Broker choices and final decision

Questions about MultiCharts and user contributed studies.
User avatar
MAtricks
Posts: 789
Joined: 09 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 286 times
Been thanked: 279 times

Broker choices and final decision

Postby MAtricks » 19 Sep 2013

As many of you have probably noticed, I've started a thread for nearly every broker that supports Multicharts. As a trader for my own funds, the choice was never much of a concern, but as I have been pulling in clients I'm seeing the value in reliable data, customer service, ease of website, and baby-sitting for the less knowledgeable clients.

For quite some time now, I've been opening "test accounts" with several brokers to test execution, data, customer service, and ease of operation. I hope that my findings will help the MC community...

I’ll exclude equities accounts and categorize these worst to best:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-11) Interactive Brokers (2 accounts, 1 for 2 years and 1 for 3 months)
PROS: All in one account, structured for CTAs/Hedge funds
CONS: Everything else… Platform, customer service, website, data,… Seriously this is the worst brokerage I’ve ever dealt with so I’ll elaborate a bit. On the surface, they look like the best option because of the all-in-one account, but the cons outweigh the pros with every other aspect of this firm. The TWS platform, data, and website are stuck back in the 90s!! Bugs everywhere! The data is filtered by the brokerage and it's a PAIN pulling any of it. 3rd party data providers are annoying, expensive, and confusing. IB also owns and runs a HFT firm alongside their brokerage which just makes me raise an eyebrow at what they're really doing with that 1 second data limitation. The worst part about them is the customer service reps who will hang up whenever they feel like it. It’s extremely confusing why so many traders/CTAs feel like they’re the only option!

-10) Global Futures (0 accounts)
PROS: They talk BIG
CONS: I couldn’t get past the rude representative on the phone who claimed that he was an owner. He was argumentative and made fun of some of my questions as he put me on speaker phone and giggled with his other representatives about what I was asking.

-9) MB Trading (3 accounts for 2 years and several client accounts for 9 months)
PROS: Cheap FX trading, Helpful compliance department
CONS: FX Data is different for every FX accounts, Rude and unhelpful customer service, Incompetent accounting department (every monthly client report was incorrectly calculated), sub parr connection to 3rd party platforms, clients almost left me because of their level of professionalism

-8) TS (1 account for 3 years)
PROS: Data, Platform, and Broker are all in one, good customer service, EL based platform
CONS: Data, Platform, and Broker are all in one :), platform feels like it’s never been updated, no execution through Multicharts

-7) FXCM (1 account for 3 years)
PROS: Best for FX (ask for custom spreads)
CONS: Doesn’t support anything other than FX

-6) AMP (1 account for 9 months)
PROS: Free CQG data, Automated “all accounts follow authorized account” feature
CONS: CQG data is filtered

-5) Mirus (2 accounts, 1 for 4 months and 1 for 1 month)
PROS: Zenfire data is free and great unfiltered quality, customer service is great and very knowledgeable, Automated “all accounts follow authorized account” feature
CONS: Only the mainstream futures instruments are offered, Even though Zenfire is great I wanted Rithmic over Zenfire

-4) Open E Cry (1 account for 1.5 years)
PROS: Seems like a good firm. Free Open E Cry data
CONS: Nothing bad. Competition is just a touch better than them in everything. Suggest an Introducing broker because of slow, but good customer service

-3) Cannon Trading (1 demo account for 5 months)
PROS: Introducing broker for Open E Cry. Amazing customer service.
CONS: Again, competition is a touch better in every way.

-2) Vision Financial (1 demo account for 3 months)
PROS: One of the largest firms in the industry, they are the clearing firm, withstood previous economic disasters while others couldn’t, even at their size they’re still a private company, Free Rithmic data, instrument selection is great, Account setup is 5 pages of ease, customer service is good, Automated “all accounts follow authorized account” feature.
CONS: They’re huge so an introducing broker is definitely recommended if you need much attention



*******************UPDATE: Optimus ended up not working out. Details excluded--for now.******************

-1) Optimus Futures
PROS: Started out well. Lots of hopes and dreams.

CONS: Everything after the first 6 months..


