I would say ThinkOrSwim but they stopped the European accounts a few months ago to my knowledge.
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If you use IB for options trading, you also have a more efficient use of capital if you trade options through IB than if you open a second account at another broker and need to sufficiently fund it (i.e., a lot of "sleeping money" in such a separate options-only account).
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Okay to begin with the following is the scenario. I will take my existing future's strategy which i run automated and send myself text messages to enter and exit trades with options (as options not easily automatible with ninjatrader).
What i want to do is the following as my strategy is outright trend following say i want to go long a position i will trade using option spreads. So if i am long crude ITM option and writing an OTM option i can write the whole thing with as much leverage as possible by just using the HARD stop in my futures strategy. For instance if my hard stop is 1K on futures then ill make a spread that costs 1K with options.
The thing is i have read (on this forum) the leverage requirements with IB for options / option spreads is a lot more than other places but i didnt see it on the IB website..... Im not sure if this is the case for option spreads though as the risk is defined anyone know ?
The only thing i want to risk is the spread of the option price no more and no less as this should equate to the initial stop loss in my strategy (futures).
With my IB account i do have a lot of capital sitting idle but i used the slimmed down tws api and i expect i will need to open a subaccount with IB to trade options effectivly.
For accounting purposes id like my options trading seperated.
I guess IB is the best anyone doing spread options on IB and what is the margin requirements (just the spread cost??) ?
To be honest I am not sure if you are looking at a debit spread or a credit spread. If a debit spread your risk is what you payed out for the spread.
Are you referring to the margins for SELLING options on IB, which are higher than elsewhere and so gives you lower leverage. When you talk about spread options on IB you need to differentiate between stock options and futures options. With stock options the margin required is the difference between the spread cost, as you suggested. With futures options and you mention crude oil specifically, IB does charge full exchange margin and thus is higher than OptionsXpress and others charge. This is because IB is not applying SPAN margin requirements.
You should be able to call up a futures option and get the margin required much as you would with futures themselves.
As far as account management goes the reports are segregated in to futures, options, stock/etfs etc so it is pretty easy to keep them seperate.
Another thing I do is transfer the currency equivalent of a futures contract from pounds sterling in to dollars to trade with and then buy a futures contract GBPUSD as a currency hedge. That means I am neutral to currency fluctuations between the Pound and the Dollar.