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Is Thinkorswim a good Platform for Futures Trading?


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Is Thinkorswim a good Platform for Futures Trading?

  #21 (permalink)
Los Angeles CA USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS
Trading: YM
 
Posts: 2 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 0 given, 0 received

Massive, thanks.

I realized later on that the slippage was only about 7 points as I inadvertently tied my trailing stop to the Mark price rather than the Ask. Nevertheless, even 7 points seems quite large.

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  #22 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
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ARMK View Post
Massive, thanks.

I realized later on that the slippage was only about 7 points as I inadvertently tied my trailing stop to the Mark price rather than the Ask. Nevertheless, even 7 points seems quite large.

Yes, 7 points is way too much. The old ToS would give you free trades for that. TD is stingy.

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  #23 (permalink)
Prospect, KY. USA
 
Experience: None
Platform: Sierra Chart
Broker: Infinity
Trading: /CL
 
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Posts: 687 since Jan 2012
Thanks: 309 given, 613 received


I use TOS for charting, options and stocks

Please consider using a futures specific broker

In this case I use Infinity (I don't know anything about IB)

Just my two cents

Bill

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  #24 (permalink)
Prospect, KY. USA
 
Experience: None
Platform: Sierra Chart
Broker: Infinity
Trading: /CL
 
WilleeMac's Avatar
 
Posts: 687 since Jan 2012
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ARMK View Post
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?

IMHO, should use a hard stop and be sitting at your computer. Futures can absolutely crush you

Bill

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  #25 (permalink)
New York, NY
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 49 given, 70 received

I'm not convinced that a 7-pt slip would have anything to do with ThinkorSwim.

The YM behaves like that on a regular basis. It's not the norm for regular US cash-hours, but it definitely moves 7 ticks or more without an execution fairly often. I would say at least a few times each day. Most regularly in the mid-day doldrums (early afternoon). At night, I would consider it the norm, not the exception.

It's not a fast-market or gap that I'm referring to. The problem is that a stop order is only triggered when the last price is beyond the stop. That requires an execution. The bids/asks can be gradually moving past your stop, & keep on moving little by little, but until there is an execution, the stop won't be triggered. Sometimes it's well beyond your stop before an execution triggers your order. I've seen it over & over in the YM, and sometimes it even works in your favor - if the mkt moves a point or two past your stop, but doesn't get an execution before turning around.

I'm sure that almost everybody realizes this, and I don't mean to be condescending by re-explaining it, but I would have been surprised if you had said this happened in the ES or CL - but in YM, however, I would consider it not that unusual.

I'm virtually certain that the problem did not originate in ThinkorSwim.

I've heard of many data issues with ThinkorSwim, but have day-traded a pretty good handful of contracts with it, and never had an issue. I've never actually seen a data-lag myself (I run 2 feeds at all times, & occasionally 3 just for fun).

Having said that, I must admit that I don't use ThinkorSwim very much. I test-drove it for a while as I was searching around for a home base to land on.

TDA's ever-changing Margin Policy and Penson's financial woes convinced me that I needed to keep looking. But there were several months where ToS was my only platform, and it never let me down - not even during fast markets or announcements.

In the experimentation process, I have had a couple of platforms/feeds fail. But ToS wasn't one of them.

I still use it occasionally, and have no hesitation day-trading futures with it.

In fact, now that TDA appears to have ironed-out some of its transitional issues, and is becoming its own FCM within a couple of weeks here (eliminating Penson), I may contemplate funnelling some trading funds back that direction . .

It's unquestionably the best platform choice for people who want a broad range of possible instruments and zero monthly overhead or maintenance fees.

On the downside, TDA margins can sometimes be higher than CME requirements (which may be a good thing, really).

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  #26 (permalink)
Des Moines, Iowa
 
Experience: None
Platform: Ninja, TOS
Broker: AMP/CQG, TOS
Trading: CL, TF, GC
 
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Posts: 1,644 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 9,220 given, 1,014 received


ddouglas View Post
I'm not convinced that a 7-pt slip would have anything to do with ThinkorSwim.

The YM behaves like that on a regular basis. It's not the norm for regular US cash-hours, but it definitely moves 7 ticks or more without an execution fairly often. I would say at least a few times each day. Most regularly in the mid-day doldrums (early afternoon). At night, I would consider it the norm, not the exception.

It's not a fast-market or gap that I'm referring to. The problem is that a stop order is only triggered when the last price is beyond the stop. That requires an execution. The bids/asks can be gradually moving past your stop, & keep on moving little by little, but until there is an execution, the stop won't be triggered. Sometimes it's well beyond your stop before an execution triggers your order. I've seen it over & over in the YM, and sometimes it even works in your favor - if the mkt moves a point or two past your stop, but doesn't get an execution before turning around.

