This is a business for brokers, traders should treat is as such!
I'm a like minded private trader and I trade CME fx futures products and ES, GC.
I am an electronic corporate member of the CME and I pay .64per side per contract for clearing fees. My current commission is 0.73 /side for CME products (no volume discount per se but no platform or other transactional fees)
So my R/T is about $2.75 about half a usual retail round turn rate.
and the fee to apply for the membership is $2,000 and I recouped that amount in less than a month. So for me it was a no brainer. You need to go at least 50 sides per day to qualify for the membership.
Everything is negotiable but I've found that with a membership it shows your serious about controlling trading costs and that mentality is useful in negotiations. If someone doesn't have a clearing fee discount then I don't see why the broker would feel the need to offer you a very competitive rate. my 0.02c
if you do go the membership route, do the paperwork(submit the application yourself) if the broker "helps you" (the help they offer is to cut a check from your trading account and "look over your application" to make sure its "OK" but the application is only a few pages long and you can cut your own check) they feel like they gave you a roundturn discount and wont budge on the commission side of the rt trading fee.
In fact if your disatisfied with your r/t rate keep you mouth shut and get the membership and shop around for the best commission rate you can find and be prepared to move on if your terms aren't met.
BEFORE trading make sure the clearing fee discount is properly applied, you can bet the commission rate will be correct but the rest of the fees should also be correct. It helps to know who actually clears your trades. Sometimes you think that a FCM is clearing your trades but if you look them up they are non-clearing FCM and not the FCM with exchange clearing membership actually clearing your trades.
Now is the Time!
Last edited by masterchanger; October 28th, 2013 at 02:47 PM.
Reason: more info
200 round trip per month is more or less my average and is not considered "big volume".Surely is not enough for CME membership.
You can find a bunch of discount brokers without volume requirements, and also Interactive Brokers (which is not a "discount" broker) can give you better prices than your current ones.
As masterchanger noted, you have to check - besides commissions - how much they charge you for exchange fees, because these change according to the FCM being a clearing member or not in that exchange. As a percentage, this can change a lot for example in Eurex.
If you trade from London european markets and are interested in latency,you should check that they give you access to a server in Europe.
Here are some FCM I contacted:
- Ironbeam through Zumo.com: cheapest around, look serious but won't give you precise and clear information easily (they should be Eurex clearing members)
- Crossland through Deepdiscounttrading.com: cheap with very good service, questions get answered precisely and very quickly even if you're not a customer. Everyone writing his opinion is happy with them.
- Dorman: price can change a lot according to the IB you choose,in general is not expensive (it's an Eurex clearing member), and you can find very good prices with some IB (zenfuturesbroker.com, tradefutures4less.com)