I wanted to share my experience with NTB - both the good and the bad. I will try to be fair and accurate based on my personal experiences.
FXCM Account Issues
I've had some difficulties this week with my FXCM account. I opened it directly with FXCM in 2013 and have been using it with NinjaTrader (platform) since then with a lease license. I purchased a lifetime license Monday, and the license code changed. This apparently broke my FXCM account connection. After some calls back and forth, I managed to get a new account. However, I had to designate NTB as my IB in order to do so, even though my account was a direct FXCM account. According to FXCM representatives, there is apparently no option to use NT with FXCM directly now that NTB is an IB. In short, if you want to use NT with FXCM, you must use NTB as the IB - whether you see any advantage in doing so or not. I still don't really know if this is accurate, but it's the best information I could get from both FXCM and NTB representatives on the issue.
I've had many admin issues since the acquisition:
1. Late 2014 - Deposited funds into my NTB futures account. NT showed them as cleared in the ControlCenter even though Dorman did not. Luckily, I noticed this and emailed support before I ran into any margin issues with Dorman. Issue resolved quickly.
2. Jan 2015 - Filled out the CME data bundle webform to declare status and data feeds required. I did this in advance of the deadline, but market data was still disabled for my account. Had to contact support. Issue resolved quickly.
3. Jan 2015 - Being charged wrong commissions on futures account - free edition vs lease rates. Emailed support and the issue was resolved quickly. I wasn't offered any refunds for the incorrect charges, but I also didn't ask for any in fairness.
4. April 2015 - Real-time data not working after lifetime license purchase. Emailed support. They did a system refresh and the issue was resolved quickly.
5. May 2015 - Being charged wrong commissions for new FXCM account - free vs lifetime rates. Emailed support; received a response that my license was verified, and that I would be given lifetime rates. Tried another trade and still being charged the incorrect free rates. I'm waiting on a response to this issue still, but it's only been a few hours.
A running theme here is "emailed support," but that brings me to the good:
1. Great, great support - My average waiting time for a response from support is about 5-10 minutes. Sometimes, it can range into the "few hours" span, but this is more the exception.
2. Great execution - I've never had any execution errors, hung orders, erroneous fills, etc. Everything just works like you think it should.
3. Great platform - No reason to really say much here since it's a bit self-evident to most people
When things work correctly, it's fantastic. While the support is great when you have problems, I'm having to use it for things that, to me, really shouldn't be issues. I have no problem with NT tying commissions to license status, but why is the client responsible for informing NTB of the license status? Just an opinion and feeling, but sometimes I feel like NTB is more of a software company that's using a brokerage to support the software vs. two separate, full-fledged entities. I have no inherent issues with this because it's a good business model, and everything works great once the wrinkles are worked out. But I really wish it was done in a less error prone manner.
At this point, I've lost trust and a week of trading the FXCM account. I'm planning to look into other options this weekend. I just don't have enough patience to work out issues that I feel like shouldn't exist.
I would be interested to know if others have had these issues. I love NT all around, so I'd prefer to stay with them. I'll consider doing so if my experience is atypical.
The following 10 users say Thank You to macgwrite for this post:
Thank you for your well documented and detailed experiences!!
I also love NT, and it's a shame they are venturing away from their original mission and main priority of the best charting software around, and going into the IB and brokerage areas. This split has hurt NT most noticeably by all the many delays in getting NT8 out. Only the future will tell us of any possible negative long term impact, this split, will have on NT charting platform.
The following 2 users say Thank You to Joseph689 for this post:
I just closed an account with NTB. They charged me an $80 fee. $25 for inactivity in April. $25 for inactivity for the 5 days in May. $15 for data in April. And $15 for data for the 5 days in May. Is this normal? Has anyone else had similar charges for NTB or any other brokerage? What are others experiences with other brokerages compared to NTB. I just opened a new account with them (the one I closed was a business account) but I am a bit miffed and want to check out other, possibly better, brokerages than NTB.
Any exchange data fees must be paid even if one was subscribed for 1 day in the month and they are never prorated. That's okay. Re inactivity - have no idea, but most likely this is a standard charge for the broker.
The following user says Thank You to Alphachase for this post:
Yes, with NTB if you do not make a minimum of 1 trade in the month, you will be charged the inactivity fee and the $15 fee is the CME charge. With my TD Ameritrade account i do not get charged the inactivity or CME fee, but TD/Think or Swim platform, isn't the friendliest to futures day traders, IMO.
The following 2 users say Thank You to aem14 for this post:
After my previous post, someone from NT reached out to me. He was genuinely concerned about improving the experience overall and getting my feedback. (Someone from FXCM also reached out to me with the same honest intentions to assist me). Below are a few of the points that were clarified:
1. He mentioned that the relationship with FXCM is still new and being developed. That's a fair point, and I think I have to accept some issues with the process as its being more fully streamlined/developed. One issue particular to my case is that I was an existing FXCM customer using NT. He mentioned that there were not a lot of us. It makes sense, then, that I might have a few more issues than a new forex client since they haven't had the chance to work with a lot of existing FXCM customers using NT.
2. Advantages of using NTB for FX - From the last post, you can tell that I wasn't clear on the advantages. But there are 2 really nice ones that he pointed out to me:
a) you only need a single-broker license for NT in order to trade both futures and FX through NTB. I didn't know this, so I purchased a multi. I asked if I could downgrade to a single, and a refund for the difference was sent to me in less than 2 hours. I also haven't had to make any changes at all.
b) support from 2 sides. If you have an issue with the FX account from the FXCM side, NTB will help you out if you have problems getting a prompt resolution. This is a big advantage since NTB's support is excellent and fast. I think FXCM's support is very good, too, so this is essentially a huge advantage when they're combined together.
3. Commissions - The client is supposed to email NTB with the license code in order to get the correct commission schedule. This ensures that the client is charged appropriately from the outset with no errors. I was unaware of this, but it removes 2 of the items in the previous posts as 'admin issues.' Ultimately, I don't really mind this because it takes 2 minutes to send the email, and you never have to do it again if you have a lifetime license. He mentioned that this process is still being debated and refined as well.
With the new information, I'm very happy with NTB and don't plan on leaving anytime soon. Admittedly, there are still some gaps in communication, but they are working on those, too. Most of the issues I listed aside from commissions really occurred right after a transition or new process - e.g. MKT data issue was a new change for the entire industry. It takes time to develop systems and relationships, so I can be more understanding about that. In the end, I think NTB is trying to do very good things, and I hope they succeed.
And again, I really have to mention the support from NTB: It should be the industry standard; it's just top notch. Both of my accounts are very small, but yet a VIP from NTB reached out to me based on a forum post to make sure my issues were resolved. That's pretty incredible when you think about it.
Last edited by macgwrite; May 7th, 2015 at 01:23 PM.
The following 10 users say Thank You to macgwrite for this post:
I had a similar situation. It took 4 emails over almost a week to get a response! I love NT and always
received great CS from them, but not NT Brokerage. Not impressed!
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