I'm sure that almost everybody realizes this, and I don't mean to be condescending by re-explaining it, but I would have been surprised if you had said this happened in the ES or CL - but in YM, however, I would consider it not that unusual.

I'm virtually certain that the problem did not originate in ThinkorSwim.

I've heard of many data issues with ThinkorSwim, but have day-traded a pretty good handful of contracts with it, and never had an issue. I've never actually seen a data-lag myself (I run 2 feeds at all times, & occasionally 3 just for fun).

Having said that, I must admit that I don't use ThinkorSwim very much. I test-drove it for a while as I was searching around for a home base to land on.

TDA's ever-changing Margin Policy and Penson's financial woes convinced me that I needed to keep looking. But there were several months where ToS was my only platform, and it never let me down - not even during fast markets or announcements.

In the experimentation process, I have had a couple of platforms/feeds fail. But ToS wasn't one of them.

I still use it occasionally, and have no hesitation day-trading futures with it.

In fact, now that TDA appears to have ironed-out some of its transitional issues, and is becoming its own FCM within a couple of weeks here (eliminating Penson), I may contemplate funnelling some trading funds back that direction . .

It's unquestionably the best platform choice for people who want a broad range of possible instruments and zero monthly overhead or maintenance fees.

On the downside, TDA margins can sometimes be higher than CME requirements (which may be a good thing, really).

this is basically 100% spot on.. nice write up..

dont believe anything you hear and only half of what you see

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  #27 (permalink)
Prospect, KY. USA
 
Experience: None
Platform: Sierra Chart
Broker: Infinity
Trading: /CL
 
WilleeMac's Avatar
 
Posts: 687 since Jan 2012
Thanks: 309 given, 613 received

Guys/ gals

Please trust me ToS is NOT the best futes platform

Bill

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  #28 (permalink)
Pismo Beach CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS, IB, Fidelity for 'swing' trades
Trading: ES, NQ, IBB, IWM, NG
 
heywally's Avatar
 
Posts: 160 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 80 given, 89 received

I like where TOS is at this point. I am negotiating commissions down to actually use them for trading, rather than just as a platform, with the trades over at IB. Always striving for all-in-one solution for focus sake, (assuming that the entity is financially strong and I don't have to worry about an MF Global (TD seems to fit that bill)) and I recently am moving most stuff over to TOS. I usually don't do options, other than covered calls, but they have a great rep with those.

It has the best combo of linked scanning, charting, watch lists, trade execution from DOM or charts, news, 24 X 7 audio news, education .... that I've seen. They've renewed their upgrade pace to the TOS platform. I haven't seen the data issues, at all, yet. The only thing is the commissions but they can be negotiated if you have some capital and IMO, the slightly lessened leverage with the Futures is an advantage in the big picture. Like them right now. One thing, their pre-market equities trading starts too late - 8AM EST.

"The Future Ain't what it used to be"
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  #29 (permalink)
New York, NY
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 49 given, 70 received


WilleeMac View Post
Guys/ gals

Please trust me ToS is NOT the best futes platform

Bill

Care to throw in a fact, personal experience, or something useful?

If you've had a bad experience, let's hear it.

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  #30 (permalink)
New York, NY
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 49 given, 70 received



heywally View Post
The only thing is the commissions . . .

I feel differently about this. Consider that there is no cost for the platform, data, historical data, account maintenance, exchange-fees, etc.

IB, Mirus & many other firms charge a handful of regular fees for these things, which add up quickly.

I run CTS in Sierra Chart as my primary system - which adds up to $50/mo minimum (and well worth it!). But still, that's $600/year before I place a single trade. Ninja is MUCH more expensive, and it only goes up from there.

TDA's round-trip comm is $7 v. a typical average of $5&change for Velocity, Mirus, IB, & many others of that class. So what you're looking at is approx $1.50-2.00 savings/RT, but $60/mo for platform (if you want Ninja, anyways), $25 & up for data, $25+ if you don't trade enough, $30 to wire $$ in, $30 to wire out, plus many other little costs - just depending on what you want, & how often you trade.

If you consider all the costs, add them up, & divide it out across your trades, TDA/ToS is actually much cheaper if you don't turn alot of volume.

Which makes it ideal for a backup account, or for a lower-volume trader that doesn't want alot of headache & monthy overhead.

Not to mention that your unused funds can be swept automatically into an FDIC account at TD Bank if you want . .


Last edited by ddouglas; February 4th, 2012 at 12:49 PM.
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