Brokers Reviewed page 2












Fidelity offers a strong trading platform with Active Trade Pro (ATP).  It also has Option Trader Pro, but you still need ATP open to view in real time the number of contracts offered on the bid and ask size, price on the bid and ask, volume, and open interest.  These are some of the features you can customize for viewing with ATP.  There is no fee associated with the product, but they you must have a minimum level of investments or trades per year to have the service available to you.

I found Option Trader Pro to be a bit slow in that it took a few more steps to place a trade than ATP.  In ATP you can type in the option symbol, hit enter, right click and select Buy to Open or any other command like Sell to Close, a new box pops up with the command populated and you proceed to type the  number of contracts, select Limit, enter in your price, then a new box confirms your order, and then the order is placed. If you place an order to buy to open and your limit is the ask price a beep goes off to confirm that at least part of your order has been filled.  A box flashes on your monitor that the order has filled and how many contracts filled.  Sometimes you might see a few boxes on a 10 lot order if the order was filled by smaller orders like a 4 lot and two 3 lots. You can also get Time and Sales which almost every other brokerage also offers.

The only problem I had with the Time and Sales portion is that you can't get historical Time and Sales like you can for stocks and other brokers offer this service.  As you probably know, if you hit the Time and Sales button on a stock, you start to see size of orders and pricing as orders come in and then you can go back to view earlier information from that day. With Fidelity's ATP, you can only see the size of orders and pricing from orders that take place after you hit the button.  To be fair Schwab and some of the other online brokers only have going forward Time and Sales and not historical.

I didn't find much difference in commission pricing between Schwab and Fidelity.  I just preferred Fidelity over Schwab because the commission was a little cheaper and they offered information that Schwab didn't have like the number of contracts available on the bid and ask. This is important data to have when you are looking to buy or sell. Another important factor was my orders with Fidelity filled a little faster than with Schwab.

Let's say you want to get out of an option position quickly and you are using Fidelity's ATP, you might see continued




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