April 25, 2007 at 7:44 pm | | Comments 34

CyberTrader Fully Integrating With Schwab

CyberTrader Elite

I’ve been a Schwab client for about a decade now, and I’ve been trading through CyberTrader for about 4 years. CyberTrader is owned by Schwab, so it’s been no surprise to see quality customer service provided by both of them. I’ve used Schwab for my longer-term accounts and CyberTrader for my active trading accounts, but today there’s some big news I just received from CyberTrader regarding some changes coming a little later this year.

In late 2007, CyberTrader plans to fully integrate with Charles Schwab, bringing the best of both worlds together. The active trading fees will be dirt-cheap just as they currently are with CyberTrader, but some benefits will obviously come about from this integration.

CyberTrader has been the driving force for Schwab’s StreetSmart Pro platform, which is a modified version of the CyberTrader Pro platform. As a result, CyberTrader clients will be able to trade on virtually the exact same platform.

Additionally, fees will be much improved in a few areas. The Level 2 access fee at CyberTrader has been $249/month for accounts trading fewer than 40,000 shares each month, but that will drop to $10 per month at Schwab for those same accounts (it will be waived for any account with 10 trades per month). Schwab will also offer 3 free wire transfers per quarter for accounts over $100k, which is nice for us active traders who need to move funds. The account minimums will also drop, helping out the more casual traders quite a bit.

The only thing about the platform that won’t be offered (at least initially) is that StreetSmart Pro won’t offer Basket Orders, which is something that sector traders rely heavily on.

As for investment products, StreetSmart Pro won’t offer access to futures, but fixed-income vehicles and mutual funds will be available, so that’s a great way to keep everything in one place if you ask me.

The move also comes with 24/7 support and nationwide branches, so that will be great for those after-hours requests that sometime come up.

Real-time news like Briefing will still be included, which is also great.

CyberTrader is looking to make the transition easy for clients, and until late this year I’m going to stay right where I am!

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

[tags]Stock Market, Day Trading, Stock Trading, Investing, Swing Trading, CyberTrader, Charles Schwab[/tags]

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  1. I am currently on active trader with Schwab using Street smart pro. Does this mean that I will have access to the cybertrader platform and low cost, or is the reverse: that those currently with cybertrader get access to Schwab? Thanks for the clarification and btw, great blog!

  2. Hey George,

    CyberTrader will be moving under the name of Schwab Active Trader. However, Schwab bought CyberTrader to begin with for their data operations as well as the software, so the StreetSmart Pro platform is actually a Schwab-modified version of the CT Pro platform. I can’t speak for CyberTrader, but my guess is that since CT clients will be shifted over to StreetSmart Pro, that the SS Pro platform will be improved and upgraded more frequently. (That’s just my hunch as a CT client given my experience with them.)

    I do know that commissions will be same as what CyberTrader currently offers, which for standard per-share clients is $0.006/share, which is much cheaper than SS Pro. Also the minimums will be lower to attain that pricing, so if you’re already a SS Pro client it should get better for you if you’re on their standard pricing (from what I understand).

    Hope this helps! Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you like the blog! Trade well this week,


  3. Jeff,

    i just had a long talk with an active trader rep from schwab. she says that current cybertrader clients will migrate to street smart pro, will not have per share pricing, no futures, no minis and more. i told her that if that is true that schwab will lose many customers, etc. can you believe that cr*p??!! apparently many of the active trader reps lobbied aggressively for full integration with no losses of functions to the higher ups. it appears upper level management has tin ears. if you happen to talk to them let me know if you find anything new, thanks

  4. George,

    She is incorrect. As a CyberTrader client, I was given a secure link to login to view a page which has all the integration features, and the pricing will absolutely stay the same. There was also a video from CyberTrader’s President Vincent Phillips explaining that.

    I just checked CyberTrader’s homepage which has an integration link, including a FAQ about the integration for per-share pricing. They say “the pricing structure set up for your account at CyberTrader will be honored once your account is transferred to Schwab.”

    So there it is, official from them!


