Iinitial Thoughts: Running The Pit with close to 1000 Traders I think I have a pretty good idea of what is important to Retail Day Traders and that includes myself.
- Competetitive Round Trip Fees
- Access to Top Tier Technologies
- No Monthly Platform Fees*
- Solid Customer Service
- Attractive Daily Margin Requirements
Ironbeam encompasses all of the above with the addition that it is an FCM (Futures Commission Merchants) as well as a Broker. What does this mean for the average Retail Trader? It means you are working with a Broker that handles each facet on customer interactions. The clearing, execution, logistics, and support for the client whereas your typical IB (Introductory Broker) basically handles the sales and onboarding of retail customers while contracting out the other heavy lifting to the FCM. This is a huge advantage for a Retail Day Trader!
Technology: Another great aspect of Ironbeam is they offer an entire suite of charting solutions in-house as well as access to Third Party solutions such as Sierra Chart. This is critical for someone like myself because I am not going to choose a Broker that locks me into their propietary charting solutions and out of possible superior alternatives. Ironbeam offers:
- Powerful Charting – The Ironbeam platform features a proprietary charting engine that comes packed with over 300 built-in indicators, and the ability to create your own. Ironbeam’s charting allows futures traders to view markets in new ways.
- Unfiltered Market Data – The Ironbeam trading platform is powered by direct, unfiltered market data from a dedicated feed with adjustable quote speed.
- Direct Order Routing – Ironbeam’s dedicated order routing system allows traders to submit orders directly to the exchange instead of through a third-party vendor.
- Custom Order Types – Ironbeam’s order entry system enables you to create and save custom order strategies including brackets, OCOs, trailing stops and more. Put your futures trading strategies to the test and make adjustments for better trade performance.
- Trade From Any Device – Access the Ironbeam trading platform from Windows Desktop, Mac Desktop, iOS, iPad, Android or Tablet. The same functionalities are available across all devices, even your workspaces!
- Ironbeam API – The Ironbeam platform works seamlessly in conjunction with the Ironbeam API. Whether you’re looking to fully automate your futures trading or build your own front-end trading platform, the Ironbeam API delivers on all fronts.
Ironbeam Platform Pricing
Free*. That is right. Free for Ironbeam Clients.
So if Trading Futures From the Cloud, Across Any Device is important to you then checkout the Ironbeam platform. It offers a server-side cloud solution which ensures that your orders, strategies, formulas, and workspaces are all stored securely so that you can take your futures trading anywhere on any device. Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Sierra Chart and other Third Party Solutions
If you are into thirdy-party solutions, such as Sierra Chart with Teton Order Routing, Ironbeam facilitates that connection without tack on fees. This is important because all to often Brokers are adding fees to traders when they simply want to use a different software than the Broker’s propietary offering. Ironbeam does not nickle and dime their clients! That honestly sets them apart from many if not most other Brokers.
Futures Trading: I am not going to try to play up the onboarding process with Ironbeam. To be honest I have never found it hard to get on with a Broker. What I will say is my experience with Ironbeam, specifically Mike Murphy, has been as easy and quick as I would expect. I would say the main differnce is in the interactions. Emails always answered timely and nothing out of the ordinary to open account. Even choosing to go with Sierra Chart and Teton was pretty simple. The Ironbeam support team is right there with the best of my experiences and gives me a sense of comfort that if anything were to go wrong they would be on the line in a second to help me.
Margins, Trade Fees and The Pit Offering: These days it is quite surprising how Brokers are starting people off with higher day margins for trading some of the more common contracts. Let’s be clear, day margin is not a concern of mine as I always have enough funds to trade whatever size I want, but it is more about being competitive with what I consider to be the norm. Ironbeam offers $500 / $50 day margins for the ES E-mini and Micro contracts**. That is good. That is competitive with what I consider to be the norm. However, you would be surprised that many these days are no lower than $1000 / $100. I am sure there is a reason but honestly, why? I love that Ironbeam has a no nonsense approach to trading Futures. You get the lower day margins right from the start. No having to go and plead your case to someone begging for lower day margins.
As far as commissions go you will find that the offer Ironbeam has given Pit Members is quite good. Are they the cheapest? No. Ask yourself if you really want the cheapest commissions. I promise you where you save one place you will end up hurting in another. Ironbeam is very competitive though and they have NO MONTHLY PLATFORM FEES* to receive the cheaper commissions. I am sure if someone were to do the math it probably works out to the Traders advantage to have a little higher commission but no monthly fee. Anyway, this goes right there with not being nickled and dimed to death. Just give me cheaper commisions and not the other nonsensical fees. That is exactly what Ironbeam does. Huge plus in my book!
Now Ironbeam has given The Pit Members an amazing deal. I could go into here in the write-up but I will just post the page and let you see for yourself.
I have one requirement when allowing someone to have access to Pit Members. They have to offer something exceptional. Ironbeam has delivered here. See for yourself the offer is solid. Not only what is on that page but if you trade more than 250 lots per month you can receive even deeper discounted commissions and again with no monthly platform fees*! That is a solid deal.
Some addition cool feature of working with Ironbeam:
- No funding minimum to open a live trading account.
- Trade directly on the exchange with Ironbeam. We don’t sell your order flow.
- 24 Hour Customer Support. If the Markets are open so is Ironbeam!
- Control a higher notional value with less capital through leverage.
- $50 margins for Micros and $500 for E-Minis. **
Conclusion: I could go on about many other things I like about Ironbeam but I can only truly speak to what is important to me. The above hits all the mafor buttons I have when choosing a Broker. I highly recommend you at least check out their site. Check out the offer they have extended Pit Members. You will be hard pressed to find better.
* Disclaimer: Although the Ironbeam trading platform is offered at no charge, commission, exchange, and NFA fees still apply
** MARGINS DISCLAIMER: Margins can change at any time, and without notice.