of 500 shares.

    This assumes that you trade less than 25K shares daily. It gets a little better for more daily volume, but still is only cheaper than IB in the narrow case described above.

    More or less size, use of other ECNs, NYSE/AMEX stocks, SOES, Selectnet, or cancels all make the trades more expensive than IB.
    #10     May 25, 2002