For those interested, I am starting this journal to chronicle my experience with IB and Velocity, especially during the first part of making the change. It is my intent to be as fair as possible (from my perspective, of course) in both the pros and cons of the two brokers. Feel free to ask questions and we will discuss these pros and cons in this open forum. Many traders have helped me through their input on ET. My only purpose in this forum is to give something back. Integrity Above all, this is what I am looking for in a broker. Most of us have dealt with brokers that ooze slime. You ever have the urge to shower when you get off the phone with your broker? Then it is time to switch. Velocity: Thus far, I have been very satisfied with the conduct of the people at Velocity. They all treat you with the respect you deserve as a customer. Friendly, supportive, happy to help. And get this: NO HOLD TIME! When you call, someone answers! IB: No opinion. IB was a faceless, voiceless machine. I opened my account with IB on line, traded on line, closed it on line. In over a year and a half of trading with IB, never once did I speak to any IB personnel on the phone. (Not that I didnât try, I just couldnât get anyone and ended up using email.) Commissions Available on the Velocity Site, with a special first month discount made available to ET members per Mark Oryhon of Velocity. I have calculated that it takes about 42 CME Round Turns per day to break even with IB after the platform fee of $500 per month. I average a little more than that and plan to do more volume this year. More on the volume friendly aspect of X_Trader later. Note that Velocity is subsidizing the X_Trader platform and waiving the charge for your first month of trading. For me the lower commissions are a slam-dunk and I have to give the nod to Velocity on this. Velocity has said they are catering to the high volume trader. Once again their integrity comes through with the complete disclosure of their commission schedule on their website as well as a comparison with the cost of buying or leasing a CME seat. http://www.velocityfutures.com/pdf/leaseorbuy.pdf In my opinion, the lowest possible commissions are an essential part of day trading success. Opening an Account With IB and Velocity you can do this completely on line. I did the account application with both on-line and funded by wire transfer. While both claim the process can be done in as little as few hours, for me in took about 24 hours with both of them. With Velocity, you need to fill out a form to state what markets you want to trade. IB has similar permissions you apply for. I neglected to do this right away with Velocity and this contributed to the minor delay in setting up my account. As far as I was concerned this went similarly for the two firms. Key difference: Live phone support to discuss the process with Velocity. Markets Traded IB allows for a wide variety of trading instruments. I trade only futures, primarily on the CBOT and CME. See the Velocity website for the markets you can trade. http://www.velocityfutures.com/products_traded.html Obviously for most traders, the nod goes to IB. For me, it is a push. As a futures trader, if I were to add a second account, it would be to expand the number of open outcry markets I could trade and I would consider a firm like Global Futures -gfetc.com â however, I wonder about that slimy factor from my conversations with gfetc. System Down! What to do in this case? While I havenât traded with Velocity long enough to validate a comparison, the description of uptime, redundancy and platform stability seems to be much better with Velocity than IB. At times I was frustrated with downtime with IB servers. Additionally, if your system (or theirs) goes down, call Velocity on the phone, and they will execute your orders for you. Globex down? Velocity can get your order to the pit! By all appearances, Velocity wins this one hands down. This doesnât even take into account some of the weird fills I got with IB, but I will save those stories for another day. In my next journal entry, I will discuss the differences between IB TWS and X_Trader. You can expect this Sunday evening after I get back from snowboarding for the weekend. Hope everyone else has a great weekend also.