TD Ameritrade/Thinkorswim - anyone use them for forex trading? Spread question
Just started demo trading on Thinkorswim/TD Ameritrade. Was looking at the GBP/JPY spread last night - it’s like... 15-20 pips. Guessing people do not trade forex on TD Ameritrade because of the spread...? Leverage? Am I figuring the pip spread out incorrectly? Seemed a lot higher than EUUSD which is maybe 5-6 pips. Also know most people use specific forex brokerages and I’m curious if pip spread is the reason. Bonus question - if a trade starts going the opposite way, I’ll reverse the trade sometimes. When I do that, where is the sale price, and at what price do I enter a sell/short position at? Thanks
TD Ameritrade warning of increase in volatility around election could increase margin reqirements without warning.... Something to keep in mind regardless of broker, yall!
Rec'd this message yesterday. Saw some other posts asking about how to trade the election. This is something to keep in mind for those who refuse to use stops or close losing trades becasuse 'its coming back'. "In preparation for the upcoming U.S. election, TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC wants to inform you of the potential for increased volatility and reduced liquidity that may result. While we expect the forex market to function as normal, the possibility for increased volatility across all forex currency pairs may cause spreads to widen and affect your ability to execute orders. At this time, we are not increasing margin requirements. However, we reserve the right to increase the margin requirement on any forex pair at any time without notice."...." Sincerely, TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex LLC"
Hi guys I just recently started investing and have been using IB for awhile now. However, I am currently finding the monthly 10USD to be a bit of a roadblock. I have read multiple comparison for the different brokers for Singapore and still have a couple of questions. Can anyone enlighten me what the process of account funding is like for TDA? Do we transfer SGD into the account and then convert to USD and be subjected to foreign exchange fee? What is the forex spread like? Do we have the option of transferring USD directly? In the case that we have to withdraw our money, do we reverse the process by converting back to SGD? For those that are currently with TD Ameritrade already, what do you like about the broker in general? Should I shift from IB to TDA? Thank you! EDIT: Sorry I think I wasn’t very clear previously. I have been using IB for a while now so I understand all the processes for IB. What I am curious about is the process for TDA if anyone can enlighten me thank you!
Hey guys/gals. I’ve kinda got two questions in here, the main one is about FairForex though. Anybody have any experience dealing with them? I know they’re offshore/unregulated and that can be sketchy/has potential to be fucked. But the group I’m with all use them and have good things to say. 1:400 leverage, only a minimum of $100, and decent spreads. Not heard too many gripes about customer service or fucky withdrawal methods. I’m only looking to start with about 200 bucks on my live account (doing DEMO right now). I’ve got a TD Ameritrade account and would like to use them but I can’t get approved for margins with that little initial capital. And for part two So I’m about two months in to this forex game. I was brought in by two of my buddies from HS and they got me signed up with their team on IML Academy ( I know I know). I’ve found that they’re 46 video academy has been just OK. Honestly I find that these “gurus” or leaders are pretty awful at actually teaching and explaining things, though it has done a good job of pointing me in the right direction in being able to research further about certain topics. The team I’m on seems to be very supportive, they don’t push me to do recruiting or anything. Zoom chats at least every day, though 3/4 are about the “winning mentality” with the other 1 being about trading. But even when I tap in for that one those guys are honestly terrible teachers, pretty bad at explaining thought processes and reasoning behind taking certain trades. They’ve got me in two signal chats that usually put up at least 400-1000 pips a week depending on if they’re just doing pairs or if they throw some Indices in there too. Should I stick around and use the signal chat to at leastbreak even while I learn my way, or just cut my losses and figure all this shit out and be my own self made man? Anyone been in my shoes before, shitty pyramid scheme but has a good team? Also anyone have thoughts on the harmonic scanner? That’s the tool they have us laying for TL;DR Anyone have thoughts on FairForex as a broker? Also I’m in IML Academy, find that the videos are pretty bogus but my team is good. Should I stick around?
