I am migrating from IB for trading options on futures, mainly because of excessive margins.
Looked around and came across Generic Trade. Opened an account there and found out that from within their platform I can only trade certain prepopulated vertical option spreads. For example, I wanted to trade July gold vertical option put spread 1225/1240. I could easily do this type of stuff from IB, but it turns out in Generic Trade I have to call trade desk (at least that is what the support person told me).
Am I missing something here? I sort of always took it for granted - the ability to trade your basic vertical spread at will? In fact I went to my other account at TDAmeritrade and got filled on the above spread without any problems (commissions are high there though)
OEC was the same last time I checked ... only prepopulated spreads. That being said, even on platforms that support spread orders (OX and RJO) I find myself legging into the spread rather than placing a spread order. It seems easier to get filled legging into the trade.
The following user says Thank You to Dudetooth for this post:
Thanks for the info. I guess it is a common situation.
I thought about legging in as well. I did not have much luck with it on equities side though (e.g. RUT). Seemed like the final price was always worse compared to direct spread trade. Once you get filled on one side, the clock starts ticking, and I often found myself accepting less then ideal price on the other leg.
I think it all depends on the instrument. With something like Crude Oil or the Euro, the liquid strikes can have bid/ask spreads as low as 1 point, but often it is 2 during the main trading hours so it is easy to leg in by just shooting for the price in between, or taking the current bid/ask.
I usually look at strikes where the current bid on the sell and current ask on the buy side will give me the credit I want. I fish for the side I'm selling first and if I can get a good fill then I might be will to pay a little more on the buy side just to get the spread in place.