StockFetcher Forums · General Discussion · Broker discussion<< 1 2 3 >>Post Follow-up
11 posts
msg #30782
Ignore buzzcraft
1/23/2004 10:39:47 PM


I thought it'd be interesting to discuss which brokers have the better setups/offerings for traders. I'm an evening-type trader, so was thrilled with the move to online trading.

I thought all online brokers were alike, until I found that some brokers (Ameritrade I think) allows you to set trailing stops that trail automatically!! How great that would be! Also, most brokers don't require that a stop buy or stop sell be any special amount above the ask (or below the bid). My broker, Scottrade, requires a 25 cent increment, even on a 0.50 stock! So, suddenly I'm wondering what some other pluses and negatives might be to other brokers.

On the plus side for Scottrade, once past a certain balance (25K), you can use their Elite trading system, which is pretty nice - but the subject of more commentary all on its own!

Anyway, I hope others will post some impressions of their online brokers, at least as it applies to trading schemes normally used by this audience (not just broker bashing please!!). What are your brokers' pluses and negatives?


439 posts
msg #30793
Ignore petrolpeter
1/24/2004 11:02:26 AM

I use Scottrade for our kids and MB Trading for myself.Satisfied with both since switching.

124 posts
msg #30797
Ignore jthehut
1/24/2004 12:41:33 PM

In general, most online "browser"-type brokers can and DO "scalping" off of traders...
What does that mean?
The bigger ones can have a huge inventory of stock that they "lend" you in volatile periods (ie when people are panic selling) and they can "delay" your trade a bit...then scalp anywhere from pennies to quarters off the price, and keep the difference. Do I have proof that they do this...not directly, but indirectly I have sources that tell me this happens ALL THE TIME, EVERY DAY. And you know when they say, "if the trade doesn't happen in 10 seconds or less, your trade is free"? Well, pardon my French, but I don't five a flying f*** for the $10-30 dollar commission I'm getting "for free" when I have potentially hundreds or thousands of profits/losses on the line. One time, with the broker I was using (will remain nameless) they filled me AN HOUR later due to "computer problems"...and since I was working at the time, I wasn't checking to see if I was filled. Well, of course I was filled at the highest possible price. I called those basta**s right away and told them off, threatened them, etc. I eventually talked with "higher up" people and got my way...after spending 3 days ranting about it, losing my time/money investment opportunities. This week, in a flood of people getting out of Zarlink (earlier this week) I was trying to sell out...of course got out at the worst possible price (trade took 2 minutes) and lost on a good profit (went from thousands profit to small hundreds).
I highly recommend going to direct trading (ie don't use online "browser" brokers). I will switch to them within the next little while...cheaper and faster. But that's just my HO. Obviously, people that don't trade that often can go with whomever they choose, if they don't care about 5-20 cents here nor there.
~the hut~

80 posts
msg #30805
Ignore travlr
1/24/2004 10:47:32 PM


Interactive Brokers has done well by me. Desktop Platform, Direct Access, "SmartRouting"(gets best pricefrom all Ecns!??!), Excelent Quote/Order Window, API to most trading platforms,Commissions: $.01/share(1st 500) $.005/share(^500), etc.


439 posts
msg #30811
Ignore petrolpeter
1/25/2004 7:58:51 AM

Same with MB trading.IB and MB are popular right now-very low commisions and direct ECN from your desktop,not from their websites.SmartRouting does work well and on circumstance if you have to get in or out of something "right now!",choose one ECN to place the order through,click,and your done.All though maybe not at the absolute lowesthighest price out there but close.They recomend choosing exclusive ECNs for when speed is your main concern.

11 posts
msg #30825
Ignore buzzcraft
1/26/2004 6:37:36 AM

Are there advantages to direct trading in addition to speed? What becomes of a request for a Stop buy or Stop sell? I've seen other discussions about unscrupulous types taking advantage of a stop order request by trading a small order that busts off the stop, and then buying a person's position very cheaply. Does direct trading remove or reduce the likelihood of such a problem - does the direct trading process use a different (hopefully safer) mechanism than normal online broker accounts?

1,373 posts
msg #30827
Ignore EWZuber
1/26/2004 11:38:27 AM

I have been using IB also for maybe a year now and I would never go back to Etrade. Commissions here are very low. Executions so far have been virtually instantaneous and prices have been very fair.
One thing I have noticed is that often the bid/ask and market depth will be different on ECNs than it is on NASDAQ for instance. Usually not a big deal unless you are trading with a lot of shares.
I believe that IB also offers stop orders that are not displayed on level 2 and will not show up in the market until they execute. They also offer auto execute for 'big money'.

439 posts
msg #30828
Ignore petrolpeter
1/26/2004 12:28:05 PM

I sure think it does.The only thing is some of the more complex trading orders like a buy target on the way up trailing and an auto sell between 2 thresh hold limits is done on your desktop software and it has to be running and connected while simple orders can sit on thier servers.If your worried about someone playing on your orders you can hide them from everyones veiw until triggered.Check out MB Trading-Features,they just added a bunch more,this is probably a bigger gun than any one of us needs.Nothing beats a 10-20% pick at any entry anyway.

60 posts
msg #30835
Ignore durgin
1/26/2004 7:40:56 PM

I use and am happy with it. You pay $19.95/month but get up to 200 commission-free trades per month. You can only do that for "Window" stocks but there are more than 3000 of them -- otherwise it's $4 a trade. I can put my order in at night and they trade twice a day -- 11 and 2 EST. I'm just starting but it's working out well in combination with StockFetcher.

11 posts
msg #30838
Ignore buzzcraft
1/26/2004 11:42:55 PM


I e-mailed the MB Trading people a few related questions and got back a speedy, informative reply - I thought I'd post them here (I don't think they'd mind):

1. Does MB allow setting trailing stops that move up automatically?
1. Yes, we offer Trailing Stop orders and these orders trail the price
of the stock by the amount you specify.

2. Are there any requirements about how much over Ask or how much below
Bid a Stop order must be (when defined? For example, Scottrade requires
a Stop Sell to be $0.25 below the current bid)?
2. There are no restrictions on order prices. You can place orders at
any price.

3. Do you use human "Specialists" to approve trades, or is every order
handled electronically?
3. All orders are handled electronically.

4. If I set a Stop Sell or Trailing Stop, who might have visibility
into that fact and their values?
4. Trailing Stop orders are placed on MBTX, our own proprietary order
route. Thus, they are combined with other orders at the same price on
whichever order route, ECN or liquidity source that they are sent to.


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