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Old 06-15-2007, 01:30 AM   #1

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Review of Open ECry (futures broker)

Here's my review of Open ECry (OEC) who is a futures broker.

website: http://www.openecry.com/

I've been discussing moving my business to OEC recently for a number of reasons and have found that OEC is a great firm to discuss your biz with and they will do what they can to help you out.

Some of the impressions I have thus far:
  • Very competitive commissions.
  • Platform is FREE and it is very nice in my opinion. Free would normally mean junk to me, but the OEC trader is just as nice as the $500/mo T4 I have currently.
  • Easy to get answers, help, etc. They are smaller, but not so small to be concerned.
  • They are based in Ohio! How cool is that! (well, for me at least. I can go and actually see their offices).
I do not have my business there yet, but at this point, it appears this will be the most logical next step for me.

If you are in the business for a new futures broker or just want to receive a competitive quote, I would suggest at least contacting OEC during your due diligence.


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Old 06-15-2007, 02:31 AM   #2
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Re: Review of Open ECry (futures broker)

Here's my two ticks worth about OEC.

The owner, Rick Tomsic also runs a private hedge fund, mainly investing in the 30 year bond product. You can find more info about him, and the companies he's been associated with through the years, plus the NFA complaints and sanctions lodged against an FCM where he ran the back office operations (curiously, Tomsic was not implicated in the matter) by searching at the NFA website:

National Futures Association - NFA is a regulatory service provider for the derivatives markets

PROS:
  • Competitive rates and margins - all available online 24/7. Go here for the current rates (which are not linked from the site map):
    Online Futures Trading - Open E Cry â„¢ Rates

  • Margin and accrued commission/fees are also available real-time while you trade, as it is built into their trading platform, OEC Trader, so you know exactly what your true P/L is while you are trading. No need to wait for your end-of-day statement to find that your trades are a scratch or a loss because of trading expenses (fees/commissions).
  • Free trading platform with DOM, and charting. New version of DOM has volume histogram built-in, plus real-time P/L as described above.
  • Self-serve trading - if you have the capital (margin) you can trade any of all of their available contracts. Just open a DOM on the trading symbol and trade as you please.
  • Support available around the clock 24/6 (whenever the markets are open) via built-in PM on their trading software. So you can reach a broker immediately on your platform, without having to call them. Nice touch that all brokers should have.
  • Online account update and management. Need a wire or check? Get it online. No calls needed. Need account statements - download it at your leisure.
  • Built-in auto-trading API available for tradestation, called AutoX. Free for existing accounts until year-end, but they plan to charge $0.10 per side in the future for each auto-trade execution.
  • DEMO account can be uploaded with your current rate table so that you can have a more accurate feel for how the potential P/L of strategies while testing them out.
CONS:
  • OEC Trader platform is slower than other platforms out there. DOM is nice and flexible, but the execution/speed is just a tad slower than even tradestation charting and Time and Sales, for example. Or the AT platform from Transact (and their IB Innfinitty). Place them side-by-side and the delay is readily apparent. When you're dealing with $$$, every millisecond counts.
  • OECTrader charting sucks. Bad ticks, lack of historical data (backfill), and other anomalies make it a curiosity item at best. Then again, it is free, so you are getting what you pay for.
  • As for bad ticks, you'll see forex-like "stop spikes" in the e-minis prior to and near the end of the trading day, if you pull up their charting. Bad ticks, perhaps, but it does show in their trading DOM on live trading as well. And since you don't see these spikes in the official exchange T&S prints, well....
  • Moreover, in their 30 year bond (which is a full-tick product), you'll see the occasional change in P/L without the tick moving up or down. Careful analysis shows that they've actually got quarter- and half- ticks in their charting and on their live DOM in the 30 year bond. Again, bad news here, since this has been brought to their attention on three separate occasions, and it's still not addressed and fixed.
  • Only 5 DOM open at any one time. Very odd limitation to their system. Likewise, the maximum quotes you can add to the platform simultaneously is only 50. At one time it was 100, then 25. Apparently, they are still having server issues due to growing pains from a marketing push.
  • DOM lacks proper tiered bracketing system to scale-in/scale out. Yes, the DOM has the fancy buttons for it, but the reality is that it doesn't work - at least not like the AT platform from Transact. Another feature that needs to be fixed, especially if scaling-out via brackets automatically is a component of your trading plan or strategy.
  • DEMO platform is not free for customers. They charge you $24.99/mo to have a running demo to use. Clearly, one demo should be made available free of charge to existing customers as part of the account setup.
SUMMARY:

In all, the pluses outweigh the minuses with Open ECry. Still, as with all firms, there are some issues that could be addressed - including some potential regulatory issues that may need immediate attention, as noted above.

Online Futures Trading - Open E Cry â„¢ a Direct Access Trading System

Last edited by cooter; 06-15-2007 at 02:35 AM.
 
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:24 PM   #3

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Re: Review of Open ECry (futures broker)

Cooter - I thought it only fair to go to the source and ask exactly what had/has been going on at OEC with Rick.

Here is the response verbatim:

Quote:
Rick does not operate a hedge fund and OEC or Rick has no affiliation with any hedge fund. Rick is the principal of Tomsic Capital Management which is a CTA but it has been inactive for over 4 years.

