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Best broker for Options on Futures


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Best broker for Options on Futures

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  #1 (permalink)
JohnMcClean
Scottsdale, Arizona
 
 
Posts: 7 since Jun 2016
Thanks: 8 given, 1 received

Hey everyone,

I'm new to the forum and had a quick question for the group. I've been selling options on futures for the past year with pretty good success. I've been using OptionsXpress but this weekend they are merging with Schwab. I'm not sure what that will ultimately look like but I've been thinking about holding my account elsewhere. I've been researching the other brokers but they all seem to have their quirks.

I'm curious what platform other option sellers use and why.

Thanks for the help!

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  #2 (permalink)
 myrrdin 
Market Wizard
Linz Austria
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Zaner360, TWS, Vantage
Broker: DeCarley, IAB, RJO
Trading: Commodities
 
Posts: 1,789 since Nov 2014
Thanks: 2,932 given, 2,427 received


JohnMcClean View Post
Hey everyone,

I'm new to the forum and had a quick question for the group. I've been selling options on futures for the past year with pretty good success. I've been using OptionsXpress but this weekend they are merging with Schwab. I'm not sure what that will ultimately look like but I've been thinking about holding my account elsewhere. I've been researching the other brokers but they all seem to have their quirks.

I'm curious what platform other option sellers use and why.

Thanks for the help!

Regarding option selling, I work with DeCarley for two reasons: Carley has a positive attitude towards option selling, and she offers the best service I ever received from a broker.

Best regards, Myrrdin

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  #3 (permalink)
JohnMcClean
Scottsdale, Arizona
 
 
Posts: 7 since Jun 2016
Thanks: 8 given, 1 received


I've heard great things about working with her. I'm currently reading her most recent book. I'll have to do more research. Thanks!

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  #4 (permalink)
CFAninja
Phoenix Arizona
 
 
Posts: 1 since Mar 2016
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myrrdin View Post
Regarding option selling, I work with DeCarley for two reasons: Carley has a positive attitude towards option selling, and she offers the best service I ever received from a broker.



Best regards, Myrrdin




Hi Myrrdin- I’ve looked at DeCarley in the past. I like Carley and what she’s about, but I ran out of steam trying to figure out a trading platform setup that makes sense... Any insight? What does your setup look like?

Thanks!

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  #5 (permalink)
 myrrdin 
Market Wizard
Linz Austria
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Zaner360, TWS, Vantage
Broker: DeCarley, IAB, RJO
Trading: Commodities
 
Posts: 1,789 since Nov 2014
Thanks: 2,932 given, 2,427 received


CFAninja View Post
Hi Myrrdin- I’ve looked at DeCarley in the past. I like Carley and what she’s about, but I ran out of steam trying to figure out a trading platform setup that makes sense... Any insight? What does your setup look like?

Thanks!

I use the Zaner360 platform. It is certainly not what I would like to have, but for option selling it is ok. Some weeks ago they included the Greeks to their option chains which helps.

Carley is able (and willing) to compensate for some of the deficits of the software.

Additionally I use the Trade Navigator.

Best regards, Myrrdin

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  #6 (permalink)
FoxKaren
New York City
 
 
Posts: 13 since Nov 2016
Thanks: 0 given, 7 received

Cannon Trading Co. works with six well-known clearing firms (FCM’s) and one with which it has been doing business for over a decade, Gain Capital, offers a free trading platform that now provides Greeks and theoretical prices in the platform’s Option Chain window. Setting up a Gain Capital account through Cannon Trading Co., a near-thirty-year-old Introducing Broker, is a top shelf choice.

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  #7 (permalink)
StopHunter
New York, New York
 
 
Posts: 14 since Nov 2015
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No one going to mention TOS as a great option here?

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  #8 (permalink)
JohnMcClean
Scottsdale, Arizona
 
 
Posts: 7 since Jun 2016
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StopHunter View Post
No one going to mention TOS as a great option here?

I'd definitely like to hear more. Are you selling options on futures there? If so, how are the margin requirements and what does the market access look like?

