Futures trading platforms


Junior member
hi all

I've started looking at day trading FTSE100 futures and would be interested to hear which platforms people generally use.

I've tried the Ffasttrade 7 day trial and was very impressed, the platform is very intuitive to use and is delivered over a standard browser. The intraday charting is also excellent. The only downside I can see is the cost, approx $250 per month (inc charting) with $3.92 RT charge for the FTSE100. Although this may be cost effective for a high vol trader.

Initially I'm looking to paper trade for a few more weeks/months until I feel totally confident before moving onto live trading. To enable me to do this i'm looking for intraday 3 min charts, any suggestions of a cost effective way of getting these?

Thanks, i had a look at IB but couldn't see any integrated charting. Do you need to use a separate standalone charting package?

sounds me that you are confusijng two completly different things

a) a trading platform which is what you open and close your trades with

and b) charting software which provides backdated and realtime data and charting and analysis capabilities

if you are confusing these things - you are probably right to paper trade for a while!

the interactive brokers option for data is not ideal for you at this stage

so just get the cheapest ( maybe free) and simplest 30 day try out option for data and charting package that you can find - and i would suggest real time as historic charts are only a small part of the story - and find out exactly how the package works - then look at all the charting companies after that and decide which is best for you and how much you are prepared to lash out to make yourself a few million
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Jerry Medved

dont think he is ready for you yet

and its hardly worth him setting up an account with IB and depositing 2K just to recieve a data feed to drive a chart and no back fill either

and i suspect he is at the very begining of the learning curve - and perhaps should not have access to trade yet - lets give him a chance to succeed!
he does not have to open an IB account. Thats just one option. If he wants, he can pay $20 per month for IQFeed - that gets delayed futures with backfill. More for real-time, but if not trading, thats not needed.

or if you go real low end - subscribing to Quote.com for $9.99 US without signing up for any exchanges will also get delayed with backfill, though that datafeed is snapshot and not the most reliable.

The IQFeed option w/QT is probably the most cost affective solution for getting data to paper trade and leaving you an option to switch to real-time without having to change platforms.
Jerry Medved

ok - those options sound fine - as long as he can get a sort of real time effect so that he gets to see how hard it is to forecast ahead
Stevet - thanks for your concern, however rest assured i've been trading for a number of years although I'm new to futures. My plan is to paper trade for a few months before going live.

Jerry M - thanks, IQfeed & QT looks like a good starting point and will give me what i need to test my strategy.


any1 here trading with Tradematrix of www.TradePortal.com? i am hearing they r introducing ES and NQ futures trading in the 2nd week of Dec, with the intraday margin of USD 500 - compared e.g. to IB's 1600. Any views on them? many thx
china white

a lot of companies will already do $500 per contract, and whilst leverage is a key assesment of profit for return on capital - the most important element is execution costs and therefore getting the lowest commission

$500 per contract margin is great for an experienced trader - and is fine for a learner if they stay with one contract until they really do learn - but until they learn and need to start pumping up the volume - the added leverage is only advantageous if you have limited capital - and limited capital in futures and losing at $50 a point for emini sps is gonna really be a problem when you are learning
Stevet - good comment, many thx. can u name any other firms that do a monkey :)? any opinions on them wud be appreciated as well. cheers matey
china white

do you feel you are doing enough volume for professional fees?

the retail end for $500 per contract is liable to mean paying over $7

as long as any broker you go to clears through a recongnised major clearer - you are as covered as you can be as your account wiil be with the clearer and not the introducing broker
y - very much so - plus I am an option trader and I am used to pay extortionist spreads (and comissions) for the sake of increased leverage.