Question about IB please?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by KevMo, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. KevMo



    (long request for information...any/all responses appreciated) Thank in advance!!

    I'm considering opening a new account to trade Options, Futures, FX...possibly some Shares used as hedges, or offset or create margin power. The account will be funded for at least $250K. I'll be using Portfolio Margin in a L.L.C structure.

    Trading mostly IRS Sec. 1256 items to benefit of mixed blended taxation.

    -Options: Spreads (debit & credit), Verts, Horizontal, Back Spreads, Ratio's, Diagonals, BFlies (231, 132, Broken Wing, Unbalanced BW Ratio...etc), Iron's...etc. Vol driven methodologies.

    -Futures: Straight Delta One, Spreads (intra/inter-market), Relative Value, Rates & EuroDollar (term structure), New Crop/Old Crop, Crack/Reverse...etc.

    - Stocks: Limited, used to offset or enhance Margin. Have other accounts for Stock Trading. Hotkeys and Day Trading special share execution routing...speed/style not needed.

    For those of you who have used or use, IB recently I'm seeking info on IB in terms of:

    a) Execution: ease of fills, fills at the Mid, routing abilities, speed of reporting, access to Dark Pools for Shares. Any weirdness with fills and trade & reporting with Futs, Options, FX that I should know about?

    b) Portfolio Margin: use of, Consistency with the OCC's PM model, or not? Consistency with their own advertised use of PM, or are they fluid with their allowance of PM?

    c) Charting: any other TWS features that are good, bad, ugly...should be used/avoided?

    d) Data feed: slow, fast, decent, stable/unusable, uptime, performance during heavy volume and/or opening rotation...should I use another feed?

    e) Platform: I've never used TWS. When I first saw it in the early '90's I thought it was a tinker toy and avoid it altogether. However, now IB appears to be the choice of many Funds and other high-end traders, Shops and Algo Traders. Is the platform decent? Should I seek out another platform and just use IB as the broker? If it suxx, any other platform suggestions?

    f) Costs/Fees: exclusive of commission, are there any hidden costs that aren't accounted for by specific market microstructure?

    That's enough for now. I'm on the Sim now....of course, everything is peachy on the Sim. I want to like IB, but I'm leary and I hate changing Brokers and Platforms and the downtime that comes along with the change.

    Seriously, all opinions and responses are sought, and quite welcomed.

    Thanks again,
  2. destriero


    You'll be fine as long as you stay clear of conversions, boxes and rolls. I have PM at IB and had basically zero issues with my taxable account. Many headaches with marginIRA.

    a) You'll route SMART until you realize that everything goes to PHLX if it's listed there. Then you'll route to CBOE, etc. to actually fill. No, you'll not going to be filled at mid unless you place a limit off mid and there is interest in the name. IOW, limits at mid will go unfilled unless the market moves against you. Same will be said about any DAP.

    b) It's pretty close. Nothing to worry about. Concentrations are in line with OCC.

    c) Terrible. Nobody runs IBTWS without a separate charting and analytics platform. The option analytics are comically bad. Run a stress and it defaults to 3 sigmas and all you'll see is your risk curve as a flat line.

    d) It's a very fast snapshot. Don't export the data, but it's wicked fast.

    e) Sucks. I don't even use mosaic any more. I just use the sheet. It's an execution platform. You're there for market access.

    f) No.
    MoreLeverage and KevMo like this.
  3. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    Look at you answering all the questions without one sarcastic response. I'm going to disagree with "b". IB does not always use the OCC TIM calculation. There are times when every broker uses a higher requirement, but IB's can vary during the day with market conditions.
  4. destriero


    Only because I know KevMo.
    KevMo and Robert Morse like this.
  5. KevMo


    Right on! Exactly what I was looking for.

    Any suggestions for chart pkg and/or analytics

    Thx my friend!

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  6. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    If you want a stand alone charting package because your software does not fit your needs, I would check out
  7. KevMo


    With regard to @destriero = LOL!! He's a good dude. Doesn't suffer fools, else "it gets the hose again!" [Buffualo Bill] :D

    Weird about their TIM Calc. Thx for the heads up. I have RiskMgmt systems running in RT here too. I'll soon find out if it's prob with IB or not.

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  8. KevMo


    Thanks for that @RobertMorse

    As an aside...strange that ET's saves certain pages that were deleted "drafts" then displays them again when they should be long gone.

    I wrote the "any suggestions for charting..." part before I left the office last night but then never posted it. Was waiting to hear from our Tech dudes to see if I could use our Firm's data pkg - they like to be known as now.

    Alas, no way to mix and match. But now that I hear from @destriero ...and read from others, I see it's IB for trades...then other stuff for other stuff.

  9. Robert Morse

    Robert Morse Sponsor

    I do feel that Lightspeed is a valid alternative to IB. Up to you if you want to chat. Most of my new accounts are frustrated X-IB and TD clients. On the institutional side we also get those that move from other introducing brokers.
    KevMo likes this.
  10. KevMo


    I'm sure LS is slick. I noted with great interest --> Nice to know!

    I'm definitely aware of you all now. Appreciate the effort. However, I'm locked into custodial relationships...for now. But I'll keep your number

    Thx Robert

    #10     Apr 4, 2019