Best Futures Brokers

Best Futures Brokers [2022]


Chapter 4

Choosing the right futures brokers that meets your experience level and needs is essential when planning your trading business. Make sure to spend ample time evaluating brokerages that fit your personal needs as a trader.


What is a Futures Broker?

futures or commodity broker is a business who executes orders to buy or sell futures contracts on behalf of their clients and charges them a commission for the transaction. 


Types of Futures Brokers

Ultimately Futures Brokers fall into the following two categories:

Brokers for Professional Traders
Professional traders care about two things, speed of execution and commissions. As a professional trader for 20 years, my needs are going to be much different than someone who is just getting into trading.

Some brokerages focus on these two items while putting less emphasis on things like education.

Brokers for New Traders
New traders primarily care about education and look for platforms that are easy to learn. Brokerages who cater towards the new trader or investor are going to put a lot more resources into education and support for new traders. Those resources cost money and as a result you will typically see higher commissions.


About Our Futures Brokers Reviews

Jumpstart Trading is NOT being compensated in any manner by any of the brokerages discussed in this review.

Thus, you’re about to read a truly unbiased review from a professional trader based on what I believe are the strengths and weaknesses of every futures broker. Then it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your level of experience and needs.

Every futures broker reviewed here is a reputable broker or they wouldn’t have made our list. It really comes down to your experience and needs. The best broker option for you now may be different than 6 months down the road as your needs change.

One component we left out of our scoring is charting software provide by the brokerages as none of them compare to the 3rd party products on the market today.

Futures Brokers Scoring

There’s several components we considered when scoring our list of futures brokers. If you’re evaluating any other broker not reviewed here today you’re going to want to take all of these key factors into consideration.

All components are scored on a scale of 1-5 (5 being best) or 1-10 (10 being best) depending on their importance.

Commissions – 1-10 Points: Commission structures and rates are the most important thing to evaluate when looking at brokers. Why? Because it determines your costs of doing business and what you will have in your account at the end of the day.

Customer Support – 1 – 5 Points: We look at a number of factors including response times, live chat, video training… just to name a few.

Products – 1-5 Points: Some brokers specialize in particular products like Futures or Options while others offer multiple products. 

Innovation – 1-5 Points: It’s imperative your brokerage keeps up with the times as new tools, products, order types, and other technologies come into the market.

Security – 1-5 Points: Based on a broker’s capital position, balance sheet and automated risk controls.

Education – 1-5 Points: Education is for new traders. Professional traders will put less emphasis on this component.

Additional Components

The following components each account for one point if the charting platform includes the component.

  • Banking
  • Mobile Application
  • Paper Trading
  • Trade Journal
  • Desktop OS
  • Free Demo

Highest possible broker rating is 46.

We’ve crunched the numbers… without further ado here’s how we rank the best future brokers for 2022. 

Best Futures Brokers [2022]


List of the Best Futures Brokers 2022

EdgeClear – 1st Place

Computer Monitor with Edge Clear Homepage

Website: https://edgeclear.com/
Minimum Account Size: $1,500
Commission: $0.22 (non-tiered) per futures contract per side depending on volume
Score: 41 of 46 Points

Taking over the top spot for 2022 is EdgeClear. EdgeClear is what we would consider a market disrupter who is doing everything right for a new brokerage.

Morad Askar, a.k.a. FuturesTrader71, is not only the founder but a trader as well. Having been a professional trader for years, Morad has a unique insight of what professional traders really want… low commissions and great trading platforms. EdgeClear white labels MotiveWave, which we believe to one of the best charting softwares on the market today.

While they’re still a new brokerage who has a lot to prove, they sure are delivering on their description found on their home page.

“A forward-thinking futures broker. Led by award-winning industry experts who understand the complexities of trading, Edge Clear combines the best of technology, service and risk control.”

Pair that with some of the most competitive non-tiered commissions in the industry and you have one of the best Futures Broker in my opinion.

Best For:
-Professional Traders
-Traders seeking low commissions

Pros:
-Great commission pricing
-Elite Charting Software
-Superior Customer Support

Cons:
-Being a newer brokerage they don’t have a ton of educational content at the moment
-Futures only

EdgeClear Score Breakdown


Commissions: 10 of 10

Customer Support: 5 of 5

Platform/Tools: 5 of 5

Products: 4 of 5

Innovation: 5 of 5

Security: 5 of 5

Education: 4 of 5

Banking: No

Mobile App: No

Paper Trading: Yes

Trade Journal: No

OS: Windows & Mac

Demo: Yes


Interactive Brokers – 2nd Place

Computer Monitor Displaying Discount Interactive Brokers Homepage

Website: https://interactivebrokers.com/
Minimum Account Size: $10,000
Commission: $0.25 – $0.85 per futures contract per side depending on volume
Score: 40 of 46 Points

Coming in a VERY close second this year is Interactive Brokers. Had I reviewed these brokers when I first began my career in 2003, IB would have been at the top every year.

IB has always ran their company conservatively and I know my money is safe at the end of the day. Interactive’s equity capital exceeds $8.1 billion, over $6.0 billion in excess of regulatory requirements. 

Pair that with some of the most competitive commissions in the industry and a huge selection of products to trade and you have the best Futures Broker in my opinion.

