IB =? TWS or Qcharts or Qcharts + SWP

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Mr. DNA, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Mr. DNA

    Mr. DNA

    My trading is very basic. I try to keep as simple as possible.
    I usually try to get long for 10 cents on 2000 shares of a $5 stock.
    [Bye, NXTL.] Hello ILA

    I have been with Scottrade for years and am planning to Change to IB.
    I have a few questions if any of you have time...

    1. Any opinions on trading with just the TWS interface. Browser or full install?

    2. what does SWP do that QCharts cannot?

    3. Do you recommend any other data/charting packages to integrate with IB.


  2. fleance


    If you like trading low-priced stocks, I don't recommend IB because they charge per share. 1c/share for first 500 shares, then 1/2c/share. So 1000 shares costs $7.50, 2000 shares cost $15. And if you tend to accumulate your shares with multiple orders, those 2000 shares could cost up to $20.

    So, if you mainly trade lowpriced stocks, the commissions are not cheaper, and they could be more. I have had several trades which cost me over $100 for some lowpriced stocks like WCOM, LVLT, NXTL, etc.

    > 1. Any opinions on trading with just the TWS interface. Browser or full install?

    Full install is preferable, because then you aren't dependent on the browser. If you run TWS in the browser and IE crashes, TWS crashes also. Also, if you have installed standalone, you have more control over when you upgrade. With the browser TWS, you are forced to always use the latest version.

    > 2. what does SWP do that QCharts cannot?

    I have tried the latest version of SWP when they added the integration with IB. You can click on L1 or L2 and send an order to TWS; However it needs more customization like ability to specify order size per symbol.
    In terms of basic charting, L1, and L2 I didn't find much difference; In fact QCharts is more polished IMO.
    SWP strong points are the formula engine, a scanner, and also they have a backtester which I didn't try out. For my purposes (realtime daytrading), I didn't see enough value to pay $40 a month. I really liked ErlangerQuote (used to be Ravenquote) because it had better useability and better charting than the regular qcharts, but the new owner doubled the price from $40 to $80/month, and I cancelled it. For the cost of quote.com fee + SWP, a better deal might be esignal with the new advanced charting in esignal 7.0. I tried esignal 6.0, and it was the worst package I had ever seen as far as useability and charting compared to qcharts, ravenquote, SWP, and cybertrader; However, the new advanced charts look good, so if you can stomach the rest of the user interface, it might be worth it now.

    > 3. Do you recommend any other data/charting packages to integrate with IB.

    I don't think much integrates with IB right now. SWP just added their basic integration, and esignal 7.2 is supposed to have some level on integration, but that isn't released yet.

    Several individuals have developed applications like AutoTrader, BracketTrader, etc. which are trading application based on IB's TWS API. See the IB bulletin boards for more info http://www.interactivebrokers.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.pl?pg=topics (Click TWS API).

  3. pretzel



    I'm using Qcharts right now, but is looking at Esignal. I have the Qcharts basic which is 79.95+exchange fees. When I looked at the Esignal website, their equivalent package is 185+exchange fees. The price is more than double - what do you get for that price that you cant get from Qcharts?


  4. Mr. DNA

    Mr. DNA


    Thanks! Your info on IB commissions and SWP, Qcharts is very helpful. As much as I am interested in the other benefits of IB, such as the universal account and trading other markets, my trading is based in the 2 to 7 dollar per share range so, IB commissions would be way more than Scottrade.

    I don't have direct access but, I like my 2, 3, and 4000 shares for $7[mkt] or $12 [limit] a side with Scottrade.

    Can you suggest a direct access broker that offers:

    1. Comparable commissions on larger lots of low priced stocks
    2. A universal account similar to IB [I think only IB has this.]
    3. Software...... Here is where I'm at. I've used Scottrader extensively and, TC2000 for two years.

    I like Scottrader. It does the job and it works most of the time. Scottrade accounting has never made a mistake in any of my accounts. My problem is that at Scottrade, Sell stops have to be 25c below the bid. This doesn't work with low priced stocks and is the main reason I'm looking for another broker. Why not move up to direct access?

    Much of my skill has come from my studies using TC2000.
    I will always praise the Wordens. The help and insight they sell in their products has been well worth it in my quest to become a full time trader.

    However, TC2000/TCNET drawbacks include:

    1. It does not integrate with any brokers. I'd like something I can trade from within.
    2. I never had TC2000 with streaming realtime. When I finally went for it, I was told that it was being replaced by TCNET. I've tried that and it is immaculate. It's a bit much for me. I find the chat distracting and I don't think there is a way to turn it off.

    So, at my barely intermediate level, I'm looking for broker with
    - trailing stops [at least no restrictions]
    - a better technical indicator interface that I can trade from within
    - ability to trade international stock and currency [at night,{forex}?]
    - $7 to $12 per side or better on 2000 to 5000 share lots.

    That shouldn't be so hard to find.

    You know, if you can just find some people who know how to do this stuff before you spend dozens or even hundreds of hours and xxxx amount of dollars, trying to figure it out by trial and error,... It makes it a whole hell of alot easier.



  5. def

    def Interactive Brokers

    Do you know why you're limit orders cost more than market orders? The sale of order flow. You are probably are paying alot more than you realize for market orders in terms of pricing. 2000 *.01 = $50. W/o direct access you are probably not totally clued in to the quality of your fills. There is a reason someone is willig to pay your current broker money for the right to trade against your market order.

    One correction: fleance said $15 for 2K shares - it is 12.5 (7.50 for the first thousand, $5 for each additional thousand).

    Whether or not you choose IB, you should look for direct access and IMO if you stay where you are, use limit orders.