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  #9 (permalink)
 sinpeople 
Singapore
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TDAmeritrade
Trading: Options On Futures
 
Posts: 42 since Aug 2017
Thanks: 4 given, 10 received

TOS is now TDAmeritrade. It is definitely a very good choice for a starter. Its commission is very cheap, compared to the brokers of gain capital. This allows you to do narrow spreads ($2 in crude oil) to test the market with limited loss. You can trade ES, ZS, ZC, ZW, CL, GC, ZN, & NG. The only limit is that for contracts besides ES and grain, you can have only 3 month options to play. No silver, copper, coffee, coca, cotton, etc. But that's enough for a beginner.

TDA's UI is fantastic. It is tailored for absolute beginner. Its Analyze page can show you the decay/margin by incrementing the date.

You can also got portfolio margining with TDAmeritrade if you pass a test.

If you are absolute beginner, stay with TDA for at least sometime before switching to others.



JohnMcClean View Post
I'd definitely like to hear more. Are you selling options on futures there? If so, how are the margin requirements and what does the market access look like?


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  #10 (permalink)
Soycorn
Omaha NE
 
 
Posts: 8 since Jan 2018
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I have been using ToS since TD Ameritrade acquired them as I happen to work at TDA and can't have accounts elsewhere. I love the platform but want to trade options on more futures than what is currently available per the list that sinpeople provided above. Having never explored other platforms, where is a good place to start?

Also, the founder of ToS Tom Sosnoff recently started a brokerage to partner with his Tastytrade network called Tastyworks. The platform looks a lot like ToS but with all of the Tastytrade philosophies interwoven into the technology. Looks cool, and they have just added futures recently.

Also, I am a new member here and glad to have found this site. I am passionate about trading and enjoy reading about ideas from others.

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  #11 (permalink)
 myrrdin 
Market Wizard
Linz Austria
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Zaner360, TWS, Vantage
Broker: DeCarley, IAB, RJO
Trading: Commodities
 
Posts: 1,789 since Nov 2014
Thanks: 2,932 given, 2,427 received


Soycorn View Post
I have been using ToS since TD Ameritrade acquired them as I happen to work at TDA and can't have accounts elsewhere. I love the platform but want to trade options on more futures than what is currently available per the list that sinpeople provided above. Having never explored other platforms, where is a good place to start?

Also, the founder of ToS Tom Sosnoff recently started a brokerage to partner with his Tastytrade network called Tastyworks. The platform looks a lot like ToS but with all of the Tastytrade philosophies interwoven into the technology. Looks cool, and they have just added futures recently.

Also, I am a new member here and glad to have found this site. I am passionate about trading and enjoy reading about ideas from others.

I work with DeCarley regarding short options, using the Zaner360 platform. The platform ist average, which is not of great importance for me as a longterm trader. But the service of Carley is the best I ever received, and this compensates some of the shortcomings of the platform.

Best regards, Myrrdin

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  #12 (permalink)
 CenFlo 
Tampa FL
 
Experience: None
Platform: Sierra Charts/TOS
Broker: Future Path/TDA
Trading: Futures/Cryptos
 
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Posts: 639 since Apr 2016
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I'll give a vote to TOS, when it comes to options it's probably one of the best.

I used to follow and watch Tom N Tony @ tastytrade.com, but since they've parted ways with TDA / TOS, I don't really watch them much, if any.

I'd imagine their platform is really good as Tom was the creator (as previously mentioned on this thread) of TOS. I seem to recall seeing they had very attractive pricing for option trades, not sure about what they charge for options on futures.

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  #13 (permalink)
optiongru
Sydney
 
 
Posts: 3 since Feb 2018
Thanks: 2 given, 0 received

I have been with TradeStation for a while, however since they suspended selling options on futures a few days ago, I am looking for a new broker. Anyone can recommend a good broker for international traders? I mostly sell ES, GC and KC.

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  #14 (permalink)
 Kruger 
Cape Town South Africa
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Rithmic
Broker: Optimus
Trading: Commodities:Grains, Meats, Energy
 
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optiongru View Post
I have been with TradeStation for a while, however since they suspended selling options on futures a few days ago, I am looking for a new broker. Anyone can recommend a good broker for international traders? I mostly sell ES, GC and KC.

See Myrrdin's earlier comment re DeCarley.

