What’s the best futures broker for 2018? Well, futures brokers are not made equal. According to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest futures exchange in the world, there are 246 registered futures commission merchants (FCM) in the United States.
Out of these 246 registered FCMs, only a small portion offer futures trading to retail clients, and an even smaller portion offer retail futures trading.
Best Futures Broker for 2018: tastyworks
Options Bro’s Rating
As one of the newest online brokerages, tastyworks is pioneering the way towards affordable futures trading. Although closing trades aren’t free for futures, their per-contract pricing is a competitive $1.25 per contract. *New for 2018, options commissions are capped.
There are three simple reasons why tastyworks is the best futures broker with the best futures trading platform for 2018:
- Very low futures pricing. Options on futures at tastyworks are free to close
- Excellent futures trading platform. See the full review here.
- No auto-liquidation and no fees for cancelled orders
In terms of the actual futures trading platform, we absolutely love it. It’s shrinkingly similar to thinkorswim, the famous options and futures trading platform and brokerage company that TD Ameritrade acquired for $600 million in 2006. This is because the same man that developed thinkorswim, Tom Sosnoff, also developed tastyworks.
Not only is the tastyworks futures platform downloadable for a mac and PC, which is awesome, but it is also very intuitive and user friendly. We tested the platform having never seen it before, and we were able to quickly learn the ropes. See the full tastyworks review here.
Some futures trading features on tastywork’s platform that make it the best:
- Ability to quickly send, cancel and modify futures orders
- Variety of different futures order types, stop limit, limit, etc.
- Variety of order characteristics, time in force, fill or kill, good till cancel, etc.
- Intuitive price ladder for seeing bid and ask sizes
- Clicking a bid/ask price populates a trade window for easy access
With free futures trading data, a free robust futures trading platform, per-contract pricing of just $1.25, free closing trades for options on futures, and unlimited order cancellation/modifies, it is pretty much impossible to go wrong with tastyworks.
Other Futures Brokers
As a good rule of thumb, if you’re paying more than $1.50 per contract for futures trading, you’re overpaying. Trading with other brokers like TD Ameritrade for $2.25 per contract is simply a ripoff.
TraeStation is another very popular futures broker for 2018. Pricing starts at $1.50 per contract, and goes as low as $0.25 for high-volume traders.
Options Bro’s Rating
TradeStation is pretty much the cheapest futures broker in the world. All market data and software is free, and there are no inactivity or maintenance fees. *Although the $0.25 per contract futures pricing is for active traders who trade over 20,000 contracts a month there are more discounts available if you trade just 200 contracts a month. Regular pricing starts at $1.50.
Lots of futures traders think Interactive Brokers is a good choice for futures trading, since futures pricing starts at just $0.80 per contract, but what they don’t know is that Interactive Brokers has a minimum account balance of $10,000, inactivity fees, futures order cancellation fees, futures order modification fees, and futures data fees.
The fact that tastyworks doesn’t charge any nonsense fees, provides free level II futures data, a great platform to trade on, and so much more simply makes them the best.