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Complaint and Question about TOS Alternatives


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Complaint and Question about TOS Alternatives

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  #1 (permalink)
Jupiter Island, FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TOS
Broker: TOS
 
Posts: 17 since Jan 2015
Thanks: 38 given, 48 received

This is going to make everyone groan...

I am a very active trader and one of the platforms I rely on is TOS. Why do I like it? Data and charts are free (no extra companies or account to manage) and the interface is very useful. Thing is, when TOS came out it was unique and I am not so sure it's very unique anymore. Also, the damn outages are wearing me out. I have also started to have my suspicions that fills are not handled as well as they could be. Perhaps the most maddening thing is that the margins went through the roof when covid arrived and I basically have to go into a used car type negotiation to bring them down. Been with TD for 20 years... and have... well, far in excess of what I need to trade in my account. That said, I really appreciate the low day trading margins that Ninja has. Anyway, here is my question:

Does anyone have suggestions I should check out that a TOS lover like myself would be satisfied with-- maybe that has better reliability, better, fills, and low margins... but still that great interface? Even if i could just have advanced charting as a standalone, would be a step in the right direction. I use custom built indicators, btw, which might be the biggest deal breaker of all. Just so tired of depending on TOS and waking up to see it down. It's been down 10+ days this summer. That's real money. And if it's down at the open, I damn sure am not jumping in with 10+ contracts if I think there is a chance it will go down again.

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  #2 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Fletcher NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: nijia trader
Broker: A.M.P. I.Q. ....C.Q.G.
Trading: ym es
 
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thw333333 View Post
This is going to make everyone groan...

I am a very active trader and one of the platforms I rely on is TOS. Why do I like it? Data and charts are free (no extra companies or account to manage) and the interface is very useful. Thing is, when TOS came out it was unique and I am not so sure it's very unique anymore. Also, the damn outages are wearing me out. I have also started to have my suspicions that fills are not handled as well as they could be. Perhaps the most maddening thing is that the margins went through the roof when covid arrived and I basically have to go into a used car type negotiation to bring them down. Been with TD for 20 years... and have... well, far in excess of what I need to trade in my account. That said, I really appreciate the low day trading margins that Ninja has. Anyway, here is my question:

Does anyone have suggestions I should check out that a TOS lover like myself would be satisfied with-- maybe that has better reliability, better, fills, and low margins... but still that great interface? Even if i could just have advanced charting as a standalone, would be a step in the right direction. I use custom built indicators, btw, which might be the biggest deal breaker of all. Just so tired of depending on TOS and waking up to see it down. It's been down 10+ days this summer. That's real money. And if it's down at the open, I damn sure am not jumping in with 10+ contracts if I think there is a chance it will go down again.

X trader might be worth looking at. hope it helps

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  #3 (permalink)
Lake Worth Florida USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NT
Trading: Emini ES
 
Posts: 12 since Feb 2019
Thanks: 28 given, 11 received



thw333333 View Post
This is going to make everyone groan...



I am a very active trader and one of the platforms I rely on is TOS. Why do I like it? Data and charts are free (no extra companies or account to manage) and the interface is very useful. Thing is, when TOS came out it was unique and I am not so sure it's very unique anymore. Also, the damn outages are wearing me out. I have also started to have my suspicions that fills are not handled as well as they could be. Perhaps the most maddening thing is that the margins went through the roof when covid arrived and I basically have to go into a used car type negotiation to bring them down. Been with TD for 20 years... and have... well, far in excess of what I need to trade in my account. That said, I really appreciate the low day trading margins that Ninja has. Anyway, here is my question:



Does anyone have suggestions I should check out that a TOS lover like myself would be satisfied with-- maybe that has better reliability, better, fills, and low margins... but still that great interface? Even if i could just have advanced charting as a standalone, would be a step in the right direction. I use custom built indicators, btw, which might be the biggest deal breaker of all. Just so tired of depending on TOS and waking up to see it down. It's been down 10+ days this summer. That's real money. And if it's down at the open, I damn sure am not jumping in with 10+ contracts if I think there is a chance it will go down again.



Just curious, since you are actively trading on TOS, were you able to negotiate the commissions to something reasonable?


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  #4 (permalink)
Detroit, MI
 
 
Posts: 21 since May 2020
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delux9 View Post
Just curious, since you are actively trading on TOS, were you able to negotiate the commissions to something reasonable?


