Frequently Asked Questions
Where did the name DeCarley Trading come from?
DeCarley Trading was founded by Tracy DeCarlo in order to exploit the talents and experience of head broker Carley Garner. It seemed only natural to combine DeCarlo and Carley to form DeCarley. It has a certain ring, don't you think?
What do I need to get started trading with DeCarley Trading?
After you have properly researched the world of options and futures trading and had any unanswered questions addressed by a DeCarley Trading representative, you simply need to complete an account application and fund the account with at least $2,000 (or $1,000 if trading micro futures). The online application takes from 5 to 10 minutes to complete and we normally have an account number issued within a day. Open a Futures and options on futures trading account with DeCarley Trading
How do I open a commodity trading account?
Is there an account minimum?
Yes. We don't require that you fund the account with several thousands of dollars as many other brokerage firms do. You are free to open with as much or as little as you would like assuming the starting balance is at least $1,000 for micro futures trading or $2,000 for trading in other markets. Of course, you will want to fund the account with enough money to margin any position that you are interested in executing, or to cover the cost of any option that you are interested in purchasing. With that said, not all trading platforms and clearing arrangements are accessible to all account sizes and types. If you intend to start with less than $2,000, contact us for details on which trading platform and FCM would be appropriate for your needs.
Which platform should I choose?
DeCarley Trading offers several clearing arrangements (FCMs) to choose from, accordingly, we are able to provide a list of over twenty trading platforms for our clients to choose from. In fact, our clients have access to nearly all futures and options platforms available, so if you don’t see one on our website, don’t hesitate to ask!
If you are unsure of which platform to choose, we can help you determine a good fit for your trading style. Our most popular trading platform is the Zaner360 because it is free to use, provides access to live quotes, charting, and options chains, is user-friendly, and can be attached to mobile access via iBroker.
How do I fund my DeCarley futures trading account?
Funding an account can be done by either check, wire, or an account transfer from an existing account at a competing brokerage firm.
Click here for funding instructions.
Is my money secure?
Unlike a stock or Forex account, the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) and the NFA (National Futures Association) require that futures trading brokerage houses, also known as FCM's (Futures Commission Merchants) hold customer segregated accounts. This simply means that the FCM is not using your money to fund operations etc. Assuming that your FCM follows proper procedure, aside from your own trading, your money is deposited in a bank account and earmarked with your name on it. In the event of a brokerage firm insolvency, the customer-segregated funds (your money) should be unaffected.
The NFA has written a piece on this, here is a link:
How do I sign up for a free trial to DeCarley Trading client newsletters?
Signing up for the free trial is easy. You can do so on www.CarleyGarnerTrading.com or right here on DeCarleyTrading.com. Simply click on the main menu item titled "FREE Offers" and complete the registration form.
Keep in mind that The DeCarley Perspective and the Financial Futures Report are free to DeCarley Trading clients only. Subscription to this e-newsletter is granted upon completion of the account forms and funding of the account. However, accounts must remain active to continue receiving the publications.
Can I subscribe to DeCarley Trading newsletters, while keeping my trading account at another brokerage firm?
No. We are unable to offer our newsletters services on a subscription basis. If you would like to receive our newsletters regularly, you must have an open, funded, and active trading account.
Can I sell naked options at DeCarley?
Absolutely. Many brokerage firms limit their clients’ ability to sell options, others outright forbid it. However, DeCarley believes a responsible option selling strategy likely offers the best odds of success. Accordingly, we are more than happy to accommodate our clients who wish to trade in this manner.
Does DeCarley offer SPAN minimum margins?
Yes. Although the margin policy varies per FCM we use to clear, we offer minimum exchange margin (Standard Portfolio Analysis of Risk) for option spreads and option selling strategies. SPAN is a CME Group (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) product that calculates margin requirements by analyzing the “what-ifs” of virtually any market scenario. The system accounts for various positions held in an account, any antagonistic positions, market volatility, and other factors to determine an appropriate margin requirement. As a minimum SPAN broker, it isn’t possible for competitive futures brokerage firms to offer a lower margin rate for option traders.
What does DeCarley Trading have, that other brokerage firms don’t?
DeCarley Trading offers refreshingly honest, high end, brokerage services at reasonable rates. We understand that long hours are a must; accordingly we make ourselves available to clients nearly 15 hours per day. Does your broker do that for you?
We are also capable of offering quality complimentary educational content, trading coaching, and position advising backed by years of experience without the hefty price tag. DeCarley strongly believes it is our job to provide clients with the tools and information needed to trade efficiently, not just to generate commission.
