I know the topic of choosing a broker has been brought up multiple times and I have browsed through all the posts I could find. They did contain answers to some questions I have but not all the questions.
I would appreciate any answers/suggestions and hope that this thread may be useful to others in the future.
I have never traded before and am in need of an on-line broker that fulfills the following requirements (in decreasing order of importance):
1. Reliability of service, especially on busy days. I heard CommSec's website tends to go down right when most people wish it was up. Ideally I want no downtime at all (during trading hours), ever.
2. Prompt execution of orders. Here I may be talking nonsense, if so I beg to be excused. I realise that the execution of orders depends on the market and it's a supply/demand thing. But I want my broker to at least put my order on the market ASAP. Also they may cross-match. I want them to give it their best shot as soon as I file an order.
3. Price per transaction. Also, price per executed stop-loss order. During my computer trading simulations, given the system I've developed, I estimated that I will spend about 15.000 per year in trading fees based on $30 per trade and $10 per executed stop-loss. That's a lot of money and I would want to cut down on that a bit, without compromising on points 1 and 2 (see above) though.
4. Conditional execution (stop-loss) available. I know most brokers have this option. Also I will be updating my stop-loss daily so there shouldn't be any additional charges for updating the stop-loss condition, I just want to pay when one is triggered and executed.
5. I estimate that about 15-20% of the time I will be holding cash and no shares (yes, chicken), I will want the cash to be in my Westpac savings account so that it offsets the interest on my home loan. Therefore I would like my broker to be able to debit/credit my savings account directly. I don't know if this is even possible.
7. End-of-day data available for download at the end of the day. I need the data (open, high, low, close, volume) for all ASX listed companies in a text/csv file (not in some proprietary binary form only readable by some SuperTraderSoft).
8. Real-time quotes available (again through a web interface so that my scripts can read them and email me with alerts).
At this time I am leaning towards the Westpac broker, it is a bit on the expensive side though ($25 per trade with a special account or $30 without one plus $
10 per executed stop-loss).
Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.