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Futures trading on TOS, don't bother


Hi just wanted to warn anyone trading (or considering trading) futures with Thinkorswim.

I have been trading ES with them for 6 months or so, the system was fairly reliable but on busy days it would lock up. This means, delayed quotes and charts. But that's not the worst of it.

Recently I have been in the habit of sending in orders a few minutes ahead of time so that I do not have to do any guess work once price is trading around where I expect it to. This also means that I cancel about 50% of the orders I submit.

Canceling an order on TOS is a pain in itself, click a drop down menu, then click small almost unreadable text, then click a confirm box, then wait for the message "UROUT". All together about 5 seconds lost on something that should take .5 seconds.

Anyways, today and yesterday I got stuck in 2 trades I should not have been in because TOS is BUGGY. Here's what happened: I send in my limit order well ahead of time and within seconds realize that the setting is not right and press "cancel all orders". Normally I would get the UROUT message and that's that. This time I look and the cancel option is greyed out, also in the status it says "submitting". Ok so no biggy I think to myself, it's just submitting and once it has been submitted it will switch to "working" and then I can cancel it out, afterall price is still far away so I'm safe. Wrong! It gets stuck on submitting for OVER 30 seconds, the whole time I cannot cancel it no matter what, then once price is near my fill I get filled against my will. To top it off when the system is buggy like this, it will take you on a RIDE before your stops get hit. Yesterday my 3 tick stop which should be executed at market did not fill, instead I see I am still net shares, and watch as my loss goes 3X past where it should have been! Today when it happened my loss was 2X what it should have beem, actually it should have not been a loss at all, it should have canceled right when I pressed the cancel button.

In closing: If you want to NOT be able to cancel your working orders and NOT see your market stops honored, and if you enjoy charts freezing up with lags sometimes as bad as 2minutes! then TOS is the broker for you!
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To trade the Index Futures markets, you must have a professional quality charting, order interface, and data feed solution. You need three things: speed, reliability & an intuitive order entry interface. High quality customer service is a nice benefit as well. Any time I need to call the desk at either Mirus or Trade Maven, I almost always get an answer at the trade desk within 3 rings.