Brokerage Recommendations

  • Posted: 26 August 2011 05:21 PM

    Hello all, I just tried searching the AFB, but I didn’t really come up with a good thread with this information.  I’m sure there is one…I just can’t find it.

    Having said that, which online brokerage do you all use for trading options?  I’ve been using e-Trade, but the fees are steep and the system doesn’t offer as much flexibility as I’d like.  I’m sure there are better places geared towards trading options.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks in advance if you have any input on this topic…

    J

    Signature

    Johnny

         
  • Posted: 26 August 2011 06:15 PM #1

    I think the 3 most used here are

    Think or Swim (ToS)
    Options Express (OX)
    Interactive Brokers (IB)

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 26 August 2011 06:37 PM #2

    TD/TOS here. I have Fidelity also, but I am not happy with them right now so I would not recommend.

    Yes, this has been discussed many times.

    Signature

    Adversity does not just build character, it reveals it.

         
  • Posted: 26 August 2011 06:57 PM #3

    Thanks everyone.  I knew it had been asked before, but I couldn’t find the thread using the search function. 

    Much thanks!

    Signature

    Johnny

         
  • Posted: 26 August 2011 08:09 PM #4

    mbeauch - 26 August 2011 09:37 PM

    TD/TOS here. I have Fidelity also, but I am not happy with them right now so I would not recommend.

    Yes, this has been discussed many times.


    Agreed.  Fidelity blows.

         
  • Posted: 26 August 2011 08:10 PM #5

    mbeauch - 26 August 2011 09:37 PM

    TD/TOS here. I have Fidelity also, but I am not happy with them right now so I would not recommend.

    Yes, this has been discussed many times.

    I have TOS and Fidelity but Fidelity sucks!!!

         
  • Posted: 26 August 2011 08:31 PM #6

    Could those of you commenting on Fidelity provide more detail.  What don’t you like about them?  Which platform do you use (e.g. Windows or web-based)?  Active Trader on Mac?  iPhone App?

    Thanks.

    Signature

    You will find hard currency at Midas Mulligan’s.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 26 August 2011 09:13 PM #7

    Ragnar Danneskjold - 26 August 2011 11:31 PM

    Could those of you commenting on Fidelity provide more detail.  What don’t you like about them?  Which platform do you use (e.g. Windows or web-based)?  Active Trader on Mac?  iPhone App?

    Thanks.

    Ragnar, I use both windows and mac with Fidelity. I have some issues with Fidelity and will be leaving them soon completely. Just did a transfer to TD a couple of weeks ago. The number on issue with me is not being able to get logged in. has happened so many times I could scream. Has cost me quite a bit of money. The updates to where you stand are awful. Their bid/ask system sucks. Ehhh why bother going on. By the end of Sept TD will have the rest. Not to mention the perks for moving. 500 free trades, invest tools for 3 years, a coach for 2 years, something else that I don’t think I will use. I also have a personal contact who called me yesterday to talk about Apple and SJ. He told me of all his people I was the most fanatic about AAPL. Once I am gone from Fidelity I will burn the bridge, then bomb it for good measure. There are many more issues BTW.

    Signature

    Adversity does not just build character, it reveals it.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 26 August 2011 09:50 PM #8

    Fidelity sucks for options trading.  My favorite so far is Trade Monster, though I get a surge the second the market open (every time!) that crashes my account, so I don’t log on until a minute later.  I just set up a TOS account…still getting used to it.

    I like Fidelity’s charts on the Active Trader platform.  That’s it.

    I also have OptionsXpress, which I loved at first; and now…not so much.  Main complaint: too sloooow.

    So, my vote goes to Trade Monster.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 26 August 2011 10:37 PM #9

    TOS is great. They created a very cutting edge product that has been the gold standard for option trading and analysis. Their free platform and analytical tools are second to none, unless you buy and subscribe to something like OptionVue. ($$$)
    TOS can be somewhat intimidating though, depending on what you want to do. It is a lot of platform if you just want to enter some calls and puts. 

    Trademonster is a somewhat recent competitor to TOS and in some ways I like it better (I have accounts at both)

    I really like the way TM displays and shows spreads and other strategies. It is very intuitive and straightforward. I also prefer how they show a vertical spread in your account, much easier than in TOS.  Historical account performance is also much improved over TOS.
    TM does not have the analytical tools that TOS has and their charting still needs some work.

    Since TOS was acquired by TD Ameritrade, my perception is that they aren’t quite as workable.  When I opened my TradeMonster account, I was able to cut my commissions to less than half TOS.  I tried to get TOS to move, to no avail.  Commissions aren’t everything, but I find myself using TM 80% of the time. I will put a strategy in TOS to analyze it, and then put the trade on using TM.

    I don’t have any performance issues.  I run it in a dedicated Chrome window with no browser addons.  Runs great for me.

    Give it a try, their platform is free for paper trading.

    Signature

    Jan13 $600 or BUST! LEAP Spread Trial: Bought Jan13 590/600 BCS @1.45 on 9-21-2011
    Max Profit: 689%  Current Price:
    4.50 +210% as of 5-2-2012 - Woohoo! Finally Green!

         
  • Posted: 27 August 2011 12:25 AM #10

    TOS has great options analytics there is not doubt.

    However, since TDAmeritrade came along every other part of their software has stated the same or gotten worse.  The other all customer experience is worse.  Tom Snossoff has left and started tastytrades.com.

    Using two software platforms would be complicated for me, but some really like TOS for analytics and Interactive Brokers for execution.

         
  • Posted: 27 August 2011 12:40 AM #11

    donahchoo - 27 August 2011 03:25 AM

    TOS has great options analytics there is not doubt.

    However, since TDAmeritrade came along every other part of their software has stated the same or gotten worse.  The other all customer experience is worse.  Tom Snossoff has left and started tastytrades.com.

    Using two software platforms would be complicated for me, but some really like TOS for analytics and Interactive Brokers for execution.

    That’s what I do.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 27 August 2011 07:09 AM #12

    Which platform would you recommend for Canadians?

    Anyone use TOS Canada?

    I use Td Waterhouse Canada and the option trading is very basic.

         
  • Posted: 27 August 2011 10:50 AM #13

    Nevyn - 27 August 2011 10:09 AM

    Which platform would you recommend for Canadians?

    Anyone use TOS Canada?

    I use Td Waterhouse Canada and the option trading is very basic.

    Can you not use TOS Canada with your TDW account? Thought they were under one roof. 

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 28 August 2011 01:19 AM #14

    Lstream - 27 August 2011 01:50 PM
    Nevyn - 27 August 2011 10:09 AM

    Which platform would you recommend for Canadians?

    Anyone use TOS Canada?

    I use Td Waterhouse Canada and the option trading is very basic.

    Can you not use TOS Canada with your TDW account? Thought they were under one roof. 

    I’ll check them out on Monday.  The strange thing is that I get a certificate error when I visit thinkorswim.ca.

    Does the thinkorswim SW run native on OS X?

         
  • Posted: 28 August 2011 07:44 AM #15

    I still use Fidelity ActiveTrader/OptionTrader Pro despite the poorer option analytics and execution because I have strong faith in Fidelity protecting my cash funds & positions no matter what economic or political craziness is going on in the EU or US.

    How do AFB users of TOS, TM, etc. feel about the solidity of—and guarantees made by—their brokers?

    Alan