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TOS vs IB commissions

Discussion in 'Online Brokers' started by stevegee58, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Nagaraj R

    Nagaraj R Guest

    If you are serious about trading options, you would go with TOS. I pay $0.75/contract with no minimum and no ticket charge. I would stick with them even if I have to pay twice that. Creating orders in IB is a huge hassle and if markets are moving fast you WILL make errors and most of them are expensive. Analysis in IB is non-existent. Their $0.70/contract doesn't include exchange fees, regulatory fees, clearing fees, etc. These fees vary for different orders and hence gets tricky to calculate your exit price to meet target or stop loss. TOS passes on exchange fees, but they are in pennies and can be safely ignored without any significant impact. Analyzing a trade (or opposite trade), creating an order (or opposite order) from scratch or from your analysis screen, changing strike prices or expiration only takes two clicks. IB makes you go through hell for all these tasks. Do yourself a favor and go with TOS.
    Jack likes this.
  2. Jay Hattler

    Jay Hattler Well-Known Member


    How did you achieve 75 cents with no ticket charge with TOS? I pay 75 cents with 9.99 per ticket. Would be very interested to know.

    Your point about IB is excellent. Try as I might, I can't make a trade with IB in under 5 minutes, because I have to construct everything and then double check everything.

    Thank you, Jay
  3. AKJ

    AKJ Well-Known Member

    I do not and have never had a TOS account, so I cannot comment on the ease of executing multi-leg option orders on their platform.

    As an IB user, I can say that it really is not that hard to construct multi-leg trades - you just need to prepare for them ahead of time. For all my outstanding campaigns, I have my next adjustment all set up in my watchlist and track the pricing leading up to when I need to make the adjustment. I do all the work determining WHAT those adjustments will be in OV, then set the combos up in the watchlist at night or before the market opens. Its really easy.
  4. Nagaraj R

    Nagaraj R Guest

    I don't know if they offer that anymore. I got the rate back in 2012, probably because I do a lot of volume using weeklies. I have heard from several traders that TOS negotiates if you bring in more capital or do more volume. Getting them to reduce it to $1.25 won't be hard. Regardless of the rate, don't settle for having to pay ticket charge.
    Good luck.
  5. Jay Hattler

    Jay Hattler Well-Known Member

    Andrew, Yes, I think that is the difference. I, too, have adjustments set up ahead of time in IB. With TOS, I can make the same trade adjustment and submit it, starting from scratch, in 30 seconds, using their functionality of "Create opposite trade," "Create closing trade," "Create rolling trade," etc. I can also pick a trade type (vertical, butter, etc.), switch the dropdown to "Custom" and construct something unusual in just a little more time. I can also right-click and throw it over to an Analysis Graph to doublecheck the shape of the expiration curve and then submit from there. So, lot's of ease. The only exception to this is with Back Ratios, where TOS displays credits and debits in odd ways, so I have to doublecheck with a spreadsheet to make sure I know the price I am getting.

    So, I am fine in IB if I am prepared and not surprised by the market. TOS is more forgiving of surprises or procrastination.
  6. Hugh

    Hugh Well-Known Member

    I've been using IB for many years. Good clean trading screen and the api to download prices and Greeks is clunky but works well. The software is written by developers not users so it's not that user friendly, but for me quick execution and stability make up for that. Once I get more capital I'll try and get the price per contract down.
  7. tei

    tei Member

    Just to share, If you are a SOM (sheridanmentoring) student, you can get $1 comms (not including exchange fees, etc) from TOS. I had mine reduced to $1 about 2 years ago. TOS will ask for your SOM userid to verify with SOM itself. Not sure if the offer is still on though. I understand that there are quite a number of former SOM students/mentors in this community as there are a lot of familiar names here. ;)
  8. Davidrete

    Davidrete Guest

    I am presently trading futures calendar spreads such as with CL(Crude) and ZW (Wheat) using the Think or Swim
    platform and SeasonAlgo for seasonal charts. The spread charts ( for example [CLJ6-CLH6] ) are reasonably good
    using TOS, margins are as you would expect for a futures calendar spread (reduced), but the commissions are bad !!!
    Since you pay double commissions with futures calendar spreads, commissions are an important item.

    My question is for those who have experience with Interactive Brokers is how does IB compare regarding futures
    calendar spreads with reference to execution, margins required, and spread charts? Are spread charts available and
    usable using the IB TWS work station. If IB is not a valid choice for futures calendar spreads, is there a better choice.

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