Sunday, July 20, 2008

New version of Fidelity Active Trader Pro

Fidelity has released a new version of its Active Trader Pro, and Barron's has provided a review. The direct link to get more information about Active Trader Pro on the Fidelity site is here. The application is only available to Fidelity customers that have traded 36 times over the past 12 months. By comparison, a tool like TD Ameritrade's Command Center is available for all TD Ameritrade customers, regardless of the TD Ameritrade's trading volume.

Commissions drop from as much as about $20 a trade to as little as $8 for active traders, and ATP itself is free to those who qualify. Transactions can include options as well as stocks and exchange-traded funds. As you trade more, ATP tosses more tools your way, all usable within the app, including Dow Jones news services (an affiliate of Barron's), Level II quotes and interactive charting. Those who trade 120 times or more over 12 months are eligible for Fidelity's back-testing tool, Wealth-Lab Pro.
Again, Fidelity's competitors offer cheaper trades, and free back-testing tools that don't have a minimum trading volume requirement.
The options-order entry screen allows you to create strategies with as many as four legs, so that you can be selling and buying calls at four different strike prices. Options traders will be able to view the greeks, which measure a particular option's potential risk and reward over time from the option's chain displays. They also can use a multi-leg pairing tool that displays bid/ask spreads. They'll also be able to find historical options charts.
Historical options charts are a big draw for me.

Overall, I didn't see anything in the review that would cause me to switch to Fidelity so I could use the tool, but for existing mass affluent customers that are active traders, the tool is worth checking out.