How slow could your “free” trading platform be anyway?

How slow could your “free” trading platform be anyway?

A follower sent me this video that he made using his CTS T4 platform which he clears through my clearing firm shown side-by-side with his Interactive Brokers DOM. I thought this would be interesting for folks to see:

  • Daniel Sheehy
    Posted at 15:13h, 06 September Reply


  • gratalis
    Posted at 15:14h, 06 September Reply

    Not promoting any particular platform but CTS allows Sierra Chart to subscribe using their ‘fast trade’ buffer method API as well. So, you don’t need to do the minimum 500 RTs per month that you would normally have to use with CTS to get their most timely and accurate data.

  • AdamG
    Posted at 15:28h, 06 September Reply

    No video?

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 16:04h, 06 September Reply

      Strange. Many ppl have watched it already and I see it.

      Which browser do you use? Do you have Flash installed?

  • Shepton
    Posted at 20:43h, 06 September Reply

    Is this a fair fight? I never thought of IB as fast, but cheap,well actually I don’t think they are cheap except they were among first to offer free charting data. When I was interested in fast I always thought of NT as fast. Five or so years ago that’s what many locals/retail traders used, no? Today I would think that fast would be good, but reliable, solid, dependable, etc. come to mind. If you have all of your software, charts and front end on a server with a broker, then it would seem to fit the bill? Just a click of the mouse between you and your software. I’ve had that but it’s another fee, probably a good idea if you want to hold anything overnight.

    I use Infinity AT like many. It’s a clean design and I’m used to the DOM, though scalping is different now and, you know the story. We try to adapt.

    If there were only a kind hearted broker, who helped his clients achieve success with lots of support, reasonable fees, no b.s., that would be wonderful. But where?

    (Actually my broker is a pretty good guy… )

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 08:52h, 07 September Reply

      Sure it is a fair fight. They claim to have a fast DOM and equal access to the market. This isn’t the case.

  • TheBadgersSett
    Posted at 22:11h, 06 September Reply

    I just get some green fuzzy light show………….firefox browser.

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 08:52h, 07 September Reply

      Use Google Chrome. You would like it better and it has the least number of problems of any of the browsers.

  • Markus
    Posted at 00:54h, 07 September Reply

    It looks like they have different delivery months so out sync is there trading….

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 08:53h, 07 September Reply

      No, this is on the same expiration. That is the point.

  • AC
    Posted at 15:22h, 08 September Reply

    No wonder heads struggle with the DOM…

    That is just criminal. I hope the techs at IB see this and cringe.

  • watr
    Posted at 22:15h, 08 September Reply

    What about cost? Especially for newbie traders. I need to keep my costs to a minimum, and maximize the amount I have available for draw-down.

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 08:21h, 09 September Reply

      You can actually trade on a faster platform at a low or equivalent cost. An example of that would be

      I only trust Anthony at Infinity, so I suggest you follow that link or call him directly at 888-716-3587 or 312-373-6226. Let him know that FT71 sent you so you can get the rate I negotiated with him for my followers.


  • coolmoss
    Posted at 13:34h, 09 September Reply

    One note on Infinity/Transact data: don’t attempt to use it for volume delta or footprint charting. I’ve spent hours comparing feeds and Transact data is just way, way, way off for purposes of order flow level analysis.

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 11:42h, 12 September Reply

      Although Infinity’s platform gives you the data you need to form the bars, the feed is not designed to power your charts with tick data. In the world of datafeeds, the needs of a charting package are different than those of the trading platform.

      I personally can’t expect to get great data if I’m getting it for “free”. Essentially, you are competing with me and others like me but are unwilling to use the proper tools. I know they cost money, but I’m sure you have heard the saying “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” LOL

  • watr
    Posted at 17:35h, 10 September Reply

    Speaking for footprint analysis. What does FT71 think of using it for entry (I am testing using DOM + footprint). I use IRT to lay a course through the forest, and DOM + footprint to see the trees in front of me while I am driving.

