Interactive Brokers.........Part II

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Sterling, Jan 27, 2001.

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  1. Hi

    Can anybody tell me what this company is all about?? Is this company suitable for a professional trader who expects extremely fast fills and account info kept in real time? Can a trader with this software play real volatile stocks and not get left behind? Or is this software designed for the swing trader or the trader just starting out? Also, can this platform be sized and running along side the charts of a real time data program??


  2. rfoulk


    Sterling ...

    You don't except email. You lose.
  3. Sterling,

    I am also interested in IB comments, as I am considering moving my account from Schwab, to a direct access broker, primarily for swing trading stocks, no options. What is meant by the reply "you don't except e-mail"? I don't understand that comment.

  4. I will attempt to provide some info, having previously traded with a full service Realtick broker, and now am trading exclusively with Interactive Brokers.

    First, IB's trading platform is Java based in a browser window, so yes it can be resized. Second, since they only provide basic level I streaming info (bid, ask, bid/ask sizes, last trade, trade size, daily change) with no charting, it probably is advisable to simultaneously use a separate data package. I myself subscribe to Realtick without order entry for my charting, Level II, etc. and have it open on a second monitor with my IB page open on the primary one (although you could resize both to one montior if desired).

    Regarding executions, they are the same as any EDAT broker. I primarily use ISLD as my execution route, and it is the same speed as my executions were with the Realtick broker. The only difference (not speed related) is that when you pull up a stock to trade, you have to select one routing method at a time. So for instance, you type in JNPR, and then have to select an ECN (they provide the full selection of all ECN's to choose from), SOES, or BEST execution. So if I select ISLD, I will only see the best bid and ask on ISLD, and my order would execute there. If I select SOES, I will see the best quotes by a SOESable participant (i.e. market makers). With Best execution, I will see the best bid and ask from any of the participants, and my order will automatically be routed to whomever it was that had that best quote. If you wanted to have every ECN plus MM's available to hit individually, you'd have to open a separate line for each, or 10 or so lines for one stock. For me personally, for each stock I usually only have two lines open--one for Best Execution, and one for ISLD, and I've been able to get in or out of positions with the same ease as I did with my Realtick broker. I do trade some of the most volatile stocks (JNPR, BRCM, SDLI, etc.) and have no problems getting in and out.

    Account info is updated in real time. There is an account page you can open showing your open positions, account balances, etc. There is also an execution page you open showing all the details of your executions. There are also configurable hotkeys allowing quick order preparation and transmission. Overall, it is a very good no frills execution platform that, used in conjunction with a good real time charting/Level II feed should be more than adquate for most traders.
  5. Zboy

    I appreciate all the help, especially mentioning successtrade in my other post. I'm gonna be lookin into both of them next week. I'm presently with cybercorp and they hit me for over 5000 last month for commission fees. Thats obscene...

  6. TheFinn


    Zboy, so you would say IB is the best broker you have used? You have no trouble getting in and out even if you buy like 1000-2000 shares on one pop? That sounds excellent. There is no way you can get that kind of volume with Island. I need to check out IB for my broker.
  7. zboy,

    i noticed that you are using Realtick. is Realtick the vendor or is it through a broker and you just don't have an account? I am using another feed and would be interested in finding out what else is out there.

    In reply to other messages concerning having TWS and my feed up at the same time. i have no problem. i also like the commissions. i haven't been using them for that long but so far its ok. if the only difference between them and others is the commission, well that is fine with me.


  8. TheFinn,

    I feel IB is the best broker I've used in terms of commissions, and executions are as fast as my previous broker. I can't really say how IB would be when dealing with 1000 to 2000 share lots, since I rarely trade more than 300 shares at a time, but as long as you have a Level II screen and can see who's quoting what, you should have no problem, since IB allows you to go after any participant you choose.

    I subscribe to Realtick directly, and not through a broker. You can subscribe directly at It can be a bit on the expensive side ($260/mo. including exchange fees), but it pays for itself with less than one trade, and is the most comprehensive data package in my opinion.
  9. rfoulk


    C'mon guys, do the math!

    IB is a winner because it works well and is very inexpensive.

    But 1000 or 2000 shares?


    IB is a great deal for trades of 500 shares and less. If you like to trade 2000 shares you need to find a different broker.

    IB is $1 per 100 shares. So a 2000 share trade is $20!

