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Costs associated with trading futures?


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Costs associated with trading futures?

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  #1 (permalink)
Louisville, KY
 
 
Posts: 13 since Sep 2015
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I'm paper trading now on TD AmeriTrade and they just have a flat commission for live trading, which is high. I'm trying to figure out what all the costs are if I switch to trade ES futures with Sierra Charts? I know I can go through AMP and get the package 3 Sierra Charts free, but what other costs are involved? I know there is data feed, exchange fee and routing fees. Are there other fees and how much are these fees?

What is the best way to get Sierra Charts, through AMP or straight from Sierra Charts?

Is any data feed superior to all the others?

Thanks

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  #2 (permalink)
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ffejeldnit View Post
I'm paper trading now on TD AmeriTrade and they just have a flat commission for live trading, which is high. I'm trying to figure out what all the costs are if I switch to trade ES futures with Sierra Charts? I know I can go through AMP and get the package 3 Sierra Charts free, but what other costs are involved? I know there is data feed, exchange fee and routing fees. Are there other fees and how much are these fees?

What is the best way to get Sierra Charts, through AMP or straight from Sierra Charts?

Is any data feed superior to all the others?

Thanks

Here are the full commissions for AMP: https://portal.ampclearing.com/account/commissionquote.aspx
CME data is $30 a month for non-professionals, $20 for Eurex

Their required margin for ES is $400, but they let people trade with $300 if you agree to be charged higher commissions (I think it's 4 times higher). I'm not recommending that approach at all, btw.

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  #3 (permalink)
Louisville, KY
 
 
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ivoTrades View Post
Here are the full commissions for AMP: https://portal.ampclearing.com/account/commissionquote.aspx
CME data is $30 a month for non-professionals, $20 for Eurex

Their required margin for ES is $400, but they let people trade with $300 if you agree to be charged higher commissions (I think it's 4 times higher). I'm not recommending that approach at all, btw.

SO if I go with CQG and Sierra Charts package 3, CQG will charge me $0.10 each trade and commission is $0.37 each way. Each month I will be charged $30 from CME for data. Is that all the charges? $30 a month and $0.47 each trade?

Do you recommend another approach? Broker?

Thanks

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  #4 (permalink)
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ffejeldnit View Post
SO if I go with CQG and Sierra Charts package 3, CQG will charge me $0.10 each trade and commission is $0.37 each way. Each month I will be charged $30 from CME for data. Is that all the charges? $30 a month and $0.47 each trade?

Do you recommend another approach? Broker?

Thanks

Data + commissions are the all the charges you should care about. There may be a funding fee, depending on the account funding approach you choose, but that depends on your bank.

CQG + Sierra Charts 3, will charge you $0.39 per side or $0.78 for a full round of the MES contract for accounts with less than $10000. You listed the "flat rate" pricing, if you're making a smaller deposit look at the "volume-tiered" pricing instead.

As far as I know Sierra Charts offers data as well, but I can't comment on that, I haven't used it before.

I don't know what / how you trade, so I can't give you any broker recommendation. Refer to the broker section of this forum to learn more about the brokers trusted by this community. Personally I haven't had any issues with AMP.

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  #5 (permalink)
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ffejeldnit View Post
SO if I go with CQG and Sierra Charts package 3, CQG will charge me $0.10 each trade and commission is $0.37 each way. Each month I will be charged $30 from CME for data. Is that all the charges? $30 a month and $0.47 each trade?

Do you recommend another approach? Broker?

Thanks

No, this is incorrect, at least for ES (Edit: looking over the past few posts, I'm not clear if you are looking for ES or the smaller MES contract, or if you've definitely decided. I responded based on your original post regarding ES.) For ES, you may not have read the table correctly. Take a look at this screenshot of the AMP fee page, which is marked for ES trades, as you mentioned you want to trade, and assumes your data comes from CQG and you use the free version of Sierra Chart they provide:



As @ivoTrades mentions, the costs for the MES contract, the "micro" S&P, is drastically lower (at AMP at least) than for the full ES. Many beginning futures traders should be trading MES, because of the very low dollar value per point (it is one-tenth of the ES, so your losses and your profits are one-tenth the size for a given move.)

But staying with the ES, you will see that the "all in" round-turn cost is listed at $3.70 per trade. This is reasonably consistent with transaction costs in general in the industry. You can expect something in the $4 per trade range, plus or minus a small amount. I do recall TDA as being much higher, but they were always out of the normal range for futures. I do not have any idea what is available with them now. In futures, the term "commission" usually just means the relatively small piece that goes to the broker, while "commission and fees" includes the data/trade network and exchange per-trade fees. This is why you always need to compare total or "all in" charges, not "commission" alone. You would be charged 3.70 per contract per trade at AMP with this configuration (1.85 on opening the trade, 1.85 on closing.)

