Finding an Emini Trading Broker
There are many options when it comes to choosing an e-mini day trading broker that can deliver great service and competitive pricing. There are a few important tips you should keep in mind when you’re shopping for your day trading brokerage:
Commissions: The most obvious thing to take into consideration is the cost associated when using a broker. For day traders, the most expensive cost is the commissions. There are many different types of commissions, and it’s important to know your costs before you start investing.
If you’re trading e-mini futures, then you’ll more than likely end up paying a flat commission per contract traded. Basically, you will pay a commission to your broker for each contract traded, regardless of how many contracts you trade at a time. If your broker is charging $2.00 per side, then you’d end up paying $4.00 for every “round turn”.
For example, if you bought 20 emini Dow contracts you would end up paying $2.00 per contract, or $40.00 total. When you liquidate (or sell) your 20 contracts, you’ll pay another $40.00. Thus, your total brokerage commission would be $80 round turn for 20 contracts.
Margin: When daytrading futures, you will be trading on “margin”. Essentially, you’re not investing money into a company. Rather, with e-minis you are trading contracts that require some sort of deposit. Your broker doesn’t take the margin money out of your account. Instead, they make sure you have enough margin money in your account to support the amount of contracts your trading.
For example, let’s assume your brokers minimum margin requirement is $1,000 per S&P 500 e-mini contract. If you were trading 10 contracts, then you would be required to keep a minimum of $10,000 (10 contracts x $1,000) in your account at all times. If your account ever dips below the minimum margin requirement, then your broker can liquidate your position without notice. After all, if you don’t have enough money to cover your position, then the broker is required to provide the funds to the CME Group.
Data Feed: If you’re intra-day trading futures, stocks, or any other kind of equity, then you must have a real-time data feed. Some brokers provide delayed feeds, but you need real-time data from the exchange. Believe it or not, not all data feeds are created equally.
A lot of professional traders use tick charts which measure the amount of transactions, not time. And to accurately utilize tick charts, you need to have what we refer to as an “unbundled data feed”. This means that you’re counting each and every transaction. Some data feed providers will bundle data, or group trades together.
For example, a bundled data feed could show 1 transaction of 10 contracts, but in reality there are 10 transactions of 1 contract each. If you were to compare two tick charts side-by-side, then you would see a significant difference.
Service: In today’s day in age people demand great service. And it’s no different when choosing an e-mini broker. You should have access to the trade desk where you can call in orders if needed. Let’s say your internet connection goes out and you can’t close out your trade. You’d need to be able to get your broker on the phone immediately to close out your position.
To sum it up, a good emini broker will provide competitive commissions, reasonable margins, a fast and reliable data feed, and great service.
Optimus Futures also offers great data feeds and commissions for e-minis.
Disclaimer: The Emini Academy does NOT get compensated from any broker in any way.