European alternative to Interactive Brokers?

Discussions about brokerage firms for futures, stocks and other tradeable instruments.
Post Reply
Moritz Mechanicus
Roundtable Fellow
Roundtable Fellow
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Europe

European alternative to Interactive Brokers?

Post by Moritz Mechanicus » Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:37 am

I considered opening an account with Interactive Brokers but after reading postings about them in this forum and asking around, I am not so sure anymore... A courteous and professional help desk is something I greatly value, amongst other things.
Any suggestions for a reliable alternative to IB? I would prefer a Europe based broker, that offers access to Frankfurt and London listed options.

Kiwi
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 513
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:18 am
Location: Nowhere near

Post by Kiwi » Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:31 am

IB is european based too (Swiss server) fyi. And they with the tools available are a great broker.

But not great at holding hands if you need that.

Moritz Mechanicus
Roundtable Fellow
Roundtable Fellow
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Europe

Post by Moritz Mechanicus » Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:52 am

Kiwi wrote:IB is european based too (Swiss server) fyi. And they with the tools available are a great broker.
I mean a truly European broker, not an American subsidiary. It is about the mentality.
Kiwi wrote:But not great at holding hands if you need that.
It is not about holding hands (I prefer my wife for that) but about a friendly, courteous and professional service. I just asked a friend who is a professional trader and his experiences over the past years with the IB help desk were not too good. I have heard that many times in the past days (not to mention reading it) and I consider that a worrying thing. IB may be cheap but it is not exactly a charity either. Being curt is not a professional attitude for a commercial venture.

Kiwi
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 513
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:18 am
Location: Nowhere near

Post by Kiwi » Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:34 pm

You are right. It is about attitude and also about culture.

I presume you are not german.

We did a bit of market research on how people should be handled when phoning for technical support and found that (with our segmentation) there were three groups. Residential customers wanted friendly service with warm greetings and "some extra words." Business customers typically wanted servers who got down to it quickly with only a little civility. The stongly technical customers who were working at client sites wanted fast access to technical support who didn't mince words but understood the issues as well as they do.

My french and italian friends have one national bias. My german friends have another. I doubt that you really want a European broker so much as one who is tuned to your national characteristics and your own needs.

IBs technical support is tailored towards which group? I have found them to be warm wonderful human beings who understand my questions but I have yet to ask them an easy question 8)

Moritz Mechanicus
Roundtable Fellow
Roundtable Fellow
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Europe

Post by Moritz Mechanicus » Wed Jul 07, 2004 2:09 pm

Kiwi wrote:I presume you are not german.
You are a clever fellow! :D
Kiwi wrote: IBs technical support is tailored towards which group? I have found them to be warm wonderful human beings who understand my questions but I have yet to ask them an easy question 8)
Maybe I should just give it a try and find out for myself.

Chris67
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 1046
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 2:12 pm
Location: London

Post by Chris67 » Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:31 am

Hey Moritz ,

I'd stay with the american option and steer well clear of europe .. the problem with european companies being that they can close at anytime and blame it on a 35 hour work week , change the rules by which you trade at any time and blame european policy .. plus given that european business in general is light years behind the u.s in terms of most other areas .. i think you probably just had one bad experience

Moritz Mechanicus
Roundtable Fellow
Roundtable Fellow
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Europe

Post by Moritz Mechanicus » Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:21 am

Chris67 wrote:I'd stay with the american option and steer well clear of europe .. the problem with european companies being that they can close at anytime and blame it on a 35 hour work week , change the rules by which you trade at any time and blame european policy .. plus given that european business in general is light years behind the u.s in terms of most other areas .. i think you probably just had one bad experience
I have no experience with IB yet, it is just what I have read here in this forum and what some friends who trade for a living have experienced. I agree that in order to make a proper judgement I have to try for myself.

I think you are a bit too harsh in your judgement of European companies... One of the things that my European trading friends complain about with regards to IB, is the fact that, in their opinion, IB isn't European enough in its attitude towards clients. This has got nothing to do with nationalism, but everything with expectations about a business relationship (or to put it differently: value for money).

Moritz

verec
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 7:04 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Post by verec » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:17 am

As an Europe native, I feel discriminated against by Chris67. I am not too certain about the goals or agenda this America native is pursuing, but I don't find it too conductive of ideas exchange of other forms of collaboration in a public forum.

To the administrators: any way to implement the equivalent of a personal "kill-file" on this forum?

Chris67
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 1046
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 2:12 pm
Location: London

Post by Chris67 » Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:00 am

verec,

One thing i'm learning about life in the year 2004 is that it does seem rather impossible to state the truth anymore without someone jumping up with some politically correct statement ..
I hope you dont feel you'll need to apply to the european court on human rights with my statements

Forum Mgmnt
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 1842
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 11:02 am
Contact:

Post by Forum Mgmnt » Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:27 am

It seems to me like this discussion is heading in a bad direction.

