My thoughts on various brokers

See the video for my thoughts on the various brokers I use. See also my first impressions of Speedtrader and my review of SogoElite. [Edit 6/21/2011 — Subsequent to me posting this video Sogotrade has changed hands (Genesis Securities sold it to Wang) and the borrows for shorts are not good there anymore. I recommend against using Sogotrade.]

Full resolution video

More posts on brokers:

How to borrow shares to short
An introduction to short selling at Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers brings the stock loan marketplace to the independent trader

HOD list: How to find stocks breaking out to new highs
My Interactive Brokers Traders Workstation configuration / workspace
How to scan for pre-market gainers using Interactive Brokers

Disclosure: Short 2,000 ANTS and 5,000 HAUP. No positions in any other stocks mentioned. This blog has a terms of use that is incorporated by reference into this post; you can find all my disclaimers and disclosures there as well.

0 thoughts on “My thoughts on various brokers”

  1. Another excellent video sir!

    WIth IB, when you want to short a stock that they have to locate shares for you, what price do you put your order in at?

    I have not been successful yet in getting shares which has me stumped.

    So it hasn’t worked for me and I am not sure if I am doing something wrong.

    Let’s use ANTS as an example but pretend the shares are hard to come by. I would put in an order to short it above the market by some amount so as to not get filled immediately. Like 25 cents, but then also have to keep an eye on it cause any stock can spike past the point from which I initiated the request for shares.

    Am I doing this correctly at IB?


    1. I added the following to my “how to borrow shares to short” post:

      “Because Interactive Brokers’ system automatically searches for stock to borrow from various lenders and then displays how many shares are shortable, if it shows that there are no shares to short, placing an order to short is almost futile. You can place an order, which will cause the system to automatically look for more shares, but I have found that to almost never result in the system finding shares. The one benefit of placing an order is that TWS should notify you if you place a short order for which there are no shares and shares do later become available.”

  2. So help me understand this. There is the column labeled “shortable” and under that is “Quantity”

    That column has two colors
    Light Green meaning at least 1,000 shares are available
    Dark Green, hard to borrow, IB will have to locate the shares

    I don’t recall seeing any field with #s in it saying how many shares are actually available.

    It is when I try to short stocks that have the dark green cell that I have yet to obtain shares.

    Do I understand the issue correctly?


  3. Okay, I thought so. It seems then that IB doesn’t have any better availability to shorts than TS does. The only advantage is an immediate indication on your watchlist (colored columns). With TS you just have to create a short order above the market for it to tell you that no shares are available and to call into the trade desk. The other advantage is that with IB you don’t have to call the trade desk, you just put in your request.


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