I personally trade with IB because I trade products other than just futures. Considering this a review of the futures brokers only, we have them in second. We still consider IB to be the best brokerage if you’re looking to trade additional securities.

Best For:
-Professional Traders
-Trading multiple security types and markets

Pros:
-Great commission pricing
-Well capitalized
-Huge number of products to trade

Cons:
-Platform can take some time to learn

Interactive Brokers Score Breakdown


Commissions: 7 of 10

Customer Support: 5 of 5

Platform/Tools: 4 of 5

Products: 5 of 5

Innovation: 5 of 5

Security: 5 of 5

Education: 3 of 5

Banking: Yes

Mobile App: Yes

Paper Trading: Yes

Trade Journal: Yes

OS: Windows & Mac

Demo: Yes


TD Ameritrade – 3rd Place

Computer Monitor Displaying TD Ameritrade's Homepage

Website: https://www.tdameritrade.com/
Minimum Account Size: $2,000
Commission: $2.25 per futures contract per side
Score: 39 of 46 Points

Coming in third on our list is TD Ameritrade and their ThinkOrSwim platform. TD Ameritrade offers the best education for new traders out of the brokers reviewed today.

They’re also well capitalized and offer a ton of different products to trade. 

While they do come in third place on our list, I believe the only people who should consider TD is new traders. Why? Because their commissions are high, plain and simple. They’re a great place to begin your career but eventually you will want to move to a brokerage with better commission structures. Their commissions on futures are over double any other broker reviewed in our list.

Best For:
-New Traders
-Trading multiple security types and markets

Pros:
-Huge number of products to trade
-Superior education
-Easy to use platform (best for new traders)

Cons:
-High Commissions

TD Ameritrade Score Breakdown


Commissions: 3 of 10

Platform/Tools: 5 of 5

Products: 5 of 5

Innovation: 5 of 5

Security: 5 of 5

Education: 5 of 5

Banking: Yes

Mobile App: Yes

Paper Trading: Yes

Trade Journal: Yes

OS: Windows & Mac

Demo: Yes


Optimus Futures – 4th Place

Computer Monitor Displaying Optimus Futures Homepage

Website: https://optimusfutures.com/
Minimum Account Size: $2,500
Commission: $0.15 – $0.50 per futures contract per side depending on volume
Score: 33 of 46 Points

Once again Optimus is another discount broker with great commission rates. You’re going to find very few difference between Optimus and Discount. I would choose one over the other based on what you’re looking for in margin or what 3rd party charting software you’re looking to use.

Again, another great broker for serious traders who don’t need all the bells and whistles a newer trader may be looking for.

Best For:
-Futures
-Professional Traders

Pros:
-Great commission rates
-Large variety of 3rd party charting options
-Lots of valuable Youtube Videos

Cons:
-Fewer products to trade

Optimus Futures Score Breakdown


Commissions: 9 of 10

Customer Support: 5 of 5

Platform/Tools: 3 of 5

Products: 4 of 5

Innovation: 4 of 5

Security: 4 of 5

Education: 3 of 5

Banking: No

Mobile App: No

Paper Trading: No

Trade Journal: No

OS: NA

Demo: Yes


Discount Trading Review

Computer Monitor Displaying Discount Tradings Homepage

Website: https://www.discounttrading.com/
Minimum Account Size: $2,000
Commission: $0.15 – $0.50 per futures contract per side depending on volume
Score: 28 of 46 Points

In fifth place is what I would consider a discount broker (they chose a great company name) Discount Trading. 

I consider them a discount broker as they really only focus on trade execution and commission cost by keeping their overhead low which means you won’t see a fancy in house trading platform or great education.

Discount is tied for the best commissions out of all the brokerages in our list. If your purely a futures trader and have some experience I would highly recommend Discount Trading.

Best For:
-Futures
-Professional Traders

Pros:
-Great commission rates
-Large variety of 3rd party charting options

Cons:
-Less education
-Fewer products to trade

Discount Trading Score Breakdown


Commissions: 9 of 10

Customer Support: 2 of 5

Platform/Tools: 2 of 5

Products: 4 of 5

Innovation: 3 of 5

Security: 4 of 5

Education: 2 of 5

Banking: No

Mobile App: No

Paper Trading: No

Trade Journal: No

OS: NA

Demo: Yes


Choosing the Right Futures Broker

I want to reiterate that I have been professional trading for over 20 years and would be happy with any of the futures brokers reviewed here today. You simply have to decide what you’re most important needs are as a trader.

Prior to picking a broker, I would hone in on your strategy and what charting software you plan on using and then find a broker that supports your charting package. Switching and learning a new trading platform can be very disruptive to your trading.

As you progress as a trader the only things you will likely evaluate when it comes to brokerages are speed of execution, commission rates, and security.

Conclusion

Becoming a successful trader requires you to choose a broker that aligns with your trading and investing goals.

No matter your experience level, all the brokerage firms highlighted in this chapter deserve your evaluation. 

Let us know your experiences with any of the brokerages discussed in this chapter in the comments below!

Share this:


CHAPTER

06


Trading Psychology *Coming Soon*

CHAPTER

07


What’s Next?


2 Comments

  1. I signed up with EdgeClear about 6 months ago. Support is fantastic and commissions are great. If you’re just trading futures I highly recommend them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.