Trading indexes in an IRA W/O a Custodian?

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by Primal Trader, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Micro stock indexes have proven to be a great innovation. Now I wish to trade them in an IRA. I am aware of Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade, both of which do not require a custodian for a futures enabled IRA. I have investigated both and each has certain strictures I would prefer not to have, but I am keeping them in mind as I research. Does anybody here know of any other brokers which allow futures trading in an IRA without a custodian? I have used a custodian before, but I would prefer to avoid that additional overhead and red tape. Any sharing of your experiences in doing so would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Ghappy21


    What do you mean or how do you benefit by "no custodian"? I have an IRA at TastyWorks in which I trade futures and futures options (even naked). I trade the account just like my margin account. The only difference is the futures margin reqs are 1.5 to 2x of my margin account. I opened the account just like opening any other IRA trading account. If there is a custodian involved it is unseen by me, and there are no additional charges.
    Primal Trader likes this.
  3. Thanks much for your reply! Almost all FCMs require an outside custodian such as Midland or Advanta in order to be able to trade futures in an IRA, which amounts to over $300 in fees per year and additional fees for withdrawals. IB and TD are the only exceptions that I have been able to find, until your reply. I had never heard of TastyWorks, but I am looking at their site right now thanks to you, and they look very intriguing. Might be exactly what I have been trying to find. I only want to trade micro contracts at the present and they require only 5K in the account which I can do. Have you been satisfied with them overall in your trading experiences?
  4. Ghappy21


    PT, TastyWorks is very well known in the Options community. (big on selling options) It was founded by Tom Sosnoff, who created ThinkorSwim and sold it to TDAmeritrade. They have an extensive (separate) online channel called TastyTrade. It is all about options (and some futures). The clearing corp is APEX and I think they are the FCM as well. Definitely no fee, and I have never interacted with APEX directly.

    By the way, if you want to trade small and trade futures, have you heard of the Small Exchange? These are new futures products that are small in size and very standardized to making trading them less confusing.
    Primal Trader likes this.
  5. Thanks for that additional info, since I don't trade options at present the company is new to me. Yes I have heard of the new Small Exchange, it looks to fit a niche and I will be considering their products. I have traded Micros and Full-sized CME products for years. But now I wish to trade in a Roth IRA and thanks to your input I have some further research to do. With your IRA there, are withdrawals straightforward (If you have made any), and are they free or low cost? Do they have ACH capacity for funds out?
  6. Ghappy21


    PT, I have not made any withdrawals. Wires are very easy. ACH is fine but only allow one ACH set-up at a time. Customer Service is very good but generally via chat/e-mail. They will call you if you ask. The details fee very well. The platform is simple and fast. The platform is set-up a bit more for Option sellers than futures traders but they evolve the desktop platform frequently. They co-own the SmallExchange. If you like the small exchange products you can buy an exchange membership for $100 to cut exchange (small exchange fees) in half. I joined early and Tasty paid the $100 for me.

    Tasty is a great organization. For you possibly the question will be if the platform is good enough for you. By the data fees. For a platform, I like Tradeovate but they require the 3rd party custodian.
    Primal Trader likes this.
  7. I have spent many hours over many days investigating possible options for my goals, and you presented by far the best solution that I have encountered, so I thank you! I will do my due diligence and investigate further, but the pedigree of the organization is a good foundation. The platform will not be a problem, I use very simple charting and I don't even like DOMs. I believe in KISS. I will contact them and clarify how funds out on IRA accounts works, etc.

    The Small Exchange membership might also be a possibility, time will tell. How have the liquidity and slippage been on those for you, and which have you traded?
  8. Ghappy21


    I have not trade the smalls, as I am OK with the size of the /ES. My focus has been just the /ES for futures and futures options (very short term) and the options (selling options) on the SPX for medium-term holding times of a few weeks.
  9. Sounds like you are successful specializing in something that you understand very well, congratulations and all the best to you! I have emailed a few questions to the broker. My research on the Apex clearing firm gives me some questions, so will do a bit more on that end as well.
  10. Ghappy21


    The HelpCenter link on the site has just about everything.

    Do you plan to do intraday trading of the micros or more multi-day position trades? What style of trade or set-up is your go to trade?

    I have been discretionary intraday trader, jut looking to grab 4-5 points (ES) on the ES just breathing in and out. I am trying to move my trading to multi-day swings on stocks. I like the ES intraday trading but it is intense work, chained to the computer.
    #10     Apr 19, 2021