Hi, I have been trading paper FOREX for a few months now on Think or Swim. When I tried to trade FOREX live, TD Ameritrade said I had to apply for margin and options approval (Options Level 2). I was approved for margin, but got rejected for options level 2. When I asked the rep how I can get the option 2 approval he said I had to complete an options course on their website which will give a certificate. Once I do that I need to reapply, but no guarantee that I will be approved for options level 2. He said I was rejected because of my profile and net value and those things and that I need Options level 2 to even start trading FOREX. Anyone have this experience with TD Ameritrade? What platforms do you use for FOREX? Thank you.
Pro tip for new people trying to use TD Ameritrades thinkorswim and getting approved for Forex trading
If youre like me and have 0 experience trading options but want to use thinkorswim to trade forex, you may run into the issue of having to be approved for their teir 2 options trading. It may be no issue for most, but for myself I filled everything out and wasnt even allowed to apply due to (honestly) filling out my profile and saying I have no experience trading options. They wont even allow you to do the application. Then if you go and, uh, fudge some numbers, youll still have to wait 60 days because you changed information on your profile. Im a big impatient guy and am comfortable with paper trading and wanted to move on to some low dollar trading so I messaged them. They basically just told me to do the options trading courses on their website, fill out a copy of the application and send it and the certification for the courses to them in a message. You will not have to wait the 60 days and are more likely to get approved. This is probably a problem that all of 3 other people will run into this year but just thought I'd put it out there for anyone who needs it.
Why does TD Ameritrade make you get approval for Options trading before allowing you to trade Forex?
Title. I just want to trade Forex but they're making me jump through hoops to get account approval. I understand you need margin approval for the account but why options?? They require Tier 2 Options approval before allowing you to upgrade to Forex Account.
TD Ameritrade/Thinkorswim - anyone use them for forex trading? Spread question
Just started demo trading on Thinkorswim/TD Ameritrade. Was looking at the GBP/JPY spread last night - it’s like... 15-20 pips. Guessing people do not trade forex on TD Ameritrade because of the spread...? Leverage? Am I figuring the pip spread out incorrectly? Seemed a lot higher than EUUSD which is maybe 5-6 pips. Also know most people use specific forex brokerages and I’m curious if pip spread is the reason. Bonus question - if a trade starts going the opposite way, I’ll reverse the trade sometimes. When I do that, where is the sale price, and at what price do I enter a sell/short position at? Thanks
So the general idea is that TD is an introducing broker to Gain (Forex.com) and it even says on the sticky info thread here. Thing is, I pulled up both live accounts and Forex.com and TD do NOT have same spreads. TD also has floating margin requirement that is not present on Forex.com. Right now there is 3% margin requirement on EUUSD while Forex.com has usual 2%. Forex.com usually has 1.2 - 1.5 pip spread on EU while TD majority of time is 09 to 1.0 pip spread. USDCAD spread is 0.2 - 0.4 pips worse on TD than Forex. So clearly there is some differences here. Meanwhile ATC is completely identical in everything to Oanda. So what is TD ameritrade??
Is there a way to merge my TD Ameritrade, Acorns, and Stockpile? I also have a ForEx account with TradersWay that I manipulate through MetaTrader4.
It would be so nice to have them all merged into one platform or tool where I can manipulate them all from one point of reference. Also, could somebody please ELI5 why I should keep Acorns or Stockpile? how exactly do they work?
Hi guys I just recently started investing and have been using IB for awhile now. However, I am currently finding the monthly 10USD to be a bit of a roadblock. I have read multiple comparison for the different brokers for Singapore and still have a couple of questions. Can anyone enlighten me what the process of account funding is like for TDA? Do we transfer SGD into the account and then convert to USD and be subjected to foreign exchange fee? What is the forex spread like? Do we have the option of transferring USD directly? In the case that we have to withdraw our money, do we reverse the process by converting back to SGD? For those that are currently with TD Ameritrade already, what do you like about the broker in general? Should I shift from IB to TDA? Thank you! EDIT: Sorry I think I wasn’t very clear previously. I have been using IB for a while now so I understand all the processes for IB. What I am curious about is the process for TDA if anyone can enlighten me thank you!
