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aaronchall



Posts : 13
Join date : 2008-09-16

PostSubject: Scottrade's new options>first platform   Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:23 pm

I primarily have used Scottrade's advisor platform for both my own accounts and my clients. My biggest frustration has been the option trading limitations. On their old platform, and I believe the other retail ones too, all they have allowed is buying to open option trades and only selling covered calls (perhaps sell short covered puts? But I've been told put selling is completely out.) No spreads, no ratios, and no uncovered writing.

They have a new platform called options>first. I had a close client open a level five trading account on their platform. They don't have advisor support for the new platform, so I have to login with his ID. For the most part, I'm using it to handle parts of his account I'd prefer to write cash covered puts on than be long. I'm also going to be doing some credit spreads and ratio spreads.

I'm working with the virtual account until the ACAT settles (they have a different clearing firm to handle the platform).

I'm still getting used to the platform, and I'll give a review when I have more to say. Anyone have any questions about it, feel free to ask, but it may be a few days before I can get back to you.

Aaron
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bounced



Posts : 8
Join date : 2008-09-13

PostSubject: Re: Scottrade's new options>first platform   Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:25 am

How do you feel about the commissions? $7 + 1.25/contract
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PostSubject: Re: Scottrade's new options>first platform   Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:56 am

so do you have to login to your clients accounts to do each trade? doesnt that get a bit time consuming?
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aaronchall



Posts : 13
Join date : 2008-09-16

PostSubject: Re: Scottrade's new options>first platform   Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:10 am

Commissions are a little bit higher than bargain basement brokers, but the other ones I might consider like Interactive Brokers are consistently getting bad reviews. So with the amount of money I'm working with, commissions only really keep me from trying to scalp the spread constantly. Bad execution can cost dearly, and Scottrade has been very good to me when they could have screwed me.

On the advisor platform, which is HTML based, I have my single login and access to every client's account. I can't transfer money around between accounts or pilfer my client's accounts.

My update on the OptionsFirst platform:

Frustrations: Doesn't have real time charting, and no option charts. Doesn't list last trade value for options (unless you have a position.) I don't fully understand what controls my buying power, and why it's half for options. They've halted market orders, so every order is a limit order, but they mark the limit on default to the market on the bad side of the spread instead of the good side (even if you change the side, and I wasn't watching closely on one trade and it lost me oh 250 or so just on the spread...). Can't really modify open orders beyond price and size, to change from a day to a GTC order or to change the option strike or expiration requires canceling the order and putting in a new one. Java based platform lags sometimes. I had to restart because IE froze while canceling a transaction. If I move a client to this platform, I'll have to use his login.

Good features: Has the greeks for the options, and size of the orders on the spreads (but only at the one price on each side.) Attempts to track your profit or loss per position. Tracks delta based on the underlying and estimates a profit/loss for various market moves. Has a tutorial I keep meaning to sit through instead of posting on forums...

Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Scottrade's new options>first platform   Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:44 am

definitely stay away from interactive brokers. i used to have an account with them last year but everything is so slow, there are always issues, problems take at least 24 hours to get resolved, and customer service is horrible

i just switched to tradestation and so far it seems pretty good, commissions are low and the platform is easy to use and fast so scalping shouldnt be too hard for you
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