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recommend an options broker
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recommend an options broker

  #1 (permalink)
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recommend an options broker

Options broker recommendation (equity, index and spreads) - software features and then commission comparison. Any recommendations?

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  #3 (permalink)
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Decent advice really depends on a number of factors...

What is your experience level?
How frequently do you trade?
How many contracts do you usually trade? (predominately single options or spreads?)
Do you trade simple or complex spreads?
Do you trade direction or volatility?
Do you require broker support?

I personally prefer to use Interactive Brokers as executing broker because of their low commissions and solid and robust platform. On the downside their margin requirements are a bit high. In addition I use Live Vol Pro and Excel with R to model my trades.

However, if I were US based I would certainly consider Options House to run specific strategies.


Last edited by Cogito ergo sum; May 14th, 2014 at 05:37 AM. Reason: grammar
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  #4 (permalink)
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thanks for the response,

being domestic US as in contrast to off-shore US is more than just a compliance issue. Many exchange offerings are not available to domestic US clients, evidently because the regulations as well as how the exchanges have positioned their products and found participants in other sectors, each having their own risk and reward for participation or trading those vehicles.

let me clarify my quest a little better,

domestic US options brokerage that comes with software (which used to be unique, but is almost mandatory under current conditions) that allow for position modeling and positions over watch.

margin requirements start at the most simplistic option trade possible, simply going long either a call or a put. that's it. doing spreads adds the new (as of 2005 / 2007) margin changes to the equation and requires a balance in excess of $25,000 (please either confirm this or advise what the current rates are at, at your brokerage).

ok, let's go with that...

Ameritrade TD
Option Pros
Etrade
IB
Schwabb

are there other option platforms?, or experiences with those?

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kronie View Post
are there other option platforms?, or experiences with those?

Based on my personal experience:

Think Desktop, the platform by Think or Swim/TD Ameritrade is the best retail options trading platform available. In addition, it is the most intuitive to use. However I find their commission scheme too steep relative to the value added.

Interactive Brokers TWS is less user-friendly, however has more advanced capabilities and offers more products to trade.

Livevol X is an introducing broker to Interactive Brokers that offers a detailed US options platform providing extensive options related data.


kronie View Post
margin requirements start at the most simplistic option trade possible, simply going long either a call or a put. that's it.

US Options: Reg T, IRA-Reg T Margin and Cash or IRA-Cash

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Portfolio Margin <- Depends



kronie View Post
doing spreads adds the new (as of 2005 / 2007) margin changes to the equation and requires a balance in excess of $25,000 (please either confirm this or advise what the current rates are at, at your brokerage).

IB requirements for Reg T:

Initial Minimum Equity Requirement

You are required to have a minimum of $2,000 or USD equivalent of securities equity with loan value or commodities net liquidation value to open a new position. If you do not meet this initial requirement, you will be unable to open a new position in your Reg T Margin account.

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Read more on Margin Calculations for Reg T Margin Accounts.


Last edited by Cogito ergo sum; May 14th, 2014 at 08:13 AM.
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  #6 (permalink)
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I've reviewed AmeriTrade Think or Swim and found it very good personally, even though I don't use it myself.

Best to demo a shortlist and see which one you find more intuitive and a match for your needs though aside from just execution there's plenty different factors I'm sure you'll look at.

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