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Best online options brokers for Australia?

Discussion in 'Derivatives' started by long88, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. long88

    long88

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    Hi all, just wondering what most of the people use here for their options trading ? now that Optionsxpress is gone, how are you guys going to place your next trade ?

    i have been using OX for sometimes, and now have to move to etrade (which cost a bomb).

    Can anyone share their broker with me, and any recomendations ? features ? good or bad ?

    Thx
     
  2. sails

    sails

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  3. long88

    long88

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    thx sails.

    but no one really comment on the brokers that they use, it looks like the best one so far is still OX ? in terms of fee and multiple legged.

    i am trying to execute ratio backspread on etrade, and cannot do it online, i dont know whether i can do it on the phone. but i end up on different strike price in order to execute 3 legged or 4 legged options, and cost of brokerage ($45 for each leg), not really happy about it, but what can you do ? anyone else out there ?
     
  4. cutz

    cutz

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Hi Long888,

    I been using commsec for a little while now to find my feet in the options bizz, trades are $34.95 per leg which isn't the cheapest but customer service is good and they provide webiress which is a cool options platform for ease of operation. The downside is they charge excessive brokerage for exercise/assignment but i avoid those.

    I've just set up with IB which i will be easing into. I'm not 100% sure on the margining process but i guess when i'm ready i see how it goes.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. Grinder

    Grinder Don't feed the bear!

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Long888,

    Trade abit bigger lots, say over 20 per leg then the flat fee can end up cheaper than the rate per cons, but anything less would probs end up more pricey. Dont know the size you trade but food for thought.
     
  6. cutz

    cutz

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    A question i've been holding back on for a while but here it is,

    I've been doing spreads for a while, mostly 2 leggers, one leg at a time as iress doesn't do spreads.

    What's the advantage of having software that can do a spread in one hit as opposed to two seperate trades?:eek:
     
  7. sails

    sails

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Is it worth trading the vertical spread and then trading the extra long separately? I guess the only catch is they would probably charge you two lots of fees for the long if it is a small position - would depend on size and etrade's commission structure. Otherwise phone and ask if it can be done online...
     
  8. sails

    sails

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Usually save on slippage :)

    Edit: Works best if you are buying one and selling the other as opposed to buying or selling a straddle/strangle. It also protects the position should the market make fast move against you just after you have put the first leg on!
     
  9. cutz

    cutz

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Yep,

    I see what you mean, sometimes is does take time to put through a couple of legs.
     
  10. cutz

    cutz

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Normally i waste time by putting my order just inside the spread like 1 point and slowly moving it till its gets filled, then i do the same again on the other leg so it all adds up in lost time, not good when the underlying is moving quick.

    This is a pointless yeah, should i just be placing the orders right in the middle or should i just meet the prices and be done with it? (except for when the spreads are excessively wide of course)
     
  11. sails

    sails

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Yes, it can take up a lot of time trying to work both orders - would be another advantage of trading the combo.

    When I first traded options, it was necessary to leg in and used WebIress for trading. I used to have both market depth windows displayed and then would work one side of the spread - usually going to the mid point fairly quickly to see if there were any takers. Sometimes you can be lucky and another retail trader will take your price. Sometimes it's worth watching the two market depth windows for a while to see if there are any retail orders that come in close to the mid price and at least get one side of the order filled there.

    One would imagine that if the MM sees you slowly ticking down, they are going to leave you as long as possible - unless there are a few different MM firms giving a bit of competition. All guesswork as I have never seen how the MMs work on their side of things.

    I still do leg in at times. If I see a retail order bidding or offering at a better price than I can get from the MM, I will go for it :).

    To work out a combo price, I usually take the mid price of both and subtract that - then hopefully you can get the order taken with only a small amount of slippage from that mid point. Usually far less slippage than just trading the relevant bid and ask. To save getting the calculator out each time, you can fairly quickly find the average of the difference between the two bid prices and the two ask prices.

    Eg. call vertical.
    Option 1 bid/ask = 30/36
    Option 2 bid/ask = 15/18
    Spread bid = 15 / spread ask = 18
    Average mid point for spread = 16.5
    Works out the same as the conventional way, but a quick way when visually scanning an option chain.
    Might not suit everyone - just something I've found useful.

