Iron Condor on Interactive Brokers

Discussion in 'Options' started by nagaraj_h, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. nagaraj_h


    I have used Thinkorswim for options trading in the past and recently switched to Interactive Brokers. I don't know how to place a Iron Condor trade in one step. I do not want to place to vertical spread trades. I would appreciate any help on this.

  2. This was one of the *many* reasons I switched to ToS from IB.

    From memory... you have to build the IC order a leg at a time using a generic spread leg layout. It is a time consuming process and unlike ToS, you don't have the Greeks to work with.

    Once you have the order built and 'dragged' all four legs into TWS along with the header 'IC' line, you do not have reliable 'Mid' prices at your disposal for making your limit selection. Also, you might find that the market has moved far enough since you started building the IC order that you want to change the leg strikes... and guess what... you cannot change the friggin' strikes. Your only way to make a change is to delete the damned order you put so much effort into creating and then go thru the process of creating another order.

    There are IB Customers who participate in these threads, some of whom trade IC's extensively. Maybe they can offer a more positive spin on it.

    But my hope is that you didn't close your ToS account because you may want to switch back to a decent Option Trading platform pretty soon.

  3. No, you don't have to use the generic spread tab.

    I trade ICs and here's what i do:

    Go to the spread trader dialog. Click on the "single" tab. Select "Iron Condor" for the strategy. Start entering the legs, long put first. As you fill them in, the available choices start narrowing down to make selecting the next leg easier. If you select NOV09 for instance, all the legs are narrowed to the same month. If the long and short puts are 2 strikes apart, the calls will be assumed to be 2 strikes apart too. It's not that bad and it's getting better.

    Having used both TOS and IB, I do agree that TOS is the superior options trading platform. If IB added a risk graph capability (hint hint) they'd give TOS a run for their money.
  4. erol


    then why does it seem everyone is using IB?

  5. Nobody wants to pay a penny more in commissions than they have to. And the smaller your account size, the more important the transaction fees are.

    The larger your account becomes, the larger your trade sizes get, and with a commission fee schedule that is structured to get cheaper on a per unit basis of quantity the less competitive raw "low per contract" fee schedules like IB's become.

    I've beat up on IB enough. You've probably figured out that my years with them finally culminated in a change on my part.

    You will figure it out with time and experience.

    Best regards,

  6. erol



    Basically, my account size (aside from my trading activity) precludes me from opening an IB account.

    So basically, I want to know what I'm missing, since it seems some of the experienced traders are using them.
  7. I think fee per share/contract versus fee per trade has a lot to do with it. With per share/contract you can incrementally move in and out easier with no penalty.
  8. nagaraj_h


    I am trying to enter a Iron Butterfly (zero point Iron Condor, as Thinkorswim calls it). There is no such option in IB. Let me know if I am wrong. You are right. Thinkorswim is hands down the best broker when it comes to features. IB is better for commissions and executions. The only reason why I switched is I had to open a Advisor account and IB has lot more management features than Thinkorswim and also is not demanding as far as the experience requirements.

  9. I use the generic combo feature to put together my iron butterflies. never had a problem with execution or putting the trade together. and I use IB.
  10. One issue with IB is the margin. If the two sides do not have the same distance between strikes, I think they margin it as a two unrelated spreads. It is stupid as one them will be worthless. If someone can refute or confirm what I wrote, please do.
    #10     Nov 7, 2009