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tastyworks Futures Trading Account Review: Margin Requirements, Leverage, Pricing, and Platform (2019)



Trading Futures at tastyworks


If you’re interested in trading futures, there are a few securities brokers to provide the service. tastyworks is one of them, and the company actually offers three platforms that can be used to buy and sell futures contracts. Here’s the rundown:


Pricing and Availability


tastyworks customers pay $1.25 per contract per side for futures trades. The broker-dealer does pass on exchange, clearing, and regulatory fees. The clearing fee is 30¢ per contract. The NFA fee is 2¢ per contract.

Micro futures are available at tastyworks. These cost $1.25 per contract to open or close. Once again, fees are passed onto the trader.

The final product tastyworks offers in the realm of futures is options on futures. These are a pricier $2.50 per contract on the open side, but a cheaper $0.00 on the closing side.

Not all futures contracts are available at tastyworks. The broker-dealer offers five currency futures (Euro, Yen, Pound, Canadian Dollar, and Aussie Dollar), two energy contracts (nat gas and crude oil), two metals futures (gold and silver), and three grain contracts. There are also some interest rate and index futures contracts.


Desktop System


The first piece of software tastyworks clients can use to trade futures contracts is the company’s desktop platform. It has a pre-installed futures watchlist with every contract available on the platform. Clicking on one of the contracts automatically populates a top bar with trading information. Data points up here include bid and ask numbers, the day’s price change, last trade price, and contract name, such as Eurodollar Futures Dec-19 for ticker symbol /GEZ9.


tasty works Furures Trading


Also populated is a graph in the middle of the screen. It can be expanded almost the full width of the computer monitor by adjusting the sizes of the side columns. Charting comes with multiple graph styles and several drawing tools. We did not find any technical studies. A contract’s full life can be displayed.

To place a trade on the desktop software, you simply need to click on a bid or ask price. Doing so will immediately generate a trade ticket in the middle of the screen. The new screen will have a top row of information. In this row is a strategy selector, such as long futures (to buy a futures contract) or short straddle (to take a short position on futures options). It’s also possible to add legs to an order if you want to create your own.


tasty works Furures Platform


The tastyworks desktop program offers two formats to build a trade: table and curve. In the table mode, bid and ask prices are shown in chain format. You simply need to click on the bid or ask price of the option or futures contract you want to buy or sell.

In graph format, the software shows a bell curve with the probability of price movements of one standard deviation (68%) by the time the expiration date rolls around. This is based on implied volatility. In curve format, contracts in a trade can also be easily dragged left or right to change their strike prices.

The order ticket has net credit, net debit, market, limit, and stop order types. Buy is color coded in green, and sell is red. Buying power, maximum profit, and maximum loss are all shown in the trade bar as well.


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Browser Platform


Besides the desktop system, tastyworks also offers a browser platform. Launched from within a tasty account, the software has a similar interface as its desktop cousin. A ‘Follow’ icon in the left-hand menu shows what some of the company’s employees have been trading. On the day we did our research, Tom Sosnoff, one of the company’s CEOs, bought a March 2020 10-year U.S. Treasure Note futures contract.

The trading ticket once again comes in two modes: curve and table. The look is a little different; but all the same rules discussed above apply. In-the-money and out-of-the-money icons are shown on contract icons, a nice addition from the desktop system.


Mobile App


The third and final platform for futures trading at tastyworks is the company’s mobile app. Once again we find a similar interface with a black background and red for downside and green for upside. The top menu provides several display choices, from positions to 52-week near high to futures contracts. Selecting futures contracts delivers an entire page of color-coded contracts. Besides grid mode, these contracts can also be displayed in list mode.


tastyworks app Futures Trading


Tapping on a square produces details about a particular contract. Data points include volume and OHLC numbers. Swiping to the right displays a chart, which goes from 24 hours to 52 weeks.

The order ticket is created by tapping on a blue order button. The same order choices available on the other platforms are included on the mobile app.


Comparison


Several contracts are missing at tastyworks that we did find at E*Trade. These include the Nikkei 225 contract (/NKD), heating oil (/HO), ultra T-bond (/UB), palladium (/PA), live cattle (/LE), and bitcoin (/BTC). E*Trade customers pay $1.50 per contract per side.

Futures contracts can be traded at TD Ameritrade on the company’s desktop platform thinkorswim. The commission is a steeper $2.25, but the software program has some notable advantages, such as dealing boxes.


tastyworks Futures Trading Judgment


tastyworks has very good futures trading technology with low commissions. It is certainly a good value, and depending on what contracts you want to trade, it may very well be the best value among discount securities brokers.


Open tastyworks Account


Open account and pay no commissions on stocks and ETFs.

Open Tastyworks Account


Tastyworks Futures Trading reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com. Rating: 4.5