Trading is a game of odds and DeCarley Trading is dedicated to ensuring that we do our job in order to provide you with the opportunities that you deserve in these treacherous markets. While others may rush you off of the phone, we enjoy taking the time and putting forth the extra effort necessary to meet your needs as a trader, whatever those may be.
What can I expect as a DeCarley Trading client?
DeCarley understands that trading itself is a stressful endeavor; further, it is important that your brokerage firm provide reliable service in order for you to be on the top of your game. We are dedicated to providing unparalleled service at a reasonable rates that won’t unnecessarily work against your bottom line.
DeCarley Trading clients will have access to Carley Garner's e-newsletters the "Financial Futures Report" and the "DeCarley Perspective", as well as the ability to communicate directly with Carley regarding questions or concerns. Clients are also be provided with trading recommendations in commodity and financial futures and options markets exclusive to DeCarley Trading clients.
Does DeCarley have access to the trading floor in open outcry markets?
Yes! Although open outcry trading is slowly becoming irrelevant, it still makes sense in certain circumstances. If you are an open outcry option trader it is imperative that your broker have a contact on the trading floor to initiate execution of your trade. Floor access not only provides an insider's perspective as to the "feel" of the market, the efficiency of execution is often superior to that of online trading in open outcry markets. As a client, you would have the ability to request that your order be placed online or on the floor as those placed by hand with a broker (floor) tend to entail slightly higher fees. However, if they can get you a better fill by as little as a tick, you would have likely recouped the cost of their services. In thinly traded markets, this can be a significant advantage to our clients.
Does DeCarley Trading offer services other than brokerage?
DeCarley Trading is an informational hub for news organizations, websites, and most importantly the retail trading public. The firm offers daily e-newsletters on trading financial futures and options available exclusively to DeCarley clients, as well as a commodity trading newsletter published weekly. Additionally, DeCarley Trading broker Carley Garner has written three books, "Commodity Options", "A Trader's First Book on Commodities", and "Trading Currencies in the FOREX and Futures Markets". We hope that the honest account of the trading world that the books portray will better prepare you for your future as a trader.
What hours can I expect to reach DeCarley?
The members of DeCarley Trading love the business of trading and can't seem to pull themselves away from the excitement. A DeCarley representative is available from 5 am to 5 pm Pacific on most days. For those of you on the East coast, this translates into 8 am to 8 pm. However, under most circumstances clients are able to reach DeCarley by phone or email well beyond the normal office hours. In addition, our clients have access to a 24 hour trade desk.
What can I expect in terms of commission?
We have displayed a customizable commission sheet directly on the Main Menu of DeCarleyTrading.com, Custom Commission Schedule. DeCarley realizes that all traders are different and so are their needs in terms of service. Just as you don't want to pay for service that you aren't getting, we don't feel right about charging you for services not rendered. Thus, you simply tell us where you fit on the scale and we will set your account up accordingly. Keep in mind, the freedom of customizable commissions works both ways. If you chose a self-directed online rate after a "getting started" grace period you will be left to fend for yourself in most aspects. Naturally, there will be times of technical difficulties, poor fills, etc. in which we will be more than happy to assist you but for day to day trading services you will be required to rely on your own abilities. Therefore, if you aren't ready to trade on your own we recommend using a broker to place your trades.
Keep in mind that our overall goal is to provide you with the knowledge and confidence necessary to be efficient and effective in placing your own trades, doing so creates a win-win scenario for all parties. After all, as an online trader you will be able to save yourself some money on the transaction costs and we will be able to service many more accounts.
I am risk averse, should I trade options or futures?
Risk is in the eye of the beholder. Many will tell you that long option strategies are the most conservative due to the fact that they involve limited risk; however, I argue that a combination of long and short, or maybe even outright short option trading, may be a better probability play. Being successful in the game of trading requires an open mind, let us show you how option selling and spread trading may fit your risk and reward profile.
I am new to trading, should I feel comfortable trading online?
This is a question that only you can answer. However, I caution you that too many beginning traders are tripping over dollars trying to save pennies. In the larger picture, commission paid is annoying but it likely won't be the deciding factor in whether or not you make money, unless of course you are overtrading.
DeCarley Trading makes a living through commissions charged to clients. We understand that clients that are happy and, hopefully, successful will create more revenue in the long-run than a client that pays excessive commission but closes her account in a matter of weeks or months. In other words, DeCarley Trading is in-tune with your trading goals and not just focused on the immediate gratification of a round turn commission. As a result, we have gone out of our way to offer very competitive commission rates with much better than average service attached.
The bottom line is: if you are comfortable with your market knowledge and your ability to trade online, you have no reason not to trade on your own. However, mistakes can be incredibly costly. If you aren't ready to go on your own, don't force it. I suggest you read the article posted on this site titled Full-Service Brokerage or Online Trading?