As @ivoTrades mentioned, Sierra Chart has its own data feed and I think they list their fees somewhere on their site. I didn't try to find it because nothing material would be changed all that much, whatever they are.

There is a monthly CME non-professional data fee, which is currently $30/month for the "bundle" that includes all the CME exchanges (there are several "exchanges" within the CME Group.) If you only want data for ES, as you mentioned, it would be $10/month for the CME "exchange" alone:



I used the Optimus table because it was easy to understand. (Link: https://support.optimusfutures.com/cme-market-data-fees). You can go to the official CME site, which is a little harder to puzzle out, here: https://www.cmegroup.com/market-data/distributor/files/mdla-cme-schedule-5-apr-2020.pdf.

You would need to understand which exchange you need in order to find out your CME monthly data fee. For instance, just trading the ES only requires access to the CME exchange (confusingly, the CME "exchange" is just one of several within the CME Group,) so it's 10 bucks. If you want to also trade let's say YM (the Dow futures), that contract is traded on the CBOT "exchange", so it's another 10 bucks. If you want many different instruments, the $30 bundle might be best, depending on how many "exchanges" are involved. You can dig up the exchanges for each instrument on the CME website, if you enjoy trying to figure out uninformatively organized sites. (Just my take. )

You will be required to fill out a form where you declare yourself to be a "non-professional," which essentially means you are not trading money for others. I think the Optimus link describes the criteria.

There may be brokers that pick up the $10 (or $30) CME fee. I don't know what AMP does. I assume they would not, so I assume it would be in addition to the listed all-in per-trade fees. You may have to look around their site to find the answer.

These are not unusual numbers, but AMP is deliberately pitched to traders looking for low costs, so they probably are on the low side, but not much. You may want to look at other brokers too. Other factors will be margin requirements (day trading margins are set by the broker, not the exchange -- trades held after the close and into the next session are set by the exchange), trading platforms offered, other services and of course service and reputation. For specifics, look in the Brokers section of Trading Reviews and Vendors on the front page of this forum.

This is all just to give you the lay of the land. I'm not making any broker recommendations one way or another.

Bob.

-----------------------

Yet another edit: If you do mean to be trading the MES and not the ES, then I guess I should just delete this whole post and chalk it up to experience in reading other people's posts before answering them.

But I'm not sure about whether you want to trade ES or MES, so I'll leave it as-is, with the little comments about MES I stuck in at various points.

If you've only been paper trading (sim trading) the ES so far, or futures in general, then I do suggest going with MES, because the shock to the system (your personal emotional system) when a trader goes live with futures, using actual money, can be sudden and severe. It is never the same, and the smaller size and smaller gains/losses of MES will help you get used to it, while not losing your entire account, which happens.

I hope that this long post has been helpful, at least to someone who is unsure about what is offered out there.

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  #6 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
If you've only been paper trading (sim trading) the ES so far, or futures in general, then I do suggest going with MES, because the shock to the system (your personal emotional system) when a trader goes live with futures, using actual money, can be sudden and severe. It is never the same, and the smaller size and smaller gains/losses of MES will help you get used to it, while not losing your entire account, which happens.

Great Point! Live trading ES for 1 point is NOTHING like Sim trading.

When I took a 1 point system from Sim to Live, entering and exiting on a limit order from a 1 min bar, the slippage and missed fills eroded all profit.

Live trading managed to take 99% of the losing trades and about 65% of the winning trades. To make matters worse, a good number of winners quickly turned into loosers when the limit order was not filled.

The commission and exchange fees contributed to the losses.

Has anyone made profit live trading a Simulated back test?

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  #7 (permalink)
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SidewalkAerobics View Post

Has anyone made profit live trading a Simulated back test?

Only people who use it to sell trading systems to the easily-persuaded.

Bob.

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  #8 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
No, this is incorrect, at least for ES (Edit: looking over the past few posts, I'm not clear if you are looking for ES or the smaller MES contract, or if you've definitely decided. I responded based on your original post regarding ES.) For ES, you may not have read the table correctly. Take a look at this screenshot of the AMP fee page, which is marked for ES trades, as you mentioned you want to trade, and assumes your data comes from CQG and you use the free version of Sierra Chart they provide:



As @ivoTrades mentions, the costs for the MES contract, the "micro" S&P, is drastically lower (at AMP at least) than for the full ES. Many beginning futures traders should be trading MES, because of the very low dollar value per point (it is one-tenth of the ES, so your losses and your profits are one-tenth the size for a given move.)

But staying with the ES, you will see that the "all in" round-turn cost is listed at $3.70 per trade. This is reasonably consistent with transaction costs in general in the industry. You can expect something in the $4 per trade range, plus or minus a small amount. I do recall TDA as being much higher, but they were always out of the normal range for futures. I do not have any idea what is available with them now. In futures, the term "commission" usually just means the relatively small piece that goes to the broker, while "commission and fees" includes the data/trade network and exchange per-trade fees. This is why you always need to compare total or "all in" charges, not "commission" alone. You would be charged 3.70 per contract per trade at AMP with this configuration (1.85 on opening the trade, 1.85 on closing.)