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I'm a relatively new user, but as soon as I hit 100 trades in a month to show that I was definitely go past the 500 mark within the year, I got them down to $2.00, then once my account went up to $500k and I was taking out over 50 contracts, I got them down to $1.50 gradually.

After the last 2 days, I'm shooting for $1.00, but will likely see $1.25. I'm ready to walk though. I don't care about commissions if I can't rely on a platform or have long wait times with no resolution.

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  #5 (permalink)
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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Posts: 5,970 since Jan 2013
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thw333333 View Post
Thing is, when TOS came out it was unique and I am not so sure it's very unique anymore.

...

Does anyone have suggestions I should check out that a TOS lover like myself would be satisfied with-- maybe that has better reliability, better, fills, and low margins... but still that great interface? Even if i could just have advanced charting as a standalone, would be a step in the right direction. I use custom built indicators, btw, which might be the biggest deal breaker of all.

I left TOS so long ago I'm not sure when it was. (I started TOS just when TDA acquired them, which may give a time marker.)

I do completely understand all your concerns. I had them myself (well, not about the recent downtime, but about the general issues.)

So here is what I can tell you:

- TOS may have been unique at one time, but I don't think so, any more. Quite frankly, I think that TOS was very strong in the area of stock/etf options (it was originally created by some heavy options traders), and I think it had that character at the time I started it (this was one of the things I liked about it.) I think it may still be good for this (I stopped doing etf options, so I don't know what the competition does now in this area.)

- TOS is a a comforting, familiar place where everything is included all in one. Out there in the outside world, you have brokers who offer many different trading platforms and many different terms, so you have to figure out what "face" you will wake up to -- one of the most important things a trader will experience -- as well as the basic financial terms you will operate under.

- The many indicators and other goodies of TOS are, in the main, also found elsewhere. There were, when I was there, many custom indicators made available by other developers for TOS, and I had learned to program them myself, but when I stopped out into the wide world I found the same.

- So many other trading platforms do all the same, and I think often better.

- Since they are not generally also all-in-one solutions, they may be daunting to get into after TOS. (Another all-in-one solution is TradeStation, which I have also tried, and which has all the same good and bad points. You have to take the whole package, and the restrictions of the package too.)

So what's the solution?

You have to get used to the strange (to TOS traders) situation of the broker and the data feed and the trading platform all being different. Some trading soltware is available through many brokers, some only a few, for example.

A few suggestions: try a lot of free trials. You will need to decide on a broker and a platform, so look at both. I use Sierra Chart as a trading platform. It is powerful and hard to learn, so this is not a total rave review. But I like it now that I have learned it. A lot of brokers use it. NinjaTrader is a pretty good trading platform, but is not offered by many brokers (NinjaTrader Brokerage is one -- sort of going back to a totally integrated system like TOS again.)

There are a bunch of others. Free trials can be exasperating (not to mention the fact that any "free" trial means lots of broker salespeople emailing you), but it is one way to go.

You can get some help by checking out reviews here on futures.io. But the main thing is that it is all an individual matter in the last analysis.

Good luck.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #6 (permalink)
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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Posts: 5,970 since Jan 2013
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@thw333333,

Somehow I hit Submit about half-way through finishing my last post, then I finished it and saved the rest -- so if you would like to see whatever else I had to say ( ), it's up there now.

I hope you find what you are looking for.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #7 (permalink)
NYC, NY
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Qtrader TT
Broker: Amp/CQG/TT, Optimus, ADM
Trading: Mainly CL. Spread researcher currently
 
Posts: 614 since May 2013
Thanks: 526 given, 320 received

Without knowing what you trade here are my thoughts. I have had my TOS account for over 8 years and keep coming back to it for options. Simple and easy or maybe I just know my way around it. gave up on trading futures for several years now. I use/used CQG Qtrader which has both options and futures and is rock solid but only one window. so combined that with Sierra and could not be happier. currently switching to TT since I trade/research spreads with the same Sierra and very happy. I would think all custom charting and more can be done in Sierra but I have not had much success for trading probably only because I donít know it as well. So will keep my TOS or IB for options/stocks and keep my combination of TT or CQG combined with Sierra for charting... sorry if this seems complicated


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