Thanks. TOS was recommended to me. However, after being acquired by Ameritrade, I contacted them and they will not negotiate their high options commissions. Other futures.io (formerly BMT) member warned me about the limited selection of futures you can trade options on. In addition, he warned about high spread on futures options.
Thanks. I had issues with NT6.5 then NT7. I have lifetime license. charts that would freeze, dom freezing, issues with support.. I have read other members removing it from their PC and giving up.
I wish it works for me since I have been learning the platform for the last year and tried to automate some strategies but it was not reliable and support did not give a decent answer. I am using TOS for charting but it is delayed 20 mins!!
If you are a masochist, open an account with IB and use their TWS software. If you enjoy blank charts, error messages, 5 minute candles which go on for 20 minutes, crossed bid and asks...If you like "tech support" which has not one helpful suggestion and only denies the problem, IB is for you! My conclusion is, IB has plenty of traders with big bux who can patch together their own platform or hire someone to write the code for them, and just ignores the other traders. Sayonara, IB! I just closed my account. I do not trade a wide variety of instruments - just penny stocks and regular calls/puts on large cap stocks. I can get my pennystock shorts at Sure Trader now. The IB nightmare is over - well I haven't gotten my check yet so not over quite yet. Waiting for the fat lady to sing.
I have been trading stocks on IB for about a month and a half and haven't had any problems so far. I use an old version of TWS because this is the only version that will work with Ninja Trader. I get my charts using a free demo account on Ninja Trader and get my data from IB. I make the actual trades using Book Trader. Book Trader isn't as nice as the NT Dom, but I have found it to be adequate and no problem in making trades. I am currently trading 100 shares which is 2 dollar round trip. When I increase my size to 200 shares, my commission costs instantly cut in half to 2 dollar round trip for 200 shares. The cheap commissions allow me to get plenty of practice as a beginner and still make a profit.
The following user says Thank You to jodistrict for this post:
The reason to use IB is low commissions, up-time on their systems, very quick and reliable executions, and number of products offered with minimal to no exchange data fees. The low commissions are very nice if you are using the active trader-dreaded tactic of 'scaling in to weakness' as in, for example, buying a stock index ETF gradually, in very small quantities, to build a medium-term position that you will later sell into strength. Or, it is nice to pay $1 commission for 200 shares of AAPL. And if you aren't scalping, TWS works fine. In fact, slick trading interfaces to IB, like Buttontrader, which is a fantastic piece of software, can contribute to overtrading in my experience.
Obviously, use charting other than IB's because it sucks. I use NT for shorter term stuff (and for trading with IB) and TC2000 for longer.
I've been using them for about 10 years and haven't had any problems with the interface for years and back then, it turned out the issues were attributable to my desktop setup being underpowered for what TWS was (probably far from optimally coded.)
In general, with trading, I think there is too much emphasis placed on the platform and speed of that (assuming it is mostly always up and running) and far too little on stock selection and entries/exits/money management.
I think IB is a great way to go for someone just starting out, doing basic trading stuff.
Just a warning using IB linked to NinjaTrader. We are at least 2 people who got executions miles away from the spread numerous times. Please note this comment is only valid for FX.
After filing a dispute and before we stop with them, IB indeed refunded us but it does not give much confidence in that broker/platform setup.
The following user says Thank You to SARdynamite for this post:
Yesterday Apple was trading before the open at 423.5, just when the market about to close IB stop sending quotes just for apple. I was watching T&S on TOS. I saw the price go down to 422 then a block of 191,000 shares trading at 420.xx!! during this time, I can not buy apple on IB, no quotes...
When I saw the block, I realized the game and as the market opens, apple shoots up to 425, 426, 427... that is when IB sends quotes again.