Thinkorswim dumping UK based accounts

wheeles

Newbie
6 0
I am a UK resident and have had an account with Thinkorswim since 2008 before they were ruined by TD Ameritrade.

I got an email from them last night saying they would be closing all UK accounts. That seemed a little odd as I have a USD account and the funds are held in the US. I queried this email thinking that this was something to do with TD Ameritrade deciding not to offer brokerage services in the UK and could no understand why it should affect my account. However the support monkeys at TOS (after initially misreading my email) confirmed accounts for UK residents would be closed.

Now I am looking around for a decent UK based brokerage that will allow me to trade US equities. I'm considering trading CFDs as an alternative, but it's still early days in evaluating what is available.

Any suggestions for a decent alternative to TOS? I want a good charting package too, preferably free.
 

accumul8

Newbie
8 0
Commiserations, wheeles. I received the same e-mail from TOS (been with them for nearly 10 years). Based on my research (mainly on this site) I am switching to Interactive Brokers (IB) - their charging structure is a bit complicated to understand but overall looks cheap. You have to pay for live feeds unless you meet a minimum commission each month but it is only $10 per month depending on which markets you want.
I phoned IB and they said that I could transfer all of my holdings and cash direct from TOS after my account has been opened (should take a couple of days). I have also got agreement from TOS to pick up all of the transfer costs. In the jargon, the transfer is referred to as ACAT (I think).
 

wheeles

Newbie
6 0
Yes, it's an ACAT transfer. I did one of those when I moved from E*Trade to TOS.

I was considering switching from equities to CFDs or spread betting.

What sort of charting does IB offer? I had a few studies that I tweaked on TOS, but I can probably live with untweaked ones. Three studies I would like to have are acceleration bands, STARC bands and displaced simple moving averages.

Also, do you know whether IB show premarket and after hours activity on their charts?
 

accumul8

Newbie
8 0
Sorry, I don't know about their charts but there is an active thread with questions answered by IB and others so I suggest you try there -
http://www.trade2win.com/boards/brokerages/18316-interactive-brokers.html
Regarding CFDs or spread betting, there are tax advantages (no tax) and for small quantities they can be cheaper. However, the spreads tend to be wider for larger amounts and for CFDs the carry charges are high depending on your own cost of borrowing. I use IG Index - mainly for futures and gold trading, not stocks.
 

wheeles

Newbie
6 0
I'll probably look at my options this weekend and try and figure out typical costs as well as the pros and cons of trading CFDs or spreads versus equities. I'm still reeling a little after receiving that email, so don't want to jump into anything too hastily.
 

Marek_$

Junior member
15 0
Yes I'm in the same position after several years with ToS. Interactive Brokers looks like the best alternative.

In case anyone is interested as to why they kicked us out - apparently they have a non-competing clause with TD Waterhouse in the United Kingdom and therefore, are no longer able to keep UK accounts live.

I get the impression that IB is good and forward looking though their interface seems a bit clunky but I'm sure its fine to use once you get used to it. I also like the fact that they have a programmers API. Their interest on Margin is the best I've seen - better than ToS last time I looked.

I also got the impression that ToS was becoming a little less dynamic since Ameritrade took over.

Marek.
 
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wheeles

Newbie
6 0
Although I haven't looked too closely at the alternatives, I have to admit that IB is certainly a front-runner. I did notice that they have order cancellation fees for US equities, which I never experienced before, so I would have to be a little less trigger happy putting in orders and modifying them by a few cents as moving averages shift.

I like the idea that other charting packages can connect to IB, so am considering my options there. Multicharts is one package I am considering.

As for the whole "non compete" thing, all that means is Ameritrade has lost me as a customer forever. I would never have used Ameritrade's own offering, so kicking me off TOS means they lose out completely. In fact, as I was typing this, I got an email talking about how all TOS accounts will be moved from Penson to Ameritrade. So they are not taking on anyone resident in the UK onto their books for clearing.

Who do IB use for clearing?
 

accumul8

Newbie
8 0
Having opened an account with IB, I am now having second thoughts about switching. I do a lot of multiple options such as calendar and diagonal spreads and the IB screen for these is unintelligible to me. So I think I will switch to OptionsXpress where I have had an account for years. They are more expensive on dealing costs but the interface is ten times friendlier than IB.
 

Dannygee112

Junior member
20 0
Saxo Bank's options board is very good. Especially for spreading. Not sure about dealing costs, would have thought would be higher than IB.
 

hegilento

Newbie
8 0
Having opened an account with IB, I am now having second thoughts about switching. I do a lot of multiple options such as calendar and diagonal spreads and the IB screen for these is unintelligible to me. So I think I will switch to OptionsXpress where I have had an account for years. They are more expensive on dealing costs but the interface is ten times friendlier than IB.
try option house ! its cheaper and the platform is super:)
 

hegilento

Newbie
8 0
I contacted with TDAmeritrade and they are planning to give access for overseas traders again . they said it is the No1 priority in this year (2016) .
 

hegilento

Newbie
8 0
That`s great news - if it includes TOS
yes it is , im checking their website often but nothing new yet. im sure the only platform will be allowed is TOS. You might heard about the Dough platform which is amazing . Canadians can open TD accont but cannot use Dough ( yet).

otherwise Optionhouse is a good broker as well and one of the cheapest in the industry with IB.
 
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