Thoughts on Ameritrade

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by pkny, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. pkny


    hi all

    Would anyone care to comment on their experience with this broker? I noticed that they added conditional orders where a stop loss can be placed if one cannot monitor the market after an order gets filled. I was hoping they would add this.

    and I was wondering what people thought about the free level 2 screen. Would I be seeing the same prices at the same speed as I would see this on a direct access system assuming the same connection, etc? (get what you pay for?)

    thank you
  2. GTC


    Ameritrade has per-trade pricing. Their conditional orders through trade triggers work fine overall. If you need conditional orders and level2, just2trade might be a lot cheaper option--$2.5 (or $2) per trade versus $5-$9.99 per trade.
  3. pkny


    thanks-I was not familiar with them.
    definately an option. getting my feet wet placing a swing trade here and there when I see a nice setup-when I start trading more that would save lots of $
  4. TOM134



    I have an account with TDAmeritrade. However, their commissions are NO LONGER competitive. Therefore, I am looking at other brokers and asking for other opinions before I switch.

    I don't need all the bells and whistles but my trading style demands low commissions.

    See how much you can save on commissions by using the calculator at the just2trade site:

    You might also note that just2trade has an additional charge for extended hours trading. If they didn't have this extra charge I would immediately transfer my account to them!

    I was looking into IB as my new broker but from what I hear from the posts at Elite Trader, IB's platform just seems to be too complicated (NOT EFFICIENT) and has too many 'glitches' (NOT EFFECTIVE). And they are said to have very poor customer service. The following post is just another example of IB's poor performance:

    The other Brokers I'm seriously looking at are:

    I hope this helps.

    Let us know what decisions you make; it would be helpful for the rest of us.

  5. pkny



    I'll probably stick with them for a while until I'm placing more trades.
    I'll let you know. I just took a trade and got stopped out with a small loss--didn't follow my rules and tried to get slick and got slapped. I wish I only paid a total of $5 commission instead of $20.....
  6. Ameritrade is a ripoff unless you're doing 2000+ shares per trade.

    If you use IB, it's really not that bad.

    Minimum commission they charge you is $10 ($3 if you're under 25, but either way it's negligible), and if you don't generate $30 of commission they charge you $10 to get quotes.

    But consider this:

    If you make even TWO trades (1 round trip), ameritrade charges you $20.

    If it was for say, 500 shares a trade, IB charges you $5 total commission, and at the end of the month, hits you with another $5 to make it $10 commish, and $10 for the quotes.

    So you break even if you make even 2 trades w/ IB.
  7. pkny


    I'll take another look at the IB site don't know if it's just me but I find it very annoying.
  8. GTC


    If you like level2 as suggested in your post, you need to be aware of following IB fees at a minimum:

    -Monthly Minimum Activity Fees: $20 (if your account goes <$2k) or $10 (if your account is >$2k) , or the difference of this fee and the commissions generated.
    -Level1 market data fee
    -Level2 fees
    -News fees (if applicable)
    -Margin/Interest debit/credit charges (if applicable)
    -Withdrawal fees
    -Order cancellation fees (if applicable)

    You may also want to think if you are willing to consider probable IB issues as "cost of doing business". This is subjective. It can possibly just be $0 for a non-active trader.

    IB may still come out to be competitive for you. You need to do your own homework choosing your own broker since one broker may be good for one--but bad for some other.
  9. pkny


  10. ak15


    The only way you can verify speed and accuracy of level2 is by comparing ameritrade's level2 platform with another direct access broker's platform in real time. You may also want to check whether Ameritrade incorporates Inet and Arca open books in their level2.
    If active trading is a longer term goal, then there is no point in switching to a direct access broker. You might as well stay put at Ameritrade. However, If you decide to start trading actively, then PM me. I can recommend a firm. They have an excellent Level2 platform, very competitive commission rates, great service and good sturdy software. However, I don't want to promote any firm in an open forum
    #10     Apr 14, 2007