Hi all, this is my first post. Please, try to contain your laughter as I ask a couple of silly questions.
What is the ticker symbol for the S&P e-mini?
Presently, I have an acct with Scottrade only. When I type in "ES", I get a company called "energy solutions". I've looked through a lot of threads and have seen the ticker on some charts that say "ES 06-11". Since this is a futures contract, is that the symbol that I enter in order to watch it's chart?
Second question, I understand that one must "apply", and be approved, for a futures acct. Is it even possible that someone with virtually "no net worth" would be "approved" for a futures acct...?
I find myself at the bottom of a steep learning curve. But, I do want to learn. And I'd like to be able to watch a live chart.
Is Think or Swim similar to NT, in that it will allow one to paper trade while learning...? I'm on an iMac and from my research, TOS is the platform that works with Macs. I'm not too keen on using bootcamp to run Windows software on my Mac. If I decide to use a Windows based trading platform, I'll purchase a laptop on which to run it and save my Mac for other creative endeavors.
This post has been selected as an answer to the original posters question
Scottrade does not deal with futures trading... entering a futures ticker will only provide you with results if so it happens to be a similar ticker, but it will be for a company.
you need to go to someone like Interactive Brokers, ThinkorSwim, OEC, or Etrade. You can also elect to keep your scott trade account and just open an account with an FCM (velocity, vision financials, crossland are a few easy ones to work with)...
when you apply for a futures account you are in fact being evaluated ... so you do end up getting "approved" ... the questions that are asked in terms of financial resources and experience are to weed out those that have no business trading futures... many will just resort to missleading statements within the application, but that is fine since then they will not have any true legal recourse if they loose their $$$ and try to blame anyone... the FCM doing the evaluation has the responsibility of approving and screening all applicants... so yes, you are indeed "approved" to trade futures as retail.
TOS is not a good platform for paper trading, you will get a really bad sense of confidence thinking you are hitting your trades.. you are better off with NT7/MC7/CTS4/XTrader as learning platforms ... just go with Velocity, invest the $5K on the account and opt for the free XTrader and trade until you are happy with your results... best thing about velocity is that you can change platforms in no time...
unfortunately, there are no popular mac trading platforms... lots of charting, but no trading with DOM, etc... there are ways to still run programs on tiger/snow leopard that run on windows, but those are layers that complicate things..
best to spend $500-$800 on a new laptop for running windows only and be done.. make sure the screen resolution is at least 1440x900 or 1680x1050.. thinkpads are the best IMO...
yes, depending on what "virtually no networth" means... but you will be delegated to the more riskier FCM's.. as an example.. you can open an account with AMP with $500 with ease and use NT7 to do what you are after, which is to watch the charts and trade on demo... now, when the time comes to trading.. would you be better off taking the proper funds for capitalizing the live account to AMP or someone bigger with more excess capital? the answer would be if it was me, someone with excess capital... with enough to cover more than a few customer failures.
Thanks everyone for the input. I downloaded Think or Swim last night and can now see what you guys are referring to. I'll be paper trading for long while and hopefully, as I continue to learn, I'll be able to post more "intelligent" questions to the forum.
Also, as suggested in one of the many threads that I've browsed through, I've been watching tons of YouTube videos on various trading topics.... watching / listening to a video of someone explaining things like MACD, RSI, stochastics, Elliott Wave, Fibonacci retracements, etc. makes SO much more sense now, as opposed to just "reading" about it.
Here's one more question: I saw last night a little paragraph on the TOS site that stated one must have $125k in their acct to trade, and maintain a minimum of $100k, anything lower and they acct holder will be asked to deposit funds to raise the balance to the minimum level. Yet, in other places, I've read that once can start trading S&P e-mini's with $5k. Why the discrepancy??? Any thoughts?