Reality Check on Retail Firms

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by August, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. August


    I've been reading a lot of forums about different brokers and it seems like Interactive Brokers and Tradestation and the two most widely used systems. At the same time, I hear in forums about 50% complaints. They aren't working, inconsistent, sloppy implementation. I've even heard that interactive brokers scalps of it's own users between the stop activation and the stop limit.

    I am trying to get more serious about trading and switch off ameritrade (and etrade) to something a little more robust (and preferably more affordable). I can fund the account with plenty of money - so the account minimums are not the issue. I even hear mixed things about the more expensive trading platforms like terra nova (which is recommended by Alphatrends, a blogger I respect.) It's hard to get a perspective on reality here.

    If anyone here has used a few different brokers - I would love to hear some realistic perspective regarding - price, ease of use, robustness, and speed (i.e. ability to do super fast trades or is it more for mildly active trading).

    Thank you! (And thanks for having such a professional forum, I'm new here, but impressed with site!)
  2. Nonsense.
  3. Go with tradestation instead of IB. Lots of people use tradestation. You can't beat tradestation software.

    Check the broker feedback on this website. Click on the "broker" button up top of this website to check them.
  4. They are getting smart. This guy started his bash on post 2 , not post 1.

  5. August


    I'm seriously here to find out this stuff - not promoting or bashing anything. I would reference where I read this stuff, but then it might seem like I'm saying I believe it. People trash all knds of stuff and it's hard coming from the outside to know what to believe. But, honestly, even in these forums, I've read a ton about IB going down etc. Anyway - that's why I'm just looking for reasonable opinions.

    Sounds like these really are the two main players to consider though.

    Tradestation being the winner on elitetrader it seems. Are there any things I should really know? like on etrade you better realize that low funds equals high maintenance fees.
  6. You really can't help yourself can you ?

    If you genuinely want assistance, you could start by specifying which markets you want to trade, trading style (scalping, day trading, swing etc), and what software you would like to use.

    Instead of that, every second sentence is uninformed slagging off of IB. Is it surprising that you get the reaction you do ?
  7. You will always have problems with all retail brokers and data vendors because they have a small amount of money per user to provide service for lots of low value high turnover clients. The institutional model by comparison is low/zero turnover of high fee/high value clients with multiple installations per client. Institutions will accept the cost of duplicate servers, T1 lines etc whereas retail demand flourescent purple indicatour colour capabilities. The lack of cutomisability with Bloomberg would cause most retail traders to hit the roof. it's one size fits all but also one size fits most of what they do.

    Attitude issues aside, some retail brokers/data vendors arguably do a good job in relative if not absolute terms once you compare the reliability of their systems on a price basis with e.g. CQG/BBG/Reuters/TT etc.

    For me the most cost effective solution was to take the occasioanal hit from downtime as this was cheaper than paying up for TT/BBG/Leased line at my size. Over time I have also dumbed down what I do to reduce the frustration of trying to operate at a high level with retail equipment. Using a high end retail broker in the same way as people use Scott or Ameritrade leads for a relaxed time of it. using it in the same way people use TT led to a lot of stress.
  8. ib it's more than an kk broker. down time is minimal and certainly they dont have a policy of arbing clients money, ror.
  9. August


    dcraig, you're absolutely right, that wasn't really smart of me to defend my first statement with essentially a similar statement. I apologize. I'm also aware that quite often software's biggest fans are ALSO their biggest critics and I should remember that here.

    For the most part, I'm looking at swing trading equities. That would be most of my efforts. I can fund an account with enough to avoid day trading flag problems or minimum fees.

    Secondarily, I am interested in learning more about program trading (AT) my swing system at somepoint.

    Thirdly, I would be interested in exploring daytrading and futures daytrading. However, I have a lot more education needed before I get to that point, but it would be a bonus if I could use the same platform once I learn one. But that shouldn't be a factor if it rules out using a great system. I could always have a different account for that.

    Thank you for your patience and polite criticism. And thanks to everyone for the input - I'm open to hearing all opinions.