ThinkOrSwim , any tips on futures/forex?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by cloudy, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. cloudy


    I've been using ThinkOrSwim as my sole broker for trading everything.
    This question is similar to the one about trading forex on IB. Could those of you who use TOS to trade futures and forex , especially lower time frames such as 15min, 5min or 1min have some suggestions or comments of what they think about trading this way on TOS?

    Is it worth it in the long run to daytrade and scalp on TOS? Or would you recommend not using TOS at all for this? Has the speed improved do you think since when TS Ameritrade took over? How about Prodigio? How does ThinkOrSwim compare to IB coupled with Ninjatrader?

  2. rickf


    Prodigio isn't doing futures yet, but I think it's coming sometime soon.

    If you want to trade futures off a 5 or 15m TOS chart, I think that should be okay. I trade futures elsewhere but from what I've heard from other TOS futures traders, tick-scalping or really small timeframes on the platform is not a wise idea.

    IMHO TOS really went downhill after TD bought them. There were a few multi-day periods where data and/or the platform was seriously borked last fall. Most recently, two weeks ago, my account was showing incorrect data for a mutual fund position (100% loss on a previously reported gain of 8%) and it took them 5 days to correct the problem -- yet they never told us about it. Nowadays, even when the platform has a problem, they rarely alert users to the fact, choosing to fix it silently and/or just keep us in the dark and guessing when it'll be fixed. I really used to love them and recommend them to my friends precisely for their customer service and quality trading experience .... but not anymore.

    I use TOS for stock, option, and fund trading only, because I do like the platform for those particular trading vehicles and the range of stuff available to me.
  3. No, emphatically. I've been with TOS since 2004 and the performance problems have been getting worse -- making short timeframe trading almost impossible. I don't use Prodigio. I have used Ninja, but not recently. I recall liking the platform.

    If you do decide to try TOS for daytrading, I recommend using the ActiveTrader window and using the OCO bracketing feature for stops. If your order fills, adjust your stop loss and targets immediately to your exit areas. The reason I recommend this is that you must expect a connection problem AT ANY TIME. It's important to have your exit orders up on the server immediately for this reason alone. You CANNOT push size around with no stops (or hedges) on this platform. One lag out and you will know exactly what I mean.

    On the other hand if you are overnight position trading or using hedges, etc., (not simply doing directional spec), you can use TOS with confidence.
  4. WS_MJH


    Does interactive brokers have the same time delay/execution that thinkorswim has, ie time delay in charting. TWS is not even close to TOS. IB is cheaper and many here use them, but are they really better than TOS. I will say this, of the free brokerage platforms, TOS is the best.
  5. TOS is "free" if you don't trade. TOS is ridiculously expensive if you do.
  6. frxblog


    forex trading is good to do..
  7. Just google deep discount trading and you will find alot of good brokerages.
  8. cloudy


    Thanks for the feedback. I think I will just use 1min futures/forex on TOS on demo only.
  9. jeez.. reading this it hit me that its possible that p&l in my account has been not at all as i expect it to be. Over weeks it seems to correct itself out; and i was thinking its an artifact of option not traded or so since they were somewhat far in terms of expiry. about 4-6months away. But they were all options on ES; so i guess it is also possible that there is some bug in tos that is doing this thing. hmm.. but i love tos for option stuff. If this is true; that would be a very sad thing.