Short List: IB vs. Datek

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by roger2, Mar 9, 2001.

  1. roger2


    I have been trading about a year, all on Datek only. Of course Datek has many problems...some have cost me $. And I am not certain that I want to be a guinea pig while the bugs (I assume there are some, from past experiences) get worked out of Datek's latest offerings.

    But...Datek does have a nice supply of shortable stocks. And shorting is something I like to do.

    I respect the opinions of contributors to this forum and am seriously considering moving to IB based on what I have read here.

    But what about IB's short list? Do they have an ample supply of shortable stocks? Does their short list include many mid-caps and small-caps as well as the more obvious choices?

    How does IB's short list compare to Datek's?

    Thanks in advance...
  2. roger2

    although there's a link on IB's website to their directory of stocks which can be borrowed, you'll find no symbols there.

    Instead, they maintain a list of stocks, which can not be borrowed due to uniform practices code, rule 11830

    I remember asking a IB rep via their helpdesk about a list of stocks to short - he said, they don't maintain such a list, since it would be too much work to do the follow up.
    Generally speaking, they said, they would have almost any stock ( except those in the list above ) available for shorting due to their large institutional customer base.

    They recommend, just to transmit your short-sell order and you'll see in a split-second whether the stock is available to borrow or not.

  3. tc


    You can find their short list under (Products & Commissions)in the website.
  4. limbo


    Privateer I'm a bit over a newbie trading with cybercorp. I like the ease-hate the commissions as I usually trade-2-3-400 shares. I am not exactly a computer whiz-in fact quite lame(I love your posts but only understand 1/4 of them)--IB is bare bones. In your opinion will the difficulties of IB--bringing up execution-changing execution-bringing in level 2 source -charts etc. slow me down--in effect hinder my trading. It seems like there are alot of extra motions. much thanks
  5. def

    def Interactive Brokers

    the IB short list can be found at:

    you can enter a symbol and search or click on the letter of the alphabet to see what's available.

    thanks for your efforts, it probably has been a while since you checked out this part of the web site. The short list (and restricted list) is only displayed by symbol.
  6. roger2


    Thanks to everyone ...but I did not express my original question well.

    Datek is my only point of reference, it is the only broker I have ever used.

    If I do look at IB's actual short list, it won't mean that much to me because I have never seen a Datek short list (if it even exists)

    I do believe, from my limited experience, that Datek has a fairly comprehensive supply of various stocks which can be shorted. At Datek I have shorted the likes of: RVST, PCOR, HEAR,OPAY, MZON....small caps with small trading volume.

    I may or may not work with these specific stocks again, but I know that others of this class would be available to short at Datek. is what I would like to know: At IB, is there a comprehensive selection and supply of stocks similar to these (small cap/small volume) available for shorting?

  7. trinfo


    IB's selection of borrows has seemed rather limited compared to e*trade (which, while being a sucky broker, has amazing borrow availability most of the time). I know I have been unable to short ONIS and BLUE in the past, as well as some other stocks-du-jour; these are not NDX stocks, but not exactly the most obscure either.

    Since IB is self-clearing, I would bet that right now the only borrows available are from other IB/Timber Hill accounts. I think the best course of action would be to ask management to subscribe to a stock loan service e.g. Bear Sterns Electronic Securities Lending, where they claim to have the most comprehensive set of borrows available anywhere.
  8. def

    def Interactive Brokers

    IB does outsource stock from a number of different parties. I think Bear may be one of them.
  9. trinfo


    def, thanks for the info. However, I and others have had problems getting shorts on NASDAQ issues such as BLUE & CCMP, which are not big NDX stocks, but also are not tiny-float nor UPC11830. Someone was saying that IB's short list for NYSE issues was excellent, but I rarely trade them.

    Is there a secret to getting borrows ("try doing it more than once, and it will work on the third time" :), or a process that could be implemented to attain them when they don't show up immediately, or an explanation for why something that is not UPC11830 would not be available?

    Sorry for being so curious, I'm just wondering if there is anything under your or my influence that would make things work better.
  10. BSAM


    What does UPC11830 mean?

    #10     Mar 15, 2001