Can we please keep things focused on brokers in this forum.

There are good and bad companies in almost any country, and yes, there are nationalistic preferencs and cultural value differences that show up in the business behavior of the companies based in a given country.

However, I'm certain that the last few posts aren't helping Moritz figure out if he should be using IB or not.

Discussions that don't pertain to trading or the topic of the forum should be done in Rumors and Gossip. Even there, while I'm not a big fan of political correctness, I do think it useful to try not to offend others unnecessarily.

- Forum Mgmnt
Last edited by Forum Mgmnt on Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

Chris67
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 1046
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 2:12 pm
Location: London

Post by Chris67 » Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:27 am

Verec .. one other thing .. I am british , from London ... no connection to the usa whatsoever ...just a pure statement of facts that I observe ...

In my experience the difference between u.s busness law , performance , structure and results and that of europe .. is chalk and cheese .. europe has stifling bureacracy , ridiculous employmnet laws that dont enable them to compete on any level , an inability to decide which language to speak .. it would be impossible for someone to trade financial markets in this environment .. in the u.s however you have a business driven , customer service orienatated economy with laws that encourage entrepreneurship which is why I found it strange that someone should have had a bad experience with customer services at this level ..

Why oh why do europeans always have to throw their dummy out of the pram and start talking about discrimination .. all the time ... all im stating is the facts but you always take it personally never willing to admit the truth and always backing up your own country

Having worked in bank trading rooms 15 years its amazing how the europeans are the only race who will never sell their own currency as they think its a personal jibe on their character .. I worked with some italians and germans when the euro was introduced who merrily told me everyday from 1.16 to 84 cents why their currency was a fantastic buy and you should never short it .. fascinting stuff and clearly related to some huge chips on some small shoulders ???

Chris

Forum Mgmnt
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 1842
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 11:02 am
Contact:

Post by Forum Mgmnt » Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:51 am

Chris,

My post hit before I saw yours so I'm sure you didn't see mine before posting.

A self-critical perspective is useful in trading as the truth tends to show up in one's trading account whether you attempt to ignore it or not.

Being able to look at one's culture and country and see both the good and the bad, is also useful.

I can tell you from personal experience as an American who has dealt with American companies all my life from the inside and the outside that making money is the objective of most American companies.

The better companies understand that there is a connection between good customer service and support; and their financial success. However, from my experience, most American companies don't see this connection.

Good customer service here is not as common as the pressures of vibrant capitalism induced by entrepreneurial laws and open free markets might lead you to suspect.

For the purposes of returning this discussions to the topic. Let's try to keep the discussion on IB's service level and any alternative brokers that might have an equivalent product with better service.

- Forum Mgmnt

Moritz Mechanicus
Roundtable Fellow
Roundtable Fellow
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 5:12 pm
Location: Europe

Post by Moritz Mechanicus » Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:47 am

Just to clarify: my question for an European alternative to IB was not made for nationalistic reasons. I am open to any alternative, whether they are American, European or sub-Saharan based. So let's indeed stay on course.
Which leads me to the following question: just the order day I got a copy of a magazine called Traders'. I read with interest an ad from "Protrader Berkely on-line". They seem to offer what I want, but I would like to know more before I open an account. Does anyone has experience with Berkeley?

Moritz

kianti
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 335
Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 6:10 am
Location: Florence - Italy

Post by kianti » Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:10 am

.. I worked with some italians and germans when the euro was introduced who merrily told me everyday from 1.16 to 84 cents why their currency was a fantastic buy and you should never short it ..
Chris
I can assure that there are a lot of black swans even between Germans and Italians. My personal advice about the Euro is to keep some Liras under the mattress; none can rule out the possibility that in a few years time we go back to the old Liras, Franc and Marks (see LTCM Italian Lira squeeze, for istance).

Let's go back to business

I found an interesting US broker providing electronic execution on a wide range of futures markets.
ExpressTrade
http://www.xpresstrade.com/

IB seems to be good and cheap but the choice of markets to trade is still limited. Any broker suggestion very welcome.

best regards, as ever

TradingCoach
Roundtable Knight
Roundtable Knight
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2003 9:52 am
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

ib IS a european company

Post by TradingCoach » Sat Aug 07, 2004 3:24 am

they recommend to have a voice based and live broker backup and only use ib as a paralel broker. (this to me sounds like BS)
Europe is big on fees and charges and I doubt you'll find anything matching IB's cost.

Post Reply