Disclaimer: None of this is financial advice. I have no idea what I'm doing. Please do your own research or you will certainly lose money. I'm not a statistician, data scientist, well-seasoned trader, or anything else that would qualify me to make statements such as the below with any weight behind them. Take them for the incoherent ramblings that they are. TL;DR at the bottom for those not interested in the details. This is a bit of a novel, sorry about that. It was mostly for getting my own thoughts organized, but if even one person reads the whole thing I will feel incredibly accomplished.
For those of you not familiar, please see the various threads on this trading system here. I can't take credit for this system, all glory goes to ParallaxFX! I wanted to see how effective this system was at H1 for a couple of reasons: 1) My current broker is TD Ameritrade - their Forex minimum is a mini lot, and I don't feel comfortable enough yet with the risk to trade mini lots on the higher timeframes(i.e. wider pip swings) that ParallaxFX's system uses, so I wanted to see if I could scale it down. 2) I'm fairly impatient, so I don't like to wait days and days with my capital tied up just to see if a trade is going to win or lose. This does mean it requires more active attention since you are checking for setups once an hour instead of once a day or every 4-6 hours, but the upside is that you trade more often this way so you end up winning or losing faster and moving onto the next trade. Spread does eat more of the trade this way, but I'll cover this in my data below - it ends up not being a problem. I looked at data from 6/11 to 7/3 on all pairs with a reasonable spread(pairs listed at bottom above the TL;DR). So this represents about 3-4 weeks' worth of trading. I used mark(mid) price charts. Spreadsheet link is below for anyone that's interested.
I'm pretty much using ParallaxFX's system textbook, but since there are a few options in his writeups, I'll include all the discretionary points here:
I'm using the stop entry version - so I wait for the price to trade beyond the confirmation candle(in the direction of my trade) before entering. I don't have any data to support this decision, but I've always preferred this method over retracement-limit entries. Maybe I just like the feeling of a higher winrate even though there can be greater R:R using a limit entry. Variety is the spice of life.
I put my stop loss right at the opposite edge of the confirmation candle. NOT at the edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. I'll get into this more below - not enough trades are saved to justify the wider stops. (Wider stop means less $ per pip won, assuming you still only risk 1%).
All my profit/loss statistics are based on a 1% risk per trade. Because 1 is real easy to multiply.
There are definitely some questionable trades in here, but I tried to make it as mechanical as possible for evaluation purposes. They do fit the definitions of the system, which is why I included them. You could probably improve the winrate by being more discretionary about your trades by looking at support/resistance or other techniques.
I didn't use MBB much for either entering trades, or as support/resistance indicators. Again, trying to be pretty mechanical here just for data collection purposes. Plus, we all make bad trading decisions now and then, so let's call it even.
As stated in the title, this is for H1 only. These results may very well not play out for other time frames - who knows, it may not even work on H1 starting this Monday. Forex is an unpredictable place.
I collected data to show efficacy of taking profit at three different levels: -61.8%, -100% and -161.8% fib levels described in the system using the passive trade management method(set it and forget it). I'll have more below about moving up stops and taking off portions of a position.
And now for the fun. Results!
Total Trades: 241
TP at -61.8%: 177 out of 241: 73.44%
TP at -100%: 156 out of 241: 64.73%
TP at -161.8%: 121 out of 241: 50.20%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 5.22%
TP at -100%: 23.55%
TP at -161.8%: 29.14%
As you can see, a higher target ended up with higher profit despite a much lower winrate. This is partially just how things work out with profit targets in general, but there's an additional point to consider in our case: the spread. Since we are trading on a lower timeframe, there is less overall price movement and thus the spread takes up a much larger percentage of the trade than it would if you were trading H4, Daily or Weekly charts. You can see exactly how much it accounts for each trade in my spreadsheet if you're interested. TDA does not have the best spreads, so you could probably improve these results with another broker. EDIT: I grabbed typical spreads from other brokers, and turns out while TDA is pretty competitive on majors, their minors/crosses are awful! IG beats them by 20-40% and Oanda beats them 30-60%! Using IG spreads for calculations increased profits considerably (another 5% on top) and Oanda spreads increased profits massively (another 15%!). Definitely going to be considering another broker than TDA for this strategy. Plus that'll allow me to trade micro-lots, so I can be more granular(and thus accurate) with my position sizing and compounding.
