For sure a $2,000 account trading futures is just asking for trouble, just asking for the account to run into margin trouble. If you're thinking is that you're good enough to instantly build that account to $5,000 with a minimal draw down, then you'd probably already had a larger bank roll (either your own or financial backers).
This is probably not the advice you want to hear, but try to save up to at least $10,000 before trying to make money off trading, otherwise you'll probably make more net money working at a McDonald's. Even assuming you made 300% on the small account, which would be stellar, you're account would still only be at $6,000 before taxes.
In the mean time, you can practice and test your strategies off demo. If the strategies don't work in demo, they won't work in a live account. Also in demo, assume the demo gives you unrealistic fills, so always assume you had to pay the highest price offered on the spread.
Of course, if you still want to pursue it as a hobby, then micros on FX would at least give you a small enough incremental order size to properly manage risk.
I recently opened up an account with FXCM. I have been trading for a week and have been pleased with the experience. There haven't been any technical problems and setting it up was straightforward. I am placing trades using the chart trader provided by Marketscope2.0. I am also able to connect simultaneously to NinjaTrader to seem my NT charts when I want. Marketscope also instantly generates a detailed report of your trading history for the day whenever you want it.
If you are a beginner, I recommend forex over futures and stocks.
With forex, you can start out trading microlots, which are only .10 cents per pip. This is a great way to learn. You are trading for real money which is better than simulation, but the amounts are small enough to not damage your account to badly while you are learning. The margin for a micro is only $24. As you become profitable you can work yourself up to larger sizes. With futures, the minimum size you can trade is m6e, which on Interactive Brokers would be $2 plus fees for a roundtrip. The equivalent Forex size would be a 10K contract which is 80 cents commission for a roundtrip.
Here is the summary to show that Forex is more efficient for small contract sizes.
FXCM 10k contract (about a dollar per pip)
Round Trip commission .80 cents
Interactive Brokers m6e (about a dollar per tick)
Round trip commission 2.50
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I have been trading the EUR/USD on my FXCM account and the m6e on Interactive Brokers for about two weeks. It's easier trading the EUR/USD because it always has liquidity and is moving. The m6e moves slower and runs out of liquidity by about 11 a.m. I can trade EUR/USD all day long. One negative is that there are really quick, sudden HFT like moves on the EUR/USD. One move slipped my stop by 15 pips. I am still experimenting but it may take wider stops on EUR/USD.
I am using the Marketscope platform on FXCM. I enter trades with their chart trader. It's not as fast as ninja trader but it hasn't been too bad. I haven't had any technical problems except it did lose the server for a few minutes during a time of high volatility. Once nice thing is you just click the report button and get a detailed report of your trades.
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I would probably start with spot forex as opposed to futures. Futures have their advantages as well, such as an order book and direct order routing to the exchange. But if you're going to be trading microlots, then execution is not going to be a real issue. I've traded with several FX brokers such as GFT (GAIN), FXCM and IG and executions were very good. As a US resident, you will, however, most probably need to open an account in the US. Although some players have left the brokerage game there, I'm sure you'll find a good one.
And for some reason, placing even a microlot, 10 cents per pip, the trade feels 1000 times more important to you than trading on a paper account!
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