IB or Tradestation?

Discussion in 'Financial Futures' started by Jaxon, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Jaxon


    I am going to start doing some futures trading from home, for my own account. Mostly CBOT financials, which I have been trading for 20+ years at a dealer. I am wondering who to open an account with. I need some charting capability. Low cost is definitely a priority. I would like something with an appearance similar to what I have been using, ie eSpeed and PrimeTrade (CSFB platform) What are pros and cons of each, and any other suggestions? Account size will be $50k, if that matters. Rereading "Trading for a Living."
  2. I actually use both Tradestation and IB as there are pros and cons to each. Why not split the 50k between the two?
  3. Could you elaborate on the pros and cons from your perspective...
  4. Sure -

    TS - I use the historical data, I like the charting and automated order entry.

    IB - I trade Eurex and at the time I started trading TS didn't offer European products. Also, I use the spreadsheet link. The statements and customer support are superior.

    I only trade futures also. Finally, I like having two separate accounts for redundancy purposes.
  5. SO it's the platform, not the brokerage that you like (wit reagrds to TS.) If I assessed that correctly, thanks. :)
  6. Neither platform will give you much in the way of real-time treasury data that you may be used to. CTD is not available, nor are quotes on any individual bonds. Yield is only available by the TYX, TNX tickers--otherwise you've got to plug numbers into your own spreadsheet.

    Otherwise, it can be summed up pretty easily:

    Tradestation: Has a great platform, okay data, and a pretty lousy brokerage.
    - Platform - Really good. Lacking in portfolio management abilities, but you can get any chart for any timeframe and slap any technical study you can imagine on it. And it looks pretty while you're doing it.
    - Data - it goes out perhaps once a month for a few hours, and has for the last few years.
    - Brokerage - they offer a terrible interest rate on cash (~1%) and make it extremely difficult to get money into or out of your account. Lots of faxed paperwork that sits for 24 hours, sometimes are returned for obscure reasons, etc.

    IB: A serviceable platform, good data, great brokerage.
    - Platform - Serviceable, but not stellar. If you just want to fill orders, it works fine, but charting is rudimentary and not very attractive.
    - Data - I've had only one downtime in several years with their data.
    - Brokerage - Fantastic. 4-5% interest (depending on how much you have deposited), money transfers in and out are very quick and painless.