    There are other, good brokers that will make that trade for less than $10.

    I use IB for trades between 100 and 500 shares. This works very well.

    And it's an incentive to trade higher-priced stocks, which tend to be a little more predictable and easier to read.

  10. zBoy

    I trade with IB since March 2000 and can only confirm what you said. Very happy with them.

    Only drawback is, you can't access your IB account 24hrs/7days a week, like with a browser broker.

    For the time being, I'am travelling a lot and I need to place orders for positiontrades sometimes on weekends or outside of usual market-hours. Datek is my preferred choice for those trades, unless IB comes up with 24/7 solution and enables traders to access their account from every PC with a web-connection.

    I have also trouble with IB when trying to login in from behind a firewall ( i.e. from my office ).
    TWS ( and JTWS ) currently don't support access through a firewall and dynamic IP adress translation.TWS and JTWS need a dedicated connection to your PC

    Just a hint with regard to IB's TWS and pulling up several ECN's for a stock :

    When you type in the symbol, you get a list of all ECN's and the best exec. route.
    Now you can highlight all possible order routes by clicking on the first line and keep the "shift" key on your keyboard pressed down.Then scroll with your mouse to the last ECN line displayed.
    Once you highlighted all routes, just hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard and - voila - all routes are displayed in your order-window. It's working just like in any other windows application ( copy & paste )

    You can also select only the ECN's you want to be displayed by using the Strg key and than hit "Enter".

    You can do this for option-contracts likewise.

    If you have a soundcard installed in your PC, turn it on. You'll hear a "ping" each time an order has been executed.
    So you don't have to open your execution-window, unless you want to make sure, that you got filled correctly
    (size & price).

    For fast trading, I recommend to use the hotkeys together with your preferenced setup for tradesize.
    Nothing faster out there.

    Datek :
    Last year, I made a proposal to Jerry Medved to integrate a trading interface for Datek in his RT software QuoteTracker
    ( For those who don't know QuoteTracker :
    QT is a free RT software, basically the same as ProphetStation from Prophet-Finance, but works with many RT quote providers,i.e Datek's free streamer quotes, and offers more features as PS.)

    The latest version, QT 2.0, has this trading interface and it's fast - it's really point and click.
    You can even use the new DatekDirect* features, which enable you to select between various ECN's / MM's or best execution for order-routing.
    QT has also build in Island and Arca streaming orderbook windows + colour-coded raw data (= Times & Sales ).

    Usually, the trading interface and confirmation window are attached above the portfolio-pane in QT. But you can detach them, alter the size of the windows and place them everywhere you like on your monitor's screen.
    New QT Beta has now also Fibonacci-retracement's as drawing tool for RT Charts.

    Datek-Direct customers get also Level 2 quotes ( not only Island or Arca ). QT has the ability to display them as well.

    The trading-interface allows date-customers to trade without going through Datek's website.
    Just doubleclick on a bid / ask quote in your portfolio-window and the order is automatically filled into the trading window. Use the scroll-lists to determine the trade-size and limit-price, click Buy or Sell and submit.
    The trading interface keeps your password for the complete trading-session, sono need to type in anything.
    Advanced order-routing works likewise, but you can selct by a mousecklick, to which ECN you would like to route your order.
    After clicking on "Submit" button, a small window pop's up showing the order you just submitted and ask for another click to confirm.All this happens in split-second time.
    Very simple and efficient.
    Submitted orders and their current status are displayed in the confirmation window.
    If you change your mind about an order, ( and it has not been filled, of course ) just highlight it and click on cancel.
    The last submitted order is highlighted automatically
    for faster cancelling if necessary.

    All orders you submitted during the trading day are collected and displayed in the confirmation window and you can check them every time you want.
    The confirmation window is auto-refreshed every x-seconds
    ( depends on your selection of refresh cycle ).
    But you can also use the "refresh" button every time you want.

    I used QT 2.0 for some intraday trades from my office last week and I must admit, that order execution ( in stocks like AKAM, PDLI etc. ) went through with the same speed as with IB.
    Using the QT interface improves Datek's speed significantly, because there's no need to load and go through several websites. It's much better than Datek's own Streamer-solution, although you can use the same free RT quotes.

    For options-trading, you have still to go through Datek's website.
    More Info :

    #10     Jan 29, 2001
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