As @ivoTrades mentioned, Sierra Chart has its own data feed and I think they list their fees somewhere on their site. I didn't try to find it because nothing material would be changed all that much, whatever they are.

There is a monthly CME non-professional data fee, which is currently $30/month for the "bundle" that includes all the CME exchanges (there are several "exchanges" within the CME Group.) If you only want data for ES, as you mentioned, it would be $10/month for the CME "exchange" alone:



I used the Optimus table because it was easy to understand. (Link: https://support.optimusfutures.com/cme-market-data-fees). You can go to the official CME site, which is a little harder to puzzle out, here: https://www.cmegroup.com/market-data/distributor/files/mdla-cme-schedule-5-apr-2020.pdf.

You would need to understand which exchange you need in order to find out your CME monthly data fee. For instance, just trading the ES only requires access to the CME exchange (confusingly, the CME "exchange" is just one of several within the CME Group,) so it's 10 bucks. If you want to also trade let's say YM (the Dow futures), that contract is traded on the CBOT "exchange", so it's another 10 bucks. If you want many different instruments, the $30 bundle might be best, depending on how many "exchanges" are involved. You can dig up the exchanges for each instrument on the CME website, if you enjoy trying to figure out uninformatively organized sites. (Just my take. )

You will be required to fill out a form where you declare yourself to be a "non-professional," which essentially means you are not trading money for others. I think the Optimus link describes the criteria.

There may be brokers that pick up the $10 (or $30) CME fee. I don't know what AMP does. I assume they would not, so I assume it would be in addition to the listed all-in per-trade fees. You may have to look around their site to find the answer.

These are not unusual numbers, but AMP is deliberately pitched to traders looking for low costs, so they probably are on the low side, but not much. You may want to look at other brokers too. Other factors will be margin requirements (day trading margins are set by the broker, not the exchange -- trades held after the close and into the next session are set by the exchange), trading platforms offered, other services and of course service and reputation. For specifics, look in the Brokers section of Trading Reviews and Vendors on the front page of this forum.

This is all just to give you the lay of the land. I'm not making any broker recommendations one way or another.

Bob.

-----------------------

Yet another edit: If you do mean to be trading the MES and not the ES, then I guess I should just delete this whole post and chalk it up to experience in reading other people's posts before answering them.

But I'm not sure about whether you want to trade ES or MES, so I'll leave it as-is, with the little comments about MES I stuck in at various points.

If you've only been paper trading (sim trading) the ES so far, or futures in general, then I do suggest going with MES, because the shock to the system (your personal emotional system) when a trader goes live with futures, using actual money, can be sudden and severe. It is never the same, and the smaller size and smaller gains/losses of MES will help you get used to it, while not losing your entire account, which happens.

I hope that this long post has been helpful, at least to someone who is unsure about what is offered out there.

Thanks for that very informative post. And yes, I am planning on starting with MES and transition to ES. Sorry about the confusion.

I've been following CL also and sim trading it occasionally. From what I've seen I will need CME and NYMEX data feeds for MES/ES and CL. Can you get those in one package?

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  #9 (permalink)
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ffejeldnit View Post
Thanks for that very informative post. And yes, I am planning on starting with MES and transition to ES. Sorry about the confusion.

I've been following CL also and sim trading it occasionally. From what I've seen I will need CME and NYMEX data feeds for MES/ES and CL. Can you get those in one package?

If you just want the two exchanges, you would pay $10 each for them, so $20 total. The $30 CME bundle is only a good deal if you need four, so you pay $30 instead of $40. It's a pretty small deal really. If you don't need all four, you don't need it, and it's all they've got as a deal.

Bob.

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bobwest View Post
...But staying with the ES, you will see that the "all in" round-turn cost is listed at $3.70 per trade. This is reasonably consistent with transaction costs in general in the industry. You can expect something in the $4 per trade range, plus or minus a small amount. I do recall TDA as being much higher, but they were always out of the normal range for futures. I do not have any idea what is available with them now. In futures, the term "commission" usually just means the relatively small piece that goes to the broker, while "commission and fees" includes the data/trade network and exchange per-trade fees. This is why you always need to compare total or "all in" charges, not "commission" alone. You would be charged 3.70 per contract per trade at AMP with this configuration (1.85 on opening the trade, 1.85 on closing.)

Bob, that is not correct.

At AMP, you are charged $3.70 RT on ES *ONLY* if your account balance is $10k or higher. Account balance less than $10k are charged $4.20 RT (you have to use Volume Tiered Pricing on AMP calculator page).

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