During this taxing adventure, I’ve learned a lot. A few tidbits that stick out are that there isn’t much info out there like this review grrr, service is much more valuable than a few pennies, introducing brokers are a win/win for all involved, choose right the 1st time while running client accounts, and that IB isn’t the only choice!!!!! ;) I’m very happy with this decision and my clients are already complimenting me for my choice which is a great feeling!
Last edited by MAtricks on 20 Dec 2016, edited 2 times in total.
These users thanked the author MAtricks for the post (total 16):
JoshMdahmen walterfurytraderSUPERvictoryongAndrew MultiChartsHenry MultiСhartsRoman MultiChartsmips4pipssiscop and 6 more users

User avatar
MAtricks
Posts: 789
Joined: 09 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 286 times
Been thanked: 279 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby MAtricks » 09 Jan 2014

What a mess Mirus/Zen-fire is in... If I updated my list, they wouldn't even be an option for me anymore.

We're still very happy with Optimus and extremely thankful that they offer Rithmic.

User avatar
4trading
Posts: 49
Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Location: Texas
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby 4trading » 04 May 2014

Thanks for your generous input MAtricks. I'll look into Vision and Optimus this week.

Are you using the Optimus Hosted Solution?

BTW, did you see this CFTC ruling? http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/pr6714-13

andywill
Posts: 39
Joined: 05 May 2014
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby andywill » 21 May 2014

MAtricks wrote:As many of you have probably noticed, I've started a thread for nearly every broker that supports Multicharts. As a trader for my own funds, the choice was never much of a concern, but as I have been pulling in clients I'm seeing the value in reliable data, customer service, ease of website, and baby-sitting for the less knowledgeable clients.

For quite some time now, I've been opening "test accounts" with several brokers to test execution, data, customer service, and ease of operation. I hope that my findings will help the MC community...

I’ll exclude equities accounts and categorize these worst to best:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-11) Interactive Brokers (2 accounts, 1 for 2 years and 1 for 3 months)
PROS: All in one account, structured for CTAs/Hedge funds
CONS: Everything else… Platform, customer service, website, data,… Seriously this is the worst brokerage I’ve ever dealt with so I’ll elaborate a bit. On the surface, they look like the best option because of the all-in-one account, but the cons outweigh the pros with every other aspect of this firm. The TWS platform, data, and website are stuck back in the 90s!! Bugs everywhere! The data is filtered by the brokerage and it's a PAIN pulling any of it. 3rd party data providers are annoying, expensive, and confusing. IB also owns and runs a HFT firm alongside their brokerage which just makes me raise an eyebrow at what they're really doing with that 1 second data limitation. The worst part about them is the customer service reps who will hang up whenever they feel like it. It’s extremely confusing why so many traders/CTAs feel like they’re the only option!

-10) Global Futures (0 accounts)
PROS: They talk BIG
CONS: I couldn’t get past the rude representative on the phone who claimed that he was an owner. He was argumentative and made fun of some of my questions as he put me on speaker phone and giggled with his other representatives about what I was asking.

-9) MB Trading (3 accounts for 2 years and several client accounts for 9 months)
PROS: Cheap FX trading, Helpful compliance department
CONS: FX Data is different for every FX accounts, Rude and unhelpful customer service, Incompetent accounting department (every monthly client report was incorrectly calculated), sub parr connection to 3rd party platforms, clients almost left me because of their level of professionalism

-8) TS (1 account for 3 years)
PROS: Data, Platform, and Broker are all in one, good customer service, EL based platform
CONS: Data, Platform, and Broker are all in one :), platform feels like it’s never been updated, no execution through Multicharts

-7) FXCM (1 account for 3 years)
PROS: Best for FX (ask for custom spreads)
CONS: Doesn’t support anything other than FX

-6) AMP (1 account for 9 months)
PROS: Free CQG data, Automated “all accounts follow authorized account” feature
CONS: CQG data is filtered

-5) Mirus (2 accounts, 1 for 4 months and 1 for 1 month)
PROS: Zenfire data is free and great unfiltered quality, customer service is great and very knowledgeable, Automated “all accounts follow authorized account” feature
CONS: Only the mainstream futures instruments are offered, Even though Zenfire is great I wanted Rithmic over Zenfire

-4) Open E Cry (1 account for 1.5 years)
PROS: Seems like a good firm. Free Open E Cry data
CONS: Nothing bad. Competition is just a touch better than them in everything. Suggest an Introducing broker because of slow, but good customer service

-3) Cannon Trading (1 demo account for 5 months)
PROS: Introducing broker for Open E Cry. Amazing customer service.
CONS: Again, competition is a touch better in every way.

