Frequently Asked Questions

How do I open an account?

Click here to start trading.

Does Altavest trade futures options as well as futures contracts?

Absolutely! We trade an equal amount of futures and options. In fact, through TradeScope many of our daily recommendations employ option strategies.

Does Altavest trade mini contracts?

Yes. Margin deposits for mini contracts are typically one half to one fifth the size of the regular-sized futures contract, perfect for smaller accounts!

What is Margin?

Initial margin is the "good-faith" deposit required to maintain either a short or long position in a futures contract. The maintenance margin is a threshold amount that the initial margin must not fall below.

Do you help course members and students of the many popular futures and options correspondence courses?

Absolutely yes! The brokers and staff at Altavest are experts in 1-2-3 formations, 50% retracements, insurance options, neutral option strategies, free-trades, narrow sideways channels, delta option strategies, seasonal trading, scale trading, and more!

Can I paper trade with you?

Paper trading is a great idea, and we encourage it highly. We recommend that you take advantage of BriteTrak Online to track all your trades.

I want to transfer an account to you, can you help me?

Yes. All you need to do is open an account with us and be sure to sign the transfer form. Your open positions and cash balance will be automatically moved from your current account to your new account with us. You may still enter and exit trades during the transfer process. We also likely offer a much lower commission rate, so feel free to call and ask what we can do for you.

How much money do I need to get started trading?

The answer depends on your personal trading intentions, strategies, and goals. Many professional traders recommend a minimum of $10,000 to effectively trade, although, it is possible to trade with as little as $2,500. Call us for advice relating to your particular situation and visit our New Accounts page for details.

A discussion regarding commission rates

Many new traders mistakenly believe that commission rates will have a greater impact on their trading than market movement! Reasonable rates are not usually the cause of losses, bad trades are!

It is our experience that new futures traders placing orders without guidance are prone to making costly mistakes as there are many nuances and terms related to futures and options trading that will be unfamiliar to even seasoned stock traders. New futures traders should ask themselves "will a discount order clerk monitor my positions and call me to get me out of my contract if it is expiring the next day? When I want to exit a short position will a discount order clerk correct me if I say 'sell' when what I meant to say was 'buy'? Will that person know my name?” Discount brokers will not do this because they are not paid to do so. This could result in an inexperienced trader executing many costly order-entry errors. Don't make the mistake of sacrificing service when you need it most. We are a full-service futures brokerage and are specialists in what we do and we encourage you to use our expertise and experience to your advantage.

What if you have traded futures before, what if you know how to properly place orders, and what if all you need is pure order execution? If that is the case our broker assisted discount services will fit your needs. You may also consider placing trades online.

Contact us and let us know what your needs are so that we can customize a rate for you.

Who Regulates You?

Good question. We are highly regulated by the U.S. government as we are registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and licensed as a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). Our untainted regulatory compliance record and sound reputation is representative of our dedication to providing you with the foremost in superior personal and professional service. For your protection we encourage you to research the compliance record of any broker/brokerage you may be considering by visiting the web site of the National Futures Association.