opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

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Old Dec 29, 2011, 6:22pm   #1
Joined Sep 2008
opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

Hi everyone, I hope that you are all enjoying your holidays.

I have a brokerage account with Charles Schwab but Iím planning to change my brokerage account to Interactive Brokers. With IB I can trade almost any asset class (stocks, options, forex, commodities etc etc) anywhere in the world and they offer me margin (I sound like an advert jajaja). The problem is that with Charles they do not allow me to trade on margin they not even allow me to use options. The good thing about Charles is their trading platform which is very simple to use and very complete with a very good screener and very good charts, I cannot say the same about IB trading platform what I saw in the demo the charts and the screener were **** to say the best.

Other bad thing about IB is that although you can trade absolutely any market around the world you have the extra cost of having to pay for any kind of data (real time, end of the day etc) for every single country no even by region Europe, Asia and so on. Example if a want to trade European stocks from Germany the U.K and Spain I have to pay for the date of each of the countries.

Can anyone recommend a trading software to supplement IB that I can have charts etc of all markets that Interactive Brokers allow and so on and is not to expensive?

Anyone uses Interactive Brokers and can give me their opinion on them?

Thanks for the help and happy New Year to everyone.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 8:05pm   #2
Joined Jun 2003
Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

Hi, you are aware, that IB are a brokers, the best with regards to markets, underlyings, instruments, executions, solidity, stability and costs. They are not a charting firm nor a commercial data provider - just brokers - with the best trading software bare none: TWS.

You are also aware, that their data are NOT charged for (just USD 10 if you don`t trade). Everything else are fees of the data delivering exchanges. Every other broker will have to charge you the very same fees (or hide it somewhere).

Their charting is also naked only - but whoever needs more charting capabilities will use his preferred software via the FREE API. Some people prefer Metastock, Tradestation, Wealth-lab, SierraCharts, Amibroker or even Excel.

So IB definately are not a Chevy or Toyota but more of a Porsche or BMW.

To recommend a software depends on your personal preferences as well.

Regards

Hittfeld
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 8:23pm   #3
Joined Sep 2008
Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

Fran8 started this thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittfeld View Post
Hi, you are aware, that IB are a brokers, the best with regards to markets, underlyings, instruments, executions, solidity, stability and costs. They are not a charting firm nor a commercial data provider - just brokers - with the best trading software bare none: TWS.

You are also aware, that their data are NOT charged for (just USD 10 if you don`t trade). Everything else are fees of the data delivering exchanges. Every other broker will have to charge you the very same fees (or hide it somewhere).

Their charting is also naked only - but whoever needs more charting capabilities will use his preferred software via the FREE API. Some people prefer Metastock, Tradestation, Wealth-lab, SierraCharts, Amibroker or even Excel.

So IB definately are not a Chevy or Toyota but more of a Porsche or BMW.

To recommend a software depends on your personal preferences as well.

Regards

Hittfeld
I know that they are the best brokers that is why Im considering moving my account with them.

What do you mean with their data are not charged for, I think that the only data that they do not charge for is US data. And what do you mean by Free API.

Last edited by Fran8; Dec 29, 2011 at 8:42pm.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 8:25pm   #4
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Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

Fran8 started this thread also could you recommend a software that has all the markets that IB offers since some of them are for stocks others for Futures etc. I use weekly charts with a stochastic nothing complicated, but I like to have on the charts at least to years of data, I use bar charts with the closing

Last edited by Fran8; Dec 29, 2011 at 8:44pm.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 10:07am   #5
Joined Dec 2010
Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

IB - I opened an account with IB a while back. First congratulations on getting through their account screening process - takes weeks..
Yes, market data feed pricing was a problem for my options account with them. 35-45 Euros per month for NYSE Liffe real; time options data.I went with the delayed data - for free.
My major problem with the account was their margin requirements for Options. On NYSE Liffe and with my previous brokers, one only had to stump up margin calculation for a trade as per SPAN.
IB want 100% margin for low volume and/or high volatility options. The London market is fairly primitive as far as liquidity is concerned , so the majority of FTSE 100 options have low volumes traded.
There was no way I was going to stump up £1000's for each trade...so IB and I parted ways
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Old Jan 6, 2012, 10:50am   #6
 