A Note on Spread
As you can see in the data, there were scenarios where the spread was 80% of the overall size of the trade(the size of the confirmation candle that you draw your fibonacci retracements over), which would obviously cut heavily into your profits. Removing any trades where the spread is more than 50% of the trade width improved profits slightly without removing many trades, but this is almost certainly just coincidence on a small sample size. Going below 40% and even down to 30% starts to cut out a lot of trades for the less-common pairs, but doesn't actually change overall profits at all(~1% either way). However, digging all the way down to 25% starts to really make some movement. Profit at the -161.8% TP level jumps up to 37.94% if you filter out anything with a spread that is more than 25% of the trade width! And this even keeps the sample size fairly large at 187 total trades. You can get your profits all the way up to 48.43% at the -161.8% TP level if you filter all the way down to only trades where spread is less than 15% of the trade width, however your sample size gets much smaller at that point(108 trades) so I'm not sure I would trust that as being accurate in the long term. Overall based on this data, I'm going to only take trades where the spread is less than 25% of the trade width. This may bias my trades more towards the majors, which would mean a lot more correlated trades as well(more on correlation below), but I think it is a reasonable precaution regardless.
Time of Day
Time of day had an interesting effect on trades. In a totally predictable fashion, a vast majority of setups occurred during the London and New York sessions: 5am-12pm Eastern. However, there was one outlier where there were many setups on the 11PM bar - and the winrate was about the same as the big hours in the London session. No idea why this hour in particular - anyone have any insight? That's smack in the middle of the Tokyo/Sydney overlap, not at the open or close of either. On many of the hour slices I have a feeling I'm just dealing with small number statistics here since I didn't have a lot of data when breaking it down by individual hours. But here it is anyway - for all TP levels, these three things showed up(all in Eastern time):
7pm-4am: Fewer setups, but winrate high.
5am-6am: Lots of setups, but but winrate low.
12pm-3pm Medium number of setups, but winrate low.
I don't have any reason to think these timeframes would maintain this behavior over the long term. They're almost certainly meaningless. EDIT: When you de-dup highly correlated trades, the number of trades in these timeframes really drops, so from this data there is no reason to think these timeframes would be any different than any others in terms of winrate. That being said, these time frames work out for me pretty well because I typically sleep 12am-7am Eastern time. So I automatically avoid the 5am-6am timeframe, and I'm awake for the majority of this system's setups.
Moving stops up to breakeven
This section goes against everything I know and have ever heard about trade management. Please someone find something wrong with my data. I'd love for someone to check my formulas, but I realize that's a pretty insane time commitment to ask of a bunch of strangers. Anyways. What I found was that for these trades moving stops up...basically at all...actually reduced the overall profitability. One of the data points I collected while charting was where the price retraced back to after hitting a certain milestone. i.e. once the price hit the -61.8% profit level, how far back did it retrace before hitting the -100% profit level(if at all)? And same goes for the -100% profit level - how far back did it retrace before hitting the -161.8% profit level(if at all)? Well, some complex excel formulas later and here's what the results appear to be. Emphasis on appears because I honestly don't believe it. I must have done something wrong here, but I've gone over it a hundred times and I can't find anything out of place.