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  #15 (permalink)
Forex37
Zurich
 
 
Posts: 48 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 64 given, 17 received


optiongru View Post
I have been with TradeStation for a while, however since they suspended selling options on futures a few days ago, I am looking for a new broker. Anyone can recommend a good broker for international traders? I mostly sell ES, GC and KC.


So do I and I`m looking as well

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  #16 (permalink)
Sten
Dresden & Germany
 
 
Posts: 3 since Feb 2018
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i'am satisfied with Interactive Brokers as Broker and ToS (RealMoney Acount) only for charting and monitoring trades. TdAmeritrade dont accept european customers.

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  #17 (permalink)
Forex37
Zurich
 
 
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Sten View Post
i'am satisfied with Interactive Brokers as Broker and ToS (RealMoney Acount) only for charting and monitoring trades. TdAmeritrade dont accept european customers.

ToS are not allowed to do any margin enabled business with EU residents. Doesn`t apply to cash accounts. And residents of Switzerland are not restricted in their options/futures trades in any way.

Interactive Brokers is a good broker albeit for ES trades with a grain of salt as they don`t use SPAN.

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  #18 (permalink)
Sten
Dresden & Germany
 
 
Posts: 3 since Feb 2018
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Forex37 View Post
ToS are not allowed to do any margin enabled business with EU residents. Doesn`t apply to cash accounts. And residents of Switzerland are not restricted in their options/futures trades in any way.

Interactive Brokers is a good broker albeit for ES trades with a grain of salt as they don`t use SPAN.

IB hat doch Span-Margin für /ES... // Interactive Brokers uses SpanMargin for Future Options like /ES etc.

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  #19 (permalink)
 myrrdin 
Market Wizard
Linz Austria
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Zaner360, TWS, Vantage
Broker: DeCarley, IAB, RJO
Trading: Commodities
 
Posts: 1,789 since Nov 2014
Thanks: 2,932 given, 2,427 received


Sten View Post
IB hat doch Span-Margin für /ES... // Interactive Brokers uses SpanMargin for Future Options like /ES etc.

IB uses higher margin than span margin - especially for naked short options.

IB charges a daily fee for accounts holding more than a small amount of OTM short options.

IB liquidates trades intraday without warning in case maximum margin is exceeded.

I work with IB as one of my brokers. Main use of this account is holding my stocks and corresponding hedge trades.

Best regards, Myrrdin

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  #20 (permalink)
Calamari88
Henderson, NV, USA
 
 
Posts: 63 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 91 given, 33 received

In 20 years of trading with 7 companies the best company I've worked with Futuresonline.com which is the discount division of Daniels Trading. Minimum SPAN and low commissions and no platform fees. I've had the least number of problems with them. I only have to call about minor errors about once a year.

The absolute worst was Tradestation for option selling. If you have tons of free time to argue with customer service over their mistakes then give them a shot!

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  #21 (permalink)
 NinjaTrader  NinjaTrader is an official Site Sponsor
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NinjaTrader Brokerage will be offering Options on Futures shortly. Same commission rates as currently published on our website.

Disclosure: This communication is sent to you by NinjaTrader, LLC, a software development company which owns and supports all proprietary technology relating to and including the NinjaTrader trading platform.
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Calamari88
Henderson, NV, USA
 
 
Posts: 63 since Feb 2015
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NinjaTrader View Post
NinjaTrader Brokerage will be offering Options on Futures shortly. Same commission rates as currently published on our website.

Will it be SPAN minimum?

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  #23 (permalink)
 NinjaTrader  NinjaTrader is an official Site Sponsor
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Calamari88 View Post
Will it be SPAN minimum?

We will be offering real time portfolio margining (SPAN) however there will be additional account minimums for premium sellers.

We will also have all exchange recognized option spreads including RFQ functionality for custom, exotic or unlisted spreads.

Theoretical pricing models are included as well as the ability to customize skews on a micro or macro basis.

Disclosure: This communication is sent to you by NinjaTrader, LLC, a software development company which owns and supports all proprietary technology relating to and including the NinjaTrader trading platform.
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  #24 (permalink)
USS Liberty
Pittsburgh PA
 
 
Posts: 22 since Jul 2018
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Based on a recent inquiry NinjaTrader still does not have options on futures available.