-2) Vision Financial (1 demo account for 3 months)
PROS: One of the largest firms in the industry, they are the clearing firm, withstood previous economic disasters while others couldn’t, even at their size they’re still a private company, Free Rithmic data, instrument selection is great, Account setup is 5 pages of ease, customer service is good, Automated “all accounts follow authorized account” feature.
CONS: They’re huge so an introducing broker is definitely recommended if you need much attention


-1) Optimus Futures http://www.optimusfutures.com (4 accounts and scaling up quick)
PROS: Customer service like I’ve never seen. The owner Matt is holding our hand through the CTA startup process, client dealings, account setup, and takes phone calls at any hour just to please his clients. Free Rithmic data, a bundle of platform choices, Introducing broker to Vision Financial (see #2), competitive pricing. These guys have all the PROS of Vision packed all up with the amazing service of a really well run introducing brokerage. A ton of help videos that are available at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL ... E8mVAVb5sO but you probably don't need them because of how simple the setup is and how fantastic the service is. These guys are seriously great.
CONS: No Iphone app :)


During this taxing adventure, I’ve learned a lot. A few tidbits that stick out are that there isn’t much info out there like this review grrr, service is much more valuable than a few pennies, introducing brokers are a win/win for all involved, choose right the 1st time while running client accounts, and that IB isn’t the only choice!!!!! ;) I’m very happy with this decision and my clients are already complimenting me for my choice which is a great feeling!


Hello,

for any forex broker you might have a look for this website :

http://www.forexpeacearmy.com

and maybe also this website :

www.forexbrokerz.com

Sincerely,
Andy
These users thanked the author andywill for the post:
Yves BENOIT

bobbakerr
Posts: 9
Joined: 29 Aug 2010
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby bobbakerr » 16 Jun 2014

Matt of Optimus Futures ( www.optimusfutures.com ) did it again. I (and at least 3 others) were unable to receive data from Rithmic for our MC charts from yesterday until I contacted Matt this morning.

He got his support people working and within 15 minutes all was well.

Thanks again, Matt!
These users thanked the author bobbakerr for the post:
FATSTrader

User avatar
arnie
Posts: 1589
Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Location: Portugal
Has thanked: 478 times
Been thanked: 509 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby arnie » 01 Mar 2015

Hi MAtricks

Do you have any experience with Stage5 broker?

I'm probably closing my IB account. Need to reduce my costs and i'm only trading futures nowadays so there's no reason to continue to use IB when there's future brokers that offer cheap commissions and free unfiltered data.

I'm balancing between Optimus and Stage5. Both have Rithmic.
With access to Rithmic data I'm still thinking if I continue to use IQFeed. Rithmic not having historic data it's a pain.
Also, Optimus not having a mobile platform is also a pain. Stage5 has OEC iBroker.

Thanks

User avatar
MAtricks
Posts: 789
Joined: 09 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 286 times
Been thanked: 279 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby MAtricks » 01 Mar 2015

Arnie,

Obviously things have changed in the FCM world. Vision is no longer and ADM has taken it over. This was a very positive change for me..

I've heard good things about Stage 5, but that's as much experience as I have with them.

I've been meaning to update this topic. My previous list consisted of mostly retail brokers and I wanted to do a list of larger FCMs who will do business with the smaller guys: RJ OBrien, Rosenthal Collins, ADM, FC Stone, Advantage, and KCG. All of these are highly recommended, but all have their specialties. Details at a later date when I have more time :)
These users thanked the author MAtricks for the post (total 2):
arniefurytrader

escamillo
Posts: 198
Joined: 25 Mar 2011
Has thanked: 22 times
Been thanked: 55 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby escamillo » 02 Mar 2015

Dorman direct
Last edited by escamillo on 10 Mar 2015, edited 1 time in total.
These users thanked the author escamillo for the post:
arnie

User avatar
MAtricks
Posts: 789
Joined: 09 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 286 times
Been thanked: 279 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby MAtricks » 02 Mar 2015

Ah, thanks for the tip. I actually have a personal account with Dorman that I haven't used for quite some time. I never had any issues with them so there's not much to say. I guess that's a good thing!

User avatar
arnie
Posts: 1589
Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Location: Portugal
Has thanked: 478 times
Been thanked: 509 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby arnie » 04 Mar 2015

I'm testing Stage5 broker services and so far I'm pretty impressed with it.
Their platform is way better then IB's TWS. Very good DOM, in some ways better than MC's but in others not so good.
One of the advantageous of Stage5 is that we can trade with Jigsaw DOM which is by far the best DOM in the market right now.

Stage5 has also a mobile platform from OEC which I haven't tested yet. It seems orders sent by this platform they charge an extra $0.20 per filled order. Nowadays a mobile platform is a must have in case of a computer problem.

Stage5 is cleared by Gain Capital.

