Need help for choosing an online broker.


3 0
Hi everybody,

I am a part-time stocks trader. Currently I use Optionshouse, but it has only very limited stocks for shorting. Its advance order often fails to execute and I lost many good opportunities! I want to change my broker. Could you recommend an online broker which has the following features?

1. It has a wide range of stocks for shorting. When the market is bearish, stocks available for shorting become very limited for all brokers? Or this only occurs for small brokers which has limited source, such as Optionshouse? Can you recommend some brokers which have least limit on the range of stocks available for shorting even in a bearish market?

2. I want to place relatively complex orders after the market without writing programs, for instance, (order cancel order) trigger (order trigger order) or an order triggered by a market index, something like this. I also want to modify the existing orders after the market close so these modifications are effective immediately or pending for effective until market open. I may try mechanical trading later, but right now I stick to discretionary trading.

I only trade after working time. I usually place stops orders to enter positions after I am back at home, so I can have time to analyze the market and also avoid emotion. In Optionshouse, you can place complex orders, but it often fail to execute them. You even cannot cancel these complex orders; you have to call them to cancel the orders. You cannot modify existing complex orders after market close. Their server simply gets frozen. I lost many good opportunities because of this.

Another problem is that Optionshouse checks the orders to make sure the stop buy order is lower than the lowest ask and the stop sell order higher than the highest bid. This is a useful feature to make sure the order is not placed by mistake. However, the trouble is that the system uses the extended session price to check the order, which usually deviates from the regular session price greatly. You cannot override it. For instance, the market close price is 19.61 and I want to place a stop short sell order at 19.20, either day order or GTC order. However, the extended hour bid price is 10.10 or even lower and the system blocks placing stop order. Many times I could not placed orders after market close and this feature is actually disabled.

3. If the above two conditions are met, I want relatively low commission, low margin interest rate and other costs.

Thanks in advance!
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