IB vs TOS for option trading

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by nixodian, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. are there users which have moved to TOS from IB or IB to TOS, or best of all users who have / used both accounts? what are your views of them?
    TOS software and extras are more appealing, to the computer as well since it is less demanding, but how does a funded TOS compare with IB in terms of execution, price are they the same?

    l have a funded IB account, and in terms of execution speed and price, the paper money TOS is way superior. The same for real funded TOS account?
  2. pcp198


    I have a TOS account and I'm not a happy customer.

    Pros: easy to use charting and order entry box.
    You can trade futures and stocks in the same account.

    Cons: Horrible commission rates, I pay $6 RT per /ES contract (and thats after I negotiated them down from 7).
    The order execution speed is ok, but the data feed for the charts is painfully slow.
    The platform cant be trusted, about a week ago, it froze and wouldn't let me exit my position.
  3. Can you open an account with both?

    I use both and exclusively trade options. TOS has the superior platform without doubts. When it comes to analyzing greeks ... nothing comes even close. They've great features like the on demand playback, backtesting of options ...

    IB has the better commission rate and they are less picky when it comes to portfolio margin. Execution is equivalent between them. I usually submit orders into both platforms and try to get half a fill in either (You can easily experiment how far off the mid-price you need to give up as well).
    On a sidenote, TOS was way over it's head on May 6th, IB was working fine. So having two accounts lets you exit your position even if one platform is down or acting flaky.

    You can follow my trading @
  4. I've been with IB for years now and will probably never leave. I'm become used to the platform and I doubt their rates will beat in the foreseeable future.

    I have an unfunded TOS account. I agree that the support software is much better at TOS than IB, especially for options trading. Being able to put up a spread and see the risk graph in real time is great. If only IB would do something similar (hint hint).

    I have friends who trade live with TOS and I found that their fills were on par with my live trade fills on IB for option spreads.
  5. tlow


    Did you try negotiating or saying you are thinking about switching? I did that when I first signed up like two years ago and they were very open to changing my commissions. Not sure how it is now since they got bought out by TD ameritrade, but worth a shot.

    I must agree though, the analysis of the greeks, ondemand, and what not is pretty awesome. Also, if they get the prodigio platform more stable, reliable, etc...that will be really cool also. Downside, also agree that the software will lag...and then catch up with itself
  6. IB Hands down. They are more competitive in rates, you need 100k to get portfolio margin. TOS is retail, IB feel more business like.
  7. xtrader0


    Our goal is to build long-term relationships, provide expert assistance, and get the best possible execution for your trade. If you are having difficulty getting an execution online, one of our brokers can help you complete your trade.
  8. Money management with low balances. I read a lot about managing accounts by limiting the percentage of your balance you risk on any individual trade. However, if a person wants to get into trading, but has a limited amount of capital they are willing to risk, say $2000 - $4000, it seems that one has to risk a substantial percentage to make any gains when all the fees are added in. If you were to only risk 20% or less on any one trade, you would have to almost double your money a large percentage of your trades and trade short term OTM options. It seems that risking a larger percentage on a longer term deep ITM trades on quality companies would be safer. How would you approach trading if your account balance was less that $5000?