Disclaimer: None of this is financial advice. I have no idea what I'm doing. Please do your own research or you will certainly lose money. I'm not a statistician, data scientist, well-seasoned trader, or anything else that would qualify me to make statements such as the below with any weight behind them. Take them for the incoherent ramblings that they are. TL;DR at the bottom for those not interested in the details. This is a bit of a novel, sorry about that. It was mostly for getting my own thoughts organized, but if even one person reads the whole thing I will feel incredibly accomplished.
For those of you not familiar, please see the various threads on this trading system here. I can't take credit for this system, all glory goes to ParallaxFX! I wanted to see how effective this system was at H1 for a couple of reasons: 1) My current broker is TD Ameritrade - their Forex minimum is a mini lot, and I don't feel comfortable enough yet with the risk to trade mini lots on the higher timeframes(i.e. wider pip swings) that ParallaxFX's system uses, so I wanted to see if I could scale it down. 2) I'm fairly impatient, so I don't like to wait days and days with my capital tied up just to see if a trade is going to win or lose. This does mean it requires more active attention since you are checking for setups once an hour instead of once a day or every 4-6 hours, but the upside is that you trade more often this way so you end up winning or losing faster and moving onto the next trade. Spread does eat more of the trade this way, but I'll cover this in my data below - it ends up not being a problem. I looked at data from 6/11 to 7/3 on all pairs with a reasonable spread(pairs listed at bottom above the TL;DR). So this represents about 3-4 weeks' worth of trading. I used mark(mid) price charts. Spreadsheet link is below for anyone that's interested.
I'm pretty much using ParallaxFX's system textbook, but since there are a few options in his writeups, I'll include all the discretionary points here:
I'm using the stop entry version - so I wait for the price to trade beyond the confirmation candle(in the direction of my trade) before entering. I don't have any data to support this decision, but I've always preferred this method over retracement-limit entries. Maybe I just like the feeling of a higher winrate even though there can be greater R:R using a limit entry. Variety is the spice of life.
I put my stop loss right at the opposite edge of the confirmation candle. NOT at the edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. I'll get into this more below - not enough trades are saved to justify the wider stops. (Wider stop means less $ per pip won, assuming you still only risk 1%).
All my profit/loss statistics are based on a 1% risk per trade. Because 1 is real easy to multiply.
There are definitely some questionable trades in here, but I tried to make it as mechanical as possible for evaluation purposes. They do fit the definitions of the system, which is why I included them. You could probably improve the winrate by being more discretionary about your trades by looking at support/resistance or other techniques.
I didn't use MBB much for either entering trades, or as support/resistance indicators. Again, trying to be pretty mechanical here just for data collection purposes. Plus, we all make bad trading decisions now and then, so let's call it even.
As stated in the title, this is for H1 only. These results may very well not play out for other time frames - who knows, it may not even work on H1 starting this Monday. Forex is an unpredictable place.
I collected data to show efficacy of taking profit at three different levels: -61.8%, -100% and -161.8% fib levels described in the system using the passive trade management method(set it and forget it). I'll have more below about moving up stops and taking off portions of a position.
And now for the fun. Results!
Total Trades: 241
TP at -61.8%: 177 out of 241: 73.44%
TP at -100%: 156 out of 241: 64.73%
TP at -161.8%: 121 out of 241: 50.20%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 5.22%
TP at -100%: 23.55%
TP at -161.8%: 29.14%
As you can see, a higher target ended up with higher profit despite a much lower winrate. This is partially just how things work out with profit targets in general, but there's an additional point to consider in our case: the spread. Since we are trading on a lower timeframe, there is less overall price movement and thus the spread takes up a much larger percentage of the trade than it would if you were trading H4, Daily or Weekly charts. You can see exactly how much it accounts for each trade in my spreadsheet if you're interested. TDA does not have the best spreads, so you could probably improve these results with another broker. EDIT: I grabbed typical spreads from other brokers, and turns out while TDA is pretty competitive on majors, their minors/crosses are awful! IG beats them by 20-40% and Oanda beats them 30-60%! Using IG spreads for calculations increased profits considerably (another 5% on top) and Oanda spreads increased profits massively (another 15%!). Definitely going to be considering another broker than TDA for this strategy. Plus that'll allow me to trade micro-lots, so I can be more granular(and thus accurate) with my position sizing and compounding.