  5. Jeff,

    just talked to another schwab rep and he says that cybertrader will honor existing clients pricing, etc when you guys integrate this fall. the commitment extends to 2009. a little cognitive dissonance from schwab reps to say the least. for current active traders there is no per share pricing structure for the forseeable future, and as you have rightly noted no minis, futures at all. shwab is making some right moves here, but they drop the ball big time by not seeking and attracting other pros who would add to their bottom line not to mention creatin a world class platform. my 2 bits. keep up the good work.

  6. George,

    Glad someone on Schwab’s end confirmed it for you. You could open a new account with Cyber prior to the integration and get that pricing if you wanted, so that once the integration takes place and you’re (back) at Schwab you have the better pricing. Just a thought.

    The per-share pricing should be offered at all brokerages these days in my opinion, so to see anyone not offer it as an option is a mistake I think.

    I agree, Schwab should be gunning for the active traders, and since the technology is already there with CyberTrader for emini trading it would only make sense to me to keep it there. To my knowledge, the other “mainstream” brokers don’t offer it, so that would provide Schwab with an edge that others who are not direct-access brokers don’t have.

    The CyberTrader developers are top-notch, I’ve worked with a few of them to provide them feedback and feature requests, and it’s been so neat to see a firm focused on providing what TRADERS need, instead of solely looking at what impacts their biz. They know if they meet the needs of traders, they’ll retain clients and make more in the long run as a broker. Hopefully Schwab can include that attitude with the Active Trader division as well!


  7. A TON will change with the elimination of cybertrader & the switch to Schwab.

    Look here.

  8. Hey Jack,

    Interesting thread there, thanks for the link.

    Most complaints on that thread seem tied to 3 issues: 6 chart limit, no futures trading, and no API. I trade full-time and only use 5 charts along with the tabbed feature and it’s plenty for me (essentially many more charts). I also don’t trade futures or use the API. With multiple-login access, a trader could also open more windows via separate layouts on different PC’s if needed.

    As more info rolls out, I’ll know better what my personal plan will be, but at first glance I’m more disappointed with the lack of explaining Schwab/CyberTrader has provided about this rather than platform changes which don’t appear to be major.

    Given the heat they are taking over this, I would not be surprised to see SS Pro integrate more of the CT Pro features than originally planned just to alleviate the pressure they are coming under!


  9. The routing changes seem to be the real killer. Charts, quotes, API, all important, but if you can’t get the executions, all else is eye candy. Look at the limited SS Pro routings. That’s the big ouch. If nasdaq orders will be pushed to UBS then you might as well trade at Scottrade or any of the other crapo brokers.

  10. Hey Jack,

    What link do you see the SS Pro routing venue choices listed on? I cannot seem to find a list, and just assumed the same routing choices would be offered that CT offers.

    I figured CyberXchange would be changed to SmartEx (schwab’s version), but assuming hotkeys are still available then you can still set up orders as you wish (ie, INET, ARCA, etc.). I am checking on this to make sure, because like you said, that is the main thing.

    Will post here when I find out.


  11. There’s no hotkeys for trading on SS Pro. SmartEx is a totally different routing than CyberXchange. CyberXchange is farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr superior, in my opinion.

  12. Schwab AT told me today by phone that hotkeys are available, and the rep I spoke with has been at Schwab AT for 10 years so he knew his stuff. He also confirmed that routing venues may be chosen in SS Pro (like a direct order to ARCA, for example).

    I don’t use CyberXchange much, as I prefer to route orders through INET and ARCA. I think the whole exchange consolidation is going to be followed by brokerage consolidation, so we could be looking at a different world in a few years. Might be that Schwab is just accepting it now, but they still have some things to address to please the CT clients.

    Some hyper-active traders just may not find their needs met, but for probably 98% of traders it won’t matter. I suppose that is just how integrations work….some will be pleased with the results and some will be upset, so it is a numbers game and the masses count most.


  13. “Schwab AT told me today by phone that hotkeys are available, and the rep I spoke with has been at Schwab AT for 10 years so he knew his stuff. ”

    Pure BS.

    Download the SS Pro simulator. There are hotkeys, but no hotkeys for order placement.

  14. Hey Jack,

    Well the good thing is I don’t trade on a simulator so what is or isn’t in there now I could care less about. I’m not going to freak out about what their simulator doesn’t offer. But hopefully by later this year after they migrate more CT Pro features over the hotkeys for orders will be in there for the actual platform – it’s the only one that counts.