One of the most important aspects of a broker is their data and this is one of the reasons I'm leaving IB.
Stage5 data is from OEC and I'm very impressed by what I've been seen so far. I've been comparing it with IQFeed and I confess I wasn't expecting they would be so identical.
In terms of total volume traded at price as you can see, they are basically identical with very small differences due probably to some lost packages. But when we separate the volume traded at the bid and at the ask things get a bit more complicated. Clearly there's some problems here.

Image

Image

I made a video with MC T&S and Stage5 T&S for comparison.
Clearly we can see the volume at bid and at ask differences between IQFeed and OEC when looking at MC T&S but also we can see differences between Stage5 T&S and MC's which makes me think if MC itself is not reading OEC's data correctly.
Again, the differences are not in terms of total volume traded at price but which side the volume was traded at.

http://www.screencast.com/t/JjSOI5VB
Attachments
foot_bidxask.jpg
foot_bidxask.jpg (251.55 KiB) Viewed 2307 times
foot_total.jpg
foot_total.jpg (222.91 KiB) Viewed 2309 times

tony
Posts: 418
Joined: 14 Jun 2013
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 80 times
Contact:

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby tony » 04 Mar 2015

I've been running Rithmic and Vision / ADMIS for a bit now and love it. Hoping I don't jinx myself, I seldom (operative word is seldom, i.e. never) have any loss of connectivity, orders route properly, low latency and I'm 1,500 miles from Chicago, nice interface with R Trader if I need to manually adjust a position, etc. I pay for IQ data and think it's also worth the fairly low monthly rate. I started way back with IB and still want to smack myself in the forehead for doing that. You can't even compare a set up like Rithmic and a good broker to IB.
These users thanked the author tony for the post:
arnie

kelnihat
Posts: 7
Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby kelnihat » 04 Mar 2015

Hi;

I am somewhat new to MC (8 months) so please bear with me :) Although this question might have been asked and answered before (although I could not find anything), things change so quickly in this market that asking again might not be a bad idea.

I am exclusively interested in day and swing trading stocks and options, and have been using IB quite successfuly. But, I am slowly beginning to see their shortcomings for daytrading, especially with DOM data.

So I checked the Stage5 and Dorman sites, but they seem to be exclusively Forex, and they are not listing MC among their platforms. Also, I don't like the fact that they do not put up their pricing upfront. Do you have any recommendations for someone like me who is not interested in Forex?

Thanks and regards

tony
Posts: 418
Joined: 14 Jun 2013
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 80 times
Contact:

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby tony » 04 Mar 2015

You have a ton of options for non-Forex trading. MA Tricks did a nice job in this thread so I would say re-read his original posts. You saw my comments above. I love Rithmic and ADMIS / Vision (name change, and off the top of my head can't think of what it is but look up Vision Financial).

With IB I remember one instance, in paper mode thankfully during an evaluation, that an order was sent by MC and after X seconds, the order was canceled and once cancelled then IB saw the order and processed it. A few ticks later, MC triggers another order (as it should) and IB processes that as well. Now I have a double order that I did not want. That's just a few of the bad experiences I had with IB. It was so unreliable at times that leaving your machine during auto-trading was not an option at all. With my current set up and safeguards built into the script I'll leave for 30 minutes at a time and feel comfortable that the system is taking care of itself.

I intraday ES right now if that helps qualify what I am saying in terms of preferences, etc. PM me if you want to learn more about Vision, pricing, etc.

User avatar
arnie
Posts: 1589
Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Location: Portugal
Has thanked: 478 times
Been thanked: 509 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby arnie » 04 Mar 2015

kelnihat wrote:
So I checked the Stage5 and Dorman sites, but they seem to be exclusively Forex, and they are not listing MC among their platforms. Also, I don't like the fact that they do not put up their pricing upfront.


Stage5 is a futures broker, not a forex broker.
MC is one of Stage5 eleven platforms.
Most brokers do not advertise their pricing. They prefer to know first the pricing you have with your current broker so they can counter offer.

kelnihat
Posts: 7
Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby kelnihat » 04 Mar 2015

Thanks, Tony. I read his post quite carefully, but I had the impression that he was judging mainly based on Forex features--that is why I asked for equities. Anyhow, from what you say I gathered that I should be checking out Mirus and Vision. The first seems to be acquired by NT. If the second is Vision Financial Markets LLC, then it does not list MC as a platform. This is what is puzzling me, but I guess their sites might need updating.

I will PM you in case you have some other Vision in mind (pun not intended) :)

Thanks and Regards

kelnihat
Posts: 7
Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby kelnihat » 04 Mar 2015

Thanks, Arnie. I did not see it in the pulldown menu, but I discovered that it is listed in the actual "platforms" page.