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  #25 (permalink)
USS Liberty
Pittsburgh PA
 
 
Posts: 22 since Jul 2018
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Calamari88 View Post
In 20 years of trading with 7 companies the best company I've worked with Futuresonline.com which is the discount division of Daniels Trading. Minimum SPAN and low commissions and no platform fees. I've had the least number of problems with them. I only have to call about minor errors about once a year.

The absolute worst was Tradestation for option selling. If you have tons of free time to argue with customer service over their mistakes then give them a shot!

I contacted Futuresonline.com just now and was told that if I want to do naked option selling I would not be eligible for the low commissions that Futuresonline.com has but instead would need to pay more commissions at Daniels Trading. Higher commissions might be acceptable for me in order to get away from the 3X margin that Tradestation is charging for my short options.

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  #26 (permalink)
Calamari88
Henderson, NV, USA
 
 
Posts: 63 since Feb 2015
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USS Liberty View Post
I contacted Futuresonline.com just now and was told that if I want to do naked option selling I would not be eligible for the low commissions that Futuresonline.com has but instead would need to pay more commissions at Daniels Trading. Higher commissions might be acceptable for me in order to get away from the 3X margin that Tradestation is charging for my short options.

Hmm, that's odd. I started with Futures Online in 2015. I wonder if their policies changed. Did they say if they had an account minimum for naked selling? I started with $90K.

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  #27 (permalink)
USS Liberty
Pittsburgh PA
 
 
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Calamari88 View Post
Hmm, that's odd. I started with Futures Online in 2015. I wonder if their policies changed. Did they say if they had an account minimum for naked selling? I started with $90K.

This is the email I got:

"Your account will be with the Daniels Trading side of the firm; it is the division that will allow the kind of option writing trading you described. The clearing firm for both sides is Gain Capital."

I told him my account with TradeStation is about 25K. I also have an account with Phillip Capital worth about 135K which I might want to transfer too, because I was told to expect a margin requirement increase next month.

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  #28 (permalink)
Calamari88
Henderson, NV, USA
 
 
Posts: 63 since Feb 2015
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USS Liberty View Post
This is the email I got:

"Your account will be with the Daniels Trading side of the firm; it is the division that will allow the kind of option writing trading you described. The clearing firm for both sides is Gain Capital."

I told him my account with TradeStation is about 25K. I also have an account with Phillip Capital worth about 135K which I might want to transfer too, because I was told to expect a margin requirement increase next month.

I'm sorry to hear this will now have to retract my recommendation of Futures Online for option writing! What commission do they want to charge you at Daniels?

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  #29 (permalink)
waltsg
Singapore
 
 
Posts: 9 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 3 given, 5 received

I have been looking around for another brokerage and chanced upon this forum (excellent treasure chest filled with information!). I didn't want to hijack this thread but I couldn't start my own as this is my first posting. Sorry threadstater.

A little intro since its my virgin post. I am from Singapore. My experience trading selling futures options is limited. My success with it was probably luck with high odds (I follow James Cordier a lot).

Started options trading (buying) 10 years ago with OptionsXpress (now Charles Schwab). Then switched to Thinkorswim (TDAmeritrade now) for a few years. Began selling stock options and dabbled with selling futures options (better leverage comparing selling SPX vs ES).

Watched Karen the supertrader then followed James Cordier book (borrowed from public library) and have been using Interactive Brokers (cheap commissions) for the past 2 years. Realised that their margins are terrible about 6 months ago and decided to switch.

Looked at Charles Schwab again, then Saxo, Generic trade, Tradestation, Tastyworks (no trading futures options for those in Singapore), Lightspeed... It has either been high comms, data fees or high margins that has let me down.

I am with IB now. As mentioned, their margin rates are terrible (for some commodities).

Now the questions part. I have a few questions for those who are with Decarley.

Decarley seems well supported in this forum but it is a little complicated for me. I never had to choose FCMs or trading platforms. Zaner360 looks like good potential with iBroker on mobile as well. But Decarley's link for a demo is dead.

So a few questions for now.

1) With my limited experience, I have no idea what Futures Commission Merchants are. How do I choose one out of the many that Decarley offers.

2) I could not find information on data fees. Do we get real time data for free? Even from ICE?

3) I am used to free ACH transfers, I don't mind paying wiring fees but couldn't find information on these on Decarley.