A Note on Spread
As you can see in the data, there were scenarios where the spread was 80% of the overall size of the trade(the size of the confirmation candle that you draw your fibonacci retracements over), which would obviously cut heavily into your profits. Removing any trades where the spread is more than 50% of the trade width improved profits slightly without removing many trades, but this is almost certainly just coincidence on a small sample size. Going below 40% and even down to 30% starts to cut out a lot of trades for the less-common pairs, but doesn't actually change overall profits at all(~1% either way). However, digging all the way down to 25% starts to really make some movement. Profit at the -161.8% TP level jumps up to 37.94% if you filter out anything with a spread that is more than 25% of the trade width! And this even keeps the sample size fairly large at 187 total trades. You can get your profits all the way up to 48.43% at the -161.8% TP level if you filter all the way down to only trades where spread is less than 15% of the trade width, however your sample size gets much smaller at that point(108 trades) so I'm not sure I would trust that as being accurate in the long term. Overall based on this data, I'm going to only take trades where the spread is less than 25% of the trade width. This may bias my trades more towards the majors, which would mean a lot more correlated trades as well(more on correlation below), but I think it is a reasonable precaution regardless.
Time of Day
Time of day had an interesting effect on trades. In a totally predictable fashion, a vast majority of setups occurred during the London and New York sessions: 5am-12pm Eastern. However, there was one outlier where there were many setups on the 11PM bar - and the winrate was about the same as the big hours in the London session. No idea why this hour in particular - anyone have any insight? That's smack in the middle of the Tokyo/Sydney overlap, not at the open or close of either. On many of the hour slices I have a feeling I'm just dealing with small number statistics here since I didn't have a lot of data when breaking it down by individual hours. But here it is anyway - for all TP levels, these three things showed up(all in Eastern time):
7pm-4am: Fewer setups, but winrate high.
5am-6am: Lots of setups, but but winrate low.
12pm-3pm Medium number of setups, but winrate low.
I don't have any reason to think these timeframes would maintain this behavior over the long term. They're almost certainly meaningless. EDIT: When you de-dup highly correlated trades, the number of trades in these timeframes really drops, so from this data there is no reason to think these timeframes would be any different than any others in terms of winrate. That being said, these time frames work out for me pretty well because I typically sleep 12am-7am Eastern time. So I automatically avoid the 5am-6am timeframe, and I'm awake for the majority of this system's setups.
Moving stops up to breakeven
This section goes against everything I know and have ever heard about trade management. Please someone find something wrong with my data. I'd love for someone to check my formulas, but I realize that's a pretty insane time commitment to ask of a bunch of strangers. Anyways. What I found was that for these trades moving stops up...basically at all...actually reduced the overall profitability. One of the data points I collected while charting was where the price retraced back to after hitting a certain milestone. i.e. once the price hit the -61.8% profit level, how far back did it retrace before hitting the -100% profit level(if at all)? And same goes for the -100% profit level - how far back did it retrace before hitting the -161.8% profit level(if at all)? Well, some complex excel formulas later and here's what the results appear to be. Emphasis on appears because I honestly don't believe it. I must have done something wrong here, but I've gone over it a hundred times and I can't find anything out of place.
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 5.36%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): -1.01% (yes, a net loss)
Now, you might think exactly what I did when looking at these numbers: oof, the spread killed us there right? Because even when you move your SL to 0%, you still end up paying the spread, so it's not truly "breakeven". And because we are trading on a lower timeframe, the spread can be pretty hefty right? Well even when I manually modified the data so that the spread wasn't subtracted(i.e. "Breakeven" was truly +/- 0), things don't look a whole lot better, and still way worse than the passive trade management method of leaving your stops in place and letting it run. And that isn't even a realistic scenario because to adjust out the spread you'd have to move your stoploss inside the candle edge by at least the spread amount, meaning it would almost certainly be triggered more often than in the data I collected(which was purely based on the fib levels and mark price). Regardless, here are the numbers for that scenario:
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 46.4%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 17.97%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 65.97%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 11.60%
From a literal standpoint, what I see behind this behavior is that 44 of the 69 breakeven trades(65%!) ended up being profitable to -100% after retracing deeply(but not to the original SL level), which greatly helped offset the purely losing trades better than the partial profit taken at -61.8%. And 36 went all the way back to -161.8% after a deep retracement without hitting the original SL. Anyone have any insight into this? Is this a problem with just not enough data? It seems like enough trades that a pattern should emerge, but again I'm no expert. I also briefly looked at moving stops to other lower levels (78.6%, 61.8%, 50%, 38.2%, 23.6%), but that didn't improve things any. No hard data to share as I only took a quick look - and I still might have done something wrong overall. The data is there to infer other strategies if anyone would like to dig in deep(more explanation on the spreadsheet below). I didn't do other combinations because the formulas got pretty complicated and I had already answered all the questions I was looking to answer.
