Interactive Brokers question:

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by alphatrdr, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. alphatrdr


    I have been doing some research into trading platforms for equity and equity option trading and it seems like in terms strength of product offering and commission rates Interactive Brokers is the best.

    I have been testing out the online demo and have serious issues with two areas of the platform I find weak: streaming news and charting.

    I was thinking of getting a product like QuoteTracker for charts as it seems relatively inexpensive and highly regarded. I would be interested in hearing thoughts about this option.

    I have had more difficulty finding a complementary product for streaming news. The IB platform I saw shouldn’t be called “streaming” as it looked like they are just pulling RSS feeds. Perhaps it is different in the software version of the platform?

    Does anyone know of a product I can plug into IB to get news from the major outlets or a standalone product for news? I was excited to see that there was a Reuters option in IB but it looks like this is not truly streaming and substantially delayed from what someone trading a Reuters platform would have.

    I searched the forums and the only suggestion people seemed to have was Bloomberg- which at $2k a month is a bit steep for me now.

    Also, given my issues with IB would TD Ameritrade be a better choice? At ~5x the (stated) commission rate it would seem that TD would have to be ridiculously strong to be worth it.

  2. As for your question about news, many brokers offer Reuters for free so I don't really consider them that crucial. If you're trying to play off of news then it will have already happened by the time you see it on Reuters. I know that Tradestation offers reuters for free, and they offer an option to purchase Dow Jones wire for 95/mo.

    As for IB, if you want cheap and don't care whether you get a response from customer service then go for it. Otherwise you could also check out others like Just2Trade or Thinkorswim, since they're bought out by Ameritrade you'll get them as well.
  3. Quote Tracker and Sierra Chart are the two low cost options most preferred for TWS. Ensign is another but more expensive.

    On news. Beware that the "demo" version of TWS isn't the same as the real version so the real user version may have better streaming news. I don't use it so don't know. Perhaps someone who actually uses TWS and news could comment?
  4. alphatrdr


    Thanks for the responses.

    Anybody have thoughts on the Think or Swim platform? I took a look at the platform and it looks very strong for option trading.