Secondary Brokerage recommendation (already have IB)

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by DisciplinedHedg, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. I've been with IB for years. Satisfied for the most part, especially with their commissions and executions.

    I need a 2nd brokerage account. Any recommendations? Someone reputable would be nice. I value low commissions and fast executions. I'm currently using my old Schwab account but commissions are high and executions are inconsistent.

    I trade mostly futures, options, stocks. In that order.

    Was thinking about Options Xpress. Which are the good ones?
  2. rmorse

    rmorse ET Sponsor

    I sent you a PM.

  3. luisHK


  4. PFG Best is the best alternate, though PFG Best is my primary, I think IB is better for stocks than PFG is, but PFG is way better for futures.
  5. JamesL


    Lightspeed offers what you are looking for - stocks/options/futures and forex if you want. Fast platform and rates similar to IB
  6. It's a bucket shop with nothing useful but enabling gambling trading addiction with DOM windows.

    OP, Get Multicharts and chart trade through PFG or other brokers for MC. MC will even work with IB, too, so you can make your trades from one platform, PFG and IB. It's a perfect combination and there's lots of other brokers that work as well, but these are my two top brokers.
  7. Catoosa


    I read the PFG broker ratings here on ET. PFG has only a few ratings and their average review rating is only 54%. MBT is OK for stocks but their clearing firm Penson does poorly with futures (Penson has cleared futures for only about 2 or 3 years). MBT offers no data feed waiver for full size electronically traded futures contracts (fees run $65 to $75 per futures exchange per month). Lightspeed may be OK for that secondary account, but they fall short of IB. I like IB and I have not found another broker that I think comes even close as a primary or secondary broker to IB.
  8. rmorse

    rmorse ET Sponsor

    Penson Futures has been in the futures business since 1985 because it's the result a few mergers like the rest of the industry.

    Penson gets beaten up here in ET by traders that are mostly NOT clients of them. Everyone I know that does business with them is happy there. We can also do business at ML Pro and FC Stone. None of my active clients have moved.

    We have the capability to service equities, options, futures and FX through Penson. For equity/option traders, they offer both Reg-T and Portfolio Margin. For futures accounts, they offer many platforms including the availability of Co-Locations in Chicago in multiple location including the new CME site in Aurora, IL, for very reasonable rates for clients. For FX traders, they also have more than one platform to cover your needs.

    We can't offer one platform to do everything, because we offer broker neutral platforms that excel at each asset class. That gives you the ability to choose what works for you. Typically, the only brokers that offer one platform for everything, are brokers that want to keep control of their order flow. That does not mean there is anything wrong with that, as long as it meet your needs.

  9. I trade futures and have given up on IB and switched to a split of PFG and Cunningham CTS T4. IB's margins for futures options have gotten higher and higher if you trade distant months. Also who wants to pay quote fees for ICE?

    I am largely a futures position trader and have little experience with intense day-trading at PFG so I cannot vouch for that.

    PFG's default platform BestDirect, while free, is not a patch on TWS though. It is basically just order entry and quotes with a DOM and is a bit clunky. Just a tiny fraction of the capabilities and appearance of TWS. BUT since it is free, you can get very low total costs if you negotiate the commissions aggressively with PFG.

    PFG's default forex quotes look very wide compared to IB - I suppose I would have to negotiate those too. It is so tiresome.

    Their stock fees look ridiculously high. I suppose you can negotiate them too but I only trade stocks rarely. Do you know what to try for for stock commissions at PFG? Or I guess I should just go back to IB to trade stocks.

    Which platform do you use with PFG?
  10. Catoosa


    Penson management acquired GHCO in 2007. At that time, I used (and still use) two brokers that clear futures through Penson. Between midnight and 6:00 AM, Penson frequently looses track of my positions in futures contracts (show I am short when I am flat, long when I am short, larger or smaller number of contract positions than I actually hold). Just try and trade with such a FCM. I think these problems started when Penson management tried to integrate GHCO into Penson's back-office software in order to offer futures clearing to all of Penson's broker/clients through a universal account (stocks and futures trading within one account) and that was after 2007. These problems still exist today. I have had an account at IB for 12 years and have never ever had such problems. Some traders may look for lower margin requirements than IB, but not me. I look for safety of my account, great back-office, and a great trading platform. I am not saying to not use Penson as a clearing firm but to be aware of what to expect from them (I have had no problems clearing stocks through Penson; However, I do not trade stocks all night but I do trade futures all night). Penson has had a recent change in management leadership and lets hope this will start Penson on a true course.
    #10     Apr 21, 2012