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Broker With Best Execution For Futures. Does TD Ameritrade Stack Up?
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Broker With Best Execution For Futures. Does TD Ameritrade Stack Up?

  #1 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
NY, NY
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 12 since Apr 2015
Thanks: 6 given, 1 received

Broker With Best Execution For Futures. Does TD Ameritrade Stack Up?

I am starting to trade futures. Previously, I was trading options mostly and Interactive Brokers had the best execution compared to the other platforms I used.

I'd like to trade futures with TD Ameritrade. Their margin requirements are higher but that doesn't bother me since I have a relationship there already and am very familiar with their software.

My main concern is execution. I know with stocks and options TD holds orders and tries to cross them with their own customer base. That is why I went with IB for options. However, IB's interface is pretty bad and their customer service leaves things to be desired at times so I'd like to avoid futures trading with them.

Are people that are trading futures with TD happy there? Or am I better off moving to another firm that specializes in futures? Infinity is a name I hear a lot and Optimus is mentioned quite a bit on this forum.

Thank you.

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: XTrader
Broker/Data: Advantage Futures
Favorite Futures: Energy
 
Posts: 2,077 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 1,722 given, 3,279 received
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mks212 View Post
My main concern is execution. I know with stocks and options TD holds orders and tries to cross them with their own customer base.

Brokers can not 'internalize' futures, they have to be executed on exchange. There is an exception to this, which involves "block trades" but this is not something you need to worry about.

If that's your main concern in execution, you don't have to worry it. Your concerns should be
- which platform you are using
- what data you are using and where your computer is located in relation to the data source
- how your broker routes orders to the exchange and where your computer is located in relation to their order gateway

Best case solution is a professional software like Xtrader, Orc, co-located server at the exchange with direct market access. This is overkill for most retail traders and normally a very expensive solution.

Worst case solution is you have crappy software on your desktop, you have a crappy internet connection and as far as way from your broker/data source as geographically possible, and then your broker routes your order in some archaic way that involves sending the order half way around the world (ie for a credit check) before it is sent to the exchange.

Then of course there is a whole lot, in between.

Saying all that I have no experience with TD.

Re: Optimus ~ @mattz from Optimus is a very active and helpful user here on the forums. I'd suggest you contact him directly with any questions.

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  #4 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Boca Raton
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Variety
Broker/Data: Optimus Futures, LLC
Favorite Futures: Futures
 
mattz's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,040 since Sep 2010
Thanks: 1,912 given, 2,750 received
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mks212 View Post
Optimus is mentioned quite a bit on this forum.

Thank you.

In the last 12 months our main efforts have been to assist traders like yourself. Namely, people who come from other brokers due to the fact that they lack something in terms of execution, service or both.
In order to be competative and find the right match we take a number of things into consideration:
1) Experience
2) Method
3) Time frames of entry and exit.
4) Geographical location.
These things help us determine what software and execution you ought to use.
In the end our decision are practical. I wecome your call and/or PM to assist you find the right match.

Regards,
Matt

There is a risk of loss in futures trading. Past perfrmance is not indicative of future results.

PM with any questions about optimusfutures (800) 771-6748 (561) 367 8686. THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS IN FUTURES TRADING.
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  #5 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Boca Raton
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Variety
Broker/Data: Optimus Futures, LLC
Favorite Futures: Futures
 
mattz's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,040 since Sep 2010
Thanks: 1,912 given, 2,750 received
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SMCJB View Post

Then of course there is a whole lot, in between.

............

Re: Optimus ~ @mattz from Optimus is a very active and helpful user here on the forums. I'd suggest you contact him directly with any questions.

Maybe you will find it interesting:
I find that most use about 20% of any given platform functionalities at most. Actually, the more experienced and active the more simple they keep it as far as execution and methodology. The opposite occures on the less experienced.

Some of the simple ones like R-Trader and Q Trader by CQG, or even TT have been a good replacement for many of the traders who grew tired of complex eye sores.

Matt

There is a risk of loss in futures trading. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

PM with any questions about optimusfutures (800) 771-6748 (561) 367 8686. THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS IN FUTURES TRADING.
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  #6 (permalink)
Energy futures Superfreak
charlotte nc
 
Futures Experience: Master
Platform: Sierra Chart, TOS, Tradestation, NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: energy
 
Posts: 114 since Jul 2012
Thanks: 81 given, 164 received


mks212 View Post
Are people that are trading futures with TD happy there?

My thoughts on futures trading: TD gets a B- on data, and a D on fees. IB gets a D+ on data and an A- on fees. FCMs (like optimus, ddt, amp and many others) are going to be A on data and A on fees. Whats the catch? They arent big sexy companys with 24hr helpdesks and fancy software.

I personally use an FCM (DDT+CTS) for intraday positions because of the high quality data and low fees. The majority of my money sits at IB, which i will put most of my swings on there.


mks212 View Post
My main concern is execution. I know with stocks and options TD holds orders and tries to cross them with their own customer base.

For futures, none of the big boys are dark pooling your orders the way they do with equity and option trades, so you dont have that to worry about. What you do have to worry about is that the data feed isnt great, and on fast moving products like TF and CL, what YOU see may be delayed vs what others see. i traded with TDA for many years and at least three times a week i could see the CL DOM get out of sync with reality on tos. i can occasionally tell a friend that his crude order was filled 30 seconds before TOS does. (yikes!). IBs data is horrible, they do not give you a true 'tick feed' and you will have missing data. I often had crude stop orders that filled ABOVE the bar. Thats right, they will fill you at prices above what thier own chart says was the highest traded price. The truth is that trade did occur, you just can't see it because of the tick bundling stuff they do. If IB didnt have the data shenanigans, i doubt most of these FCMs would be in business at all, because the fees are great.

With a legit FCM, you get a strong data pump to feed a good platform like ninja or sierra which unlocks a lot of wizardry. as matt said above, and many say a lot here, most of that stuff doesnt make seasoned traders much money. Simple systems and longer timeframes are the goal. And i can make plenty of money trading with anyone, as long as i am using large timeframes and larger profit targets.

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