Think or Swim vs Lightspeed vs Interactive Brokers

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by bobbo2111, Jan 14, 2011.

Better Broker?

  1. Think or Swim

    29 vote(s)
  2. Lightspeed

    14 vote(s)
  3. Interactive Brokers

    78 vote(s)
  1. piezoe


    TOS is most definitely not suited to intraday futures trading. Intraday margins are way too high and they don't have a real DOM display. Also a quite limited selection of futures. In a fast market the charts will noticeably lag the quotes. Their customer service is not as good as it used to be. It seems they hold limit and stop orders too long on their servers making you late into the queue. Their realtime accounting is second rate. For example, they exclude commissions when showing profit and loss.

    They have some obvious software errors that they have not fixed for several years, such as incorrect dividend rate calculations on equities. (they can't figure out the difference between quarterly, semi-annual, and annual dividends.) If you leg into an option spread, once you have acquired the complete spread they may not compute the correct margin. In other words, they may have trouble computing your net option position. (Not necessarily a problem only with TOS.) You can always call the trading desk to get it straightened out.

    New traders should be aware that you can get rich quickly on paper by scalping on their paper trade platform. But be advised that their paper trade platform has a very poor fill algo giving you consistently unrealistic fills. I once wrote them about this but never received a response. I think they do it intentionally to give new traders a false idea of how easy it is to make money in intraday trading.

    They are very good on some other things. Their option analysis software, for example, is quite nice, and it may be worth opening an account just to have access to it. Their commissions may be higher in general than some other brokers but there is no charge for the data feed or the platform.
    However they seem to be fixated on adding bells and whistles to their platform, which I think are attractive to inexperienced traders but of little real value. Meanwhile their "DOM" display does not show the Depth Of the Market but only the size of the inside bid and offer. It seems that would be something you would want to attend to before adding another esoteric indicator.
    #41     Jan 24, 2011
  2. fogut


    I am currently using TOS and have never used IB. I would like to know if there are any reasons why TOS is better than IB. Pricewise, considering the costs of commissions and data feed, which one is cheaper ?

    Thanks very much.
    #42     Jan 25, 2011
  3. MGB


    You can adjust the frequency of the quote updates on your TOS desktop.
    #43     Jan 25, 2011
  4. I trade about 20 credit spreads a month. The only time I have ever seen a miscalculation on the buying power is when I was near another spread I had on and it mistook the new spread as part of a butterfly. They adjusted my buying power and the trade was completed.

    I get exemplary customer service. I have some experience here as I once ran a customer service group for software support with customers worldwide.

    The merger has certainly tamped down the culture. Many things are on hold pending decisions by TD Ameritrade. This is frustrating and worrisome, but not yet a deal killer.
    #44     Jan 25, 2011
  5. ....if you like constant disconnections from data server .... you will love TOS
    if you like your platform closing by itself....for no reason... you will love TOS

    #45     Jan 26, 2011
  6. bobbo2111


    is IB and TOS really that superior to Lightspeed? I thought Lightspeed would be more popular but I guess not
    #46     Jan 26, 2011
  7. Here is the very good broker, Optionshouse. Very intuitive platform and excellent fees.
    #47     Jan 26, 2011
  8. :D
    #48     Jan 26, 2011
  9. LeeD


    IB offers unbeatable variety of international markets. ToS (which has been bought out by TD Ameritrade) has great platform for people who (infrequently) trade options.

    These 2 advantages are not easily bested. What does Lightspeed offer?

    Regarding the question "which broker" in the opening post, it depends on what a trader wants. There is no universally best broker.
    #49     Jan 26, 2011
  10. I'm beginning to suspect PICNIC. (Problem In Chair, Not In Computer).
    #50     Jan 26, 2011