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My Trading Software I Use

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August 30, 2010 – Comments (0)

About a month or so ago, I wrote a post describing the details of my trading computer. However, as you know, a computer with great hardware setup doesn't mean much unless you have the right software in relation to how you trade. So this here will be the second installment of the "Trading Desk". For future purposes it will be posted in the "Newbies" section found on the menu bar above.

What I'd like to do here is go over all the software that I use for trading and some of the stuff I use for blogging.

Trading Platform

I have used a myriad of different brokers from TradeStation to TD Ameritrade to E-Trade, just to name a few. But for now, I am using ThinkorSwim, which is now owned by TDAmeritrade, but since the acquisition, TD has not done anything to screw-up the company. So that is a good thing. I find the execution to be fairy good and the platform has a million different ways to place an order, from a simple online form to graphic interfaces. For the purposes of shorting stocks, I don't typically have a hard time locating shares to borrow, and when there is a problem, I will contact the trading desk using a chat feature on the platform and they will 9 times out of 10 locate some shares to borrow. 

Customer service is also pretty solid, very friendly, and the commissions on trades are negotiable. Right now, based on the amount of trading I do a month, I pay a flat fee of $8. If you are a smaller trader in terms of the average amount of shares you buy, you can often times get away with $5 shares, which is the bare minimum you can pay for an equity transaction (as long as you don't buy/short 333 shares on the trade). You can choose either a $9.99 Flat Fee for trading or 1.5 cents per share. The latter of which gets you a $5 trade if you don't trade too many shares. However, whether you are trading in big lots or not, you are forced to use 1.5 cents/share no matter what if you use a stop-order. So if you are trading in a stock that has a low share price, and you buy 5000 shares of it, your transaction cost will be $75 to place the trade. So before you decide to do such a thing, call ThinkorSwim and negotiate your price. At worst all your trades will be at $9.99/trade, but you can expect it to be lower if you place around 30 or more shares a month (an educated guess).

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