I opened an Interactive Brokers account last week and plan to use them for stock and forex trading. That was a big step I had in my mind since 2005, when I was online trading in the Betfair markets. I have done a huge research on Forex brokers and decided to go with what seems the best online broker. I’m also considering blogging about online trading in a new blog, should I do it?
Ok, my recent news first. I have been researching for an online trading broker since I don’t know when and have read a lot about the differences between so-called ECN brokers and bucket shops. I have got an Oanda account since 2007 where I practiced with real money, which is now almost gone. I couldn’t care less of course, but now things are much more serious. That’s why I chose to go with the ECN route and try my best there. After all forex trading is not my only trading interest.
I have been stock trading in the Greek stock market as you might have read in my blog. Commission of the Greek brokers is through the roof and I’m really feeling like a sucker every time I login to my trading account. Well, no more. Commission here is about 0.4% on buying orders and 0.6% on selling orders. That is 1% commission on a full trade. Compare that to just 0.2% for most European stock markets via Interactive Brokers and you get the idea. But that’s not all.
You see – and I hope Greek traders do read this – the commission for trading in foreign stock exchanges has also got a… cap! Yes, that’s right, there’s a maximum commission you are asked to pay in each order of yours. For most exchanges the maximum commission is 29EUR. So if you are trading 100,000EUR in each trade, your effective commission is just 0.06%!
Margin accounts are also available at Interactive Brokers. On the other hand, a Greek bank is actually charging you for having a margin account, like taking a loan! Thanks but no thanks. And finally you can short sell when you open a trading position, that is winning when a stock price falls. Short selling is not available in the Greek stock market, believe it or not. I think it is available only in the derivatives market, but I haven’t dealt with those. So, when the big economic crisis hit Greece in 2009 and the stock market lost 50% of its value, I just waited the trend to reverse.
Well, it’s no surprise that the Greek stock market is not offered at Interactive Brokers. And which European stock market offers no cap to their commissions unlike the others?
You get the picture. I’ll be trading mainly stocks and forex with Interactive Brokers who require a $10,000 initial deposit, so they are not for… recreational traders.
I’m also thinking to stop posting trading articles in jimmakos.com and create a new trading blog, sharing my trading experiences there. To be honest it is just a part of a big move I’m considering to make the last months. Quit writing for my personal blog, jimmakos.com, and take my business in other blogs. In other words, to create a poker blog dedicating to my poker activities, an online trading blog and a blog about domain business and web designing. Jimmakos.com, although is increasing in readership and traffic stats, is not helping with that domain name. It is just too personal. People can’t find me easily when searching about trading, poker, betting or blogging since no English word is in the domain name describing any of those.
Well, maybe if I end up becoming too famous, it will serve its purpose! Until then I will keep posting my personal views in matters I won’t have to discuss in the other blogs. Designing 3 new blogs won’t be that easy and requires time, I just hope it’s worth the trouble.
Now, should I blog in English or in Greek? That’s the question…