IB vs. competitors?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by patsup, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. patsup

    patsup

    Hi I'm (kinda) new to EliteTrader, and looking for a new broker.

    I actually opened an account with Interactive Brokers 18 months ago (on browsing the posts from these forums way back, but never became a member) and in the beginning used to love IB. It has been great for the most part and I have recommended IB to friends (I notice IB has grown a lot in that period... coincidence?????? J/K)

    So, lately I've been having more problems with their software/customer support. (Not just lately, but the bugs seemed less "lethal"). I will admit their CS has of course improved dramatically (though that may not be saying much considering... :)) I know I know, people say "You get what you pay for"

    Skip to the -------- to ignore my sob story :)

    Anyway, some old problems....
    I use stops a lot and have had a few problems in the past, which seemed to be software glitches... e.g. (1) if you change an attached order and resubmit it could go off right away, (2) changing an existing order from buy/sell or lmt to stp(or viceversa) and adjusting price and then submitting, it has gone off when it shouldn't (as if only SOME of the changes went through and others didn't causing weird execution) [teaches me to CANCEL first then make a new order]. It seems like they've been fixed but I haven't "tested" them in awhile.
    Mostly those were minor things and when you saw an order gone off when it shouldn't you can just resubmit again and lose only a small spread. And losing Trading pages that's just annoying but livable. But it's little minor glitches like that, that seem to add up.

    The latest ones that just drive me crazy were STOP orders that went off due to aftermarket trading. First, I did NOT elect "ignore regular hours"... I have never fiddled with it, and believe the default is for stops to trigger in regular hours only. Anyway, when asked, IB said I elected "ignore regular hours" (I told them I didn't) so blahhhhhhh. Has this ever happened to anyone here? I haven't seen any posts so oh well.
    Also, I'm just speculating (no pun intended) but this has only happened (that I know of) when I was still connected to the TWS, and I just think it's really weird for a STOP to go off at all so far from the market price, but it can conceivably happen after-hours with the lower liquidity, so it's almost as if someone shot a small order just to trigger my stop... so I'm paranoid and think someone sees what stop-orders I have open if I'm logged in but NOT through SSL... (As another aside/glitch if I Check the "Use SSL" box, TWS never connects, so I don't use SSL) that still doesn't explain the so-called "after hours" stop, but at any rate, I'm just GUESSING as to the reasons, but it just seems like things happen that shouldn't.

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    I mean, of course IB is great for a lot of reasons, but who are some other excellent low-cost competitors? I haven't used any other direct-access brokers so I'm not sure how they compare (software-bugginess-wise)...
    The things I like about IB are:
    - the extremely low fees...
    - online account statements
    - downloading statements/info to financial software (i.e. quicken)

    TradeStation has that $100/month software usage. I don't need fancy software, or LevelII, or advice/analysis/research services; I just want the lowest fees possible.... I thought IB's was lowest so it's hard to find something better. But come on, can't anyone else compete with these guys? :)

    I am mostly a position trader in equities, maybe 80-120Kshares/month or about 3-400trades/month.

    So I've seen some stuff about ECHO, XOOM, MB Trader, Genesis... how would you recommend in relation to my needs? Any others I could consider?

    Genesis prices seem unbelievable, does anyone know more about it? How is execution, customer support, statements, any hidden fees?

    Thanks for reading all you brave(bored) souls.