Advantage Futures (FCM / Futures Clearing firm)
It's rare that I'm happy enough with a company I work with that I think of offering them an endorsement on these pages.
As a professional trader, the quality of my clearing firm, perhaps even more in the area of technical support than in the area of customer service (though the latter is also quite important), is a major factor in my ability to make a living -- or at least my ability to make a fair attempt at making a living.
I signed on with Advantage Futures after doing some online research (my career having been more in options trading than futures trading so I had some homework to do), with a particular focus on finding an FCM where I could use the particular trading software that I want to use. Since the software is server-based with the servers managed by the clearing firm, I was limited to the handful of firms that have that capability, but that's fine because those firms are likely to be better in other areas as well given the infrastructure needed to support customers like me.
For traders with less demanding technology needs, Advantage has plenty of other software solutions, along with very fast access to all the major US futures markets, and some key foreign markets as well.
When I've had technology issues, they've responded quickly and professionally, including through their 24-hour tech help desk -- a fairly remarkable feature for an FCM.
Their commissions are better than average, and damn cheap for the quality of their tech infrastructure. (To be clear, if you are going to host your trading software on one of their servers, there is an additional modest charge for use of the shared server, but unless you need a dedicated server it is still much cheaper than a dedicated solution.)
If you're looking for a futures broker, I can (and do) offer my reccomendation (which was not requested by Advantage) to Advantage Futures.
My customer service representative, in the Professional Traders Group at Advantage is Jason Yoo, whom you can reach directly if you're looking to open a futures clearing account, at (312) 800-7079 or by e-mail at jyoo(at)advantagefutures(dot)com
[UPDATE: I am no longer with Advantage, but that's because I've changed my business model. If I still needed the services and technology that Advantage provides, I would still be a client, and would look to them first if I were to return to my prior business model.]
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