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Is Thinkorswim a good Platform for Futures Trading?
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Is Thinkorswim a good Platform for Futures Trading?

  #11 (permalink)
Logician
Chicago, IL/USA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: CTS T4/Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Futures
 
zer0's Avatar
 
Posts: 139 since Jun 2011
Thanks: 49 given, 186 received

By the way, I just compared thinkorswim side by side with CTS T4. An absolute joke in comparison. thinkorswim lags CTS by more than a second consistently on YM and CL (the only two I checked). This, in my opinion, renders thinkorswim a bad choice at minimum, and at worst, dangerous for intraday trading. For those of you who think it works great for the purpose, you've been warned.

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  #12 (permalink)
Elite Member
desert CA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, TOS
Broker/Data: AMP/wCQG, TDA
Favorite Futures: CL,YM
 
Posts: 2,027 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 2,211 given, 1,551 received

I've been using TOS for 3 years. Just recently this year trying out scalping on futures on the 6E and ES. Then I tried futures on Mirus futures with Zen-fire demo. TOS DOM horribly lags and slips compared to NT on Mirus-Zenfire, especially when busy. Since it was my first time on a broker other than TOS for the purposes of scalping futures/forex, I was shocked to see what I had been missing in terms of speed and non-slippage for optimal scalping. Also the demo on paper TOS ridiculously fills immediately. I asked tech-support if TOS DOM paper could have more realistic fills and the lazy support guy said no. If that's true, how come Mirus and NT can do it? And on live, trying to get a good fill for the purpose of scalping is like trying to "pull candy from a child".

For 1 min, tick scalping on TOS forget it, for 15min, maybe 5min, it's ok, just expect you won't get the best entry , but may not matter as much if you're trading on the 15min or higher time frame. Plus the higher than average commissions. (Although I get the "free" internet rebate every month or so, for having spent so much on options commissions!)

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  #13 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierrachart
Broker/Data: IB
Favorite Futures: CL DAX 6E
 
Posts: 10 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 12 given, 1 received

Re: Is Thinkorswim a good Platform for Futures Trading?


As some others have posted, there are other lower priced brokers out there. I trade stocks and recently, futures and started using TOS about 3 months ago. The TOS charting capability is outstanding for charting multiple stocks, options or futures.

For futures trading, I find their predefined tick charts to be sufficient and convenient. Their programming script language is not as comprehensive as some others but it suffices. For instance, I have adapted most of the Ninjatrader indicators used in the cjbooth 6E thread on this forum.

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  #14 (permalink)
Elite Member
Portland, OR
 
Futures Experience: None
Platform: tos
Favorite Futures: NQ, SB, 6J, CL, GC
 
Massive l's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,458 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 922 given, 1,821 received

The only traders that should be trading 1 min tick scalping are traders with a lot of money (to burn). You better be pretty damn good.

Of course if you're scalping you need it to be extremely quick. For the average trader with a 5-50k account and are not scalping it's going to work just fine. Again, I've never had any issues. If you're not that skilled of a trader, it won't matter what platform or broker you use. If you're a skilled trader, it probably won't matter that much either lol.
All in my opinion...

I typically make 20-40 tick trades on 3 lots in various instruments. I'm not sure if that's considered scalping but again, I've never had any issues using thinkorswim.

They will work with you on commissions and will usually match other brokers.

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  #15 (permalink)
Elite Member
Chicago, IL
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, TOS
Broker/Data: Mirus/ZF
Favorite Futures: Currencies, ES
 
zcui's Avatar
 
Posts: 22 since Jun 2011
Thanks: 17 given, 22 received

Like someone already mentioned above, I don't think TOS is the best platform for futures.

Their commissions are high ($7 vs. $3 each round-turn with others), margins are high ($5000 for 6E vs. around $500 with others), and their quotes are a little slow too.

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  #16 (permalink)
Elite Member
Portland, OR
 
Futures Experience: None
Platform: tos
Favorite Futures: NQ, SB, 6J, CL, GC
 
Massive l's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,458 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 922 given, 1,821 received

I understand and agree with what a lot of you are saying.
It's probably not the best, but you can't have it all. It's not that bad.
I been using it for 2 years and love it.

If you are not scalping and are going for larger moves
than I don't see it as a hindrance to generating profits, that is
if you have a solid method.

Maybe I could improve my trading with an improved data feed...

Again, those are their base commissions.
I pay a nickle over velocity for RT.

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  #17 (permalink)
Elite Member
Chicago Illinois USA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Trader
Broker/Data: IB
Favorite Futures: duh hammer!
 
wldman's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,069 since Aug 2011
Thanks: 967 given, 2,625 received

I have friends...

that are professional traders and manage lots of money for huge institutional customers. They could choose any platform for any purpose and they prefer T or S to any other.

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  #18 (permalink)
Elite Member
Chicago, IL
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, TOS
Broker/Data: Mirus/ZF
Favorite Futures: Currencies, ES
 
zcui's Avatar
 
Posts: 22 since Jun 2011
Thanks: 17 given, 22 received

I've been with TOS for almost 4 years now, and I also agree that it's not that bad. Their software is great and reliable, and they update it in a regular basis, their service has been excellent, they have many features that you can't find elsewhere (OnDemands, Chat Rooms, Trade Feeds, and seminars).

After all, it depends on your style of trading. If you are placing your orders from 5 min chart or 1 min chart like I do, I'll not suggest TOS. If you are trading larger swings, TOS is still one of the most competitive platforms.

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  #19 (permalink)
Elite Member
Los Angeles CA USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS
Favorite Futures: YM
 
Posts: 2 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 0 given, 0 received

Does this amount of slippage seem correct?

I am a novice futures trader focusing on TM. I have been using TOS for my trading and, so far, have only been trading 1 contract. One of my strategies involves using a trailing stop. Today, I had the experience of the market blowing through the TS such that I had a 14 point slippage (ie. exiting 14 points below where the TS triggered).

I spoke with TOS support and they said the slippage was simply a result of how fast the YM dropped. For for those of you with more experience, does this amount of slippage seem reasonable?

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  #20 (permalink)
Elite Member
Portland, OR
 
Futures Experience: None
Platform: tos
Favorite Futures: NQ, SB, 6J, CL, GC
 
Massive l's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,458 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 922 given, 1,821 received


I've never experienced that type of slippage and I've traded during some extremely volatile news events. (wasn't the smartest thing)

Psychology > Strategy ≥ Money
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