Interactive Brokers vs. Preferred Trade

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by bouncer, Jun 2, 2001.

  1. bouncer


    I'm thinking of making the move from P.T. to I.B. and would appreciate any commentary or insight from traders who have made the same switch.


    ot: I have tried to use the I.B. demo but my computer "freezes" immediately upon log in. I'm running a 600mhz P3 with 256 meg ram, 12 meg H.D. and cable modem. Their FAQ says that a minimum of 20 meg. hard drive is required. Could that be right?
  2. You might possibly need a 3Com network card (or at least one that supports PPP, like 3c507b). I had the same problem and fixed it with a 3Com card. Look at IB's help FAQ and they have information about it.

    I just changed from Datek to IB, and yesterday was the first time I actually traded with it. So far I'm impressed with the ability for quick executions and the brokerage fee is so small for small orders.
  3. I just took half the money that was in my PT account and opened an IB account.

    I was disappointed that the stop orders seem to be unreliable at IB. Part of the reason for changing was so that I would be able to utilize stops. (pt does not offer stop orders on NASDAQ stocks) Hopefully IB programmers are addressing this.

    I have had super fast executions so far at IB. I have been using best-ecn feature, which I understand is new so there may be some bugs I have not run into yet.

    Even though I don't really want to trade before and after hours, it is nice to know that I can with IB. With Preferred you need to call the trading dest to trade AH.

    I really like PT's interface MUCH better. I hate the java interface IB has, but people say it grows on you, so maybe next month I will love it. It is much faster for me to stage an order with PT, particularly since I use q-charts.

    But the bottom line is comissions, and IB blows them away. It seems like with decimalization, I need to scale into trades in small increments, and the per share feature of IB is great.

    So I guess I would say that preferred is better looking and has a nicer personality, but I am in love with IB :)

    That is my experience with the two. I hope that helps a bit!
  4. xll


    You mean you have a 12GB hard drive (not 12MB as you posted)? IB requires 20MB free space.
  5. brokershopping,

    Make sure you use the configurable hot keys with IB, it has helped me on the execution speed. The IB interface did take some getting used to, but now that I'm comfortable with the keys I selected, I like it because it's so fast.

    I asked IB support yesterday about stop orders on Nasdaq, and couldn't get a straight answer. Until I hear they are working properly, I'll just use manual alerts in my charting software and then stop it out myself.

  6. I have not utilized the hot keys yet. That might make all the difference in the world...

    Thanks for pointing that out.
  7. bouncer



    Thank you for your comments. They will be helpful in making a decision to leave P.T. for I.B.

    Preferred does offer stops on Nasdaq (contradictory to their manual), you have to request and be "approved" for it. At least that's been my experience. One day, I inadvertently placed a stop loss order for a NASDAQ stock and a message indicated that I would need to request this feature.

    xll: yea, I did mean to say 12GB hard drive. Thanks.

  8. I had no idea they offered that... I wonder what they could possibly gain by being secretive about it? It seems like they would promote it as a 'feature' since they already have the technology in place. Maybe it strains their system or they just don't want the liability.

    I will look into getting on the 'good list'. Thanks for mentioning it.
  9. rfoulk


    You must use hotkeys with IB. They make all the difference.

    With hotkeys you can scalp up a storm with IB. It's incredible. (I had a day, actually a couple hours, a few months back when I made over $1K scalping BRCM with only 100 shares each trade!)

    One of the keys is that you don't need to cancel an order when you want to modify it. It's automatic. Change the price and hit the Transmit key. The computer cancels the previous order, waits for the acknowledgement, and then sends the new order -- much faster than you can do it!

    Lest these encouraging words attract too many people to my favorite system, let me conclude by saying that IB just plain sucks!
  10. tradeRX


    I'm getting HOTTTT over IB's HOTkeys!! I mean aren't they just the greatest thing since sliced bread? You can actually hit a key and execute a trade. It's simply wonderful!! :8-D
    #10     Jun 3, 2001