2-Candle vs Confirmation Candle Stops
Another interesting point is that the original system has the SL level(for stop entries) just at the outer edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. Out of pure laziness, I set up my stops just based on the confirmation candle. And as it turns out, that is much a much better way to go about it. Of the 60 purely losing trades, only 9 of them(15%) would go on to be winners with stops on the 2-candle formation. Certainly not enough to justify the extra loss and/or reduced profits you are exposing yourself to in every single other trade by setting a wider SL. Oddly, in every single scenario where the wider stop did save the trade, it ended up going all the way to the -161.8% profit level. Still, not nearly worth it.
As I've said many times now, I'm really not qualified to be doing an analysis like this. This section in particular. Looking at shared currency among the pairs traded, 74 of the trades are correlated. Quite a large group, but it makes sense considering the sort of moves we're looking for with this system. This means you are opening yourself up to more risk if you were to trade on every signal since you are technically trading with the same underlying sentiment on each different pair. For example, GBP/USD and AUD/USD moving together almost certainly means it's due to USD moving both pairs, rather than GBP and AUD both moving the same size and direction coincidentally at the same time. So if you were to trade both signals, you would very likely win or lose both trades - meaning you are actually risking double what you'd normally risk(unless you halve both positions which can be a good option, and is discussed in ParallaxFX's posts and in various other places that go over pair correlation. I won't go into detail about those strategies here). Interestingly though, 17 of those apparently correlated trades ended up with different wins/losses. Also, looking only at trades that were correlated, winrate is 83%/70%/55% (for the three TP levels). Does this give some indication that the same signal on multiple pairs means the signal is stronger? That there's some strong underlying sentiment driving it? Or is it just a matter of too small a sample size? The winrate isn't really much higher than the overall winrates, so that makes me doubt it is statistically significant. One more funny tidbit: EUCAD netted the lowest overall winrate: 30% to even the -61.8% TP level on 10 trades. Seems like that is just a coincidence and not enough data, but dang that's a sucky losing streak. EDIT: WOW I spent some time removing correlated trades manually and it changed the results quite a bit. Some thoughts on this below the results. These numbers also include the other "What I will trade" filters. I added a new worksheet to my data to show what I ended up picking.
Total Trades: 75
TP at -61.8%: 84.00%
TP at -100%: 73.33%
TP at -161.8%: 60.00%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 53.33%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 53.33% (yes, oddly the exact same winrate. but different trades/profits)
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 18.13%
TP at -100%: 26.20%
TP at -161.8%: 34.01%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 19.20%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 17.29%
To do this, I removed correlated trades - typically by choosing those whose spread had a lower % of the trade width since that's objective and something I can see ahead of time. Obviously I'd like to only keep the winning trades, but I won't know that during the trade. This did reduce the overall sample size down to a level that I wouldn't otherwise consider to be big enough, but since the results are generally consistent with the overall dataset, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I may also use more discretionary methods(support/resistance, quality of indecision/confirmation candles, news/sentiment for the pairs involved, etc) to filter out correlated trades in the future. But as I've said before I'm going for a pretty mechanical system. This brought the 3 TP levels and even the breakeven strategies much closer together in overall profit. It muted the profit from the high R:R strategies and boosted the profit from the low R:R strategies. This tells me pair correlation was skewing my data quite a bit, so I'm glad I dug in a little deeper. Fortunately my original conclusion to use the -161.8 TP level with static stops is still the winner by a good bit, so it doesn't end up changing my actions. There were a few times where MANY (6-8) correlated pairs all came up at the same time, so it'd be a crapshoot to an extent. And the data showed this - often then won/lost together, but sometimes they did not. As an arbitrary rule, the more correlations, the more trades I did end up taking(and thus risking). For example if there were 3-5 correlations, I might take the 2 "best" trades given my criteria above. 5+ setups and I might take the best 3 trades, even if the pairs are somewhat correlated. I have no true data to back this up, but to illustrate using one example: if AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, CAD/JPY, USD/CAD all set up at the same time (as they did, along with a few other pairs on 6/19/20 9:00 AM), can you really say that those are all the same underlying movement? There are correlations between the different correlations, and trying to filter for that seems rough. Although maybe this is a known thing, I'm still pretty green to Forex - someone please enlighten me if so! I might have to look into this more statistically, but it would be pretty complex to analyze quantitatively, so for now I'm going with my gut and just taking a few of the "best" trades out of the handful. Overall, I'm really glad I went further on this. The boosting of the B/E strategies makes me trust my calculations on those more since they aren't so far from the passive management like they were with the raw data, and that really had me wondering what I did wrong.