Regards

User avatar
MAtricks
Posts: 789
Joined: 09 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 286 times
Been thanked: 279 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby MAtricks » 05 Mar 2015

kelnihat wrote:Thanks, Tony. I read his post quite carefully, but I had the impression that he was judging mainly based on Forex features--that is why I asked for equities.


The noted experience with these brokers is from the futures markets. I mentioned that I was not going to go through the Equities brokers that I've used.. that list is much too long :)

As it is, any broker which provides a Rithmic connection is a great choice for MC users.

kelnihat
Posts: 7
Joined: 11 Sep 2014
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby kelnihat » 05 Mar 2015

Thanks for clarifying, MATricks.

Regards

tony
Posts: 418
Joined: 14 Jun 2013
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 80 times
Contact:

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby tony » 24 Mar 2015

Does anyone have any experience with AMP Futures? I see MA trick's review and the "con" in regards to data is not an issue for me as I will be using DTN for data. I execute through Rithmic, so I believe, the broker in many ways is not much of a factor, unless you need a lot of customer service help at times. From a clearing standpoint, that's a different story. Any one have any issues in the past with AMP?

Thank You -

User avatar
MAtricks
Posts: 789
Joined: 09 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 286 times
Been thanked: 279 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby MAtricks » 24 Mar 2015

AMP has changed quite a bit since this review as has the CQG api through Multicharts. I have all good things to say about their current status. Know that AMP is more retail based so they're looking for quantity over quality.

User avatar
PatrickSocal
Posts: 58
Joined: 27 Apr 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 29 times

IIB

Postby PatrickSocal » 25 Mar 2015

An update on Optimus... they have become an IIB (Independent Introducing Broker) which means they can clear through multiple FCM's. They currently offer accounts through ADMIS, Wedbush, Gain Capital, and AMP. And they are great at supporting Rithmic.

User avatar
4trading
Posts: 49
Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Location: Texas
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby 4trading » 15 Jan 2016

Hi MAtricks:

Thanks for the broker reviews. What are your thoughts about broker risk, like MF Global and PFG Best failures?

User avatar
MAtricks
Posts: 789
Joined: 09 Apr 2012
Has thanked: 286 times
Been thanked: 279 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby MAtricks » 15 Jan 2016

A lot has happened since this review was posted.. I won't update it quite yet, but there are changes to be made.

Hi 4trading :)

The only "scary" one is AMP because of the rate of their growth alone. Other than that, I don't see any issues with others.
These users thanked the author MAtricks for the post:
4trading

User avatar
4trading
Posts: 49
Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Location: Texas
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby 4trading » 15 Jan 2016

Hi MAtricks:
Thanks. :)

I may give your recommendation with Optimus and Rithmic a try. Currently I'm mostly trading futures with IB and IQfeed and MC, some @ TS.

P.S. There is a new proposed requirement for CPOs and CTAs to disclose trading algos to CFTC on demand.

http://www.cftc.gov/PressRoom/PressReleases/pr7283-15

Mark Brown
Posts: 32
Joined: 29 Nov 2016
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby Mark Brown » 20 Dec 2016

thanks for this thread. i am wanting just to trade e-mini sp futures. i am running MC using TS data and login. i thought i would try IB and OEC dom in MC because i would like to setup auto trading and not have to manually enter the trades. but i can not get with brokerage to work with MC the DOM just sets there saying connecting and never changes.

i am wondering if anyone has gotten AMP or TT to work with MC? i just need something that will automate.

thanks - mark

ps is anyone having any success doing auto trading with MC as far as it executing the positions etc. if so could you share your setup of what broker, data feed etc your using?

tony
Posts: 418
Joined: 14 Jun 2013
Has thanked: 29 times
Been thanked: 80 times
Contact:

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby tony » 20 Dec 2016

PM me if you want and I will share some feedback on what I use.
These users thanked the author tony for the post:
Mark Brown

User avatar
4trading
Posts: 49
Joined: 29 Jun 2010
Location: Texas
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Broker choices and final decision

Postby 4trading » 08 Feb 2018

Thanks again to MAtricks for his helpful reviews. Here are some FCM financial ratios that I put together. Hopefully it may be helpful.

Since Rosenthal Collins Group has 197 CFTC Reparations Cases, I did not bother any further.
It is the most recent data published by the CFTC.

source: http://www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/finan ... cmdata1117
Attachments
FCM ratios Nov-2017.PNG
FCM ratios Nov-2017.PNG (30.41 KiB) Viewed 77 times


Return to “MultiCharts”