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Multicharts---how do they stack up?

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Hello all,

   Just a simple question: how does Multicharts stack up against other platforms such as Tradestation, Thinkorswim, Ninjatrader, Metastock, etc?

  Multicharts has a year-end deal: a thousand bucks for Lifetime License (and another discount for TWO licenses---why would you need two? does a single license only work on one computer???)---just wondering if it's worth it. Right now, I'm using Tradestation, but it might be nice, and potentially helpful) to have an alternate. 

    Now, Tradestation is both a software platform and a broker, but isn't Multicharts just software, like Ninjatrader, so you'd need to pay for a broker as well to actually use Multicharts--have I got that right?

   Anyway, any help much appreciated here.

Thanks, Tasuki

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I'm with Multicharts right now. Mine is a 3 component set-up:

1) MC software installed locally (not web-based) 
2) DTN IQFeed for data
3) Interactive Brokers Profile - both live and test

Multicharts is very stable and efficient. It's running on my old laptop which has a quad-core intel processor that's about 5 years old.
Rarely does the CPU spike above 50% with several Emini futures tick charts running.
IQFeed is very stable and efficient as well. There are never any gaps in the intraday bars....so no data is ever lost.

Now, the bad news is the quirks and error messages emanating from MC are not good....in fact they are misleading. Their Symbol Mapping feature needs a lot of work. Mapping is required when you have a broker profile and third party data feed. You must re-map ever time the front month of the futures changes....quite a pain. With some work on their part, they could do this automatically.

Tech support is superb...as they will take control of your machine when required to debug a problem.
The automated feature is OK. Their code editor is weak because it cannot handle a large library of source code very well....there is no search feature.
However, the code editor is excellent when importing Easy Language code....it flawlessly compiled over 10k lines of EL for me....with no error. Now that being said, MC's code editor does NOT support the newer object-oriented syntax of Easy Language.

All in all, it's a good platform....that could be even better with some enhancements.

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syswizard, Wow, thanks for the excellent review. One question: what does "re-mapping" mean? I suppose I should know, but the term's unfamiliar to me. 

Oops, another question: what is a "broker profile"? If you have MC and DTN IQ, what more does IB do for you?



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A broker profile establishes the connection parameters to the Interactive Broker's Trader's Workstation or Interactive Broker's Gateway. You can have several profiles. For example I have one for my paper-trading account and another one for my live account. You can trade both at once if you prefer.

The gateway is most commonly used with Multicharts because the trade orders emanate from there and nowhere else. On any chart that has a trade chart panel showing, you can select the account, and then place the order....limit, stop, market, etc. Multicharts will pass this order along to Interactive Brokers via their API. This order either rests on the Interactive Broker's servers or with the exchange servers. When executed, multicharts gets this confirmation from the source and then indicates on the chart the price at which the order was executed.


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Syswizard’s assessment/comparison is good .   I’ve always had Tradestation from first version... hard ware lock number in the double digits.  And I’ve had MC since just after it first came out.  I still run MC to IB on a dedicated machine but don’t trade with it much. I don’t think you would be making a significant improvement with a move from TS to MC.  Both platforms simply share too many limitations... and there are many! 

re; "Thinkorswim, Ninjatrader, Metastock," etc.  They are all adequate.  The important thing is does a platform fit your 'taste' and needs... like if you test drove 7 different SUV's, you could immediately build a preferential order from your initial experience of them and, for the most part, that original order would likely stand the test of time

:offtopic: If looking for ‘retail’ replacement for TS also look at MetaTrader

jmo... hth


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The big problem with MC is the lack of ability to send automated signal trades thru to the broker's servers. It can be done, but you've got to use this DLL called TWSLINK and write all of the buy/sell logic yourself using PowerLanguage and calls to the TWS API. This is a big job.

Also, there is no way to specify an OCO order in it's programming language (PowerLanguage). So for automated trading, you've got to write the both the set-up and cancellation logic yourself....another big job. Their Chart Trading panel allows for OCO orders which do pass thru to the broker's servers (not all brokers are supported), but these can only be specified manually on the screen.

Still, MC is rock solid, never crashes and it's very easy to rapidly test new strategies and ideas with PowerLanguage. Also, their tech support is just superb....they will even take over your machine to debug a problem.

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