What I will trade
Putting all this together, I am going to attempt to trade the following(demo for a bit to make sure I have the hang of it, then for keeps):
"System Details" I described above.
TP at -161.8%
Static SL at opposite side of confirmation candle - I won't move stops up to breakeven.
Trade only 7am-11am and 4pm-11pm signals.
Nothing where spread is more than 25% of trade width.
Looking at the data for these rules, test results are:
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
Other Technical Details
ATR is only slightly elevated in this date range from historical levels, so this should fairly closely represent reality even after the COVID volatility leaves the scalpers sad and alone.
The sample size is much too small for anything really meaningful when you slice by hour or pair. I wasn't particularly looking to test a specific pair here - just the system overall as if you were going to trade it on all pairs with a reasonable spread.
Here's the spreadsheet for anyone that'd like it. (EDIT: Updated some of the setups from the last few days that have fully played out now. I also noticed a few typos, but nothing major that would change the overall outcomes. Regardless, I am currently reviewing every trade to ensure they are accurate.UPDATE: Finally all done. Very few corrections, no change to results.) I have some explanatory notes below to help everyone else understand the spiraled labyrinth of a mind that put the spreadsheet together.
I'm on the East Coast in the US, so the timestamps are Eastern time.
Time stamp is from the confirmation candle, not the indecision candle. So 7am would mean the indecision candle was 6:00-6:59 and the confirmation candle is 7:00-7:59 and you'd put in your order at 8:00.
I found a couple AM/PM typos as I was reviewing the data, so let me know if a trade doesn't make sense and I'll correct it.
Insanely detailed spreadsheet notes
For you real nerds out there. Here's an explanation of what each column means:
Pair - duh
Date/Time - Eastern time, confirmation candle as stated above
Win to -61.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -61.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -100%? - whether the trade made it to the -100% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -161.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -161.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -61.8% and -100% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -61.8%, but before hitting -100%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -61.8% to -100%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -100% and -161.8% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -100%, but before hitting -161.8%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -100% to -161.8%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Trade Width(Pips) - the size of the confirmation candle, and thus the "width" of your trade on which to determine position size, draw fib levels, etc.
Loser saved by 2 candle stop? - for all losing trades, whether or not the 2-candle stop loss would have saved the trade and how far it ended up getting if so. "No" means it didn't save it, N/A means it wasn't a losing trade so it's not relevant.
Spread(ThinkorSwim) - these are typical spreads for these pairs on ToS.
Spread % of Width - How big is the spread compared to the trade width? Not used in any calculations, but interesting nonetheless.
True Risk(Trade Width + Spread) - I set my SL at the opposite side of the confirmation candle knowing that I'm actually exposing myself to slightly more risk because of the spread(stop order = market order when submitted, so you pay the spread). So this tells you how many pips you are actually risking despite the Trade Width. I prefer this over setting the stop inside from the edge of the candle because some pairs have a wide spread that would mess with the system overall. But also many, many of these trades retraced very nearly to the edge of the confirmation candle, before ending up nicely profitable. If you keep your risk per trade at 1%, you're talking a true risk of, at most, 1.25% (in worst-case scenarios with the spread being 25% of the trade width as I am going with above).
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -61.8% - not going to go into huge detail, see the spreadsheet for calculations if you want. But, in a nutshell, if the trade was a win to 61.8%, it returns a positive # based on 61.8% of the trade width, minus the spread. Otherwise, it returns the True Risk as a negative. Both normalized to the 1% risk you started with.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100% - same as the last, but 100% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -161.8% - same as the last, but 161.8% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100%, and move SL to breakeven at 61.8% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then full TP at 100%.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread take off half of position at -61.8%, move SL to breakeven, TP 100% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you took of half the position and moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then TP the remaining half at 100%.
