I looked at the IB API and was (unpleasantly) surprised. I have to have their TWS (which is written in Java) to run all the time on my machine; I'm not making direct socket calls, I'm making calls to that TWS layer. Well, this doesn't sound like a good design for 24/7 fully automated (with no human supervision) trading software. I checked few other companies and it looks like this is very wide spread design - they want you to run their junk on your machine instead of doing direct socket calls. Some of them offer FIX connectivity instead of API. But, for example, IB has FIX for $100/mo with $500 setup fee which is plain stupid - FIX is much simpler to use and it makes much less load on the server, so I don't understand why that POS API costs 10 times less than normal technology. I went onto the search for companies that offer FIX and are discount brokers. I found these: http://www.just2trade.com/ http://www.ecnbroker.com/en/ http://www.mbtrading.com/ Are there any other companies that will give FIX access with strait forward fee structure and low commissions? I'm looking for retail broker, not the institution one. I need US stocks only, I don't do options etc. Which one of these three (and may be others) are the most reliable? Thanks in advance!