    If phoning the order through, it's a nuisance to keep calling the broker every time you want to amend the order. With TD, once they have the order set up, they give me the code for that particular combo (only good for the day) and then I am able to amend, delete, re-order as I would any single option order. I really like that bit. Sometimes you can see other orders, and sometimes the MM brings a counter bid or offer which is very helpful. Perhaps you could try a phone order with Commsec and you should be able find the spread code in your order under "Security" in your Order Status window. But ask first as they may not show the spread order through your Iress - and you would have to weigh up the cost of higher phone order fees vs. what you could save on the spread.

    I don't think you can see the market depth window for spreads with IB so you wouldn't know if a MM put in a counter bid/ask, however, you can amend, etc quite easily.

    Longer post than I thought :eek: - hope it helps :)
     
  12. cutz

    cutz

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Thanks for the info on order placement Sails,

    Unfortunately my iress doesn't have a security tab under Order Status, just outstanding/executed/cancelled.

    So in your case you bring up your outstanding spread in the Order Status,
    amend and send it through in one hit.
     
  13. sails

    sails

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Below is a snapshot of my Order Status. Found by clicking on "Orders" on the main Iress Toolbar. I use it all the time when trading. Haven't done any trades today - but it gives the idea.

    The first column "Security" is where the spread code appears - otherwise this is normally just the single option code or a stock code. However, once the spread order is completed, it then shows the actual option legs that have traded.
     

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  14. Grinder

    Grinder Don't feed the bear!

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

     
  15. long88

    long88

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Hi all.

    Thx for the reply.

    i believe etrade charge each trade as per trade, doesnt matter whether it is big or small (if it is small trade, $45, and if it is big, it is based on %).

    and it is usually good to get the trade executed at once, based on net credit or debit that you will receive, so it doesnt matter the price spread anymore.

    I usually trade for credit, and biggest that i have now is 10 lot only, dont want to go really big, as i still green here, still learning.

    so it looks like we are stuck here with the banks (etrade, comsec ?)

    i have tricom (live spectrum), but not that familiar with their trader Workstation, and it also need subscription ($30/month), not sure about their brokerage, have to find out.
     
  16. cutz

    cutz

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Hi Sails,

    Yep mine is a bit different, must be a slightly scaled back version.
     
  17. sails

    sails

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Hi Cutz - I think Iress may allow brokers to customize the platform to their invidicual needs / wants. Could explain why yours is different.
     
  18. cutz

    cutz

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Hi Sails,

    Do your orders appear on the market quickly, mine sometimes seem to take forever, i could understand that the desk guys may want to check my available margins on short positions but even buying back shorts or buying longs sometimes take time. I initially thought that iress was straight through.
     
  19. boeingdriver

    boeingdriver

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Hi, first post just found this forum, very impressed so far.
    Try interactive brokers, the cost per trade on the Australian market is $3.00
    http://individuals.interactivebrokers.com/en/main.php
    I have not opened an account with them yet (you need $10000 ) usd or the equivilent in OZ dollars plus abt $34.00/month for a live data feed. At the moment I pay $45.00 a trade with Austock and $24 a month to weblink for their live feed so costs look pretty good. If you want to trade the US market its $1 usd a trade.
    I intend to open an account in the New Year and close my Austock account then.The only negative I have found so far is that they are not covered by the asx ? but are covered up to $30 million for stocks and $1 million for cash in your account see this link
    http://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/accounts/accountProtection.php?ib_entity=llc
    Hope this helps
     
  20. sails

    sails

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    Re: Best online Options Brokers for Aussie?

    Yep Cutz - very fast for online ordering of single options. I'm pretty sure it's not straight through processing with options, but TD's brokers do a great job of authorising them quickly. But then they don't allow any naked writes, so I guess they don't have to go and check margins! Think it's STP with shares and warrants, but TD is so quick, it would be hard to tell the difference.

    Emailed orders (combos) are usually fairly quick, but have had to wait a bit for them. I wish Iress would make it possible to trade option combos online - would make it much easier.
     
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