Review of My First Week on TradeStation

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by AcoosticAnt, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. When I was looking for reviews about TS on this site I realized that most of threads are a bit outdated--some even years old. I figured since all I ever do is ask questions on here, I would try to actually contribute something to the site by adding my updated review of the TS platform.

    Please keep in mind that I am fairly new trader so some of the fine details that concern some of you old dogs I may not yet recognize.

    CUSTOMER SERVICE: I know some people in the past have commented on the poor customer service TS offers. I have to say that my first (and only) impression of an issue I had was more than satisfactory. I had a problem with the software not letting me log in after my account was created and I had a very nice gentleman in the tech department spend over an hour with me on the phone getting the problem worked out. He was very knowledgable and very, very polite and helpful. For those of you currently using TS, his name is Dave at extension 7556 in the tech department. I would recommend that you request him if you have to call in.

    CHARTING: I probably don't even need to comment on this, and honestly don't have a lot to compare with, but the charting part of TS offers more oscillators, indicators, drawing tools, etc. than my heart could ever desire. My only complaint is a minor scaling issue where I can't get a chart to expand and re-scale as I change the actual size of the window I am viewing it in. And this may be an error on my part that I might figure out later on down the road.

    ORDER EXECUTION: Fast and Seamless. I experienced no problems with slippage and all my orders were placed instantly. Also, since I am not a high volume trader, I love the "pay by share" commission policy. I saved a ton of money over E-Trade Pro with just that alone.

    SOFTWARE RUNS SMOOTH: I read a complaint somewhere that TS took a lot of processor and memory power to run. Maybe they have changed some things in the newer versions but I have not experienced this at all. I am running it on a laptop with a 2.0 Pentium and 512MB of RAM and did not notice any "lack of memory" issues. Everything ran extremely smooth and did not lag my computer or processing power at all.

    BROKERAGE: My complaint about their brokerage is that it is a bit archaic. Lots of things that I was able to do instantly over the web with E-Trade, I now have to print out forms and mail them in with TS. Account transfers are rather slow compared to the instant funding ET offers on transfers. I know this is just because they are fairly new in town as a brokerage and I expect many of these functions to improve over time.

    FORUM: bunch of asses...enough said

    PDT PROTECTION: This is by far my largest complaint but probably will not even affect most of you. Since I am new to the game I do not trade with over $25K and thus have to keep an eye out on my day trades so I don't get flagged as a PDT account. I did this on ET for 6 months without ever getting flagged. Well, on TS they put an alogorithm on each non-day-trade account that will only allow you to place 3 buy orders per day minus any day trades in the past four days. This is a bit frustrating when there are orders that I know I am going to hold over night and yet they count against me. The other thing is that even if I place two separate buy orders on the same security and then sell them in one order on the same day, they count this as two day trades. So, after the first day of trading, I was only allowed one buy order per day for the next 5 business days. I know they do this because if too many accounts get frozen from PDT status, they would lose commissioned sales, but in my opinion it still should be optional. I should have the capability of removing this from my account if I want to monitor it on my own. For now, I just go back to ET if there are other orders I want to place (which means TS is still losing commissioned sales).

    All in all, I have been very satisfied with the platform. In fact, if I had $25K in my account, it would be hard to find a serious complaint about this all-inclusive software. Just as a side note, I am considering getting a home equity loan to get above the $25K limit but I really wanted to get started without going into debt.

    I hope this helps--please let me know if you have any questions.
  2. Tums


  3. Yea that is what I hear from about everyone with any experience which is exactly why I am trying to make it on what I have (about $12K). It is just frustrating to have to jump through hoops on this PDT stuff.
  4. gaj


    thanks for the lengthy post on TS. it's good, not only for now but for future users, to get posts which objectively analyze things.

    on the PDT rule - etrade was being lax. ameritrade has something which appears (if your account is under 25k) stating "you have made X daytrades - please click here for what this could mean". click there, it gives you the PDT rules.

    i've never had under 25k in IB, but i know their interpretation of the rules is tighter than most brokerages.

    you'll find that most traders, and brokerages, do NOT like the PDT rule.

    on a side note - do NOT get that home equity loan. and the PDT rule will screw you up if you ignore it for stops (i don't want to honor my stop, it will trigger the PDT!) or for profit (it hit my target, i don't want to exit now because of the PDT). it's probably better to suck it up on those days and stick to your rules (thus getting a PDT trigger), unless it's real late in the day, than to hope.
  5. It is funny you should mention this because I cannot tell you how many times I do this. I either hold something longer than I should or don't sell when I should because I am worried about triggering a DT. It is very obnoxious but I do not really know what to do about it except grind it out and look forward to the day I have $25K in my account and don't have to worry about it.
  6. Boss302


    If you are very disciplined with your stops you can switch to emini futures like I did to avoid the day trading rule. It also makes tax time much easier.
  7. ddunbar

    ddunbar Guest


    Anyone under $50k shouldn't waste their time with stocks. And even that amount is low.

    Learn to trade either the YM, ES, or ER2. I'd recommend ES but the learning curve is a little steeper. But there are opportunities every single trading session with all three of these.

    Day trade perfromance bonds are <$2000 per contract.

    Use stops.
  8. Is there a good site to research these? I don't even know what YM and ES stands for.
  9. ddunbar

    ddunbar Guest

    They're e-mini futures.

    ES is the symbol for E-mini s&p 500 index futures.
    ER2 is the symbol for e-mini russell 2000 index futures.
    YM is the symbol for e-mini dow jones indu index futures.


    This is only a starting point.

    Search this forum for the pros and cons of each. I listed them in order of liquidity (volume traded.) E mini s&P have the highest with trading of over 1 million contracts per day. Liquidity is very important just like it is for stocks.
  10. Boss302


    YM is the dow emini ($5 per point). ES is S&P 500 ($50 per point). Stay away from the ER (Russell 2000) if you are new to futures as it will eat you alive. NQ is the Nasdaq at $20 per point with 4 ticks per point at $5 each. To get a feel for futures you could PAPERTRADE using the method you use for stocks or find one here on ET. Go slow with futures and learn before you burn thru your account.
    #10     Jan 13, 2007