What firm best for Options?

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Aug 29, 2009 2:01 pm

What firm is the most option friendly out there? I'm finding the fine firm I pay to help me with my business is increasingly difficult to deal with.




 
Options strategies are more for HNW clients I'm finding. You would think that would be the business they want to attract. 
 
I feel that many firms just want a bunch of annuity & mutual fund business more than anything. Perhaps that's why Danny so loves the ISG channel. They don't squawk, they get paid lower, they have an employee mentality and  can be readily replaced.
 
Contrasting that with other business models that can't be readily replicated by the firm should the broker leave the firm cant sink their teeth into it so easily.
 
Just my humble opinion.
 
Any thoughts / suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Aug 30, 2009 12:44 pm

shameless bump

Aug 30, 2009 2:32 pm

What about going the RIA route?

Aug 30, 2009 6:23 pm

Not to be a Stifel Cheerleader again but...Ihave found SF to be very option friendly and we have an AWESOME option strategist that provides trading strategy and updates several times a day...at least 3 also entry and exit points. He has been spot on for the most part.

Aug 30, 2009 6:52 pm
deekay:

What about going the RIA route?

 
I've thought about it.
Aug 30, 2009 7:20 pm
Gaddock:
deekay:

What about going the RIA route?



I've thought about it.





You can do a lot more as an RIA. The best partnership is no partnership.

Aug 30, 2009 8:52 pm

Yeah but the working out of the house thing 'MAY' put a dent in credibility for my lager accounts that have a committee that makes decisions and they are of a persuasion that is keenly aware of Madoff and understand about compliance at a WH or bank preventing this. Even though a RIA deal would too it's a bit harder to convince.

 
These are thoughts in my head, probably not my clients but I'm trying to consider every angle.
 
THANKS ALL, ANY AND ALL THOUGHTS GREATLY APPRECIATED.
 
Gaddock
Aug 30, 2009 9:03 pm

You bitch about compliance constantly yet you're worried about how a lack of compliance will impact your clients' impression of you?  I don't get it.  I mean, these institutional accounts will have some sort of vetting and due diligence process, won't they?  I understand they could have concerns about you becoming the next Madoff, but if that were the case, why would they stay clients while you're still in the wirehouse world?

Aug 30, 2009 9:21 pm

you really don't have a clue about isg.  we're just wirehouse guys that got the keys to the vault.  a bit of extra bs to deal with, but it works. 

 
i'm a cfp, i trade options just like i did at smith barney and run a mostly fee-based book.  the hack bank brokers were turned out over 5 years ago.
 
 
Aug 30, 2009 9:44 pm
go_huskies:

you really don't have a clue about isg. we're just wirehouse guys that got the keys to the vault.









Huskie is correct.    There are guys doing monster numbers.    They have everything PCG does and.....very well put...the keys to the vault

Aug 30, 2009 9:48 pm

Gaddock-

I am set up as a RIA and I do alot of options (mostly buy-write) so here are my two cents:
Under a RIA you don't need to deal with a compliance department that only understands MPT. When I was at a wirehouse I always had to explain my strategy. They would look at me as a crazy person for recommending options in any clients accounts - and I only used covered calls at the time. No headaches and compliance is really much easier than you would think under a RIA.

However, I have yet to find a really good platform for buy write strategies that you can block trade. At mother merril you build the portfolio and hit enter and be done. The RIA side is much more manual. There are some software addons out there, I just haven't had the time to research these.

If you are mostly fee, then take a hard look at the RIA side. FINRA and the SEC have two very different views on how to run a business. SEC wants disclosure - disclose what you are going to do and stick with it. FINRA assumes you are always cheating a client :)

Good Luck!

Aug 31, 2009 9:11 am

No idea if they do custody for RIAs, but I'd recommend thinkorswim.com.  Its a subsidary of TD Ameritrade.  One of my favorite aspects of them are that closing option trades at $0.05 or less are free.

Aug 31, 2009 9:14 am

I love TOS. I use them for my personal accounts. They do have a RIA solution, but I didn't think clients would want to use a firm called Think or Swim.  I use TDA, hopefully there will be some integration on the RIA side.

Aug 31, 2009 10:24 am

I use them for my personal accounts too.  I don't think the name is too much of an issue - I'd understand if it were Churn Investments or something satanic sounding.  But Think or Swim is a silly sounding name.

Aug 31, 2009 2:29 pm

What option issues are you having at WFA?  I have never had any.  Is it branch level headaches you are dealing with?

Aug 31, 2009 4:42 pm
deekay:

You bitch about compliance constantly

 
WTF are you talking about? Where have you seen me bitch about compliance?
 
Never mind, I don't care don't bother.
Aug 31, 2009 4:46 pm
CALI123:

Gaddock-

I am set up as a RIA and I do alot of options (mostly buy-write) so here are my two cents:
Under a RIA you don't need to deal with a compliance department that only understands MPT. When I was at a wirehouse I always had to explain my strategy. They would look at me as a crazy person for recommending options in any clients accounts - and I only used covered calls at the time. No headaches and compliance is really much easier than you would think under a RIA.

However, I have yet to find a really good platform for buy write strategies that you can block trade. At mother merril you build the portfolio and hit enter and be done. The RIA side is much more manual. There are some software addons out there, I just haven't had the time to research these.

If you are mostly fee, then take a hard look at the RIA side. FINRA and the SEC have two very different views on how to run a business. SEC wants disclosure - disclose what you are going to do and stick with it. FINRA assumes you are always cheating a client :)

Good Luck!

 
Thanks for your thoughts. I'm pretty much resigned that a firm that uses Thomson would be the place(s) that would best facilitate such a business model.
Aug 31, 2009 4:49 pm
QB:

What option issues are you having at WFA?  I have never had any.  Is it branch level headaches you are dealing with?

 
Not saying I am per say. If I was to have an issue or two it would be how the rules for what type of client can have higher than level 2.
 
What if you had a large client that had 5 and then the next thing you know they are only level 2. Kind of hard to explain that away.
Aug 31, 2009 4:52 pm
go_huskies:

you really don't have a clue about isg. 

 
Nor do I care.
Aug 31, 2009 4:53 pm

That sounds a lot like complaining about compliance.  Am I missing something?

 
I'm not trying to be a d!ck, I truly would like to help anyway I can (as limited as that may be).  Although, it seems you have a high understanding of options, you may not realize your full potential until you go totally independant/RIA.  Just my two cents.