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I have been papertrading using the THink or Swim papertrading for 7 months---EVERY DAY! I was just able this week to come up with the money needed to fund my account to day trade. Since January on my papertrading account I have earned over $900,000. I was told that if you can papertrade and make a profit it is the same as real trading. I was very shocked today when I lost $4,000 because I could not get my order filled. It took 5 minutes before my order was filled. Now I am concerned and to be honest a little scared to place a trade because of the time it takes to fill an order. 5 minutes seems really high. Is this normal? If so, how can a person be a successful day trader? The idea is to sell when there is a profit, but if it takes so long to fill the order the profit can get lost. Any ideas? Or do you know any companies that are faster than this?
In my experience the norm for a fill is about as long as it takes to blink. Usually as fast as you hit the go button you see the fill come back. If this isn't the case there is some issue, be it broker, platform, Internet, placement of limit orders that are outside the market, etc.
Jenpro: I'am a client with thinkorswim. My trades are filled in mill secs. You have live support on the platform ask them to take a look @ your trade
Was it at market, limit, stop limit bracket? Which? No matter, for that kind of money I'd bypass your broker and go straight to their Futures Clearing Merchant, Penson Financial Services Canada, Inc.

Until it's resolved I wouldn't trade.

Man I'm sorry.

I'm certain its a glitch but if you do decide to trade use a 2 point stop limit order and drag either the target or hard stop to price. That way slippage can be accounted for on record.

But four thousand dollars is grand larceny if you ask me. If Penson Financial Services Canada, Inc. is no help, take it straight to the Securities Exchange Commission - it'll be resolved then.

Again, my heart's with you.
Thanks everyone for your responses. When this happened, I emailed TOS and asked why it was happening. This was their response:

There is a difference between papermoney and live trading. Since the papermoney account is never actually placing real orders all of the fills are simulated and the mid point between the bid and ask (mark) is always granted a fill. This is not true in live trading. You are not guaranteed a fill with a limit order and if you place an order between the bid and ask, you are not necessarily going to get filled right away, in some instances you may have to adjust your order closer to the natural price. I hope this helps, please feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

So, I decided to place some market orders instead of limit. I had the same response. It will say "Accepted" and then "Working" and then "Filled". It takes on average 5 minutes from the Accepted to filled positions.

I asked why again this morning after more similar experiences. I explained that yesterday I was told a market order would take 2/10ths of a second. They were extremely unhelpful. So I just tried again to get a different person. I did and he looked up my account. I was trading SPX which is still an "open outcry" meaning they are filled by a live person in the pit?? Not electronic. He advised me to go with RUT since it is electronic. Unforunately, I have lost a lot of money, but fortunately I figured out why. So I hope it gets better from here.

Again, thanks for all the responses.
Jennifer,

That is just crazy. The S&P trades in the pit, and electronic under the symbol ES, the mini S&P, which is what most everyone here trades. I prefer the Russell mini, trading symbol ER2, which is also electronic, but it is not as liquid as ES, as far as 'depth' i.e. it can't handle the same volume. Fills on ES or ER2 should be nearly instant at market, and unless the market is moving fast, if you are doing a small size there is little slippage in the ES. I can't imagine why they would say to go to the Russell and away from the S&P because it is electronic...
jenpro: email Scott Sheridan = scott@thinkorswim.com
Jenpro - I suggest you stick to the electronic contracts... ES, NQ, and YM. Stick with 1 contract size while you are getting started and until you regain your confidence in your order placement and trade management workflow.

The big S&P contract (SP) is traded on the floor of the CME and carries a hefty 5 times the leverage of the electronic ES contract. Trading 1 SP contract is the equivalent of trading 5 ES contracts. Also, slippage introduced by the floor locals will be a significant problem unless your trading a round lot (10, 20, 50, 100). Most floor locals will not be bothered with a 1 or 2 lot order. In terms of the time delay, a market order traded on the floor (trading pit) will be executed within 60 seconds of the order being accepted by your broker, but the fill report can take up to 15 minutes to be posted back through the system to your screen. So in reality it most likely did not take you 5 minutes to get a fill on your order, it took 5 minutes to get a physical order fill report back from the floor.

With electronic contracts, the physical overhead (time delay) of routing an order to a floor broker in the pit and the resulting fill report being sent back to you is all replaced by the CME order matching computer, thus a market order in the electronic contracts will be filled in milliseconds and reported back to you within a couple of seconds. Slippage in the ES and NQ contracts is essentially eliminated thanks to the excellent market depth available during regular trading hours.
Nice summary, PT.
To be fair to the guys i know on the floor at the cmegroups s&p 500 pit, and given the proper access to a talented broker & backoffice staff:

A trader can call the floor, get a bid/offer, place an order, get a fill, place another order, and get off the phone in less than 20 seconds. (The actual trade might take another 5 to 30 minutes to get punched down in your account, but as long as the ticket has been endorsed, you own it)



jenpro: I wasn't aware you were trading small lots in cash S&P.

Unfortunately, and I do mean that, there's not much that can be done to get your money back.

I offer you an alternate solution, while nodding to others' suggestion you trade emini indices: you can claim the money as a loss on your taxes, if a) you register a home based business that trades, and b) you find a CPA that specializes in day trading. With the number you gave sim trading, you'll want the latter anyway.


Here are a few links I've been looking into:

http://www.daytradertax.com/
http://www.tradersaccounting.com/index.php
http://edaytradertax.com/about_us.htm

Apologies;
quote:
Originally posted by jackofsumtrades

To be fair to the guys i know on the floor at the cmegroups s&p 500 pit, and given the proper access to a talented broker & backoffice staff:

A trader can call the floor, get a bid/offer, place an order, get a fill, place another order, and get off the phone in less than 20 seconds. (The actual trade might take another 5 to 30 minutes to get punched down in your account, but as long as the ticket has been endorsed, you own it)



I have a tremendous amount of respect for locals. The action in the pit will always be central to why I became interested in trading in the first place. I'm from Chicago. Nearly all of us are haunted by and share the same nostalgic aria concerning the pit; but it's not geared for scalpers unless you're a local. In a precise, fast moving scalp, in cash you often do lose more handles than you gain. Which is why locals with a heart would rather see institutions lose money on the same scalp over the little guy, or gal, in this case.

Even when I can afford to go cash, I'll trade eminis. I'm in control. That's the bottom line of why we trade at all: to control our money.