Why not tradestation, TOS, Etrade......

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by greenmoose, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Okay, so I've been using TOS for at least 5 years now for equities, futures, options and have not really had any major issues. I'm predominately a technical trader and day trade as well as swing trade.

    Over the last couple days I've fallen a little bit down the rabbit hole and cannot even wrap my head around all the different configurations people use in terms of combining a charting platform with a broker with a data feed............

    I guess the question I keep coming up with is.......Why would one seek out a separate charting platform, a broker and a data feed? It seems unnecessarily complex. I do realize that many of the charting platforms offer a data feed and/or the brokers offer data feeds but it seems like all of this can be had through one of the more retail brokers such as Tradestation, TOS, Etrade......

    Am I missing something? I realize that execution can be an issue with TOS or Etrade but what about Tradestation? Tradestation seems like a pretty comprehensive platform that can do anything people want and you aren't paying multi-100 dollars per month......

  2. fan27


    If what you currently have meets your requirements, then look no further. However, if you need to trade a portfolio of strategies where the strategy count could be in the hundreds you will quickly find the platforms you mentioned to be insufficient.
  3. schizo


    I also have been a long time user of TOS and, frankly, I love their charts. One major drawback is that they don't offer auto-trading, even though you can create a strategy using thinkscript.

    Also TOS don't have complex orders, not even MIT orders.
    Erv Jus Soli and comagnum like this.
  4. Real Money

    Real Money

    Interactive Brokers has a free API and cheap data.

    ThinkorSwim is great for charting but terrible for futures trading. There is no SPAN margin and huge commissions. Tradestation has that easylanguage and I don't want to mess with that and they have expensive commisions too.

    Futures traders are very particular about what software/data/front end/analytics tools they use.
    drm7 likes this.
  5. I would entirely agree. TOS is great for charting. That is what has kept me so with TOS for so long and that I've been able to get lower and lower commission prices on options trading. That said, recently I've had some really bad fills and orders that have gone unfilled despite hitting the bid and that is what has gotten me down the rabbit hole. I've used Tradestation in the past but don't like that it isn't native to Mac which is what I trade on........

    Interesting to hear everyones take on it...
  6. wrbtrader


    If you can afford it...don't put all your eggs in one basket. My primary charting program is different from my broker even though the broker has charts.

    Also, the broker charts does not have the customization I need but having two different charting programs is excellent in having one as a backup and to help confirm what you see in the data is the same in the backup.

    The same with your computer...have a backup just in case your primary system goes down in the middle of a trade or software upgrade on one computer is not working properly. Nothing works perfectly every trading day.

    Some traders even have their mobile trading app open on their mobile device as a backup just in case something goes wrong with their laptop or pc.

    Yet, if you're on a tight budget...you'll have no choice but to go with one that's your broker, charting and data feed (all your eggs in one basket).

    Real Money and comagnum like this.
  7. I think you should keep doing what you're doing until it doesn't work. The best way to know if you need something else is if you dread managing some specific task/strategy.
  8. heispark


    Order flow study not supported in TOS. Sierra or NinjaTrader are much more powerful with free order flow features. Personally I like Bookmap with Rithmic feed. I don't understand how people can day trade without order flow study..... If you are Mac user like me, I believe MotiveWave is the best platform. It's a bit expensive and has some bugs but I like it very much. TOS is beautiful but consumes too much computing resource and heavy. Please also note TOS or TDA experiences various issues since it decided to go commission free to stocks and etfs. However, if you're options trader, I think you still need TOS' analysis feature anyway. It looks like a de-fecto standard to options traders.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  9. Real Money

    Real Money

    You have to read order flow or have some kind of proxy for it. If you wait for price to confirm a move then you are late.
  10. How do you know the "order flow" you are seeing is accurate? I have a proxy calculation I use that I believe is a better representation of instantaneous demand/supply because I found actual order flow to be too unreliable. Of course, I could have done it wrong.
    #10     Nov 10, 2019
    comagnum likes this.