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Trade Monster?

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Anyone have any experience with Trade Monster as an options broker? I have been with thinkorswim for a long time but have been hearing more and more about Trade Monster. With TOS being bought out by TDAmeritrade I'm looking into backup plans in case things do change with the TOS platform.

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I'm in the process of opening a small account to test it out. Will post any thoughts as soon as I get some time to play around with the platform.

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It's either they have one of worst customer services I have ever come across in my 15 years of dealing with brokers or it could be they don't apply the same rules to everyone.

 

I have been with Optionsxpress for over 10 years with no problems but I saw the Trademonster platform which I thought was quite impressive.I have also considered TOS but they put on their website they do not open account for a non-US residents.I am a British Citizen.

 

I contacted Trademonster to confirm that they open account for non-US resident.I was informed they do and was actually sent all the required forms.Towards the end of December I faxed the forms to them and waited over a week without no word.

 

I contacted them to ask what was going on,only for them to tell me that some of the forms didn't come out OK at their end.I would have expected them to have contacted me and let me so that I could act on it.

 

Anyway I got back to them to let them know I will be buying a new printer in the next few weeks and that I will scan the forms and email it to them which would be better than faxing.

 

About 3 weeks later or so I contacted Trademonster by email and phone to confirm if they still have the OK documents or they wanted me to start the process over again. I was told they still have the document but they require the additional documents for the process to be completed.

 

I scanned the documents and email it them. One week later no word. I contacted them and was told they did not received the document. I find that quite puzzling and said no problem I will send it again.The following day I called Trademonster and was told they did not received the forms again on my send attempt.

 

What is the problem? Is the file too large? I send the file from my AOL account to my Gmail account without any problem.I send an email letting them know I was going to try one last time.

 

On 15 February 2011, I received an email from Trademonster that they have now received all the required documents.That was nearly 3 weeks ago.I have been told the process should only take 7 days. I have sent 2 emails to confirm the status and to let them know what I think of their customer services,but they have totally ignored me.

 

As of today they still have my sensitive documents but no word whatsoever of what is going on. Are they for real?

 

They have done a great job with their platform but maybe now they should concentrate more on Customer Services, but then again maybe it is just personal.

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Thanks Mark. I didn't have any issues with them when opening my account. I guess you hear these types of stories about every broker out there. It's hard to find the perfect broker. So far I prefer the TOS platform. It's not that Trademonster is bad but probably more what I comfortable with. Hopefully you get things worked out with them.

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Moving from ToS I think you'll be disappointed with everything but the commissions.

 

The first 2 months I had an account there I would randomly be unable to enter new positions with errors insufficient margin. I called in and both times they claimed something about "backend pairings" being messed up, and fixed the problem after about 15 minutes on the phone.

 

I trade Iron condors and their margin system sucks if you wind up with overlapped spreads. Ex. if you trade 2 point spreads, but on a subsequent position you overlap two 2 point spreads into a 4 point spread they don't pair it off correctly with the opposing two 2 point spreads on opposing side calls or puts so it ends up taking 2x as much margin as I ever needed at ToS.

 

I called in to complain about it and it was like talking to a brick wall, the person could not wrap their head around the concept of equivalent positions and how the 4 point spread on one side presented an equal risk as two 2 point spreads. And that the 4 point spread was really the same as two 2 point spreads where the long options of one spread has the same strike as the short options of the 2nd spread. I didn't get anywhere, so just note that in some cases you need to have double margin there.

 

Also their executions suck, I've had a working order at TM sitting there, entered the exact same order at ToS after that and been filled at ToS, but never filled at TM. As an experiment one time I actually got filled at .01 better than my working order at TM on an order entered later at ToS, that time the TM order did eventually fill. All fill experiments were done with 2nd month SPY Iron Condors of 14-18 lots. So my general feeling is the lower commissions probably get eaten up with worse fills for the most part.

 

So long story short. I wouldn't recommend them, hopefully TDAmeritrade doesn't ruin ToS.

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Dan,

 

Thanks for the response. The trading I have done with TM has been with basic directional strategies (calls/puts and verticals). I will keep your experience in mind. For the time being I am sticking with TOS. The commissions might be higher but I think they make up for it with the free platform and all the tools they make available. Not to mention their support has always been really good for me.

 

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I've been trading on TM for about a year now and absolutely love it. I've heard many complaints about TM's customer service, but I've never had any issues when contacting them. I really enjoy the tools that they provide, the fact that their platform is very user friendly and not cluttered, and their commissions are great. My only complaint is that their charting need a bit of improvement. Not that it's bad, but it could use a little work.

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I've been using TradeMonster for a couple of years and have had really good experience with them. None of the problems cited above have happened with me. I'm actually surprised how often I get price improvement on equity trades. Their option spread trading tools are the best. I also have accounts at TOS and IB and I prefer TM to both of them for equity and option trading.

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