Quality of IB fills lately - stops

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by pkts, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. pkts


    I've been using IB for a year now but recently the quality of my fills have gotten bad. This occurs mostly on stops in panic selling markets. Usually this wouldn't bother me because I know you use stops to just get out regardless of price. However, I do the same trades in a vanilla Ameritrade account and I ALWAYS get a better price in Ameritrade. So much for the traders platform!

    This decline in quality has only happened recently. For example I had a sell stop on NBIX at 12.15 and it executed at 12.10 on Ameritrade and at 12.06 on IB. Frankly, its sucking up all the savings on commissions...and then some!

    Perhaps my sell stop setting are bad? I use SMART routing and the default stop setting and the order is kept at the firm and not on my computer (to speed up execution). Recently I changed the routing to ARCA with no improvement.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts or perhaps suggestion on a different broker that is similar to IB but with better stop fills. Basically I like Ameritrade's fills but I need a more flexible platform (ie. ability to enter stop buys with attachment of stop sells automatially, ability to delay entry of order at the open)

    Thanks a lot!

  2. When you say you always get a better price at Ameritrade, do you mean you are trading Ameritrade parallel to IB and the same stop order, elected at the same time at both brokers, always gets a better price at Ameritrade? If not, it is difficult to see how you can compare the two, particularly if you are looking at fills in "panic selling markets."
  3. Also, while I'm thinking about it, it would be good to know how many trades we're talking about. Even if you are referring to parallel trading, a few cases of worse fills at IB would not be quite significant, but fifty might be.
  4. pkts


    Thanks for the reply,

    Yes, the trades are exactly the same, placed at same time (in the morning after open). This has been happening for over 6 months. Probably a total of 100-150 trades. Recently (the last 20 trades) the gap has gotten wider.

    I am very surprised by this because everything else with IB is great (especially options fill quality).
  5. I agree with the other poster...the chances are high that the trigger method is different. You can alter that at IB.

    My wife has a small IRA account at Ameritrade. I don't think it compares at all to IB...of course she isn't selling on a stop in a panic market.:D

  6. pkts


    I think you are correct. For example, yesterday I was stopped out of GNBT at 1.94 (the low for the day - my stop was at 1.94) in my Ameritrade account. But IB did not stop me out. Another friend who had the same stop also got stopped out at 1.94 yesterday.

    What I'm wondering now is how to fix this? Ameritrade has no ability to alter this so I can't see what there method is. But IB offers the default method (which I use) and a last method. I could try the last method but the explanation indicates the fills could be 0.5% above or below the stop price so that seems to indicate the fill would be more delayed?

    I thought the delay might be whether my order is at the firm or a customer one (don't really know the difference) but that hasn't made any difference on fills.

    Thanks for the thoughts, I think I'll email IB and post it here.
  7. It sounds like your trigger method at IB is one that provides for a slower exit...in other words, perhaps it requires 2 trades at or below your stop price, or perhaps the ask price has to drop under your stop. This might be an advantage in cases where the stock drops to a price briefly and then bounces right back up. You might be stopped out at Ameritrade, but not at IB. You need to review all this via the link that the other poster provided you. All of this information is on the IB website. See what your trigger method provides for.

    In terms of stop fills, understand that no matter what broker or where, the stop either becomes a market order, in which case theer is no guarantee as to price, or it becomes a limit order ( if you placed a stop limit), in which case you are not guaranteed an exit unless it trades at or better than your limit. By the way, you may not be able to use a stop limit at all exchanges.

    Do yourself a favor and read up on stops at the IB website.

  8. According to my understanding, the .5% leeway applies to the trigger, not to the fill. As OldTrader said, the stop becomes a market order as soon as it is triggered and will be filled at the best available price, whatever that is.

    Let us know if you find out anything helpful from IB.
  9. pkts


    BTW, thanks for the link. I tried to change the trigger method based on the help page you posted. But my configuration page only has radio buttons for "default" or "last" when I bring up the trigger method page. I don't have all those options.

    Looks like I need to do some digging.
    #10     Oct 24, 2006