4) Commissions - I suspect most are at self directed $3.50 rates. What is meant by "Per Side Rates (Options charged up-front)" Does it mean that selling 1 option (excluding exchange fees etc) is $3.50 x 2 = $7.00 (to open and close) and it is charged up front?

5) I understand that certain portfolio size are offered lower rates. Any idea what is the minimum size that qualifies a lower commission fee?

I have searched the forum but I could not find my answers. I suspect i'm the only person (fool) who doesn't understand the Decarley website (well English is not my native language in my defence )

Couldn't wait till Monday to speak to someone from the Decarley office cuz my mind is about to explode from the questions. Some help please?

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  #30 (permalink)
 Skidboot 
Houston, TX
 
 
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Posts: 196 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 199 given, 283 received

Consider Tastyworks as well. Their commission schedule is better than most. I tested options execution (5+ contract spreads) on some of the heavly traded stocks and every time their execution happened sooner or TOS never did execute. I do not use IB or Decarley. I believe Tastyworks is getting ready to offer futures options and portfolio margin based on the email reply from them recently.


waltsg View Post
I have been looking around for another brokerage and chanced upon this forum (excellent treasure chest filled with information!). I didn't want to hijack this thread but I couldn't start my own as this is my first posting. Sorry threadstater.

A little intro since its my virgin post. I am from Singapore. My experience trading selling futures options is limited. My success with it was probably luck with high odds (I follow James Cordier a lot).

Started options trading (buying) 10 years ago with OptionsXpress (now Charles Schwab). Then switched to Thinkorswim (TDAmeritrade now) for a few years. Began selling stock options and dabbled with selling futures options (better leverage comparing selling SPX vs ES).

Watched Karen the supertrader then followed James Cordier book (borrowed from public library) and have been using Interactive Brokers (cheap commissions) for the past 2 years. Realised that their margins are terrible about 6 months ago and decided to switch.

Looked at Charles Schwab again, then Saxo, Generic trade, Tradestation, Tastyworks (no trading futures options for those in Singapore), Lightspeed... It has either been high comms, data fees or high margins that has let me down.

I am with IB now. As mentioned, their margin rates are terrible (for some commodities).

Now the questions part. I have a few questions for those who are with Decarley.

Decarley seems well supported in this forum but it is a little complicated for me. I never had to choose FCMs or trading platforms. Zaner360 looks like good potential with iBroker on mobile as well. But Decarley's link for a demo is dead.

So a few questions for now.

1) With my limited experience, I have no idea what Futures Commission Merchants are. How do I choose one out of the many that Decarley offers.

2) I could not find information on data fees. Do we get real time data for free? Even from ICE?

3) I am used to free ACH transfers, I don't mind paying wiring fees but couldn't find information on these on Decarley.

4) Commissions - I suspect most are at self directed $3.50 rates. What is meant by "Per Side Rates (Options charged up-front)" Does it mean that selling 1 option (excluding exchange fees etc) is $3.50 x 2 = $7.00 (to open and close) and it is charged up front?

5) I understand that certain portfolio size are offered lower rates. Any idea what is the minimum size that qualifies a lower commission fee?

I have searched the forum but I could not find my answers. I suspect i'm the only person (fool) who doesn't understand the Decarley website (well English is not my native language in my defence )

Couldn't wait till Monday to speak to someone from the Decarley office cuz my mind is about to explode from the questions. Some help please?


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  #31 (permalink)
waltsg
Singapore
 
 
Posts: 9 since Sep 2018
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Skidboot View Post
Consider Tastyworks as well. Their commission schedule is better than most. I tested options execution (5+ contract spreads) on some of the heavly traded stocks and every time their execution happened sooner or TOS never did execute. I do not use IB or Decarley. I believe Tastyworks is getting ready to offer futures options and portfolio margin based on the email reply from them recently.

Thanks for the reply Skidboot. I did sign up with Tastyworks. They don't allow foreigners to trade futures (yet). They offer limited futures products too.

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  #32 (permalink)
 Skidboot 
Houston, TX
 
 
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Posts: 196 since Dec 2010
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I am so sorry to hear that restriction. I hope you find a good broker for your trading needs


waltsg View Post
Thanks for the reply Skidboot. I did sign up with Tastyworks. They don't allow foreigners to trade futures (yet). They offer limited futures products too.


