Is Thinkorswim a good Platform for Futures Trading?
I'm a new trader - 6 mos. - and am having poor success so far. That's probably due to emotion and impatience, and sooner or later I'll get those under control.
I use Thinkorswim as my platform and understand it pretty well. I also have demos for Trade Navigator and Ninja Trader, and can probably learn the basics of either one pretty quickly. In the long run, would I likely do better on a different platform? Will I find that "serious" futures traders tend to cluster about something else?
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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.
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I got into TOS by the backdoor, trading stocks in my wife's IRA account. It blossomed(?) from there. Has been too expensive, but I've been lazy while trying to decide about a new platform. Could you recommend an inexpensive futures broker?
I'm going to look at NT for several days and compare to TN.
thinkorswim is far too slow for daytrading futures, but might be good enough for interday trading. Anyway, it's far too expensive. Look elsewhere. NinjaTrader is cheap (for the free version), but users tend to have a fair amount of trouble with it and the chart refresh rate is questionable if you are a frantic trader. That said, NT is generally good enough.
I have TOS for about 2 years and mostly using its functions in options analyzing. From all my experience and some traders I know (option trader), TOS is a must if you trade options (or learn options). TOS was awarded the best broker in many aspect. However, if your are very into futures trading and being active daytrading, the HIGH commission is a big enemy. I would strongly suggest some others. Check futures.io (formerly BMT) best of trading 2010 (Best Of Trading 2010 - Big Mike Trading) to see what other traders like.
Hope this helps.
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I think you'll find NinjaTrader is a good fit if: 1. You have a computer that meets the minimum posted requirements, i.e. 2 Ghz processing speed or faster with plenty of RAM and an updated operating system. 2. You use either standard indicators or well-written indicators, @FatTails and a few other contributors to this forum write elegant indicators. You have to be careful though because some indicators can be very cpu intensive and cause anomalies / frustration, etc. 3. You use the platform for trading and charting. I mention this because I know that some others have had issues with back-testing and system optimization using Ninja. Personally, I only use Ninja to trade and chart from - and am very happy with it.
Concerning brokers, that is a personal choice. @mattz from OptimusFutures.com is highly spoken of here on this forum. MirusFutures.com, using Rosenthal Collins Group as your clearing firm is another possible choice. You will get better service from Matt and better intraday margin rates from Mirus. Also, for lower rates, you can check with Howard Lender at DeepDiscountTrading.com . The drawback there is that in order to use NinjaTrader, I believe you are limited to using the trading feed from Trading Technologies - a slightly more bundled data stream than what is offered through Rithmic and its first cousin, Zen-Fire.
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I daytrade 1-2 trades a day using thinkorswim full time. It works just great IMO.
I paper traded for 2 years before going live.
Although tos gives you $100,000, I never put more than $20k into my trades.
20k is still the most I put in a trade live but most of the time I do around 10k.
I pay low commissions with tos. They will work with you.
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TOS IMHO have packed too much into their platform... to many bells and whistles...
I have never traded Futures using TOS for the pure reason of unreliability and being too slow....They have had a few issues with hanging and when I compared it to my own broker they were secs behind on DOM quotes when market picked up..
Charting is excellent though...
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