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 5.36%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): -1.01% (yes, a net loss)
Now, you might think exactly what I did when looking at these numbers: oof, the spread killed us there right? Because even when you move your SL to 0%, you still end up paying the spread, so it's not truly "breakeven". And because we are trading on a lower timeframe, the spread can be pretty hefty right? Well even when I manually modified the data so that the spread wasn't subtracted(i.e. "Breakeven" was truly +/- 0), things don't look a whole lot better, and still way worse than the passive trade management method of leaving your stops in place and letting it run. And that isn't even a realistic scenario because to adjust out the spread you'd have to move your stoploss inside the candle edge by at least the spread amount, meaning it would almost certainly be triggered more often than in the data I collected(which was purely based on the fib levels and mark price). Regardless, here are the numbers for that scenario:
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 46.4%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 17.97%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 65.97%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 11.60%
From a literal standpoint, what I see behind this behavior is that 44 of the 69 breakeven trades(65%!) ended up being profitable to -100% after retracing deeply(but not to the original SL level), which greatly helped offset the purely losing trades better than the partial profit taken at -61.8%. And 36 went all the way back to -161.8% after a deep retracement without hitting the original SL. Anyone have any insight into this? Is this a problem with just not enough data? It seems like enough trades that a pattern should emerge, but again I'm no expert. I also briefly looked at moving stops to other lower levels (78.6%, 61.8%, 50%, 38.2%, 23.6%), but that didn't improve things any. No hard data to share as I only took a quick look - and I still might have done something wrong overall. The data is there to infer other strategies if anyone would like to dig in deep(more explanation on the spreadsheet below). I didn't do other combinations because the formulas got pretty complicated and I had already answered all the questions I was looking to answer.
2-Candle vs Confirmation Candle Stops
Another interesting point is that the original system has the SL level(for stop entries) just at the outer edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. Out of pure laziness, I set up my stops just based on the confirmation candle. And as it turns out, that is much a much better way to go about it. Of the 60 purely losing trades, only 9 of them(15%) would go on to be winners with stops on the 2-candle formation. Certainly not enough to justify the extra loss and/or reduced profits you are exposing yourself to in every single other trade by setting a wider SL. Oddly, in every single scenario where the wider stop did save the trade, it ended up going all the way to the -161.8% profit level. Still, not nearly worth it.
As I've said many times now, I'm really not qualified to be doing an analysis like this. This section in particular. Looking at shared currency among the pairs traded, 74 of the trades are correlated. Quite a large group, but it makes sense considering the sort of moves we're looking for with this system. This means you are opening yourself up to more risk if you were to trade on every signal since you are technically trading with the same underlying sentiment on each different pair. For example, GBP/USD and AUD/USD moving together almost certainly means it's due to USD moving both pairs, rather than GBP and AUD both moving the same size and direction coincidentally at the same time. So if you were to trade both signals, you would very likely win or lose both trades - meaning you are actually risking double what you'd normally risk(unless you halve both positions which can be a good option, and is discussed in ParallaxFX's posts and in various other places that go over pair correlation. I won't go into detail about those strategies here). Interestingly though, 17 of those apparently correlated trades ended up with different wins/losses. Also, looking only at trades that were correlated, winrate is 83%/70%/55% (for the three TP levels). Does this give some indication that the same signal on multiple pairs means the signal is stronger? That there's some strong underlying sentiment driving it? Or is it just a matter of too small a sample size? The winrate isn't really much higher than the overall winrates, so that makes me doubt it is statistically significant. One more funny tidbit: EUCAD netted the lowest overall winrate: 30% to even the -61.8% TP level on 10 trades. Seems like that is just a coincidence and not enough data, but dang that's a sucky losing streak. EDIT: WOW I spent some time removing correlated trades manually and it changed the results quite a bit. Some thoughts on this below the results. These numbers also include the other "What I will trade" filters. I added a new worksheet to my data to show what I ended up picking.
