IB vs Thinkorwim - Options Trade Executions

Discussion in 'Options' started by rd100, May 5, 2010.

  1. rd100



    I have couple of accounts (traditional and Roth IRAs and regular)at IB and trade SPX options thru Friends and Family Advisor setup. I trade multi-leg spreads like Iron Condors, Butterflys etc. I also opened an account with Thinkorswim recently to check their fills.

    Today, I had the same trade entered at IB as well as ToS. ToS fill was better than 10+% on the price and it was faster as well.

    I know IB has slight advantage in terms of commissions over ToS, but the fills difference more than makes for that advantage. Moreover, ToS has no data fees and no maintenance fees (if you did not trade in a given month). Also, with IB, total commission charged varies from trade to trade depending upon what they call "add liquidity".

    I was wondering what others' experience has been with respect to this. I'm thinking of moving my accounts to ToS from IB.

    Also, does ToS have IB's Friends and Family advisor equivalent i.e. can you submit single order and allocate different quantities in different accounts?

  2. I have the opposite experience. I don't understand your faster execution part though. Was it a market order?
  3. rd100


    No, I had a limit order - ToS filled it at the middle as they showed while IB filled at $0.20 worse. I checked the mid-point at ToS and submitted limit order on both ToS and IB. ToS filled it in about 2 minutes while at IB I had to change it to get filled in about 10 minutes.
  4. Was it ToS paper account? That's where they fill at the middle. They never fill at the middle my market orders.
  5. drenaud


    It has been my experience that if anything there was a small edge with IB. Most of the time I have gotten fills at the same price but if there was a difference it was always to the advantage of IB.

  6. Agreed. Statistically fills are to the IB advantage. My guess OP tried Tos paper account.
  7. rd100


    Thanks for pointing out... Yes, my trade today was on ToS papermoney... But if they were to fill it knowing it was papermoney, they would have filled it instantly. My order was 'working' for couple of minutes before getting filled as the price (shown on the working orders tab) fluctuated above and below my price by 10-15 cents.

    I had a real trade on Monday on ToS, and it was filled at the middle as shown on ToS after price fluctuated above and below. I agree I didn't have that trade on IB.

  8. Oh yeh, I've had accounts at both so don't label me as a loyal IB defender. Since I have traded some serious volume the past few years (for a retail guy), the commission savings at IB was significant.
  9. I have used the paper trade account with IB from time to time to test option spreads. In the paper trade account, you have to hit the bid or the ask to execute--there is no "negotiation" if you try to place a limit order in the middle. In my regular account with IB, 99% of the time if I place a limit order halfway between the bid/ask it gets filled--for spreads. Remember, IB is a market maker with ES FOP's so they can "negotiate" better fills. I have had other brokers who could not fill like IB does. Also, I don't care about speed, I care about getting the best price for the spread.
  10. piezoe


    RD100, you might be interested to know that the TOS paper trade platform fills buy orders placed using the DOM display (which does not, incidentally, show the depth of market, but just last, bid and asked) on the bid and sells on the ask. Just the opposite of real life. Its easy to make a bundle of paper money scalping with that arrangement, just like a market maker :). I've written them several times about this problem but they have never responded. I would suspect that they also give you unrealistic fills on options if you are using the paper trade platform. This is not a very nice thing to do to neophytes. Lure them in with easy (paper) money then slam them to the ground with real fills.
    #10     May 6, 2010