I think IB provide a great service to the retail investor. It is fair to say that they have single-handedly revolutionised the commision charging structure in the industry. At the same time they are not perfect - is anybody? There are a few thing I find surprising with IB, but would rather give them the benefit of doubt till I am proved right or wrong. So please, fellow ETers your comments are solicited. First. As far as I know IB do not provide a Transaction History feature. What this means is that you can not view the trades you have made EXCEPT on the day of the trade. Why does this matter to me? When I prepare my Journal, I tend to use this feature, but it means that if I can't do my Journal on the same day as the trade, I have to use other means - like 1. log into IB website, 2. scroll through all my daily statements to find my trades & then match them up. Another reason why this feature (provided by many other brokers) is useful is that you can see at a glance (on the same line) your entry & exit prices for every trade you have made. Question 1. Am I beating about the bush, and does this feature indeed exist in TWS? Question 2. If not is there a legitimate reason for its absence? I like to swing trade equity options. One well known disadvantage of options are the wide spreads. I try to get round this by using limit orders and trying to split the bid and ask. So if an option has a twenty point spread and is trading at 6.20 - 6.40, I will place a limit at 6.30. So far so good. However, what I have observed is that my order is usually filled when the option is trading at 6.10 - 6.30. So rather than splitting the bid-ask as I intended to, my limit order only takes effect when the ask is at or lower than my limit. Question 3. Has anybody else noticed the same thing, or am I talking rubbish? I have looked at thinkorswim.com who most would agree are excellent for options. I decided in favour of IB, purely because I THINK they are three times cheaper. A round-turn at TOS will cost me $6 while with IB only $2. However, the guy I spoke to at TOS told me they have the best execution for options in the business, and that infact using TOS will work out cheaper than anybody else, simply because TOS will always get me in & out at better prices. Question 4. I am beginning to wonder if indeed TOS is cheaper (with slippage & everything else taken into account) IB. Has anybody here used both brokers? Is TOS's claim of being cheaper justified or is it just 'sales talk'? An oft quoted mantra is let your profits run. With options however, doing this creates problems of its own - the already wide spreads get even wider. Many times I end up with 40/50 point spreads. Luckily, there is a way round this, if the option is near expiry & doesn't have much time premium. What I do is exerise the option AND immediately enter the reverse position in the stock. For instance let's say I am long 5 XYZ Nov 2003 45 calls which are currently trading at 8.10 - 8.50 (40 pt spread), while the stock is trading at 53.22-53.24. Rather than sell 5 call options (at 8.10), I'll exercise the 5 options, and IMMEDIATELY sell 500 shares of XYZ at 53.22. By exercising, I am basically buying the stock at 45.00 and IMMEDIATELY locking in my profit by selling at 53.22. The problem is that IB do not UPDATE your acount with the exercise till the FOLLOWING DAY. So for margining requirements, IB has me NET SHORT 500 shares of XYZ. This has often meant that I can't initiate new positons on the same day(because IB thinks I don't have enough margin), but even worse I am not allowed to close other open option positions, because IB think I don't have enough margin. Question 5. Why do IB not free up your capital IMMEDIATELY (by crediting your account with the sale of the stock resulting from the option exercise) in the above scenario when there is NO RISK TO THEM whatsoever. I know for a fact that TOS definitely do this, and I think optionsxpress do as well. Will this have anything do with the fact that these two firms specialise in options, whereas IB does not? What do you think?