Total Trades: 75
TP at -61.8%: 84.00%
TP at -100%: 73.33%
TP at -161.8%: 60.00%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 53.33%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 53.33% (yes, oddly the exact same winrate. but different trades/profits)
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 18.13%
TP at -100%: 26.20%
TP at -161.8%: 34.01%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 19.20%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 17.29%
To do this, I removed correlated trades - typically by choosing those whose spread had a lower % of the trade width since that's objective and something I can see ahead of time. Obviously I'd like to only keep the winning trades, but I won't know that during the trade. This did reduce the overall sample size down to a level that I wouldn't otherwise consider to be big enough, but since the results are generally consistent with the overall dataset, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I may also use more discretionary methods(support/resistance, quality of indecision/confirmation candles, news/sentiment for the pairs involved, etc) to filter out correlated trades in the future. But as I've said before I'm going for a pretty mechanical system. This brought the 3 TP levels and even the breakeven strategies much closer together in overall profit. It muted the profit from the high R:R strategies and boosted the profit from the low R:R strategies. This tells me pair correlation was skewing my data quite a bit, so I'm glad I dug in a little deeper. Fortunately my original conclusion to use the -161.8 TP level with static stops is still the winner by a good bit, so it doesn't end up changing my actions. There were a few times where MANY (6-8) correlated pairs all came up at the same time, so it'd be a crapshoot to an extent. And the data showed this - often then won/lost together, but sometimes they did not. As an arbitrary rule, the more correlations, the more trades I did end up taking(and thus risking). For example if there were 3-5 correlations, I might take the 2 "best" trades given my criteria above. 5+ setups and I might take the best 3 trades, even if the pairs are somewhat correlated. I have no true data to back this up, but to illustrate using one example: if AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, CAD/JPY, USD/CAD all set up at the same time (as they did, along with a few other pairs on 6/19/20 9:00 AM), can you really say that those are all the same underlying movement? There are correlations between the different correlations, and trying to filter for that seems rough. Although maybe this is a known thing, I'm still pretty green to Forex - someone please enlighten me if so! I might have to look into this more statistically, but it would be pretty complex to analyze quantitatively, so for now I'm going with my gut and just taking a few of the "best" trades out of the handful. Overall, I'm really glad I went further on this. The boosting of the B/E strategies makes me trust my calculations on those more since they aren't so far from the passive management like they were with the raw data, and that really had me wondering what I did wrong.
What I will trade
Putting all this together, I am going to attempt to trade the following(demo for a bit to make sure I have the hang of it, then for keeps):
"System Details" I described above.
TP at -161.8%
Static SL at opposite side of confirmation candle - I won't move stops up to breakeven.
Trade only 7am-11am and 4pm-11pm signals.
Nothing where spread is more than 25% of trade width.
Looking at the data for these rules, test results are:
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
Other Technical Details
ATR is only slightly elevated in this date range from historical levels, so this should fairly closely represent reality even after the COVID volatility leaves the scalpers sad and alone.
The sample size is much too small for anything really meaningful when you slice by hour or pair. I wasn't particularly looking to test a specific pair here - just the system overall as if you were going to trade it on all pairs with a reasonable spread.
Here's the spreadsheet for anyone that'd like it. (EDIT: Updated some of the setups from the last few days that have fully played out now. I also noticed a few typos, but nothing major that would change the overall outcomes. Regardless, I am currently reviewing every trade to ensure they are accurate.UPDATE: Finally all done. Very few corrections, no change to results.) I have some explanatory notes below to help everyone else understand the spiraled labyrinth of a mind that put the spreadsheet together.
I'm on the East Coast in the US, so the timestamps are Eastern time.
Time stamp is from the confirmation candle, not the indecision candle. So 7am would mean the indecision candle was 6:00-6:59 and the confirmation candle is 7:00-7:59 and you'd put in your order at 8:00.
I found a couple AM/PM typos as I was reviewing the data, so let me know if a trade doesn't make sense and I'll correct it.