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Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran8 View Post
also could you recommend a software that has all the markets that IB offers since some of them are for stocks others for Futures etc. I use weekly charts with a stochastic nothing complicated, but I like to have on the charts at least to years of data, I use bar charts with the closing
i can advise you two platforms, that can be used for stocks, futures, options and big amount of other markets. they are tradestation (Online Trading, Brokerage and Trading Software | TradeStation) and protrader (Homepage | protrader.net). i'm not sure about tradestation, but in protrader there is a functional for IB.

Last edited by tanyach; Jan 6, 2012 at 10:55am.
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Old Jan 6, 2012, 11:01am   #7
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Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

If your trading timeframe is 60m or above (better daily) then you perhsps don't need real-time data. 15-20 mins delayed is fine. For example, if RIO is currently at 3300 and you want to pay 3150, put your order in, you don't need to see it come down real-time, the important part is if you're filled and a fill will be real-time.
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Old Jan 6, 2012, 1:15pm   #8
Joined Jan 2006
Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

Dear Afternoon T

Per your comments and to respectfully clarify:

1. We support two account opening processes for our clients Fast Track and ProTrack. For both all you have to do is complete an online application (< 30 minutes), submit a copy electronically of your passport or drivers licence and utility bill. Afterwards, it takes us =< 72 business hours to approve an account. If there is a problem in submitting your ID documents or etc., then yes there is a delay.

2. We only ask $10 per month for all US market data for non professionals. This includes stocks, options, ETFs, futures, options on futures, bonds, and forex. If you execute over $30 worth of brokerage we waive the fee.

3. We also make use of SPAN for options. If you buy an option yes we ask you to pay for 100% of the value of the option.




Quote:
Originally Posted by AfternoonT View Post
IB - I opened an account with IB a while back. First congratulations on getting through their account screening process - takes weeks..
Yes, market data feed pricing was a problem for my options account with them. 35-45 Euros per month for NYSE Liffe real; time options data.I went with the delayed data - for free.
My major problem with the account was their margin requirements for Options. On NYSE Liffe and with my previous brokers, one only had to stump up margin calculation for a trade as per SPAN.
IB want 100% margin for low volume and/or high volatility options. The London market is fairly primitive as far as liquidity is concerned , so the majority of FTSE 100 options have low volumes traded.
There was no way I was going to stump up £1000's for each trade...so IB and I parted ways
__________________
Sincerely
Interactive Brokers
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Old Jan 6, 2012, 1:19pm   #9
Joined Jan 2006
Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

Thank you from all us at Interactive Brokers, for your vote in declaring us the winners of:

"Best Equities Broker" - Gold Award (1st Place).

"Best Futures Broker" - Gold Award (1st Place).

"Best Forex Broker" - Gold Award (1st Place).

"Best Options Broker" - Gold Award (1st Place).

"Best Realtime Data Feed" - Silver Award (2nd Place).

"Best Mobile Trading Application" - Gold Award (1st Place).

"Best Software for Options Traders" - Gold Award (1st Place).

The full list of winners can be viewed here: Trade2Win Members' Choice Awards 2011
__________________
Sincerely
Interactive Brokers
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Old Jan 7, 2012, 1:04am   #10
Joined Dec 2010
Re: opinion on Interactive Brokers and trading software

3. We also make use of SPAN for options. If you buy an option yes we ask you to pay for 100% of the value of the option.[/QUOTE]

Dear IB,

I appreciate your response. Where there has been a misunderstanding is for selling options on the UK options market.

For CASH accounts, even the selling of an options as part of a spread trade ( i.e with potential losses limited) attracts a full margin payment for the credit/short 'leg'of a trade. For a profit of 100-200 pounds, a margin requirement of 1000 * the underlying stock price is required! That was the point of my post.

The solution would be for me to obtain a MARGIN account with IB.....or use another options strategy..both of which I am happy to do.

AfternoonT
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