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Someone mentioned that Schwab has great customer service. I beg to differ. If I had more time on my hands I would have filed a suit on these grifters and deposed every vermin infected, lying, rotten, cheating, farc-faced con man I could lay my hands on. I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait for the hordes of disinfranchised idiots to do my dirtywork. No tears will be shed.


Everything written here is just my opinion.



I believe I would be the one who made the comment regarding Schwab customer service. I still think Schwab's customer service is excellent. However, I have clearly stated......


1. Anyone using market orders is gonna get whacked one time or another with any broker,


2. Schwab's order execution routing sucks, especially for market orders, and short trades.


I believe you experienced the suck part of Schwabs order routing system. Sorry.


I am sorry for your problems with Schwab. As Vesselin said above, it is not finding the best brokers, its finding the least problematic which is the effort we must all bear.








What follows are my general comments on orders, order routing, brokers, and contract terrms.


I will repeat myself, anyone using market orders is gonna get burned sometime during their trading career. Count on it. Bank on it. And dont complain.....you used the market order and there is nothing which says how long they can take to fill that order (oh sure, if you dont get filled in 10 seconds or so as some brokers claim you wont have to pay a commission for that trade, but really..........). Doc says he uses Scott Trade and market orders and has no problems. I say just wait. I say bullstool. Doc, you will get burned one day.


If you really want into a stock and are thinking about using a market order, simply enter a limit order somewhere above the existing ask and take your chances. I would never use a market order, especailly on the open or during fast moving markets.....you will get burned.


I have also said that anyone not using a direct access trading platform pays too much for their trades. If you trade frequently, and I would define that more than 5 times per month, I would be using a direct access platform.....especially if your attempting trades worth the $75,000 as you indicated above. Not to have direct control of your order with those dollar amounts is insane.....especially if you were trying to play the opening pop. Not everyone realizes that even GG and HMY can be traded through the ECNs. Many of the NYSE listed stocks are available on the ECNs. ECN trading is essentially instantaneous....none of this 17 second waiting crap for an answer from a MM or god knows how long for a NYSE specialist. Use the ECNs if they are available for the stock you wish to purchase.....your fills will be instantaneous.



For the record, I have utilized...........


1 .Brown & Co (never again, they are thiefs and not only for my account, but for my sisters and fathers as well). I closed my Brown accountt once, reopened it, and had more of the same problems. These peope are thiefs. Definetly not recommended.


2. E-Trade. Got no complaints. Account closed. Commissions were too high.


3. Fidelity. Still have account for IRAs. Stock trading commisions are too high.


4. TD Waterhouse. I have some shares of a restricted, closed, Malaysian stock held here, otherwise account would be closed. I cant sell the shares, and nobody will accept the shares. A freaking mess.


5. Cyber Corp (before Schwab bought them) Cyber X, X2 and Cyber Trader. These people lost $75,000 of mine for three months. I said some improper words at the time that included the words "shoot" and "gun" and my account was immedialtely closed. I am black listed with Cyber Corp and will never be able to open an accoutn with them. Was not impressed with these people at the time. Cant speak to them since Schwab bought them. Pension Finanical was the clearing house at the time of my problem. A true nightmare experience.


6. Datek (never a problem except slow telephone response and not very smart client service reps). I cant complain, but I wouldnt rely on it as my main trading account. Account has since merged with Datek/Ameritrade.


7. Datek/Ameritrade conversion (the Datek account will be merged with Ameritrade somewhere down the line, but in the meantime you might as well switch to an Ameritrade account, get 25 free trades, and get better insurance coverage). Still have this Datek/Ameritrade account but will probaby switch to Amertirade only. Havent used it much as of late, but use it when I need to purchase in exceess of 2,000 or so shares at one time. Commission schedule is good for large share transactions....one commission no matter how many shares.


8. Schwab Street Smart Pro (terrible platform for short term traders). Account closed at end of 2002. Commission schedule way too high.


9. Am now am currently running Tradestation. Been using this in excess of one year. Like the platform, commission schedule, tech help (sometimes a bit slow), platform is never down. Bad side....no stock screener. A new platform comes out in March.


My advice to anyone swtiching brokers....keep your current account, open the new account where you wish, and trade the new account lightly for 3 months minimum to see how things go. Make sure you like the trade confirmation statements, service, execution, etc. before plowing all your money into the new broker. If you experience problems, you need to make another choice.


One word of caution regarding trade confirmations and/or monthly account statements. How many of you have actually read the fine print on those "contracts" and/or the fine print of your brokerage account? Probably not many, but you better damn well do it and understand them. Reason.....trade confirmations and monthly accountant statements typically include some sort of phrase which says "confirmations/statements shall be considered accepted and approved by you absent written notice of ojbection within ten days after receipt (some use 10 days after settlement date, some use 5 days after being mailed, etc)". This means that if you disagree with anything on your statement or trade confirmation, get your ass in gear and write them back ASAP!. Certified mail, return receipt requested! Dont email them, dont send via regular mail, dont call! Write!


One more thing people should be concerned with about on brokerage account agreements is ............if an arbritration hearing has to be held because you disagree with something related to your account, where is this hearing being held? For you foreigners, you can expect to come to the US and to a specific state to attend your hearing. Are you gonna do this for a $2000 error? A $4,000 error? Think about it? For you US resident Stoolies (which includes myself), are you gonna travel to Texas to attend an arbritration hearing if you live in Maine or Washington State for a $1500 error? Think about it?


It is best to know before hand where the arbritation hearings will be held and make sure they are at a location which you dont mind traveling to in the even of a brokerage screwup. Consider that in your brokerage decision making process.....I doubt more than 3% of you have ever considered that....I have, because I have been there and done that.


If you trading a fair amount, remember, you will get screwed, you will have aggravation, and you wil get frustrated with a broker. Its all part of the process.


Sorry for the rant, but this stuff really grabs my groin.

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I have been using IB for futures about 6 months now. Their trading platform and executions are far better than anyone else I have used. The only drawback is that they only trade the electronic contracts. But the commisions are so tiny, and the order entry and executions are so fast, that it really doesn't bother me to have to put on 5 minis to get the equivalent of one big SP contract. I would highly recommend them. They are also well capitalized, which may become an issue for some other brokerages down the road.

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Thanks for all the helpfull answers!


I would like to trade the S&P E-Mini and also NDX E-Mini, IB looks very good for that.


- Do i need to subscribe to "market data", or do i get push quotes for free?


- this intraday trading rule when yu go with your account below 25k looks a bit weird, please could anyone tell how it works exactly? If i fall below 25k on a intraday basis, but go above 25k again on the saem day then everyxthing is ok, right? And how are exactly the rules when i dont have 25k in my account?


TIA :)

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I have no problems sending funds to Datek/Ameritrade - I just ask my bank to wire them to their bank. The problem is that I cannot wire funds in the opposite direction - because Datek's idiotic form won't let me enter the data for a bank that doesn't have an ABA number.



I too had this problem with a Datek/Ameritrade account.


It took ages to resolve but they have now finally correctly processed the instructions for my European bank. You need to send them a fax with the bank instruction details including the Swift code referencing your Ameritrade account and they can process this ?manually?.


One fax number I got through on was +1 201 558 4442 (depends on your service level?) but it might be an idea to brave their almost terminally tedious telephone system to make a stink and alert them to expect something otherwise you risk your fax ending up in their client services black hole.

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