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Is Thinkorswim a good Platform for Futures Trading?


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Is Thinkorswim a good Platform for Futures Trading?

  #41 (permalink)
las vegas, nevada u.s.a.
 
 
Posts: 2 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 0 given, 0 received

Futures Trading on ThinkorSwim


timefreedom View Post
If you mainly trade stocks or options, TOS is a good fit. Concerning futures, your due diligence will likely show that TOS has pretty high commissions, pretty high intra-day margin requirements, pretty slow data, pretty marginal fills, and a pretty clunky DOM relative to some of your other platform / broker choices. Also of note: the TOS paper trading modes will give you fills as soon as the market touches your price. This is fine for stocks and options, but in futures trading, most of the time price will have to trade through your price by at least a tick to secure a fill. As a result, any futures paper trading on the TOS platform is only useful for learning the platform and not for "seeing how your method would do in real trading." Good luck.

Thank you for this discussion, and your reply. This is a question that I've wanted to ask for some time, since I've been trying to make the transition from the simulator to live trading for the futures. Let's say that the S&P E-mini futures are now trading at 1390.00, and I have a short bias. I'm using paper money, and I enter with a market order at 1390.00. I've found that most of the time, I don't get filled until the price ticks down to 1389.75. Is this consistent with what you're saying here? (I've compared this result with what happens in Think-on-Demand, TOS's backtesting platform. There a fill is instantaneous, and it's obviously not what happens in the real world. But the paper trade platform doesn't seem to behave this way. I called the TOS Trade Desk and asked them about this, and they told me exactly what you're saying. I remain confused. Your input is appreciated. Thanks.

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  #42 (permalink)
Virginia, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
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ddouglas View Post
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).

I can echo you on most of that...

I've been trading futures on TOS for about 7 months now. I've never had any issues with my data feed or the platform freezing up, and no issues with slippage. I've negotiated my commissions from the $7 round trip down to $5 for futures, so that's an improvement. The software keeps getting better and better, and I like having their mobile app on my phone.

My only complaint is the high margin requirements. There's a lot of times I wish I wasn't trading one lot, but yeah, there are other times when it was a damn good thing!

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  #43 (permalink)
las vegas, nevada u.s.a.
 
 
Posts: 2 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 0 given, 0 received

Many thanks for your reply


Thanks guys (I assume there are two of you answering, although, being new to this forum, I'm not sure). I'm truly grateful for your response. You mentioned that you were able to negotiate your round trip commission on TOS for futures contracts from $7.00 to $5.00. How did you do it? You also mentioned some financial problems with Penson. I wasn't aware of that. (I guess they're not keen on telling us everything at the trade expos.)

I'm trying to get clear on what I should conclude from your remarks. Would you say, then, that the results one obtains on the paper platform translate into the same results on the live-trading platform (setting aside psychological issues)?
Cordially,
tostrader44

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  #44 (permalink)
Virginia, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 64 given, 63 received


tostrader44 View Post
Thanks guys (I assume there are two of you answering, although, being new to this forum, I'm not sure). I'm truly grateful for your response. You mentioned that you were able to negotiate your round trip commission on TOS for futures contracts from $7.00 to $5.00. How did you do it? You also mentioned some financial problems with Penson. I wasn't aware of that. (I guess they're not keen on telling us everything at the trade expos.)

I'm trying to get clear on what I should conclude from your remarks. Would you say, then, that the results one obtains on the paper platform translate into the same results on the live-trading platform (setting aside psychological issues)?
Cordially,
tostrader44

Yes, you have more than one person answering your questions.

If you want lower commissions, just ask. I opened a live chat with them on a slow trading day, and basically said "I've been doing some research, and noticed TOS commissions are higher than many other places. Can you lower them at all for me?" They did.

I'm not sure about the issues with Penson or those regarding the paper platform, but I'm sure someone else will chime in.

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  #45 (permalink)
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker: TDA & TS
Trading: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
TonyB's Avatar
 
Posts: 514 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 227 given, 137 received

Speaking of the DOM (someone earlier), is there a way to break it free into its own window for desired placement and re-sizing?

I'm building-out a "futures" Workspace and would like to have the DOM positioned within, but don't see how...

Thanks much.

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  #46 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
Experience: None
 
Massive l's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,905 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 1,514 given, 3,673 received

Just make sure only the active trader tab is selected on the left hand side and
then click overlapped squares next to 'setup' to pop it out.

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The following 2 users say Thank You to Massive l for this post:
 
  #47 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
Experience: None
 
Massive l's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,905 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 1,514 given, 3,673 received

tos just came out with a bunch of new updates. I don't really use them but this thermo thing looks cool.

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  #48 (permalink)
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker: TDA & TS
Trading: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
TonyB's Avatar
 
Posts: 514 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 227 given, 137 received

Massive l - Good stuff, thank you!

I am happy to hear that this can be done, and I just did it. Since this is not performed under the Charts tab, can it be saved in a Workspace? I'll try it in a bit...

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  #49 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
Experience: None
 
Massive l's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,905 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 1,514 given, 3,673 received

It actually can be performed in the same manner under the charts tab.

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  #50 (permalink)
Bay Area, CA - US
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TOS, TS & MC
Broker: TDA & TS
Trading: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
 
TonyB's Avatar
 
Posts: 514 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 227 given, 137 received



Massive l View Post
It actually can be performed in the same manner under the charts tab.

Indeed. Fantastic. I'll do so on the home computer tonight. I'll let the TOS rep know that it is doable, despite what he said... Thanks again.

Did you practice your futures trading, or paper trade on TOS? If so, curious if you did so on PM, or Live, but via OnDemand or otherwise...

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