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  #33 (permalink)
Calamari88
Henderson, NV, USA
 
 
Posts: 63 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 91 given, 33 received

Does DeCarley impose a short option quantity limit based on account size?

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  #34 (permalink)
 myrrdin 
Market Wizard
Linz Austria
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Zaner360, TWS, Vantage
Broker: DeCarley, IAB, RJO
Trading: Commodities
 
Posts: 1,789 since Nov 2014
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Calamari88 View Post
Does DeCarley impose a short option quantity limit based on account size?

I am selling options via DeCarley for years, but I never heard about this.

Best regards, Myrrdin

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  #35 (permalink)
USS Liberty
Pittsburgh PA
 
 
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Has anyone had experience with shorting options via R.J. O'Brien, either directly or through an introducing broker?

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USS Liberty
Pittsburgh PA
 
 
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Calamari88 View Post
Does DeCarley impose a short option quantity limit based on account size?

That happened to me, but probably was because I shorted options with an expiration greater than 1 year away.

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Calamari88
Henderson, NV, USA
 
 
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USS Liberty View Post
That happened to me, but probably was because I shorted options with an expiration greater than 1 year away.

If you don't mind my asking, how much of a quantity limit did they impose on you relative to your account size?

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USS Liberty
Pittsburgh PA
 
 
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Calamari88 View Post
If you don't mind my asking, how much of a quantity limit did they impose on you relative to your account size?

8 short options max for an account size of $7500. Those 8 options required less than 3K margin according to my statement.

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 myrrdin 
Market Wizard
Linz Austria
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Zaner360, TWS, Vantage
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USS Liberty View Post
Has anyone had experience with shorting options via R.J. O'Brien, either directly or through an introducing broker?

I shorted options via R.J. O'Brien, but this was years ago. I never had any problems.

I moved these activities to DeCarley because of the better service and the very friendly attitude towards option selling.

Best regards, Myrrdin

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 kamichtrader 
Philadelphia
 
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Been struggling to find brokers that allow Option on Futures trading with retirement account. TOS does not.

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 myrrdin 
Market Wizard
Linz Austria
 
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kamichtrader View Post
Been struggling to find brokers that allow Option on Futures trading with retirement account. TOS does not.

As far as I know DeCarley allows for Option on Futures trading with retirement accounts.

Best regards, Myrrdin

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octitrader
West Palm Beach Florida/USA
 
 
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JohnMcClean View Post
Hey everyone,

I'm new to the forum and had a quick question for the group. I've been selling options on futures for the past year with pretty good success. I've been using OptionsXpress but this weekend they are merging with Schwab. I'm not sure what that will ultimately look like but I've been thinking about holding my account elsewhere. I've been researching the other brokers but they all seem to have their quirks.

I'm curious what platform other option sellers use and why.

Thanks for the help!

I also use DeCarley and couldn't be more pleased - she answers all question promptly via email, her service is the best I have ever come across. I highly recommend her platform.

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 andby 
Norwich, UK
 
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waltsg View Post
Thanks for the reply Skidboot. I did sign up with Tastyworks. They don't allow foreigners to trade futures (yet). They offer limited futures products too.

// >>>
how about options on futures, do they allow it, and is that a limited number too?
what futures do they allow you to trade?
their rates seem very good.
//<<<

just to answer my own q.: they do allow options on futures and so far they have some of the lowest commissions ($2.5 / 1 unit trade) - unless anyone knows a better alternative. However, they limit the number of instruments available.

Do you guys know what margins do they require?

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 Japhro 
Canada
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra, Jigsaw
Broker: AMP/Rithmic
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For options traders, I recommend one of the CQG platforms, Q Trader has the best bang/buck ratio of them, imo. They have a number of decent options tools standard and it is a low cost platform, and you can trade options on a dom, loading up multiple strikes with their tabbed doms (which is great in a fast moving market as you can set, for example, a few different strikes in ES calls or puts in $10 increments and just switch on the fly). I have traded options with both CQG and Rithmic platforms, Rtrader will do the job just fine too but most brokers using Rithmic won't allow selling options, only buying.

also for index traders I highly recommend trading exchange traded VIX spreads through CQG, they are liquid and easy to trade

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