Insanely detailed spreadsheet notes
For you real nerds out there. Here's an explanation of what each column means:
Pair - duh
Date/Time - Eastern time, confirmation candle as stated above
Win to -61.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -61.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -100%? - whether the trade made it to the -100% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -161.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -161.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -61.8% and -100% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -61.8%, but before hitting -100%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -61.8% to -100%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -100% and -161.8% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -100%, but before hitting -161.8%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -100% to -161.8%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Trade Width(Pips) - the size of the confirmation candle, and thus the "width" of your trade on which to determine position size, draw fib levels, etc.
Loser saved by 2 candle stop? - for all losing trades, whether or not the 2-candle stop loss would have saved the trade and how far it ended up getting if so. "No" means it didn't save it, N/A means it wasn't a losing trade so it's not relevant.
Spread(ThinkorSwim) - these are typical spreads for these pairs on ToS.
Spread % of Width - How big is the spread compared to the trade width? Not used in any calculations, but interesting nonetheless.
True Risk(Trade Width + Spread) - I set my SL at the opposite side of the confirmation candle knowing that I'm actually exposing myself to slightly more risk because of the spread(stop order = market order when submitted, so you pay the spread). So this tells you how many pips you are actually risking despite the Trade Width. I prefer this over setting the stop inside from the edge of the candle because some pairs have a wide spread that would mess with the system overall. But also many, many of these trades retraced very nearly to the edge of the confirmation candle, before ending up nicely profitable. If you keep your risk per trade at 1%, you're talking a true risk of, at most, 1.25% (in worst-case scenarios with the spread being 25% of the trade width as I am going with above).
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -61.8% - not going to go into huge detail, see the spreadsheet for calculations if you want. But, in a nutshell, if the trade was a win to 61.8%, it returns a positive # based on 61.8% of the trade width, minus the spread. Otherwise, it returns the True Risk as a negative. Both normalized to the 1% risk you started with.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100% - same as the last, but 100% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -161.8% - same as the last, but 161.8% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100%, and move SL to breakeven at 61.8% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then full TP at 100%.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread take off half of position at -61.8%, move SL to breakeven, TP 100% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you took of half the position and moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then TP the remaining half at 100%.
Overall Growth(-161.8% TP, 1% Risk) - pretty straightforward. Assuming you risked 1% on each trade, what the overall growth level would be chronologically(spreadsheet is sorted by date).
Based on the reasonable rules I discovered in this backtest:
Date range: 6/11-7/3
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
Demo Trading Results
Since this post, I started demo trading this system assuming a 5k capital base and risking ~1% per trade. I've added the details to my spreadsheet for anyone interested. The results are pretty similar to the backtest when you consider real-life conditions/timing are a bit different. I missed some trades due to life(work, out of the house, etc), so that brought my total # of trades and thus overall profit down, but the winrate is nearly identical. I also closed a few trades early due to various reasons(not liking the price action, seeing support/resistance emerge, etc). A quick note is that TD's paper trade system fills at the mid price for both stop and limit orders, so I had to subtract the spread from the raw trade values to get the true profit/loss amount for each trade. I'm heading out of town next week, then after that it'll be time to take this sucker live!
Date range: 7/9-7/30
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 20.73%
Starting Balance: $5,000
Ending Balance: $6,036.51
Live Trading Results
I started live-trading this system on 8/10, and almost immediately had a string of losses much longer than either my backtest or demo period. Murphy's law huh? Anyways, that has me spooked so I'm doing a longer backtest before I start risking more real money. It's going to take me a little while due to the volume of trades, but I'll likely make a new post once I feel comfortable with that and start live trading again.