Overall Growth(-161.8% TP, 1% Risk) - pretty straightforward. Assuming you risked 1% on each trade, what the overall growth level would be chronologically(spreadsheet is sorted by date).
Based on the reasonable rules I discovered in this backtest:
Date range: 6/11-7/3
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
Demo Trading Results
Since this post, I started demo trading this system assuming a 5k capital base and risking ~1% per trade. I've added the details to my spreadsheet for anyone interested. The results are pretty similar to the backtest when you consider real-life conditions/timing are a bit different. I missed some trades due to life(work, out of the house, etc), so that brought my total # of trades and thus overall profit down, but the winrate is nearly identical. I also closed a few trades early due to various reasons(not liking the price action, seeing support/resistance emerge, etc). A quick note is that TD's paper trade system fills at the mid price for both stop and limit orders, so I had to subtract the spread from the raw trade values to get the true profit/loss amount for each trade. I'm heading out of town next week, then after that it'll be time to take this sucker live!
Date range: 7/9-7/30
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 20.73%
Starting Balance: $5,000
Ending Balance: $6,036.51
Live Trading Results
I started live-trading this system on 8/10, and almost immediately had a string of losses much longer than either my backtest or demo period. Murphy's law huh? Anyways, that has me spooked so I'm doing a longer backtest before I start risking more real money. It's going to take me a little while due to the volume of trades, but I'll likely make a new post once I feel comfortable with that and start live trading again.
I was trying to find the lowest cost brokers that aren’t just mobile apps that offer passive investments in the assets I’m looking for on top of the usual equity and bonds I already have. I’m hoping this will help people in my situation. I looked for a comparison website and found: https://brokerchooser.com/ which helped but I still had to dig around to get the direct comparison I needed all in one easily visible table. What are your thoughts and experiences on the below brokers like customer service etc with these platforms? Trading212 looks to be the cheapest and best all round but I’ve read bad experiences. To diversify my portfolio I’m looking at:
Individual shares and Crypto (a very small gamble 1% of total)
Higher risk corporate Bonds,
1 - 4 Can be invested in via ETF’s offered by most of the online brokers below. 4 - 5 Can be invested in using the other platforms below: Crowdcube, Seedrs, Syndicate room, Crowdproperty. 1 and 6 I think need higher cost traditional brokers like HL/Black rock etc but I’m not sure. Here’s my comparison:
Free trades per month
Fees (deposit etc)
Bank transfer or debit card?
Stocks ETF/ETCs Forex Crypto ISA
Free ISA, no trade fees, CFD account has charges inc: 0.5% currency conversion charge, no forex fees
Debit card: Yes - Bank transfer: Yes
$0 for US stock $6.95 for non-US
Cannot find on FCA register
Cannot find on FCA register
Stocks ETF/ETCs Forex Crypto Commodities via CFD’s No ISA
- $5 withdrawal fee - Deposit and withdrawal fee of 0.5% - exchange fee (50 pips) 0.5cent/$1 e.g $7.5 on $500 - If no activity for 12 months charged $10 per month - 0.75% fee to buy bitcoin
Debit card: Yes - Bank transfer: No
Mobile app only Stocks ETFs ISA
ISA £3/month 0.90% forex fee
Debit card: No - Bank transfer: Yes
Mobile app only Stocks Crypto Commodities No ISA
Complex fee structure
Debit card: Yes - Bank transfer: Yes
Stocks ETF Funds Bonds Options Futures Crypto No ISA
High fees (complex structure)
Debit card: No - Bank transfer: Yes
Other investment platforms:
Fees (deposit etc)
High fees 2% set up fee 1.5% – 2.3% annual 20% performance fee Life-time management fees of between 12.5% and 24.3%
7.5% of any profit Plus variable sale fees
0% fees however returns capped at 8%.
Have you used any of these before or do you have alternatives?