    And a key thing for me is that this integration is going to happen several months from now, so a lot can change. When CT & Schwab each say they don’t know all the details, that is fine by me at this stage. I don’t think it’s ideal, but there is sure no need to panic at this point or jump their case about it until certain things are in concrete and finalized.

    For now I have a rock-solid platform that meets all my needs in CT Pro, and with several months to go there is ample time for the right features to be integrated that already do exist (and which Schwab has essentially already paid for to develop by owning CT all this time, mind you), and if our needs aren’t met at that point then we have the freedom to seek alternatives. It’s that simple, so right now I am not going to lose a wink of sleep over it! CT knows what their traders value, so they will pass that along to Schwab and if Schwab ignores it then we can go elsewhere. I have more on my plate that is of greater importance between now and that point in time, so I’ll let them finalize everything and then make a decision.


  15. Jack,

    Just to let you know I heard back from Schwab AT today and they said their development team has stated they will have hotkey-order functionality by the end of the year, so apparently it will take place with the migration from CT Pro to SS Pro. That is a major thing for me, so I’m glad to hear that and thought I would pass it along.

    Have a great week!


  16. How about the CyberXchange order routing?

  17. Schwab has their own version of it called SmartEx but that’s about all I know about it.

  18. I traded Schwab SSPro for a year. I lost a ton of money because their dat feed freezes constantly and the PPS can change a point before you have time to log off and back on to clear the problem.What really make sit worse is that the P&L/Balances data is updated at their server instead of on your PC and is delayed information, sometimes a half hour.
    I have been with CT for 7 months and found execution to be far better. The SSPro trading window does not have a cancel order button and if you made a mistake and want to stop it it takes time to go to the accounts window , then find the order and cancel it.

    I read an earlier post where someone stated SSPro was better for long term trades, I agree as the Schwab stock analysis is very thorough and valuations are a breeze.

    for micro tading (being a market participant) SSPro will kill you. EVeryone should demand that Schwab use the CT Platform and leave that dusty old Street Stupid Pro behind or go to Trade Station.

  19. I’ve been working with CT and SP for 3 years…
    Actually delay in BP&T takes 15 (or 30) secs if any event comes or in 30 mins if no events have come. Also you have a way to manually update BP&T. It is not just a logoff / logon. It’s enougth to refresh your account by draging ‘Account’ drop-down menu at left upper corner.
    Have a nice day!

  20. I am kinda curious. Does anyone really think .006 per share commision per ticket(6.00 per thousand shares) is a better commision then 10.00 for unlimited shares per ticket?

  21. Johnnie, every broker will negotiate on commissions if your activity level is high enough, including CyberTrader, so I guess it just boils down to your trading style.

  22. So what it boils down to is most Cybertrader clients trade less then 2000 shares per ticket?
    How much of a discount is standard?

  23. Johnnie, I have no idea how much most CyberTrader clients trade or how much of a discount is standard. I don’t work there. I’m simply making the point that $6 per 1000 shares is the starting point and a very active trader could probably negotiate that down…..that’s just common among direct-access brokers.

  24. Since you say both per share or per trade comm’s can be negotiated lets take discounts out of the equation.

    Can you tell me why all these traders are so stuck on per share trading?
    What do you mean by trading style?
    Doesn’t it stand to reason that they must trade less then 2000 share tickets?

  25. I am only aware of per-share pricing being negotiated. Not tickets.

    Per-share is better pricing for the times when you get partial fills on orders so that you don’t pay a flat ticket rate but only for the shares you were executed for. So if you want to buy 1000 shares and you only get filled for 500, per-share pricing would mean you pay $3 instead of $6 with per-ticket pricing. So given that per-share pricing is negotiable and you only pay for what you’re executed for, it is a better deal.

    As for what I meant with ‘trading style’, a guy who buys 300 shares and sits in the trade for a month would care about this far less than a guy who trades a few hundred thousand shares daily.

  26. Everyone listen to me please. Schwab needs to allow continuous trading without the 15 minute blackouts before and after regular session just as CyberTrader does. I know a ton of people that lost in GOOG because the selling was down 25 points within 8 minutes after the bell and Schwab traders could no nothing til 4:15. Trade station is my alternative if Schwab can’t get it together for high intensity traders coming from CT.

