New Day Trader looking for a reliable Direct Access Broker

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by nwms8, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. nwms8


    I started trading last year in the stock market. I am currently with TD Ameritrade, which I have found to be a major cause of headache. They were fine when I was doing long term trading, but now that I started a Margin account in order to day trade I have been quite disappointed. Orders that buy high above my limit and sell orders that don't execute has led to me losing out on huge potential profits. TD Ameritrade's quotes are not accurate nor do they fulfill limit sell orders reliably.

    I have looked at the list of direct access brokers and there are quite a few to look through, all with varying suggestions that make me unsure if it is the right one for me. I am looking for a direct access broker that will allow me to see real time quotes and execute buy/sell reliably. Is there one that you would recommend? Your input would be much appreciated :)
  2. Occam


    In order to have direct access, you really need to be able to send directed orders -- to a specific exchange. Ameritrade once let you do this; I am not sure anymore. Quite often it costs something extra, as many retail brokerages like to internalize your "undirected" or "smart routed" orders to give them the fleecing they deserve. (Search for "broker-dealer internalization" or "payment for order flow" to see some of what may be happening to your current, "undirected" orders and the negative consequences thereof.)

    A directed order is sent to an exchange such as NSDQ, ARCA, or BATS (three of the big ones and therefore imho preferable), or to another type of venue such as a market maker, algorithm, or dark pool (can't say I'd recommend these, at least not for anyone but an expert on exactly what happens with their orders sent as such).

    As far as data are concerned, traders moving towards the professional side tend to use third-party data tools rather than data supplied by their broker. You can find a lot of discussion regarding data systems; I am not recommending any in particular, but two often discussed here (that I have never used) are IQFeed and eSignal; there are many others available.
  3. pookie


    Thank you very much for your post, Occam. It was very helpful.
  4. Lightspeed Trading is a great one for you to try. Also take a look at InteractiveBrokers.
  5. I'd recommend Interactive Brokers. Ameritrade's commission structure is still good if you're buying in volume, but you do need to put up with the bad fills and bad quotes.
  6. im trading at speedtrader now. they offer very low commissions, but there is a software fee. however, most direct access brokers will charge you a software fee.