Hello! I'm a 16 y/o in Texas looking to start investing early. To make a TD Ameritrade account, I tried to make a UGMA/UTMA account linked to my dad, and got through the application process. However, the site was telling me that the custodianship would be terminated at 21. In Texas, the UGMA age is 18 while UTMA is 21. Is there a way to choose only UGMA, since I don't plan on going any further than stocks and I want the custodianship to be terminated asap? Also, I've been looking into the other account types for TD Ameritrade, and saw another account labeled Guardianship/Conservatorship. Does this account have any specific restrictions, and does it expire at 18? From what I've seen so far, the guardianship/conservatorship has no boundaries and you are free to trade stocks, options, forex, etc., but I haven't seen an exact age in which the account will be terminated.
What are the best Forex trading platforms/brokers?
Forex brokers are firms that provide currency traders with access to a trading platform that allows you to buy and sell foreign currencies. Retail forex brokers, handle a very small portion of the volume of the overall foreign exchange market. Some of the best forex brokers: Saxo Bank This is considered one of the best forex brokers overall. It is the best overall because it has great competitive pricing to get involved, and has access to a wide range of markets. In addition it is very secure with multiple regulatory licenses. It also offers all forex traders with innovative trading platforms that really create more options for traders making them more successful. Btw, I am trying to build a team with people who are interesting in learning how to trade. Here is the link to join my team and the name of the company is called mastery im academy. it is an education platform to learn how to trade https://iM.Academy/corp/cjoin?enroller=trade2bewealthy IG This forex broker is considered best for CFD trades which means Contract For Difference. A contract for difference (CFD) is a popular form of trading that helps traders to speculate on the rising or falling prices of fast-moving global financial markets. This means that traders who like this trading style look for a wide range of tradable products in their platform which you can find globally on IG. IG is also very trusted around the world which is good for traders because they need to be able to trust their forex broker. They also provide Comprehensive research tools and real-time exchange data. In addition, they have a broad range of markets, including multi asset CFDs like cryptocurrencies. TD AmeriTrade This forex broker is only for US residents but it is great for Americans if you need a forex broker. If you are an American I would suggest this one because it is ranked number one for customer service and is very well trusted. It is regulated within the United States standards and is very heavily looked after. It has a wide array of premium research and tools to help traders succeed. They are predicted to start using Bitcoin trading which is also up to date and will be useful. They also have excellent phone support which can be an essential aspect of trading if you are hands on with questions and need answers. Overall, these are some of the best forex trading brokers. I highly recommend taking a look at these three forex brokers because they are some of the most regulated and also have good tools.
I've been doing some research on brokers for trading US stocks, and eToro seems like a great option - no commissions, standard forex conversion fees for cashing in, $5 fee for withdrawals. However I noticed that more people in this sub recommend TD Ameritrade and IBKR who charge higher overall fees. Is eToro not as good as how it is advertised (i.e., hidden fees)? Or are other brokers just more superior?
I currently have Webull, Robinhood , E*Trade , Ameritrade and Fidelity. I’d like to have unlimited day trading like with Webull but also have the ability to buy and sell spreads , puts and possibly naked calls. However I will not be depositing more than $10K to start the account. I could care less about forex and futures at the moment. I’m looking to consolidate everything to one broker. Who do you use and why? Thanks in advance!
I have been reading all I can find on here and the internet for a good broker to start with and see the multitude of responses. I originally wanted to day trade stocks and made an account with TD Ameritrade but found that just didn't work with my work schedule. For the past couple months I've looked into forex. I had planned on funding my td account with the $2000 min after some more paper trading but see they won't allow accounts in Arizona which is where I plan to move soon. So now back to looking at brokers I've made a demo account with IG and plan to do the same with Oanda and Pepperstone. Can any of you give experiences as a US trader and preferably with a smaller account? I like that pepperstone has mt5 as an option and if u went with them would probably use that over mt4. I hate to learn mt4 if it will just be slowly phased out. What are your thoughts on all this?
--UPDATE-- In light of Christine from Hatch's announcement of a reduction to a flat $3 broker fee, I've updated in a new comment here. Treat the direct comparison of $ below as incorrect (once Hatch update their pricing). --Old Text-- I decided to undertake a fees comparison of the two platforms as Stake is launching on Tuesday. Comparing Hatch and Stake, the long and short of it is:
If you are buying more than 1.00 shares and less than 400 share units, you will be on $8/transaction fee. So including the 0.5% FX fee, the break-even point where Hatch fees are cheaper is about $1600 in 1 transaction. Above this, Hatch is cheaper. Below this, Stake is cheaper.