    On a side note, as I am currently simulating, my goal is to keep my costs down as much as possible. My goal is to keep my fixed costs to not much more than $100 per month (charting + data + overhead like hardware). As I am not yet trading, there are no variable costs to speak of. Is this reasonable? I know better data can be had, but can anyone propose a combination of chart software + data that would run me under $100/month? My IRT + DTN MA subscriptions alone are costing $70/month at the moment. Can I get good data for ES for $30-50 anywhere?

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 11:43h, 12 September Reply

      I personally can’t watch a footprint chart and DOM at the same time. I can already see in the DOM what I would be seeing on the hard right edge of a footprint chart. I just don’t use the footprint.

  • Shepton
    Posted at 21:10h, 11 September Reply

    So who has the “fastest retail” front end? I realize that everybody is “fast”, but I don’t pay much attention to advertising. I’ve been around too long though. I used IB at one time for their free data, which wasn’t tick data or close to it as I understood it. (started “live” electronic trading with fm feed, btw)

    If you like the configuration and you perform “due diligence” to the best of your ability and you aren’t programmer/network profession, live trading is best, no? I like having a second futures account if just for redundancy.

    There is a cost of trading built in to the product you trade, trade results, market condition, entry (market/limit), etc. I do trust Infinity as you’ve suggested. And there is a time to begin wrangling over commissions.

    Sorry, if I seem argumentative, I’ve got other things to do to.

    Thanks for your patience.

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 11:45h, 12 September Reply

      I think the best “free” front end is Infinity’s. Not sure though. Personally, If you are not happy with it, I think it makes sense to squeeze a lower commission out of your broker and to opt for a better front end. Trading is not meant to be done “cheaply”.

  • Shepton
    Posted at 21:15h, 11 September Reply

    one last comment: I was suggesting in testing worthiness of new front end an/or broker, comes down to trading live with limited funds as a method.

  • grjake
    Posted at 18:15h, 26 September Reply

    i guess i’ve had it with the free stuff for the TICK data – i like to have some kind of volume analysis to decide if there is a quick turn at one of my support/resistance areas

    then there comes the latency issue right when i make a trade and it moves fast against me – it’s OK because i use STOPS for risk management and i can take the hit, but i don’t want to hear the execute alarm and 4-SECONDS LATER the chart and the DOM move to tell me what happened – how can i trust the chart and the DOM to trade at any time?

    so now i’m looking at the likes of Tradestation – any comment on this?


  • David
    Posted at 15:37h, 19 October Reply

    How can we smaller daytraders—1-6 trades a day–of 1-6 contracts per trade—get access to actual tick data, fast dom, use your clearing firm——and reasonable commissions? And understand none of these “edges” would be free—but would cost money. What would the best set up be for someone in that category? I currently have a TS and an Infinity account—-Tx David

  • David
    Posted at 15:43h, 19 October Reply

    I actually just watched the video–ouch–this si off by two ticks plus time—-

    Is Trade Station this bad–I never measured it like this?

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 09:08h, 24 October Reply

      Send me an email and I can direct you to someone who can help depending on your activity and account size. Cheers!

    • FuturesTrader71
      Posted at 09:09h, 24 October Reply

      TS isn’t as slow as IB but they pulse their quotes and volume. TS is not good for volume profiling or volume spread analysis. It is best to be with a direct futures clearing firm.

  • agatto2
    Posted at 07:26h, 01 December Reply

    Ib have been snake bitten..

  • David D
    Posted at 14:18h, 03 June Reply

    If I’m a scalper trading ETFs, is there still a difference in speed of price updates between IB and other “pro” platforms?

    If money is not at all relevant, which platform/software would provide the fastest price updates and execution? Would it be noticeably better than IB given that I don’t trade futures?

  • David D
    Posted at 19:41h, 03 June Reply

    Would this speed difference still matter for ETF trading?

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