March 14th my phone line went down at 9:30am right after I placed a limit order in the Euro at 1.5525 in the market. No phone, no DSL, no internet. I had prepared for a breakdown of my DSL line, but I hadn’t be prepared for a breakdown of my phone and DSL service at the same time, even if both run on the same cable to my telecom-provider. Stupid, I know. The Telco had a problem and I was cut off.
I tried to establish an internet connection using my handy, but had to learn that that wasn’t just a plug the datacable into my laptop and connect me to the internet job. It took me over 1 h to find the necessary driver disks as I had no internet access to download them in a minute. Then I found out that my new Vista notebook and my handy GPRS software did not work together. So I had to install the suite on the older laptop my wife is using and which is still running WIN XP 32. Two hours later I had a first internet connection using my handy only to learn that the IB TWS software I had on file and had in between managed to install on my wife’s computer was way out of date and that the IB servers rejected the connection unless I update the software.
Just great, all I wanted was a glimpse at the market and a way to cancel my working order or to put in some stop and target orders, in case I was already filled.
Not only was I filled, but I missed the move to 1.5570 for a -50 which would have stopped me out for sure had I had any market access. Of course we should not mention the fact that before running up to 1.5570 the Euro dropped down to 1.5480, for a nice 40 tick profit missed. I also missed the subsequent drop from 1.5570 to 1.5505, and a further move to 1.5545. When my phone was back online and I saw what fun I had missed just by not being able to see the market I exited the trade with a 4 tick profit at 1.5521 and started getting the stuff together to have a working and tested internet connection over my handy from my Vista based trading Laptop. It took me another 2h to get that one finally working. But now it’s one safeguard more.
Obviously, what i should have done, was calling IB to cancel my order. But...I have to admit...that was another lapse, which should never happen: I had the phone number not available. Be it, that all the talk about bad IB phone service somehow prevented me from storing it in my handy, be it, that in 5 years of trading with IB I never had to call them. Now I have that number readily available and feel better knowing, that if necessary I can connect to IB using my handy.