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cowcool

Favorite Emini Brokers

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Cow, as I mentioned here, Open ECry is a very nice broker to consider.

 

My suggestion is to demo as many platforms as you can get your hands on and just start clicking around to see what you like/dislike. The other factor will be costs. If you go with OEC, you will pay zero in data fees and/or platform fees, which is nice. I was paying around $700/mo prior to moving my trading to OEC for data and platform fees. Getting rid of that expense was nice.

 

There is a broker review section on TL as well that you might want to take a look at.

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The question of brokers crops up often. There are half a dozen or so that are consistently recommended by people here. IB, Mirus, Amp, OEC, Transact (I think) and maybe a couple of others are generally recommended.

 

Maybe worth having a sticky thread to direct people too?

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Interactive Brokers: http://www.interactivebrokers.com

 

I trade primarily ES.

 

IB has several platforms for traders (their Trader Workstation is most popular). Their competitively priced for futures and better than most for stocks and mm interest rates; their financial position is very strong and you can hold high-balances with confidence. The best is that I can stream their data into 3rd party software solutions for advanced analysis (i.e. Ensign).

 

I hope that this helps.

 

Take care.

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The choice of broker is going to depend on your individual requirements.

 

I chose Interactive Brokers beacuse of the following:

 

I'm based in Europe and I can call them on a free phone number.

Low commission rates.

I can wire money to my non-US bank account free of charge.

Global coverage of markets.

Universal Account means I can trade futures, stocks, FX and options from one account.

 

If you are only trading US futures other brokers will offer lower intraday margin requirements so you don't need to keep all your capital in your account.

If you have a large account size consider cutting out the introducing broker and go direct to a FCM for lower commissions.

Edited by Harlequin
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Good advice Harlequin. It should be noted that IB does not have a great reputation for being that prompt answering the phone. I have not had that issue calling the European Desk. Mind you can't remember the last time I needed to call, years ago. On the plus side they have a European, USA, & Asian dealing desk and offices in may cities.

 

How often do you call your broker? If you think that is something you might do a good test is to call them at a few 'awkward' times (just after the open, after news etc.) and see how long it takes to get through. Of course you can bet your bottom dollar that the one time you do need to close a trade by phone it will be just after a surprise 2% interest rate reduction.

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It should be noted that IB does not have a great reputation for being that prompt answering the phone. I have not had that issue calling the European Desk. Mind you can't remember the last time I needed to call, years ago. On the plus side they have a European, USA, & Asian dealing desk and offices in may cities.

 

How often do you call your broker? If you think that is something you might do a good test is to call them at a few 'awkward' times (just after the open, after news etc.) and see how long it takes to get through. Of course you can bet your bottom dollar that the one time you do need to close a trade by phone it will be just after a surprise 2% interest rate reduction.

 

Probably called about 5 times in the last 3 years, never had a problem getting through and found them very helpful. Last time was last week, TWS locked up on me after I sent a buy market on FTSE futures, the order just sat there as sent and acknowledged but not filled, called IB and they confirmed the price of the fill in less than a minute of me picking up the 'phone. Restarted TWS and all was well.

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Probably called about 5 times in the last 3 years, never had a problem getting through and found them very helpful. Last time was last week, TWS locked up on me after I sent a buy market on FTSE futures, the order just sat there as sent and acknowledged but not filled, called IB and they confirmed the price of the fill in less than a minute of me picking up the 'phone. Restarted TWS and all was well.

 

Ahh but that was the European desk I'd wager :D I wonder if the US desk is better nowadays? Last time I called I couldn't remember my security word <doh>. For things financial i try to pick extra secure account information. So secure I don't remember!!

 

I should re-iterate I think they are great broker, which is why they are my primary.

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I use Insignia futures, mainly becuase of the free platform that they give you to trade with and get quotes with. Initially the platform cost can ruin most traders budget. I have been with them for over 2 years with no problems.

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If you have a large account size consider cutting out the introducing broker and go direct to a FCM for lower commissions.

 

This is a new idea to me, and I have a couple questions:

 

1. How large of an account are we talking, roughly?

2. Why are the commissions lower? Because they're doing more volume due to the larger accounts? How much lower are the commissions, roughly?

 

Thanks.

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This is a new idea to me, and I have a couple questions:

 

1. How large of an account are we talking, roughly?

2. Why are the commissions lower? Because they're doing more volume due to the larger accounts? How much lower are the commissions, roughly?

 

Thanks.

 

I use Infinity an IB, because of their service. I have a personal broker Tom Duffy. He's just great. The best I've ever had. The way I see it you hope to never need a broker, but when you do need help you want someone who will get you out of trouble. Saving a few pennies by going direct wouldn't really be saving all that much in the long run. And my rate is already low enough that the commissions aren't a factor.

 

 

yours in trading,

 

TraderJean

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So if I had an account with an FCM, I wouldn't have a representative at the firm? Who would I contact if I were to have a problem? How would I open the account in the first place?

 

Of course they'll open your account and give you an 800 number to call. If you're big enough 100K+ they'll treat you like a king (or queen.)

 

But I think most FCMs aren't set up for the smaller retail client. Most self directed accounts will receive long hold times and something less than quality service. If you've been with IB or TradeStation you probably know what i'm talking about.

 

Having said that, I am just speaking from my personal experience. I would guess there are good IBs and not so good IBs. Just like there are good and bad FCMs. It's a search and discovery process. I'm just glad i'm with Infinity.

 

TraderJean

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I use Insignia futures, mainly becuase of the free platform that they give you to trade with and get quotes with. Initially the platform cost can ruin most traders budget. I have been with them for over 2 years with no problems.

 

Is that $4.99 per trade on their site correct? If so, that sounds like a rip unless the person really, really likes the software or something else.

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take a look at infinity futures, they have a great platform and low fees.

 

How low are the "low fees"? I hear "low fees" all the time for different places, but few people actually say the fee. (Yes, yes, the fee can be different depending on how many RTs you do.)

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I really dont get why people recommend IB over and over again... i used them for few months. their software is dinosaurus dunk and their support is the direct pavement to psyhiatric ward. The data feed is the worse I ever seen.

 

the only people who trade different kind of markets and change moods quite often - have to be happy with IB. say today etfs tomorrow stocks next week options next week mongolian currency.

 

Amongst 5 brokers I had account with IB was the worst for futures. And far from cheap.

 

Call smaller brokers and get rate below $4.

 

My today's choice (cost/quality/support) - Infinity. No data fees, no platform fees, rates below $4, STATIC DOM (feature not found anywhere for that kind of money), the quickest cheap data feed and execution.

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