OptionsXpress AutoTrade - Beta Test

I’m looking for a few users who have an OptionsXpress account and are interested in participating in a beta test of C2 AutoTrading using OptionsXPress.

C2/OptionsXPress allows AutoTrading of stocks, options, futures, and mutual funds. It is all server-based - i.e. no need for any software running on your computer.

Please email me if you are interested. Put the work “OptionsXpress Beta” in the subject line. You can capitalize the word “optionsXpress” however you like.


Does anyone have an idea of how the fills of OX compare to, say IB or MBT? Do they trade all stocks?

I don’t need the answer anymore. Their commissions are too high for me.

Jules… the trick is to make so much profit per trade that the commissions are insignificant [insert smiley face here]. Seriously, I use OX because of programming convenience. I’d prefer IB, otherwise. Another thing to watch out for with OX is that they don’t offer the full scope of futures that IB does, and that are traded by some C2 vendors. When IB comes out with an open API, as opposed to a java/windows based “run our middleware to access the API” solution, I’ll switch to IB without hesitation. Their trade executions were excellent (but so are OX’s, when it comes to futures limit orders that fall between bid/ask… no complaints there).

"When IB comes out with an open API, as opposed to a java/windows based “run our middleware to access the API” solution, I’ll switch to IB without hesitation."

This is off-topic, but why is their solution a problem?

Without getting into too much detail… I have a cluster of Unix servers that run my trade management system. The various applications that make up the system are written in C (various feed daemons) and C++ (trade execution and management modules). The cluster is co-located at a major ISP (TimeWarner Telecom), so rack space and power (I have my own UPS in the rack) are considerations. I do not want to have to install yet another server, just so it can run windows and java, in order to interface with IB. From an implementation standpoint, that is just plain silly! The final straw - which broke the camel’s back - is the fact that the middleware requires you to log-in from the console every time it is started… there is no way to pass it a user/pass via the command-line or within a file. So if windows crashes, there is no way to automatically restart the IB middleware - my intervention via a remote console is required! This is just plain ridiculous, and for a system that is monitoring open trades every 5 seconds to keep me out of hot water, this is completely unacceptable. Yes - I’ve actually spoken with the IB development team to verify this… their only solution is that I install their $1500/mo leased line, to talk to their back-end directly. There are other software solutions to work around all these issues… which amounts to building a commercial financial processing solution using band-aids.

Compare this (the windows/java/manual log-in middleware) to my Unix boxes… which never crash unless there’s a hardware problem (which does not affect my trading system, as all four servers can take over the tasks of others). One of my servers (not a trading one, a credit card processing one I’ve had for ages) had been up for seven (7) years straight, until the hard drive finally crapped out. That’s the only kind of reliability that I find acceptable for any financial transaction processing system… especially if it’s dealing with my money as well.

Thanks for the explanation. I didn’t know that you work with servers. I just started an attempt to login at MBT via Excel VBA, and so far I wasn’t able to avoid a manual OK-click either. But it must be possible, because TB manages to do it too. Anyway, I understand that this only one of your reasons.


- mbtFIX gateway… might not require middleware. The downside is you’ll have to learn FIX protocol and write a handler for it. The plus is this is a standard protocol.

- For quotes and level II data, you need no middleware. For account functions (placing trades, etc) you need middleware. See link #1 for an explanation.

- There are windows “auto-fill in the box” programs you can use to get around your current problem (or you could detect the dialogue box and feed it input). I know this because there is one made just for the IB middleware API garbage.

[1] http://www.quotetracker.com/help/mbtrading.shtml

Thanks for the tips! I just got around it by changing one of the subs associated with the dialog box. But I can look to the other suggestions nevertheless. Thanks again.