An update - re IRA's specifically, TOS has changed their rules on allowing FDIC insured cash sweeps so that if you are designated as a 'pattern day trader' (and even if you have the requisite 25K in your account), you can only opt for the SPIC insured sweeps. Also, TD/TOS is no longer (at least for now) allowing new IRA's to trade futures. More restrictive but okay for me as I've altered my trading style to a hybrid swing/day trade approach with equities/ETF's only in the IRA's. Since I want the FDIC insured sweeps and not the SPIC ones, and I have a scale in-scale out approach anyway, I just won't do day trades in the IRA's.
Won't fit everyone's approach but is another 'symptom' of why I feel fairly comfortable with TD's business model.
ThinkOrSwim also works well on MAC osx and many versions of Linux, as they have java versions, web versions. And mobile versions for iphones, blackberry, android, etc.. Can trade/daytrade futures,forex (alternately forex by commission instead of spread), stocks, options, funds, bonds, options on some futures, pairs, etc anything offered through TDAmeritrade. Works exactly the same on Linux too. (I tried Ubuntu and Red Hat.) TOS has been greatly supported by TDAmeritrade and upgraded in the last year. I find myself enjoying it more and more and just wanted to share the enthusiasm at least as an alternative broker/platform.
Screen cap of TOS working on MAC OSX 10.6+ attached. Trading CL on 4 range. (after hours, so not showing volume, depth and timeofsales). bunch of "studies"/indicators included or script your own for bag of osci junkies
The following user says Thank You to Cloudy for this post:
They start you out at 3.50 each way. Unless you are HFT or have a ton of cash you will be
in the 3.50 class. Once you stick with them for a while they will lower it. I pay 2.50 each way.
I only make a few trades a day and usually no more than 6 contracts.
Sometimes none. Maybe if you just ask them right off the bat they will lower if for you.
I know when it was just TOS and not TDA they were very negotiable.
I will probably try to get mine lowered to 2.25 soon.
Psychology > Strategy ≥ Money
The following 2 users say Thank You to Massive l for this post:
Favorite Futures: Stock, Options and now Futures (ES)
Posts: 514 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 227 given,
Like Massive l, I too am at 5 bucks RT (ES, all inclusive). Not great, but works for me as I have virtually everything at TDA...
I might add that I asked before I even went live about lowering the commission, and they did, to 3 dollars each way. Pretty cool. I'm not a fat cat, but do have several accounts there... And, after my first month of trading (think newbie, over-trading), I asked for lower, and got the 2.50 each way. I figured that I might as well ask for the lowered commission after such a month... Glad that I did. Since that time, I've averaged just a handful of trades a week.
The following user says Thank You to TonyB for this post:
Futures on TOS is about 4k margin per contract. I'd never traded more than 2 contracts on TOS. I mostly do options on TOS, but I had noticed the futures and forex trading has improved immensely in the past year with the improvements to TOS by TDA. Maybe Massive has more info regarding his negotiated rate?
Forex ,however, is about $250 margin per 10k lot.
But yes, the platform itself is all covered. No ongoing platform, feed, or routing fees. You can even register and just download the desktop and try in sim mode without paying anything. I forget, maybe an initial $40 startup fee with first deposit.