As a trader, you have to dig through tons of information everyday so you can make accurate trades. And while that has been part and parcel of trading since its inception, modern technology has made it possible to reduce that workload through automation.
The Brokerage Plus (B+) add-on feature from Trade Ideas is one of the tools meant for that job. It scours the markets for you and presents you with the accessibility you need to make accurate choices even while you’re on the move.
It, among other things, helps you in the following ways: Automates your alert strategy
Enables access to extra execution functionalities when linked to Interactive Brokers (IB) Makes it easier to load your strategies from the cloud provides you with algorithmic risk management cushioning.
We could go on and on, but we think our point has been made. So, just how good is B+ when put to practical use? This detailed review explores.
Brokerage Plus – What We Like About This Add-on Module
There are a bunch of awesome features unique to this Trade Ideas platform. But like we have stated, you need to link it up with your IB account to get the full benefits of it. So, if you don’t have an IB account this might be a major stumbling block for you.
Interactive Broker (IB) – More about Them
If you’ve been living under a rock, IB is one of the leading, global trading platforms. It provides you with direct access to more than 120 global exchanges. What’s more? It is known for its wealth of tools enabling you to trade almost anything that’s tradeable. We’re talking about equities, options, and even futures. This is probably what informed TI to specifically choose them for their newest kid on the block i.e. the B+. At the same time, we really hope that their developers are going to do what it takes to open this system to other brokerage services. That said, we happen to think that there are many good reasons to give this futuristic system a try. Some of those include:
Easy to Set Up
Setting up your Brokerage Plus tool and ensuring that it’s accessible from your workstation is quite simple. That said, you’ll need to make a few customizations to it so you can get the most from it. And for that, you’ll need to go to the Global Configuration setting which can be accessed as follows File> Global Configuration. Under the Global Configuration are a number of checkboxes that you might want to check or uncheck. Trade Ideas recommends checking the following boxes:
Enable ActiveX and Socket Clients
Download open orders on connection
Include FX positions when sending portfolio
Send status updates for FP and volatility orders with “Socket Port”
Use negative numbers to bind automatic orders
Allow connections from localhost only
Please note that the Socket Port box needs to be populated with some numbers. You can simply use “7497” if you’re trading on demo or “7496” for live mode.
Defining Your Automated Strategy
Would you like to define your automated trading strategy? It’s quite easy to do that using the right-click trade order option exclusive to B+. You can also do so on the “Strategies tab” where you can state the entry and exit rules that you desire to use. On top of that, you can always customize your columns at this very section of the tool. All you need to do is right click on the header. This will reveal the column chooser for you.
- Rapid Order Function
Once you have your strategy up and running, chances are that you’ll want to open multiple orders with ease also. Doing so manually can be tedious and might cause you to waste a few precious seconds. Not anymore with the Rapid Order Buttons which, once again, are unique to Brokerage Plus. The order entry panel is generally quite well made. It comes with the functionality needed to switch from shares to dollars per trade and vice versa. Plus, you can also use this interface to unlock the price field as well as choose your “Stop Price” preferences.
- Intuitive Order Grid
If you want to keep track of the orders you’ve made, the Orders Tab has got all that taken care of. Not only does it display all your orders, but it also provides you with details of their status. And if you’d like to pinpoint some specific trades, you can filter and sort your orders right on this grid.
- Simple Interface
We absolutely love the fact that B+ has an extremely easy-to-use user-interface. In fact, only 3 options currently exist on the menu and those are:
Connection: This is the option that connects your B+ to your workstation.
New: Use this tool to open a free-floating window and reveal options such as Accounts, Messages Executions, Order Entry, Orders, Positions, and Strategies.
Windows: This is yet another handy tool that helps you restore any minimized free-floating windows. Plus, you can use it pin any free-floating window that you’d like to keep track of even when loading other layouts.
You can conveniently add this tool to your subscription by parting with an extra $1100. Fortunately, that’s a one-time fee.
What We Don’t Like About It
Much as this is a well-thought-out platform, we happen to think that there are several teeny-weeny issues with it. The top 2 ones that we’d like to highlight are:
You need to be using IB for you to benefit from B+. Much as they have a broad product portfolio, they’ve been faulted for having a complicated trading platform. Plus, the only way to fund your account (or withdraw) is through bank transfer.
You won’t benefit much from it if you’re using a standard Trade Ideas account. That said, you can still access it and use it to manage your IBKR portfolio or conduct one-click trades. But if you want to use automatic trading, you’ll then need to upgrade to the Premium option which obviously comes at an extra cost.
This is a great add-on module. It has lots of tools and boasts the capability to streamline your trading experience. So, if you don’t like the idea of sitting behind the computer all day and doing things manually, this is probably something you want to add to your trading arsenal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Romain is an independent trader and investor specializing in financial market analysis and trading systems. He worked as a professional long/short equity trader for a trading firm in New York and has a passion for building mechanical trading strategies. He has been in the industry since 2008.
This post expresses the opinions of the writer and is for information, entertainment purposes only. Romain is not a registered financial advisor or certified analyst. The reader agrees to assume all risk resulting from the application of any of the information provided. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns and financial trading is full of risk.) Please read the Full Disclaimer