If IB is Your Live Broker & You Paper Trade with Them...
With regard to day trading stocks (in trades where speed and quality of fill matter), in what respects, if any, do you notice a difference between your live account fills with IB and your paper trading account fills?
I day-trade stocks live with IB. When I switched from Lightspeed to IB I did use IB's demo to get used to the platform. As I remember, IB's demo worked exactly the same as the live account.
But there's no way to tell if the fills are the same. When a limit order is filled in the demo, who's to say if it would have been filled in your live account. As you probably know, slippage is a factor when day-trading stocks. So when a market order is filled in the demo you don't know if there would have been slippage in the live account.
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I'm working toward putting a new trading setup together (new broker, new charting platform, 3rd party data feed), amd I'm endeavoring to pull some preliminary information together that may be helpful as I seek out the right combination.
I have some concerns about the liberal margin rates and 4:1 24X7 equities leverage at IB but I have never had a problem with the fills, with any product and I've been trading futures and equities there for 10 years or so. On the equities side, I also like that they have trading available in the pre-market at 4AM EST.
I am not a scalper -- usually -- but ... the fills seem near instantaneous to me. If you are doing many day trades, the Buttontrader trading interface to IB might be something to look into also, though it uses the IB data feed. IB's TWS is kind of 'odd' though they do have their version of a DOM, which I don't like.
"The Future Ain't what it used to be"
Last edited by heywally; February 11th, 2012 at 08:34 AM.
I've heard very good things about IB's fills. It's that and their commission structure which appeal to me. Accounts are insured up to $250K, and additional insurance, if needed, is available through Lloyd's of London, which helps on the risk side.
Yes, they are well insured -- but well insured doesn't mean a lot in a really bad situation -- and most likely, my paranoia re their financial position and the amount of risk they allow is unfounded. But the company itself has always seemed kind of 'mysterious' to me and a lot of big traders with big volume and leverage -- though they don't have crazy day leverage on the futures, like some brokers do -- reside in their house and valid or no, that concerns me a bit.
But, I've never had a problem wiring funds out and the wires are free so that is good. They also happen very fast.
I always keep the symbols for the brokerages I use in my watch list so I can get wind of anything odd going on, maybe. If IB ever did have an issue, anything other than an MF Global overnight thing, you could wire funds out of there pretty quickly, unless it was an IRA. Anyway, I digressed from your topic ....
Yes, fills, uptime, product offerings, lack of exchange fees for the standard exchanges, commissions, are all excellent. And for the 'scalpy' smaller position scale-in to equities/ETF's approach I use for part of my trading, you can not beat a $1 commission for up to 200 shares in an IRA account. Anyway .... good luck.
Keeping your broker on your watch list seems prudent to me. I've never done it, but I think I will start doing so.
I also agree that it is not difficult to imagine scenarios in which 'insurance' (of most any kind) is not going to be helpful. In the event of a major collapse, a lot of insurance companies will be collapsing as well.
As for your digressing from the topic, I'm old school and consider digression one of life's simple pleasures, kind of like chocolate.
Please excuse my English I'm from Germany and my English is very rusty.
I have a connection issue using IB for day trading which affects the real time order execution with IB. You will probably only recognize it as a discrepancy in your personal order price tracking and the order price under which it is executed through IB. I created a support ticket at IB which is under work but no solution in sight. If it is not solved I will quit IB.
I use NinjaTrader's API to generate orders from NT DOM or chart trader in IB Trader Workstation. I have DTN IQFeed for the chart real time. I have strategies running for automated trading.
I wondered that orders I placed in NT occasionally where not executed in IB or why the prices at which the order where executed at IB differ so much from the trade log in NT.. When I checked the log files in NT and IB I found periodically "connection loss and re-connect due to socket errors with the IB data gateway servers" entries in the IB TWS logfile.
After help through the NT support and installation of the new TWS version through the NT support guys the issue could not been solved.
I opened a ticket at IB 4 weeks ago. IB Support gave me a link to an non-public TWS version. The disconnection issues disappeared. So this is an software issue from IB. You will perhaps will not recognize it - it depends on the way you trade - because its symptom is an increases in the latency of the order execution time to 40 - 180 seconds. If the TWS Software detects that connection loss it tries to reconnect which most of the time is succesfult. But when you wonder why your profit is less than expected or your loss greater than expected check the TWS logfiles for those connection errors and you have the reason.
Btw. this is not an internet connection issue (IB confirmed that). My IQFeed connection is stable and fast you cannot not wish to have a better connection.
If somebody wants to have a copy of the conversation with the IB support or a copy of the TWS logiles I'm more than happy to send or publish it.
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The mentioned IB disconnects are quite normal - I use the Booktrader to see the actual prices with 2nd level.
From time to time a disconnect for some seconds up to a minute are to be seen. This might happen with other brokers too.
As long as your orders are sitting in NT to be sent to IB on a signal - the order will be executed AFTER the reconnect
has taken place. To avoid this is to send the order to IB (if possible) in advance to avoid that connection problem.
This is easy with SL order but not for doers triggered by a signal.
Two things are important to consider here:
1) As long as your order sits with IB - this order is public.. thus more exposed
2) The daily (every 24h) shutdown process with IB interferes with an automated system too - to avoid problems there
I restart TWS before my trading session begins - this helps to not being shut down inadvertently.
Hope this helps.
PS: you can pm in german.. ;-)
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