myTrack, Ameritrade, IB

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by viewpoint, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. I've used myTrack for a month and already I notice serious problems. Twice I was charged ECN fees when I was entitled to rebate. Then when I inquired about it, I got the following response.

    "In order to be eligible for the liquidity rebate,
    your order must be routed to the Track ECN (TRAC).

    Your order was routed to Archipelago (ARCA). "

    These people don't even know about their own ECN fees/rebates, the most basic information. All through the month, I was charged and given ECN fees/rebates, and this is what I'm told from their Compliance department.

    A few other issues and I'm unhappy with this broker. The problem is that I don't have immediate alternatives:

    1) IB : I need to be able to phone in where necessary and have very reliable connection. People here have said that I generally couldn't reach IB by phone and that they have power outages, non-execution of stops at times, etc.

    2) Ameritrade(Datek): it gives 4x balance for daytrading (for even small accounts); but the website is unreliable and the Customer Service, since the merger, don't really know anything.

    These are my impressions about the brokers above. Do you agree or disagree?
     
  2. 1) Didn't know myTrack was still in business after those dancing blue-shirted geek commercials ended. :D

    2) I'm with IB and love 'em. Fast fills, low commissions, great trading platform. Best broker I've been with.

    3) Datek deteriorated towards the end of last year and AMTD always sucked, so what's to assume 2 losers merging will create anything better? Streamer problems almost every day, slow form-based order screens, lousy phone support.

    My 2 cents' worth: Go with IB.
     
  3. I have a small account and that's all the money I have.

    If I have a problem exiting a trade, and I can't reach Customer Service by phone, I'd be in trouble. IB seems to have the attitude that these are the risks of online trading.

    I'm thinking about opening an IB account, but have an options account with another broker. If I have a problem getting out of stock position, I could take offsetting options position with another broker.

    What's the best source of real-time data/software/platform to use with IB, e-signal?
     
  4. alanm

    alanm

    Quote from viewpoint:
    I've used myTrack for a month and already I notice serious problems. Twice I was charged ECN fees when I was entitled to rebate. Then when I inquired about it, I got the following response.
    "In order to be eligible for the liquidity rebate,
    your order must be routed to the Track ECN (TRAC).
    Your order was routed to Archipelago (ARCA). "
    These people don't even know about their own ECN fees/rebates, the most basic information. All through the month, I was charged and given ECN fees/rebates, and this is what I'm told from their Compliance department.


    I don't understand. Did you put the order on the TRAC ECN or did you put it on ARCA? This should be a matter of fact, and easy to verify.

    IB : I need to be able to phone in where necessary and have very reliable connection. People here have said that I generally couldn't reach IB by phone and that they have power outages, non-execution of stops at times, etc.

    I'm not sure what you mean. Do you have an un-reliable connection, and is that why you need to phone orders in? If so, IB may not be the place for you, because they charge an extra $30 per trade to do this and are supposedly limited to marketable orders for closing positions only. That is, it's only for emergencies - not for routine orders.

    Power failures are certainly not a common occurence at IB, though I suppose it could have happened once. You can definitely reach them by phone, though hold times will be longer if there's a widespread problem, as is the case with any broker. It's obviously not practical (cost-wise) for a broker to staff up with enough people to handle all of their active traders when a widespread problem happens, and have them sitting 99% idle the rest of the time. IB's hold times have never been as long as I remember from the bad old days of the bubble, trading with Waterhouse, where they were often over an hour.

    There are other reasons why small (<$25K) accounts may not work out well at IB - make sure that your particular trading style fits within the day-trade rules as interpreted at IB, and that you don't ever rely on being able to mail in a check to meet a margin call - you cannot do this at IB, and will be liquidated if necessary to meet the maintenance margin requirement. If you stay within the rules, though, IB's commissions are the small trader's best shot at becoming profitable and not giving up all of his profits in commissions.


    Ameritrade(Datek): it gives 4x balance for daytrading (for even small accounts);

    Are you sure about this? How can this be? It's against the rules. Why the heck are the regulators picking on IB over minute details when others get away with clear and obvious violations. Can someone else confirm this?
     
  5. Datek will allow 4x any amount untill you get labeled a PDT....I think it's 5 trades in three days. But even after you're labelled as such you can still trade your account value without margin as often as you want, which you can't do at IB unless you've got the 25K.
     
  6. the regulator is examining this case in the moment, because the SEC claim that the Datek interpretation about margin and PDT is too fuzzy. Don't know when the decision will be give for that.