IB TWS: Foreign Cash conversions Ideal / Ideal Pro

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Ridu, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Ridu


    I recently squared off some negative foreign cash balances in TWS to my base currency using Ideal and Ideal Pro, now these positions are showing in my forex portfolio (account) and portfolio tab in TWS as open positions...Is there any way to prevent these from showing here? They were just cash conversions to net off negative foreign cash balances, they shouldn't be included in daily P&L reporting / open forex positions in the portfolio window of TWS.
    Many thanks.
  2. right click on those positions in the forex position pane and set the amount to zero, this will have the positions removed from the pane. Note that doing this has NO effect on your positions and it will not execute any additional trades.

    I really dislike how IB handles fx positions and p&l. Just because some stock guys are too clueless to read account statements correctly IB decided to not show realized fx p&l anymore which makes ZERO sense.

  4. +1

    Unfortunately they don't seem to care too much about their customers.
  5. they care but in this case they actually listened to the wrong guys. I heard that some big stock guys apparently could not add 1 and 1 together and got confused about the realized fx p&l (which they apparently only generated because of their exposure resulting from stock positions denominated in foreign currency) mixed in with the p&l realized from their stock trades.

    It absolutely makes no sense why not to show ALL realized p&l in the real-time account window.

    IB, if you are reading this could you comment whether you are working on something or whether people who trade even clips of several million USD equivalents are longer kept standing in the rain.

  6. Ridu


    I hope they will fix this too. I've been on to their support a number of times and the reponse was to adjust the value of the cash conversion trade to zero so it no longer shows, but this is time consuming: I'm not only using forex for squaring off negative foreign cash balance, I'm using it for speculative forex positions too, what a nightmare having to adjust the thing all the time, they could just allow you to tick a check box when you do the trade deciding whether you want it to show in the fx portfolio (if it's for speculation) or not (if it's for cash converson), surely it would be that simple, or did I overlook something?
  7. yes, it really is THAT simple. But they rather spent many coding hours on a useless tool such as that fx window, which apparently NOBODY uses, than getting the most basic, the real-time account balance/margin, p&l information straight.

  8. Sure. When you put on a foreign exchange trade with IB, they actually do buy and sell the currencies in the amounts you traded. And this is actually a good thing. The minute IB changes this is the minute they will lose many, many serious customers.

    Those who whine about minuscule balances on foreign currency accounts don't interest them, since they are the ones with minuscule account balances. Rightly so, I might add. If you fit in their main profile of attracting 100k-5mil customers, then you care diddly about 3000 yen on your yen account.

    This thread reminds me of those women who buy a giant SUV for 'safety', and yet they don't realize the underlying problem is not with the car, but with them, ie. they don't know how to drive.
  9. sorry but you are the one who completely missed the boat. The point is that when you make 10,000,000 yen positive p&l, for instance through Nikkei futures or options, and your account is denominated in USD, you may want to convert the yen back to USD in order to avoid unnecessary exposure to fx. When you make the adjustment, you end up with fx positions in your fx pane although you are actually net flat. You need to adjust it back to zero all MANUALLY.

    Secondly, no matter what p&l you generate, even in the 100 thousands you dont see a single penny of REALIZED P&L originating from fx positions. Why is that?

    So, you still think that all makes sense or that something that is extremely basic and that most brokerages handle with ease looks very weird in TWS.

    The freaking point is that when you offer speculative fx trading then also offer real-time unrealized AS WELL as realized p&l of those trading positions. Anything else dates back to before the 90s.

  10. Ridu


    What does account size have to do with it? did I say how large or small a balance I am converting to cover negative foreign currency? This is irrelevant!
    I'm not here to bash IB, I am extremely happy with IB in all other respects, they are a great broker. I am here to point out what looks like a design flaw in TWS for reporting cash conversions in Ideal / Ideal pro. Any cash conversions back to or from base currency are logged as an open trade in TWS portfolio window. These should not be reported here as they are cash conversions to / from base currency, they should not be shown as part of daily P&L.
    #10     Nov 20, 2009