Stop Entry (and Stop Loss) triggering from Bid/Ask rather than mid
TD Ameritrade user here. I've been using ThinkOrSwim for quite a while for forex and equities and only just recently branched out to look at other brokers because I've started trading more minors/crosses lately and TD's spreads on those are awful(some are double Oanda's!). Anyways, one thing that's great about ToS is that you can trigger your stop orders on any price type you'd like: Mark(mid), Bid, or Ask. I've noticed on every other broker platform(Oanda, IG, Forex.com, so far) that when you set up a stop order - either for entry or loss - it triggers based on the bid/ask price rather than the mid price, so you might enter or exit the trade when the actual price is very different(depending on spread) from where your analysis said you should enter or exit the trade. It doesn't look like something that can be adjusted in any of their platforms from the settings I could find, and the support reps said it wasn't something they could change. This seems like a particularly rough problem if you are holding a position past market close - since spreads can double/triple/more during that time. You might get stopped out of a trade without the mid price actually having changed at all. Has anyone else run into this problem? How do you typically deal with it? Or is this just a cost of doing business and you hope your positions aren't anywhere near your SL at market close/open?
US Traders- Anyone tried Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade?
I'm currently using OandA for my demo account, didn't like Forex.com much at all, and just had the thought of checking out Thinkorswim by TD Ameritrade. I couldn't find much info on their website about forex, so I called and asked them questions. Here's what I found out:
They don't have commissions, but they build in their cost into the spread (like many others)
No charge to deposit or withdraw money (Nice, much better than OandA's $20 fee for withdrawing my gains)
No other fees
Custom scripting available in their charting software, which is built in
I forgot to ask about minimum lot size, but I can call back and get that info.
Hello. I use TD Ameritrade’s ThinkOrSwim platform to day trade options. I’m looking to automate some of my trading such that my auto trader should automatically place trades with my broker given certain signals (BUY credit spread, SELL Iron Condor, SELL Credit Spread etc). I tried to search online and this forum but could not find something concrete that’d get me started, so I decided to post this as a question. Please share if you have built or found something that can be used for my needs. I’d be open to revisit my choice based on the following: 1. Is there better platform out there than TDA that allows for such auto trading to be built and run? I found a few that were Forex and Futures based but not US Equities options
I’d like to build and run it locally but also open to use any cloud based solution if it allows me to shorten my time to market and I can just build my strategies quickly.
So the general idea is that TD is an introducing broker to Gain (Forex.com) and it even says on the sticky info thread here. Thing is, I pulled up both live accounts and Forex.com and TD do NOT have same spreads. TD also has floating margin requirement that is not present on Forex.com. Right now there is 3% margin requirement on EUUSD while Forex.com has usual 2%. Forex.com usually has 1.2 - 1.5 pip spread on EU while TD majority of time is 09 to 1.0 pip spread. USDCAD spread is 0.2 - 0.4 pips worse on TD than Forex. So clearly there is some differences here. Meanwhile ATC is completely identical in everything to Oanda. So what is TD ameritrade??
Hi! I'm new to forex and this subreddit and was wondering if anyone uses TD Ameritrade for your broker. I transferred some money from my main account yesterday into a forex account. The spreads seem decent, usually around 0.0001 during the active sessions. There is no additional commission for the $10000 lots which is good. The margin is $210 per lot. I'm not sure if this is good or not. The main reason I started a forex account with TD Ameritrade is because I have some equity buy and hold positions and would like to continue trading futures at some point. Commissions for futures are kind of high, but I guess that's part of the price to pay for having an all in one broker. Just wondering anyone's thoughts on using TD Ameritrade for forex.
Hey everyone, first things first - I've already read through the sidebar & have done plenty o' research on my own. I started trading in April, worked with a coach all summer, and have been daytrading with a PDT account since August. I'm looking into expanding or switching to forex, and I'm hoping some of you could provide me with some insight into a few concepts. I've been papertrading w/ ToS this past week to see how applicable my strategy is. Before you tear me apart for using a demo account - this is the first demo account I've used, and I've built up enough emotional scar tissue to where money is now just numbers on a screen to me. I had a mild, big loss + stress fueled breakdown in September and had to take a brief sabbatical to contemplate and consider my life's path (a few days of heavy drinking, a few more of sobering up, and a week of self reflection), but I got all that figured out so yeah... Anyway!
