Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is auto staging?
When your newsletter publisher generates a trade signal, an order will automatically be staged in your ChoiceTrade account on the WatchPlus page. The order is not sent to market unless you yourself hit the TradeNow button. You have the ability to edit your staged order or send it to market as is. You are in control. (Note that changes to orders and contingencies are not staged. More later on the limitations of staged orders.)
2. How is auto staging different from auto trading?
Auto trading involves sending your orders to market without any intervention from you. In auto staging, our aim is to let you have control over your orders without the hassle of having to set them up. Hence, in auto staging, your orders will be set up for you so that you can review them and send to market. In auto trading, every signal from your newsletter publisher will go to market regardless of whether you want it or not. With auto staging, you have control. Only send the orders that you want to send.
3. How do I sign up for auto staging?
If you sign up directly from your newsletter publisher’s alert or from the ChoiceTrade Convenience Tool page, we automatically set up your publisher for you. Once you receive your account number and login credentials, please log in and click on Manage Account/Account Preferences to see your publisher’s name in the Select Subscription Service field. If you have applied from our home page, you will not see your publisher’s name in the relevant field. If this is the case, you must add your publisher’s name here. Auto staging is a free service provided by ChoiceTrade. At any time, if you wish to be taken off auto-staging, please send us an email at email@example.com. Once you are off auto-staging, you may add it back at any time except that switching on and off is permitted no more than once a month.
4. Are both market and limit orders permitted?
On listed stock and ETF trades, you may place market or limit orders. For your protection, ChoiceTrade does not permit market orders on most option trades. Market orders are permitted on Sell to Close of single legs. If your newsletter publisher has issued a signal for a market order on an option (other than Sell to Close of a single leg), you may place a marketable limit order instead of a market order (buy limit order with limit price equal to or greater than current offer; sell limit order with limit price equal to or less than current bid. Spreads may be placed at or lower than the stated credit; or at or higher than the stated debit.) On listed stock and ETF trades or Sell to Close of single leg options, you will see staged orders at Market. On all other orders, we will only stage orders as limit orders even if your publisher has issued a signal for a Market Order.
5. How will the system determine my default quantity for auto staging?
Your default quantity will automatically be set to 10% of your account equity per order (more enhancements are coming but for now 10% will be the default), with a minimum of 1 contract for option orders. On the WatchPlus page where your order is staged, you may change the quantity to whatever you wish. Please see the next FAQ for how to do this.
6. Am I permitted to change the order quantity to something other than my default quantity?
Absolutely. On your WatchPlus page, you may change the staged quantity for each order. Simply click the Quick Edit button , change the quantity to your desired number, then click the Save button. The order is once again staged, this time with your new quantity. If you agree with the terms of the order, you may send it to market by clicking Trade Now.
7. If I receive my publisher’s signal, do I have to wait for an order to be staged before sending it to market?
No. You may enter an order yourself without waiting for an order to be staged. While we attempt to stage orders as soon as possible after receiving a signal, we receive signals at the same time you do. Consequently, it is entirely possible that you are able to enter an order before we stage your order. Order staging is provided by ChoiceTrade as a free service on an “as-is”, best efforts basis. If you ever see a staged order, you feel you do not need, feel free to delete it. Remember that staged orders are not live orders until you send them to market. So even if a staged order stays on your WatchPlus page, there is no risk of it accidentally executing.
8. How are follow-on instructions handled for staging?
Important: Follow-on instructions are not staged. Some examples of follow-on instructions are: (i) If unable to establish a position on a given day, try to establish it on the next trading day. – In this case, we will stage your order only on the first day. You will need to monitor whether it executes or not, and if not, and you still want to enter it on the next day, please enter it directly (without a staged order). (ii) If you have not exited your position by 10:00 Eastern time, change your limit order and exit at the market price. – In this case, you will need to make the change yourself. Note: if you have already sent your limit order to market earlier, you will now modify it on the Orders page, not on WatchPlus (staging page). (iii) In the original instruction to enter the position, a follow-on instruction states: If you have not exited your position by 3:45 on the last trading day before expiration of the option, place an order to sell. – In this case, we will not stage the sell order. In general, holding options over expiration weekend could carry significant risk and is not recommended. (iv) a new signal to partially close a position. – In this case, our order management system will use your entire quantity when staging the order. You will need to change it to the partial quantity suggested by your publisher.
9. What is the minimum equity commitment required to auto stage?
Most publisher programs require a margin account, which means your account equity will need to start at or above $2,000 and remain above $2,000 at all times. Consequently, it is recommended that you start with at least $2,500.
10. Does ChoiceTrade recommend or endorse any newsletter publisher?
No, we do not recommend or endorse any newsletter publisher. Nor do we monitor their performance. It is up to each client to make sure that their publisher meets their expectations and investment goals. We recommend you research the historical performance of the publisher(s) you sign up with, although past performance is no guarantee of future results.
11. What assurances do I have that my order will be staged properly?
While we do our best to stage orders error free, we do not guarantee this. Our auto staging service is offered at no charge on an as-is, best efforts basis. Please check the terms of each staged order carefully before sending it to market. You may use the Quick Edit button to change the terms of an order at any time prior to hitting the Trade Now button.
12. Can I exit a trade before my newsletter sends a closeout signal?
Yes, you may close your position at any time.
13. Can complex option orders be auto staged
Yes. Spreads, straddles, iron condors, etc. can be auto staged in your account. This is one of the most popular functions of the convenience tool for active option traders.
14. What does the $20 or $50 monthly subscription include?
Convenience tool and auto-trading subscribers: $20 a month includes unlimited online trades in Nasdaq and NYSE stocks and ETFs. $50 a month includes unlimited online trades in Nasdaq and NYSE stocks and ETFs and options. Penny stock trades carry a separate commission and cash settled option trades carry a surcharge of $1 per contract. An example of a cash settled option is SPX. Most options are not cash settled, however, and are included in the $50 monthly price without any surcharges.
Options are risky securities and not suitable for all investors. Please read the OCC's risk disclosure before you invest in options.
ChoiceTrade is a leader in the FinTech space, at the forefront of many of the industry’s initiatives. We have a clean regulatory compliance history with the SEC throughout our almost twenty years, and have thousands of clients from over 100 countries. Our website is in almost a hundred languages and we do offer some of the lowest commissions in the industry, which translates into big savings for our clients.