  27. Schwab has a blackout period for the SmartEx orders, but it’s a direct-access platform so anyone using SS Pro can route orders directly to other venues, like ARCA. The direct-access venues are NOT shut down during the blackout periods, and in my opinion anyone using a direct-access platform ought to be using the direct-access routing. So while a SmartEx order on SS Pro may be rejected after the bell, you can still use ARCA, NSDQ, etc. and get out immediately.

    And it sounds like you know this but CyberTrader Pro has no blackout period for their CyberXchange orders, so who knows, maybe by integration time that could be the case with Schwab?

    At any rate, anyone trading GOOG after hours and not using ECN’s to route their orders is missing out on where the liquidity is, whether you’re using SS Pro or CT Pro.

  28. You can’t short thru ECN’S with streetsmart pro.

    Call them before you say I’m wrong.

  29. Hey Jack,

    All I know is that once the integration takes place that functionality will be there. As long as you can determine who to route through, you can send the appropriate order to that venue (ie, an ARCA-directed short sale). I don’t currently trade on SS Pro, so that functionality might or might not be there now. However, Schwab has access to NSDQ, BTRD and ARCA so what other ECN’s would you need?

    I’ll say again though, CT has been far more aware of the integration details than Schwab thus far. That’s because all CT clients will continue to deal with the same personnel based in the Austin, TX branch which is currently CT HQ. If you’re not a CT client now, then you probably aren’t getting the most accurate info. Why else would they call it “direct-access” trading?

    And believe me, I’d definitely be looking for a different broker if I can’t short through ECN’s!


  30. In my experience, SS Pro can not be used to route directly a limit order that is not immediately executable. So usually when I want to place a limit order on the NYSE or AMEX I am forced to call a live broker and pay higher fees. When i try to place trades on illiquid NYSE stocks using SS Pro the order gets put out on some obscure OTC place. Many of the securities that I trade get most of their executions on the exchange where they are listed – so my orders simply do not get executed until I am the only order at the inside price. This may not be true for large stocks or for all traders, but I place lots of trades on illiquid exchange traded stocks and apparently UBS makes more money by placing them on the NASDAQ. Schwab usually claims that Smartex will place the trades where they will get the best execution – defined as the place where the security trades the most. It is not true. You can tell when Schwab people are lying: their lips move. I believe it is order flow payback to UBS. I hope things change when CT is merged in.

  31. Hey Don,

    Good to see you here and thank you for your comment. I don’t yet trade on SS Pro as I am still on CyberTrader Pro and can route my orders any way I like. However, my suggestion would be try putting your limit orders out directly to the NYSE (if you can) instead of SmartEx if you don’t like it. You might also route to an ECN like ARCA or NDAQ for those limit orders.


  32. I have been having tons of problems with SS Pro software. I deal in options mostly and when I’m searching different months & strike prices, my Trading #1 Window will refresh and bring me back to near w/ current strike price. I have reported this many times to Schwab, all said was that it ws escalated. In Nov, It was so bad that I was not only refreshing but I lost all charting, and my watch list as well..
    I had the windows but the feeds were gone. I ended up loosing over 1200.00 in less the 5 mins with Goog Dropped huge. I couldn’t see the spread prices (3.00) minimum and lost my butt..
    The tech support said they lost “Their feeds” but later have changed their position and denied ever loosing the connections leaving me screwed yet again re: my dispute…they tried to tell me I never even called to report it>>>> WOW… Their programmers were working on a patch?**** What were they trying to patch if they didn’t have a problem!
    Is anyone else having these issues with Schwab? I was soooo pissed, I opened a Trade Station Account and have begun moving everything..
    Any input would be great..

  33. Hey Tracy,

    I have seen several platform issues which I find dissatisfying as well. I too am in the process of locating an alternative place to trade since the SS Pro platform still is in need of improvements before it’s up to speed with where CT Pro was. I have been told the March software release may address most of these issues, but that is a long way off. Hope you find a solution for you!


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  1. From CyberTrader & Schwab Integration Update | on Jun 15, 2007

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