I have a feeling the information IS out there on the forums somewhere, but I've tried to find it and it is difficult to pinpoint, so I wanted to ask a couple of questions in the hope that it all could be summarised.
I'm looking at signing up to IB for real time streaming quotes and trading. At the moment (as mentioned in another thread), I'm using Westpac Broking and Quotetracker as an interim solution, but a much better trade execution/streaming quotes system is becoming more and more important, as Westpac's site is simply useless for quick entries/exits.
Firstly, for the time being I'd be interested in trading the ASX but I'm also interested in NASDAQ, but I'm not sure exactly how it would work. If I sign up to IB, and transfer some money from my Aus bank account to them, will it/should it be converted to USD or left as AUD? Can I trade both markets with AUD or do I have to have separate cash accounts with AUD and USD for both markets? And if I need just the one currency, how does it work? If my account only has AUD and I buy stocks on the NASDAQ exchange, will my AUD be converted to USD at the prevailing rate and then converted back again when I sell stocks? And if so, doesn't this introduce significant currency exchange fees? How best can I trade both markets in this situation? It confuses me.
Also, does anyone have any particular recommendations a trading setup (charting/execution software) for day trading/swing trading on these markets that is better than Quotetracker? I like the fact that it is free, and so far I have been living with the limitations of that product, but if there are persuasive justifications for upgrading to better software, I'm all ears. Particularly, a good, simple solution for scanning stocks for simple indications would be a worthy reason. I've looked at the demo of Ninjatrader (looks powerful execution-wise but a bit unwieldly for charting?), and also Amibroker and Metastock, but really, what I'm looking for is personal experience with them and their interface, as ease of use is just as important as how powerful they are - no use being powerful if you struggle to harness it.
Anyway, I know this has ended up being pretty verbose but hopefully I can get some advice and personal experiences to contrast the sales pitches and technical info their respective websites give you. Even just a quick "I've tried a few but I like 'abc' the best as it does x, y and z." or something would be handy.