Lookin to get started with ES/NQ's

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by JUNIOR, Jul 24, 2002.



    First off let me ask everyone please not to turn the thread into a pissing match...
    That said I'd like to get started into trading Futures, mainly the ES and NQ. Those around here will recognize my name, I'm oldschool - Baron and I traded under the tree :) - anyways I'm lookin to play with 5-10k in an account tradin 1-2 contracts max to get the feel of things. I've had suggestions that IB will give the best bang for your buck (no minimums, fees, etc.) and also Netfutures comes highly regarded. I already use MBT for daytrading, so thats an option too. PFGBest also weighs in too. I would like some feedback regarding pros and cons of these firms. (Fees, minimums, platforms, reliability, differences etc.)
    Any info is a great help. Thanks
  2. ditt


    I've been looking at futures brokers for about a month and have decided on PFG.They are high at 14 bucks a trip but I like their platform the best of all I've looked at.From what I've been able to determine they are a reputable firm.I've called the trading desk at different times throughout the day and they answer the phone on the 3rd or 4th ring,of course in a crisis this may change.For me cheapest is not neccesarily the best.I just found an IB that has a desk at PFG and may be able to offer cheaper commissions with the same trading platform.I don't know about this and am in the process of checking this out. There may be downside to this that I don't know about yet.
    good luck not getting a pissing match started, I asked the same question as you. I found out that about all you have to do is mention you like another broker besides I.B. and let the pissing begin. good luck, Mike
  3. sempai


    I'm using a firm called ABG Investment Group. They clear through Man Financial and have several web based platforms as well as M-Trader Pro (PATS) and X-Trader.

    Their service is excellent and the commissions are very competitive (not as low as IB's, but worth the service).

    You can check them out at www.2futures.com.
  4. ditt


    I did'nt like the pats platform(5 open windows on your trading platform?)I looked at and downloaded the pats,browser based and used java,don't really like either of those .Also had conflicts with other open windows( think it was the java)while using j-trader.The whole thing seemed a little cluncky,sorry don't know the tech. term for this.
  5. The way it works is, there is an FCM (Futures Clearing Merchant). The FCM has several levels of Intoducing Brokers. The more service, the higher the commission. No way should you pay $14. That's for someone who needs a brokers help. You can usually find another ib on down the line who clears through the same FCM but is geared strictly for online trading. They will have the exact same platform that the $14 broker has. Plus, you will never even hardly know who your ib is, because all the statements you receive will have the FCM's name on them. And your statements will look exactly like the statement the guy who needs a brokers help so he is paying $14 looks like.
    But I agree with you that a trading platform you like is very important if not almost the most important thing (as long as the outfit is solvent.)
    I pay $4.50 per side. And that is very expensive. I pay it because I like the order entry system. But that is tops. Woe to you if you pay more than one tick in com. Also, you can negotiate any commissions. Just tell them it's $4.50 per side or you'll go to IB.


    OK right now what are the main players in order entry software ??? pats, ... and what are major differences between them?
  7. Yeah, I didn't like it either. I only tried it for about 3 days. I made a heck of a lot of money on it one day when it told me I was flat but I was really short. That's about the only time I ever held a position overnight.
    If you only have one screen like I do, and you keep your trading screen minimized while you are running your charts, the speed with which that trading screen opens can be a factor. Pats was kind of slow to open. So is TWS.
  8. ditt


    The guy I've been talking to at PFG has only been there about a month.He does'nt appear to be all that bright.Maybe just inexperienced.I'm planning on talking to this other IB if I can't get them down to about 8-9 bucks a trip.Is the risk greater with an IB as far as them going belly up?Do you know of other risks one should look at.
    Thanks Mike
  9. Junior, it is kind of a moot point, since now everybody is going to integrated software. So, you can use IB as your broker and only pay $5 rt, and then subscribe to your favorite chart service and use their order entry. More and more chart companies are integrating with more and more brokers everyday. Do a search on this site for tradeguard. They have an order entry screen that interfaces with IB. You can download it and try it with the IB demo. Otherwise TWS and Xtrader are the other two players. It is strictly a matter of personal preference based on your trading style and personality. (Trading is hard work, but if you work hard at night learning and getting everything set up, it makes your success when you're actually trading almost effortless.)
  10. The ib is responsible to the FCM for your losses, but if the ib goes broke, your money is with the FCM. So it is the FCM that you need to be sure is solvent. All FCMs are always solvent until one of the principals starts trading with the companies money. So you probably will never know until it's too late. But compared to the risks of trading, that is relatively a minor concern.
    #10     Jul 25, 2002