If you only buy fractional shares (less than 1.00 share units per transaction, eg you can buy 0.99 shares for USD$3) then the break-even point is $600 per transaction. Above this, Hatch is cheaper, below Stake is cheaper. For this to apply you'd have to be buying into something like Amazon where the share price is $2k/share, so this comparison is kind of meaningless. Most companies are under $600 so you'd be buying more than 1.00 share units.
If you buy fractional shares into say 3 companies per FX transfer, total fees are $9/transfer, then the break-even point is about $1900 (below Stake is better, above Hatch is better)
If you are are a typical routine investor doing small DCA every fortnight or month or whatever, buying into multiple companies with each deposit, Stake will win every time because of zero broker fees.
Most people will do the latter and be DCA in to a lot of smaller companies so Stake will end up being a lot cheaper on the buy-in. https://imgur.com/a/wkuiIl1 Comparing to US based companies, assuming you use Transferwise to deposit into a US bank account and there is no fee to transfer from the US account to their service, Transferwise appear to get a 0.6% better FOREX rate than Hatch did when I just checked - Transferwise was $0.6067 vs Hatch $0.6029 (I'm assuming the Hatch FOREX rate will be similar to Stake, can't check atm as I don't have a Stake account until Tuesday). So the break-even point for using Transferwise at current FOREX rates is about $250 (below Stake is better, above Transferwise is better), excluding IBKTD Ameritrade fees (TDA have no broker fees currently). Hatch will allow USD transfer but only if you email them so I don't think you can use this as your regular deposit strategy. One thing to consider with IBKTD Amertrade is they are US companies who are not at all interested in your NZ tax requirements so will not help you at all in the process. Customer support will be harder to get, and using Transferwise is not a trivial process especially if you are doing very regular deposits it can become a PITA for a relatively tiny difference in fees (eg if you deposit $500/fortnight the difference in FX fees is about $3 per transaction, so just don't buy that bag of chips and save yourself the hassle of using Transferwise + foreign based company IMO - and this is coming from someone who even changes power and ISP companies every year chasing better deals!). Once you want to withdraw money, Hatch is obviously cheaper at 0.5% (edit: despite the $8 withdrawal fee) compared to 1% with Stake (and they have a $2 withdrawl fee that will be pretty negligible if you have a lot of money invested). Hatch will do an off-market transfer of US shares so best strategy might be using Stake for deposits and Hatch for withdrawals. Another benefit to Hatch is that they are Kiwi owned so I think more likely to be accessible in terms of Tax and customer support than an Aussie based company (Stake). Lastly with Hatch, if a company is less than $400/share then you should buy a series of Fractional share bids unless you are buying more than 2.66 share units, above that the $8 broker fee is better. Edit: I had a user complaining about the withdrawal fee of $8 through Hatch. This is true if you are regularly buying and selling shares. Typical advice given here is directed to buy and hold strategies (so you only get stung once for a withdrawal after X number of years), if you want day trading advice there are other subs for that. See my comment here.
Forex fees. TD Ameritrade's forex fees are low. Its main rivals Charles Schwab and E-Trade don't offer forex trading, so we looked at Interactive Brokers to compare forex trading fees. To have a clear picture on forex fees we calculated a forex benchmark fee for major currency pairs. The forex brokerage arm – TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex Llc offers trading in around 100 major and exotic currency pairs, which is a rather extensive portfolio. Another forex broker that has a comparatively large forex portfolio is FxPro , with around 70 major and exotic pairs. Forex investments are subject to counter-party risk, as there is no central clearing organization for these transactions. Please read the Forex Risk Disclosure before trading this product. A forex dealer can be compensated via commission and/or spread on forex trades. TD Ameritrade is subsequently compensated by the forex dealer. The backbone of the TD Ameritrade forex trading experience is the desktop-based trading platform thinkorswim. The platform takes time to learn; however, the plethora of tools and depth are well worth the patience required. In 2020, TD Ameritrade won our award for best Desktop Platform, as well as Platform Technology, thanks to its thinkorswim ... Tradable securities: TD Ameritrade aces the investment selection category by offering the full range of investments, including futures and forex and bitcoin futures trading for approved clients.
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