Discussion in 'Options' started by sabena, Feb 24, 2002.

  1. sabena



    This seems after IB the best deal in town
    for small accounts !

    You always pay the LESSER of

    10 ticket charge ; plus 1.5 cents
    per share/1.5,-$ per


    No ticket charge; 2.5 cents per share/
    2/95,-$ per contract

    Yes, A little more then IB BUT their software
    has greeks,delta's and .....

    Anybody has an account with them ?

    Let us known !!!!
  2. I met them at the expo. They seem like the real deal. They might be a little expensive than IB but their execution platform is better than IB (I saw their demo version not real time so take that observe with a grain of salt) One of the principals is Charles M. Cottle-author of, in my opinion one of the top 5 books written about options trading ever. They said that they have people answering phones to take orders if problem with platform so my perception is that they might have better customer support. So anyone there with actual experience with them confirm or refute my first impressions?
  3. sabena



    What's the name of the book you talk about ?
  4. Options:perception and deception out of print 1998-you need to do an interlibrary loan coz it is not available.

    His newest is called woulda,coulda,shoulda which I think is free if people open an account with his firm. The second book is a good surrogate since most concepts are discussed if you can't borrow the first.

    Good luck
  5. I'm anxious to see when (and if) I receive it. One thing I can say for these folks is that they sure are responsive. I sent checks to IB and TOS on the same day. I was a bit surprised when I logged into TOS earlier; my funds were already available. OTOH, I received an e-mail from IB stating they had received my check and that my funds "will become available on March 12th"!
  6. I've been with thinkorswim for about a month now, and they absolutely do have a superior platform.

    They were introduced to me through Trade$ecrets seminars and very shortly the Trade$ecrets option software will be incorporated into their platform. This is analysis software with a live feed that will be available on an optionally purchased TAB at the top of the thinkorswim window. This is pretty impressive software and picks all kinds of potential positions out of the chaos for you based on the Trade$ecrets criteria which tend to be very risk-averse. It's not cheap, but it will probably be worth it. The time savings alone should pay for it in a few months.

    Another reason for using thinkorswim is that they allow Trade$ecrets grads to open margin accounts where they otherwise might not be allowed to due to credit problems or inexperience trading. This was a significant factor in taking the course for me. (It also turned out to be a great course -- I'm still digesting from January...)

    Trade$ecrets aside (and I'm not shilling for them or anything, they just were a great start for me), there are two other aspects of thinkorswim I like:

    The platform is written entirely in Java and looks amazing as well as works very well -- nothing remotely like a Windows application about it.

    Second thing is really first and that's execution. At a 2-day Vegas trading session put on for grads by T$, two brokers were present to take the trades, thinkorswim and Mr. Stock. While Mr, Stock was still having difficulty placing orders between the Bid and Ask an hour later and sometimes failed to fill altogether, thinkorswim was filling all day long in under two seconds. And you can tell them where you want it placed if you feel the need, but you probably won't...

    I guess these guys were offering brokerage services to other brokers, ex-floor traders and experienced pros pretty much exclusively before they opened their doors to the public, so their facility was expected, but their elan about the whole thing was really a pleasant surprise. They have a very funny outlook about trading options ("BORING!"), and about themselves, that's a nice break from the stodgy crap you find on every other site.

    They also have a great education section on the site with definitions and strategies and a lot of tools to help you get started and keep you afloat.

    The software is free to try out for I think 7 trading days before they expect you to fund an account and the preview is a good idea. There are no scanning tools, though (at least until the T$ Tab starts functioning), so be forewarned.

    They're right where you'd expect at http://www.thinkorswim.com . Have your shockwave Plugin installed if you want to see the optional (!) incredible visuals they've got running on one of the best websites I've ever seen (and I was a Web Designer by trade).

    Here's hoping you...

    Seymour Return

    PS: The support is excellent, too. They helped me out significantly when I had a wire transfer problem with my old broker and some issues with how to set up the account to include my wife a certain way, stuff like that. The managing partner was e-mailing me forms and generally assisting me personally, so either they have nothing to do over there or they're really big on crm.
  7. Can you explain something about the Trade$ecret screening abilities? I opened an account with TOS and not sure I can get used to the java layout, seems bulky to me, is it fair to assume it takes time to get used to?
  8. dlincke


    BTW while the option analytics that come as part of IB's TWS do not offer position graphing they go way beyond what the analytics provide that come with most quote services. IMO TOS's advantage on the software side isn't that great.

  9. The Trade$ecrets "screening abilities" as you call them (they refer to them as "proprietary criteria") are essentially the core of the course, so it's a little hard to just "explain something" about them. They are defined in a 200 page manual covering all of the possibilities involved with about seven or eight basic option strategies (they have an advanced "Level II" course that covers the more exotic plays). These are mainly Hedging your retirement and regular stock portfolios, the basic pure Long and Short plays, Vertical Spreads, Time Spreads, Straddles, Strangles, Collars and also all the risky stuff (e.g., selling naked Puts and Calls, legging in and out of a position incorrectly -- any position or action that leaves you unhedged, basically) which you are fully instructed in then strongly advised against using except in certain clearly defined situations (selling naked puts to buy stock at a discount, say). A few combination plays utilizing the basic techniques are also covered. So what you're asking for is really the entire course -- a little much for the forum, I suspect.

    Generally speaking, the thrust is toward Risk-Averse Trading (graduates are called "RATs") and the very basic principle of risking no more than $1 to make $2 (though often to make much more). Discipline is also big with these guys, all of whom have a minimum of 12 years on an exchange floor as a pre-req for teaching there. Knowing exactly when to get in and out is primary -- actually sticking to it is even more important. Can't argue with that, really, but you'd be surprised how many "investors" have no idea... might as well play Roulette.

    Someone brought up fees. Along with what was mentioned (and they are the cheapest out there, I believe) they offer certain interest and rebates not offered by many brokers. In addition, if you make 40 trades a month, they pay your cable bill! Here's the rebate info pulled directly from the site:

    Explain the commissions on option spreads.
    If the trade was entered as a spread, there is only one $10 ticket charge regardless of the number of legs associated with that spread, or $2.95 per contract if that’s less.

    What are the debit and credit rates of thinkorswim?
    Simply stated, the rate on credit balances is broker/dealer rate –1.50% and the rate on debit balances ranges from broker/dealer rate +.50% to –1.50% depending on the size of the balance. Customers that have short stock credit balances in excess of $50,000 will receive a short stock rebate of broker/dealer rate –1.375%.

    Interesting. Hope I get to the point where that's important real soon...

    On the software, I guess it's different enough that you might be inclined to love it or hate it, but you probably won't be lukewarm. If you hate Windows (at least half the people out there, right?) you'll probably love the TorS platform. If Windows is really familiar to you and you're totally comfortable with it, warts and all, you may not like the Java interface or it may take some time to get used to it (took me about three seconds). I find it extremely elegant compared to most of what's out there. I suggest you download it and try it. It's free and fully functional, except there's no cash in the account. Think of it as free feeds for a week.

    Hoping you...

    Seymour Return
  10. Where are Trade$ecrets seminars held, how much, your opinion of the course? Interested in your comments. Email me if you don't want to post to this thread.
    #10     Mar 1, 2002