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Old 07-08-13, 10:31 AM   #1
jsharr
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Stock Traders of Foo

Anyone here trade online? What brokerage firm do you use and why? What trading software if any do you use and why? Interested more in the software end of the equation. How you made your choice, why you made your choice, what does the software cost per month if any, etc?
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-08-13, 10:37 AM   #2
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Swanson FTW.

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Old 07-08-13, 11:29 AM   #3
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I use Ameritrade. Started with Datek. They merged with eTrade. Now it's Ameritrade.

I haven't been paying attention to my stocks. As a consequence my holdings haven't done neither good nor bad, sort of blah.
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Old 07-08-13, 11:35 AM   #4
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I'm at Merrill Lynch, and can initiate trades online. I don't pay a fee, but I'm not sure what it costs to open an account there.
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Old 07-08-13, 11:40 AM   #5
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No no. You've got to haggle.
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Old 07-08-13, 11:43 AM   #6
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Started with Waterhouse, which became TD Waterhouse, which became TD Ameritrade. I am moving away from actively trading-- it was more like speculating anyway, since I was not doing deep research-- and I have been consolidating accounts at Vanguard. Moving toward something simpler. I have a paper account at Optionsmonster, but haven't done anything with it. I have friends who are full-time investors/day-traders, but I don't have time for that.
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Old 07-08-13, 12:13 PM   #7
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Started with Waterhouse, which became TD Waterhouse, which became TD Ameritrade. I am moving away from actively trading-- it was more like speculating anyway, since I was not doing deep research-- and I have been consolidating accounts at Vanguard. Moving toward something simpler.
me too
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Old 07-08-13, 01:20 PM   #8
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A couple of papers fueled an epiphany for me:

Sharpe's paper on The Arithmetic of Active Management

and

McGuigan's paper on The Difficulty of Selecting Superior Mutual Fund Performance.

In addition, this video may be of interest, even if it is not directly, 100% germane. It shows an important theorem of statistics in action: the Central Limit Theorem. As you can read in the write-up, the red bars on the glass where the marbles accumulate are investment returns from a fund managed by that company.


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Old 07-08-13, 01:52 PM   #9
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Was a broker at Schwab, but after laid off and no longer eligible for privacy of "Employee Branch" which limited coworkers ability to bring up my personal account, transferred out to what is now TDAmeritrade. That is my largest portfolio. For speculative set up account with Options Express, ironically now taken over by Schwab. They were one of the few that would allow advanced options trades (i.e. spreads) in an IRA. While contrary to industry BS/propaganda, I consider spreads safer than covered calls that most firms will allow. With spreads, I don't own a stock that I don't want to go up and be called away. Plus they allow straight speculative long calls/puts in retirement accounts. After layoff, I initially transferred to Scotttrade which lasted less than a week as they pissed me off - wouldn't approve spreads even in a taxable account. In a discussion with the branch manager, he noted that I more than qualified asset and experience wise, but it was corporate policy not to allow spreads for any customer. For data, charting and searches I use TC2000 and have used them for decades - back when on a dialup modem and still have a 5 1/4 floppy disk of their program.

Another that I considered, but requires active trading to avoid charting/data fees is Tradestation. The were one of the premiere standalone charting programs (with competitor Metastock) but then they became a brokerage and made Tradestation part of their online platform. TC2000 meets my needs.
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Old 07-08-13, 02:19 PM   #10
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Was a broker at Schwab, but after laid off and no longer eligible for privacy of "Employee Branch" which limited coworkers ability to bring up my personal account, transferred out to what is now TDAmeritrade. That is my largest portfolio. For speculative set up account with Options Express, ironically now taken over by Schwab. They were one of the few that would allow advanced options trades (i.e. spreads) in an IRA. While contrary to industry BS/propaganda, I consider spreads safer than covered calls that most firms will allow. With spreads, I don't own a stock that I don't want to go up and be called away. Plus they allow straight speculative long calls/puts in retirement accounts. After layoff, I initially transferred to Scotttrade which lasted less than a week as they pissed me off - wouldn't approve spreads even in a taxable account. In a discussion with the branch manager, he noted that I more than qualified asset and experience wise, but it was corporate policy not to allow spreads for any customer. For data, charting and searches I use TC2000 and have used them for decades - back when on a dialup modem and still have a 5 1/4 floppy disk of their program.

Another that I considered, but requires active trading to avoid charting/data fees is Tradestation. The were one of the premiere standalone charting programs (with competitor Metastock) but then they became a brokerage and made Tradestation part of their online platform. TC2000 meets my needs.
Spreads and legs are concepts beyond most people's desire to get into.
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Old 07-08-13, 02:46 PM   #11
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Old 07-08-13, 07:07 PM   #12
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Spreads and legs are concepts beyond most people's desire to get into.
A few might take issue with that, or argue lack of opportunity to get into. Now where were we? Oh yeah. It is a matter with what you feel comfortable with. I tried Forex and gave up as leverage is nice until it works against you, and you can't be right all the time. It is also where spreads have saved me when I was wrong...legging out rather than fully closing the position in a single trade, and able to not only break even, but recoup my initial credit. Just so many possibilities.
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Old 07-08-13, 07:08 PM   #13
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A few might take issue with that, or argue lack of opportunity to get into. Now where were we? Oh yeah. It is a matter with what you feel comfortable with. I tried Forex and gave up as leverage is nice until it works against you, and you can't be right all the time. It is also where spreads have saved me when I was wrong...legging out rather than fully closing the position in a single trade, and able to not only break even, but recoup my initial credit. Just so many possibilities.
I was really hoping someone would get that other post and run with it.
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