I've been a Datek client for a couple of years. There are many things I like about them, and a few that worry me. The things I like are order improvement, quick execution, the way they present the information (i.e. their screens and navigation). The things that worry me are their commitment to MicroSoft products and the likelihood that they are going to force all their clients to use MicroSoft products to access their services (I've already moved one account away from them for that reason), their lack of responsiveness to problems with their software (I've reported problems that should concern them, and they answer with unresponsive lawyer-talk while ignoring the problem), and their insistence that everything should be handled electronically.
For me, it's sad, because I really like Datek, but I'll probably leave them because of their attempt to dictate how I conduct my business. I signed on with Datek to trade stocks and they have the best system I've seen. All I want from them is:
1) the kind of execution I'm getting. 2) confirmations and statements in a form that's useful to me. 3) the ability to use the computer system of my choice. 4) unrestricted access to a human on those rare occasions when I find it necessary to communicate with them (I'm not going to use one of those fancy "look-it-up-yourself" systems.)
I have been trading with Datek for more than a year now, and there has never been any trouble. In fact, the service has been excellent. The only thing I did not like was the way they handled the transfer of my portfolio from my old broker. They made a couple of mixtakes there, and it took far too long, about 4 weeks longer than they had said.
Not really, I have schwab and it's much better than datek. Not sure if the platinum signature member has anything to do with it, but as long as I entered price within the bid/ask range, it took. Nasdaq listed stocks execution is usually faster than the NYSE listed stocks. Schwab also offers StreetSmart Pro, free for frequent traders, including free level II, realtime charts, Technical Indicators and news. Point and click feature would take you directly to Velocity trading platform which allows multiple orders. Level 2 from schwab also mark the time and sale next to it so you can tell which bids/asks are faked.
Datek works well, but only when it works. The automatic updated daily activity seems fragile, and if the order wasn't filled after few java updates, you would have to do it manually. Level 2 cost money and only works 90% to 95% of the time each month. You have to rely on other paid service for realtime chart and Technical Analysis studies. And, oops, there is no indication of staled and/or fake bid/ask from Datek's level 2 quote. You would have no idea which bid or ask prices or which MM are being traded on.
Don't know much about NDB, and yes, there was also E-Trash. Totally agree with you on that.
OK 3 posts in a year won't break any records, but I use datek and love it. The one-click trade system is the best. My average execution time is less than 2 seconds. I also have had Schwab, the worst, NDB which is OK, and E-Trash.
This is a great place to open up an account:
2)able to trade OTC:BB (only limit orders)
3)free, attractive real time streamer
4)Money Mag., Forbes, TheStreet.com think its the best
5)simple, no-frills user interface
6)personally, I've never had any trading horror-stories