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Question about option level 2 from a newbie

  1. First post for me.

    I have been trading since Oct 07 and I haven't made money but I haven't blown up yet either. I am down about the same percentage as the market.

    I tried to obtain options level 2 from E-trade but was denied. I was approved for options level 1 trading ninety days ago. How can I improve my situation so that they will approve me? Will another broker approved me if I move my account? I am somewhat conservative and I am positive I won't do anything to blow myself up, at least not, right away.

  2. Fuck e-trade.

    They're a shitty brokerage w/ rip-off commissions and a pain in the ass to get privileges to risk YOUR OWN MONEY.

    Just go to interactive brokers if you want to trade all option strategies, they won't give you this "level" crap for options.

    (btw, I opened an account at etrade, got rejected for options, and closed it within a week after i opened it)
  3. Thanks for the reply. Did you need to deposit a lot of money in IB? I am a small investor and my account has about 8-10k available for trading. What's the commission rates like?

    Thks again.
  4. ThinkorSwim also has no levels or tiers and will match commissions with a lot of other brokerage firms if you request it. They also also provide their software for free and are considered by most as the best platform for options trading (although many here at ET prefer IB). Also if you look at the brokerage ratings here on ET ToS has one of the highest if not the highest rating of all the options brokers listed.
  5. Thanks...how is either IB or ToS for trading my equities with my IRA? Is it possible to trade index futures with my IRA in either? I know I can only trade covered calls with my IRA but I am not clear about trading futures.

    I am thinking into the future. I am nowhere near ready to trade index futures.

    Thanks for putting up with the additional question.
  6. I know ToS has IRA accounts and yes you can trade equities. i am not sure about futures though. Check out their web site and maybe give them a call. They have one of the best customer support groups in the industry.
  7. cool, thanks...I'll follow up with the suggestions.
  8. Hi there,

    I have been having etrade for years and I love it. I also have IB and Man however the other two brokers are best for professional or semi-professional traders. On the broker review part of this site I wrote my opinion on all brokers.

    I have level 4 and I understand your frustration with etrade. After 90 days you can change your personal profile. I think that you need to make more than $ 50 k per year to be able to trade at the highest levels and have a capitalized account. Whatever or not you make the 50 k it is your business, but they do all this to protect themselves from lawsuits, and within a certain extent to protect yourself.

    If at the time you opened the account you didn't take care of answering the option questions chance are that you do not much about options, so they want you to take it easy.

    Belive it or not some miserable idiot in the past not only got the highest level aproval, but after blowing up his account sued the broker and...won !

    Think about it, any borker wants you to place as many trades as you can, etrade is no different. That's how they make money, right ? They have no reason for not letting you trade.

    All you need to do is to understand how their policy work and act accordingly.

    Smart Money just rated Jun 08, etrade as one of the best brokers again and in my opinion they give you a lot of stuff.

    Some brokers have trading platforms that have a learning curve, etrade trading platform is highly intuitive, the baby ad they had could not be more appropiate. In about 5 min you will figure it all out by yourself.

    In addition to that they give you a credit card, you can spend the money you make in the market right away, or you can easily transfer it to any bank of your choice. Last but not least there is a 3.15% interest of the money sitting in your account. And the web based site, if you want to trade there, is even easier to use then their platform etradepro.

    Before making impulsive decisions, it is never good in the market, I would suggest you to take some time to understand how your broker works, then if it is not for you go ahead and look for something else. There are a lot of brokers out there, you should get one that makes you happy.

    Good Luck
  9. You cannot trade futures in an IRA at TOS, but they are working on getting rid of that restriction.
  10. .... tos has shit commish for futures...
    .... and they won't negotiate on it.
    .... anyone who has found otherwise plese pm me
  11. it's all the same shit, to get approved for options trading/shorting and what not. You need to update your profile to meet the legal requirements to be approved. All the brokers do this including IB.

    I will let you figure out how to update your own profile.

    Calling etrade a shitty platform because you cant get approved is foolish to say the least.
  12. This isn't really on topic, but since you said it and it is completely untrue I guess I have to respond.

    How large is your account, how many contracts do you regularly trade? If you are an active trader they will negotiate. I have my complaints about TOS just like everyone has complaints about every broker, but I have negotiated very good rates with them.
  13. Simply not true. I agree the rates are on the high side for futures, but they will negotiate.
  14. Thanks for your reply. It's not that I am unhappy with their service or prices. If they gave me option level 2 the second time I requested I wouldn't even think about changing brokers.

    You're right, I was not careful filling out my application. I might have put down something they didn't like. I am pretty sure they don't know what I make but I do make more then the 50k you mentioned. However, I do not have any margin on my account. I don't really want any either.

    The problem I have with E-trade is that I was turned down and not given an explanation and when I asked twice, I was told they could not tell me. I ask how I could get option level 2, and I don't think I would be able to blow myself up or them by buying calls/puts, and I was told they could not tell me to protect the integrity of the process.

    I am not a seasoned trader but I have at least 300 trades since October 2007. I lost a little money, mostly because of two bad trades, and buying etfs shorts too early.

    In the meantime, I am paper trading option on the CBOE. I am down a couple of hundred paper dollars and I made the mistake of buying jun instead of jul call. That really pitted time against me. At least, I haven't lost any real money.

    I don't really want to want another two and a half months to trade any options. I'll just have to fill out the application a little more carefully whereever I go.
  15. ... what are you getting with them ?

  16. ... what you have negotiated is beside the point....
    .... check their stated rates and compare...
    .... shit standard commish
  17. First you say that they won't negotiate, then you say it is irrelevant that there are traders who have negotiated with them. You are not making any sense. I would guess that you are a small trader and no firm is going to go out of their way to negotiate with you. As I have said before, if you are a small trader and just want low rates then IB is a firm you should consider.
  18. What he said. Real happy with TOS. Actual human beings who know answers for customer service, too. A rarity.

  19. Open an account with another firm. After almost a year of actual experience, you should be able to trade spreads with most firms. Not sure why Etrade won't let you. Ask again and send them a letter saying you undersand the risks of spread trading and you're willing to assume those risks.

    Good luck.
  20. That sounds like a good idea. I would like to know why I am not able to upgrade to at least level 2. I don't think I can even write anything at that level.
  21. That's a question to ask your broker. Nobody else knows the answer to it.
  22. And their customer support won't tell me but that's okay because I will move my money out of there.
  23. ..... i would guess why you carry around your huge attitude onto forums... but it would be pointless
    ..... responding to people like you on a forum is pointless because you are just out to confront anyone you can
    .... good luck in the real world

    ...edit..... TOS has shit standard comish rates
    .... anyone who has found otherwise ... please pm me... not you opt789 :)
    .... pm ... means message

  24. Does anyone trade the mini index futures with their IRAS? It's probably not the smartest move to trade one's retirement money but I only want to trade with a small portion of it.