Rick was an AP of a firm and left in 1999. Nearly 7 years later this firm had an issue with the CFTC. Tomsic had no affiliation and was not named. Tomsic did not run the back office of this firm and was only an AP.
This is important to understand. I'm not sure where you got your info Cooter, but when I go the NFA site and search specifically for Rick Tomsic and check the site, I do not see any strikes against Tomsic OR OEC at this time.

Link to NFA directly to Rick's file: BASIC Details

Now, to complete some more due diligence on my end, here are screenshots of every NFA file that Tomsic is linked to, including the one you are referencing Cooter. I think you'll find it interesting to note that Tomsic is not listed anywhere in the complaint, which you noted, and if that should be considered a strike is up to the end user. I don't see a problem since his name is not listed in the document.

Screenshots of the NFA site and where Tomsic is listed:








Attached Thumbnails
Review of Open ECry (futures broker)-oec-firm-nfa.png   Review of Open ECry (futures broker)-oec-tomsic-nfa.png   Review of Open ECry (futures broker)-oec-tomsic-2-nfa.png   Review of Open ECry (futures broker)-oec-tomsic-3.png   Review of Open ECry (futures broker)-oec-tomsic-4.png  


Last edited by brownsfan019; 06-18-2007 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:27 PM   #4

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Re: Review of Open ECry (futures broker)

CONTINUATION OF NFA FILES:



Link to Case File for Sutherland Commodities (too big to post here): BASIC Case Summary
Attached Thumbnails
Review of Open ECry (futures broker)-oec-tomsic-5.png  
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:34 PM   #5

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Re: Review of Open ECry (futures broker)

In summary, I don't see any reason to not consider doing business with OEC and/or Rick Tomsic. As far as the NFA files are concerned, they look perfectly clean to me. I don't think you can say that a firm that Rick was once an AP at that had issues SEVEN YEARS later is a problem.

Maybe there's more that meets the eye and Cooter will share some items that I am not aware of.

If nothing else, this stressed the importance of doing your own due diligence, going directly to the source with questions and using a message board as a guide for some ideas.

Now, a clean bill of health will not be enough if the platform is slow in real-time or any other issues that Cooter mentioned. I do not need their software for charting, so that's not a concern for me. But if this platform is too slow in real-time, I will be the first to post here to let you know. I will not compromise on speed and I am being told by OEC that their platform is fast. I don't know what 'fast' means but I will be comparing it to my T4 platform that's for sure.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:41 PM   #6
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Re: Review of Open ECry (futures broker)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownsfan019 »
In summary, I don't see any reason to not consider doing business with OEC and/or Rick Tomsic. As far as the NFA files are concerned, they look perfectly clean to me. I don't think you can say that a firm that Rick was once an AP at that had issues SEVEN YEARS later is a problem.

Maybe there's more that meets the eye and Cooter will share some items that I am not aware of.

If nothing else, this stressed the importance of doing your own due diligence, going directly to the source with questions and using a message board as a guide for some ideas.

Now, a clean bill of health will not be enough if the platform is slow in real-time or any other issues that Cooter mentioned. I do not need their software for charting, so that's not a concern for me. But if this platform is too slow in real-time, I will be the first to post here to let you know. I will not compromise on speed and I am being told by OEC that their platform is fast. I don't know what 'fast' means but I will be comparing it to my T4 platform that's for sure.
I believe I said Rick was NOT implicated in the matter with his former firm.

Thanks for posting the files in the forum for all to see and verify themselves.

Now, as for the bad ticks in the US/ZB, and the "stop spikes" in the minis that I mentioned, do you or Rick have any response?

Again, I'm glad you are doing your own due diligence to determine whether OEC is worth doing business with.

Do let us know what you find with regard to the other issues mentioned.
 
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:44 PM   #7

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Re: Review of Open ECry (futures broker)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooter »
I believe I said Rick was NOT implicated in the matter with his former firm.

Thanks for posting the files in the forum for all to see and verify themselves.

Now, as for the bad ticks in the US/ZB, and the "stop spikes" in the minis that I mentioned, do you or Rick have any response?

Again, I'm glad you are doing your own due diligence to determine whether OEC is worth doing business with.

Do let us know what you find with regard to the other issues mentioned.
Coot - I'll see what I can find out.

You also did say he was running a private hedge fund trading the bonds. That's simply not true at all. That's kind of important to point out as well - that information, however you obtained it, is completely inaccurate.
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:53 AM   #8
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Re: Review of Open ECry (futures broker)

Looks like Open E Cry has fixed the problems with the bad ticks in the US/ZB and "stop spikes" in the e-minis.

Turn out the CME was sending settlement prices in their feed at 9:28 am and 15:30 et, but OEC did not filter out these prices from actual ticks.

Likewise, for the US/ZB, 1/4 ticks (and 1/2 ticks) were being sent in the full-tick 30yr bond product due to reduced tick spreads. OEC finally got their software developers to fix the problem (after about a year) by filtering it out of their regular feed.

Word has it that OpenECry is also updating their DOM to support proper mutil-leg bracket orders, in a fashion similar to the Transact AT and other platform, as the current scale-in/scale-out implementation on the OEC Trader DOM is sub-par at best.

Combined with the volume levels and histogram on the recent release of their DOM, this should make OEC's software quite competitive indeed.
 
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