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One broker for Futures and Stocks

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:26 pm
by spankygillespie
Can anyone recommend a broker to trade both futures and stocks from one account?

I'd rather not split up my capital, and open accounts at two separate brokerages.



Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:40 pm
by richard
I like Interactive Brokers IF you ...

1. don't mind dealing strictly on the web (the phone support falls short)


2. trade only electronically traded financial futures (e-minis, etc. but no pit traded futures)

Their commissions are reasonable, their windows application (a Java app) is good, their data is good.

I also trade futures with Farr Financial but only pit traded futures. Their commissions are quite reasonable for pit traded futures and they have free realtime charts so I don't need to buy intraday data. Plus their phone support is very good as far as the trading desk goes.

Another thought is Thinkorswim. They do not currently trade futures but they have told me they are going to any day now (again only electronic traded ones.) Their app is superior to anything I've used as far as charts go, and they are very friendly and helpful. But they haven't yet started their futures offerings although as I said it will be any day now. Their commissions are slightly higher than IB's.

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:43 pm
by spankygillespie
I neglected to mention that I'm looking for a broker that "rounds out" IB's offerings - trading pit and electronic markets.

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:44 am
by janvir17
try REFCO. i'm looking into the same thing.

technically, you still have to have 2 separate accounts with them. but i spoke with a broker yesterday and she mentioned that you can set up wiring instructions for them so that if you want to transfer funds between the 2 accounts its done in a few hours. not sure if there is a fee for the wire transfer though; i forgot to ask.

Re: one broker for futures and stocks

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 9:43 am
by cwebbwash
With VTrader Group (see my post "professional brokerage w/ low rates and good service"), if you are willing to join their proprietary group as a remote trader, you can trade equities and futures from one account and even one platform if you wish. As a member of the group, the company can extend leverage to you, you can cross margin, and you'll get super low rates because of their member status.

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:20 am
by Jake Carriker
Hi Spanky,

Technically, nobody offers stock and futures trading from one common account. Due to regulatory procedures, the funds are always segregated from one another. However, firms like IB do present the client a front end that looks like one account. In actuality they maintain the account "behind the scenes" by transfering funds as need between the futures account and securities account.

Firms vary as to how much transparency and flexibility they give clients in smoothly operating in both stock and futures accounts with what amounts to one "pool" of capital. Firms that do both kinds of business typically can facilitate this, but you will find that most are not set up to do it as seamlessly as IB unless you are an important (read large) customer.

You may consider that the difference between operating out of one account or two is mostly superficial aside from whatever friction may exist in transfering funds between accounts and tracking margin status. These are issues that different firms handle in different ways. If you do some calling around, I am sure you can find a broker that meets your needs. Just let them know what kind of trading you are doing and why you want a "single" account interface and let them present solutions.