Looking for Advice on Switching from IB

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by ysettle, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. ysettle


    i have a Portfolio Margin Account at IB and going to IB Lite strips away many of the trading tools I like to use , although I see absolutely no difference in executions between their Pro and Lite platforms. Their commission rate is just way too expensive in this day and age (still around 1/2 cent for stocks and around $1 for Options ) . Have received much lower quotes from Etrade (20 cents per option contract and zero commissions) and TOS (who charges the same for emini as they do for ES), so looking for a broker who might possess the best of the below - in order of importance

    a) Portfolio Margin of 6 or 7 x

    b) Option Commissions including fees of less than 40 cents

    c) zero commission on all stock orders

    d) An efficient and easy to use interface - where i can customize the grouping of my positions and see a daily P&L for the group) and easily enter buy and sell orders with either hotkeys or just 1 or 2 clicks

    e) Robust API that is easy for programmers

    f) ability to do peg bench orders (ie buy AAPL and sell SPY using a benchmark of 200 on AAPL and 300 on SPY, each 1 cent move in SPY moves the peg on AAPL by 2 cents)

    g) Ability to send delta adjust Option Orders or peg option orders to Implied Vol

    I know the guy from LiteSpeed has a great reputation on this board so have already reached out to him, wondering if anyone has any suggestions beyond Etrade (which has a platform from 1990, or TOS which still has exorbitant rates on Eminis and doesnt seem to have the easiest platform for quick buy and sell orders)

    Thank you in advance
    zdreg and d08 like this.
  2. IB may have higher commissions than some of these brokerages you mention, but they *all* need to make money somewhere. Just make sure you compare apples to apples.
    tommcginnis likes this.
  3. qlai


    Are the two above done through API or it's something TWS offers?
  4. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    Hi ysettle-not sure what your real name is, so let's pretend we did not chat. a) For accounts under $5mm, we offer up to 6.67X for Day Trading and up to 5.56X overnight. Accounts over $5mm can get higher on both. b) Possible for volume over 10,000 options per month. Our rate is $0.35/option, plus pass-through of fees except we eat the OCC fee of $0.055/option. We have smart routes to avoid most maker/taker and on some software and you can direct orders and be subject to maker/take on single legs. c) Sorry, but no. We do not work for free and our clients see value in our software, fast order entry, fast fills and customer support that answer the phone. And, you get me if you ask. Not free. d)Yes. e) Yes. 4 of them. If you need options, 3. Sterling, Realtick and Silexx. f) Realtick has a server side pairs trader. They call it Strategy Server, see attached. g) I do not often bring up WEX, because it is expensive and a more institutional, not retail platform, but I believe they can do that. I do not recommend vol orders because it is very easy to hit the 390/day limit and lose priority customer status. We do have Dash Option algos on Realtick where you can send an options order tired to a stock price. See DASH Algos attached.

    guru and FSU like this.
  5. ysettle


    Yes...IB has peg bench and delta adjust orders direct on their platform with IB Pro but they strip it away along with most software on IB Lite. And yes, the guy at LiteSpeed is as good as advertised and very knowledgeable, they are probably a very good fit for those who trade semi liquid or illiquid names and want to limit market impact
    qlai likes this.
  6. def

    def Sponsor

    You are asking to use Pro level software which smartly routes to exchanges and is offered free of charge. The HFTs who pay for order flow do not like "smart money" and will not pay for it so don't expect those tools in a free free commission schedule. Audit stats show price improvement figures are better for IB Pro but there is no free lunch. For the firms offering free commission, you don't get the same level of professional tools and for someone who wants and utilizes portfolio margin interest should be a major component of your fees. Our charges currently slide down to 1.88% with a $500,000 loan going at 2.68%. You should compare those as well and also make sure you are on the tiered commission rate which should be lower for the active trader.
  7. ysettle


    i am trading all liquid names and if i run TOS simultaneously to IB Pro, there is zero difference in execution time or price. IB has a great front end workstation, but its not worth paying $5,000 a month in added commissions to get have no discernible execution difference, and to use tools that an API could use...

    Anyway, would appreciate feedback from any traders that ARENT affiliated with brokerage firms and have objective input.....Thank you
  8. rudi20


    I'm a trader, I'm not affiliated to any broker. Efficient execution is my priority. Slippage and delayed execution is always far more expensive than commission.

    My advice would be to stop focusing on costs, and go with the platform that offers you the best facilities, reliability and execution for your trading style.
    apdxyk and Robert Morse like this.
  9. I said something similar in a related post. It's really difficult to truly compare execution between brokers, when a few cents of difference once in a while can easily offset any commission gains. Takes a decent amount of really precise data to do a real comparison.

    There's also intangibles outside the trade specs that matter (to me). Accuracy of tax forms, flexibility of reports that can be generated, etc.
  10. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    Hi zoned_post_meridiem- I like it that you bought up reporting because I'm proud of what we offer at Lightspeed/Lime. Our portal provides a number of tabs and most of it can provide exportable information. In addition to our portal, for our institutional clients (Typically Hedge funds and RIA), we also offer Nirvana Reporting that meets the needs of the Admins and Auditors-free of charge. These are the tabs on our Lightspeed Portal.

    apdxyk likes this.