Has anyone done real trading with TD Ameritrade? I already have an account with them so it would be sooo nice if I didn't have to open ANOTHER brokerage account (it would be #5 for me... too many to keep track of). In addition, I'm 20, so I'm not able to trade Forex with IB. Once I turn 21 I'll obviously be moving to them. For now, though, TD sounds alright because I know ToS inside and out, I've had an account with them for years, and the spread doesn't seem too bad as it's usually about 1 pip.
Is there an accurate, reliable, real-time source for volume data? Volume is of course a pretty important part of trading, but as far as I can tell, most brokers only provide volume data for trades placed through their system. I understand that this is a result of the lack of a central forex market, so what can I do to compensate? Is there an aggregation service that pulls volume from multiple sources? Or do I have to rely on volume approximations based on spread, time of day, ticks, etc?
Is there any sort of L2 for Forex? Again, a decentralized exchange problem.
For those who are profitable - what's your average hold time? I try to keep it under a day, and that's always worked for me.
Again, for those who are profitable - what's your thing? Order flow? Price action? TA? Not looking for specific strategies, just a general view of what works.
Has anyone made the switch from stocks to Forex? What was your experience like? How much did you have to learn/relearn to adjust to the FX market?
Hi. So, I've traded leveraged assets before... namely options. Recently, I discovered forex, and I realized certain immediate advantages:
Better bid-ask spreads than options, by a lot. (for options, 6-10% is considered a good bid-ask spread, with most being upwards of 30-40%).
Better commissions, at least from my broker. TD Ameritrade basically doesn't charge commission on forex trades.
Buying power recycles immediately, allowing me to trade however much I feel like. As I like to trade microtrends (trends that are 1 hour long, max), I particularly love this.
The currency pairs are open at weird hours, so I can trade after work or even in the middle of the night, allowing me to direct my full attention to trading whenever I have a free gap in my schedule, whatever time of day that might be.
All of that being said, I am extremely uneasy about certain aspects of forex, and maybe some of you can help me out. My biggest concern is margin. As I said before, I traded options, which are leveraged derivatives. However, the leverage built into options contracts is not the same thing as margin leverage. With options, I could still only lose my own money. Personally, in my entire time trading, I've had very few problems with my orders, but I was always trading in cash accounts, so I never much cared if there were minor hiccups. My worries are:
What if I overlook some important news, and a currency nosedives (like the EUCHF did in January) while I'm in a position? Normally I place a stop order and don't give it any more thought, but with margin, the question becomes more important... could a stop order fail?
What happens if trading halts while I'm in a leveraged position, and I'm unable to sell in time?
If I'm in a position on margin, and I am unable to stop it in time, I hear that the broker will attempt to do a "closeout" and close my position out. But what if the market isn't open at the time, or the broker doesn't close the position out in time?
Is there a limit on how much money I could owe my broker in case my margin blows up? I mean, I've heard of accounts going negative, but how negative could they go? My trading style usually involves being in a maximum-leverage position for a very short amount of time (usually a few minutes), and it's worked decently for me with options, but I can imagine a horror story with forex that couldn't really happen in the options world: what if I go all-in on a $20,000 position leveraged 50:1, and something goes terribly, horribly wrong 2 minutes in, and my stop order doesn't take me out for whatever reason, and the broker fails to catch it in time? Could I be liable for $1,000,000? What would you even do in that scenario, hire a lawyer?
Forgive me if these are noob margin questions, but I haven't really read any personal stories of people actually losing a bunch of margin on a leveraged position. I've heard of forex brokers filing for bankruptcy, but not individual traders over a forex trade... does this happen? And if so, how often, and what do you guys do to deal with the extraordinary leverage in the forex world?
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